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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-25-06, 10:29 PM   #1
adamsallez
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Tacx vs Kreitler

SO, Cbike is having a 24 hour sale with everything being 24% off. i thought I'd buy some Tacx Rollertrack rollers from them....BUT then I have been reading about Kreitler rollers a lot and they seem to be quite good. Cbike does not however carry Kreitler,a nd thus there is no discount on them, to my knowledge. But they seem to be around $300-400 or so...whereas after the discount from Cbike the Tacx would be like $125. Right now I have a Tacx Satori rear wheel trainer, but it is SO boring, and hte bike doesnt move at all, and i just feel like I am on a trainer bike at a gym or something. Anyhow, any advise or insight is great! Are the Kreitlers worth the extra $$$? The Kreitler is Aluminum rollers, whereas the Tacx is PVC.
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Old 12-26-06, 12:40 AM   #2
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Kreitlers come in two versions for each drum size -- one with all-alloy drums and one using alloy drums with polycarbonate (plastic) endcaps. Both are warrantied for life and there's basically no good reason to spend the extra for the all-aluminum ones. I've seen occasional plastic-endcap Kreitlers separate the endcaps from the drums, but this is a warranty repair and they are really good about it. I've also seen occasional warping of the plastic if the rollers are kept in a car in 100+ degree weather but again, this is a warranty repair (and heating like this might have been the reason for the endcaps separating as well). However, the failures are very very rare. So when you compare prices, look at the lower priced Challenger line from Kreitler.

As for whether they are worth it, I'd say definitely yes. Rollers aren't a place for gimmicks -- once you are used to riding rollers you don't need the tricks for keeping you from riding off them (and this happens within a week or two). Keep it simple. That applies to devices to create additional workload. Kreitler does sell their "Killer Headwind," a fan that sits in front of the rollers and connects with a second belt to the rollers themselves. It's clumsy, noisy, not made as well as the rollers, and something I wouldn't really recommend. Some people use them, but if you need to put away your rollers or transport them to races, etc., you don't want to hassle with the fan. Same applies to the magnetic resistance units and other devices that other manufacturers offer. Once again, keep it simple.

Generally rollers need to be round, have high quality bearings, and have a frame that keeps them rigidly in alignment. After that, it's nice to have a good finish on the rails so they don't corrode (you generate a huge amount of perspiration on rollers and everything susceptible to salt will rust) and an adjustment mechanism that keeps the drums in position. Do you ride different bikes on your rollers so you have to adjust front roller position frequently? If so, a quick and easy adjustment (like on the Kreitler) is preferable. If you like a more rigid attachment of the rollers so there's no wobble, it's usually a bit harder to change front roller position (but not overwhelmingly so). What it comes back to is that you might want all kinds of tricks like parabolic drums, side rollers, end rollers, etc. if you haven't ridden rollers before. If you've ridden rollers regularly for a couple weeks, you won't understand why you wanted any of those tricks. Kreitlers capture this perspective better than any rollers out there.

The one alternative I'd suggest you at least look at are Trutrainers (www.trutrainer.com). They have some drawbacks but they have the one resistance mechanism that really works well (and can be disconnected at ease), and their construction is second to none. However, they are twice the price of Kreitlers and until you know you are going to ride rollers a LOT (as in racing several times a week at a track), I'd stick with Kreitlers. Kreitlers sell used for close to what you pay for them new, so well do they maintain their quality.

If you want to ride with more resistance, I'd definitely consider the Kreitlers with the smaller drums. You can't spin as fast on them, but you'll get a much better workout. Note that you can decrease the effective resistance of any pair of rollers by pumping your tires a bit higher (but you can't increase the resistance by underinflating tires, since then you risk a blowout). So if you go to a 2-1/4 or 3 inch roller instead of the standard 4-1/2, you get more of a workout without any extra hardware. Search some of the other threads here or in the track forum for opinions on different roller sizes.

