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Hittin the rollers!!(17 posts)

Hittin the rollers!!metty108
Oct 23, 2001 1:06 PM
Hello folks.
Well here in Blighty it has finally gotten dark when I
get home from work, so my after work rides have been
curtailed somewhat. I dont feel 100% safe with lights
due to crazy boy racers in their baby sports cars. So
tonight I did a sesh on the rollers, in the past I get
sweaty rather quick so my max time was 20 mins, but tonight
I aquired a fan from work and managed to go for 45 minutes.
But I only managed 10 miles, the effort I put in would have
given me 18-20mph on the road, but on the rollers I could only comfortably manage 14-15 (with a nice 26mph blast at the end for 100m). Does anyone else notice this, that rollers really
seem to take a lot more out of you, or is it just me being
What gear were you in? I think that rollers give you morebill
Oct 23, 2001 1:36 PM
workout than riding for the same time spent pedaling (no coasting, kiddies), depending on your effort, but I typically average an unheard of "speed" for a 40 minute roll -- this a.m., tooling along at a mild recovery HR, I averaged about 22 mph. Without wind resistance, you can push your wheels pretty fast, although it also depends on tire deflection (tire pressure) and whether there is any resistance with the rollers themselves. In forty-five minutes, I roll probably 18-20 miles, typically, particularly if I throw in some intervals.
What gear were you in? I think that rollers give you moremetty108
Oct 23, 2001 1:51 PM
I am not exactly sure of me gear ratios. But I was using
the 3 largest cogs in my cassette and alternating between
the large and second rings (I have a triple) on my chainset.
I too am a bit baffeled at my speeds, as I have heard that
people can get some crazy fast speeds on rollers. Could it
perhaps be that my rubber belt is tight increasing resistance??
Your most obvious culprits are tire pressure and the ol' shagbill
Oct 23, 2001 2:21 PM
rug gumming up the movement. I doubt that the belt's being tight would make a huge difference, assuming that the bearings are working as they are supposed to.
For one brief, glorious, endorphin-fueled spin-out in a 53-11, I hit 50 mph on rollers (rounded up, regrettably -- it was like 49.6).
Your most obvious culprits are tire pressure and the ol' shagmetty108
Oct 23, 2001 2:31 PM
So you reackon it could be me carpet. Mmmmm intersting,
I put an old bit of carpet under the front roller, and
when I have finished it always has a black streak on it.
So this must be from the roller rubbing on it, and this
would slow me down. I suppose a plastic mat such as a
spiked underside entrance mat would be better, or even
a length of plywood.
Unless you like the resistance (and you don't mind trashing thebill
Oct 23, 2001 2:36 PM
little bit of carpet). Roll without resistance one day, working on your cadence, roll with resistance another, working on intervals or strength.
Unless you like the resistance (and you don't mind trashing themetty108
Oct 23, 2001 2:47 PM
Yes I could try this, so I can use the resistance to
my advantage, I have always likened this resistance
to a shallow incline or a slight headwind. I shall
try and get a length of plywood to stick under the
rollers as well, to tell the guys at work I did such
and such speed, its great to see the expressions on their
faces when you tell them of what you have done on your
bike :0).
But, put the resistance under the rear roller(s). Otherwisebill
Oct 24, 2001 9:37 AM
the resistance would stress the belt. Keep the front roller passive.
I'm not sure about the plywood. Why are you doing that?
But, put the resistance under the rear roller(s). Otherwisemetty108
Oct 24, 2001 11:50 AM
Hi Bill

The plywood would be a nice hard surface to prevent
the rollers from touching the carpet. I actually
tried it today with and old door. The resistance
was still high. I only have the cheap Tacx eco rollers
so maybe it is a bearing thing (or I really am no good)
Your most obvious culprits are tire pressure and the ol' shagflying
Oct 23, 2001 2:41 PM
Glad to hear all this about rollers.
I have also been considering something due to not being able to get home durimg sunlight.

