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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Rollers?

Old 12-21-16, 10:04 PM
  #1  
TimothyH
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Rollers?

What should I look for in a set of rollers?

Just toying with the idea of rollers for now. Confessing ignorance here and so I started with the generic, open ended question above.

One specific concern is tire wear. My understanding is that larger diameter rollers are easier on tires. Is this correct? Do I need different tires for riding rollers as opposed to the road?

I've no specific brand or model in mind but have looked at products like the TACX Galaxia, Sporcrafters Overdrive Pro and Kreitler 4.5 just to gather information. I like the idea of added resistance with the Sportcrafter's resistance roller or an accessory like the Kreitler headwind fan.

Note that I'm not interested in trainers at this time. I like the idea of balance, concentration, engaging the core, etc., and am not interested in zwift. I also ride fixed gear and so would prefer rollers over a trainer at this time.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 12-21-16 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 12-21-16, 11:09 PM
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Smaller roller diameters correlate to higher rolling resistance. Which depending on your tire and riding style could mean more wear.

However with a fixed gear....I'd wonder about how good a workout you can get with larger rollers. Even my Performance Travel Trac rollers (85mm diameter), I need a medium high gear to get a workout (50x19+)...The Performance are frequently on wicked sale too (I landed mine for $100 or so).
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Old 12-21-16, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Smaller roller diameters correlate to higher rolling resistance. Which depending on your tire and riding style could mean more wear.

However with a fixed gear....I'd wonder about how good a workout you can get with larger rollers. Even my Performance Travel Trac rollers (85mm diameter), I need a medium high gear to get a workout (50x19+)...The Performance are frequently on wicked sale too (I landed mine for $100 or so).
50x19 is only 69.2 gear inches. Some of us that ride fixed, myself included, are in the 84/86 gear inch range. It would be a workout with that type of gearing.
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Old 12-22-16, 12:29 AM
  #4  
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High end (tubulars mostly) tread is glued on the casing and the distortion of rollers can make them - come apart.

For plain, classic, not fancy, well built and will last a long long time...Kreitler Rollers

There are rollers that have edges that assist in keeping you on them. So when my kid watches movies while riding - he likes those.

I like the 3.5in Hot Dog if you are serious about roller riding - and on a fixed gear.

Many folks like some resistance thing. Trainers seem better suited to that.
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Old 12-22-16, 04:59 AM
  #5  
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Resistance is important. Otherwise you will be spinning a lot and workouts will not be very fruitful. My 20+ year old Performance rollers still work fine.
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Old 12-22-16, 06:23 AM
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The price isn't very low.. but I've been intrigued by the e-motion rollers. There are add-ons such as wireless resistance control and, bringing more ease like a trainer, a floating fork stand.
Features ? Inside Ride
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Old 12-22-16, 06:50 AM
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This is my second winter with Kreiter 3" alloy rollers. For me, there's enough resistance as is. At this time I'm doing intervals as ride 1 mile spinning 90 in 50/18 (~20 mph), rest 90 seconds 75 rpm down 2 cogs, no hands (sitting straight up) to give my butt a break. Repeat 6 times with warm up and cool down, 10 miles, ~35 minutes, that's enough for me. Garmin 520 tracks the intervals.

Tires (GP4000, 120 psi) polish up nice and smooth but no wear or rubber under the rollers. (Ironically, I've had 2 flats so far...any FOD on the tire will compromise the tube)

