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Differences between alloy and pvc rollers?(4 posts)

Differences between alloy and pvc rollers?nigel
Mar 17, 2002 4:40 PM
Hi Folks,

I'm looking to buy a pair of rollers. Besides there being a large difference in price (alloy drums are a fair bit more expensive), please fill me in as to the differences between alloy and pvc rollers.

Do the alloy ones last a lot longer? Are they quieter, smoother, or more maintenance free? Most of the better ones are alloy, but why is this?

Also, does anyone use the smaller-drummed rollers (drums of 3-1/2 inches vs. those of 5 inches)? Is there really a lot more resistance, and are there any negatives (noisier, for example)?

Big-time thanks, all.

re: Differences between alloy and pvc rollers?djg
Mar 17, 2002 7:37 PM
My first set of rollers had pvc drums--they worked just fine. I sold them during a particularly bleak stretch in grad school (along with the beloved Rossin) back in the 80s and only just recently got a replacement pair. I'm now riding the Kreitler poly-lyte rollers (3" alloy drums with plastic end-caps) and I think they're terrific. Very smooth. Good workout. Although more than PVC models, the price was not terrible--on sale for 259, including shipping, from Texas Cycle Sport (which is now advertising free Conti tires with rollers purchase).

Seems funny to report whether something tried a decade later is harder or easier, but I'm sure these offer a better workout. My recollection of the old ones was: very hard to get more of a load than on a flat road (normal gearing, rpm, etc). With these: no problem. I'd doubt my own opinion more were the mechanics less straightforward (and were it not that everyone else says exactly the same thing). They are not very noisy, btw. Not silent, but not at all noisy (much better than a wind trainer). Also, it's a bit harder to stay up on the smaller drums but you'll get used to them pretty quickly I think. The fist 5 minutes back on, I thought I'd thrown my money away--just couldn't do it. 2d time was one shaky minute on the way to a decent workout. 10th time--fine.

I'm guessing PVC rollers (not the worst of them) will work fine still, but that the alloy drums will last longer, both with respect to normal wear and tear and with resistance to inadvertent dings, etc. Also, I'm told--though I've no first-hand knowledge here--that the PVC ones are more subject to environmental damage (sun, etc.) and are therefore not suitable to outdoor use, if that matters.

I'm real happy with the Kreitlers, but I just have not tried that many alternatives to say what all the differences are (some minoura rollers I saw were not nearlyas nice, IMO).

Sorry to ramble on so long. Good luck.

re: Differences between alloy and pvc rollers?firstrax
Mar 18, 2002 7:15 AM
I have been using PVC for the last three years. Over 10,000 miles on them. They are holding up just fine. Judging from what wear there is, I should get three more years out of them. They also seem a bit quieter than alloy.
But, resist the urge to armorall them.
re: Differences between alloy and pvc rollers?longfellow68
Mar 18, 2002 8:47 AM
I've had PVC drums for awhile now and I can shoot lightning bolts from my fingertips.. literally...
Alot of static charge buildup. Got to wear a grounding strap practically.