Author Topic: Rollers and trainers  (Read 3181 times)

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Offline jl_longstaff

Rollers and trainers
« on: December 02, 2007, 12:43:54 am »




Rollers or a trainer?  After purchasing a Volpe this last May I've ridden 1,600+ miles and would like to continue to use the bike during the worst of the winter days. Being unfamilier with either of the above I thought I'd ask people who have used them.












Offline DaveB

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2007, 01:38:46 pm »
Rollers are a bit tricky to learn to use and most models don't provide any serious pedaling resistance. Some do by using small diameter rollers and/or by adding a resistance fan but they are in the minority.  Rollers require your constant attention while using them and a wandering mind can launch you right into the nearest wall. They do improve or maintain your bike handling skills.    

Stationary resistance trainers that mount your bike on them and use a fan (effective but noisy), magnetic resistance (quiet but too linear) or a fluid resistance unit (quiet and realistically non-linear) to provide a work load are generally more effective at providing a workout but do nothing to improve riding skills.  The upside is you can watch TV, movies, etc. while using them which helps compensate for the incredible boredom they produce. ;)

I have a Performance house brand (Travel Trak) fluid trainer I use when the weather is too nasty to ride outside.  About all I can say in defense of any of them is that it's better than doing nothing.  


Offline WesternFlyer

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2007, 04:49:19 pm »
The rollers are a trick to use.  Go to a performance oriented bike shop and try them out.  It will be an experience you will remember, and you may love them.  Racers especially use them keep their balance sharp and work on sprinting. Be sure to have one or two store employees spot you while you get the hang of it.  There is no fidgeting with the iPod or reading the newspaper while you are up or you might ride off the rollers into the nearest wall at full speed.  They really give you a workout.  Then ask to try a fluid-trainer.  I havent been on rollers in decades.

My wife and I use a Cycleops Fluid2  trainer.  She is a physical therapist and says the fluid-trainers give the same smooth proportional resistance of the rehab equipment at her clinic.  There are other less expensive and more expensive resistance trainers.  Most bike shops have an array of types to try out.  

Tell us what you get and why.



Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline jl_longstaff

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 09:29:46 pm »
I think I will wait before I get a trainer, (rollers are out). It seems no one I talk to who have tariners use them much after having them for very long.  I'll ride in the cold, even on snow, but I draw the line on freezing rain. Maybe i'll get a trainer after a few weeks of winter and then again I may not.  Cold weather riding is not too bad if I don't over do it and have to suck cold, lung burning(?) air.


Offline WesternFlyer

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2007, 11:51:49 pm »
I think you should still try out riding on rollers just have the experience and tell your grandchildren you did it.

Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline jbernard

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2007, 06:24:03 pm »
Though in the minority, I prefer rollers.  The focus they require is almost zen like, and after 45 minutes in the big gear, I've worked plenty hard.  Add a couple of sprints up and down the hills I live on and it serves its purpose.  It's also much cheaper than a good trainer.

A word of advice though, start practicing in a doorway.  If you wobble, you'll be able to grab either side of the jam for balance.


Offline jl_longstaff

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2007, 07:53:55 pm »
Hmmmn...just when I thought I had a plan...rethinking.


Offline crawdadslim

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2007, 11:33:47 pm »
are there any opinions on nashbar rollers?  I know that you get what you pay for but Im curious,  and there are so many other things that I should spend money on


Offline KerryIrons

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2007, 08:09:54 pm »
You're getting some nonsense here regarding the challenge of riding rollers.  While it may take a few tries to get used to them (start out in a doorway so you can grab either side) there is no difficulty in reading (with a reading stand) or watching TV.  You can let a little air out of your tires to increase resistance.  The only thing you can't do on rollers is out of the saddle sprints, which probably needn't be a part of your off-season training anyway.  Most riders can benefit greatly (!!!!) from the skills they can develop riding the rollers.  Whether you get rollers or a trainer, be sure to get a couple of big window fans and turn them on high to get enough cooling or you might as well be riding in a sauna.


Offline gpshay

Rollers and trainers
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2008, 12:09:24 pm »
I've been riding a trainer for the past several years and have found that being able to change up the resistance (from the handlebars) along with shifting down to harder gears gives me the opportunity to vary my interval training which I believe has shown up when I ride on the street. just a thought glenn in phx