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Kettler Rollers - Technique and Setup

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Kettler Rollers - Technique and Setup

Old 11-27-14, 10:25 AM
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embankmentlb
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Kettler Rollers - Technique and Setup

Rollers - Technique and Setup
I am going to look for my old Kettler Rollers while at my Momís for Thanksgiving. I hope I can find them & the belt is still good.
Who here rides rollers? Do you have any advice for riding them & set up?
I remember them being very squarely to ride five or so years ago.
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Old 11-27-14, 10:50 AM
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Rollers? Tried a set one time...about killed myself...never again! Good luck with that!!!!! :-)
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Old 11-27-14, 11:22 AM
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Do you mean Kreitler? As far as set-up the length should be adjusted to match the wheelbase of the bike. You need to use a plumb bob from the front axle or something similar. Go to the Kreitler website for the specs.

That will make it stable, or at least possible to be stable if you are doing your part right.

The main thing about riding rollers is to not pay attention to all the "scary" stories about riding rollers, because I do not think any of them are true. You just put a milk crate next to them, step on and start pedaling. Stay loose, and light on the bars. Look forward not down. Spin and let the boredom set in..............
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Old 11-27-14, 11:48 AM
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I read up on rollers a couple of years ago when I was thinking about them vs a stationary trainer. One interesting idea was to set them up in a doorway at first so you could grab the door jams if needed while you were learning. I ultimately went with a Cyclops mag trainer but I did use that doorway technique one winter when I taught myself to track stand a FW bike.

I went with the stationary since I knew I'd get really bored and loose concentration and would crash off the rollers. I can also do one legged exercises which I didn't think could be done on rollers. I hot-rodded the mag trainer a bit to ensure it would provide more drag than I could overcome. Its worked out real well. Tough, quiet and adjustable.
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Old 11-27-14, 12:23 PM
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Adjust the front Kreitler roller so that the axle is just ahead of your front wheel axle by no more than ľ" to Ĺ" and you should be fine.
Don't watch your front wheel, fix your eyes on an object around 5'-6' away and watch that
Don't hold the bars too tight, relax and keep them loose in your grip
Pedal from your hip joint as smoothly as possible, takes a bit of getting used to but will soon become second nature
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Old 11-27-14, 01:45 PM
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I found that riding on rollers is learnable, but infinitely boring. I prefer being outside with a bike, even if the weather is bad. But we have only a few weeks a year at the most that riding is physically impossible.
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Old 11-27-14, 01:47 PM
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Interesting thread. Ive been considering getting a set of rollers as the winter months set in for some 'quick' exercise and to keep my lungs and legs since the prep and cleaning associated with winter (MTB) rides takes an amount of devoted time that I don't always have. I recently built a fendered single speed road bike that should see a good amount of use this and future winters when schedule allows. Again, added time suiting up and then wiping the bike down post-ride.

I'd imagine rollers are good for a quick spin at night when bundling up, burning the lungs, then cleaning the bike and self can be difficult to initiate. They should help for practicing balance, smoothness and pedal technique as well I'd assume (better than with a trainer).

Hopefully to add to rather than derail this thread (only my best intentions, embankmentlb) I, and I'm sure others, would be interested in hearing/reading how those who use rollers to supplement regular riding (perhaps more often in the winter months) use them. Get on and spin? Intervals? Sufferfest or similar? (never used this series but assume it may apply) Catch up on your favorite soap operas?
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Old 11-27-14, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir_Name View Post
Interesting thread. Ive been considering getting a set of rollers as the winter months set in for some 'quick' exercise and to keep my lungs and legs since the prep and cleaning associated with winter (MTB) rides takes an amount of devoted time that I don't always have. I recently built a fendered single speed road bike that should see a good amount of use this and future winters when schedule allows. Again, added time suiting up and then wiping the bike down post-ride.

I'd imagine rollers are good for a quick spin at night when bundling up, burning the lungs, then cleaning the bike and self can be difficult to initiate. They should help for practicing balance, smoothness and pedal technique as well I'd assume (better than with a trainer).

Hopefully to add to rather than derail this thread (only my best intentions, embankmentlb) I, and I'm sure others, would be interested in hearing/reading how those who use rollers to supplement regular riding (perhaps more often in the winter months) use them. Get on and spin? Intervals? Sufferfest or similar? (never used this series but assume it may apply) Catch up on your favorite soap operas?
Honestly I do not ride them as consistently as I did when I still cared, but I really like to be able to jump on them for an hour on those days when you just run out of day before you could sneak in a ride.

