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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Comes up all the time. Rollers v. trainers.
I've used only rollers and am a huge booster of them, but my opinions were possibly open to challenge because of my limited experience with trainers. Like, none. Not that a lack of experience inhibits me much in any opinion, but, you know.
So, I decided that this Christmas, I would ask Santa to bring me a Cyclops 2+ Fluid trainer. I figured that I would now have both, I would be compleat.
I've used the trainer exactly once. Well, let me amend that. I put the bike in the trainer once, and few anticipated experiences have been quite so disappointing.
What's the big friggin deal about trainers?
I have used my Kreitler rollers with a headwind unit for several years now, and I have done base training, LT intervals, speed intervals, muscle tension intervals, tempo riding, etc., etc., and I cannot think of a single workout for which rollers aren't suited but for flat-out, out-of-the-saddle sprinting. That would get a little dicey. I even did (briefly) one-legged drills this a.m. It's hard, but it can be done.
So, for you guys intrigued with rollers, cogitate no more. They're the real deal.
 

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The web is a MUT
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Which ones are you using?

The larger drums or the micro drums?

I used to have an older set of Minoura rollers with probably 4" drums. Made lots of tinking sounds when I used them but never a bit of trouble. Not sure I'd trust the polycarb end cap rollers. Am checking into Kreitlers and am wondering about how the different sizes compare, also wondering how you like the headwind unit and does it provide enough cooling and reduce the sweat buildup on the bike?

Thanks for any replies.

Mike.
 

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Endorphin Junkie
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Trainers have a distinct advantage....

when you've got a busted wrist and can't put one hand on the bars. :^(

I've had rollers for about 20 years, and even used to do stand-up sprints on them occasionally when I was young and stupid. I only acquired a trainer when I shattered my left wrist a couple years ago.

Kathy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have the standard issue Kreitlers.

treebound said:
The larger drums or the micro drums?

I used to have an older set of Minoura rollers with probably 4" drums. Made lots of tinking sounds when I used them but never a bit of trouble. Not sure I'd trust the polycarb end cap rollers. Am checking into Kreitlers and am wondering about how the different sizes compare, also wondering how you like the headwind unit and does it provide enough cooling and reduce the sweat buildup on the bike?

Thanks for any replies.

Mike.
I don't have experience with the other-sized Kreitlers, although I got on Dyno-lytes once, and they seemed pretty cool. I'm sorry I can't be more specific -- not enough experience.
The headwind unit brings a lot of flexibility to rollers, allowing you to find resistance at much lower speeds. You can adjust it to a wide range of resistance -- not that I do, because I usually keep it set to the same resistance for comparison.
At the lower speeds permitted with the headwind unit, not only will you save rubber, but the skill of staying upright at lower speeds, with less gyroscope effect of the spinning wheels, adds to what rollers can teach you. The first time I used the headwind unit was almost like the first time using rollers all over again. Not really, but it was harder than I thought it was going to be. The headwind unit does blow some air, but it doesn't replace a good big ol' fan, which I always use.
 

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Rollers are Me.

I've been roller riding every winter since '75. I've been riding them since '62 but not serious as from the latter year onwards. I've used my old RollTracks that I bought used back then.

Here is a pic of my piggyback RacerMate - the original wind load machine.


 

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Daylight Fading
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Here we go again....

Your hero has been testing his own hypothesis that rollers are less useful than trainers. I was going to report back in about a month so as to have more experience, but this will do.

Trainers are still better for workouts that are based around very specific and narrowly defined HR's. With trainers, I've been able to vary my heart rate within a few (5?) beats/min much more easily than I can with the rollers. I've also found that I personally can get a better spin work out in (especially one that involves changing my spin frequently and then recovering) on trainers. For some reason, I can never soft pedal freely enough on a roller to rest (bringing my HR down to a certain level) after spinning at a high rate. I also don't seem to have the ability to spin for, say 2 min at 120 like I can on a trainer. Might be my technique, but I can't do it on a roller.

Having said that (I love that phrase because it pisses off some on this board), I've grown to prefer the rollers because I sweat like an italian weight lifter when I use them. I also have a harder workout (proved by my fatigue and HRM output) than I can get with the trainer. But here's the most imortant reason....for some reason, I find that the time passes quicker using them vs. the trainer. That alone is reason to use them more.

BT
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Stick with rollers

eyebob said:
Trainers are still better for workouts that are based around very specific and narrowly defined HR's. With trainers, I've been able to vary my heart rate within a few (5?) beats/min much more easily than I can with the rollers. I've also found that I personally can get a better spin work out in (especially one that involves changing my spin frequently and then recovering) on trainers. For some reason, I can never soft pedal freely enough on a roller to rest (bringing my HR down to a certain level) after spinning at a high rate. I also don't seem to have the ability to spin for, say 2 min at 120 like I can on a trainer. Might be my technique, but I can't do it on a roller.



BT
Stick with rollers and you'll be able to do all these things. This is my fourth season using rollers (I use them some all year round, although much less in the summer), so that I have some experience but not tons and tons, and I've been able to do everything you've described.
 

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Anyone used to rollers would be disappointed with a Cyclops F2 IMO.

I personally continue to use both Krietler rollers and a trainer but my trainer of choice is a Kurt Rd Machine. My wife uses a F2 and I've used it but don't like it at all.
 

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Speaking from experience

treebound said:
The larger drums or the micro drums?

...I used to have an older set of Minoura rollers with probably 4" drums. ...Kreitlers and am wondering about how the different sizes compare... Mike.
I had a set of Minoura's and it did not take too much effort to spin out on them because of the roller size. A few years ago I got a pair of Kreitler DynoLytes and think those drums are just about the perfect size. From an effort standpoint riding in 53x12 on the DynoLytes feels about like a 53x13 on the road. Quality wise the Kreitlers have the Minouras beat hands down.

Santa also brought me a Cyclops Fluid Trainer for much the same reasons as Bill stated. I agree with most of his points. I can do 95% of of the indoor workouts I want to on the rollers. If I had not gotten the Cyclops on a closeout sale I would have been really bummed. The Cyclops also eats tires whereas the rollers are pretty gentle on equipment.

The most important thing about fitness equipment is having something you will use. I like riding rollers and am more likely to use them. I don't enjoy the trainer and have to push myself to use it.
 

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Wrong! you can setup the rollers in a doorway (like ya did when ya first got 'em) and install one of those chin-up bars at handlebar bar height thus allowing you to hold onto the stable chin-up bar while still getting the advantages of rollers. I have the crappy Preformance PVC 4" rollers and for the unbeliveably low price of $80 the differences between them and the Krietlers is negligible. Plus the $150 I saved will buy some ever so needed new shorts...
 

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Every little counts...
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Rollers all the way. I would get a resistance trainer to use in the parking lot before a crit or TT, that is about it.
 

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Lucky said:
when you've got a busted wrist and can't put one hand on the bars. :^(

I've had rollers for about 20 years, and even used to do stand-up sprints on them occasionally when I was young and stupid. I only acquired a trainer when I shattered my left wrist a couple years ago.

Kathy
Hands?? you mean you have to put hands on bars when you ride rollers? :confused:
 
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