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Discussion Starter #1
The winter is here and my 23C tires don't work too well in the snow so I need to buy an indoor trainer. What is the consensus on "rollers" vs the normal rear wheel "trainers"?

I've heard that rollers are difficult to ride on and don't offer as much resistance adjustment as trainers. My bike handling skills and balance are quite good so I mostly want to work on fitness rather than trying to stay on the bike.

Which is the best choice? Can you offer some advice on good models under $500?

Thanks :)
 

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Both have their benefits, but for me personally, I hated any time spent on the trainer; I owned one for about 5 years, and spent less than a grand total of 5 hours on it. The rollers are my favorite; increasing your balance and spin; not to mention that you're actually 'riding' instead of just 'wearing out the back tyre'......
http://www.cptips.com/stacyc.htm
 

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Search and you will find

This topic has been covered perhaps 20 or 30 (or more?) times. Use the search function. As to your comment about not needing riding skills - manys the time that statement has been made and then the person finds that they can't actually stay up on the rollers. It can be a real eye opener about how maybe your pedal stroke is not that smooth and your ability to ride a straight line is not that great. As you may be able to deduce, I am a fan of rollers, as they will serve all training needs except the ability to do out of the saddle sprint training, which most people don't need to be doing in the winter.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
This topic has been covered perhaps 20 or 30 (or more?) times. Use the search function. As to your comment about not needing riding skills - manys the time that statement has been made and then the person finds that they can't actually stay up on the rollers. It can be a real eye opener about how maybe your pedal stroke is not that smooth and your ability to ride a straight line is not that great. As you may be able to deduce, I am a fan of rollers, as they will serve all training needs except the ability to do out of the saddle sprint training, which most people don't need to be doing in the winter.
Sold, I will get rollers ;) I did do some searching and found some good points for both.

Are cheapie ($200) rollers fine or do I need to spend more for something reliable? Come to think of it what are you getting when you spend $800 on rollers :confused:
 

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ringmaster said:
Sold, I will get rollers ;) I did do some searching and found some good points for both.

Are cheapie ($200) rollers fine or do I need to spend more for something reliable? Come to think of it what are you getting when you spend $800 on rollers :confused:
I am glad I went with rollers; Kerry's endorsement of rollers rings true. I got mine off ebay, virutally new, for $360 I think. I went the expensive route and got Kreitler Rollers, specifically the Challenger with Killer headwind unit. They're superb quality. I'd check out ebay for some deals.

When I first got on the rollers I thought I made a $400 mistake in choosing rollers of a trainer because they were so hard. But after 5 times of holding on for dear life, I was freely riding in the doorway. Now I'm able to ride outside of a doorway in more of an option area, but with the couch next to me so I can stop and talk to the wife or whatever.
 

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if you reviewed the previous threads, you will have gleaned a lot that I otherwise would say. But this I also say to you -- if you fall off, which, truth be told, you likely will, you will skitter off sideways and end up horizontal. You will not go one mm forward, because the instant your tires hit the floor they will burn to a stop, leaving a mark.
Two lessons -- make sure that you safely can fall sideways (doorways are good -- you may not even really fall). And don't worry about what is in front of you. It's safe.
 

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ringmaster said:
Sold, I will get rollers ;) I did do some searching and found some good points for both.

Are cheapie ($200) rollers fine or do I need to spend more for something reliable? Come to think of it what are you getting when you spend $800 on rollers :confused:
Performance has theirs on sale for $109 - at that price, it hardly matters if they're durable or not. You could (almost) buy four of them for the price of Kreitler's. And the reality is that they're plenty good. If there's a weak spot, it would be the bearings, and those could be replaced (if needed) with industrial-weight stuff for $25. But for the relatively short time I've had mine, there don't seem to be any issues. Aluminum rollers and end caps, too.

One thing to consider, they have a mid-sized diameter relative to others, roughly equivalent to Kreitler's "lyte" series in size. I'd say they are marginally less resistance than 'real' riding, but unless you regularly spin out your 52x12 it shouldn't matter. That might be an issue with the larger diameter models which offer less resistance- depends on your strength. The "myte" rollers from Kreitler avoid the issue, but may be more challenging to stay on because of the lower speed.
 

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rollers

rollers do rock

trainers stay tepid
 

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go with rollers... the performance ones are fine

I just replaced a aset of kreitlers with these performance ones as I wanted smaller but not microscopic drums. I like them better than the kreitler option because... I now have $200 more to spend on my bike :)

Rollers keep you from cheating/being lazy and *almost* makes indoor riding fun.
 

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I'm a newbie to road cycling so let me give my 2 cents while the impressions are fresh:

If you want rollers which you can sprint on and do intervals, you gotta go E-Motion rollers from Insideride.com. They are $$$$, but they include features like bumpers to prevent you from riding off (front/rear/side), a sliding frame, and built-in resistance unit. Fit and finish are aerospace-quality, at least on initial units being sold. Everything is machined out of billet aluminum. No paint, everything is anodized.

I had no problem riding them on the 2nd try, but right now (after 3 sessions) I'm not good enough to stand and pedal on them, much less use the resistance unit for intervals. But when I get better, I can look forward to the upside.

Rollers help develop balance and steering to a degree you'll never need on the road (unless you find yourself on a patch of ice). But they are challenging and a skill unto itself. Way more interesting than a trainer. I have to restrain myself from getting on them every day.

The trainer on the other hand, you can start doing some resistance work from the gitgo and it doesn't require as much concentration. The problem with rollers is if you ride too tall a gear or get tired, you'll lose it and fall off. So most people are content to just spin on them (which is where I am so far). Unlike other rollers, a standard feature of the E-Motion is a mag resistance unit so you can always increase resistance a bit to give you more of a workout. With other rollers, you have to change the diameter of the rollers to increase resistance, or buy an optional windfan/flywheel.
 

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Huh?

Clevor said:
The problem with rollers is if you ride too tall a gear or get tired, you'll lose it and fall off.
Gee, I guess I've not gotten tired, as I haven't fallen off in over a decade. I thought maybe it was because you lost concentration, but now that you tell me it's because of overgearing or being tired, I have a new perspective.

Clevor said:
With other rollers, you have to change the diameter of the rollers to increase resistance, or buy an optional windfan/flywheel.
And all I thought you had to do was let a little air out of your tires. I'm learning SO much here! :)
 

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I thought I'd share my expreience on both -rollers and trainers. I only had a trainer before CycleOps (fluid trainer). Very reliable and I think I did get stronger evern if I just ride for 1-1.5 hrs. I also use the first 5 Spinervals DVD to train. Eventually, I figured I should be riding outside but because of other priorities in life, I can't so I decided to buy a roller (now that they come with an optional resistance unit). So I did and I am now more confident ridig on the rode than before. At the same time, I can do some Spinervals training on it except the standing and spinting part. I did try standing while on the roller but it was just too dangerous and definitely not advisable. By the way, if you have abudget of $500 you can get both the roller and trainer. Good luck.
 

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I have been using my rollers, standard Kreitlers, with a headwind unit for some time now.
This am, I took off the headwind unit to just spin a little.
Man, from when I first got those things, I guess I have got a bit stronger, because in my 53/12, it just wasn't that hard. I remember when that seemed really hard.
Just saying.
I think the headwind unit is well worth it. The resistance is more road-like, as well as you know resistance.
 
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