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that time of year -- give us your best roller tips(19 posts)

that time of year -- give us your best roller tipsDougSloan
Nov 20, 2003 8:02 AM
I'll take a shot at a few, but I'd like to know more.

*the faster your wheels spin, the more stable you are
*don't stare at the front roller
*set up one or more good fans on you
*try not to steer the bars much, but steer with your weight
*put a strip of yellow duct tape at the outsides of the front roller; it makes a great visual reference, and makes a bit different noice if the tire runs on it (warning track)

Need some balance, workout and hotdog tips...

see "roller games" belowandy02
Nov 20, 2003 8:09 AM
don't think just ride or day dream. When I first got my rollers it was easier when I just day dreamed and wasn't focusing too much on the bike or my front wheel. If you think about it do you look at your front wheel when you ride outside or are you looking around at whatever.
beware reaching for things...funknuggets
Nov 20, 2003 8:11 AM
like remote controls, water bottles, towels, etc... you are asking for trouble. Or just be aware when doing so. Little things like that that you take for granted are a cheap ticket to an embarassing crash.

You would be amazed how much damage a 18 lb bike can do to drywall... not that I would know.

re: What not to doteoteoteo
Nov 20, 2003 8:20 AM
I only have a list of what not to do.....

Don't ride rollers in shorts with holes and a mesh base layer tank at lunchtime--your girlfriend will show up with her attractive female co-workers to pick-up something she forgot earlier in the morning...

When picking a device or item to place next to rollers for balance avoid said girlfriends antique rocker that you'll only knock over anyway (wood glue really works!)

As for rollers I have some pretty exciting news that involves them---I'll share Tuesday if all goes to plan.
Learning to stand up is pretty important.hrv
Nov 20, 2003 8:31 AM
I get pressure spots way more on rollers than trainer, so standing is mandatory. Like anything else regarding rollers, smooth spin is the key, no lags between sitting then standing or vice-versa.

An awesome balance exercise for me, although somewhat specialized, is riding rollers while in aerobars. Really hard to get the weight distribution right, and hard to correct if something goes wrong. I'm thinking I might have to move the front roller back for this one. I can do it with one arm on the aerobar pad, but trying to keep my weight distributed correctly in the process if putting the other arm in is challenging, to say the least. Goal is like 45 min. to 1 hour in this position. But I see guys warming up on rollers in this position all the time, before TT's. If you're not going to do TT's or don't have aerobars, nevermind!

Also, one-handed is important, to be able to grab a drink.

re: that time of year -- give us your best roller tipsAndy M-S
Nov 20, 2003 8:48 AM
Set up your roller bike with friction DT shifters. This will teach you to ride with one hand, to compensate for reaching, and to shift with more confidence. Or it'll kill you.
The best tip? Suck it, up get outdoors and ride! nmMB1
Nov 20, 2003 8:51 AM
you live on another planetDougSloan
Nov 20, 2003 10:03 AM
I'd sure love to. I actually have gone winters without ever touching a roller or trainer. It's fun. However, it is more time consuming. With all the preparation, bike washing, etc., required, it's much more efficient to go to the garage and get a quick 30-60 minute workout in. Can do it night or day, rain or shine, and even do it with the youngin right there. Also, without a spouse that shares the passion, time is more limited. Being home, even if on a trainer or rollers, is generally more well received. Yes, I'm envious, but your circumstances are not logistically possible for everyone.

A Crappy Bike Will Set You Free!Gregory Taylor
Nov 20, 2003 10:56 AM
I tend to agree with MB1 that the real answer is to just get outside. Using your logic, wouldn't it ALWAYS be more efficient to go out to the garage and get in a roller or turbo trainer work out? Why not ride in the garage all of the time?

The time commitment for winter rides can be minimized if you harden your attitude towards your equipment. If you insist on maintaining an immaculate bike when the weather is rotten then, well, winter riding will be a chore and take a lot of time. No, I respectfully submit that the one piece of gear that will keep you riding outside in the winter time isn't a chain cleaner or bottle of bike polish. What you need is a really crappy bike. A beater. Something that you won't wash after a wet or dirty ride.

