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Roller miles vs. Real road miles

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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

Roller miles vs. Real road miles

Old 01-25-10, 09:48 AM
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Alexinator
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Roller miles vs. Real road miles

I was wondering on some opinions of other folks on the topic of indoor rollers.

I want to train for the Iron Man coming up in April (century ride) but being a resident of WINesota, I am restricted to my rollers. What do YOU think the comparison is? As in, how many miles on the rollers equals how many miles on the road (with stock resistance (no resistance kit))?

I know there is no real sub for on the road riding, but bear with me here.
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Old 01-25-10, 09:58 AM
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All that really matters are hours and heart rate (or power if you have that). Ignore speed and distance. My rollers happen to be pretty close on some days, a little long on some, and short on others. Plus, there are variables such as roller size (and resistance if you had that).
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Old 01-25-10, 10:01 AM
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Ah, good point. I can definitely track hours and heart rate, but not rich enough for power :-P

My rollers are actually quite large, or at least larger then I expected. They do provide a good amount of resistance however, so they must be fairly small?

Dunno. Good point though.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:05 AM
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3.25" seems to be really close to the road for me. Sort of wish I had some 4" too for recovery days.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jdott View Post
All that really matters are hours and heart rate (or power if you have that). Ignore speed and distance. My rollers happen to be pretty close on some days, a little long on some, and short on others. Plus, there are variables such as roller size (and resistance if you had that).
i agree with this, i dont even try and track "miles" when inside, just time.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
i agree with this, i dont even try and track "miles" when inside, just time.
Very true, but you can also relate the time to miles in some cases. For instance, if you know a certain event (ie Ironman) is 100 miles on the bike with minimal climbing, you can relate a particular timed heartrate on the rollers with this distance and train there.

Rollers can be real boring though, which is quite bad when you are training for a Ironman century. You need to spend at least 3 hours going nowhere, with 4 being ideal. Very torturous.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:58 AM
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Riding rollers to stay in shape is better than not riding rollers to stay in shape. The more you ride your rollers, the better shape you'll be in when the snow finally melts and you can get back on the road. Do what you can, just as you would if you lived in, say, California. If you're already in decent physical condition, and reasonably young, you'll have a least a month on the road before your century, and along with riding your rollers, that should be enough to see you through. (And use a fan on the rollers to help keep you cool as you pedal; it'll give you more time in the saddle, which is what you want.)

I think the issue is boredom - can you ride indoors for the next couple of months on rollers as much as you would on a ride outdoors? Probably not.
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Old 01-25-10, 12:17 PM
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I do feel I can not be bored indoors. I have gotten quite good on rollers to where I can watch TV or read while on the bike. (Book stand in front of the bike).

Entertainment is not a problem. I have a Vornado fan too, which pushes a ton of air :-P

I guess I'll just shoot for 4-5 hours a few times a week.
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Old 01-25-10, 12:50 PM
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I'm no expert, but I'd think rollers would be OK at simulating flat time trial conditions (constant efforts at threshold or higher). I can do more constant and higher average watts/heart rate on my rollers vs. riding outside since there are no hills or stoplights.

To compare a roller ride to outside, look at HR (if you don't have a power meter) and compare to flat ride outside to get some perspective on comparable speed/miles. My rollers are pretty close to outside effort on flat ground (when the resistance is turned off). They also came with a chart that showed watts vs. speed and it was pretty close when checked against a power meter.
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Old 01-25-10, 01:10 PM
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My average speed is well over 30 during the intervals when doing 2X20's on rollers. I can tell you it's not anywhere in the vicinity of 30 doing the same thing on the road.

Time is the metric most use for training purposes.
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Old 01-25-10, 01:31 PM
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I am not sure about rollers but I did a 3 1/2 hour trainer ride on my Tacx Fortius indoor trainer yesterday (Wisconsin) and compared my Powertap file to a similiar outdoor ride from last summer. There wasn't a big difference in terms of power output, heartrate, calories burned and even speed and mileage (within 10%). The trainer was about 10% lower on most of these measurments. (The Fortius is a virtual computer trainer that adjusts the tension based on the terrain on the DVD - I did the Tour of Flanders race course.)

I doubt I could have done this though on rollers and been motivated enough to work as hard. I would guess that my Powertap files on rollers would be 30% lower.
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Old 01-25-10, 02:17 PM
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Unless your rollers are mounted on a moving vehicle, the "miles" is exactly 0.
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Old 01-25-10, 02:18 PM
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Apples vs Oranges?
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Old 01-25-10, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexinator View Post
Roller miles vs. Real road miles
duration & intensity, not distance.
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