Neighbor complains about home trainer noise

Hello everyone,

my name is David, i’m 44, i live in France and i’m new to Zwift. I’m super happy with my brand new Tacx Flow Smart and really enjoyed my first rides on Zwift.
I live in an appartment and the neighbor downstair complains about the noise. I use my HT in a bedroom. There’s carpet on the floor I also bought a “mat” for HT.

But apparently it’s not enough. I’m thinking about buying something else to reduce the noise (cork, polystyrene, et…) and i’m looking for advices.

I guess i’m not the only one in the case :wink: So if any of you have some ideas or tips, i’d appreciate.

I’d hate to not be able to use my HT anymore :frowning:

Ride on!

David.

Depends whether the problem is noise or vibrations. With noise you really can’t do much about it and Tacx Flow being a wheel-on trainer it is always going to be quite noisy. That’s a fact.
If vibrations are a problem one thing that works well is a rubber mat made to be put underneath washing machines. It’s made of recycled rubber and is usually 15 mm thick and quite heavy. I’ve got one placed between my KICKR and the regular indoor trainer mat you mentioned.

Often, the added bonus of a thick mat like @V_itek_Holubovsky V describes above is it will introduce a little bit of motion, which helps reduce fatigue from being in a static position.

Ok, thanks for your answers. I use a mat for HT but I guess it’s not thick enough. I’d try some rubber mats.

Anyway I’m surprise because like I said I already have 3 layers between the floor and my HT. Also I live in an apartment when the heat comes from the floor, which doesn’t help (the space between my floor and my neighbor’s roof isn’t “full”).

Vibration through the floor is probably the biggest issue, but I wonder if it might help if you also deaden the sound in the room, which could be transferring noise via the side walls. Are the walls of the room relatively bare? If so, putting up some sound-absorbent materials could help as well. Anything made of fabric would work especially well - hanging some clothes or old curtains, anything to break up open expanses of bare wall. Some cork squares would also work great.

The walls are far from being bare. I’m in a small apartment and there’s a lot of things in the room (wardrobes, etc…).

I use a cheap MTB with a Tacx training tyre. When I cleaned my bike before using it on the HT I realized that the rings and other parts are really worn out (I started to ride for the first time after 20 years in may, after the first lockdown in France and had a hard time using the gears correctly). I wonder if the noise / vibrations could come from the bike itself rather than the HT who sounds pretty silent to me?

I’ve wondered about this situation. I’m lucky that I’m in a house, but I assume it’s awkward for anyone in an apartment.

I really don’t think any amount of sound-dampening material/layers on the floor, walls, etc is going to prevent your neighbor from noticing that there’s a bike race happening 10 feet away. The gap for the floor heat probably actually helps some, but there are still studs between your floor and their ceiling that will transmit sound/vibration. That said, I’d still do everything (suggestions above) I could to deaden the sound/vibration. But… you’re probably going to have to work out a compromise with your neighbor. When do they typically go to work? If they don’t work, or you both work at the same time, when are they typically not trying to sleep? If there are quiet hours in the building, then avoid that time. Times that are not quiet hours are fair game, in my opinion. Reaching out to compromise will help your case if/when the neighbor complains to the owner/management. Good luck.

OK, its more likely the trainer. I don’t know what the Flow is like specifically, but wheel-on trainers usually make a “drone” sound from the flywheel that I know from my experience with a Kickr Snap can carry a long way through a house, so that’s probably what they’re hearing. Mike’s suggestion to find times when the neighbor is out/not sleeping might be a wise move.

I think you just need to show your neighbor what you are doing, get them hooked on Zwift, and then you can both Zwift at the same time and they won’t be annoyed. Problem solved! :rofl:

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Unfortunately, working directly with the neighbor is unlikely to result in an easy, simple compromise. But trying this first will give you more leverage when things escalate to the next level with the owner/management.

I asked him the question and he told me that between 06:00pm and 08:00pm would be the better choice.

Also, even if that’s not the topic, dude is a little weird. He never came to see me but send me text messages and post messages on the forum of the residence.

It looks to me that he left for the holidays but don’t answer to my question. I guess I’ll ride in the middle afternoon for the rest of the week…

I agree.

Lol…I agree but I know that even without COVID that’s the way he acts.

Buy a smart bike ~ little in the way of noise or vibration. Expensive I know but needs must.

It’s not unusual for people to avoid direct conflict. That said, text messages, forum posts, notes on doors, etc are all fine and can be documented. You could even track expenses related to the materials you’ve purchased to mitigate noise. All of this shows effort on your part.

I have a Wahoo Kickr smart trainer so I know how much noise and vibration it can make just by the nature of the activity. It’s not a quiet machine. It’s on a rubber pad and I’m pretty sure someone below me could hear it. That’s how apartment living goes, unfortunately.

That’s exactly what I thought. I told him I’ll do my best to insulate the vibrations but we’re living in a building and at some point he’ll have to deal with it. I’m usually a quiet person and if I use my HT 2 hrs a week at appropriate hours it shouldn’t be a problem.

Also, I don’t know how loud it is for him. To me he also sounds like someone who thinks there’s always too much noise.

If he’s bothered by noise, maybe he should look into getting some noise-cancelling headphones… He could use them other times too. We have our trainer in a upstairs bedroom and the place the noise is the most obvious is the garage directly below. We also have carpet with carpet padding underneath it and a mat that the bike and trainer sit on, and the noise in the garage is a steady hum that I would think is the vibration. Good luck with your neighbor!

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I had this exact issue.

Solution for me was I bought a few of the click together insulated sub floor tiles and duct taped them to make a platform for the bike. I have some of the cheap workout foam mats on top and a layer of carpet padding underneath. This has made it so there is zero noise. It removes the vibration and deadens the sound.

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Thank you.

I’m going to try this and let you all know if it works. Could be useful for someone else.

Other option is to win the lottery and buy a house :grin:

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Worked out pretty cheap too> I think $50ish in total per bike (built one for my wife as well). All was from Home depot and took less than an hour tops.

Wish you luck

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