I've found that having crappy bike in the stable is quite liberating -- sure, you have to keep it safe and maintained to the point where it is safe and won't leave you stranded but, beyond that, you REALLY need to wash your bike after every ride? Just bounce it a couple of times to get the sticks and bigger clumps of manure to fall off, and then put it away. Voila! Mamma's happy, because Daddy isn't out in the garage cleaning road grit from my Prime #1 bike with a toothbrush. Daddy is happy because he got a ride in. And Baby is happy because he just dropped a big ol' stinker in his diaper...
Yeah well, while we're respectfully submitting things ...djg
Nov 21, 2003 7:51 AM
to wherever one submits them, I'll repsectfully submit that with babies in the house oft-times you do what you can. If all you've got is thirty minutes (TOTAL) and the only time you've got it is at 11 PM you might go for a late night ride or you might just prefer to hop on the rollers.

You don't ride in the garage all the time because you generally prefer riding your bike. But sometimes you want an efficient little workout and rollers can be pretty handy for that. I'm keeping mine. And yes, I rode to work today.
yes, winter takes extra timeDougSloan
Nov 21, 2003 7:57 AM
In winter, you have to worry about lots of extra clothes, lights, cleaning, lubing (even on a beater), plus it's more dangerous riding in rain, fog, darkness, etc. Plus again, it's pure joy to ride in the summer in 70-100 degree sunshine. Hard to get motivated to go out for a hour in 45 degree rain and darkness, particularly when it takes 15 minutes to locate all your stuff and get dressed.

I'll grant you that with infestation of infants in the house....Gregory Taylor
Nov 21, 2003 8:13 AM sometimes have to be satisfied with what little riding (or even roller time) that you can get away with. My son is now 10 years old, so I'm fighting a different battle: travel soccer. The time committments for that can completely hose your ability to get out and ride. I have a turbo trainer set up in the basement, and I will be using it, dammit.
Make sure your TV is directly in front of youinnergel
Nov 20, 2003 8:59 AM
If it is off to the side, you will tend to drift in the direction you are looking, ride off the side, fall over and have your seat take a 6" strip of paint off the closest bookcase. Not to mention the imprint of the big chainring on your calf. :-)
my tv is 4feet to the left =no problem nmandy02
Nov 20, 2003 9:04 AM
re: look ma! no handsSEPARIDER
Nov 20, 2003 9:57 AM
Thanks to a post last winter from this site, I was encouraged to do learn to roll with no hands. Definitely higher RPMS are a must. Combine rollers+heart rate monitor + cadence type speedo and you have a great combo to control your workout - however hard or easy you want to go.
re: that time of year -- give us your best roller tipsflying
Nov 20, 2003 9:26 PM
Really the best one I know is this..........

Forget it & just ride them.
Really the biggest thing about rollers is to not make a big deal about it. If you trust in the fact or errrrr believe in the force or what ever you want to call it it is nothing at all to ride them. When you *try* to ride them or over think it then you have problems.
Most of you have riden years Im sure so just forget it & ride. ;-)
like learning to ride a bikeDougSloan
Nov 21, 2003 7:13 AM
Got my set of Kreitler PolyLites last yesterday and did an hour on them last night. Fell off twice in the first 5 minutes. I hadn't been on rollers for 2 years, so it took a little re-learning. Funny thing is, either you get it or you don't. There's no half way. I had a hell of a time in the transistion between holding on to something and free balancing. But, once you get it, you're home free, sort of like learning to ride a bike the first time.

This time I had them set up parallel to my workbench cabinets in the garage. That made for an easy visual reference, as the handlebars were about 6 inches from the counter top. In one session I went from falling off twice to reaching for the TV remote and drinking water successfully.

It's a lot of fun, and if nothing else, adds a little variety to the routine.

Oh, the Kreitlers with the smaller 3" drums give a plenty good workout compared to full sized drums. I'd estimate that 24 mph on the rollers is about like 20 mph on the road, so there's plenty of resistance, with normal gearing, to do even the hardest of workouts.

Nov 21, 2003 7:55 AM
Two times--that smarts. Hope you've regained the hang of it by now.

When I took up the rollers again after about a decade without them, the first 5 minutes were hell. But I did find the doorway trick mighty useful--you really can steady yourself by flaring out your elbows, and that provides some transition between holding onto something outright and just riding.
funny thing isDougSloan
Nov 21, 2003 7:59 AM
In college and for 3 or 4 years recently I used rollers and never fell. Last night I fell twice in the first 5 minutes. Must have been a little cocky, thinking "I've done this before..." No booboo's, though.