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  1. #1
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    The box was only sitting unopened for over a week now. Plus, I think the Mrs. wanted it "taken somewhere". Didn't bother ME that it was still sitting in the kitchen.

    Anyway . . . it's been 10 years since I sold my italian cortina rollers and got a stationary bike. Previous to that, I had ridden rollers for about 20 years each winter. I wasn't sure if the skill to ride them would just come rushing back or not. It didn't.

    Got set-up next to a wall in the attic, which I found I needed the whole time. Just couldn't bring myself to take my left hand off the wall and bring it over to the other on the handlebars. Rollers will tell you right away how smooth or choppy your spin is, and mine was on the choppy side. I had the toe clips as loose as I could get them, so I didn't have any pull on the upstroke -- but that's no excuse on its own for a choppy spin. I started out in 39x15 and had to drop to 39x17, even with the tire pressure slightly over max. I was huffing and puffing within minutes. Managed to track straight and stationary toward the end -- but still with one hand on the wall. My mind just could not bring that darn hand off the wall -- although I did manage to get it down to just a light "touch".

    Overall the rollers are quality enough (Minoura -- can't remember the exact model). The drums are alloy and pleasantly true and smooth. The whole assembly seems rather lightweight -- I can't tell if the frame is plastic or not. You'd break your back lifting up the cortinas (solid steel frame). However it rode very well for being so light. I guess "light" is the word for everything nowadays.

    At the height of my roller-riding days, I'd workout on the speed bag while riding. THAT took some time to learn. Since then, there's another guy out there that does this as well (and hits the speed bag rhythm in time to workout music, no less). It's an incredible workout for balance and coordination -- not to mention getting a little upper-body workout in as well. I don't know if I'll see those days again, and I've got more pressing issues to overcome first.

    Right now, I've got to get my hand off the wall!

    Patience and persistance.
    Last edited by oldcrank; 12-12-05 at 06:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Got rid of my trainer years ago, jumped on a set of rollers and haven't looked back since. Nothing can take the place of "real" riding but rollers do offer a challenge to indoor riding.

  3. #3
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    I tried a set of rollers with my U08 last week! Forget it! I crashed a motorcycle 6 months ago and it takes no imagination for me to see myself replaying the most exciting parts of the crash right there in my living room! My friend who was advising me was nice and expressed amazement at how unstable my Peugeot was on the rollers. However, he could at least ride the things.

    Nope. I'm a wuss. I admire those who can.

    Tyson

  4. #4
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    I can't imagine the speedbag thing.....some years ago, when I finally got the nerve to "let go of the wall", I had a fairly brief time as an indoor roller until my final fly off took a huge divot out of the drywall in my hallway and some smaller chainring bites on my leg. As Dirty Harry said, "A man has to know his limitations"....rollers taught me humility and an admiration for you guys who persist on rollers. Its a discipline in itself.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  5. #5
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    Was still a little hesitant today in feeling things out, but the hand finally came over onto the bars. Did a little compensating and correcting, but managed to get on a straight track . . . so it must have been in the brain stored away somewhere.

    Began by doing a quick warm-up on the stationary, before moving over to the rollers. This helped the out-of-the-gate impact that I had yesterday, i.e. getting winded too quickly. Did about 10 minutes or so on the rollers, then moved over to boxing for 6 rounds on the heavy bag, and 10 minutes on the speed bag. I like to mix things up.

    I still wonder if I'll ever see a roller session/speed bag session ever again. I'd love to do that at least one more season before . . . well . . . you know, that eventual place that we're all headed for. I can't picture getting even just one of my hands off the handlebars at present -- let along sitting upright, peddling, and hitting the bag. I was always proud of that because, to my knowledge, it wasn't a workout that ANYone else was ever doing and was unique to me -- although, back then, there wasn't any good way of finding out (like the Internet today). With me, it was just due to the fact that I loved both cycling and boxing workouts. I just combined the two.

    As far as getting there, I'll bet my bottom dollar it's going to be very similar to rehabilitation -- very slow and deliberate movements, taken one step at a time per day, until the brain/body circuit connection is rebuilt once again.


    TysonB -- I have a Peugeot that I'm currently building up. I'll let you know how it performs. It's completely disassembled at the moment.

    GrannyGear -- Sorry to hear that because I'm also hearing/reading in-between the lines of your post that you would have really wanted to do this. I've had my own share of going off the edge -- usually would happen on the best of days too (you would think it would happen on a bad day . . . but I think we're more careful on bad days than we are on good ones).

    Roscoe -- I hear 'ya. I was always one of those freaks that actually loved to ride rollers (most others just "tolerated" them). I got some of that feeling back for a short time today, and it was nice. Rollers, in and of themselves, have a rich history in cycling -- with some great rollers races and riders.

    Here's a link to some great archival roller "racing" photos:

    http://www.bikecult.com/works/rollers.html

    Enjoy!

  6. #6
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    Some years ago a new magazine in UK included a video which had a shot of the great Eddie Mercx casually and relaxedly pedalling on rollers. I timed his cadence at an apparently effortless 160rpm

    Donchajust...

    By the way, we organise the regional British Schools Roller Racing Champs for Yorkshire and the NE (UK, in case you don't know). Of course, we hold them upright for the competition, but the youngest we've had warming up on their own set was 6yrs old - she learned while we were setting up! (I'll not mention that's she was a member of our club - gloating is sooo unEnglish, donchaknow) I've never ridden them, a terrible admission for a coach.

    So - do you really want to be beaten by a 6yr old girl? Go to it my friends

  7. #7
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    UK has a great history of their clubs that continues to this day. I'm not aware of any organized roller competitions here in the U.S. currently -- although I've been somewhat out of that loop for a while.

