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Old 06-26-11, 12:42 PM   #1
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Rollers vs Trainers?

Hi there! I have a mountain bike that I've put thinner tires onto so I can commute to work. I live in Vancouver and can technically ride all year because we only get a handful of snow days, but I hate cycling in the rain. Also, I don't work in the summers so I don't bike every day.

So, I'm looking at getting a stationary bike to use inside on days when I don't want to be outside on my bike, and also for general fitness. I looked at regular stationary bikes first but I live in a condo and prefer something that takes up less room.

Then I heard about trainers where I can hook my bike up to them and they can be folded up when not in use. I also found rollers, which I'd never heard of before but they look interesting as it's not a stationary ride and therefor (maybe) more of a true ride.

I'm in decent shape but certainly nowhere near elite. I want something that's good for cardio and some core fitness. Would rollers be the best choice? Are they really hard to get used to?

Any tips/suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 06-26-11, 02:50 PM   #2
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Personal Experience for me has only been with trainers so I can't comment on rollers. But I certainly enjoy being able to crank to my heart's content, change channels, and anwser the phone when I am on a trainer which, I have heard, is significantly harder then on rollers which are much better for developing form.

I would say for you, you want a trainer instead of rollers from what you describe as your goals.
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Old 06-26-11, 07:56 PM   #3
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I hate trainers. You are fastened in and do nothing.

Rollers on the other hand, you will need to balance yourself, you will always need to pedal continuously, and it helps developing a smooth pedal stroke. I find rollers much more interesting because you have to be thinking all the time.

However, someone I know has a computerized trainer hooked to a computer and tv. She sees the actual route and correspondingly, the computer applies the correct amount of tension to simulate hill climbing, or inclines. She says she really sweats on her trainer. You are still locked in but it may make the "ride" more interesting.
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Old 06-26-11, 07:59 PM   #4
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Better buy a used one, no sense in going new because most people just don't use them as much after the first month.
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Old 06-26-11, 09:42 PM   #5
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I'm a roller guy in Washington. I'll ride in the rain on weekends, but weekdays I simply don't have the time to maintain the bike, so I ride my rollers. Be sure to get rollers with resistance, like a fan, fluid, or mag resistance unit. Plain rollers don't have enough resistance to keep it interesting over the long term. Rollers do hold one's attention. It's best to ride them in a doorway, with your shoulders right in the doorway, so you don't fall down go boom. Or you can build something like a doorway out in the garage. That's really the best. I like it about 55 with a 24" box fan about 6' away.

Performance Bike has a fairly inexpensive set.
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Old 07-07-11, 11:26 AM   #6
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For me, it's rollers all the way, although trainers can come in handy (bike fitting, riding with an injury, etc.). The best solution I think is like Carbonfiberboy said - rollers with a resistance unit. He may be talking about the Performance Bike Intertial rollers with resistance; the setup is usually on sale for $300 I think. You get resistance plus the enjoyment of actually riding your bike.
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Old 07-07-11, 01:13 PM   #7
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I can only comment on trainers, cause i don't have rollers but I do love my trainer. It's a cycleops wind resistance trainer. I've had it for about a month now and it works great if the weather is bad outside and if you want to go on a relaxing ride. The downside of a trainer is that your locked in place, and can't move side to side like if you wanted to train for hills. You can buy these things that you put under your front tire that lift you up, so it helps with an incline.
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