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I Fall Off While Standing on Rollers

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

I Fall Off While Standing on Rollers

Old 12-26-12, 01:40 PM
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tanguy frame
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I Fall Off While Standing on Rollers

I ride rollers and I fall off when I try to stand during power bursts.
The rollers are free motion and I've tightened up the elastic tension so they don't move back and forth much- I tend to fal off sideways. I'm playing with fore and aft weight distribution, where to focus my vision, etc. I find it really tough, Any advice?
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Old 12-26-12, 01:57 PM
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My standard advice to roller noobs (if you are falling off on a regular basis for any reason, you are a noob), is to make sure the front roller is as directly below the front wheel axle as possible without being behind it. This solves 99% of all roller problems and very nearly eliminates the need for the "free motion" rollers in the first place. It is a little counter-intuitive; one thinks you need to "cradle" the bike between the front and rear wheels, but this is unnecessary because there are two rollers already cradling the rear wheel and constraining your fore-aft movement. The front wheel roller plays the roll of the ground and enables you to steer the bike to keep it on the rollers. The ground is usually directly under the front axle, so this is where the roller should go.

FWIW, I ride standard (stationary) rollers almost exclusively indoors in the winter and can ride no handed, take off shirts and stand and even sprint a little standing. When I first started, I had some trouble with staying on the rollers; took a lot of concentration, riding no-handed was basically impossible and even one handed or standing was difficult. I moved the front roller back one "notch" to put it more squarely under my front axle and it was immediately 100% better.
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Old 12-26-12, 02:05 PM
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I just got a set of E-Motion rollers for Christmas, so I don't yet have a lot of experience with them, but I have been able to do standing sprints without too much trouble. If I go all out, things do get a bit out of shape, but so far, I've only gone off the rollers once, and that was at 800+ W. I did spend a bit of time practicing standing up out of the saddle.

Now I'm just guessing here, but it seems to me that since standing is so much more dicey on non-free motion rollers, I'd think that tightening the elastic bands that control fore-aft motion would be going the wrong way. That said, I'd leave the tension alone and just practice more.

As noted above, front roller placement is very important as well.
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Old 12-26-12, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
My standard advice to roller noobs (if you are falling off on a regular basis for any reason, you are a noob), is to make sure the front roller is as directly below the front wheel axle as possible without being behind it. This solves 99% of all roller problems and very nearly eliminates the need for the "free motion" rollers in the first place. It is a little counter-intuitive; one thinks you need to "cradle" the bike between the front and rear wheels, but this is unnecessary because there are two rollers already cradling the rear wheel and constraining your fore-aft movement. The front wheel roller plays the roll of the ground and enables you to steer the bike to keep it on the rollers. The ground is usually directly under the front axle, so this is where the roller should go.

FWIW, I ride standard (stationary) rollers almost exclusively indoors in the winter and can ride no handed, take off shirts and stand and even sprint a little standing. When I first started, I had some trouble with staying on the rollers; took a lot of concentration, riding no-handed was basically impossible and even one handed or standing was difficult. I moved the front roller back one "notch" to put it more squarely under my front axle and it was immediately 100% better.

Hey, thanks for this tip. I knew something was not right with my rollers and after I read your comment, I realized that my front wheel was behind the roller and not on it.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:00 PM
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Setting up in a doorframe helps a lot, and don't reach out with your hand to stabilize - use your shoulder/elbow to 'bounce' off the wall if you need to correct your path. Reaching out with one hand makes things a lot harder for beginners - it's essentially riding rollers one handed and worse since you tend to put weight onto that reaching hand which screws up your balance. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to ride your rollers blind, just with very gentle taps on the walls if you veer left or right.

My favorite and honestly, only useful move that I've acquired on the rollers - looking back over your shoulder to check for cars while holding the line. If you've never done this, you're in for a rude awakening on rollers when you discover that you veer a lot off the line when you do it. Once you get good at it on rollers (doesn't take long at all), you'll be able to ride on the rollers looking straight backwards for minutes (I do 1-2 minute holds looking back) if you're in the doorframe, without even looking forward. (Again, bump off the doorrame to correct mild lateral movements.) Makes doing this on the road orders of magnitude safer, evne in fast and tight groups.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:18 PM
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When you master no hands over the rollers you can consider yourself good over them.