So the answer to your basic question is: Go for the Kreitlers if you can. They are worth it, they last forever, warranty service is superb and lifetime, and you can sell them in the end for almost what you paid. But if you aren't going to be riding a lot on them, or aren't sure about them and don't have the cash to experiment, you can get cheaper brands and not be unhappy with them. Just don't expect much in resale and don't expect them to put up to heavy use the same way. And last, don't get ones with gimmicks. Two rollers in the rear, one in front, a rigid frame, and a belt -- that's all you need. Learning to ride them is a skill, but you'll have improved your road or track skills by riding rollers.
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Old 12-26-06, 12:46 AM   #3
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Great response! So a smaller diameter roller is a better workout han the larger? I am a rider who prefers to 'grinding" to "spinning". So would the small ones be better for me? is one louder than the other? Thanks again!
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Old 12-26-06, 12:56 AM   #4
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So there is the Dyno-Lyte, and the Dyno-Myte...which is the best one if I am not going to be using a fan on them. lemme know. THANKS!
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Old 12-26-06, 01:12 AM   #5
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They are all the "best", but choose the one for your ability/sanity level. The Dyno-Lytes demand less from you than the Dyno-Mytes. Also, avoid the hot dog rollers despite the fact that the 1337 olympic track team trains on them; they're wicked narrow and nigh impossible for a novice to ride.
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Old 12-26-06, 01:32 AM   #6
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Ok,. I just want to know what their Standard is...like is the DynoMytes the Standard resistance, and the Dynolytes are a step down...or is DynoLytes the Standard, and the DynoLytes, just extra hard....ya dig?
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Old 12-26-06, 01:59 AM   #7
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There is no "standard". There are simply different diameters for different skill levels. If it means anything, the Dyno-Lytes were created as an answer to the sheer pain Dyno-Mytes bring.

Here's a listing of the different diameters (larger = less effort to stay upright)
Challenge-4.5"
Dyno-Lyte-3"
Dyno-Myte-2.25"

I use the Dyno-Lytes and have no problem keeping speed or accelerating, although out of the saddle sprints are almost impossible. In light of that, there's an even smaller company than Kreitler who has modified their design and created a frame that moves with the rider, thus enabling very intense sprints. I forget the name of the company right now, but if I consult my Interbike floor plan, I can probably figure it out.

If you really want some sick resistance, you could add on the headwind attachment. I've heard of some people turning it all the way up just for kicks and not making it more than two pedal strokes before falling off.
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Old 12-26-06, 12:35 PM   #8
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I use the Kreitler Dyno-lytes in conjunction with the fan unit. As 11.4 mentioned, the fan unit is noisy, awkward and not built to the same standards as the rollers. However, it does provide all of the resistance you would ever want, as well as a cooling breeze. Removing the fan unit only requires loosening one bolt.

You can get plenty of resistance without the fan unit if you have high enough gearing. I prefer to use my track bike on the rollers, so I have the fan unit to vary the resistance.

[Edit: I have the Poly-lytes, not the Dyno-lytes -- both have aluminum drums, but the Poly-lytes have the thermoplastic end caps, and are thus less expensive.]

Last edited by lunacycle; 12-27-06 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 12-26-06, 07:25 PM   #9
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Uggg. so are the dynomytes too hard for someone who is just learnign how to use rollers? Do you think the Dynolytes are too easy without the fan? I dont want the fan. I am a 23 y/o kid who logs around 150-300 miles/week in teh summer, and rides a fixie and roadie to commute about 10 miles/day year round, so I'm not out of shape....really.
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Old 12-26-06, 09:39 PM   #10
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Get the Dyno-Lytes...they're enough of a challenge and won't be too twitchy to do an hour+ workout.
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Old 12-26-06, 11:05 PM   #11
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i recently received the nashbar reduced radius rollers. they were around $90. in the few days that i have used them, i do not see how a set of kreitlers could be worth more than 3 times the price. it seems to me to be similar to the case of phils vs formula. both will work fine. one gets you a lifetime warranty and a much lighter pocket, the other keeps the money in your wallet and can be replaced multiple times before the cost becomes an issue. i would get a cheap set. you don't know for sure if you'll stick with them.

edit: nashbar doesn't seem to have them anymore. glad i got them while i could. i still don't see how the kreitlers could be worth it. some may say that the warranty is worth it, but have they used and destroyed a cheap pair before?

