Help choosing cycle training rollers

Discussion in 'Cycling Archive' started by David Batten, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. David Batten

    David Batten Guest

    I'm considering purchasing cycle training rollers to keep me moving
    during the cold, dark, wet and windy days.

    But they all sound the same!

    Here is a typical selection with prices from a UK mail order company. As
    this will be a new experience for me, I don't particularly want a
    top-range device, but I do want it to work with my road bike and 16stone

    I'd welcome any general comments and/or recommendations.

    Elite Parabolic Rollers £134.99 RRP £159.99

    Tacx Antares Professional Training Rollers £143.99 RRP £179.99

    Elite Arion Parabolic Rollers £169.99 RRP £199.99

    Tacx Galexia Roller Trainer £223.99 RRP £279.99

    Elite Arion Mag Parabolic Resistance Rollers £269.99 RRP £299.99

    Please help me choose.
    David Batten, Nov 21, 2012
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  2. David Batten

    thirty-six Guest

    Yep, same old wallpaper.
    Get some super-duper lights and use the road or track. Hmm, there's
    also the velodrome. Cost you a fiver for 3 hours on indoor track IIRC
    plus you will have the right environment. If you really must go it
    alone then look to the heaviest and biggest rollers. If you have room
    to bolt them to a concrete floor , so much the better.
    Choose life.
    thirty-six, Nov 22, 2012
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  3. David Batten

    Nige Danton Guest

    I'd suggest you consider Kreitler Rollers. Specifically the 3 inch
    diameter aluminium model. I have them and they are lovely rollers, although
    a little more expensive. I also have a resistance trainer, the Cyclops
    Fluid 2.
    Nige Danton, Nov 22, 2012
  4. David Batten

    Simon Mason Guest

    I could not agree more - I have just got home from work when the wind
    was gusting up to 55mph, but it was far more exciting that being in
    the garage on rollers.
    The last time I was on a turbo, I had to get my watch checked out as I
    was sure the hands were going backwards - in reality, if you have the
    right clothes, attitude and lights then there are no conditions where
    you cannot get out, save for snowdrifts and sheet ice, both of which
    are quite rare. Even on ice you can make it if you are careful and
    remember - once you are out there it is never as bad as it seemed when
    you were debating whether to venture out at all.
    Simon Mason, Nov 22, 2012
  5. David Batten

    kimble Guest

    Absolutely. While turbos or rollers are occasionally useful, they're
    still less fun than riding in even really miserable conditions. Winter
    tyres are a better investment, IMHO.

    That said, I used a turbo extensively while recovering from an injury a
    couple of years ago (couldn't risk being miles from home and losing the
    ability to pedal or walk), and it's been extremely helpful for tweaking
    the ergonomic setup on my partner's trike.

    kimble, Nov 23, 2012
  6. Something that hasn't been mentioned is that apparently rollers wear
    tyres very rapidly, so you may want to put on a very cheap rear tyre.
    After all, you don't care about a bit of extra rolling resistance.

    Another thing I am led to understand you should be wary of is that you
    will tend to sweat copiously and (unlike on the road) almost all of it
    will end up on your handlebars. This can freeze quill stems and otherwise
    damage the bike. I think the usual advice is to plunk a towel down in the
    drip zone.
    David Damerell, Nov 25, 2012
  7. David Damerell twisted the electrons to say:
    The manufacturers will also sell you elasticated triangular towels that
    fit between the handlebars and the seatpost.
    Alistair Gunn, Nov 25, 2012
  8. David Batten

    Rob Morley Guest

    Tyres specifically for use on rollers are available:
    Sweating on rollers will also damage the paint on the top tube. A
    purpose-made cover is available:
    Rob Morley, Nov 25, 2012
  9. David Batten

    Nige Danton Guest

    Apparently true, but unless it's your prized no. 1 ride, I wouldn't bother.
    Just position a fan so it blows onto you as you ride. I do rinse the top
    tube and bars down afterwards though.
    Nige Danton, Nov 25, 2012
  10. David Batten

    Nige Danton Guest

    Which on reflection is probably six of one and half a dozen of the other...
    Nige Danton, Nov 26, 2012
  11. David Batten

    David Batten Guest

    Status update from the OP ...

    Thanks to all for your comments. In the end, not living near a
    velodrome and still wanting to ride on very cold and wet days, I went
    ahead and purchased some rollers.

