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Old 12-18-08, 08:40 AM   #1
jfmckenna
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Observations on Rollers

I picked up a used set of rollers last week because I can't ride in the dark after I get out of work and I swore I would never ride my stationary trainer again. I hate the damn things. My normal winter training is commuting ten miles to work almost evry day and racing cyclocross or mountainbiking on the weekends. After I lost a lot of training due to injury this year I needed to get in some time after work and riding in the cold dark sucks. I tried the trainer and just couldn't do it. Waterboarding would probably be less painful. So people tell me rollers are different and here are my observations.

1)They are an order of magnitude better than trainers
2)They are actually fun
3)Falling off them doesn't result in disaster
4)They are a bit too loud
5)By far less boredom then a trainer
6)Very quick learning curve
7)Can't quite stand and sprint yet – or if ever?

I'd like to be able to stand and sprint if anything just to stand and stretch and give the butt a break. Can any of you actually sprint on your rollers? I can do no hands for about three seconds but am sure I will be able to master that in no time
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Old 12-18-08, 08:45 AM   #2
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I just got the E-motions.

Was able to stand after about ten minutes. I can see where doing it on fixed rollers would suck though.

They feel very roadish.
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Old 12-18-08, 08:51 AM   #3
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I can sprint, but the more energy I put into it, the more entropy I get as a result - it's hard to control the bike. Of course, practicing this is one of the points of rollers - stillness and control, and smooth pedal strokes.

The hardest part of no-handedness is scooting back on the saddle to balance my weight. It rocks the bike forward and backward on the rollers.

I do find rollers to be a little bit tedious, though. It's a little bit better if I set up my laptop to watch a TV show or something though, but I still find myself glancing at the clock to see how much time has gone by (five minutes. three minutes. another five). And, like other bike tomfoolery - controlled skids, trackstands, bunny hops and the like - getting comfortable with stuff like that is part of becoming a good bike handler who will be able to control the bike in adverse situations.
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Old 12-18-08, 09:15 AM   #4
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I just got the E-motions.

Was able to stand after about ten minutes. I can see where doing it on fixed rollers would suck though.

They feel very roadish.
Woah those look really cool.

These are the ones I am on, Minoura Action Mag Rollers:

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Old 12-18-08, 09:22 AM   #5
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1)They are an order of magnitude better than trainers
Waterboarding is better than electrodes on the genitals.

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2)They are actually fun


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3)Falling off them doesn't result in disaster
Most of the time

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4)They are a bit too loud
I thought those were the voices in my head.

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5)By far less boredom then a trainer
A very, very low bar indeed.

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6)Very quick learning curve
It's still riding a bike.

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7)Can't quite stand and sprint yet – or if ever?
Can and do. They also don't mark your skewers up and burn up your tires as badly.

The difference between rollers and trainers is the difference between somebody accidentally passing gas in a small room and somebody deliberately passing gas in a small room then bragging about it.

In any case neither should be discussed in polite company or in public.
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Old 12-18-08, 09:23 AM   #6
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I can sprint, but the more energy I put into it, the more entropy I get as a result - it's hard to control the bike. Of course, practicing this is one of the points of rollers - stillness and control, and smooth pedal strokes.

The hardest part of no-handedness is scooting back on the saddle to balance my weight. It rocks the bike forward and backward on the rollers.

I do find rollers to be a little bit tedious, though. It's a little bit better if I set up my laptop to watch a TV show or something though, but I still find myself glancing at the clock to see how much time has gone by (five minutes. three minutes. another five). And, like other bike tomfoolery - controlled skids, trackstands, bunny hops and the like - getting comfortable with stuff like that is part of becoming a good bike handler who will be able to control the bike in adverse situations.
+1. Riding the rollers, I firmly believe, has saved me from many embarrassing, if not dangerous, situations.
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Old 12-18-08, 09:30 AM   #7
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Spot on.

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Waterboarding is better than electrodes on the genitals.







Most of the time



I thought those were the voices in my head.



A very, very low bar indeed.



It's still riding a bike.



Can and do. They also don't mark your skewers up and burn up your tires as badly.

The difference between rollers and trainers is the difference between somebody accidentally passing gas in a small room and somebody deliberately passing gas in a small room then bragging about it.

In any case neither should be discussed in polite company or in public.
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Old 12-18-08, 09:55 AM   #8
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I fell off my rollers last night.

Was in the 25 and dropped from the big ring to the little ring when the chain fell off. All of the sudden I'm spinning like crazy and my poor man's resistance unit is slowing me down fast. I unclip the left leg but I'm falling right. I get the leg over the bike, but I don't stick the landing. Just that little bit off that causes my cleat to slide out from under me.

End up with a burn on my calf from my tire. Can you say I love rollers?
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Old 12-18-08, 10:01 AM   #9
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Lots of my teammates are getting those Emotion Rollers. I just cant see spending that kind of coin for them. On my regular Performance rollers, I can stand, spin in excess of 160 rpm, ride no handed, do one legged drills and ride my TT bike on the aero bars etc with out drama. I just wonder if the Emotion rollers remove the necessity of being Smooth and Efficient out of the equation?
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Old 12-18-08, 10:20 AM   #10
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Well, this is interesting. I borrowed a friend's Cyclops trainer for the winter, since I'm training for a full triathlon. I also own a pair of Performance folding rollers, which I've only tried a couple of times. I never really got the hang of the rollers.