I keep them in my basement shop, which also has a good hi-fi with a record changer. I stack up 4 Lp's which will run about an hour. I usually ride a fixed gear with about a 48x16 gear. Spin for 1 side of an Lp. Then pick a couple of short songs on the next platter to do a couple of intervals, spinning easy in between. The next side I will ride tempo and do a song each one legged. Then maybe one more interval on the first song on the last side and spin out the rest of the side to cool down. Helps if you pick the right records and make it loud!
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Old 11-27-14, 05:37 PM
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I'm with Otis. Music is essential, or at least some sensory stimulation is essential, and music is what I have. Also I'd recommend a fan pointed at the rider. I've gotten pretty comfortable on them and can ride no handed pretty easily. The key is to keep pedaling. Slow down too much and you're toast.

I agree I'd much rather ride outside, but when outside is black and icy, the rollers don't seem too bad.
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Old 11-27-14, 06:13 PM
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Thanks everyone for the encouraging words!
I found my Kreitler rollers just were I left them. I bought these new 30 plus years ago. Hopefully I can crank them up soon.
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Old 11-27-14, 08:12 PM
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a few more words of advice i did not already see offered:
- have someone stand behind you an hold the seat post for you for a few minute to get you started
- at first, keep your hands in the middle of the bars, next to the stem. It helps you from over-correcting yourself right off the rollers
- when you need to stand up while pedaling (and after 15 minutes you'll need to briefly stand while pedaling), shift your weight backwards a bit to keep the belt from slipping that drives the front wheel
- when you stand up and pedal, don't rock yourself too far forward/backward or you'll ride off them.
- I found it helpful to watch the front wheel, or have a mirror to watch things a bit. Someone else posted not to. Find out what works.
- be smooth. everything's gotta be smooth. rollers will make everything smooth.

I really enjoy rollers at the beginning of winter. And I really hate them at the beginning of spring. They make you a smoother rider all round - straighter line on the road, smoother in a paceline, smoother pedal stroke. People you ride with on the road will appreciate, some will even notice.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-27-14, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
I found that riding on rollers is learnable, but infinitely boring. I prefer being outside with a bike, even if the weather is bad. But we have only a few weeks a year at the most that riding is physically impossible.
I haven't given rollers a good try. I had an indoor trainer and just about died from boredom. I didn't know at first that I was bored. I pedaled so hard I nearly fainted.
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Old 11-27-14, 08:24 PM
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The good & the bad...... Riding the rollers is easier than I remember-Good! About two minutes into the ride the belt snapped-Bad.....


I rigged a belt with some rope however it only works for about 10 minutes before becoming loose...
Kind of disappointing...
New belt ordered .
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Old 11-27-14, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb View Post
The good & the bad...... Riding the rollers is easier than I remember-Good! About two minutes into the ride the belt snapped-Bad.....


I rigged a belt with some rope however it only works for about 10 minutes before becoming loose...
Kind of disappointing...
New belt ordered .
The belt may be able to be joined with heat. Make a clean diagonal cut with a razor blade, hold both ends to a flame and once bubbling just a bit hold together and let cool. I used to buy long lengths of vacuum cleaner belt and make them to size like that.
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Old 11-27-14, 10:21 PM
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Nary a clue.

Making/finding a new belt shouldn't be all that hard. If they're still in business, easy, of course. McMaster Carr might have what you need. McMaster-Carr.

Yeah, boring. Very. But, wonderful for smoothing one out. They don't take kindly to mashers!

During the Winter I've done a training program at a local Physical therapy joint. One night/week. Thus far I'm the only person to have ever shown up with rollers. The rest were a wee bit nervous, and got down right excited when the rear tire on my bike blew last Winter. I departed the rollers, but didn't crash/fall over, or anything remotely exciting. Suffering with others makes it all more palatable. The leader is a sadist.

Anyone have a set of shake and bake Cinelli rollers? They were awful from a noise and vibration standpoint. Oh, and my Father did make a new belt for them. Don't have a clue whatever happened to them, they are certainly not in my junk box.
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Old 11-28-14, 12:25 PM
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I think I will pick up some parachord to try until the real orange belt comes in.
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Old 11-28-14, 03:02 PM
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Rollers are generally considered to help your riding style as you have to pedal smoothly on rollers, pedal circles as they say. I found that when getting used to them it helps to place them in a doorway, you can keep one hand on the handlebars and one hand on the door jam to steady yourself till you get some "speed" up. It also helps to look ahead rather than down at the bike. The guys at the bike shop who use them lots claim you actually get a better workout on rollers, even though there's no added resistance, because you have to use your core muscles to balance the bike.
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