I love indoor training. ...
Do not try to justify yourself against BRM arguments. Just look at his usual replies and reactions. Did he help you and the next readers to find an indoor trainer ? No. He just brought up winter weather to the table, implying you train only indoor for that reason ... and concluding that you better do anything than indoor training, in winter. What in your request was begging for this kind of "help" ? Nothing. Tell me your needs and I'll show you what you really want.
In case, BRM's back or Steve Jobs is not dead and he's trying to teach you why you should quit indoor training:
- Workout can flow without any distraction or random event you can face when riding outside. All that can take you out of your current workout goal.
- In hot summers, my living-room can be cooler. Sometimes, hydratation, clothes, shady roads cannot solve the temperature issue.
- During spring, we can have strong and irregular winds. I can have a fan up front or anywhere pointing right at what I need to cool. Wind-tunnel of the poor for the win !
- In cold and wet winter, paths are less crowded and I can wear a cocktail of layers depending on the weather.
- You can also ride by night without lights, when you want, if you're not sleepy at 3am, before a race or ride with your spare bike if you already packed.
- As you said, you can plan and focus on a special content and can stick to it, without having to check on a GPS for a trip that match the length and profile, etc.
- After an accident or during recovery, if you want to keep the pace but are not already prepared to get back outside (and fall again).
- Last but not least, they are so handy to check progress (made outside or indoor !) and make good comparison and impact of changing just one factor on a session (cadence, position, ...).
But again, I think you were already convinced and I wasn't try to teach you anything on the justification.
Right back at the original concern about noise and what I found to be the sources in somewhat a decreasing order but they all matter:
1- Trainer itself:
It's obvious that noise level can vary a lot from one to another model. But comparing is not easy. If you cannot have a spin in stores or LBS, try to find any information or review that give a indication on the noise. A value in dB is better: You can compare from one review/specs to another. The best finding a dB level on models that are "benchable" in real life for you. So you'll have a feeling about what noise is coming from this dB. Even if you're not interest on a model you can try and for which you have a number, you'd be able to say "OK, this dB level is fine for me, this is not ...". I found that riders are not equal regarding noise level of one model ... or minimal music volume when covering noise ! So don't be satisfied with just our feelings. I tried my first indoor trainers at my LBS during fitting process of my test/new bikes. They can have one that is what your looking for (or what you're not looking for so it can also help to delete some from your short-list) and it's already in place so they'll let you spin it and you can test noise level as well as other matters, just ask for the patrons to go out for 1 minute because you want a quiet room.
It's kind of part of the trainer noise but you can change them more easily than the trainer ... and you'll have to change them someday. Start by comparing the one included with and your different tires, even old ones. I found these (trainer specific-tires
) (and probably other specific trainer-tires) to be more resistant than quiet compared to regular tires. It's a compromise to find between rolling resistance, traction with the rollers, quiet but fragile rubber ... add tire pressure to the equation and you're done !
Keep old tires as some may have a smoother feeling as they age. They won't last long (or you'll be surprised) but they're cheap and I'd better finish them indoor - between old and new sets of specific - than in traffic.
3- Mat & floor combination:
I put trainers (bike or standalone model) on a thick mat to absorb some vibrations or at least try to reduce them. They prevent frame and tire noises to propagate inside floors, and these can be louder than the trainer itself.
Moreover, thickness can act as a small confort cursor to smooth a little the "ride". I find it harsh when nothing is moving and power is too directly transferred without any degree of "freedom" (I don't know if I'm clear but it's more annoying - in my opinion - on a trainer than on a bike) ... but you'll answer that it's - for some of us - one of the main point of trainers.
It also helps with leveling discrepancies on the floor. Or keeping the place clean by hiding small pieces of cardboard or padding foam that take care of uneven tiles.
Mats catch sweat (& fluids or lubricants) that can drip even when you have towels on bars and/or head-band. When dismounting from it for example. If working out in your garage, you don't care. It's not the same story when spinning in your cosy diner-room shared with your significant other.
Oh, god, what a rug salesman ...