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Riding Rollers


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an extract from RBR ... check out the vid. - I haven't tried the out-the-saddle sprint yet, although riding-off has been known to happen.

What's the matter?  You've decided to try riding rollers after hearing how well they improve pedaling smoothness (as opposed to riding your bike locked onto an indoor trainer). But you're skittish because there's nothing to hold you up and the bike could slip off the side. It looks like you'll need the talents of a unicyclist. <?: PREFIX = O />

Here's help:  Actually, riding rollers is not as hard as it appears. It's sort of like riding a bike the first time. You're nervous and wobbly, but you quickly get the hang of it.

The perceived difficulty is one reason trainers began taking over the indoor cycling market 25 years ago. Trainers offer stability, adjustable resistance and convenience, but no need for balance and smoothness. To improve those 2 attributes and add variety to indoor training, rollers are definitely worth considering.

If you're not sure what rollers are, click to this 5-minute YouTube video called Stupid Roller Tricks to see a talented rider in action.

When trying rollers for the first time, it helps to set them in a doorway so you can easily reach out to steady yourself. Use a moderate gear (not too low) and get a steady spin going, then try it without the help of the doorframe.

Balance will come naturally, just like riding on the road. You'll quickly catch on. Just as when trying to keep a straight line outside, it helps to look forward rather than down at the front wheel.

Later, when you no longer need the doorway as a security blanket, you can put the rollers next to a wall or have a stool just to the rear of the crank so you can easily step onto it.

And don't worry -- if you do slip off the rollers you won't go flying forward across the room. There is no forward momentum. You'll just topple over. So for safety, don't set rollers close to anything that can hurt you if you fall on it, like the coffee table, TV or Fido the Wonderdog. Also, keep away little kids that might put a finger into the spinning spokes.

(Coach Fred remembers seeing pro roadie Fred Rodriguez spinning away on a set of narrow Kreitler rollers at the Olympic Training Center. Fast Freddie not only removed his jacket while riding no-hands, he then took off his leg warmers!)

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  • 10 months later...

To those with Roller experience, would you suggest using training tires (like you would on an IDT) on rollers?


I just got a set of Tacx Antares rollers, and hopped onto them for 5 minutes when I got home from picking them up. My tires felt quite warm after the quick ride, so I'm just worried about damage to them.

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Hi all


Need some advice on the use of rollers vs. stationary trainer. Would like to have the option of IDT available for rainy days. Seems I can get rollers much cheaper (R500) than stationary trainer (R1500). Are you able to adjust the tension/ resistance on the rollers in a similar way to that of the stationary trainer?

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