I am very happy with the Kreiter 3" rollers and got a good deal at Colorado Cyclist (390ish if I remember correctly)
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Old 12-22-16, 08:28 AM
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I don't really see the need for resistance on rollers, but I also have a trainer. I can do 300+ watts efforts on my rollers (Kinetic Z-Rollers) which is considerably more than I need. I can do Z2 workouts on the small ring. Maybe bigger riders do need the resistance, I don't know.
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Old 12-22-16, 08:35 AM
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I use trainer specific tires on my dedicated rollers wheels. SportCrafters rollers. 12 years of use and still rolling.
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Old 12-22-16, 08:37 AM
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I have a set of 3" rollers I bought from Performance several years ago for ~$100 and they've been champs. With a compact crank (50/34) and an 11-26 cassette I can sustain well over 300W, but I do spin around 100 rpm naturally. Rollers really do help improve balance, handling and focus. I once spent a month in the winter riding nothing but rollers before we got a break and I could get outside with the team. It felt like nothing could take me off my bike and my pedaling, line-holding and power were just so buttery smooth.
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Old 12-22-16, 08:48 AM
  #11  
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A buddy gave me his old rollers a few years ago. I don't find that I need resistance - the small contact patch seems to result in lots of tire deformation and loads of resistance without an added device, but I have not noticed significant wear. Wear is a big issue with trainers, probably because there is often some slippage between the tire and the roller because weight is suspended by the rear axle instead of the tire. Maybe don't use your hand-sewn silk casing racing tires, but trainer specific tires are not necessary for rollers IMO.
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Old 12-22-16, 08:51 AM
  #12  
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Second hand rollers are easy to find. Worth considering picking up a used set to see if you like.
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Old 12-22-16, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
The price isn't very low.. but I've been intrigued by the e-motion rollers. There are add-ons such as wireless resistance control and, bringing more ease like a trainer, a floating fork stand.
Features ? Inside Ride
Check this out.... E-Motion Rollers - InsideRide

The floating fork stand is a good idea. I'd wondered why trainers don't incorporate something like this. I don't want to get into a rollers vs trainer debate but the rigid mount of a trainer with it's inherent lack of any motion requiring engagement of the core is one reason why I'm looking toward rollers first.
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Old 12-22-16, 09:31 AM
  #14  
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Comments regarding not needing resistance are interesting. Thanks.

Just thinking out loud, the SportCrafter and Kreitler products have options to add resistance later if needed. The trade off is price but these should last and have a lifetime warranty. SportCrafter warranty is transferable and so these can be purchased used.

Depending on mood I'm running 79 to 85 gear inches on the fixed gear bike. Swapping a cog isn't a big deal.

So what should I stay away from? Are specific designs or products dangerous? What should be avoided?


-Tim-
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Old 12-22-16, 10:18 AM
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Tim get on those rollers and pray you stay upright. Personally a good indoor fluid trainer is better in my opinion. Sure rollers give you cycling balance and pedaling experience but I view inside riding as just a cardio workout to stay in shape.

Also did not reply to gore Tex thread but I have a frank shorter gore Tex running jacket I have had for 20 years. Works but you sweat so not completely dry. Bought a bike gore wear riding jacket with supple outer shell fantastic . With a poplypropelene under this I am good to 24 degrees if no wind. If it is windy under 30 degrees I bag it and ride or run inside.
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Old 12-22-16, 11:10 AM
  #16  
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There are two ways to use rollers:
1) Recovery and working on cadence and smoothness
2) #1 + all other training

Thus getting a set with resistance is a no-brainer unless #1 is all you would use them for and you'd do all your actual training on the road.

In the case of #1, small diameter rollers are no help at all since you don't want to increase resistance past what your gearing would do.

In the case of #2, again small diameter rollers are not helpful because you need a lot more resistance than they can provide. You want at least 500 watts. My recommendation is a folding set with aluminum drums and a magnetic resistance system. Wind resistance is noisy and a kludge IMO. I have fluid resistance on my roller set. That's fine except that the resistance varies a bit with fluid temperature and my set eventually leaked its fluid and I had to replace it.

The Overdrive Pro set looks very good. If you can find a used pair with aluminum drums, you can add magnetic resistance to it for about $20, so that's a great way to go. The nice thing about the Overdrive is that they come with a graph of speed vs. watts so you can train with power if you want. I wish I had that, but don't want to spend the money on a PM. If I already had a PM, the used rollers with added resistance would make a lot of sense. There's no need for adjustable resistance. You just shift like you would on a flat road.

