Are smart trainers quieter in general?

I have a Kinetic Road Machine (fluid) and am thinking about an upgrade to a smart trainer. I have neighbors so sound bleed is an issue. My question is, are smart trainers (not wheel-on) quieter than a fluid wheel-on trainer as a class?

I know there are lots of discussions about noise differences between various smart trainers, but I am wondering if I could count on a significant noise reduction by upgrading to a smart trainer, generally speaking.

Recommendations on especially quiet smart trainers would be welcome, too. Thanks.


Been a long long time since I saw or much less heard a wheel on trainer, but I believe the modern direct drive (i.e., wheel off) trainers are indeed quieter. When using one such as the Tacx Neo, Wahoo Kickr Core, etc., the drive train and/or the fans you use for cooling will be louder than the trainer itself.

Local bike shops often have one you can test drive. Better yet, perhaps check out one at a friends place.

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I used an Elite smart roller trainer. The trainer itself is very quiet. The only problem is vibration transfer to the floor. A thick mat or piece of carpet might help in this regard.

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I found there was a bigger reduction in noise when I changed from a wheel-on smart trainer to a direct drive trainer than when I switched from dumb to smart so if you’re going to make the jump then it may be worth going straight to direct drive

My Wahoo Kickr Core is pretty quiet on the whole. There is more noise from the drive train than the actual trainer

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Ive been using an fit for life IC6. It’s incredibly quiet which won’t wake your neighbours. It’s the fan and Gasping for breath That will keep them up. It has a power meter and all the bells an whistles to work seamlessly on Zwift.
Hope it helps some.
Regards Al

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Hi Alex,
one thing I found, is that it is a good idea to keep your old set up if you can.
Smart trainers can have a habit of letting your down, I’m guessing due to their more complex internals.

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