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What's a more efficient indoor solution? Trainer or Rollers?

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What's a more efficient indoor solution? Trainer or Rollers?

Old 12-25-09, 08:51 PM
  #1  
NateRod
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What's a more efficient indoor solution? Trainer or Rollers?

Though the prospect of riding my bike through snow and ice and all that stuff sounds like a good workout, it'll also be a pain in the ass.

Roadspace is at a higher premium due to snow, people will drive equally stupidly, and lets face it... it'll get cold as **** and I'll just want to stay in.

I still very much want to ride my bike throughout the winter as often as possible, so I'm wondering whether I should go for rollers or a trainer.

What I do like about rollers is that they seem to give more of a real feel as opposed to just hanging there on a trainer. But most rollers I've seen (at least the ones I can afford) don't offer any variety in resistance.

I'm slightly torn. Not sure what will be a better purchase. Anyone want to chime in? Do you have either of these? Why do you like it? Why don't you? Have you tried both? Pros / cons? Etc?

Oh, and I don't know if this makes a difference, but I'd been riding freewheel all this time, recently added a fixed cog to the other side of my hub, and intend to start using it.
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Old 12-25-09, 08:55 PM
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Trainer!

It offers resistance and is a simple setup. Also they pack away smaller
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Old 12-25-09, 08:55 PM
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I've read that rollers give you a better workout because it's more like actual riding. I think you can switch out to larger cylinders for more resistance.
But trainers are cheaper...
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Old 12-25-09, 09:12 PM
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i have a trainer, its fine, but its not like riding outside
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Old 12-25-09, 09:59 PM
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@the don and j3ffr3y, what trainers would you recommend? I've been looking at cycleops brand. Seems to be popular. I know a trainer is nowhere near as fun as riding outside, but hey... at least it's something.

Originally Posted by spcialzdspksman View Post
I've read that rollers give you a better workout because it's more like actual riding.
And this is exctly why I'm leaning towards the rollers. It does look a lot more like actual riding. The whole thing with having to get larger cylinders for more resistance is really the only turnoff. They're not cheap to begin with, and that adds to the cost.

the price and any other positive factors about the trainers anyone may share here may make my preference sway. Who knows.

Let's keep them opinions coming. I still have about 2 weeks til I get back home, so I'll have time to continue weighing pros/cons.

thanks for the responses so far.
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Old 12-25-09, 10:17 PM
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i just got a set of krietler rollers and so far i love them, ive used a trainer too and this is alot more fun to me. if you want to be able to read or play xbox while riding get the trainer, but if you just want to ride and maybe watch tv get the rollers. its actually the smaller the roller the increased resistance. krietler offers other add-ons to increase resistance but without them i think it is still a decent workout
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Old 12-25-09, 10:52 PM
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What rwing said, smaller diameter drums equal more resistance. Also you can get add-ons for resistance. Some folks cram a towel under a drum too. You need to concentrate on rollers, I wouldn't even try watching tv on them until you are really, really comfortable. But they will do wonders for your ability to hold a line and your pedal stroke. I haven't used a trainer.
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Old 12-25-09, 10:56 PM
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nashbar rollers are pretty cheap. i just bought some. ~$100? if you put some sort of extra weight on the rear (baskets or something), it'll add resistance. that's the ghetto way of how i added more.

but i wanted rollers so that my balance would improve. it defs has. you learn to pedal correctly and not move your upper body. and plus, with a fixed gear, you really can't slow the pedaling (can't even go gumby, either). the momentum of the wheels/crankset doesn't keep the rollers moving. it can be a workout. but i've never had a trainer. just seems too boring.
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Old 12-25-09, 11:20 PM
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Ah yes, thanks for clearing up the diameter to resistance thing. Makes sense, actually, when I think of my basic physics classes back in the day. Smaller diameter should make it harder to generate torque, so it's more of a workout.

And Nuggetross, your "ghetto" way of also makes a ton of sense. Put some stuff in a backpack, pop it on, and voila'! So simple, yet brilliant.

rwing, the kreitlers look good but a little outside my range.

