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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 09-15-08, 08:05 AM   #1
wiggles
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Rollers - worth the investment?

I've been considering either purchasing a set of rollers, or making them. Both my housemate and I cycle, and because of that rollers seem optimal for training (numerous bikes for each of us, so anything that'd be attached just doesn't work).
First, were I to build them, does anyone have any plans available?
Second, if I purchase them, can someone point me to somewhere that has them for below 300$?
Finally, are they worth it? I don't mind riding outside in inclimate weather, but sometimes if its really bad (snow, etc) I'd much rather just be inside.
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Old 09-15-08, 08:11 AM   #2
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I don't know how to build rollers, though I have a friend that has plans in mind. I do know that they make a great training tool, and help improve your balance a LOT.

I personally use a (crappy) trainer, and it has helped me out somewhat. Since it's not the best (for me), I resort to the spin bike, which gives me all of the suffering I can stand.
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Old 09-15-08, 09:16 AM   #3
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I sure hope so, because I just pulled the trigger on a set of Nashbar Reduced Radius rollers @ $72 after coupon. Then immediately after that they jumped $10 to $100
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Old 09-19-08, 05:18 PM   #4
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I think rollers are great. I've seen plans to build your own, but once I saw Performance Bike had alloy rollers for about $110 (with a possible 20% off coupon if you wait,) I snatched them up and have been using them for years.
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Old 09-19-08, 05:42 PM   #5
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After you get a couple thousand miles on them the first cost will seem irrelevant.
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Old 09-19-08, 08:47 PM   #6
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I have roller from around 1972, they were my dad's and I have been riding them for about 15 years. I have heard that some of the cheap roller drums can go out of round, but a quality set can last for a long time. I also use a trainer with a power meter for intervals, but for cruising the rollers are much more natural feeling. My rollers feel like riding on the road with a tailwind, not enough resistance for the short intervals, but good for 10 min + intervals. Rollers are also much louder than my Elite trainer, and I have heard that the wind resistance units for rollers sound like an airplane engine.
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Old 09-19-08, 10:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiggles View Post
I've been considering either purchasing a set of rollers, or making them. Both my housemate and I cycle, and because of that rollers seem optimal for training (numerous bikes for each of us, so anything that'd be attached just doesn't work).
First, were I to build them, does anyone have any plans available?
Second, if I purchase them, can someone point me to somewhere that has them for below 300$?
Finally, are they worth it? I don't mind riding outside in inclimate weather, but sometimes if its really bad (snow, etc) I'd much rather just be inside.
Rollers are precision devices, and hard to make yourself unless you're a machinist.

I suggest finding a place to try them for a few times before you decide to buy. I have the e-motion ones (which are a lot easier to ride than normal ones), and they still take a long time to get comfortable on.
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Old 09-20-08, 06:27 AM   #8
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I find a trainer to be better for hard efforts. Rollers will make you smoother though and can be a good choice.

Rollers are easy to build with access to the right tools, but they are so cheap to buy...check performance or nashbar as others have said.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:43 PM   #9
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Did wonders for my form over last winter, which was my first winter on a bike (in or out of doors, and I did both).

I used them as part of a recipe including winter/spring resistance training and foundation/aerobic training, and then starting in the spring, the usual specific intensity workouts (intervals, climbing repeats). I would never remove the rollers from that recipe, especially if one's not used them before. I was told to develop form before strength (i.e., rollers before trainer) and I believe that was right. At least for me. You can develop strength all you want after form is present, and then all that power goes straight where it does the most good, nothing wasted.

Bottom line, they made me a smoother rider than I could have expected, and I really enjoy that smoothness. I'm sure ensuing winters on them will only improve on that.
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