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Learning rollers on a track bike?

Old 09-10-18, 06:10 AM
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FinkFloyd
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Learning rollers on a track bike?

Hi guys; been a while since I've been around here. My local velodrome (Manchester) resurfaced its track throughout March, April and May, resulting in no track time, and I've only recently been able to start going again recently. I passed the third part (out of four) of Manchester's accreditation program yesterday and the hope is that I'll be able to finish it before Christmas, then spend the following 9 months properly learning track skills before starting racing next year. Things like riding slowly round the top of the track have taken me a while to get to grips with but it's starting to feel like it's coming together now.

One thing I feel I ought to learn properly is how to ride rollers on my track bike; I am somewhat in awe of these people who I see warming up trackside on their rollers, on track bikes, with their arms down by their sides. If I tried that I'd be in a heap on the floor. The no-handed thing can probably wait (I can see few practical applications for it other than looking cool) but it seems to me that I should probably be able to ride on my track bike without falling off.

I have a set of Elite Quick-Motion rollers which I use for cadence builds on my road bike; after a slightly shaky start I am pretty comfortable on those. I do wonder whether it was a mistake to get that set, though; they have a sort of 'suspension' system which means that the unit can rock backwards and forwards slightly in use, which I think is intended to smooth things out and make balance easier. I wonder whether that's going to cause problems/bad habits in the long run, though; how would you guys recommend I change from riding rollers on my road bike to riding them on my track bike, and would I be better off with a set of Kreitler rollers or similar?
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Old 09-10-18, 06:48 AM
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I have Inside Ride E-Motion rollers, which also have a suspension system to rock backwards and forwards. Riding the track bike on there is no different than the road bike in terms of function. You may need to adjust the rollers to line up with the track bike wheelbase.
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Old 09-10-18, 07:03 AM
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Kaben
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I have the Tacx Galaxia rollers which have the ability to rock back and forth about an inch.
( please note i am not an authority on rollers, I am pretty terrible at them and have only recently graduated from only using them inside a doorway for support to "kind of comfortable against one wall"). However having tried other peoples rollers before these, i dont think there is much difference as far as "learning bad habits". When doing cadence rev outs on the galaxia rollers, they don't really move that much at all - the rocking only really comes into play when moving in and out of the saddle.

In my limited view, I dont think the rocking motion has as much benefit for track training but i dont see it being a detriment either.

Worst case scenario you could always put a little wedge in front of the rollers to stop them moving?
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Old 09-10-18, 07:56 AM
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The key of course, is to relax. Relax your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, etc. Be loose, and don't steer the bike. I've heard that for beginners it may be helpful to put a piece of tape on the floor about 6 feel in front of the rollers and use that to focus on. Give it time and you'll be riding them no handed checking FaceBook like the rest of us.
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Old 09-10-18, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Be loose, and don't steer the bike.
"Don't steer" was the best single piece of advice I got when first learning the rollers. It's counterintuitive, but immediately solves problems.
The link below is a pretty good walk-through from Rochelle Gilmore...
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Old 09-10-18, 10:02 AM
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It was said above but I'll reiterate because I think it's worth it: make sure you adjust the roller wheelbase to match your bike's wheelbase. For me, that's the difference between being comfortable enough to ride no-handed while watching Netflix, and being absolutely all over the place.
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Old 09-10-18, 11:30 AM
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carleton
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Originally Posted by defspace View Post
It was said above but I'll reiterate because I think it's worth it: make sure you adjust the roller wheelbase to match your bike's wheelbase. For me, that's the difference between being comfortable enough to ride no-handed while watching Netflix, and being absolutely all over the place.
+1

You'd be amazed at how important this is.

I use a plumb when I'm setting up my rollers for the first time or if I let someone borrow them and they change the extension size.

My goal is to have the axis of the front wheel about 1cm behind the axis of the front roller. Bike too far back and handling is wonky. Too far forward and you risk hopping off.
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Old 09-10-18, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
+1

You'd be amazed at how important this is.

I use a plumb when I'm setting up my rollers for the first time or if I let someone borrow them and they change the extension size.

My goal is to have the axis of the front wheel about 1cm behind the axis of the front roller. Bike too far back and handling is wonky. Too far forward and you risk hopping off.
This is the roller sweet spot.
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