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Rollers, Rollers, Rollers...(5 posts)

Rollers, Rollers, Rollers...namir
Jun 26, 2002 10:27 PM
Well, I just got around to unpacking the rollers I got in the mail the other day. They're an older (but extremely well-kept) set of Kreitler PVC rollers, which I purchased through the classifieds on this site.

My questions are as follows:
Any tips/tricks for setting them up?
Any tips for riding them for the first few times?
How tight should the nuts on the end of the drums be?
I really know nothing about riding rollers...tell me what I need to know.


re: Rollers, Rollers, Rollers...Scot_Gore
Jun 27, 2002 5:39 AM
Where to you live Australia. Rollers are a winter topic : )

If you search rollers on this board yuo'll find lots of advice, but I'll give you my 2 cents.

The first time I rode my rollers I never let go of the wall next to me. After about 20 minutes, I was spent, but not from the exertion, it was the anxiety that did me in. After getting off I thought there was no way that I could ever ride unsupported. I never gained a feeling of security EVER the first couple of times on them. You'll probably have the same feeling. Trust me it comes. After 6 or 7 rides I began to gain confidence and find stability in the ride.

They have made quite a difference in my riding. While riding last summer I'd be moving down the road trying to hug the white shoulder line, but it was pretty typical to wander 3 or 4 inches back and forth as a pedaled along. No more!!!. This summer a plant the wheels next to the white line and they stay there. It's been fun, and a little grin gets on my lips every time I notice that "hey, this bike not moving under me!!!!".

The standard advice for learning to ride is to start in a doorway where you can hold yourself up with your elbows against the door frame. I didn't do that but I think it's good advice. I have a split level home so I've got a large shelf (8" inches) formed by my foundation wall just above elbow height while on the rollers. I learned next this wall with a big sturdy table on the other side so no mater which way I fell I could get a hand onto a surface before my face found the floor.

I also started with flats and added the clipless once my confidence was up.

The notion that you and the bike will fly forward if you slip off is a myth. You've got no forward momentum, so if you slip off you STOP, and fall left or right.

Good Luck and Have Fun With Em

re: Rollers, Rollers, Rollers...djg
Jun 27, 2002 5:57 AM
You should be able to snug the nuts down pretty well without compromising the ability of the rollers to...roll. Set up is mostly what you'd imagine--many folks set the nadir of the wheel just behind the peak of the front roller (too much is no good, obviously).


1) Have faith. Most folks (or at least me and most folks I've talked to) just suck the first time they hop up on rollers. It's not uncommon to think you just don't get it. But you will get it. You don't have to be gifted or some sort of super balance freak--your body will learn what it needs to learn if you keep at it.

2) Relax.

3) Make gradual adjustments.

4) Look forward, not down.

5) Doorways can be real helpful--there's the initial stage where you just want to hold on for dear life; and then there's the stage a few minutes later (or longer) where it's nice to be able to steady yourself by flaring out an elbow instead of grabbing the door jamb. Any side support will do, really, but it's good to have something on either side to start.

6) Spin, don't mash--steady and mid-to-high revs are what this is about.

7) Move sharp, pointy objects out of the way.

8) Have faith, you'll get it.
In addition to all of the good advice above, remember thatbill
Jun 27, 2002 6:33 AM
Kreitler advises to loosen the belt from the rollers when you aren't using them (you don't have to remove the belt entirely, obviously; just don't leave stretched on the rollers). Not only does this prolong the belt life but it prevents the PVC rollers from distorting.
When you ask about the bolts, I assume that you're talking only about the bolts that hold the rollers to the tracks. There should be three bolts on each roller end -- two lock against each other and have nothing to do with the third, outside bolt that you have to remove to put the rollers on the tracks. You shouldn't have to touch the others.
Rollers are the single best thing to happen to my riding. When you realize that you can trust the bike, and you stop doing anything dramatic, like wrestling the bars into submission, overcorrecting, etc., you'll be fine.
Just remember that you likely will fall off of them at first, so just make sure that there is nothing alongside of you to gouge you or hit your head on. Very sadly, just one or two years ago, a local (D.C.) experienced rider fell off his rollers, struck his head on, I believe, a coffee table, and died.
re: Rollers, Rollers, Rollers...zero1
Jun 27, 2002 7:39 AM
the trick to riding rollers is just ride, ride, ride them...the impression i got when i first got on mine why did i buy these me it is like putting a bicycle on a pond of ice... if i were you i would try to get in between 2 walls or either between a bed and the wall...i was so exhausted the first time i tried them i could only go about 10 minutes and it was not from riding it was just from fighting the rollers...just relax and don't worry about trying to stay right in the middle...i ride mine now for an hour or more....i really like 2 cents worth.....ride safe....