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Rollers Question(11 posts)

Rollers QuestionCraigVM
Mar 23, 2002 11:47 PM
Living up in the northwest, we see more foul weather days than sunny days so I have decided to get a "Trainer" I have read what many have to say about the advantages of rollers for improving riding skill, but requireing pretty consistant concentration. Now I have seen the attachements that allow you to remove the front wheel and lock the forks onto a bracket which mounts off the front of the roller's frame. Has anyone used these and do they totaly remove the need to keep your mind on balance like a conventional trainer? A big thing for me is to get my mind lost into a TV show or Audio book while training "Lifting, Stair Climber,Tread Mill..." where I tend to forget the burning muscles. Also I understand that most can't just jump on rollers for the first time and spin like an ace. Infact I went to a Performance bike shop and asked them to show me how their rollers worked since they had a bike sitting on one for display. Not a single worker, even the wrench from the back could get up on it.
re: Rollers QuestionOutWest
Mar 24, 2002 12:53 AM
I use rollers to improve both my spin and my balance. While I could probably watch TV,in fact I was going to set them up in the rec room and watch my TDF tapes,I definitely could not read a book. The point of rollers is that you can really tell how smooth and circular you're spinning. They are hard to get on when you don't have something to support you initially,I set up mine beside my work bench. If you want a strength workout you can get rollers with a resistance unit or a fan,mag or fluid trainer, or do what I did and set up a stationary bike so its identical to my road bike. Rollers can't be raised to simulate hills. Fan trainers are loud but resistance increases with acceleration,mag trainers are quiet but can have a "lumpy" feel and resistance can peak, fluid trainers used to have leakage problems but I've heard that has been overcome, I don't know how they are for resistance or feel. See if you can borrow some different types and see what you like. I've heard that hard work on a trainer can be hard on the frame. By the way I also live in the rain forest, Aldergrove B.C. to be exact, whereabouts are you?
re: Rollers Question - pratice - they are the bestcentury2
Mar 24, 2002 3:37 AM
rollers are the best way to train inside - and once you know how - it's easy - improves your balance and keeps ypu in a line - just practice till you can do it - it is easier than riding a unicycle (which any clown can do)
Rollers Forever!Andy M-S
Mar 24, 2002 4:48 AM
My LBS (which is pretty good) doesn't have any roller riders either--it does take a little patience to learn to use the things, and that frustrates a lot of people.

In general, though, at the end of a couple of weeks you'll be able to stay upright without any support AND you'll be able to watch TV/Video/listen to the radio or audiobooks with no problem. You know how you can daydream on the road and just let your body handle the riding? Same deal.

It's just a matter of learning to ride an 18"-wide path along a cliff edge when it's covered with grease and ice. At least, that's what it'll feel like the first time or two.