    I went for an entry-level option, since I wasn't at all sure I'd get the
    hang of riding the thing. I bought "Elite Ghibli Parabolic Roller
    Trainer" by mail order. It arrived within a week and was simplicity
    itself to set up.

    Learning to ride it was, as someone already warned me, a bit like
    learning to ride all over again, on ice! The advice to start in the
    hall, with stabiliser walls, was absolutely key. Now, after less than
    an hour of 'flying time', I am fairly comfortable maintaining balance
    for many minutes with just a few wobbles. At present the limiting
    factor is physiological. I am overweight and at less than peak fitness.
    So even with fan-assist, cooling requires a dismount after 3 - 5
    minutes! It is relevant to note that when riding on the rollers there
    are no flats or downhills.

    I can report that the experience is addictive. I've had a week of
    rolling due to wet weather; today was sunny but very cold, and I had to
    dig deep to force myself outside for a proper ride. But I loved it. I
    don't know if using the rollers has improved my balance (as some people
    suggest) or if it was just so much easier not to be riding on ice.

    To summarise: I am delighted to have acquired the rollers, and happy
    with the entry-level product. Learning to ride required some
    perseverence, but progress was steady. I'm sure my cardiovascular
    fitness will benefit, and now I can maintain this fitness despite road
    conditions, wind and rain. Getting outside again I seemed to feel a


    David Batten

    David Batten, Dec 3, 2012
  12. David Batten

    Rob Morley Guest

    I'm thinking about getting some again. I'll be interested to see how
    much difference the curve makes on the new ones.
    Rob Morley, Dec 3, 2012
  13. Having never used dual rollers, only back-wheel ones with fixed front,
    it looks like it'd just make it more likely to throw you off...

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Dec 3, 2012
  14. David Batten

    Rob Morley Guest

    They seem a bit pointless - might as well just have a turbo and
    Eh? It's intended to self-centre so you don't have to concentrate so
    much on riding off the edge. Not that riding off the edge does much
    - the wheels stop and you topple.
    I've been looking at the Tacx Galaxia, which has rockers that allow it
    to move back and forth under the bike, this supposedly makes it feel
    less like rollers and more like riding on the road/track. There are
    some impressive videos of people getting out of the saddle on these.
    Rob Morley, Dec 3, 2012
  15. It was a borrow a couple of winters back - better than roadcycling in
    sleet, but only just! Didn't get a lot of use.
    Maye it comes from my motorbiking side - even particularly tall white
    lines in the road can be hazardous if you're unlucky (or have 20% off
    correct inflation tyres) so the idea of having little 'kerbs', even
    rounded ones, just feels worrying. Like I say, I've not used a full
    roller - perhaps it just comes naturally?
    Hey, that looks pretty convincing! Having your speed power a variable
    fan would be rather good too, and you could practice eyes-closed

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Dec 3, 2012
  16. David Batten

    Rob Morley Guest

    That's not what I'm talking about - the rollers are smaller diameter
    in the middle, tapering to the edge (apparently with a parabolic
    profile), so you effectively have to ride uphill to go toward the edge.
    I've seen the ones with a little raised bit on the edge and I'm
    inclined to agree that they're of questionable worth - by the time
    you're that near the edge you probably have insufficient control to
    You can get fancy automated variable resistance rollers, that can be
    programmed to replicate the hills of a road ride, but they're a wee bit
    Rob Morley, Dec 3, 2012
  17. David Batten

    thirty-six Guest

    yeahbut you can't then jump off the front to dismount.
    thirty-six, Dec 3, 2012
  18. David Batten

    thirty-six Guest

    plain cylinder rollers are fine, and these are what must be used in
    competition. It doesn't take 10 minutes to be =come accustomed as
    long as there is a box or dining chair in front on which to focus.
    You keep yourself centred behind that. Use a dining chair at the
    side to start off, holding by the bar centre, be careful to use
    minimum steering force as the effect seems more pronounced than on the
    road, and let go as quick as you can. Keep focused on the box in
    thirty-six, Dec 3, 2012
  19. I was going by pics of David's choice of roller,

    They look scary at the edges. They say parabolic, but it's mostly

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Dec 3, 2012
  20. David Batten

    Rob Morley Guest

    Rob Morley, Dec 3, 2012
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