With resistance rollers and regular size drums, tire wear is a complete non-issue, actually much less on the rollers than on the road, probably because of the smooth surface. Run your regular road bike with your regular wheels and tires at your usual road pressure.

I've been using my set of resistance rollers for 20 years. They're still perfect, so it's a long amortization.

To start with rollers, ride them in a doorway, a narrow one if you have one, with your shoulders or the hinge on the set in the doorway. Just put out an elbow if you get too close to either side. Start by leaning slightly on one elbow, then gradually move away from contact and ride 'em. On rollers, speed is your friend. Crank it up, no fear. In a doorway, the worst that can happen is you get a pedal cut on your lower leg.

On rollers, you steer just like a road bike at speed. You do not turn the front wheel! No, no. You just push down on the bar that's in the direction you want to move. Easy, peasy.
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Old 12-22-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You want at least 500 watts.
You might. We're not all pros.
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Old 12-22-16, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
There are two ways to use rollers:
1) Recovery and working on cadence and smoothness
2) #1 + all other training

Thus getting a set with resistance is a no-brainer unless #1 is all you would use them for and you'd do all your actual training on the road.

In the case of #1, small diameter rollers are no help at all since you don't want to increase resistance past what your gearing would do.

In the case of #2, again small diameter rollers are not helpful because you need a lot more resistance than they can provide. You want at least 500 watts. My recommendation is a folding set with aluminum drums and a magnetic resistance system. Wind resistance is noisy and a kludge IMO. I have fluid resistance on my roller set. That's fine except that the resistance varies a bit with fluid temperature and my set eventually leaked its fluid and I had to replace it.

The Overdrive Pro set looks very good. If you can find a used pair with aluminum drums, you can add magnetic resistance to it for about $20, so that's a great way to go. The nice thing about the Overdrive is that they come with a graph of speed vs. watts so you can train with power if you want. I wish I had that, but don't want to spend the money on a PM. If I already had a PM, the used rollers with added resistance would make a lot of sense. There's no need for adjustable resistance. You just shift like you would on a flat road.

With resistance rollers and regular size drums, tire wear is a complete non-issue, actually much less on the rollers than on the road, probably because of the smooth surface. Run your regular road bike with your regular wheels and tires at your usual road pressure.

I've been using my set of resistance rollers for 20 years. They're still perfect, so it's a long amortization.

To start with rollers, ride them in a doorway, a narrow one if you have one, with your shoulders or the hinge on the set in the doorway. Just put out an elbow if you get too close to either side. Start by leaning slightly on one elbow, then gradually move away from contact and ride 'em. On rollers, speed is your friend. Crank it up, no fear. In a doorway, the worst that can happen is you get a pedal cut on your lower leg.

On rollers, you steer just like a road bike at speed. You do not turn the front wheel! No, no. You just push down on the bar that's in the direction you want to move. Easy, peasy.

I'm trying to imagine the amount of resistance needed to generate 500w, & being able to stay upright-

I can put that out for a few seconds at a time. Easy peasy- not.
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Old 12-22-16, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
I'm trying to imagine the amount of resistance needed to generate 500w, & being able to stay upright-

I can put that out for a few seconds at a time. Easy peasy- not.
The resistance of a roller set varies with gearing. Magnetic and fluid resistance units vary the resistance with speed of rotation. On my set, I have the usual road effort at the usual road speeds on the flat. Thus in my biggest gear at about 35 mph I've maxed out the unit. I don't think I can hold that for a full minute. Staying upright is not an issue for most riders. I've taken the resistance unit off and hit over 40 on them, but I only have 52 X 12, so can't go really fast.

Easy peasy refers to staying on the rollers at normal speeds and resistance in a doorway, which in fact it is. I don't recommend standing sprints until one has a lot of experience on them.
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Old 12-22-16, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
You might. We're not all pros.
The reason for wanting the high potential wattage is so that the resistance will be in a useful range at lower speeds. Low cadence drills (SFR) is an obvious application. Those cannot be done on ordinary rollers, nor can one do the more common intervals like ordinary climbing intervals, Z5 at climbing cadence. I'm 71 and am not nor have I ever been a pro.
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Old 12-22-16, 01:07 PM
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I have the Tacx Galaxia rollers and absolutely love them. I've done dozens of 2 hour sessions on them and it's been so beneficial. I have also done YouTube interval training videos.

