Paul Cutting

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Pain Cave Upgrade – Airflow Boost

Pain Cave Upgrade – Airflow Boost

The days are getting shorter which has shifted my attention towards preparing my “Pain Cave” for the upcoming six months of winter training I will be doing.

One of the problems I had with my training space last winter was that I didn’t have a lot of airflow. I was using a 7″ Honeywell fan that just didn’t hit the mark. Well I’ve fixed that now.

While shopping I came across an 18″ Honeywell floor fan that was on sale for $49.99 and I purchased it immediately.

This fan puts out 1050 cubic feet per minute. Outdoing my old 7″ fan by 865 cubic feet per minute! This should work.

Previously, I had the small fan sitting on an end table positioned to blow at a cross headwind angle in relation to my bike. The problem with this was that the fan would blow sweat dripping from the handlebars onto the frame. With the new fan moving 865 more cubic feet per minute this was going to be a larger problem. To solve it I decided that I would mount the fan to the floor joists. There are benefits to an unfinished basement after all!

By mounting the fan to the floor joists I could get a straight headwind and have it far enough away from me to have the air cover my entire body. To mount the fan to the floor joists I used some genuine DIY hackery. I found four screws, a random combination of nuts and washers, and then proceeded to screw through the base of the fan into the floor joists. The nuts and washers were meant to prevent the screw heads from pulling through the fans plastic base. Like I said, hack job DIY.

Washers, bolts? Whatever works.
View from the saddle.

Success! The fan is very solid against the floor boards and moves a lot of air.

It seems that noise level of equipment is a growing concern in the indoor training world. To keep with the theme I decided to measure the db level of this fan from my riding position. About five feel from the fan. Below is a screen shot of the db level while the fan was running on high.

The fan averaged 64db which is the same noise level as a quiet street. Or quieter than your vacuum. When I’m working out on the trainer I’m always wearing earbuds. With the music playing the fan is only slightly noticeable. What I do hear would be the wind noise buffeting over the earbuds, not the sound of the fan itself.

I’ve now put around 20 hours of training in with this setup and it’s a massive improvement. With the larger fan and increased airflow more of my body is being cooled. So much so that I haven’t had any puddles of “Holy Water” accumulate under my bar ends or bottom bracket.

Overall a fantastic upgrade to the pain cave even if the install is not very glamorous. What I’ve learned, don’t skimp on your fan, and keep more things like washers on hand.