Last edited by zip22; 12-26-06 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 12-27-06, 02:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zip22
i recently received the nashbar reduced radius rollers. they were around $90. in the few days that i have used them, i do not see how a set of kreitlers could be worth more than 3 times the price. it seems to me to be similar to the case of phils vs formula. both will work fine. one gets you a lifetime warranty and a much lighter pocket, the other keeps the money in your wallet and can be replaced multiple times before the cost becomes an issue. i would get a cheap set. you don't know for sure if you'll stick with them.

edit: nashbar doesn't seem to have them anymore. glad i got them while i could. i still don't see how the kreitlers could be worth it. some may say that the warranty is worth it, but have they used and destroyed a cheap pair before?
Ride them for a season and get back to us. Does buying something three times and being wasteful really sound that enticing?
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Old 12-27-06, 09:41 AM   #13
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You just have to know when to buy. Of course right now,
when it's getting cold and wet, is when everyone is trying
to score a deal on rollers. I got a set of Kreitler Challengers
off of ebay last summer for $100. Been riding them ever
since without a problem. As far as I know, I'm the third
owner of the rollers and the drums still roll smooth. Plus it
just makes me feel good to not be throwing out cheap a set
of rollers into a landfill ever year and a half.



[QUOTE=zip22]i recently received the nashbar reduced radius rollers. they were around $90. in the few days that i have used them, i do not see how a set of kreitlers could be worth more than 3 times the price. it seems to me to be similar to the case of phils vs formula. both will work fine. one gets you a lifetime warranty and a much lighter pocket, the other keeps the money in your wallet and can be replaced multiple times before the cost becomes an issue. i would get a cheap set. you don't know for sure if you'll stick with them.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamsallez
Uggg. so are the dynomytes too hard for someone who is just learnign how to use rollers? Do you think the Dynolytes are too easy without the fan? I dont want the fan. I am a 23 y/o kid who logs around 150-300 miles/week in teh summer, and rides a fixie and roadie to commute about 10 miles/day year round, so I'm not out of shape....really.
a.s.
In my experience, and I'm a relatively weak rider, the "Lytes" don't offer enough resistance for my 48x16 gearing. If I were to do it over again, I'd probably get the "Mytes".

Of course, you can always add a resistance unit later, which is what I ended up doing. Otherwise, unless you use a multi-geared bike, you're pretty much stuck with one resistance level.
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Old 12-27-06, 12:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12XU
Ride them for a season and get back to us. Does buying something three times and being wasteful really sound that enticing?
i shall. it is enticing when its still a cheaper option. have you destroyed a cheap set of rollers in one season?
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Old 12-27-06, 12:47 PM   #16
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If you're riding the standard 4-1/2 inch drums, you will basically be spinning out on a big gear (48x14 or larger). You won't feel noticeable resistance on those rollers.

If you're riding the 3" drums (the DynoLytes or PolyLytes), you'll feel resistance on those gears, and you will really have to work if you want to be doing high-cadence training (by that I mean 145-175 rpm). If you're warming up or doing an aerobic workout, they are OK but the 4-1/2 inch drums are better (that's why the 4-1/2 inch drums are the standard at the track for warmup). If you go down to a 48x16 or so, you'll be able to spin out on the 3" drums.

If you go to the 2-1/4 inch drums (the DynoMytes or PolyMytes), you'll be spinning easily in a lower gear like a 44x16, the 48x16 will show noticeable resistance, and you'll be riding slower cadence in the 48x14 or else feeling like you're dying.

Now do note that the smaller drums create more resistance because they actually press into the tires more so you are having to overcome the miniature hill that they represent (imagine hitting a speedbump on an uphill -- it suddenly gets harder, right?). So of course it stands to reason that you can increase tire pressure somewhat and the drum won't press into the tire as much. The resistance you feel will become significantly less. So if you get DynoMytes and pump the tires 10-15 psi higher, they'll feel like DynoLytes at the lower pressure. You can't lower pressure to get higher resistance on a larger drum, because you can risk blowing the tire and, especially with clinchers, it isn't a good feeling on rollers at high cadence. But this allows you to go to smaller drums and get the resistance level you want.

