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  1. #1
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    Training on Rollers

    I just picked up some rollers. Any advice on how to get rolling without holding on to the door way? I understand it requires an extremely quite upper body but I can't stop traveling laterally. My rear wheel seems to be traveling.

    Also, how many miles do roller users ride on average?

  2. #2
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Rollers actually require even pedal strokes, in addition to a stable upper body. But, above all, I would say concentrate on pedaling smoothly, and on pedaling in circles. Once you work on getting an even pedal stroke, the rest falls into place. Pretty soon you'll be riding no hands.

    It's difficult to explain, so perhaps someone else will chime in. Rollers are really a great way to get rid of pedal mashing. Also, once you get back out on the road after training on rollers for a while, you'll be able to hold your line better and navigate a pack better.

    I don't know about miles. I can really only go about an hour to an hour and a half before parts start going numb. Plus the concentration required to stay on rollers a long time is pretty exhausting. I did make it two hours once, watching a movie.

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgreenie
    I just picked up some rollers. Any advice on how to get rolling without holding on to the door way? I understand it requires an extremely quite upper body but I can't stop traveling laterally. My rear wheel seems to be traveling.

    Also, how many miles do roller users ride on average?
    Mile crates, one on each side; spin around 90 with a 53/17 will give a speed of just over 20mph which is good to help the balance. Relax the "death-grip" on the bars; the steering is very sensitive, and developing a relaxed grip is essential.

    Having the rollers correctly set-up will improve the experience; the distance between the axle of the front roller and the mid-point between the axles of the rear rollers, should be the same as or about " more than the wheel-base of the bike; any more than this will make the bike very "twitchy" and difficult to ride. Make sure the rollers are level.

    I usually ride for an hour or two. Having a fan moving the air around is a good idea. I think over the winter I might go for metric centuries, or even a full 100 miles. 5 or 6 hours on the rollers won't be too bad. I usually watch a film, or put in a Bike-O-Vision DVD, but be warned, it's very easy to forget that you're on the rollers and to start riding the road you're seeing on the screen, with interesting results (see threads passim).

    Hope this helps -

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

  4. #4
    peloton surfing HillMut's Avatar
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    I'd ride them a little everyday to get the hang of it. Relax your hands, shoulders, legs, toes... Its easy once you get it.

    5+ hours on the rollers is CRAZY!!

    I like to break up the time on the rollers by getting off and streching, and doing some situps and pushups. I still can't do more than 1 hour.

  5. #5
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    Practice. Practice. Practice....

    you'll be riding no hands reading Cycle Sport before you know it.

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    Don't know how you guys can manage even two continuous hours. Do you get ever get off to relieve some stress in the "area"?

    I usually put in two, hour long sessions a day...but more continuous duration at one time and I'm numb...

    I have three different saddles I've tried this on...and no help. San Marco Aspide Arrowhead, San Marco Era, and an older Avocet

  7. #7
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Brooks.



    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil Davis
    Brooks.



    - Wil

    haha...yeah I should give that a try

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    Are you clipped in or do you use a conventional peddle?

  10. #10
    Just shy of 400W ranger5oh's Avatar
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    wow.. Ive never ridden rollers, but ridign them for 5-6 hours is nuts! I ride my trainer, and after an hour I am bored as hell and dripping sweat. I save the long rides for outside.

    I just ordered one of these bike-o-vision dvds though as a gift for a friend. Im really curious about them!
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  11. #11
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    I don't know how you can ride for four to five hours, I am lucky to get 45 minutes in on the rollers before I want to kill myself from extreme boredom

  12. #12
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Any advice on how to get rolling without holding on to the door way
    You might want to consider setting next to a wall or dresser on one side and have a stack or big card board boxes on the other.

    There are easier and "harder" roller settup settings. Do you know how to setup your rollers for a beginner?

  13. #13
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    If your rear-wheel is drifting to the side, that means you're leaning your body to the side, like leaning on a wall or doorway. Practice using your elbow to lean on the wall and gradually put less and less of your weight on the elbow. Then extend the elbow and gradually push yourself further and further away from teh wall. This requires that you put all of the weight on your seat & handlebars. You'll find that the rear-wheel will no longer drift.

    Also requires a balanced touch on the handlebars where neither hand has dominance. A lot of of people grip their bars and pull in order to steady their upper-body against uneven pedaling-strokes. This causes you to be wobbly and the front-end to wag back & forth. Instead, curl up your fingers under your palms and place them on top of the bars so that you don't grip the bars. Your weight shoudl be on heel of the palm and your fingernails should be resting on top as well.

  14. #14
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    I also like the bike-o-vision rides for training workouts indoors. Nice quality and the price is excellent at $8.47 to $16.95.
    Last edited by jdandplhunter; 01-30-11 at 10:18 AM.

  15. #15
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    essentially, time.

