Switch from Wheel-On trainer to Direct-Drive to reduce noise


I am currently using the Elite Rampa trainer, which is a wheel on trainer for my indoor training. I’ve been using it for training approx. 2 years, training 5-6 hrs per week and so far no issues.

I live in an appartment house and recently a neighbour came in and complained about the noise. I was a surprised because there haven’t been any complaints over the 2 years and quite frankly to me it’s not that bad. I mean, you can watch TV in the adjacent room without any issues.

I was checking out the options and of course the switch to Direct-Drive trainer could solve the issue. I am considering an upgrade to either Elite Suito or the Kickr Core, but I would like to get some feedback from someone with this kind of switch.

Is the switch really so dramatic when it comes the the noise level?

I was thinking what I could improve. I mean, I have a setup that works and am quite happy with it. In case the Rampa broke down I would be going for a Direct-Drive model for sure, but as it’s not broken… I am just hesitant whether it’s really worth it to spend 800 euros for a Kickr Core given the circumstances.

I tend to ride the hardest gear while on the trainer (50 tooth ring on the front, 11 in the rear) and I noticed this creates a lot of inertia of the fly-wheel and hence bigger the noise. I would say the noise is lower while riding a easier gear, but still the question whether a Direct-Drive trainer would lead to significant noise reduction remains.

I would appreciate any feedback on this topic.
Thank you.

P.S. It’s not like I ride early in the morning or late in the evening, I usually do my rider from a window from 3:PM to 5:PM. Maybe the guy had a bad bad, but it came to me as a surprise ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

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If the noise bothers your neigbour more than you i think you would need better isolation on the floor, as most likely vibration is the reason here. You can get a good mat reasonably cheap, so i would start here.

Having said that, it was night and day for me switching from Tacx wheel-on to Elite Suito (can hear only drivetrain). My wife can confirm that :wink:


I went from elite wheel on to elite direto xr. The smart trainer is significantly quieter. My fan is louder. It’s also better in many other ways. Most notably the ability to use erg and SIM mode.


I am using the Elite Training Mat already, but I could look around for other options whether this would reduce the noise :+1:

Yeah, I was a bit surprised about the Suito model, it is cheaper than the Kickr Core or Direto and I must admit I am really considering this one for the upgrade. The only thing I need to still check is if the Kickr Core is worth the additional 200 euros.

Glad to hear a good feedback on the Suito :slight_smile:

Elite training mat i have (the black one) is very thin, i would go for a thicker foam mat for sport equipment or… washing machine, you may need such kind of stuff.

Suito is great choice IMO and folds really great and fits space in my wardrobe perfectly - it may be important for you in apartment environment (same here). Of course everyone has different needs, i found Suito in the sweetspot of price and features, still happy with mine after second winter season.


When I moved into my flat 9 years ago I went the direct drive route, initially the Elite Muin and lately the more compact Elite Suito (Its compactness was the main reason I chose it over the Kickr). Touch wood I have had no complaints but I am on the ground floor :-/

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Neo trainer is the quietest out there.
Also what I did was get 2 pieces of particle board with some small pieces of workout floor foam between them as a platform that the trainer sits on

Running this gearing is likely to make any trainer vibrate somewhat.
My experience with a Kicker Core was that it vibrated quite badly at high flywheel speeds. Bad enough to make a timber house shake even with an exercise mat and carpet underneath it. The small ring and middle of the cassette will make a world of difference in that regard.
If at all possible it’s worth trying a direct drive trainer out at a shop or fellow riders place. You’ll know straight away if it’s going to be quiet enough for you.

PS. Your neighbour might never be happy. I’ve lived in 10+ apartments over the years and there’s always someone who complains about everything. There’s a chance you could go all out on the trainer front and still have complaints.


Kickr snap I couldn’t ride without complaints.

My rollers, I can’t ride without complaints.

I’ve woken my wife up doing a hard effort, and get textxx from the neighbor, they feel bad about it too.

