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  1. #1
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    Rollers - a good idea?

    I'm getting ready to purchase a set of rollers for offseason fitness and have a few questions.

    - Do you need to constantly concentrate or will you get good enough to watch TV while working out (Spinerval videos, etc.)?
    - How easy is it to stand or quickly increase speed while pedaling on rollers (i.e. interval training)? Does it take awhile to get past the 'slowly start in a doorframe' stage?
    - For people who own rollers, how long did it take you to get used to them? How long until you were able to comfortably watch a training video while pedaling?
    - I'm considering rollers over a fluid trainer so I can work on form and core muscles (balance, etc.).
    - Do the roller frames need to be on hard ground or can you set things up on a carpet (with pad underneath)? Is there a noticeable wobble when on thick carpets?
    - I'm looking at Kreitler 4.5" with the fan. I am not very fit right now but am a big guy (i.e. good leg strength). Will the 4.5" + fan give me enough resistance as I get healthier?

    Comments or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Roadie brian416's Avatar
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    - Do you need to constantly concentrate or will you get good enough to watch TV while working out (Spinerval videos, etc.)?
    Once you are used to them it is like riding a bike outdoors..easy.
    - How easy is it to stand or quickly increase speed while pedaling on rollers (i.e. interval training)? Does it take awhile to get past the 'slowly start in a doorframe' stage?
    It took me 3-4 rides to get comfortable on rollers, standing up will take some finess to keep from rolling off the front. Intervals are no problem, although you will probably need a resistance unit for hard intervals
    - For people who own rollers, how long did it take you to get used to them? How long until you were able to comfortably watch a training video while pedaling?
    It took 3-4 rides to get used to rollers for me
    - I'm considering rollers over a fluid trainer so I can work on form and core muscles (balance, etc.).
    Great idea, you'll have much better form when you get back on the road in the spring, it is also more entertaining to ride rollers than a trainer
    - Do the roller frames need to be on hard ground or can you set things up on a carpet (with pad underneath)? Is there a noticeable wobble when on thick carpets?
    Mine are on carpet, they don't slide and I don't have anything under them, just make sure you wipe down your chain and tires before bringing the bike inside the house

    I have rollers and a fluid trainer, I haven't used the trainer in over 1.5 years, rollers are leaps and bounds better than a trainer.

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    The fan should give you plenty of resistance. You'll also need a box fan in front of you and some towels in your drip zone.

    It took longer for me. Probably a month before I could look around more or less normally. Years later, I still ride them in a doorway. My doctor thought he was good enough after a couple of weeks and put them by a wall. He promptly sprained his wrist.

    Standing will take a while. I still don't do standing workouts, I just get up from time to time to rest my butt.

    I am totally spoiled and would never ride a trainer if I could help it.

    YMMV.

  4. #4
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    do a search on e-motion rollers. They are expensive, but very easy to stand, sprint, watch tv, etc. right from the start. They also have a built-in magnetic resistance unit that can be dialed way up.

    It took me a few tries to get comfortable on them, but I was able to get out of the saddle and simulate climbing the first night. I watch TV with them all the time, but you can still take a spill if you are totally zoning out and get too far to one side. I love them, but have never ridden regular rollers to compare the difference.

  5. #5
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    As for how long it will take to get comfortable, that's an individual thing. If you're a good rider, it shouldn't take long, but you never know. I got them down in about 5 minutes, but I know people who spend months riding them and can barely do it.

    Bottom line: I love rollers.

  6. #6
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    I have TruTrainer rollers--pricey, but worth it. The internal flywheel produces resistance that mimics the effort required to ride on the road. If you want to spin without resistance, you can get an option that disconnects the flywheel. It took me about 5 minutes to feel comfortable on the rollers. I initially put them on a dense foam exercise mat (about 3/4-inch thick, the kind used in gyms) and they were perfectly stable. With the internal flywheel, it's easy to stand, though I still find pedaling while standing takes quite a bit of concentration. I don't watch TV while riding but I listen to talk radio or CDs and I find it's easy to ride while concentrating on the story.

    While you're learning, keep your attention focused on a point straight ahead, ideally at least a dozen feet in front of you. If you look down at the wheel, it's easy to start oversteering.

  7. #7
    Cross-Chainer TheStott's Avatar
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    I save intervals and climbing workouts for my trainer. I use my rollers for some simple spinning workouts. They're great for working on form/control/technique. They'll definitely teach you to make complete circles when you pedal, and it helps you to learn to put more of your power "into" the bike, rather than waste it laterally.

    It took me about 3 times to get used to the rollers. I've never used a doorway, always the railing for my treadmill. Like mentioned above, I also only stand up to rest my butt for a moment, usually only pedaling slowly.
    "When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy-pants" ~Nacho Libre

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I noticed that e-motion / inside ride is about 2 miles away from my house. I'll definitely contact them and check them out... thanks for the tip.

    Thanks for everyone's feedback, it sounds like rollers are in my future.

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