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Cyclops' The Silencer is a direct drive magnetic trainer that provides a realistic ride feel and, as its name suggests, it's very quiet.
Direct drive is the name given to those trainers where you drop out your rear wheel, fix your bike in place at the dropouts, and run the chain on a cassette mounted to the trainer itself. This one comes with a 10-speed Shimano/SRAM cassette (11-25-tooth) already fitted to a Shimano 11-speed freehub body, so you can fit an 11-speed cassette if your bike runs an 11-speed groupset. You can contact CycleOps for a Campagnolo freehub body.
You change gear in the normal way using your handlebar shifters and you can also alter the magnetically controlled resistance via a handlebar mounted lever, so you can simulate hills. CycleOps don't give a measure of resistance provided by The Silencer, but I was struggling to maintain a cadence of 40rpm for a minute in the hardest setting with a standard chainset. There's enough resistance here for all but the very strongest of sprinters doing the shortest of sprints.
The weighted flywheel (5.9kg, 250mm diameter) produces a ride that feels very much like you're out on the road. It's not jerky when you're accelerating or when you stop and then restart pedalling; it just feels natural.
You need a stable trainer for high-intensity efforts and that's exactly what you get here. The base is large (612mm x 465mm) and you can adjust the feet up and down to compensate for non-level flooring. Plus, The Silencer is super-sturdy. Weighing in at 18.8kg, it really does stick to the ground whatever you get up to in the saddle.
On the downside, portability isn't great. Once set up – it's a simple 10-minute job bolting the resistance unit to the base – The Silencer doesn't fold down. With that large base and a height of 493mm, it's quite awkward to carry all but the shortest of distances and it takes up a lot of space. Measure the back of your car first if you're hoping to take it along for warming up ahead of a time trial, for example.
One other issue is that you might have to adjust your rear mech limiting screws if the cassette doesn't sit in exactly the same position relative to your mech as the one on your rear wheel.
The Silencer will take both 130mm and 135mm rear dropouts – so most bikes out there – and you just reposition a couple of washers to swap between them. It's suitable for bikes with 700c and 29in wheels. A bike with smaller wheels will work too, you'll just need a riser block up front to level it out. CycleOps give a maximum load, excluding the bike, of 100kg (15st 10lb).
The Silencer lives up to its name by being quiet in use. CycleOps boast that the noise level at 20mph is 59-64 decibels although that probably doesn't mean a lot to you. It's by no means noiseless but if you're coming from an air-resistance turbo, you'll be amazed. That's not just more pleasant for you, it's better for your family in the next room, the bloke in the flat upstairs, or anyone else in the vicinity.
Solid direct drive magnetic trainer that provides a quiet performance and a realistic ride feel
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Make and model: Cyclops The Silencer direct drive magnetic trainer
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
CycleOps say: "NOISE LEVEL: NONEXISTENT. LEG SCREAM: PROBABLE.
"Neighbors banging on walls. Kids crying over monitors. Glares from your roommate. No one likes a noisy trainer.
That's where the Silencer comes in. It's perfect for the cycling enthusiast with a need for a lean, mean, quiet training machine. A handlebar shifter makes it easy to turn any casual ride into a heart-pumping, leg-screaming, Classics-worthy effort without sacrificing the ultra-responsive resistance offered by the direct-drive design. So lose your rear wheel and get ready to experience a new decibel in training."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CycleOps list these attributes:
* Noise level at 20 mph is 59-64 decibels
* Dimensions L*W*H: 24"x18.5"x19.5" (612x465x493 mm).
* Features a wide stance for boosted stability.
* Weighs in at 39 lbs (17.6 kg).
* Direct drive design features a fixed rear wheel mode.
* Fits frames with rear fork widths of 130mm and 135mm.
* Fits road bikes and some mountain bikes with wheel diameters of 700c and 29 inch series.
* Available with SHIMANO-road 10-gear 11T-25T or SRAM-road 10-gear 11T-26T.
* Adjustable magnetic resistance allows for true-to-the-road feel.
* Comes with easy to use 5-level handlebar adjuster.
* 220 lb (100kg) maximum load '' excluding bicycle.
* SHIMANO and SRAM 9/10/11 speed compatible.
It's so solid that it'll shrug off all kinds of abuse. You'll need to replace the cassette sooner or later, as you would if you were riding any other trainer.
Weight might or might not be an issue for you. If you're going to buy one and give it a permanent spot in your garage, the near-19kg weight won't be a problem. If you want something you can set up and then put away, or you want something for warming up at time trials, for instance, it makes life more difficult.
No question about it, £600 is a lot to spend on a trainer, even a very good one (unless you're getting clever Virtual Reality features thrown in). Lemond Revolutions are £450-£500 (depending on the model), although they do make more noise than The Silencer. Personally, I think £600 is a high price considering the advantages you get over a £300 trainer, say, but I only use a trainer about once a week. If you're on there more often, the price starts to feel more reasonable.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works really well. In terms of performance, it does the job exactly as promised.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to mount the bike on there, no tyre wear (obviously!), reasonably quiet. Best of all, though, is the realistic feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's not so much the weight that makes it difficult to carry, but the combination of the weight and the size.
And just because it's called The Silencer, don't think that it's silent.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? I wouldn't spend £600 on a trainer, personally.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they were majorly into their indoor training.
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.