The experience of hearing a loud banging on your apartment door while on the trainer isn't enjoyable. Opening the door and seeing that neighbour you've never met who happens to live beside/below/above you red faced is another non-enjoyable thing. What's worse? Having your wife/husband open the door in your place. Not getting training in, or not training at the intensity you would like is also frustrating. What to do? After all there are races coming up...
I pondered these things when I moved back to the heart of Hong Kong. The epicentre of apartment life. On my unofficial survey, Hong Kong also leads the globe in wall thinness...
With the above context in mind I set to research. After living in different countries I had the following criteria in mind: quiet, high resistance, stable, high quality, simple and well designed, quiet. I also wanted to stop shredding tires and use it for my MTB (but was negotiable, via thru axle).
A special thanks to my friends at Sky Blue Bikes for helping me research and learn about a variety of trainers (and managing to get me a Muin from Italy!):
The Muin is heavy (17kg o 34.4lbs). It feels like a trainer I will have and can own for the next 10 years (it's also serviceable!). It has very few things you can damage, bend or break. There are no adjustments, but it is foldable. You don't need adjustments as it has enough resistance to get you to 2,200 watts (claimed) - simply adjust via your gearing.
To calibrate it, remove your rear wheel from your road or mountain bike (thru-axle options are available) ensure you've installed your preferred cassette onto your new Muin. The cassette installs the same as it would on your road or mountain bike, and mount your ride on the Muin via the rear drop-outs. Calibration complete. The Turbo Muin is compatible with both SRAM/Shimano and Campagnolo 9,10,11 speed.
If you want speed and distance 'beamed' directly to your bluetooth device you'll need to buy the optional Misuro Blu Sensor. The sensor will need a few minutes to install and will then broadcast speed and distance, NOT cadence. This wasn't something that I was interested in as my cadence and power is displayed via a Quarq power meter that I use on two of my bikes.
If you use your Smartphone for training the Elite website has a nifty little app to help you determine the best solution for your trainer to beam data. You can find it here: http://configuro.elite-it.com/en.
The only adjustment you may need, relates to width. If your rear spacing is 135 vs. 130mm you will need to use a small alloy washer which inserts between the trainer and your bikes dropout on the non-drive side. Elite provides guidance on the type of frame that will need the washer and ultimately both are compatible.
Now that your bike is mounted you will notice that you don't need a riser block for your front wheel. Provided your pain cave/house of suffering has a level floor, you're set.
Place butt on seat. Go.
Riding the Muin
I've now been riding the Muin for more than a year. I ride my trainer, on average, five days a week. My shortest workout has been 45 minutes. The longest workout I've completed on the Muin has been more than 4 hours. I've sprinted, endured, ridden very high resistance (44 rpms) and very low resistance (130 rpms). The trainer has been used for the most part with my road bike, but I have had no issue mounting my time trial bike with its horizontal dropouts.
It is very quiet. It does make a sound - you can initially hear the fluid moving and your drive train creates some noise. BUT your neighbours will have little to complain about. You can easily watch DVD's or movies and it's unlikely your wife/husband/room mate/cat/dog will be frightened/annoyed. However, there's no accounting for hyper sensitive types.
From a performance perspective you can't fault the Turbo Muin. You get high resistance, low noise, stability and what appears to be long term durability. If you're a HUGE data junky you can get speed and distance beamed straight to your smart phone. If you are a performance minded cyclist you likely already have a power meter.
Opportunities for improvement
I'm happy with the Elite Turbo Muin. I now have a trainer that's robust, quiet, and simple that I'm aiming to keep for years to come.