- Metal rollers will last longer than plastic ones (obviously).
- Larger drums provide less resistance. Great for just warming up or doing pedal stroke or aerobic work. This is why trackies prefer 4.5" rollers because the purpose of the warmup is to warmup...not do any real work. Takes less leg power to use them.
- Smaller rollers provide more resistance. Great for doing road type aerobic-power workouts. Takes more leg power to use them.
- Kreitler is the go-to brand (pricey, though), but there are LOTS of other good brands out there. I've heard good things about the Travel Trac Alloy rollers. But, the drums are small, so more resistance.
The keys to riding rollers:
- SETUP: If you don't have the front wheel directly over the center of the front roller (or no more than 1cm behind) the rollers will be really, really hard to use. I watched a guy who was baffled one day at the track. He rode the rollers on his road bike no problem. Was graceful. Then he put his track bike on it was was falling off left and right. He couldn't understand it. But, it was because the wheelbase of the track bike was significantly shorter.
- It gets easier: If kids can do it, you can do it. Practice for 15-30 minutes. Take a break. Try again. Try tomorrow. Eventually, your body will fine-tune itself and you'll make small, subtle movements instead of the moderate movements that are amplified by the rollers and turn into jerky ones.
- Place an object on the ground 2-3 feet in front of you to stare at as you learn.
- Pretty soon you'll have it. You'll be riding no-handed, while watching TV and texting at the same time.