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  1. #1
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    I need an explanation Re: my rollers

    Hi, I have a question. I have my rollers and I now dont fall down the minute I get on them. In fact I have been able to manage about 10 minutes straight on them. But at the end of the 10 minutes, I am sweating profusely, and getting wobbly on the bike.

    I did a half-iron just a couple months ago, 10 minutes of riding doesnt seem like it should be this draining.

    So my question is why? My tires are pretty well inflated, with less give than they usually have on the road. Is it just because I have to pedal non-stop for 10 minutes? Im sure that doesnt usually make me this tired. I'd love some answers on this.

  2. #2
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Place a fan behind you.That way you'll be riding with the wind.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    First, correct: pedaling non-stop is probably what most riders are not used to. On the road, there is usually a fair amount of coasting or at least pedaling with less force. I have to constantly mentally remind myself "Don't stop pedaling!"

    Second, rollers are more stressful: we're simply afraid we'll fall off if we don't pay attention. On the road, we're not as concerned as "falling off". We can swerve from side-to-side to adjust our balance to our position. Consequently, many of our muscles are tensed and we're using far more energy on the rollers than we do when on the road.

    The solution is to relax, but also become more confident in your ability to ride a straight line. The rollers will help this on the road, which will also help when on the rollers. Relaxing--when on the road or rollers--will help you ride a straight line, which will give you more confidence to ride a straight line, which will help you relax, which will... you get the idea.

    Keep riding the rollers: you'll get better on road & rollers. I wish I never got rid of mine.

    The sweating is from lack of air movement coupled with the non-stop pedaling. A fan will help, but you will still sweat.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  4. #4
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    Oh I dont mind sweating, I love a good workout. Just seemed like maybe I was doing something wrong perhaps because 10 minutes doesnt seem like long enough to be a workout like that.

  5. #5
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    put the fan directly in front of you; centered in front of the rollers so you can mentally "line up" on the centerline.

    this allows you to zone out ever so slightly without having to worry about drifting off the side.

    also, focus on a fast smooth spin - for me, I feel it in my core muscles.
    "have fun and be kind"
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  6. #6
    Senior Member bloodhawke83's Avatar
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    pix, i have no idea what you're talking about.

  7. #7
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    When you ride on the road, there is always air moving over you causing the sweat to evaporate and keep you cool. There is no breeze when you are on rollers or a trainer, so you need a fan to keep air moving over you, as mentioned above. Something that may help you go longer is to put your rollers in a doorway. That way as you wobble your shoulders bounce off the door frame and you stay on the rollers. Doing that allowed me to be a lot more mindless while on my rollers.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodhawke83 View Post
    pix, i have no idea what you're talking about.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bloodhawke83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    i would need bars on the sides, i would fall off that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    put the fan directly in front of you; centered in front of the rollers so you can mentally "line up" on the centerline.
    This will also keep you from over-heating, which tends to sap your strength... or at least your will to pedal

    You'll also want to pick the right gearing. Because you have to pedal constantly, picking the wrong gear can quickly become a problem. Pick a gear that's too high and your legs turn to jelly in short order. Pick a gear that's too low and you'll be spinning so fast your cardiovascular system runs out of gas in short order. A smooth, easy spin is what you want...

  11. #11
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    This one is easy to answer. Rollers are the spawn of Satan.

  12. #12
    (O)ld (D)og (N)ew (T)rick
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    As several have said before the fact that you can't stop pedaling since you're relying on the centrifugal force to keep you upright is one of the biggest factors. And in fact, unless you've got really super good balance, dropping below about 10 mph becomes problematic. At least for me it is. When I first started out, I was lucky to go 4-5 minutes without stopping and resting. And actually I don't time it, but instead just use the miles on my computer. Now I pretty routinely do 5 miles without stopping. Then I'll rest a minute or two and then do another set and often a third set. Another thing that I've read is that the energy expenditure is about double on rollers as opposed to riding on the street. The second point about air movement is important as well. I have a 20in fan blowing gently at me to help keep me from overheating. I still sweat, even in my 50 degree garage where I have this set up, and my shirt will be pretty well soaked through after about an hour and a half (3 sets of 5 miles usually takes about that long) As for the falling off part. Yes, that's a real concern and certainly contributes to the angst and stress which in turn expends more energy.

    To help with all of these things, I built a structure to provide a better experience for myself because I really wanted to use these rollers to help me condition myself. The first thing I did was to build a platform that essentially sits over the rollers with a floor that is the same height as the top surface of the rollers themselves. That way it’s no harder to mount the bike than it would be on the road. I next ran posts (2X4s from the four corners of the platform up to the ceiling rafters in my garage. Then I bolted a handrail to the posts on each side of the platform. Those add security that even if I should falter and ride off the rollers, I won’t actually fall to the ground and provide a hand hold for when I stop and rest between sets (I usually don’t dismount between sets). Next I build a support for a TV to fight off boredom and under that I hung the fan to keep me cooler. I don’t recommend that you attempt to watch TV until you’ve gotten very comfortable maintaining balance because if you thought staying upright and on the rollers is difficult, factor
    in in trying to watch TV. It’s not easy, but one can work into it over time. Here are a couple of pictures of my setup.

    IMG00021-20091207-2&.jpg

    IMG00013-20091122-1&.jpg

  13. #13
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    ^^ nice setup!

    I find that riding on my rollers requires my full attention, otherwise I can't keep a straight line and veer from side to side. I'm fortunate to have both rollers and trainers to get the best of both worlds, but in all honesty I like my trainer better.

  14. #14
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    The weather today is gorgeous here in Boston, 65 and sunny, so I got my front wheel fixed and got outside. Evidently, rollers make you faster. No more than 15 minutes a day on the rollers and yet I'm out there cruising at 17 MPH without much effort. In fact I was pedaling myself out of the middle ring due to the rear derailer needing adjustment, so I spent almost the whole hour comfortably in the big ring. This is going to be a fun winter of training.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN View Post
    The weather today is gorgeous here in Boston, 65 and sunny, so I got my front wheel fixed and got outside. Evidently, rollers make you faster. No more than 15 minutes a day on the rollers and yet I'm out there cruising at 17 MPH without much effort. In fact I was pedaling myself out of the middle ring due to the rear derailer needing adjustment, so I spent almost the whole hour comfortably in the big ring. This is going to be a fun winter of training.
    Good job. Congrats on the benefits. You go faster after using rollers because they promote an efficient pedaling technique, i.e.: spinning and applying power throughout the stroke. Good job on noticing.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

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