I might try the rollers again for one workout, and see if I can find any redeeming qualities. Otherwise, I'll just put the things on craigslist.
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Old 12-18-08, 10:30 AM   #11
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I'm with Ex. Rollers suck. They are a necessary evil, helpful for building skills, but that's it. Honestly, I'd like to have a stationary trainer. Partly because my rollers don't fold, so schlepping them to races for warming up isn't much of an option, partly because there are times when I'd rather just zone out and not worry about riding off the side. And while standing and sprinting on rollers is relatively trivial, it's pretty tough to do any kind of interval work on them. The best I can typically manage is base or SST-type riding, and my personal sanity threshold is maybe 90 minutes. Hopefully I'll be able to do all of my riding outside by the time I start thinking about doing 2x20's or WRI (TM). In the meantime, rollers or the trainer are a last resort. I'll be riding outside whenever I can stand it.
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Old 12-18-08, 10:33 AM   #12
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Your sanity level is twice mine, grolby. I can't ride rollers for more than one TV show's worth of laptop-on-the-coffee-table time unless I've got pleasant and stimulating conversation.
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Old 12-18-08, 10:49 AM   #13
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i ride a trainer upto 10 hours a week in the winter and i like to think its making me a hard man.
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Old 12-18-08, 10:58 AM   #14
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I'm with Ex. Rollers suck. They are a necessary evil, helpful for building skills, but that's it. Honestly, I'd like to have a stationary trainer. Partly because my rollers don't fold, so schlepping them to races for warming up isn't much of an option, partly because there are times when I'd rather just zone out and not worry about riding off the side. And while standing and sprinting on rollers is relatively trivial, it's pretty tough to do any kind of interval work on them. The best I can typically manage is base or SST-type riding, and my personal sanity threshold is maybe 90 minutes. Hopefully I'll be able to do all of my riding outside by the time I start thinking about doing 2x20's or WRI (TM). In the meantime, rollers or the trainer are a last resort. I'll be riding outside whenever I can stand it.
Damn, and here I was doing 15s on/offs at 400w/250w last winter.

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Old 12-18-08, 11:08 AM   #15
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It's not hard to do intervals on rollers; it's just hard to do anything requiring over about 350-400W unless you add some sort of resistance. I use the rollers mostly for recovery and SST days. I use a trainer for intervals. Easier to zone out and really feel the pain if I don't have to worry about falling off or even opening my eyes.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:15 AM   #16
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2 and 3x20's on rollers isn't bad--not too difficult to do (if you don't count mind the numbingness of it). Throw a towel under for more resistance gets me higher than 450 watts.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:20 AM   #17
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Lots of my teammates are getting those Emotion Rollers. I just cant see spending that kind of coin for them. On my regular Performance rollers, I can stand, spin in excess of 160 rpm, ride no handed, do one legged drills and ride my TT bike on the aero bars etc with out drama.
I hate you. My TT bike position and rollers are stand-off-ish at best, and transfer from barends to aerobars is about as easy for me to prepare for as jumping from a plane.

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I just wonder if the Emotion rollers remove the necessity of being Smooth and Efficient out of the equation?
This is my beef with the Emotions. They are great to simulate a normal ride, but I have found that they are like putting training wheels on a bike for a little kid. Eventually they have to come off and you have to learn how to really balance.
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Old 12-18-08, 11:29 AM   #18
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Lots of my teammates are getting those Emotion Rollers. I just cant see spending that kind of coin for them. On my regular Performance rollers, I can stand, spin in excess of 160 rpm, ride no handed, do one legged drills and ride my TT bike on the aero bars etc with out drama. I just wonder if the Emotion rollers remove the necessity of being Smooth and Efficient out of the equation?
It sounds like you don't really need them then. You still have to be smooth with the e motions, but with the float and the bars around the back tire, you can hop out of the saddle and have zero worried about hopping off. I've tried to make my bike jump off them and I can't do it, whereas on regular rollers it was pretty easy to roll off the front or back when trying to stand up
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Old 12-18-08, 11:48 AM   #19
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...
4)They are a bit too loud
...
my kreitler 3" rollers (dyno-lytes) are very quiet. a few vids on youtube, though, demonstrate that riding on some brands would remind me of a visit to the dentist.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:13 PM   #20
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Mine have a magnetic resistance and so far I haven't even used the big ring. They worked the hell out of me the other night but I can still only handle 45-60 minutes tops. For me they are a 'new toy' so I'm still gung ho about them
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Old 12-18-08, 12:26 PM   #21
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i ride a trainer upto 10 hours a week in the winter and i like to think its making me a boring man.
fixed.
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Old 12-18-08, 12:29 PM   #22
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boring like severe crosswinds!
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Old 12-18-08, 01:03 PM   #23
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Waterboarding is better than electrodes on the genitals.
Still laughing!

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Old 12-18-08, 01:44 PM   #24
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The difference between rollers and trainers is the difference between somebody accidentally passing gas in a small room and somebody deliberately passing gas in a small room then bragging about it.
Or worse, an elevator.
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Old 12-18-08, 01:54 PM   #25
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This is my beef with the Emotions. They are great to simulate a normal ride, but I have found that they are like putting training wheels on a bike for a little kid. Eventually they have to come off and you have to learn how to really balance.
I guess I never got this argument. I'm a cyclist, not a ballerina. I'm after the best work out possible. If I feel the need to improve my pedaling technique, a fixed gear at a high cadence is far more effective.
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