Indoor rollers

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Anonymous's picture

Sorry if these are stupid questions but after two hours spent searching for the answers I haven't got any closer to them, so I count on your help.

1. How does a bike stay upright on the rollers? I didn't see any support thingies on any pictures (except those that you can buy separately)

2. What's the major differences between rollers and trainers (well, besides trainers being more portable)?

Thanks in advance,

Anonymous's picture
Leon (not verified)

Sure enough, as soon as I posted it I remembered a place where I should've searched the first and the answer was there:

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
you get more out of rollers...

"...than you'll ever get from a stationary trainer. forces you to concentrate on your form. makes you smooth. makes training fun (as long as you're blasting ""Trapt"" or ""The Used"" or ""Green Day"" on your stereo). make sure you get a powerful fan. :)


> 2. What's the major differences between rollers and
> trainers (well, besides trainers being more portable)?"

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)


Do rollers provide any significant resistance? I am trying to train to improve my speed on hills.



Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

"It depends on the diameter of the drums. You can probably roll some 4"" drums in 53x12 for a pretty long time, but you'll have trouble doing that with 2 1/4"" drums for even 5 minutes.

- Christian"

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
speed (rollers) + strength (gym) = faster on the hills

> Do rollers provide any significant resistance? I am trying
> to train to improve my speed on hills.

i was a pretty good climber a few years ago. i worked on my speed on rollers. i worked on my strength in the gym. mix it up on the road. i've never been a fan of bike resistance trainers. i'm sure the marketing folks would disagree.


Anonymous's picture
Leon (not verified)
Trainers v. Rollers

True but from what I read on Bicycling forums it seems that rollers are lousy helpers if you need to imitate hills or sprint and I definitely need it.

Actually, after reading all the stuff there I came to a surprising conclusion - what I really need is probably a stationary bike :))

Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)
i'm wondering how you would simulate sprinting

on a stationary trainer. at least when i (for lack of a better term) sprint, my bicycle is rocking from side to side. you can also see this when watching eric zabel winning the green jersey in the tour... oh, pardon me, you wont be seeing eric zabel winning the green jersey in the tour de france. becuase t-mobil is leaving him home so that jan ulrich can come in second again this year. phuccing schmucks. you can't do this on a stationary trainer. However, you can do it on rollers.
Now, if we're talking strickly hr, then i would assume that anybody who can't max out (as simulated in a sprint) his or her hr, has not yet acheived proper proficiency with rollers.
simulating a hill? well that's just damn funny. i wonder, if you prop up the stationary trainer on some phone books so you're simulating a descent, will you start to coast when not pedaling?

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)

Green jersey? He hasn't won a TdF stage since 2002 and has just one pro win this year. Getting on with age is less kind to sprinters. At this point he might have better luck winning the green jacket. Or at the very least fun trying. Retiring at an early age and playing golf all day, now that's the ticket! For him, with his distinguished career, none is needed; for others like myself it's a matter of having a ticket with 6 correct numbers. :-O

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
It's a shame for T-Mobile

"""Green jersey? He hasn't won a TdF stage since 2002...""

Zabel won the points jersey in the 2004 Vuelta, came in 4th in the Tour of Flanders this year. He had some victories last year and a good number of second places, including in the Worlds and at Milan-San Remo. Hmm, an impressive list of second places...that reminds me of a certain other member of T-Mobile.

""...and has just one pro win this year.""

For that matter, Lance has zero.

""Getting on with age is less kind to sprinters. At this point he might have better luck winning the green jacket.""

Zabel will be 35 in July. Do you remember what Cipollini did at 35 and 36? Won Milan-San Remo, Ghent-Wevelgem, Worlds, and numerous stages in the Giro and Vuelta.


Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Tour de France

Your points are non sequitur.

The topic of discussion is competing in the Tour de France. Ulrich finished 2nd a number of times behind one rider, not so with Zabel and the green jersey. Maybe if Petacchi, Boonen, McEwen, Cooke and ...???. crash out, it would be a different story.

It looked, at least to me, Zabel had lost a step or so with the TdF competition that past year or so. He got nicked at the line quite a few times by McEwen and others. Additionally, unlike Cipollini’s made-2-order team, T-Mobile does not have a strong supporting cast for him. With Ulrich, Kloden, Vinokourov, Guerini, and Sevilla, the team has its card stacked for doing well in the mountains and (team) time trial stages.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Since you're only talking about the Tour

"""Ulrich finished 2nd a number of times behind one rider, not so with Zabel and the green jersey.""

