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Rollers and aerobic benefit question(5 posts)

Rollers and aerobic benefit question_BLT_
Aug 8, 2001 8:29 AM
I'm thinking about getting rollers for the winter, and I'm wondering which model to buy to get some aerobic benefits. Will any roller tend to put you at least in the low endurance zone, 125-130 bpm or so? Or do you need to get one with a fan? Also I saw some Kreitler rollers that appear to provide more resistance simply by using a smaller roller, though I really don't understand how that would work. What about training at higher heart rates? Definitely need more resistance for that? And if you don't have a fan, does changing gears affect the resistance? By the way, my personal fitness is somewhere in the middle of the road--not super hardcore racer, not a newbie either.

Also, does anyone find rollers more fun than a trainer? I get bored really quick on a trainer, and I'm afraid the same will happen with rollers.
re: Rollers and aerobic benefit questionFoster
Aug 8, 2001 9:14 AM
From my experience rollers provide a pretty good aerobic workout. To get in the 120-150bpm range should be no problem. The Kreitler Dyno-Lyte and Poly-Lyte with their midsize drums appear to have the best of both worlds by providing some resistance. They are expensive but I've never heard anything negative about Kreitler rollers. Standard size rollers offer very little of any resistance but the old method of sticking a towel under one of the drums can work to give you some resistance.
If you have a good spin you can train at higher heartrates. If you don't have a good spin, you'll start to bounce way before your heartrate gets up there. The benefit here is that riding rollers will help your spin. Changing gears affects the resistance but not much. Rollers aren't necessarily more fun than a trainer, but since you are not locked into them the threat of falling off will keep you awake and alert.

I've got a set of Performance rollers with large drums. For me, I use rollers for the easy spin and a resistance trainer for interval workouts.
Partial answerPdxMark
Aug 8, 2001 9:21 AM
I think the Kreitlers are harder to turn because their smaller diameter gives you less of a lever arm -- you have less leverage (through your bike tires) against the iniertial resistance of the roller bars.

I haven't been bored on rollers because any time my mind wanders too much I get unstable - nothing like self-preservation to keep your attention.

I opted for magnetic resistance (quieter than fans), which gives me the option of working harder than a simple spin workout. I can disconnect the mag resistance for a spin workout.

One thing about indoor cycling workouts is body heat. One cycling book explains that the cooling effect of air moving over a cyclist is one of the inherent efficiencies in cycling. By cooling your body as you ride, you are able to work proportionally harder and go faster. Stationary cycling omits the cooling air flow, which means that you'll get hotter (and sweat much more) and so not be able to work "as hard" as if you were on the road or trail. You'll still feel like you worked, but I think the power you'll be able to generate stationary will be significantly lower than if you were outside. Still, I like my stationary for winter evenings...
Look into Kreitlers and yes they are boring!Mabero
Aug 8, 2001 9:36 AM
I have Kreitler rollers and really love them, I forgot now what kind I have but it isn't the one with the self generating fan. I set up with a fan in front of me to keep me cooler but the self generating fan is just for resistance, my little fan won't do that.

I can get a good workout on them but I use them when it is really crappy outside or I just want to work on my spin. They are great to work your spin...try one legged drills on them! It's like riding on ice.

As for resistance I find that when I change my gears it is extremely tough! I usually ride in 2-3 but nothing higher on the rollers. They just have a lot of resistance in them anyway. I know most other rollers off hardly any resistance and you could pretty much shift around and not feel a terrible difference. That was one of the reasons why I like the Kreitlers.

Also for more resistance or a harder workout you could do the towel thing as previously noted or what I have done is put a 2x4 size up to a cinder block size under the front of the roller : viola! You have yourself an indoor hill!

The Kreitlers I have (I think) are the Challenger.

Later
re: the body heat commentLardog
Aug 8, 2001 10:04 AM
This is exactly correct, whenever doing aerobic workouts inside, it's a good idea to use a fan, this will help lower the amount of *cardiac drift* you'll experience.