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Calling roller kings and queens(14 posts)

Calling roller kings and queensgs6769
Dec 20, 2002 5:35 AM
Anyone have any tips for using different hand positions on rollers? I've pretty much mastered riding on the tops but still struggle to use the hoods or drops. How about any techniques or procedures for further dialing in a smooth pedal stroke? I think mine's pretty good but a new idea or two never hurt! Also, what gearing do you use for most of your roller time? I've been using 53 x 16 which seems to work well. Does anyone use different combos to vary their workouts? Thanks in advance and roll(er)on!!
Dec 20, 2002 5:44 AM
Typically, I use the tops and if necessary the hoods. No need to get in the drops (for me anyway).

As far getting a smooth pedal stroke, I start out in low gears and this is reflected in my workouts. I also ride my fixed gear on the rollers every once in a while.

Now getting to the workouts:

Tempo workout - 39x16 5 minutes; 53x17 10 minutes/53x16 10 minutes/53x15 10 minutes/cooldown 39x16 5 minutes. Do the 10 minute stretches at a good tempo (i.e. not puke fast but fast enough to break a sweat and maintain your speed). Increase duration of the "on" sections as you get more fitness.

Roller interval workout - 39x16 5 minutes; 53x15 1 minute on/1 minute off (gear down). Repeat 7-10x.

Negative split roller interval workout - same as above but do 2 minutes on/1 minute off. Increase this to 3 minutes on/2 minutes off as you get into the season.

And if you really want to spice things up, at the end of your workout, do 3-5 minutes of steady tempo with 20 second all out sprints (same gear, just wind it up) on the start of each minute.

Variety truly is the spice of life in dank basements around the Northeast.

Re: drops - I've been working on cadence, and I've foundbill
Dec 20, 2002 7:46 AM
that muscle memory is causing me to lose cadence when I go from tops or hoods to drops. I guess something about the way that the hip flexors work is different when you are down that low. So, I think that there is a reason to use the drops on rollers; otherwise, your muscle memory may be a bit too strong for sitting up, where you spend little time on the road, and too weak when down low, where you are supposed to be.
re: Calling roller kings and queensSpunout
Dec 20, 2002 5:51 AM
Yes, keep some variety to make it interesting. Also, grinding your 53/11 for awhile will let your behind have a break.

I use one-legged drills to build steady pedal strokes. I haven't mastered holding my leg on the down-tube while on rollers...yet. Spin-ups are good work too, your stroke and handling will improve. Shoot for 140 rpm.

I don't do winter intervals, but vary the workload from 53/19 to 53/13
re: Calling roller kings and queensJBergland
Dec 20, 2002 7:08 AM
I would suggest getting comfortable with ALL hand positions. Riding the rollers should be no different than if you went for a ride outside. I would also suggest learning how to stand while on the rollers. This can give your back-side some needed relief and extend the amount if time you can spend on the rollers at any one time. I usually stand every 15-20 minutes. Let me know if you would like some tips on how to stand. Although I'm an advocate of being able to stand, I think other 'activities' such as riding with no-hands or blind folded (eyes closed) are very stupid!! Surprisingly, I've heard these two 'suggestions' from more than one person when it comes to rollers.

My roller time is spent focusing on developing a smooth/fast spin. I do spin-ups on a regular basis... get up to 150 and hold for 60 sec. or go for a max rpm. I also shift into the 52-11 and focus on making the 'whirrrrrr' sound be one continues sound. If it sounds like a whirrrrrr... whirrrrr... whirrrr vs. a whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, then you are mashing or not 'pulling' as much as you are pushing down.

Good Luck!!
re: Calling roller kings and queensJon Billheimer
Dec 20, 2002 7:41 AM
Try a ladder workout. Start in your small ring, smallest cassette gear and spin @ 110 rpm for 60 seconds in each gear, going up to the largest then back down to the smallest. Then gear up to your big ring and repeat the process @ 105 rpm for 30 seconds in each gear. Repeat the ladder with 60 second gear intervals, then another 30 second ladder in the big ring. Finish off with a 60 second ladder @ 110 rpm in your small ring. This session will get your heart rate up! When you've got that progression down pat, increase the cadences on each ladder.
Very good tips, esp. learning to stand.hrv
Dec 20, 2002 8:25 AM
Yeah, why not ride all hand positions. Even an hour on the rollers can seem like a long time without some variety thrown in.

I'm just now learning to stand up on rollers, but not without some, um, mishaps. Leaned too far forward last night
and ran into the coffee table! But the bike was going pretty slow, thankfully not 20 mph. But after that, all my attempts at standing went ok. And yes, my butt was very thankful for it.

