Introduction – Indoor Bike Trainers
If you don’t think you can train on your bike at home because you live in an apartment, think again! For any number of reasons, it is not always possible to take your bike outside to exercise. Whether it’s due to bad weather or public health restrictions, we all should strive to keep ourselves fit and not make up excuses for not exercising!
In this article, we’ve put together a list of quiet trainers to keep your downstairs and next-door neighbors from banging on your door. Drop a rug remnant or mat over your existing floor to add more soundproofing, and you should be good to go.
Bike Trainer Buying Tips
Before purchasing a bike trainer, here are some guidelines to follow.
First, know the size of your wheel and tire. It’ll save you time and frustration from buying a trainer that does not fit your bike.
Next, a riser block is a must-have accessory. It levels out the ride and stabilizes the front end of the bike.
Thirdly, swap out your quick release skewer for one provided by the manufacturer. They’re designed to carry the heavy load.
In addition, note that trainers wear down tires quickly, so you should invest in a dedicated training tire.
The types of bike trainers we’re looking at fall into one of two categories: magnetic trainers and fluid trainers.
A magnetic trainer uses two opposing magnets to create resistance. The resistance is usually set prior to mounting the bike. These are quieter than wind trainers, which we don’t recommend using in apartments at all. Magnetic trainers simulate a spin class bike. The resistance can feel a little light and may not be difficult enough for seasoned riders.
A fluid trainer has a viscous liquid with an impeller in the chamber next to the flywheel. As you pedal faster, the fluid warms and thickens, creating more resistance. Fluid trainers feel like a road ride. They’re usually quieter than mag trainers.
Best Bike Trainers for Apartments
Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand
This trainer is a pleasant surprise. It performs better than most other mag trainers. It works with both road bikes and mountain bikes. When not in use, it’s easy to fold up this trainer and tuck it into a closet.
Sportneer’s flywheel includes a patented noise reduction component built into their magnet housing. It’s very effective and compares well to fluid trainers.
It’s nearly ready to use right out of the box. Sportneer includes a standard front riser and a quick-release metal skewer. The six resistance settings are controlled by a cable connected to a lever mounted on your handlebar. The rubber feet are adjustable for setting up on an uneven floor and help absorb vibrations that can travel through the floor.
- Quieter than most mag trainers
- Easy to set up
- Resistance adjusting mounting clamp is a little small for most handlebars
Saris CycleOps Fluid2 Bike Trainer
Once known as CycleOps, the Fluid2 is now a mid-range model that’s part of the Saris brand. This model is a Smart Trainer that has sensors that are compatible with apps that use Rouvy, Bluetooth, and ANT+ connectivity.
Fluid2 is compatible with most wheel sizes. Just swap out your skewer with the one provided by Saris. There’s a fan built into the flywheel component. It cools the container holding the fluid and also cools your back. You can never have too many fans when you’re cycling indoors.
- Quiet ride
- Fan raises comfort factor
- Riser block sold separately
UNISKY Bike Trainer Stand
The UNISKY bike trainer’s frame is a little wider and longer than the standard. The tradeoff for losing floor space is a stable structure that will minimize floor vibrations. That’s why it’s a good choice for apartments.
The package includes a quick-release skewer and a riser block. Set up is easy, so you’re good to go within minutes. The resistance is set by a knob on the base.
There are reports that a 28-inch wheel will not fit on this trainer. One customer had to swap out to a 26-inch wheel and claimed that no 28-inch wheel could fit in this frame.
This UNISKY is an affordable trainer that’s suitable for beginning riders and those that are looking for a moderate cycling workout.
- Easy to Set Up
- Very stable
- May not accommodate a 28-inch wheel
Alpcour Fluid Bike Trainer Stand
This fluid trainer from Alpcour made our list because of its portability, sturdiness, and ability to handle a 29-inch wheelbase. Alpcour includes a zippered tote bag.
A riser and quick release skewer are included. You don’t need a quick-release hub to use this trainer. A bolt-on wheel will fit in just as easily.
People are impressed with the ruggedness of this trainer, but the setup is a little more challenging than the other trainers listed. You won’t need an engineering degree to get it done, just patience.
- Works with a 29-inch wheel
- Fluid resistance is a step up from the magnetic options
- No connectivity for apps
Yaheetech Magnetic Bike Trainer Stand
The Yaheetech made our list as one of the few low-cost options that, with modification, will hold a 29-inch wheel. It’s gaining a reputation as an exceptionally sturdy trainer. There are six levels of resistance available from a cable-controlled hand switch. This makes it easier to vary your workouts.
The initial resistance is regulated by a knob that you turn manually to meet with your rear tire. The single lever lock-down clamp ensures your bike’s stability on the frame. The frame folds up and can be stored out of sight.Yaheetech has included a noise dampening feature on their flywheel. The noise level is one of the lower ratings that you’ll find on a mag trainer. If your setup includes a mountain bike, you should consider buying a dedicated training tire, as this will bring the noise level down even further.
- It doesn’t require quick-release wheels
- A 29-inch wheel may require lifting the trainer itself a little higher off of the floor
Our Pick – Recommended Bike Trainer
Our number one recommendation is Fluid2 from Saris. Besides being a quiet ride, connectivity and the Saris brand mean you can raise the level of your indoor riding experience as far as you’d like.Sportneer is a solid choice too if you’re looking for a basic, affordable trainer. It’s quiet and easy to set up.
In summary, there are plenty of great choices of quiet bike trainers you could buy if you live in an apartment. Invest in one now, so that you would be able to continue training even if you are stuck at home!