Any and all rollers can take some time to get used to the balance when you first start out. Some take longer to get used to it than others. Luckily it didn't take long for me and I was able to transition well. I can easily write emails or surf the Web/social media and spinning with no hands for a long period of time. The galaxia rollers have the rocking bottoms on it which really do help take away the inertia. I can sprint out of the saddle at almost 70-80% power.

I've had a trainer before also and HATE it. SOOO boring!!! Rollers give such a nicer, road - like feel instead of being locked into a stationary position.
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Old 12-22-16, 01:07 PM
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I highly recommend the Sportcrafters Overdrive Pro Rollers.

Purely mechanical, and by far the best bang for buck in rollers out there.

CNC machined aluminum drums.

They come standard with "Cadence" drums.

The "Overdrive Pro" version comes with a "resistance" drum.

You can also buy an "Inertia" drum which allows for coasting.


I purchased the Overdrive Pro version and the Inertia drum and that gives you a lot of options.

For pure cadence low Z2/Z3 work I simply swap out the "Resistance" drum for a "Cadence" drum and spin at the desired steady effort.

For a more intense workout you can swap in the "Resistance" drum, with the red end facing to the left, and it offers a moderate resistance where you can work yourself easily up to sustained threshold efforts and possibly beyond depending upon your strength.

For actual anaerobic interval training you flip the "resistance" drum so that the red end is on the right.

The faster you go, the resistance increases exponentially, they're rated to handle upwards of 1000 watts.

(Magnets within the drum extend outwards at higher RPM's inducing drag you need to overcome)

You can absolutely accomplish interval training on these rollers. It takes less than 5 minutes to swap out a drum, and their customer service is superb. I had an issue with one of my drums endcaps, I sent them a photo, and they shipped FedEx a new drum the same business day.

Made in USA.

I bought mine on sale with an "Inertia" drum for a total of $425.

They also fold up neatly out of the way.




Last edited by UnfilteredDregs; 12-22-16 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 12-22-16, 02:23 PM
  #23  
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I'd go cheap (Performance et al) and if you want more resistance after lowering tire pressure (try ~75psi), you can always go home-grown:

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...l-rollers.html

tl;dr make a rack of rare earth magnets and mount close to the drum. creates eddy currents that create resistance...
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Old 12-22-16, 02:39 PM
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I would disagree with going cheap. Which is a gamble to be honest. You might spend a lot of money on a good set only to find out that you don't like it. BUT, a GOOD set can make the difference between enjoying the rollers and hating them.

I bought a really cheap (quality and financial) set and it made my first perception of rollers not good. They weren't smooth at all and one of the drums had a slight flat spot which created a vibration. I just assumed this was how it was supposed to be. I sold that set after 3 months and only a couple sessions. I didn't ride on rollers again for 3 years. A friend of mine had a nice set that they weren't using and let me use them. The bearings were super smooth and the cylinders were true. Made a HUGE difference. I used those for 3 months and almost 3-5 times a week. I ended up buying a set of Tacx Galaxia rollers which are very smooth and quiet. They also have the rockers on the bottom which help take away the inertia while riding on them.

That being said, invest in at least a mid grade set of rollers instead of trying to get the cheapest set of rollers you can. Better to get a good set that will set you up for enjoying them and be able to sell them and make back some of the money rather than get a cheap set that nobody will want to buy of you end up wanting to sell them.
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Old 12-22-16, 03:06 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
Tim get on those rollers and pray you stay upright.
I understand Deacon. Thank you. I've no desire to become disabled or injured and my father's words, "You have a family to worry about" are ringing in my ears.

It is a concern and this is what is really holding me back right now.

Pray for me.


-Tim-
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