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Old 09-23-02, 07:42 AM   #1
Ritalin
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Rollers

What's the benifit of rollers over a trainer? I assume it's a little more fun since you have more things to worry about... but is there a training benifit over trainers? If so why doesn't everyone use rollers?
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Old 09-23-02, 08:55 AM   #2
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Rollers will provide you with immediate feedback on your pedaling mechanics. If you mash the pedals you should be prepared to spend lots of time correcting your steering and/or picking yourself up off the floor.

I think trainers have been more popular than rollers simply because they're much easier to use, take up less space, and offer a larger range of resistance (not always, but usually.)
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Old 09-23-02, 09:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
why doesn't everyone use rollers?
Because Rollers take a degree of concentration that
most people don't want to maintain while "training".
Benefits of Rollers? Better cadence, and a smoother
pedal stroke. I ride at higher cadence, you have to
have high cadence to assist in not ridding off the rollers.
Balance, It is almost impossible to ride rollers and have
a lousy sense of balance. I find that my balance and
bike handling are greatly improved. This is great if
you ride in pace line or in large groups.
Bike Handleing skills improve alot by using rollers.
What rollers won't do, is build strength. I ride Rollers
and have a trainer, they are totally different things.
FWIW Rollers are difficult enough without adding resistance
units. Yeah I know everyone markets these things but
check how many "nearly new" rollers are out there on
e-bay. If you buy rollers with resistance, disconnect it and
ride them without the unit.
Just my $.02 worth
Marty
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Old 09-25-02, 04:25 AM   #4
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I've never used a trainer so could you explain the difference between rollers and a trainer please :confused: .
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Old 09-25-02, 04:34 AM   #5
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trainer holds the bicycle upright and basically turns it into a stationary exercise bike. you pedal working against something that puts resistance on the rear wheel.

there is a pic of one if you can imagine the rear wheel of a bike affixed to that
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Old 09-25-02, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by lotek

What rollers won't do, is build strength. I ride Rollers
and have a trainer, they are totally different things.
FWIW Rollers are difficult enough without adding resistance
units. Yeah I know everyone markets these things but
check how many "nearly new" rollers are out there on
e-bay. If you buy rollers with resistance, disconnect it and
ride them without the unit.
Just my $.02 worth
Marty
I disagree with this statement that rollers will not help you build strength. With a resistance unit (I use Kreitler's Killer Headwind Fan) I can get as much resistance as any trainer so why does that not build strength?

Also I don't find that rollers are any less/more difficult to use because there is a resistance unit attached. I ride rollers 5 days a week in the off season and my strength and bike handling skills have gone through the roof. I could not believe it when I hit the road last spring after a serious winter on the rollers. I was flying over my past summers efforts.

I do agree that some of the rollers with small diameter drums are hard enough to spin without the use of a resistance unit but they are harder on your tires and do not offer the flexibility to do high cadence workouts that larger drums do with a unit attached. Well...unless you have legs like Lance!
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Old 09-25-02, 02:37 PM   #7
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Cap'n
Rollers, without an add on unit do not
offer enough resistance to build strength.
Yes, smaller diameter drums offer more resistance
as does letting air out of your tires, but is
it enough to build leg strength (as opposed to
leg speed)? I don't know, but I think not.
I think for a new roller rider, a resistance unit
is more trouble than its worth. Lord knows its difficult
enough to really get the hang of rollers without
the added effect of resistance. Its really the speed
(centrifigal force) of the wheels that keeps you upright
on the rollers, that and a smooth pedal stroke.
I'm of the opinion that its difficult enough initially
to maintain a smooth pedal stroke without
having a resistance unit in play.
Let me ask, could you ride rollers with a resistance
unit when you first started on rollers? I know
I sure could not have.
As I said, I have both types of units, use the
rollers for cadence, leg speed, balance etc.
Use the fluid squared for strength. Of course this
means either 2 sessions/day or varying them on
a day to day basis.

Just my $.02 worth,
Marty
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Old 09-25-02, 02:43 PM   #8
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Astra,

Rollers look like this, and you balance on
the rollers while you pedal (like a madman!)
BTW nice to see you back at BF.

Marty
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Old 09-25-02, 02:45 PM   #9
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I assume that you guys use your clipless pedals when you use your rollers?

When you learned to use the rollers for the first time, was this true?
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Old 09-25-02, 03:24 PM   #10
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for those of us in the northern climates ----> what do you hope to attain in the off season? do you want to build strength on the bike or can you get that through squating and other lifting programs? do you want to keep/maintain fitness?! i have used trainers almost exclusively for many off-seasons and do feel energized the first weeks on the road.

i feel that it is possible to have poor posture, poor pedaling technique while on most trainers. rollers help you with that smooth pedal stroke. i'd like to increase my cadence in particular gears and work on 'pedaling in circles' and keep a level of fitness when it is wet or dark out (otherwise i'll ride even if it is 10 degrees out)

i am considering buying a roller unit for this winter to keep my gains and improve on other things.
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Old 09-25-02, 04:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
When you learned to use the rollers for the first time, was this true? [/B]
Yes, clipless pedals.

