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Which rollers?(14 posts)

Which rollers?Stampertje
Nov 9, 2001 9:14 AM
Since the weather's turning really nasty I'm looking for a set of rollers. I'm not sure which ones to get, though - a few questions for all you spinners out there:

  • At my lbs and through I can only get Tacx and Elite rollers. Any experience with these brands? Is there a good online source in the EU where I can get other makes? (I don't want to order from the US, as I'd have to pay shipping and 20% tax before I get them...)
  • How much attention should I give to drum diameter?
  • And are alu drums really worth the extra money over pvc?

Pssst - come closer, I have a well kept secret...Alex-in-Evanston
Nov 9, 2001 9:19 AM
A full body gore-tex suit and 12W lighting system costs less than a pair of Kreitlers.

yeah, but....mr_spin
Nov 9, 2001 9:34 AM
Don't you think it's kind of weird to put on that stuff and ride around the inside your house?

I have some old rollers from Performance. They're not fancy, but they were cheap and they work just fine.
I know, I know...Stampertje
Nov 9, 2001 12:01 PM
...I'm a sissy. But in general I've found the weather near Evanston a lot more agreeable than Nijmegen, too. I can deal with cold, I love snow and ice, but riding for a few hours in the rain after dark and then coming home with a dripping bike... weekends only. Not for weekdays.

Besides, the thought of a new toy that I can fall off really appeals to me.
Where is Nijmegen?Alex-in-Evanston
Nov 9, 2001 12:21 PM
Your name sounds Dutch. Are you somewhere beneath sea-level in Northwest Europe?
I knew you'd biteStampertje
Nov 9, 2001 12:36 PM
Nijmegen is one of the few places in the Netherlands that's actually above sea level. It's about 75 miles southeast of Amsterdam and about 20 miles from Zeddam (for 'crossers). And it's not raining at the moment.
Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymoreScot Gore
Nov 9, 2001 2:42 PM
All you folks who jump in on the roller and trainer questions with "hey - get some lights and 2mm's of nylon" must live in warmer climates. Where I live --- This is a fact of life.
man, that is jacked up!!!! nmCT1
Nov 10, 2001 6:02 AM
re: Which rollers?zero1
Nov 9, 2001 9:44 AM
i use minoura rollers and they work great....don't hold me to this but i think the larger the diameter the more resistance...for some rollers you can buy a resistance unit that hooks up to them but i do not know why u would want more resistance on them...if u have never used rollers it is like putting your bike on a pond of ice until u get accustomed to them......ride safe...
re: Which rollers?Ray Sachs
Nov 9, 2001 10:16 AM
It's acutally the SMALLER the diameter, the greater the resistance. I don't know what causes this, but Kreitler clearly markets their smaller diameter rollers as a higher resistance workout.

re: Which rollers?zero1
Nov 9, 2001 10:54 AM
sorry...i had it backwards....u know when u get old its hard to remember especially when the brain cells are fading...if u want to know the truth i hate these things...but it is good exercise and they really help with your form on the rode.....ride safe
re: Which rollers?john koch
Nov 9, 2001 11:14 AM
Ray is right. Smaller diameter drums = higher resistance. Most of the resistance from rollers is due to the deflection of the tire where it meets the roller. Smaller diameter rollers = smaller contact patch = greater tire deflection = higher resistance. Two other things follow from this. Because you are generating resistance from deforming your tires on a small contact patch, smaller diameter rollers wear out your tires faster. Second, you can increase the resistance (and shorten the life of your tires) by running lower pressure. For the purposes that most people use rollers (winter base training and improving spin and handling), you will get all the resistance you need from the big rollers and running your tires at full pressure.

I use Kreitler's standard rollers, without resistance unit. Youbill
Nov 9, 2001 12:03 PM
have to push a pretty big gear to get a great deal of resistance, but 53-11 at 100-110 rpm is all the resistance I'll ever need (can be maintained for a couple of minutes, maybe). For a winter training maintenance/base aerobic regimen, if you aren't a total monster, riding the standard rollers in the big ring should be fine, adjusting the gearing to suit how hard you want to work that day. 53-16/15 at a decent cadence is a nice aerobic workout. Spin it out at 120 plus RPM's (which is all that I can manage), and you're working pretty hard. And, you CAN go anaerobic, thank you very much. I believe that, just yesterday, I hit my maximum HR pushing 53-11 for about 2 minutes as fast as my little stubby legs could spin (just wanted to see how high I could get that number to go).
Apparently what happens with the PVC endcap rollers is that the belt wears into the PVC, and they need to be periodically replaced. I imagine that, with the rollers that are PVC end to end, you might get wear on the rolling surface itself, which would be extremely annoying if not entirely self-defeating. I guess it depends on how much you use them, how long you plan on keeping them, and if you'd rather spend $400 once or $200 twice. I don't know if they feel different; I suspect not. I'm not even sure if I believe that they wear out.
In the States, Kreitler is the gold standard. Don't really know about other equipment.
Rollers rule. You'll learn things about your spin you didn't know existed. One of the best things to improve my cycling I ever did.
re: Which rollers?flying
Nov 9, 2001 9:38 PM
I just got a set of Tacx TA1050 rollers a week ago.
I love them! Very well made pretty quiet & quite smooth.
These have the 80mm drums & the unit folds.
I tell you what I have ridden for 13+ years & this is a good nightly workout.
30 minutes at 100+rpm & I am soaked.

I have had great trainers in the past but prefer these rollers. More like actually riding & as I said a great workout.

By the way the TA1050 was only $99 at LaBicicletta
I also see you could add a mag resistance unit to it if you wanted even more. But if I add anything it will be a headwind type unit like the Kreitler.

Good Luck & I think you will be happy with a TACX