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I am looking into buying a trainer, but I don't have a lot of money to spend and I don't want to spend a lot if I am not sure if I will stick with using it. I was thinking of a mag trainer, but I have read a couple posts about that they are loud and fluid is better. I don't mind some noise, but are mag trainers loud enough that you really need to crank up the sound on your tv or if I am riding in the basement, will you be about to hear it upstairs? Or are they just loud compared to the fluid? I hope that made sense. Are they any major performance differences? (Also, I will buy a cheap slick to use with the trainer).

I also wanted to know about the remote resistence adjustment. Is it worth it?
 

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kruegs35 said:
I am looking into buying a trainer, but I don't have a lot of money to spend and I don't want to spend a lot if I am not sure if I will stick with using it. I was thinking of a mag trainer, but I have read a couple posts about that they are loud and fluid is better. I don't mind some noise, but are mag trainers loud enough that you really need to crank up the sound on your tv or if I am riding in the basement, will you be about to hear it upstairs? Or are they just loud compared to the fluid? I hope that made sense. Are they any major performance differences? (Also, I will buy a cheap slick to use with the trainer).

I also wanted to know about the remote resistence adjustment. Is it worth it?
I have a Performance mag trainer with remote. It works just fine and is not loud. It is a tad louder than my gf Cycle Ops fluid trainer but nothing to worry about.
 

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The noise thing is relative....

The wife and I have both have Mag Trainers and they are a bit noisy, but compared to a friction trainer they are quite a bit quieter. The fluid trainers are the quietest, but you still have to turn up the tv or the stereo. There are things that you can do to reduce the noise as well. A COMPLETELY bald tire is a must. Even small groves in the tire can make for more noise. Proper adjustment of the roller is also essential. With most trainers the roller is adjustable to compensate for variations in tire size. It should be adjusted so that it places the least amount of pressure on the tire, but does not slip when you are really cranking on the pedals. This will also minimize the noise. The bottom line is, all trainers make noise, The design, friction, mag or fluid resistance, determines how much. And the noise level is relative. Will somebody upstairs hear it if you are riding the trainer in the basement. Probably, depends on how well insulated the basement is from the main floor above. Will you have to turn up the tv to hear it on a mag trainer, yup most likely. But then you'd probably have to turn it up with a fluid trainer too. Another variable that can make a difference is the surface that the trainer is sitting on. A standard bare wood floor produces more noise than say on carpet, and a wood floor will be noisier (with or without carpet) than a concrete floor. Anyway, it depends on just how quiet you want it to be. Generally speaking, the quieter the more expensive. A properly set up mag trainer isn't that loud. Just don't use it while the kids are taking a nap or something.

Good Dirt
 

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See if you can still get one of these. They are very quiet, especially for a mag trainer. Check out the minoura website and they may still have their noise chart for these up. I was able to bring one of these home along with a Blackburn fluid model and a Cycle-Ops fluid model. This was actually quieter than the fluid models (barely). The remote is handy to adjust resistance on-the-fly. They are pretty reasonable too.

You can watch Tv while on it and barely have to adjust volume. My wife can/will watch TV in the same room while this thing is in use. My son can use it upstairs in his room and I can barely tell, but for some reason when he uses it just outside his room, it does have some unpleasant resonation. Might be because it's kind of a balcony in that area.

Anyway, check out the Minoura Hyper-Mag Remote. It's not your usual mag-trainer.
 

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I just went through this same exercise as you. I actually made an effort to personally try all trainers made by Blackburn, Taxc, Kurt Kinetic, CycleOps, and Minoura in both magnetic and fluid types.

Minoura and Blackburn were my least favourite out of all the trainers, both were very hard (did not feel natural) to start off on, were easy to max out power, very choppy when pedalling, very noisy, used a crappy way to attach the bike to the frame, and halve a very fast coast-down which made shifting while riding very hard resulting in unecessary wear to drivetrain.

The Kurt Kinetic trainer was nice but had a high pitched sound while in use and wasn't the smoothest one out of the group.