As for sprint standing up?? 1st time i heard about that in regular rollers, in the ones that swings and stuff you can do it because the darn roller will follow you and move with the bike but in regular ones i really dont advice you to do it, you will bounce out of it as you did already

The reason for the rollers is for cadence, sprint seated (high cadence) and to improve pedaling technique because at least the regular rollers wont allow you to do crazy stuff like standing for example (you learn that one already), keep your line and just go straight accelerating and round pedaling.


Good luck man.. those things work if used the right way.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
Hey, thanks for this tip. I knew something was not right with my rollers and after I read your comment, I realized that my front wheel was behind the roller and not on it.
bingo! the root of most roller problems is having the front wheel behind the front roller. I mainly ride rollers just because the trainer is boring and i like to be euro cool

Sprinting on stationary rollers is perfectly doable, and its the best way for me to get used to junior gear sprints (without resistance i can spin up to like 200rpms standing in the 53/11 on my rollers, so its great for working on the high speed parts of most races).
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Old 12-26-12, 04:25 PM
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Roadie sprinting (waving the frame around) is iffy on fixed rollers. I've been doing some standing "trackie" sprints (bike very upright) at high cadence. That kind of sprinting works perfectly fine and really forces you to be smooth even while standing.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:32 PM
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yeah thats what i do. I ment the roller sprinting helps develop super high leg speed. I find that power is rarely that high in high cadence sprints (i.e. 150+ rpms on the road). You start to peak out at 1000 watts even doing well in a p/1/2 field sprint. Now coming out of corners in a completely different beast
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Old 12-26-12, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
bingo! the root of most roller problems is having the front wheel behind the front roller. I mainly ride rollers just because the trainer is boring and i like to be euro cool

Sprinting on stationary rollers is perfectly doable, and its the best way for me to get used to junior gear sprints (without resistance i can spin up to like 200rpms standing in the 53/11 on my rollers, so its great for working on the high speed parts of most races).
I would LOVE to see you do 200rpm while standing. That would be a sight! I didn't even know that was possible. In fact, I can barely even kick my lower leg that fast.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:42 PM
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I mean i have to do like 130-165 rpms all the time at the end of a race, so when there is even less resistance than on the road, it isnt that hard to do. Try it, i bet you can do it.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
I mean i have to do like 130-165 rpms all the time at the end of a race, so when there is even less resistance than on the road, it isnt that hard to do. Try it, i bet you can do it.
I can do it seated, but definitely not standing. Maybe 130ish, but definitely not 200 - I can't even do 200 seated, although I've never tried it with essentially zero resistance. I have a cadence computer and training DVDs that even do forced hi-cadence sprints at very low resistance and I never can even get my cadence over 150. That's really fast over 150. 200 standing is crazy fast.

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Old 12-26-12, 04:48 PM
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its all about technique, smoothness, and trying it once or twice. When you're forced to spin you learn to spin. Thats the only good thing that has come from junior gearing. I can spin pretty well.
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Old 12-26-12, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
I would LOVE to see you do 200rpm while standing. That would be a sight! I didn't even know that was possible. In fact, I can barely even kick my lower leg that fast.
That's what makes a sprinter... you sir, are no sprinter .
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Old 12-26-12, 05:19 PM
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200 RPM standing up on rollers.... Ewww!! I get a feeling that would produce results similar to attempting sex standing up in a hammock. At least for me. Like I said, on the E-motion rollers, by the time I'm hitting > 800 W, I'm at 120 - 130 RPM and things are just barely under control. Sounds like I need a whole lot more practice. Spinning, that is... don't own a hammock.
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Old 12-26-12, 05:25 PM
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That, I agree with.

Although in the several crits I did do about 4-5 years ago, my sprint was actually pretty effective, although that's not saying much in a California Cat5 field. I also surprisingly got props from two Cat1s in the LaGrange CA bike club at some of the weekly training rides on the short sprint sections on how my sprint was actually pretty good at the time but big grain of salt on those props as well, as I rarely train my sprint.
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Old 12-26-12, 05:57 PM
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I am a fan of old fashioned rollers. I can ride them reasonably well, but no effin' way I would sprint and/or stand up on them. Too risky.

