Bike rollers or trainers?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by kourt, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. kourt

    kourt New Member

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    I started riding road bikes few years ago but never really bothered to go pro or anything. I've been out with small group of cyclists as well and they told me about the benefits of bike rollers and trainers. Can anyone tell me the difference of the two? And which one should I get? Or what brands should I specifically consider? Thank you!
     
  2. gs46

    gs46 Pedaling Old Man

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    At 55 I'm a newbee to biking and have enjoyed it so much I just bought a GIANT MAG 2 as my winter trainer. Living in Michigan the winters restric riding outside. Rollers you actually balance and ride the bike on rollers, the rear tire turns rollers which in turn, turns a front roller that the front tire rides on. I'm not sure how you adjust the resistence on them. The trainer captures the rear skewer and the rear tire rides against a roller connected to either a wind, magnetic or fluid resistence device. I think roller trainers are more for road bikes but I'm taking a guess on that one. I do know the rear skewer trainers can be used for both road and mountain bikes.
     

  3. whyeyebike

    whyeyebike New Member

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    To go a little further with gs46's explanation (which was very well done), rollers allow the rider to use all those stability muscles they would be using out on the road. A trainer secures the bike, allowing the rider to focus on pedal stroke and not having to worry about balance. I have only tried rollers a few times, and I can tell you that they are not easy to (start off) using. They require a lot of concentration. I use a fluid trainer and I love it (as much as a person can love riding their bike indoors). I only use it on the coldest days, or when its raining out; and I have a few trainer videos I use so I am on the thing for the shortest period of time while still getting the best results.

    One of the moderators, Xela, uses rollers and I know he likes his. I am sure he will catch this thread and give you some great advise on that side.

    Regardless of which one you go for, it shows a lot of commitment to riding to use either rollers or a trainer, so if you make the plunge; congrats!!!!
     
  4. Xela

    Xela New Member Tavern Member

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    Well, since Whyeyebike said I would, I guess I must. The main advantage for me with the rollers is lack of boredom. The rollers require a concentration that you don't have to have when your bike is clamped in place and not going anywhere. You actually have to pedal and balance and keep the wheels on the roller. If you're just wanting to zone out and burn calories, then rollers are not for you.

    Rollers also have a secondary benefit of improving your pedal stroke, especially at higher RPMs. Rollers really make you aware of the bike surging and bouncing due to a poor pedal stroke. Mine, since the rollers float on the frame, somewhat are forgiving of this, but you are still aware of it.

    Also, rollers are easier on your frame, IMO. It always worried me clamping my carbon fiber frame into a standard trainer.

    I use the InsideRide eMotion rollers. I have had them for several years and couldn't be happier with them. Although this year, with my recent purchase of a headlight and taillight along with new winter gear, I plan on spending less time on the rollers.
     
  5. kourt

    kourt New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I appreciate it. So generally, bike rollers are so much better than trainers. I think I'll get myself a bike roller and see if it works for me. I think I like bike rollers better since like you guys said, it allows me to maintain my balance while riding the bike whereas in the bike trainer, i would just have to focus on the pedaling and not having to worry about keeping my balance. It's very helpful. Thanks again!
     
  6. whyeyebike

    whyeyebike New Member

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    Never thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense!!!
     
  7. photosbymark

    photosbymark New Member

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    Rollers require CONSTANT concentration. The slightest distraction and you could be singing country music. You know that old song, "Hello Wall" that is so common in Nascar. You can get hurt on rollers. I tried them and realized the benefit to risk ratio wasn't there, and took them back and got a fluid trainer. Best decision I ever made. With a fluid trainer you adjust the resistance by just shifting gears.
     
  8. Xela

    Xela New Member Tavern Member

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    Same with rollers. Shift gears, it gets harder.

    Also, rollers do take some getting used to, but the danger factor drops quickly. In addition, I've watched a buddy of mine ride off his rollers several times. I always thought this would be catastrophic, but he just put his foot down and got off.

    Another comment on the danger factor, my wife, after spend about 5 minutes on a road bike, immediately was convinced that it is too dangerous for her. I doubt many of us would agree with that assessment, but there's no convincing her otherwise.
     
  9. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Something to think of with the trainers, I am not sure about rollers. The trainers can eat up your rear tire. It is advised to put a trainer specific tire on when using the trainer and save your good tire for riding on the road.