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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just picked up my first set of roller yesterday, to help keep me in shape during the winter and when I can't fit in a real ride but still want to get some exercise in.

Boy am I squirrely on that thing! :D Apparently I don't ride in as straight of a line as I would have thought, hah. I spent about 15 minutes trying it out after setting it up last night. Luckily I have a small hallway that is not much wider than a standard door, so I was able set it up in there and keep from falling over.

For anyone who has used rollers, how long did it take you to feel comfortable on them and not worry about falling off? I think I'd be less concerned if I had carpet, my house is entirely hardwood, which I don't really feel like falling onto. :)
 

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It took me about a week to be able to stay upright for an extended period of time and another week to feel "comfortable".
 

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it's pretty quick. In less than a week I could no-hands for as long as I want. But I live on two wheels (ride a motorcycle in addition to cycling frequently)
 

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The key is go faster. If you're just cruising along with a slow cadence and speed it is more difficult. That faster you go the more stable you are. When I ride my rollers I get in my highest gears and spin fast for an hour (can't stand doing it much longer than that). I like to watch TV so I keep my head up. I found myself getting squirrely when I looked down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. Yeah, faster is key from what I have read. I can tell my pedal stroke is somewhat choppy at speed, so it'll be nice to smooth that out as well while at a high cadence.
 

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I love riding rollers in the off season and at home on days I don't have time to get out of the house. I have a Minoura Mag set with 4.5" drums, and I just bought a Kreitler Challenger set with 2.25" drums.

Going faster does allow you to be more stable on rollers, and I feel more in control if I don't death grip the handlebars and use a light grip instead. It only took me a few days of riding for an hour or so to figure out the balance aspect, but once I did I really worked on cadence and pedal stroke. I have increased my cadence significantly, feel much more stable on the bike, and have found that my whole technique of riding on the road has changed for the better.
 

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I've never tried rollers before, but I'm guessing I'd probably have as much luck as this guy on my first try:

 

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That's a sad video. If that guy wouldn't keep his hands on the wall, he'd probably balance better. That, or he needs to get out on the road a LOT more.
Hmm... Fixed gear, could that be Dave Hickey?
 

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I found the learning curve to be about 2 hours. I first started learning rollers in door way and was all bruised up on my arms from holding myself up. Once you start to gain your balance, the confidence shoots way up and now I ride in the middle of the room with no support (ie: walls, door jams, railing) anymore with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BruceG1 said:
I found the learning curve to be about 2 hours. I first started learning rollers in door way and was all bruised up on my arms from holding myself up. Once you start to gain your balance, the confidence shoots way up and now I ride in the middle of the room with no support (ie: walls, door jams, railing) anymore with no problem.
Yeah I spent a little while last night playing with the rollers more, and I do indeed have some bruises on my arms from catching myself before falling off. :D

I'm finding the hardest part is not over-reacting when you start to slide over, because that just causes you to start to "fish tail" around, for lack of a better description. I also realized I was holding the bars with a death-grip, and I need to relax my upper-body more to keep from jerking around as much.
 

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Out of curiosity what's the 'secret' to being able to stand while on the rollers? I find after about 30 min I really need to stand (well in my case stop) for a minute every 15 min or so or numbness abounds. I've been able to stand for maybe 1-2 seconds but it's really quirely and I barely make it 1-2" above the seat and then it gets too hairy and I sit back down. I really need to get off the seat for 30 seconds or so.

To the OP: Just open up your hands and lay your hands flat on top of the bars, not gripping them. It gives you plenty of stability and eventually helps you release all the 'fear' tension that you have when you first start riding on the rollers.
 

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makeitso said:
Out of curiosity what's the 'secret' to being able to stand while on the rollers?
The main problem is fore-aft motion of your body as you pedal standing up. That motion goes into the bike and makes it want to jump the front roller. Minimizing or, better, eliminating any fore-aft motion as you pedal allows standing. Difficult to explain exactly how. With me, it involves actually countering fore-aft inputs (like my foot/lower leg coming across the top of the crank circle) with a slight opposite movement of my upper body. Moving the center of the front roller very slightly forward of the front wheel axle also helps.

The people who sell E-Motion rollers figured this fore-aft thing out some time ago. Their (expensive) rollers move fore-aft with the bike-rider combination, so you can stand forever.
 

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makeitso said:
I find after about 30 min I really need to stand (well in my case stop) for a minute every 15 min or so or numbness abounds.
Sounds like you need a better fitting saddle, or shorts with a better chamois, or both.
 

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Once you've exhausted the obvious tricks (no hands, etc), a new one I've tried, is eyes-closed. You drift right over w/o feeling it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I spent another half-hour or so on the rollers last night. It's a pretty good work out! It's amazing how much the little bits of coasting you can do on outdoor rides really help to keep you recharged. Not being able to stop pedaling really makes you work hard. I was sweating buckets when I was done.

It also turned my tires silver. I wonder what the heck is coming off of the rollers? :D

 

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mcsqueak said:
It also turned my tires silver. I wonder what the heck is coming off of the rollers? :D
Hmmmm.... what color is ..... aluminum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
JustTooBig said:
Hmmmm.... what color is ..... aluminum?
Well yes, but it's amazing how much is coming off onto the tires. Perhaps I should have wiped down the rollers first.
 

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wots...uh the deal?
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Fans are your friends. I also setup a mirror directly ahead. You tend to ride where you are looking and the mirror gives a visual feedback also.
 

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mmoose said:
Fans are your friends. I also setup a mirror directly ahead. You tend to ride where you are looking and the mirror gives a visual feedback also.
Looking directly ahead is always a good thing to be doing on rollers. I put a little table in front of my rollers and use my laptop to view old races while I ride.

Fans are absolutely necessary! Lasko makes some really nice and strong fans that are also fairly quiet while not being too expensive.
 

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Blowing in the wind

mcsqueak said:
I was sweating buckets when I was done.
Our fan setup is as follows: one window (box) fan hung from ceiling above rider, desk fan on pedestal aimed at rider's face, window fan on chair directly in front of rider, window fan on floor just off to the side in front of rollers, angled up and toward the rider. You can't have too many fans!
 
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