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Just got my a$$ kicked by a set of rollers!(18 posts)

Just got my a$$ kicked by a set of rollers!Buzzkill
Sep 5, 2001 5:53 AM
I have heard that rollers improve a riders riding skills, you know, make you a more steady rider, improve steering control. After my experience with them last night I am just about ready to throw it out the window. I guess you could say I was humbled. Anyone have any posotive imput on this issue? Thanks
John
practiceDog
Sep 5, 2001 6:00 AM
Might take a few hours to get comfortable on them. Don't even think about watching television quite yet.

Why are you on rollers when it's still summer? Save 'em for winter.
Sounds like they are working.MB1
Sep 5, 2001 6:05 AM
Take it easy at first, you aren't going to have a gonzo spinning workout your first time on rollers. Set up near something solid that you can grab hold of easily and just start riding. The gyroscopic effect of your wheels spinning will hold you up just like on the road. You are probably oversteering trying to stay upright, relax just like you do on the road. It will come just give yourself a few days to get used to it.

Also make sure the front roller is as close to directly under your axle as you can get it.
re: Just got my a$$ kicked by a set of rollers!MikeC
Sep 5, 2001 6:15 AM
Most people suggest starting out in a doorway so you can steady yourself.
I started out on my back lawn, so my bike and I wouldn't be too damaged when I inevitably fell. Of course, there's the humiliation factor as your neighbors look on. I used the back of a chair beside the rollers to hold onto when I started out.
I also found that you can get to the first level of competency pretty quickly (riding for fifteen terrifying minutes without falling), but getting comfortable and confident takes much longer.
And I still can't bunny-hop onto them (don't think I ever will).
bunny hop?mr_spin
Sep 5, 2001 6:31 AM
You are nuts.

But it sounds like a good event for the next X-Games. Freestyle rollers!
Welcome to the club!Len J
Sep 5, 2001 6:21 AM
As someone else suggested, Try starting in a doorway lined up with your elbows, that way you can reach out with your elbows to steady yourself without letting go of the bars. Relasx and start with an easier gear than you would normally ride in. Concentrate on balance & spin. The reason rollers are so good for you is because they exagerate every movement. I have heard it described as "riding on ice". If you stick with it, you will master it in no time. However, just when you get confident, and lose a little concentration, boom, your down.

The other thing I remember from when I first started was that I was stiff after only 10 or so minutes. I think it was because I was so tense.

Good Luck
Len
Relax and don'tLone Gunman
Sep 5, 2001 6:48 AM
try to overcorrect. I wear tennis shoes on the rollers, just to keep myself from doing a split or spraining an ankle when I come off. Set small goals 2mins, 5 mins, etc. After a while, you will be able to work by HR and minutes, speed up slow down and even do a track stand on the rollers. It is not easy and can be frustrating to think something as simple as riding a bike can suddenly be so difficult. The benefits IMHO far outweigh a trainer to a cyclist who is looking to improve both fitness and skills. Handling and steering skills dramatically improve, and spin and smoothness also help with handling. You don't panic as much out on the road should you drop off the shoulder or get into some sketchy road. You will get alot of "saves" on the rollers; close to falling off, slow cadence, deftly correct to the center of the roller and continue. It builds confidence. Stick with it.
Relax and don'tSteven
Sep 5, 2001 7:49 AM
I have a set of rollers, but have not used them with my new road bike, only my MTB. Do you use your clipless pedals on the rollers?

How can you possible unclip in time to avoid a nasty fall?
Relax and don'tLone Gunman
Sep 5, 2001 8:27 AM
No, tennis shoes is what I wear. I can unclip fast enough, but I fear rolling an ankle over or doing a split on a slippery surface or damaging a floor. I have in the past set the rollers up in the garage in the middle of winter and rode them with the door open looking out at the winter wonder land and keeping cool at the same time, sort of like riding a bike in the winter without the mess.
Relax and don'tjasonmb
Sep 5, 2001 9:02 AM
Whats the longest (mileage wise) that anyone has ridden in one sitting?
There are some sick puppies out there...MB1
Sep 5, 2001 9:18 AM
24 Hour Roller Records
Bruce Hall, Santee, CA
21 Jan 77 792.21 / 33.01
Bruce Hall & John Rubcic tandem
02 May 81 598.70 / 24.95
Richard Gunther, Toledo, OH
14 May 83 838.70 / 34.95
Richard Gunther & Kevin Hayes
31 Mar 84 tandem 655.63 / 27.32
Cheryl Marek, Seattle, WA
23 Feb 90 500.60 / 20.86
Richard Gunther, Toledo, OH
03 Mar 90

