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Complete noob roller help

Old 07-04-19, 04:27 PM
  #1  
cormacf
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Complete noob roller help

Hi, folks.

I've been cycling for 5 or 6 years, but my balance, comparatively speaking is still crap. Even with a good fit, I'm still less comfortable int e drops than I could be on steep descents, and you won't see me going hands-free while I make myself a four-course meal, like folks in the PBP. But I'm working on it.

Along the way, I've discovered the velodrome, and it's great. I even bought a set of rollers to help me work on balance and cadence through the winter, and I thought "I'll have to pay a lot more atention than I do on the CycleOps, where I can sleep through 100 miles..."

SO true. Like, way too much so. At this point, I have a hand on the wall pretty much the entire time, which is only maybe 90 seconds per shot. Once I get up to a decent cadence (maybe 85 rpm), it gets a little less squirrely, but not close to the point where I'd feel comfortable with both hands on the bars.

Do I just keep this up, and try to stay on a little bit longer each time, and maybe get my hand off the wall a little bit longer as well, until I'm eventually one of those folks at the track who bunny hops te bike up and starts hammering with no hands on the var someday? I'm totally OK with that, if it's the way to go. I really feel like even at my advanced age (48) for starting this, if I get the balance and funky fixed gear feel under control and hammer my squats and general cycling over the fall and winter, I can have some good Cat4 fun next season.

Thank you!
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Old 07-04-19, 04:39 PM
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Put the rollers in a doorway so yo can bounce off the door frame with your shoulders. Forget the hand on the wall. It's all about relaxing your hands, shoulders, and upper body and not trying to steer the bike.
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Old 07-04-19, 05:11 PM
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Also, make sure the rollers are set up correctly. If the front roller is too far in front/behind the axle, it can make it really difficult to balance.
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Old 07-04-19, 05:21 PM
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KLiNCK
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I found that tire inflation can make a difference. Too much psi made things squirrelly. You really want to be hitting that “15% sidewall deflection” zone.
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Old 07-05-19, 12:43 AM
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1) big diameter drums and high tire pressure gives you higher wheel speed for same power, and higher wheel speed means higher gyroscopic stability - i use 3" or even 4" on roller drums, and 120psi on tires.
2) side "safety wheels" would solve completely your problem - check for videos of eMotion InsideRide rollers - I have the 1st gen (big but good) and also a 2nd gen (compact, much better design, same job - I use for every kind of sessions, except standing starts - have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine for it).
3) you can adapt "safety wheels" on you rollers - check:
https://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/..._JM?quantity=1
https://sp.olx.com.br/sao-paulo-e-re...&xtnp=1&xtcr=2
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Old 07-05-19, 12:51 AM
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Yeah, I kinda disagree a little with the statement above about the tire pressure. In my experience, less resistance equals higher wheel speed, which gives better stability, as Clythio said. Along those same lines, try a bigger gear as well.
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Old 07-05-19, 03:49 AM
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The others have given some good tips, I'll add this; put a mirror in front of you so you can see the front wheel on the drum with your head and eyes up.
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Old 07-05-19, 06:11 AM
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Inside Ride E-Motions are great for sort of learning to ride rollers, mindless roller riding, or intervals - due to the resistance - but they aren't great for cadence work.
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Old 07-05-19, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Inside Ride E-Motions are great for sort of learning to ride rollers, mindless roller riding, or intervals - due to the resistance - but they aren't great for cadence work.
I should have added. I've ridden a lot of different brands of rollers, starting with a pair of Mel Pinto Cortinas with a towel folded up under the drum. The E-Motion rollers have no equal as far as I'm concerned
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Old 07-05-19, 09:00 AM
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Thanks, all. These are 3" Minoura LiveRoll R700s (bought them practically unused for $50 in a moving sale, so I couldn't say no), so no safety edges, but pretty smooth. My gear isn't very tall (48/15), because it's what all the Cat5s are required to run while qualifying and what most of the new Cat4s run as a result. I'll start by ensuring my tire pressure is high (my tires will do 130, and I think they're only at 110 now) and adding the mirror. If that doesn't help after a couple of weeks, I'll look into a more beginner-friendly set of rollers.
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Old 07-05-19, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
Thanks, all. These are 3" Minoura LiveRoll R700s (bought them practically unused for $50 in a moving sale, so I couldn't say no), so no safety edges, but pretty smooth. My gear isn't very tall (48/15), because it's what all the Cat5s are required to run while qualifying and what most of the new Cat4s run as a result. I'll start by ensuring my tire pressure is high (my tires will do 130, and I think they're only at 110 now) and adding the mirror. If that doesn't help after a couple of weeks, I'll look into a more beginner-friendly set of rollers.
You'll be just fine. When you're ready for some resistance you can lower the tire pressures a little, then fold up a bath towel and place it under one of the drums.
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Old 07-05-19, 08:31 PM
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Two skate wheels and easy to get bent alu pieces would make nice safety limiters on front drumm..
Little DIY and your $50 will do the job for long time.
3 is nice to get proper resistance range, managing gear and also tire pressure.
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Old 07-05-19, 08:46 PM
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If you have too much weight on the front end (your bars), over correction due to learning rollers is going to be even more pronounced. You need to learn to guide your bike with your rear end not by turning the handlebars. You should also be able to unweight your handlebars while not on the rollers, riding outside. You probably feel squirrelly on the rollers because you are weighted up front and trying to control your bike with the front end. If none of that applies, keep practicing. I recommend lowering your seat a bit and not clipping in until you get the hang of it and your confidence up.
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Old 07-05-19, 09:49 PM
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As others have mentioned, setup is key. If your rollers aren't set to the proper width, riding on them will be very difficult.

Here's how to set it up:

- Set the rollers against a wall. Set the bike on the rollers.
- Stand the bike up and use a plumb line and note where the center of the front axle is above the front roller wheel. The ideal place is directly above or no more than 1cm behind the center of the roller wheel.
- Adjust the length of the rollers until the above condition is met. If for some odd reason you can't get that to work, change the gearing of your track bike which will change the wheelbase length and try again.

If your front wheel is too far behind the front wheel of the rollers, handling will be wonky as hell. If it's too far forward, you are subject to hop off the front of the rollers. That 0 to 1cm back from center of the front roller is the sweet spot.
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Old 08-01-19, 05:06 AM
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It all starts with your hips. You balance with your hips... You stabilized excessive body movement by engaging your core and glute muscles. If you're hips aren't balance, your pedal pressure will be off balance.


Also listen to Carleton about have your rollers set up properly. I rode on my rollers improperly for over 3 months.
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