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Bike Rollers too hard to turn

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Bike Rollers too hard to turn

Old 01-30-14, 02:30 PM
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Bike Rollers too hard to turn

Hello everyone, I'm new to this site and need some advice. Maybe there's something I'm not thinking of but I just bought some rollers(Nashbar reduced radius) for the first time. I just tried them out but can't even ride because it's too hard to turn the wheel. I can push hard enough to get a half to one full turn and then it stops. I understand with the reduced radius it's more resistance but it shouldn't be this hard. I have the front gear on 2 (it's stuck on 2) and the rear gear on 3 (I can shift up but I can not shift to 2 or 1). I was originally on 4 with the rear shift, which I could not get the rollers to turn at all so I shifted to 3 which did make it easier where I can make the half-one turn. I would shift to 1 but it's stuck. But I dont see how I shouldnt be able to ride at my current gear settings. The rollers can of course turn freely without a load and I'm just spinning it with my hand. Any help?
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Old 01-30-14, 02:39 PM
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What tire size and pressure are you using? With the smaller diameter rollers the rolling resistance is increased, so a lower tire pressure would greatly increase the effort required. My other suggestion would be to fix the gears on your bike so you can choose an easier one.
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Old 01-30-14, 02:52 PM
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My tires are 700c continentals and are 85psi. I already have to take my bike in because the rear tire goes flat after about half an hour to an hour of inflating and I can not determine the cause. The tires were fully inflated before I put them on the rollers though. Besides tire pressure is there anything that would cause this? Thanks
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Old 01-30-14, 02:56 PM
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Something's racked in your rollers. The bearings in one or more roller is shot, The belt is hanging up on something, the rollers aren't square to each other,etc.

Do the roller turn freely with no bike on them?
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Old 01-30-14, 03:02 PM
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To Merlin: Yes I can freely turn the rollers without the bike on them. It spins pretty smooth and the belt runs fine. Im not sure what you mean by 'hanging up on something' or "the rollers arent square to each other". My wheelbase is 43 so I did have to unscrew the bolts and move the front roller to the highest setting if that helps.
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Old 01-30-14, 03:54 PM
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Are you using them on carpet?
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Old 01-30-14, 03:55 PM
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It sounds like the rollers work better than the bike.

Rollers pressing into carpet causing drag?

Front roller not under wheel, causing extra drag?

If the tires are fat, which the long wheel base hints at, then at 85 PSI they may press into the rollers, and combined with a high gear, be like riding in deep sand.

Maybe bring the rollers to the LBS when you get the tire fixed, & see what they say.
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Old 01-30-14, 04:17 PM
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No my floors are flat tile. Woodcraft that makes some sense what you said. When I was trying to turn my wheels I was looking down and could see the front tire was being pressed in when I pushed with my legs
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Old 01-30-14, 04:21 PM
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As mentioned above, is your weight causing the rollers to rub on a carpet ?
Isolate the problem: Put your hands on the front roller & lean heavily on it & see if it turns. Repeat with the rear.
If on the bike, It might help to have someone else look at it while you sit on it.

As to your leaky tube, you have a pin hole somewhere. Put the tube in water to find it & then patch.
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Old 01-30-14, 04:22 PM
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Woodcraft: Also my tires arent big there pretty thin. The tire size is 700cx28c/38c exactly
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Old 01-30-14, 04:36 PM
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OK I am stumped.

Have you tried putting your bike ON the rollers but you sit alongside, hold the bike, and crank by hand? That might help isolate the problem....
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Old 01-30-14, 06:21 PM
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Okay Datlas I tried what you said and yes I can get the bike to spin with full rotations. But I do not have any carpet/the rollers have plenty of space to spin freely. If it's my weight I'm 180lbs, can the rollers not support up to that weight? And thanks for the tip Homebrew I'll try that out.
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Old 01-30-14, 07:22 PM
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Like a bike frame, smaller diameter means more flexible. Perhaps there's a defect in the rollers so that under load, the rollers are bending causing the bearings to bind. Just a wild idea without knowing how yours are constructed. Or something simple like a spacer is supposed to go between the roller & frame so that under load, the roller is far enough away from the frame so the allowed bending is not a problem.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:01 PM
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Tough to say but if the resistance is only with your weight on the bike it's most likely low tire pressure or some type of bearing problem under load.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:29 PM
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Your tire pressure is definitely too low. I run at 110psi for roller riding (and most road conditions too). Do have a look at your tire pressure recommendations first before following this advice.

If the tires are pumped to their max level, then the problem is with the rollers. The fact that you can spin them easily by hand suggests some form of binding issue. If you have a video camera (smartphone will do), set it up directly behind the rollers at floor/roller level and start recording. Get on and try to ride then get off and have a look at the video. Can you see any sagging? Is anything making contact with the rollers? Repeat again from the front.

Rollers are normally known for not providing enough resistance. Too much to turn the wheels indicates a big problem.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:32 PM
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One more thing: you indicated that you moved the front roller to accommodate your wheelbase. Can you check to see that you didn't over tighten the bolts? And, stupid as it sounds, can you be sure that the roller is mounted to the same holes on both sides of the frame?

Not trying to insult your intelligence or competence - just covering bases.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:33 PM
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are your tires soft? not with inflation but the rubber? I have the same rollers; one set of tires (mavic aksion) spun, not as hard as you described but some of it actually melted to the rear drum and i had to scrape it off the melting did stop.

When I switched to gatorskins the rubber is harder and spun noticeably easier.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:43 PM
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OP...can you take a picture of your setup and post it here? That might help...
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Old 01-31-14, 02:09 AM
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I have the same rollers and have had 0 problems. I would check items mentioned above. Only other thought is use a plumb line to make sure the axle of your front wheel is directly above the axle of your front roller.
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Old 01-31-14, 05:49 AM
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Just pedal harder.
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Old 01-31-14, 07:27 AM
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It's alive! Even though my tires are rated for 85psi. going with the low pressure theory, I inflated my tires higher this time and that was the culprit. I can ride fine now. But I could use some new tires so I think I will go with the Gatorskins. Thanks for your suggestions everyone. If only you guys could fix my balance now
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Old 10-09-21, 11:52 PM
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Is your front axle positioned directly above the front roller

I have been reading how little resistance rollers give but was getting sore hands and sweating profusely after a few minutes.

I just disassembled the front roller and repositioned it under the front axle and it was significantly easier to ride and my hands felt no pressure.

If the rollers were rolling fine without a bike on them then this might be the issue.

If someone wanted resistance then they could try this set up and use some gloves for hand soreness
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Old 10-11-21, 10:00 AM
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This thread is 7 1/2 years old. Hopefully the OP solved their roller problem by now, but it seems like it was more or less just a tire issue.
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Old 10-12-21, 11:12 AM
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We need a zombie thread flag.
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