from http://www.ultracycling.com/standings/timedrecords.html
There are some sick puppies out there...jasonmb
Sep 5, 2001 9:24 AM
all i can say to that is.... HUH.
re: Just got my a$$ kicked by a set of rollers!Tylerman
Sep 5, 2001 7:17 AM
The biggest improvement I have seen in my game is pedal cadence and smoothness. I bought some rollers for my slick-tire mtb last winter and rode them a few times. Recent bad weather has prompted me to pull them out of the closet and try my road bike. Big change, but it forced me to concetrate more on my spinning and hand control. My first ride out after about ten hours (non-consecutive) on the rollers I noticed my legs moving more smoothly and my quads not wearing out as fast because my hamstrings and calves were working harder pulling the pedals up, something I had never learned before the rollers forced me to. Stick with it, and as frustrating as it may seem, after you get the hang of staying up, try starting without leaning on something. It took me almost all those ten hours of training but now I can get it about 3/4 of the time.
Also, DO NOT LET YOUR DOG PLAY WITH ANY MOVING OBJECTS AROUND THE FRONT ROLLER!!!
So, how is your dog? nmMB1
Sep 5, 2001 7:20 AM
re: Just got my a$$ kicked by a set of rollers!jasonmb
Sep 5, 2001 8:00 AM
I got my kreitler rollers yesterday from the bike shop. I have never ridden them before.. but I was up and riding within 30 minutes. The advice i recieved from the bike shop guys are similiar to the groups response, set small goals. I can go 15 minutes or so, and then i start to loose concentration and start wobbling.

I ordered some winwood?? pedals, that clip into my spd pedals. I believe they are cages, i would be a little hesitant to ride clipped in. I want to build two steps for both sides of the rollers, something I can put my foot on, the floor is a long way down!

I wish I could ride more "outside", but fall is approaching, its raining more, kids have activities after school... time is just running out. My main reason for the rollers was to ride at night, when everyone is asleep. So i hope it works out.
Keep one side open.MB1
Sep 5, 2001 8:23 AM
If you need to bail-you shouldn't after some practice-and both sides are blocked it is gonna be ugly. Clipless pedals are fine, by the time your pedal adapters arrive you will have enough experience to not need them.
Keep one side open.jasonmb
Sep 5, 2001 8:38 AM
lets hope that the case (not needing the cages). I can use them somehow !
advice and a little warningDuane Gran
Sep 5, 2001 10:34 AM
I am rather new to rollers, but I swear by them. You are doing the right thing, even if it feels weird. After a while you will begin to notice other riders and tell if they have spent some time on rollers. The benefits really shine through, so keep it up.

One bit of advice. I personally found that my hesitation to crank up the speed made the rollers more dificult to use. The natural instinct on the road is to decrease cadence when things feel sketchy, however the gyroscopic effect of the wheels helps stabalize you on the rollers. That said, I try to whip it into the big ring as soon as possible in order to get the wheels turning quickly.

A little bit of warning. About two weeks ago there was a fatal accident on rollers in my area. I'm not making this up, and the person who died was well known in the racing scene out here (D20 mid-atlantic). No one has exact details, but he suffered a bad head injury from falling off the rollers.

I don't say this to scare anyone away from the rollers, because it was truly a freak accident, but as a result many of who knew (and didn't know) the deceased are considering using helmets on the rollers. I won't preach heavily on the matter, but it might be a good idea, especially when starting. If you absolutely don't want to use a helmet, make sure that the area surrounding you is free of abstructions.

Roll on!