    Do you have a web site for this that you could post? The only one that I have bookmarked is for South London Roller League.

    Your 6-yr. old sounds like a real up-and-comer!

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    I ride my fixed and leave my geared bike for the road, riding fixed on rollers is a lot easier, maybe the fact that the spin tends to be more circular. If you have a fix give it a try.

  9. #9
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    roscoe50 . . . any particular gearing that you'd recommend?

  10. #10
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    I ride a 50/16 and it seems to work pretty good. The roller is a Performance Pro.

  11. #11
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    Good day all around on the rollers today. Still did a warm-up on a stationary first -- to bring the pulse up slowly. I managed to move around a little bit today . . . have the bike go where I wanted it to while spinning on the cylinders.

    Tried a little slow spinning as well. You can really feel the body making tons of micro-adjustments in balance the slower you go. Not too many people speak about slow spinning. Probably because it's very boring to do (unless you happen to like it), or it's not very impressive to watch. The slower you can go and keep a straight line -- the better your fast spinning will become. It works wonders on balance. However, it doesn't work the other way around -- as it gets easier to keep the bike up the faster you spin.

    Comparing the two is like comparing slow-cooked BBQ ribs, to fast-cooked BBQ ribs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank
    UK has a great history of their clubs that continues to this day. I'm not aware of any organized roller competitions here in the U.S. currently -- although I've been somewhat out of that loop for a while.

    Do you have a web site for this that you could post? The only one that I have bookmarked is for South London Roller League.
    There are a handful of regular winter roller competitions. I'm afraid I don't know their whereabouts but will try and find out.

    The nipper is now 12 and about 2/3 inches shy of my 5' 9".

    But then, I am a stunted warbaby. Every other day, me mum gave me a whole slice of bread to myself, waved a margarine wrapper under me nose and showed me a pre-war jam label. Eee, it were a feast

    But we were 'appy. We 'ad bombsites and shrapnel to play with - some of it even unexploded. Today's kids don't know what fun and real excitement is.

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbman
    There are a handful of regular winter roller competitions. I'm afraid I don't know their whereabouts but will try and find out.

    The nipper is now 12 and about 2/3 inches shy of my 5' 9".

    But then, I am a stunted warbaby. Every other day, me mum gave me a whole slice of bread to myself, waved a margarine wrapper under me nose and showed me a pre-war jam label. Eee, it were a feast

    But we were 'appy. We 'ad bombsites and shrapnel to play with - some of it even unexploded. Today's kids don't know what fun and real excitement is.
    Not a war baby but just after. Even more stunted but that was due to bread and dripping. Grew up in London and still remember the UXB's at the end of the road in 52.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  14. #14
    Foster, RI Markalang's Avatar
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    To Oldcrank: Looks like you got your roller skills back. One thing I've noticed from watching others ride rollers is that sometimes their rollers aren't adjusted properly to their bike's wheelbase. If you got a new bike since you rode rollers 20 years ago, then the rollers may need adjusting. Improper adjustment can lead to poor handling on the rollers. Just a thought...

  15. #15
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Rollers.......gives me a headache just thinking about even trying those things. I know how choppy and ugly my pedaling style is but I really don't have any ambitions to make it any better it rollers is what it takes. I might be able to get on rollers and get going and do okay-- but I bet my "dismount" would leave a lot to be desired!!!

    My hat's off to you guys that even try.

  16. #16
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    Thanks Markalang. Always preferred the axle of the hub to be just a hair before the axle of the drum. Although this gives just a bit more resistance, it also serves to help with front-wheel stability.

    Some prefer axle over axle -- but, for now, that's just a little bit "squirrely" in feel (although a tad more smooth w/less resistance).

    Never put the hub axle in front of the drum axle -- even by a hair -- or you're going for a ride.

    jppe -- I've had my own share of less-than-graceful dismounts over the years! But at least there's one thing that you can be sure of -- one way or the other, you're getting off of it!

    Cheers.

  17. #17
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    Rollers? My winters are spent in the southwest. I"m riding in 68* weather right now--Rollers?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene James
    Rollers? My winters are spent in the southwest. I"m riding in 68* weather right now--Rollers?
    Come on up to the Northeast and we'll give you a good upper-body workout shoveling a few feet of snow.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank
    Come on up to the Northeast and we'll give you a good upper-body workout shoveling a few feet of snow.
    No Thanks, I paid my dues. I spent over 50yrs living in the snow belt of the Great Lakes. Now that I'm retired, the only good thing now about a snow storm would be the fact that I could look out the window and watch all the poor slobs going to work. By the way, I used to spend about an hour to an hour and a half on my rollers. I had a small resistance motor attach with an extra small belt. You had to get up to speed and hold it. I used to have my unheated garage door open and I was generating so much body heat that I could watch the snow melting in my driveway.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene James
    No Thanks, I paid my dues. I spent over 50yrs living in the snow belt of the Great Lakes. Now that I'm retired, the only good thing now about a snow storm would be the fact that I could look out the window and watch all the poor slobs going to work. By the way, I used to spend about an hour to an hour and a half on my rollers. I had a small resistance motor attach with an extra small belt. You had to get up to speed and hold it. I used to have my unheated garage door open and I was generating so much body heat that I could watch the snow melting in my driveway.
    You certainly HAVE paid your dues living with the Lake snow storms. I've heard that they can go on for days on end. In fact, I think there is one area of western New York that now has close to 6 feet. Overall this winter has been relatively mild around here . . . until this weekend!

    I have my studio at my house -- so I was the one watching everyone going to work this morning.

    Never understood what the resistance unit would be for though -- other than when riding fixed gear.

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