The Tacx trainers were my favourite cheap trainers. They are pretty smooth to use with decent power capabilities aided by the adustable levels, the frame is designed to flex with pedalling to relieve light weight frames of forces they were never designed to see, and they are pretty quiet. One thing I hated about this trainer is that you had to use different mounting hardware for the resistance unit if you were to switch between a road bike and a MTB with slicks (which I do).

The CycleOps trainers were the quietest, the smoothest ones to ride, and my favourite trainers. I ended up with the CycleOps Magneto. It uses a combination of wind and magnetic resitance to produce a near perfect fluid resistance. It has tons of power output, has a very natural starting and riding feel, has a coast-down similar to that of actual road riding (makes shifting easier), is quieter than the Kurt Kinetics fluid trainer, it is only slightly louder than the CycleOps Fluid2 trainer, has a strong enough frame that I can pedal out of the saddle without trainer frame flex, holds the rear wheel really really well, and uses a nice big roller for better power transfer between the bike wheel and trainer. Check ou the power vs speed curve for this trainer on their website, it is almost as good as an actual fluid trainer. The cost of this trainer is pretty reasonable too.

The CycleOps Magneto trainer is so quiet that I can sleep on the couch no more than 6 feet away from my GF when she is using the trainer.
 

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GearHead said:
I just went through this same exercise as you. I actually made an effort to personally try all trainers made by Blackburn, Taxc, Kurt Kinetic, CycleOps, and Minoura in both magnetic and fluid types.

Minoura and Blackburn were my least favourite out of all the trainers, both were very hard (did not feel natural) to start off on, were easy to max out power, very choppy when pedalling, very noisy, used a crappy way to attach the bike to the frame, and half a very fast coast-down which made shifting while riding very hard resulting in unecessary wear to drivetrain.

The Kurt Kinetic trainer was nice but had a high pitched sound while in use and wasn't the smoothest one out of the group.

The Tacx trainers were my favourite cheap trainers. They are pretty smooth to use with decent power capabilities aided by the adustable levels, the frame is designed to flex with pedalling to relieve light weight frames of forces they were never designed to see, and they are pretty quiet. One thing I hated about this trainer is that you had to use different mounting hardware for the resistance unit if you were to switch between a road bike and a MTB with slicks (which I do).

The CycleOps trainers were the quietest, the smoothest ones to ride, and my favourite trainers. I ended up with the CycleOps Magneto. It uses a combination of wind and magnetic resitance to produce a near perfect fluid resistance. It has tons of power output, has a very natural starting and riding feel, has a coast-down similar to that of actual road riding (makes shifting easier), is quieter than the Kurt Kinetics fluid trainer, it is only slightly louder than the CycleOps Fluid2 trainer, has a strong enough frame that I can pedal out of the saddle without trainer frame flex, holds the rear wheel really really well, and uses a nice big roller for better power transfer between the bike wheel and trainer. Check ou the power vs speed curve for this trainer on their website, it is almost as good as an actual fluid trainer. The cost of this trainer is pretty reasonable too.

The CycleOps Magneto trainer is so quiet that I can sleep on the couch no more than 6 feet away from my GF when she is using the trainer.
Wow.... very interesting results. My LBS has the CycleOps trainers and the Fluid2 is very nice but expensive. They didn't even recommend the Mag to me. It is good to hear from someone else that has tried a bunch of different trainers with real comparison experience.
 

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Performance Fluid +

I have had a performance Fluid + trainer for 2 years and have been very pleased, paid $149.00 on sale, reasonably quiet, you do have to adjust the TV volume a little but not much, overall I would give it a thumbs up, just use an old tire on the rear.
 

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A lot of the noise comes from the tire.

1) get the smallest tire you can, I got a 1.75 slick tire for $10.00 that works well.

2) Inflate the tire to its max pressure or a little more if you can. The higer the pressure the lower the noise, generally.

I also have a cycle ops fluid and it is pretty nice.....now if only they could make it less boring :)
 

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I run complete slicks so tires don't seem to be an issue. For me the biggest source of noise is the chain moving on the chainrings/cassette, this is far louder than the trainer itself.
 
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