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Rollers---difficult?(9 posts)

Dec 10, 2001 4:32 PM
I'm looking at some sort of trainer, and am wondering, are rollers as difficult to use as people tell me they are? Are they bulky? Noisy? What's the experience like?
Learning curvemr_spin
Dec 10, 2001 4:46 PM
Yes, they are hard at first for most people. But it's like many other skills in life. Stick with it and by your third or fourth ride, you should feel a lot more comfortable. There are real benefits to riding rollers, so don't give up without giving them a fair chance.

Two useful hints:

Ride in a hallway at first, so if you start leaning, you can "bump" yourself back into position.

Don't stare at the front wheel. You don't do this when you ride on the road, so don't do it on rollers.
Rollers---worth it!Kerry Irons
Dec 10, 2001 4:59 PM
The more your riding skills need work, the more difficult rollers will be. However, this means that rollers will have a lot more benefit for you. In any case, far more riders can benefit from the demands that rollers make (a smooth syle, good balance, spin) than from just hammering on a trainer. You can get a good workout on rollers but you can't hammer out of the saddle like you can on a trainer. Why people feel the need to hammer out of the saddle is a little beyond me, but this is the major knock on rollers. As far as bulk, they are about 2 feet/60 cm wide and 3.5 feel/110 cm long It you have a wind unit attached, add another 18 inches to the length and 8 or so inches to the width. Noise depends on the unit. You can put them on a piece of scrap carpet to reduce noise transmission to the floor.
re: Rollers---difficult?Ryan
Dec 10, 2001 7:36 PM
It depends on the reason why you're using them. If you're looking for a great cardio tool, I find that a trainer is better. If you need practice with balance, rollers are perfect.

I've got a set of rollers and have a hard time staying with it for more than a half hour. It's tough to keep your sanity while staring at your computer watching the seconds tick by. At least you can watch a movie while on a trainer.

PS It doesn't take long to get the hang of it. But don't sneeze (or take a hand off the bars) or you'll be through the drywall!
re: Rollers---difficult?Jon
Dec 10, 2001 9:02 PM
I find rollers a lot less boring than the trainer, simply because of the balance and steering
involved they're much closer to actually riding on the road. As far as difficulty goes, after a
few times I found there was no problem watching tv, videos, whatever. Watching ski
movies or fast mountain descents on the tours is the most challenging! But you adapt
quickly. Riding the rollers will make you a better cyclist!
disagree -- rollers maybe aren't a great STRENGTH tool, but theybill
Dec 11, 2001 12:18 PM
are a fine cardio workout tool. For cardio work, I can't imagine what is lacking. You can do intervals (I can get my HR as high as I ever have on the road, for as long as I want, without being sabotaged by a car or an intersection or an uphill or a downhill), endurance -- what's not to like? The only thing you really can't do is high resistance, low cadence.
If you are not already a smooth pedaler, which includes like everyone who hasn't used rollers, rollers will change your life and bring you to another level of cycling. No lie.
re: Rollers---difficult?giff
Dec 10, 2001 9:40 PM
Like some of the others have stated rollers will take some getting use to. The advantages of rollers in my opinion are great. As far as watching tv and taking your hands off of the handle bars, both should be doable once you build your confidence on them. I find that going no-hands after about 25-30 min on the rollers is needed to stretch my back out, just like on the road. As far as being bulky, most units fold at least in half some fold into thirds. The noise issue depends most on what type of resistance unit you have, if you use one at all. I consider the niose issue kind of a moot point in that I usually have headphones and a fan blowing on me while on the rollers. I have a magnetic reisistance unit on mine and I do not consider it too loud.
Not too difficult...Stampertje
Dec 11, 2001 3:47 AM
I'm in my third week and I can comfortably ride with no hands, drink from my bottle, wipe sweat off my head etc. I tried standing, but you still have to spin - kind of like what Armstrong did on the Alpe. Builds up lactic acid in no time at all, if you're into that sort of thing.

I found that I still need to keep some concentration or I will ride right off the rollers. No problem, though, as long as you're quick enough to put a foot on the ground. I'm sure I could watch TV by now if I had one.

I mostly use them for warming up. I will have to get either a resistance unit or a geared bicycle if I want a harder workout. Although even in 42x17 I work up quite a sweat.

As far as noise is concerned, a friend of mine has a performance trainer and it's as noisy as or noisier than my rollers. I just turn the volume on my CD player up a notch, the neighbours don't seem to mind. The rollers do fold in half, so they don't take up any more space than the vacuum cleaner.
I love minecyclinseth
Dec 11, 2001 7:26 AM
I've found they have improved my balance and pedal stroke immeasurably. One thing I would suggest is that you ride them with cheapie tires because they will wear down faster.
One thing I don't understand about what other people posted.
You can't hammer as hard as on a trainer. I've found that as long as I stay seated, I can hammer as hard as I possibly can. I like to do five minute intervals at 90%-+ of mhr