I owned a trainers years ago but sold it when my schedule allowed always getting in a few rides during the week.

I have not been able to bring myself to buy another as I remember the boring sessions. Even when spiced up with intervals ;-(

So I keep hearing what a challenge rollers are & how it improves form ( always room for improvement ). I was worried you dont get a workout but from these letters it sounds like you do. Im sure the rollers would be more interesting to ride for a 1/2 hour or so than a trainer.

Your most obvious culprits are tire pressure and the ol' shagmetty108
Oct 23, 2001 2:52 PM
I am glad we have been a help. Perhaps my most useful
advice about rollers is, you must get a fan to cool
yourself down, I did this for the first time today and
rode for 25 minutes longer that normal. Good luck.
What gear were you in? I think that rollers give you moreObiwan
Oct 23, 2001 7:45 PM
I ride the rollers with the bike in the large chainring and the 12t cog at 30 to 45 mph indicated, around 100 to 130 rpm. I'll do this for 30min to 1hr. Seems to work for me.
Eddy Merckx on the rollers ...breck
Oct 23, 2001 8:13 PM
Check out the 1988 Eddy Merckx "La Course en Tete" (The head of the Field) video for Merckx on the rollers, available at WCP. Awesome!

One thing the rollers have advantage over the fixed front fork Wind trainers is that the rollers train you to ride within a straight line so that the front wheel does not wander. Over long mile races this means that one takes the shortest path to the finish :)

. . . and less chance of knocking over the other weebles. nmbill
Oct 24, 2001 12:10 PM
not my experienceJohnG
Oct 23, 2001 9:28 PM
I ride at 32+ MPH for 45+ minutes (I get bored and quit by then) and find rollers to be easy on the legs compared to road work. My roller workouts are my recovery rides actually.

However, I'm getting an 11 cog for the rear and I suspect that will get me up over 35 MPH and probably put me into a good level of pain. ;) I've got Minoura rollers with the large 5" drums. Very smoooooooth and quiet even after nearly 20 years of on-off use. Higly recommended.

re: Hittin the rollers!!moneyman
Oct 24, 2001 9:43 AM
I have my rollers on sections of particle board shelving lying on the floor. It keeps them off the rug while giving a very stable base. Plywood is too flexy, and has a tendency to bow under, especially on thick carpets. The shelving also prevents your carpet from getting gunked up.

I average much lower speeds on my rollers for a corresponding heart rate on the road. Part of it is my tires. I have two road bikes, one with a set of Michelin Axial Sports (my primary roller bike) and the other with Conti Grand Prix 3000s. The Michelins are very sticky, and they make the rollering difficult, which is really OK. My speed averages half of my road speed with those. My Contis roll much smoother, but wear much quicker, so I save those for the road. The Michelins were very inexpensive, so I don't worry about wearing them out.

Someone who says he/she averages 30+mph on rollers is either (1) A liar; (2) A pro; or (3) A lieing pro. My top speed EVER on rollers is 40+, and then for only a few seconds.

I love my rollers. They provide a great, highly concentrated workout that simulates real riding more than anything else.

I am as leery as anyone about some of the numbers you see onbill
Oct 24, 2001 11:41 AM
this board for, well, just about everything, but I think I can roll at speeds in excess of thirty for a while. I've never actually tried it -- I'm either going below LT in the mid-twenties somewhere or trying to push an interval fairly hard, so that I end up in the mid-thirties into the forties. Forty in a big gear doesn't seem all that hard, although I can't sustain it for very long (maybe a minute or two). I'm also using a wheel with bladed spokes, which may help with the air resistance as the wheel spins, although I'm not sure how much that could matter.
I also think that the size of the roller definitely can turn this into an apples/oranges debate. I use the standard Kreitler model; I think that the rollers are 41/2 in. If you have three or two-inch rollers, it's going to be a lot harder to go that fast.