This one looks more like it:
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00_20000_64513

But that nashbar one also looks good and it's even cheaper. Tempting. Does it feel well built? Is it really noisy?

Thanks a ton
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Old 12-25-09, 11:42 PM
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I have both and I use my trainer 10 times more than I use the rollers. I only use the rollers when I have high RPM workouts to do (+200 RPM).

Rollers
Pros:
- Nice feel
- High cadences
- Any bike will work

Cons:
- YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION OR YOU WILL FALL (unless you buy a fork stand)
- No variable resistance
- You must learn how to ride them...then learn how to ride them well.
- Short term workouts
- No standing out of the saddle.


A Good Trainer (notice I wrote "good" not "cheap")
Pros
- Road feel
- Variable resistance
- Small when folded
- Excellent for longer workouts
- No concentration required. You can read a book or watch TV
- Less expensive
- Can be purchased at any local bike shop or REI
- You can stand out of the saddle and "climb" or stretch your legs.

Cons:
- May not accept track wheels
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Old 12-25-09, 11:51 PM
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Also...

Some trainers have a remote cable that you attach to your bars to adjust the resistance on the fly, like during an interval workout.

Honestly, rollers are cool and flashy, but unless you need to do some specific workout that requires high RPMs, get a trainer. Rollers WILL help you develop a smoother pedal stroke, but that's why it's nice to have a trainer AND rollers. A trainer for training and rollers for training the specifics like pedal stroke and RPMs.

I'll put it this way: Ever watch TDF racers warmup before a stage? Ever see them using rollers? These guys can use any warmup devices in the world and they use trainers. Track racers use rollers in order to do high-RPM warmups with no load (resistance). But even then, half of them use trainers instead of rollers.
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Old 12-26-09, 10:02 AM
  #12  
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I've never used rollers, but I've had several trainers. Just ordered a Minoura rim drive last week. One advantage of a trainer not mentioned is that they're also handy for fitting.
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Old 12-26-09, 10:55 AM
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rollers. other than size (maybe why the pros living out of buses use trainers?), they can offer everything a trainer can, plus they force you to develop a silky smooth spin. until you do, yes, they take some concentration.

use small drums or put a towel under a roller...lots of ways to up resistance. use a geared bike or an add-on resistance unit if you want to vary it mid-session.

it is absolutely possible to stand...i do it all the time. learning to do so eliminates anything 'short term' about them. i have spent 4+ hrs on them a couple times (at near zero resistance) as part of a trade show demo booth for my shop.

i made some 'rumble strips' for mine, which help immensely when i'm watching TV or riding myself into oblivion. take 2 strips of packing tape long enough to wrap around the roller a little more than one time, lay 'em sticky side up and stick toothpicks across the width every 3/4" or so, then wrap 'em around the very ends of the front drum. when you drift over...'brrrrap!' saved my ass a few times.

oh, yes, 'cool and flashy' too. isn't that a key factor in all things SSFG?

Last edited by dookie; 12-26-09 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 12-26-09, 12:02 PM
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This ^^^^
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Old 12-26-09, 05:11 PM
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my trainer is a Cycleops Mag+
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Old 12-26-09, 07:37 PM
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my uncle bought a 1up trainer. so far so good. very light and super quiet. its also very compact when you fold it up.
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Old 12-26-09, 07:53 PM
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If you ever care to venture into the roadbike forum they have covered this hundreds of times.
Fluid Trainer > Magnetic Trainer > Rollers.

Though to be honest its like comparing apples to oranges. Rollers are great for getting your RPMs up, pedal stroke and balance but a trainer will give you a workout and keep you trained during the winter. Think of the trainer as something you use to keep your fitness and rollers as what you use to fine tune your ride.
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Old 12-26-09, 09:30 PM
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I understand the "apples to oranges" comment and that owning both would be the ideal thing. But budget is tight and I can only afford either one, not both. So I was just wondering which of both would be more useful to me overall. Seems like both are good for one thing but neither is good for everything. If only I had money to spare I wouldn't have this dilemma

I appreciate the responses so far. Very helpful. Thanks people!
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Old 12-26-09, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JimmyJars View Post
If you ever care to venture into the roadbike forum they have covered this hundreds of times.
Fluid Trainer > Magnetic Trainer > Rollers.