The biggest thing that I need to focus on in being able to stand is keeping my hands/wrists/arms stiff to ensure I don't lean forward. Didn't really matter what gear I was in or how fast I was spinning, just as long as like every thing else on the rollers, I kept a smoothe spin.

But any standing tips you might have would be greatly appreciated!

JB, please post standing tips! nmSpunout
Dec 20, 2002 8:34 AM
standing isn't that hard. I thought it was very hard at first,bill
Dec 20, 2002 8:54 AM
but I thought that about rollering in general.
I find it easiest to hold onto the hoods, shift to a slightly higher gear, lower cadence, and lift my butt off the saddle. One of the keys may be in a smooth transition -- just easing up off the saddle, without suddenly standing or lurching forward, and, as with all things roller, keeping your upper body as loose as possible and pedaling circles. With standing, pedaling in circles probably requires more steady muscle control and keeping the force perpindicular to the motion of the pedals constant through the entire circumference, meaning that you need to concentrate more on pulling through the bottom and pulling up on the back, SMOOTHLY. No big shifts in weight with either the upper or lower body.
Af first, I could manage only lifting my butt off of the saddle just a teensy bit for an instant in a pretty big gear. Now, I can spin a bit faster and do something more like standing for a climb.
JB, please post standing tips! nmJBergland
Dec 20, 2002 2:08 PM
Some Tips:
* First, embrace the idea/theory that the faster you spin on rollers, the more stable you will be!! It is true, as anyone who has spent even 30 minutes on rollers can attest to. It is also NOT true that if you come off the rollers while going 'fast' you will shoot across the room and slam into the first wall you see!! This is simply not the case. The absolute worst thing that will happen is you will burn a mark into your carpet... which might be worse if your wife finds out!!:)

* The hardest thing about standing on rollers is getting the courage to try.
* Start with a big gear... easier to go faster and easy to stand with some resistance from the pedals.
* To begin with, hover just off the saddle. This helps build confidence.
* Start standing just for a couple seconds at a time.
* As you get more confidence and become more comfortable, standing will become second nature... just like a ride outside. Stay relaxed and smooth.
* Again, the hardest part will be getting the courage to TRY!!

Good Luck!!
re: Calling roller kings and queensthisendup
Dec 22, 2002 9:46 PM
Glad to 'see' you JBerg. I've been wondering...........

Hope you're having a great winter so far in the frozen MN tundra. WI has been pretty good.

OK, on topic: I'll agree with the blindfolded suggestion, but riding rollers no hands is an excellent skill to learn and makes riding easier if you can reach for the remote, take off a shirt etc. I'll bet on two things, 1) you ride no hands on the road all the time and 2) you've never crashed because of it. It's just another useful skill that helps perfect your balance.

As for balance I've discovered MTBing as an off-season activity- definitely a handling skills builder, especially if you ride with better riders.

Have a great Christmas,
Thank you to all and a milestone reachedgs6769
Dec 20, 2002 10:56 AM
Thanks everyone for the great rollering tips. After reading them I hopped on, grabbed the hoods and cranked away! Only one mishap at the very start of the session. I got more confident quickly and soon found I could even switch my hands from hoods to tops and back while riding, something that had eluded me 'til now. Still a ways to go getting the cadence up with consistency and smoothing the stroke from the hoods, but a good start. Variety indeed!!
Also, while I was on the rollers the old Flight Deck's odometer went over 4000 miles. Since I took possesion of the bike and it's computer in May at 490 miles that makes it 3500+ for the year. Using the one dollar for every mile rule when pricing out a new ride I guess I owe myself a pretty nice Yuletide gift. (heh).
Thank you to all and a milestone reachedspuncrazy
Dec 20, 2002 3:49 PM
Treat the rollers just like your bike on the road. I try everything from constantly changing gears, hand position(which includes no hands), to changing my shirt. Also try and ride as slow as possible, try standing up, I even operate the VCR remote, reach out to change the speed of the fan. All this does wonders for your balance, just don't be afraid to try, you will tense up and fall. I think one of the hardest things is to sprint. I can stand up and mash, but when I try to sprint that gets a little hairy, but I am working on it.
I had to try all this stuff to combat boredom.
boredom: mother of experimentationDuane Gran
Dec 22, 2002 7:40 PM
Having tried many a thing (smart and dumb) on rollers, I believe there must be some sort of maxim that anything will be tried on rollers, given enough time to be bored. ;) Doug once posted a good humorous categorization based on roller tricks. It might be food for thought.

I personally don't find any added skill to riding with my eyes closed, but riding no hands is pretty satisfying. The trick (if you are interested) is similar to the trick for standing. Commit. On the road you sit upright, so do it also on the rollers. If you sit hunched forward it feels awkward (just as it would on the road) but if you lean back and sit upright it is remarkably easy.