Green jersey competition in the last three years:

1. Robbie McEWEN (Aus) 280 pts
2. Erik Zabel (All) 261 pts
3. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) 208 pts

1. Baden COOKE (Aus) 216 pts
2. Robbie McEwen (Aus) 214
3. Erik Zabel (All) 188

1. Robbie McEWEN (Aus) 272 pts
2. Thor Hushovd (Nor) 247
3. Erik Zabel (All) 245

Not far from second last year. Besides, Zabel gains publicity for the sponsor in most of the stages that Ullrich is invisible inside the peloton. And he's very consistent and doesn't drop out when the race reaches the mountains, so he's always a green jersey candidate.

""Maybe if Petacchi, Boonen, McEwen, Cooke and ...???. crash out""

Petacchi isn't racing the Tour this year."

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)

3rd place for Zabel in the green competition the last 2 years only strengthens my point. For instance, I bet you had to look that information up unlike knowing how well Jan did in the overall GC. As like many, including myself, am much more interested in GC contenders than how well someone closely places, but does not win the green, polka-dot, white jerseys, etc.

As for invisible? I saw alot more camera time of Jan than Zabel (very little) that past 2 years on the TdF broadcast.
Maybe the German broadcast was different.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
Zabel's First Giro...

"I know we're talking TDF, but let's take a look at the points competition at this year's Giro di Italia :

1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step 162 pts
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 154
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 136
4 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel- 124
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 114
6 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team 92

Now the competition for the ciclomina (plum coloured) jersey is a little different in the Giro than the Tour. There are no points awarded other than the Stage finishing order in the Giro -- the Tour awards points in intermediate sprints.

Even if you are kind and take out the GC contenders Savoldelli, Basso, and DiLuca, and say ""oh, he finished 3rd amonst the sprinters, just note that Robbie McEwen DNS Stage 13 with 126 points (and leading the competition for the ciclomina jersey). Zabel didn't win a stage. His performance in his first Giro was not impressive.

I think that Eric doesn't have that top end power he once had. He might need a team that give him a great lead-out the way Fassa Bortalo gives Pettachi his chances. I suspect that team is not T-Mobile. Even with a good lead out train, I suspect that Eric is not going to win any races if Pettachi, Boonen, McEwen, Cooke, O'Grady or other top sprinter is in the mix.

This year seems to be a changing of the guard year. Cippolini, Armstrong, Tafi are retiring (or have done so), Zabel is not in the tour...who else will realize that twilight is shining on their cycling career?
Which young riders will shine brightly?"

Anonymous's picture
Zima (not verified)


I haven't ridden either rollers or trainers in my life. But there seems to be a consensus on those Bicycling forums that rollers do not allow hard pushing/lots of resistance, which you need for hills and sprints. It has to be smoooooth with the rollers. May be you're right and the whole lot of them is not good enough on the rollers - I wouldn't know.

P.S. Hey, go easy on Jan - he's the only thing that keeps the Tour from being a one-actor-theater anyway :)

Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)

you've got to use a resistance fan. the roller drums don't provide any resistance at all.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Before buying anything, consider the noise level.

1) Many years ago, before I started biking I heard a LOUD whirring sound from upstairs -- I thought they were sanding their floors. Called the neighbor who said he just bought a new bicycle trainer (or roller. I didn't ask which.)

I asked what the return policy was because he wasn't going to be able to use it while I lived downstairs from him.


2) Sometimes, when walking on 4th Street between Bowery & Second Avenue, there's a guy on the north side of the street in front of his photo gallery practicing on a roller.

It looks really cool, but sounds really loud. Better on the street or a backyard then indoors, but at that point you might as well go for a ride.

Anonymous's picture
Leon (not verified)

1) Yes, people said ones with the fans (air resistance) are really noisy. They are also the cheapest :)

2) Totally agree.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)
Check this article out..
Anonymous's picture
Leon (not verified)

"That's generally in line with what people say at the Byciling forums (link in my post above). If you need more details (such as resistance levels) run a few searches there (""spin bikes"" ""rollers"" ""trainers"" etc.). They have like a 1000 first hands accounts and opinions from people who used all this stuff."

Anonymous's picture
angus (not verified)
Rollers vs trainer

I'm pretty sure that annoying noise is coming from a trainer. I gave my cyleops trainer to my friend for the same reason and he complain of the same thing. I'm using a kreitler roller now and it's a lot less noise. It's just hard in the beginning with the balancing. You just have to keep doing it to get the hang of it. You have to have something to hold on to, both sides just in case u need to stop/rest.

I think it gave me a lot of confidence with my handling and control.

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