When you are exercising or training at home noise can be an issue, as you don’t want to disturb others in the house or your neighbors.
If you want to workout in the middle of the night, the early morning or you try to fit it in while your children take an afternoon nap then the machine you are using need to be quiet. Your workout regime is going to be short lived otherwise and you miss out on some of the flexibility that you wanted with having a spin bike at home.
If you live in an apartment you may also be concerned that you are going to disturb your neighbors too especially when you live on an upper floor.
But it’s not just about others you may want to be able to workout and watch TV or listen to music at the same time. Also no-one likes to listen to any annoying squeaks.
But Are They Noisy
Which brings us round to whether spin bikes are noisy or maybe better put are they too noisy for home. The quick answer is no. But they aren’t silent.
They also have a range in levels too – from very quiet ones to ones that make a little bit of noise. For most people a well adjusted bike is going to be fine as it is unlikely to disturb anyone else in the house even at night and the TV may only need to be turned up a notch.
If it has not been properly adjusted or maintained it can be very noisy with the chain knocking against the guard and resistance pad making a dry screeching sound on the flywheel being the most common sources of noise.
These two areas of noise can be solved quickly by most people by lubricating the pad and tightening and/or lubricating the chain drive for a quieter riding experience.
There is help in doing this in the manuals that come with the bikes and online. It doesn’t take any special skills or tools to make these changes.
Working through the levels of noise from the least quiet to the most there are:
Chain Drive And Manual Resistance Pads
Spin bikes with these two features are very common – they tend to be more economical than the alternatives and can give the ride more of an outdoor bike feel.
With the chain drive you get a soft clinking sound, similar to an outdoor bike, as the chain moves across the sprockets as you pedal. It doesn’t get very loud – with most bikes you can hear the TV and hold a conversation without turning the volume up much at all. People in the next room may just be able to hear it but they are unlikely to be disturbed by it.
The resistance pad rubs against the flywheel to provide the resistance needed and when increasing it pushes down harder for upping the intensity of workouts for strength and endurance work. It is a bit like a constant shushing sound and again is not loud at all and is softer than the clinking sound from the chain. If you are breathing hard you are not going to bothered by it at all and you are unlikely to be too concerned by it when you aren’t.
There are bikes in all price ranges that are made this way – from the affordable side of things you have the Sunny Health and Fitness Pro that costs less than $300, it is well rated by users for dependability and being quiet, for those who want a bike with a console and little more to spend there is the Ironman Triathlon X-Class 510 (over $1000) with a console and its’ own App for tracking progress and providing feedback on workout progress and in between is Sole SB700 that comes with a console but it doesn’t have an App. All are highly rated by users.
Belt-Drive And Manual Resistance Pad
The next on the journey to quietness is for bikes that have replaced the chain drive with a belt drive.
The belt drive is almost silent and you may hear a whirring sound if you listen closely. It is a rubber-like belt that turns the flywheel and there are no sprockets to clink over. It unlikely that anyone else is going to hear the bike in the next room or in the next apartment. You’ll be able to hear the TV easily and hold a conversation without having to up the volume at all.
Belt drives do normally cost more than the chain drive spin bikes, but not always. The Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Cycle makes a good affordable option with a price less than $350 with a heavy flywheel too.
Belt-Drive And Magnetic Resistance
The quietest bikes use magnetic resistance instead of resistance pads as well as a belt drive.
Magnetic resistance uses magnets to provide the resistance. You move the magnets closer and further way to the flywheel to increase or decrease the amount of resistance but at no time do they touch it.
This resistance is silent and combined with an almost silent belt-drive you have a very quiet spin bike which makes it ideal for anywhere you have light sleepers or thin walls.
The bikes with this arrangement are more expensive but provide the basis for tough workouts but with slightly less of outdoor bike feel to it. The bikes that come with this arrangement are more expensive and couple of examples are the Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle which costs over $1000 – it is used in many clubs across the country and for just under the $1000 mark the Sole SB900 Cycle is worth checking out.
The only other area that may cause noise is if you are jumping up and down and you are pulling up hard and coming down hard it may cause some noise on the floor if the bike moves and when absorbing the movement as you come down. This can be reduced significantly by placing a rubber exercise mat under the bike to the extent that it isn’t noticeable.
Overall spin bikes are a quiet exercise machine especially when compared to treadmills. They make a great option for getting high intensity cardio workouts in your home whenever you want – you can watch the TV if you want or get a workout in when others are asleep. The quietest version are those with a belt drive and magnetic resistance but they do cost more than the equivalent chain and friction resistance bike.