Though to be honest its like comparing apples to oranges. Rollers are great for getting your RPMs up, pedal stroke and balance but a trainer will give you a workout and keep you trained during the winter. Think of the trainer as something you use to keep your fitness and rollers as what you use to fine tune your ride.
No.

You can get rollers (Kreitlers w/ headwind unit) that have as much resistance as trainers.
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Old 12-26-09, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SalsaPodio View Post
No.

You can get rollers (Kreitlers w/ headwind unit) that have as much resistance as trainers.
Yeah but you're gonna spend $600 easily to get that setup. See: www.kreitler.com/price_list.pdf

I'd say just get a $130 fluid trainer + $30 bike computer (performance bike has them on sale this weekend). Maybe a training block to level the bike out and a yoga mat or something to put beneath. Setup shop in-front of the tv and torture yourself for a few hours.
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Old 12-27-09, 08:50 AM
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I bought a very nice trainer that had a very smooth motion and was quiet. Cheaper trainers can be very loud. I thought I'd watch cycling videos and pretend I was there in the peloton, climbing Mount Ventoux.

The reality of trainers and rollers: BORING as all get out. I used them 4-5 times then sold them to another cyclist. Alabama winters aren't so bad; I much prefer riding outdoors.

It's a good idea to get one of those sweat catchers, especially if you ride a steel bike. And get a fan because you're going to get very hot. Some trainers will chew up softer road tires so you'll need to get a tire built just for trainers. These are also good for skids. Cheap fluild trainers can leak. You might want to set the rollers up in the hallway so you can touch the walls as you desperately try to keep from flying off the rollers. Or at least a doorway. Rollers WILL improve your group riding skills.

If I had to choose something, I'd go with the rollers. Could be great fun at a party.

Check out this sick video of riding on rollers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wME5NTriTco

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiCdm...eature=related


And now check out what is reality for some first timers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2tF0...eature=related

And of course, there's a hipster version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrKvguARxJo&feature=fvw

Last edited by bbattle; 12-27-09 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 12-27-09, 05:36 PM
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those first two vids are nuts!

the other ones are loltastic.

Also, I was looking at some more related vids and some of these rollers sound absolutely horrible. I hope the people in the video just set them up incorrectly cause otherwise, goddamn. My neighbors and roommates will hate me.

Still, it looks like they're a lot more fun than trainers, albeit more difficult to ride comfortably. Then again, that's part of the fun and the workout I suppose.
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Old 12-27-09, 06:16 PM
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Nate, I picked up a cheapy set of rollers off craigslist once and they were waaaay too loud to ride. They were pvc drums and the drums were a little out of round and the vibration shook my house. It was a travesty. Now I have a set of Kreitler rollers that don't make a sound. The headwind unit makes a little sound, but it's not too bad. I scored this set on craigslist too, for $200. The original owner didn't like them, and had about 3 hours of use on them in a year. Super score for me! The deals come once in a while. I would say try and wait it out till you get a good set. You likely won't be happy with a cheap set.
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Old 12-28-09, 10:27 AM
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want!!
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Old 12-28-09, 10:38 AM
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^^ those e-motion rollers are the hotness. Too rich for my blood though

Originally Posted by LoRoK View Post
Nate, I picked up a cheapy set of rollers off craigslist once and they were waaaay too loud to ride. They were pvc drums and the drums were a little out of round and the vibration shook my house. It was a travesty. Now I have a set of Kreitler rollers that don't make a sound. The headwind unit makes a little sound, but it's not too bad. I scored this set on craigslist too, for $200. The original owner didn't like them, and had about 3 hours of use on them in a year. Super score for me! The deals come once in a while. I would say try and wait it out till you get a good set. You likely won't be happy with a cheap set.
That doesn't sound like a bad idea. I still have some time before I get home, so I can wait it out til a good deal comes along.
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