If we ignore the lower end products and compare mid and high end products. Is there a noticeable difference between the sound produced while pedaling in the same gear (Not the shifting sound)?

For example if we are talking about shimano, compare tiagra or 105 vs ultegra or durace.

This question is not so much for road use but to use the bike in a trainer inside a flat.

  • Even lower mid-end drive trains can be relatively silent when they are adjusted well, and lubed; below the noise generated by the tires on pavement.
    – Kaz
    Jul 19, 2019 at 23:03

3 Answers 3


I think a well-adjusted, modern system from any of the major players in components will be reasonably quiet and generally the same volume level. The trick is to make sure your cable tension, limit screws, and derailleur alignment are tip top. But that's true even if noise isn't an issue.

In your case, I would guess that your trainer will be much louder than your drivetrain.


If the chain and sprockets are clean, properly lubricated and not excessively worn there probably isn't very much difference in the level of sound coming from the drivetrain.

Some indoor trainers make far more noise than the actual bicycle. they also transmit a lot of vibration into the floor they are sitting on. If used in an upstairs room they can project a lot of noise into the room below. Obviously this would be bad in an apartment or flat.

  • +1 for recognizing the noise form the trainer.
    – mattnz
    Jul 20, 2019 at 1:53

The difference in chains and cassettes as you go up the price range is primarily weight saving and slick shifting. The noise that it makes is no different. The chains all come waxed so they're lubricated optimally and quiet, and the cassette has no impact on noise.

A well adjusted drive chain will shift smoothly without noise, the clicking when it's not shifting well is generally from poorly adjusted drive train. higher end stuff will shift quicker and smoother, but that's a small amount of noise.

As noted by others, the main noise is from:

  1. The trainer
  2. The wheel rotation

So the trainer is a resistance unit, the noise mainly comes from the contact of your tyre on the roller/resistance wheel. Make sure you use turbo specific tyres for wear, grip and noise reasons. Then it's the noise of the magnets/motor/resistance set up. Plus the vibrations of the motion transmitting through the frame.

Combined with the noise of your wheel/spokes cutting through the air.

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