Silence, sweat collectors, floor protection and even style, turbo trainer mats have many uses. I have grouped together an assortment of commonly used cycle trainer mats, compared them and found the pros and cons of each to find which is the best turbo trainer mat in each group.
There are 4 different reasons for wanting a turbo trainer mat; the two main ones are to collect sweat, or to deaden noise.
Jump to your problem:
- Mats to stop sweat
- Mats for sound proofing
- Floor protection
- Best looking mats
- Conclusion best turbo trainer turbo mat
The others are for protection and there are those who want the best looking mat for Instagram kudos.
Cycle trainer mats to stop sweat
My friend invited me into his garage where he does his winter training (he calls it his “pain cave”) and I was assailed by the stink of BO!
He likes to think of the smell as his badge of honor but seriously it was not nice, the place stank like a stale gym. And it was all from his sweat that had collected and dried on the floor.
He thought that because he had a concrete floor it didn’t matter about the sweat collecting there…He was wrong!
It’s an easy fix just get something to catch the sweat and is easy to clean.
Mats I have found that are good for protecting the floor from sweat.
There are purpose made mats made for the collection of sweat but these can be expensive so I have asked around what other people use and below I’ll list the most popular along with their effectiveness.
I’ve put these in order of best turbo training mat for catching sweat
Shop bought cycle trainer mat – These vary greatly both in price and quality, it’s a case of what you buy is what you get. You can find examples here.
- Waterproof – Usually made from rubber
- Size – Perfect for fitting under your bike and trainer
- Durable – While not impervious to cleats they are very strong and will last for years
- Non slip – stops your bike from creeping along the floor as you train.
- Absorbs vibration – makes the trainer and bike feel smoother giving you a more pleasing workout.
- Quieter workouts – Absorbs some of the vibrations caused by the wheel and trainer. Not much though as it is made of thin rubber but every bit helps.
- Stylish – They do make your training set up look “finished and professional” especially if you get on to match your trainer.
- Price – A cheap mat can be bought at a comparable price to a yoga mat but a named one can be up to 5 times as much
Yoga mat – The most common mat found under a trainer and bike. Link to amazon if you wish to check the price here
- Price – Cheap. You can check out the price on Amazon here
- Size – These yoga mats are just the right size to fit under your trainer stand and all the way to the front of the bike.
- Water proof – Sweat doesn’t soak into the foam
- Easy to clean
- Comfort – This mat does give slight comfort by smoothing out the vibrations that some tires make.
- Anti-slip – Your bike and cycle stand will stay put even under max power training.
- Slight noise reduction – Always a bonus. The amount of noise reduced depends on what the floor is made from.
- Easily damaged by cleats
Towels – Everyone should have one!
- Great for absorbing liquids – Not waterproof but great for absorbing sweat
- Easy to clean – Put them in the wash… No problem
- Sound absorbent – You can layer more than one towel to create a sound absorbing cushion
- Free – Hopefully you have spare towels you can use.
- Not totally waterproof – extreme sweat can get through them but you could layer more than one.
- Wrong size – You will need more than one to cover your training area.
- Waterproof – Easiest mat from the collection to clean
- Can be cut to whatever size suits you
- Free – Where ever I have seen these used the owner said they got it for free
- Harder to source – If you don’t have a spare cut off you will have to go to a carpet retainer and hope they have cheap off cuts
- Not anti-slip
- Not sound deadening
Foam Camping carry mat – Made from foam, a great alternative to the yoga mat
I have found a link to Amazon if you wish to check them out here
- Price – Even cheaper than a yoga mat.
- Size is great – There are two sizes, make sure you buy the larger one. You can find the correct one here on Amazon
- Most are anti slip – There are different types of mats and some can be very shiny and slippery
- Not very durable – Your cleats will trash it after a while letting the sweat leak through.
Best Turbo trainer mat for quieter cycle training
Cycle training mats can make a significant noise reduction if you have people complaining of the noise in another room.
They will reduce the vibrations traveling through the floor which travel to neighboring rooms but they do not significantly reduce the sound you hear in the same room of your tire on the bike trainer.
While mats will help keep the noise down you can click here for more information on how to make your indoor cycle trainer quieter.
Again I have made a list of the most common sound deadening trainer mats in order of the most affective.
Inter-locking gym mats – These are made from thick durable EVA foam. Link to Amazon for examples.
- Good vibration cancelling qualities – The natural cushioning helps prevent vibration traveling through the floor.
- Great protection of the floor – Durable, non-skid textured tiles protects floors.
- Easy to assemble – They are lightweight puzzle pieces that connect quickly and easily
- Easy to put away – They can easily be disassembled for quick storage
- Water resistant – They are water-resistant but sweat can leak and collect in the joints
- HIGH QUALITY FOAM – High-density EVA foam which contains NO toxic phthalates
Some sound deadening qualities – The foam that the yoga mat is made from does absorb some of the vibrations, but over time the mat is squashed and the vibration absorption is lessened the more you train.
Link to amazon if you wish to check the price here
Some riders use towels folded up under the trainer to absorb the vibrations made by your machine but the more towels you use the less stable your cycle trainer will become.
Placed on wooden floors this does help but over time it also compresses reducing its effectiveness.
Purpose made Cycle trainer mats
Made from rubber – While these do have a noticeable noise cancelling ability in adjoining rooms it is minimal. You can find examples here.
If you have tried mats to cancel the noise and they are not enough I have found a solution to vibration free training which you can check out here on my noise quieting post.
Best floor protecting cycle trainer mats
Riders who train in their house often want to protect their flooring and I’ve found to my cost that it’s not only the floor that needs protecting but the wall as well!
Beware: My problem was not from the rubber melting and being sprayed everywhere as you would expect, but from oil and muck being thrown off my chain and cassette.
My solution to stop debris from marking the wall was to simply put a cardboard box behind my wheel, and a mat underneath the bike to protect the floor.
There are 3 criteria that we are looking at for floor protection which are:
- Non slip – This will stop micro scratches on a wooden floor.
- Waterproof – This is to catch the sweat if you train that hard
- Durable – You don’t want your trainer stand to wear through and damage the floor.
The best turbo trainer mats to protect the floor are:
Purpose made cycle training mat. Made from tough rubber which excels in all the above criteria. Link to Amazon for examples
Gym mats – Thick hard wearing tough foam… great protection. Link to Amazon for examples.
Yoga mat – Again a favorite of many training setups but can wear through eventually… Keep an eye on it. Link to amazon if you wish to check the price here
Carpet – Be careful of your choice here. Some carpets (the more expensive) have rough backing which can scratch wooden floors, but great for protection for existing carpet.
Cardboard – A free protector for the floor but it isn’t nonslip and can get worn through.
Best stylish turbo trainer mat.
There is no list here for the best setup! Visually you will want a colored cycle training mat to match your color scheme or a named one to match your trainer.
I was looking for mats to show you and came across this mat (LOL it is twice the price of the cycle trainer in the photo!)… It will make the best looking, but most expensive setup yet.
You have to look good on your wall of pain Instagram photos!
Conclusion to which is the best turbo trainer mat.
As you can see from the lists above you are spoilt for choice. It all comes down to what is your budget?
If money is not a problem then a purpose made cycle training mat is the best choice. However the vast majority of recommendations I have seen and received is to use a yoga mat.
I hope this article has helped you make your choice of turbo training mat and realise that the mats do a multitude of jobs.
For more cycle training problems you may encounter check out my FAQs. If your problem is not there please let me know in the comment section below and I will find a solution for you.
This is Phill from biketrainerstands.com wishing you great riding this year.
More information on making your cycle trainer quieter can be found here.