Rollers don't wear out tires all that much (unlike rear-wheel trainers) and they don't heat up your tires, so you don't need to worry if you have a better quality tire on your wheels. This is why track racers can use rollers to warm up on, even with their light track tubulars mounted. However, do note that at high cadence you'll really notice tires (and wheels, of course) that are out of round. If you ride rollers a lot, you'll probably find that unless you have high quality tubulars that are very evenly mounted (so you don't get a bump anywhere on them), you may prefer to ride clinchers on rollers instead. There's no particular benefit to riding tubulars on rollers -- the suppleness you enjoy on the road doesn't have much relevance on rollers.
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Old 12-27-06, 02:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zip22
i shall. it is enticing when its still a cheaper option. have you destroyed a cheap set of rollers in one season?
I wish to be less wasteful whenever I can and feeding the bargain machine of low priced, disposable goods really irks me. I have known of people buying PVC rollers and ovalizing them, but I've only owned Kreitlers, so no..they're as good as new.

Also, it hadn't occurred to me that you guys were going to be riding fixed gears only on your rollers. If you're looking for a tool to give you variable resistance, rollers are not the place. I suggest you get a stationary trainer with a resistance remote, that way you can compensate for having only one ratio. Personally, I use my road bike on the rollers because you can think of the rollers as being a fixed resistance changed more by shifting gears than increasing cadence.
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Old 12-27-06, 02:27 PM   #18
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All good stuff from 11.4. I'd just add a vote for the Sportcraft / CycleOps alu rollers if the Kreitlers are too pricey. I've used these loads for about 14 months - both for training, warmup at the track and for roller-race training, and they've been excellent. Drum diameter is a tad over 3 inches from memory.

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Old 12-27-06, 02:41 PM   #19
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Another vote here for the CycleOps Alu rollers, good quality rollers and bearings, and not too pricey.
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Old 12-27-06, 04:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12XU
I wish to be less wasteful whenever I can and feeding the bargain machine of low priced, disposable goods really irks me. I have known of people buying PVC rollers and ovalizing them, but I've only owned Kreitlers, so no..they're as good as new.

Also, it hadn't occurred to me that you guys were going to be riding fixed gears only on your rollers. If you're looking for a tool to give you variable resistance, rollers are not the place. I suggest you get a stationary trainer with a resistance remote, that way you can compensate for having only one ratio. Personally, I use my road bike on the rollers because you can think of the rollers as being a fixed resistance changed more by shifting gears than increasing cadence.
mine are all aluminum drums.

i agree about the gears. if i only had the fixed gear, i don't think i would have gone with rollers. if you do, i have also heard you can very your resistance be putting a towel underneath one of the rear drums (in addition to deflating your tires as discussed above).
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Old 12-27-06, 08:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12XU

In light of that, there's an even smaller company than Kreitler who has modified their design and created a frame that moves with the rider, thus enabling very intense sprints. I forget the name of the company right now, but if I consult my Interbike floor plan, I can probably figure it out.
Edit: Found em--http://www.insideride.com/

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Old 12-27-06, 09:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12XU
Edit: Found em--http://www.insideride.com/

795.00 ouch

I got tacx rollers (ecotrack) for x-mas set them up not as easy as it looks i'll give it another go on the weekend.

Oh also there’s a clip on you tube of a couple of guys using the inside ride rollers.
Cheers
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Old 12-28-06, 06:51 PM   #23
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Hey guys! Thanks for all the info! I got a set of the Kreitler Dyno-lytes without a fan! I do appreciate it very much! Your insight helped with a more educated purchase! I'll take pics of the setup when i get it...with me lying bloody on the ground nexdt to it after my first fall. it hink I'll put my DeRosa Primato on it, so it wont shatter when I fall like my BMC ProMachine would! THANKS!
a.s.
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