Forget the clamps. A bike riding free on rollers is a great experience.
re: Rollers Questionpedaler98
Mar 24, 2002 6:29 AM
The first few times i rode the rollers was a disaster. But after about two weeks of consistent time on them i was "riding like an ace" on them. Now, three years later (only riding them in the winter) I can ride with little concentration on the rollers themselves. They definitely teach you to ride smoothly, spin smoothly and in a straight line. I still have to step off of a crate to get on to them because the bike sits so high. This winter i even learned how to stand and ride the rollers. that took about two weeks to master. they are definitely a benefit over a traditional trainer. i have a friend who uses the fork mount to ride his and hasn't had any problems with that. good luck---if you buy some---get the kreitlers ---they cost more but they have performed flawlessly and have a great warranty.
Rollers do more than "help with spin and balance." Or,bill
Mar 24, 2002 8:54 AM
more correctly, the help with spin and balance you get from rollers goes far deeper than you at first realize. It's not just a matter of being able to hold a line and move your feet in circles, as if these were stand-alone skills. In order to spin and hold a line really well, you start training your entire leg up into your lower back. Once you really start using those muscles, I'm serious, your cycling goes to another level. Climbing up a hill feeling the power come from your entire leg, not just your quads, up through the muscles of your lower back is a very, very cool thing.
Please please please don't do the fork-mount thing. They probably have a place in enabling you to do some lower rpm things you would find nearly impossible otherwise, as long as you have some resistance, but that's a pretty narrow need. Once you get the fork mount, you'll never learn how to do it right, you won't get the benefit of rollers, which is a benefit you cannot obtain in any other way I'm convinced with the possible exception of fixed gear riding, and you would be better off with a trainer.
Re: Rollers do more than "help with spin and balance." Or,OutWest
Mar 24, 2002 8:16 PM
I was simply trying to answer the rider's question and reading your post I feel like you think I was somehow misleading him/her. The quotation marks and criticism "It's not just a matter of being able to hold a line and move your feet in circles, as if these were stand-alone skills" really irritate me. I should leave these forums to the "experts" and get on with serious cycling.
man o man o man, you take me all wrong. sorry, big fella. Ibill
Mar 25, 2002 6:40 AM
didn't think that you were misleading anyone, I just wanted to add to what you had said. I didn't mean to imply, well, anything about what you said.
My response was raw cyber-narcissism. I meant nothing against or even about your response. And, I ain't no expert; I was talking about what rollers have done for me and, I think, for others maybe, that's all.
I hear you. Sorry.
Thank you, I shouldn't of over-reacted myself ...OutWest
Mar 25, 2002 8:56 AM
so I would like to apologize for doing so. I can see and agree with your enthusiasm about rollers, I feel the same way. I never thought of the incorporating-the-lower-back-muscles concept but I can see the truth in it. Asides from spinning and balance I use rollers to train for smoothness. To get out of the saddle with less wasted motion and without the rear wheel scooting back, I try to get smoother when going onto a sprint because I believe that jerky motions waste energy and speed. Doing Isolated Leg Training on the rollers is incredibly rewarding. So I was premature in my response and I will read your posts in future with more appreciation.
Yours In Cycling,
Roller vs Trainer Abtronics vs sit-ups... (not really but...)tempeteKerouak
Mar 24, 2002 10:37 AM
This is about the aspect of concentration on the thing.

If you want to watch tv and forget about the fact that you are training on a bicycle, get a TRAINER.

Get one that fixes your bike good. With or without the front wheel anchorage. Get on it and surf the cable ad nauseam.

Your question is not about what is the best tool for biking or developping technique, it's about which is easiest.

Trainer: good for teevee, good for intense efforts and strenght training.

Roller: spin, balance, position, speed. Can still watch teeveeee, but will need a good 200km of practice on it.

Hope this help. Don't give in to what is "better". They are different tools and from what you write, you are better off with a trainer (fixed, stabilized).

I use only a roller. But I think a serious cyclist needs both.
re: Rollers QuestionMr Good
Mar 24, 2002 9:53 PM
Craig VM,

I've never used the fork-mount rollers.

From what you've written, I think you should get a trainer instead of rollers. The trainer will allow you to read or watch TV safely while getting a bike-specific workout. If you plan to do long workouts, the trainer tends to be comfortable for longer periods (my opinion). I can ride the trainer for hours without any discomfort (but I can't stand more than an hour of indoor riding, anyhow). When you get your trainer, don't tighten the rear hub in TOO TIGHT. I've seen hubs deform and crack from that!

Now my two cents on rollers: I've got both rollers and trainer--but I only use the rollers, I like them much better. You can't do power/strength work on the rollers the way you can on a trainer, but I get enough of that on the road. The rollers can give you a high end aerobic/anaerobic workout--by that I mean you can use rollers to max out your heart rate and breathing while spinning (they just don't build leg strength/power).

Here's what I use rollers for:
--trapped inside when it's dark/raining/I don't have time to ride--one hour of hard intervals.
--Easy recovery spins.
--Warm up for a race without working my muscles too hard.

One drawback to rollers: after about an hour, my butt and pelvic area get uncomfortable, so I don't usually go longer. If you do get rollers, get the smallest diamater drums you can. Small drums = more resistance, and as you build fitness you'll find the large diamater drums too easy, even in your hardest gear. I can ride the rollers standing, and no-handed (seated), but the rollers always require concentration. The real reason I like rollers best is that it "feels" more like riding a bike, which is what's important to me.