Best methods of dampening/quieting trainer noise

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Anonymous's picture

For those of you who put in trainer or roller time in your apartment, do you have any tips for dampening the noise and vibration so as not to disturb your significant other or your neighbors? I use a thin rubber yoga mat under my trainer now, somtimes two.

And for those whp will say just bundle up and head outside (hence my bike light question earlier in the week), I agree - but can't motivate when it is cold and rainy or there is ice on the ground.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
"I think you mean ""damp"" not ""dampen"" or do you want a wet r
Anonymous's picture
el jefe (not verified)

"Maybe you get what you pay for but according to the ""Free Dictionary"" at 1."" target=""_new"">
To make damp.
2. To deaden, restrain, or depress: ""trade moves . . . aimed at dampening protectionist pressures in Congress"" Christian Science Monitor.
3. To soundproof.

But to answer the original question, I've been using my indoor trainer as clothes rack for several years now. That has totally eliminated all noise and vibration."

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

"I am pretty sure I meant ""dampen."" One of the common meanings for ""dampen"", other then ""to make wet"" is to ""reduce or weaken in strength or feeling."""

Anonymous's picture
jc (not verified)

Take a look at this:

dampen: reduce the amplitude of (a sound source)

The trick is to decouple the trainer from the floor.

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
Bob Ross (not verified)

"To prevent the noise from annoying neighbors you want to isolate the Trainer/Rollers from the floor (from the whole building, actually) with alternating layers of Mass and Viscoelastic Materials.

So the simplest (and probably least expensive) solution would be to set your trainer atop two pieces of 3/4"" plywood with either Green Glue
( or Dynamat xTreme
( in between…a sandwich (with wood instead of Wonder Bread).

The Green Glue goes on like a caulk (but it behaves
very differently from caulk, they’re not interchangeable), and there are very specific requirements for how it gets applied in a plywood sandwich, but basically you squirt a ton of this goo out onto one sheet of plywood & then lay the other sheet on top of it. Park the Trainer on top of this slab, Voila! Or, the Dynamat comes in little self-adhesive squares that would get attached to one sheet of plywood,
then plop the other sheet on top of that. Basically this sandwich sits between your trainer & the floor, a clever little custom-built isolation platform.

A 3 layer sandwich is the simplest. But a 5 layer sandwich is optimal:
Apply the self-adhesive pieces of Dynamat xTreme directly to the bottom of your trainer. Build a 3-layer isolation platform from the plywood/Green Glue/plywood sandwich as described above. Then set that platform on top of either
A) a sheet of Homasote,
B) a sheet of (or several small sheets of) Sorbothane,
C) a sheet of Owens-Corning QuietZone Acoustic Floor Mat,
D) more Dynamat xTreme (in a single continuous sheet)
E) two or three partially inflated bicycle innertubes. (Seriously.)

If your significant other is working or sleeping on an upper or lower floor, this solution should work too. If they're on the same floor as you, it will be less effective, as a greater portion of airborne sound transmission is reaching them. You could build an isolation booth, but that's kinda overkill..."

Anonymous's picture
slo mo fo (not verified)

"I spend a ton of time on my trainer, and have had some very particular downstairs neighbors. Here's the most effective and cheapest solution I found:
I took a mat that I ordered from performance bike that is supposed to just be like a sweat mattress and provides only minimal padding (its like a 1/4"" yoga mattress, 2 feet by 6 feet. I then took a 2' by 2' piece of plywood, and put it inbetween a newspaper (like a sunday times amount). Put the paper on both sides of the plywood and wrap the whole thing in the yoga mattress. The whole thing is about 5"" thick and pretty stable. My neighbor said he didn't hear a thing after I did that. And I have a pretty cheap trainer which is not the quietest thing on earth."

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

This sounds like the cheapest solution. Thanks for the reply.

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

Thanks so much. Have you tried this or something similar? Any feedback from the significant other/neighbors?

Anonymous's picture
Bob Ross (not verified)
Feedback from significant other? She thinks I'm crazy, of course

"Be that as it may...

The mass/viscoelastics/mass sandwich is a pretty common solution based on some fundamental acoustic principles, and the beauty is it can be scaled to a variety of different sized problems: I've used it for things as large as floating an entire recording studio control room floor, or as small as isolating a turntable in someone's hi-fi. It also gets used a lot for isolating heavy machinery, drum risers, and industrial roof-mounted HVAC units. I've never actually built one of these for a bike trainer, though I did design one for that exact purpose recently; I think the ""client"" -- i.e., friend of the missus -- balked at the price. (Of course, she would have balked at the price of the yoga matt wrapped in newspapers... But I digress.)

Feedback from neighbors in the floating control room applications was always non-existent...which is the best feedback you can get in a noise-transmission situation! I think they rarely have any idea there is a recording studio upstairs.

As always, Your Mileage May Vary."

Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)

Get off the trainer and get on the couch. Trainer will be silent. Neighbors will love you. Put trainer on craig's list.

Anonymous's picture
Pooonga (not verified)

Have you tried duct tape? I hear it fixes anything.

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