Rollers have a greater learning curve (obviously) so the best way is to set them up in door frame or against a wall so you can bail out if you need to.

Personally, I too have both Rollers and a Trainer. The Rollers I use for spin and cardio work, the trainer I use for strength and power work, but either can be used for all, if you do the research and find materials and books with suggested workouts. Typically, I can tell how much someone spent on rollers by how steady their body (and bike) are when they ride the road.

Additionally, I find two basic things when I ride either.
1. I sweat like horse.
2. I can get a better workout, in less time.
3. Even with a planned workout, music and lots of water, it's boring as hell, and I can only last about 75 minutes.
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Old 09-25-02, 04:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Perkins


Additionally, I find two basic things when I ride either.
1. I sweat like horse.
2. I can get a better workout, in less time.
3. Even with a planned workout, music and lots of water, it's boring as hell, and I can only last about 75 minutes.

Is that fuzzy math?
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Old 09-25-02, 06:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by lotek
Cap'n
Rollers, without an add on unit do not
offer enough resistance to build strength.
Yes, smaller diameter drums offer more resistance
as does letting air out of your tires, but is
it enough to build leg strength (as opposed to
leg speed)?

Let me ask, could you ride rollers with a resistance
unit when you first started on rollers? I know
I sure could not have.

Just my $.02 worth,
Marty
Some of the smaller diameter rollers will certainly be enough to build very good leg strength especially if you use a high enough gear. I doubt there are very many cyclist that can ride a small diameter roller in a high gear for any extended length of time. Kreitler actually warns you of this if you are going to buy their small diameter rollers! They are for very serious cyclists.

As for starting out on rollers I have used a resistance unit right from the start and had no problems whatsoever. I don't see why this makes any difference. You do not have to turn the unit up as high as it will go but I think in someways the resistance actually helps to smooth out the pedal stroke if it is not to high. Otherwise you are spinning like a fool and bouncing all over.
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Old 09-25-02, 06:07 PM   #14
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started out without clipping in
wearing running shoes, took about
2 or 3 sessions and I felt comfortable enough to
ride clipped in.
I can get out of clips (speedplay) really fast if need be
and when you're going over, the need is real fast.
Most commercially available sweat guards don't work
with rollers (at least for me) they limit hand position
too much. I bought some foam pipe insulation, cut it
to fit top and down tubes and just wipe down afterwards.
An old sweat band with some velcro works well on headset.
For safety (ok, its my crutch) I keep a plastic stool on one
side of the rollers, if I need to bail I don't have to worry
about the drop to floor (I have large diameter roller, like
Kreitler alloy's about 4 or 5 additional inches to floor).
If there is anything about your bike that is mildly annoying,
it will be much worse when you ride rollers.
yeah, I like em

marty
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Old 09-25-02, 06:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Captain Crunch


Some of the smaller diameter rollers will certainly be enough to build very good leg strength especially if you use a high enough gear. I doubt there are very many cyclist that can ride a small diameter roller in a high gear for any extended length of time.
I tried the Kreitler hot dogs (the 10 inch small diameter
rollers) and I've gotta tell you, it took so much concentration
that I doubt that I could go half an hour without giving up.
Totally agree about the small diameter, I never realized how
much of a difference that makes.
As for the resistance, ok, maybe I am being a little
close minded about it, but I've seen way too many people
who buy rollers, set the resistance too high, have 3 bad
sessions and then sell them on e-bay (what am I complaining
about? I'm waiting for the poly-lytes with Killer for $50! )
either way, to me they are the best overall training tool
that I can think of.
Marty
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Old 09-25-02, 07:36 PM   #16
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I too use an old milk crate next to the rollers for getting on and off because it is a long drop to the floor. When I first started I was using the door-frame technique which worked really well. Now that I am more comfortable I have moved out into the middle of the room.
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Old 09-26-02, 09:21 AM   #17
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Whoooaa!!! You actually totally balance on the rollers ??? Someone post a pic of someone usering rollers 'cause I don't believe you .
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Old 09-26-02, 10:44 AM   #18
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i'm a relatively competitive MTB XC racer and also do some road and criterium riding. I usually train through the winter, but sometimes it hard to get in the time and miles when the weather really sucks and it's always dark, so i'm thinking i'll add a trainer/roller for indoor training this winter.

ok, i've never used rollers or a trainer and i'm thinking of getting one. so i have a few questions just to make sure i understand everything and then for recommendations what to get.