Got the kickr core, and haven’t heard a word since, til I made the mistake of busting out my rollers. :stuck_out_tongue:

Worth every penny.

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I have a Kickr with the Kickr mat (less than a quarter inch thick) and my neighbor complained. I think it’s less a noise issue than a vibration issue. I moved it to a different part of the apartment and he says it’s OK now.

Oh now this one I have experience in.

TLDR: Short of a full on rocker/isolation plate setup, I could never even come close to getting my Kurt Kinetic to quiet enough for upper floor, new construction apartment life. This as even factoring in appx 1.5" of heavy rubber mat. As other said, it wasn’t the noise, it was the resonant vibration. Not even close to acceptable.

Switched to a kickr Core and had zero problems. Especially if you’re just training in erg mode, you can stay in the little ring/larger cogs to keep flywheel speed low. Had zero problems.


I’ve recently moved to Kickr Core having previously used a Tacx wheel on.

Quieter and easier to train on.

I’m in an apartment block and use the Wahoo mat.

I don’t expect any complaints as there isnt any noise.

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Have not seen the other responses but if you can afford it buy a smart bike like a Neo, Wahoo or stages. I went from a wahoo snap (2 years) , N2T (1.5+ years) and just recently for a Neo bike and would not go back.

Don’t get me wrong my N2T is super quiet but no chain or shifting sounds is what makes the Neo bike even quieter.

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I have the red mat from elite (this one Elite) and it’s not very foamy. The guy who complained lives in an apartment below, so I am really wondering whether it was the noise or the vibration… Unfortunately I didn’t speak to him myself as he came in during my session, but I’ll try to talk to thim next time I see him (and he’ll be in better mood) to work out the problem, so that everyone’s happy.

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Yeah, the compactness of the Suito and the price is really why I would lean more towards to Suito rather than Kickr Core. Thanks for feedback.

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I also heard that the Tacx Neo is the most silent one, but that is out of my price range, unfortunately :(.
I think I am going to try a “double -layer protection”. I have a foamy mat I use for core wortkouts and occassional yoga, I am going to put that on the floor and then put the Elite training mat over it and see it makes any difference.

The small ring and middle of the cassette will make a world of difference in that regard.

This is what I am also going to try out, it will take some time to adjust I believe, but let’s see.

This is exactly what I would like to check, I was afraid that running the fly wheel on such high speed would not maybe make that much of a difference between direct-drive and wheel-on trainer because of the force and inertia generaterd by the fly wheel it self.

I would say tht as the Kickr Core for example has a heavier fly wheel than the Elite Suito, the Kickr Core could lead to more noisy environment than the Suito at such high speeds, but that’s only my assumption at this point.

Unfortunately I don’t have that many options to try a direct-drive trainer :confused: There are not that many people in my local community who would have experience with this and who knows when the shops will be opened here for a test drive (lock-down due to covid). Great suggestions and advice though, thank you.

Regarding the postskriptum, that’s so true. I don’t know if this guy just a bad day - as I wrote, I’ve been doing this for 2 years and no one said a word - but maybe it’s been bothering him for a long time and now he decided it was time to speak up (which is totally fine).

It’s not like I would not like to treat myself a new trainer, but as I said - I am happy with my current setup, if the Rampa breaks down, I’ll go with direct-drive for sure, but I want to check if it would not be just a marginal gain.

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Yeah, my guy says his bedroom is beaneath my workout room.

That was another confusing thing in this whole topic. I am doing the workouts always within the 3 pm to 5 pm window, which I think isn’t that bad. Unless he’s working night shifts and needs to sleep during the day.

In such case I would just align with him about some schedule and try to be as forthcoming as possible.
Good to know that the vibration issue could still be there even with a Kickr Core.

Yeah, I actually do most of the training in ERG mode.

But it looks like the key thing to focus on is to keep the fly wheel speed low :+1:

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I was looking into the one from Wahoo, but those things are in such a price range that I put that idea into “maybe when I win the lottery” box :frowning: .

I could maybe afford it, but it would not be “fiscally responsible” :smiley:.