The floating rollers that have become popular may allow this more easily, as indicated above.
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Old 12-27-12, 11:53 AM
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Nice to see that Tangury frame found some solution for his falling issue.

Personally Ive been using static rollers for about 4 months and I agree that they help you improve pedalling form. I also used them to learn how to look back over the shoulder and under the arms without changing my line too much. I believe the latter could become handy if during a race you would like to get rid of some wheel sitter. In my case the rollers gave me the confidence to go back to the support vehicle (when availabe) and do some refills or leave some stuff without stopping.

Im gonna stick to the rollers as I want to learn the no-handed thingy and also learn how to remove jackets or vests on the fly. Heck, I may even learn how to do Peter Sagans sort of celebration moves

Now that we are into the rollers subject, please share with the rest of us mortals what kind of fans are you using while on rollers or trainers. I belong to that 96.78% of people that sweat like a pig while training indoors, but currently Im using some sort of cooling tower that makes me freeze.

Ronaldo
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Old 12-27-12, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rho View Post
Nice to see that Tangury frame found some solution for his falling issue.

Personally Ive been using static rollers for about 4 months and I agree that they help you improve pedalling form. I also used them to learn how to look back over the shoulder and under the arms without changing my line too much. I believe the latter could become handy if during a race you would like to get rid of some wheel sitter. In my case the rollers gave me the confidence to go back to the support vehicle (when availabe) and do some refills or leave some stuff without stopping.

Im gonna stick to the rollers as I want to learn the no-handed thingy and also learn how to remove jackets or vests on the fly. Heck, I may even learn how to do Peter Sagans sort of celebration moves

Now that we are into the rollers subject, please share with the rest of us mortals what kind of fans are you using while on rollers or trainers. I belong to that 96.78% of people that sweat like a pig while training indoors, but currently Im using some sort of cooling tower that makes me freeze.

Ronaldo
I use a large box fan placed about 8 feet in front of me. Works well. Still have to drape a towel over the stem/top tube to catch extra sweat.

p.s. It says you live in Mexico....why do you need rollers?? Go ride on the road!!
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Old 12-27-12, 12:31 PM
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I do ride out there during the weekends. However it is really hard to do the training outdoors during the week. Commuting is just a bad idea because of factors such as crazy, stressed drivers and a lack of infrastructure for people willing to go out on a bicycle to get to their jobs/school. Once I took my bike to the gym on a sunday (people take it easier while driving during off days) and I got so tense I choosed not to ride in urban areas again, even it was just a 4 km ride.

Looking forward for the sunday hilly ride.

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Old 12-27-12, 12:47 PM
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Thank you for all the replies.
Just so you know- I've been riding these rollers for longer than my marriage, which my wife tells me is more than 25 years now. The front axel is dead nuts over the front roller. The tangent to the wheel at the contact point is horizontal.

Last year I got turned on the the Sufferfest videos and I can basicaly follow the workouts with reasonable fidelity to their suggested effort and cadence, except when they prompt me to stand on some climbs. That's when things go squirrely. I added the 'free motion' system to address that point. It's working to some extent as I get more practice with standing.

The question is: to shorten the learning curve, where should my weight distribution be, and what should I focus my eyes on, to get maximally stable until it becomes second nature.

As to fans - I am using the Krietler Killer Head Wind unit (configured for free motion rollers) and it works great. When I stop I overheat.
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Old 12-27-12, 12:52 PM
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When Sufferfest says "stand" I just up the cadence by 10rpm, then drop it back down when it says "sit".
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Old 12-27-12, 01:16 PM
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I do that too!
But in a climb on the road, if I stand, I'll go to a higher gear and actually lower or keep the same the cadence.
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Old 12-27-12, 02:49 PM
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Large cheap box fan from Walmart or Target.

Your fan is probably good enough if you're freezing with it. Just move it back until you're no longer freezing.
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Old 12-27-12, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
I would LOVE to see you do 200rpm while standing. That would be a sight! I didn't even know that was possible. In fact, I can barely even kick my lower leg that fast.
There..


Last edited by Gluteus; 12-27-12 at 03:07 PM.
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