Rollers: using rollers i basically just like riding excpe the tire is elevated and inseatd of rolling on the ground, you roll on the roller. so to get a better workout just like on the road, you change gears and spin the rear wheel faster. and there are some where you can add extra resistance which sounds like a good idea (someone commented that it can be troublesome).
so can the same roller be used for both mountain and road bikes or does the tire size make a difference?
with a mountain bike, does it work with knobby tires or do you need slicks or a special roller if you want to ride on a MTB w/o changing tires?

trainer securely balances the rear of the bike (by the quick-release?) and then it becomes like a stationary bike.
So how does it generate resistance (through connection with the chain or cassette?)
Can you still change gears?
How much can you change the resistance?

what are the advantages and disadvantages of each as well as price differences?

can anyone recommend something to start out?
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Old 09-26-02, 10:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by RiPHRaPH
for those of us in the northern climates ----> what do you hope to attain in the off season? do you want to build strength on the bike or can you get that through squating and other lifting programs? do you want to keep/maintain fitness?! i have used trainers almost exclusively for many off-seasons and do feel energized the first weeks on the road.
Personally I use weights to build strength. I want to buy a trainer just to keep my legs moving. That and I despise just doing cardio. I find it dull and boring. At least at home doing cardio I can play my sony. Now that I am reading this thread I may have to go with a roller. Narrow technical riding is what I enjoy and practice and rollers sound like actual work

Trainers each have a certain way of resisting. Some put pressure on the sidewall others use magnetic force. As for advantages of each I believe that is described above quite well. You can use a roller with knobbies but you will wear the tire out quickly. (oh and don't forget the airplane noise it makes)

http://www.bikecanada.com/catalog/ac...rs/index.shtml

Prices are in canadian so you will have to convert.

http://www.lickbike.com/i2931050.htm
http://www.kreitler.com/

Last edited by Maelstrom; 09-26-02 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 09-26-02, 12:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathank

Rollers: can the same roller be used for both mountain and road bikes or does the tire size make a difference?
with a mountain bike, does it work with knobby tires or do you need slicks or a special roller if you want to ride on a MTB w/o changing tires?

trainer how does it generate resistance (through connection with the chain or cassette?)
Can you still change gears?
How much can you change the resistance?

what are the advantages and disadvantages of each as well as price differences?

can anyone recommend something to start out?
Ok, lets see if we can clear some of this up.

Rollers: Same set can be used for MTB and Road bike, almost
all of the good rollers are adjustable for wheelbase. Tire size
makes no difference (at least I don't think it does for the
rollers to function). I've not used rollers with MTB,
but I'm guessing that the knobbies due to lower
rolling resistance will give you more difficult workout,
also might be kind of noisy. You don't need different
roller for the MTB tires.

Trainer: Bike is secured by a clamping device that screws onto
rear quick release (at least the ones I've seen/used), elevating
rear tire off the floor. There is a roller attached to a
flywheel and wind, magnetic, or fluid, resistance unit that the rear
wheel turns. You can change gears, and most have resistance
settings. The fluid units are variable resistance and have no
preset settings, they are also much quieter than either the
wind or magnetic units.
With the trainer there is no learning curve, bolt the bike in
and away you go (well not literally).
With Rollers there is a learning curve to initially get the hang
of riding rollers. Eventually your balance gets good enough
that you can ride no handed (I still can't do this on rollers),
or so I'm told.
Rollers take a degree of concentration, stationary trainers
require none.
Hope this helps out. Do a search on trainer or rollers
here there have been a few threads covering them.
Nathank, if you were not in Munchen I'd say come over
and you could try them both out. That said, you might
check with LBS about testing. In US Kreitler are far and
above the number one brand. I'm betting they would
cost a fortune in Europe, but Tacx makes a nice roller
(and trainers for that matter) and they're a dutch
company so should be cheaper than here.

Marty
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Old 09-26-02, 12:56 PM   #21
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This has been a fairly useful thread; I'm considering buying a set of rollers for the "off season" when I can't ride my road bike (because it's my baby, it's Italian steel, and it *isn't* going out in a rainstorm). Balance and cadence are my two weakest areas (I do weight training for strength), so rollers sound ideal.

Danke!
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Old 09-26-02, 02:45 PM   #22
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Danke!
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Old 09-27-02, 08:56 AM   #23
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hey lotek and others,

thanks for the info and the links... i'm going to do a little more research and think about getting one for the winter. seems like there are a bunch of choices even if you decide between a trainer or a roller...

i guess i'm looking for the best indoor training for cycling and i'm still not too clear whether a roller or trainer serves this better as the roller is more like "real" cycling but seems like some people think adding resistance is not so easy

one of the Keitler websites said that the rollers eat tires... so do you guys have an extra old wheel/casette/tire you use or do you just put an old tire on your road bike and not use it outdoors during the winter?
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Old 09-27-02, 09:27 AM   #24
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I haven't had too much problems with rollers eating tires,
I really don't see why that would be, although who am
I to argue with Kreitler?
check BOB list for more roller articles
BOB

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Old 09-27-02, 10:18 AM   #25
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I have heard of the tire eating problem before. I assume it is the slight friction, pressure and the heating of the tires. It wouldn't be as extreme as concrete but I am sure there is wear.

I am saving a worn set of tires just for the winter. Very little nob left on both and they will work perfectly for rollers.

BTW those rollers I notice you can purchase a stand attachment (to hold the forks) this removes most of the need for balance correct? The reason I ask is my gf has very little balance and will be recovering from knee surgery. She will not be able to spin quickly or worry about balance for the first couple of months.
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