Working out may be important, but it isn’t worth jeopardizing your relationship with your downstairs neighbors. Exercise bikes, whether a stationary bike or a regular bike secured on a trainer, will never be completely silent. Pedaling creates sound and vibrations. While there are ways to reduce the noise, if you don’t want to be known as “that” neighbor, talk to other tenants in the building about the situation so they don’t feel the need to thump the ceiling with a broom every time your feet touch the pedals.
Cover your apartment floors with thick, plush carpeting to absorb sound. If your lease does not allow such modifications, buy a thick area rug to place under your bike. You can also layer two or more rugs for even more of a dampening effect.
Take your stationary bike or your bike and trainer to a professional for examination and tune up. Having all parts well-oiled and working smoothly will reduce the noise. It's possible that the belt or brakes are noisy -- fixing them may improve your problem.
Buy a workout mat and place it on top of the carpet and beneath your bike. Workout mats should be 1-inch thick or more to be effective. Some mats are square pieces that lock together like a puzzle, while others are large and roll out. If you can’t fit a workout mat in your apartment, use a folded yoga mat. Silicon, PVC, latex or rubber mats will all work.
Move your bike to a room that is above a space where your neighbors won’t mind hearing noise. You might need to speak to them to get information about their floor plan, which might be different than yours. Don't place a bike above someone's bedroom, as you might not know the sleep schedule of your neighbor.
Save your hardcore workouts for certain times of the day. The harder you push yourself, the louder the bike becomes. Your neighbor doesn’t need to be woken up at 5 a.m. by your reenactment of the Tour de France. If your schedule demands early morning workouts, keep your peddling at a medium pace.
- If the bike is not resting squarely on the mats or the area rug beneath it, it could tip. Be careful getting off and on and test the bike for stability.
Kelly MacGregor holds bachelor's degrees in news-editorial journalism and ecology/evolutionary biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In addition to writing for the "Colorado Engineer Magazine," the "Boulder Daily Camera" and EdNews Parent, MacGregor's work has been picked up by the "Colorado Daily," EdNews Colorado and the "Denver Post."