    I do visual + non-related aural stimulation, something like SportsCenter or MNF with music in my ears. Or a Warren Miller movie. Something totally engrossing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgreenie View Post
    I just picked up some rollers. Any advice on how to get rolling without holding on to the door way? I understand it requires an extremely quite upper body but I can't stop traveling laterally. My rear wheel seems to be traveling.

    Also, how many miles do roller users ride on average?
    It takes about 10mph to have decent balance on the bike on rollers, so get your rotation up to speed and relax on the bars. Don't over grip and pull. You should be able to lightly touch the bars with the heel of your hands and nothing else, or just use your fingertips.

    As far as miles goes, that is each person. I do anywhere from an hour to a century on rollers. To make the time go, I start a DVD and try to get into the movie while doing the work out. Sometimes I use the music as the times to do hard workouts and the dialog to spin to try and break things up.

    But, please remember this is coming from a clydesdale, not a trainer. This is what works really well for me.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    If your rear-wheel is drifting to the side, that means you're leaning your body to the side, like leaning on a wall or doorway. Practice using your elbow to lean on the wall and gradually put less and less of your weight on the elbow. Then extend the elbow and gradually push yourself further and further away from teh wall. This requires that you put all of the weight on your seat & handlebars. You'll find that the rear-wheel will no longer drift.

    Also requires a balanced touch on the handlebars where neither hand has dominance. A lot of of people grip their bars and pull in order to steady their upper-body against uneven pedaling-strokes. This causes you to be wobbly and the front-end to wag back & forth. Instead, curl up your fingers under your palms and place them on top of the bars so that you don't grip the bars. Your weight shoudl be on heel of the palm and your fingernails should be resting on top as well.
    +1, also don't look at your front wheel. You should be looking ahead, the same as you would on the road.
    If you look at the wheel thinking that you have to keep an eye on it, you will over react to every little movement.

    I get numb in about 20min. so I stand up for 30 seconds every 10min. I mostly do intervals on my rollers. Keeping track of what I'm supposed to be doing and my HR, keeps my mind from getting bored.

  18. #18
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Oddly, no has mentioned that you don't "steer" the bike on rollers. Steering movements are much too large. You just shift your weight slightly. If you get way off course, you may have to steer the bike briefly, but most steering inputs result in oversteering and then you're all over the place. When I started, I found it much harder to look straight ahead and always watched the front wheel, but evidently this is not universal. The trick with the elbow pushing against a support is exactly right. A narrow doorway is easiest, followed by being next to a wall. Starting in the middle of a room is much harder, especially when learning. Not recommended - too much negative feedback bums one out. Go for success, then get fancy. Also, be sure your front axle is over the front roller. Some people prefer to be 1" behind, but I prefer exactly over - never ahead.

    If your saddle won't let you sit for an hour, you need to go back to the saddle search. I'm enjoying a Performance Forte Classic. I don't get bored on my rollers. Usually whatever I'm doing has me hurting pretty good after an hour and a half, so that's about it for me. I train on rollers and reserve outside for long rides. If it were snowing, I'd go XC skiing for the long rides. However it mostly just rains here, no biggie once or twice a week.

    I don't figure it in miles, rather in hours. Say 4 hours a week in winter. That's enough if it's drills of some sort.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 10-08-09 at 08:54 PM.

  19. #19
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    What I did to learn was set the rollers up in a hallway, so I could elbow off of walls on both sides. After a few sessions, I was able to ride for a half hour with very infrequent touches of the walls. I then moved the rollers to their home in the basement. I use the treadmill for support when mounting or brief breaks.

    Keep at it and you'll soon enough be able to ride no-handed or one-legged (very good for smoothing out the pedal stroke). I haven't quite gotten the combined no-handed-one-legged thing yet.

    Sessions range from half hour recovery rides up to 3 hour base mile sessions. I'll usually pop in a movie and spin away. Periodic short breaks are nice (a few seconds to wipe the face with a towel, followed by a quick "butt break", getting up to change movies, refilling a water bottle). Also, it's easy enough to learn how to stand on rollers, for a quick "butt break".

    I'll do winter base miles on the rollers, one-legged drills and high cadence drills, tempo rides and longer "cruise intervals". The only thing I don't do on the rollers are the high intensity anerobic intervals (Friel zone 5).

    As stated before, fans are essential.

  20. #20
    Senior Member vsopking's Avatar
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    What about noise - I mean, the TacxAntares looks nice; it would be my first roller. Will the noise be bearable in house? Oh, and should I use my spd's or use platform pedals when on the roller?
    Last edited by vsopking; 10-12-09 at 12:48 PM.

  21. #21
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    Use whatever pedals you normally use! Noise is not bad for rollers.

  22. #22
    Senior Member vsopking's Avatar
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    Ok, Rollers have been ordered.

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