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ride-a-holic
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Looking to purchase either a set of rollers or a trainers,so I can ride my own bike instead of the spinning bike that my wife has. I could still use the spinner some but want one or the other. Only concern I have is horror stories about people flying off rollers and slamming into walls and such.However I have also been told the benefit of rollers are tremendous for riding smoothely,and I know that you can get rollers with resistance units.
Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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rollers

I use the Kreitler Challenger rollers with Headwind unit. Fabulous! Much more entertaining than a trainer, IMO.

Tales of hitting walls and such are just that. When you come off the rollers, the wheel touches the floor and STOPS, period. There is not enough momentum to shoot you off across the room! You may fall over if you don't get unclipped, I haven't (yet...).

Quite the workout, even without the resistance unit. Necessitates a VERY smooth spin to stay upright, which is a good thing!
 

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The web is a MUT
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My experiences with both

Trainers:
Allows you to concentrate on other stuff besides balance, like watching a movie or training video or bike race while on the trainer.
Can cause stress on some framesets if you're a bit agressive while clamped into it.

Rollers:
Helps in balance and smoothness. After a winter on rollers you should be able to ride down the center of the white line on the side of the road and barely waver more than a tire width much to the amazement of co-riders following you.
Can lead to crashes if your watching a bike race on the tv while on the rollers and you lean into a corner as you follow along with the action.
The hardest part about rollers is mounting and dismounting to/from them. Start off with them in a doorway, or with a chair or ladder next to you to help starting and stopping. After a winter you should be able to hop on and get going with the rollers set up in the middle of a field outside like at a track/velodrome event.

Next year I'll probably get another set of rollers. Sold my last set since I lived in an apartment at the time and they droned too loudly for the neighbors. The trainer ended up being quieter. Now that I"m in a house I'll be shopping for rollers next Fall.

Hope this helps some. If you're concerned about falling off then lay down a bunch of padding on the floor next to where you plan to land if you fall off the rollers. I found rollers to be easier on tires than a trainer. YMMV.
 

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"shoots you across the room"

xrmattaz said:
I use the Kreitler Challenger rollers with Headwind unit. Fabulous! Much more entertaining than a trainer, IMO.

Tales of hitting walls and such are just that. When you come off the rollers, the wheel touches the floor and STOPS, period. There is not enough momentum to shoot you off across the room! You may fall over if you don't get unclipped, I haven't (yet...).

Quite the workout, even without the resistance unit. Necessitates a VERY smooth spin to stay upright, which is a good thing!

Just thinking of that makes me laugh! I agree that rollers are safe. As long as you have something to grab on to in a pinch there should be no real danger of falling over. In 10 winters of roller riding I've fallen off 5 times. I've never hit the ground. Although the feeling of your wheels slipping off your rollers is a bit unsettling, it rarely results in a crash. That being said, however, I would probably make sure that all sharp edged objects and furniture are outside striking distance....just to play it safe...
 

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rollers

I still have a HUGE beanbag chair (think "triple-size") on the right side of my Kreitler's, just in case! Bailing out onto that item sounds better than hitting the concrete.
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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buy used and get one of each!

ringroadwarrior said:
Looking to purchase either a set of rollers or a trainers,so I can ride my own bike instead of the spinning bike that my wife has. I could still use the spinner some but want one or the other. Only concern I have is horror stories about people flying off rollers and slamming into walls and such.However I have also been told the benefit of rollers are tremendous for riding smoothely,and I know that you can get rollers with resistance units.
Any advice would be appreciated!
As someone else pointed out below, rollers and trainers do the same thing differently.

I'm convinced that you need both to be a "compleat cyclist."

Just a note: its harder to warm up for crits on rollers. Trainers pack down smaller and usually weigh less.

Mike
 

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Roller starts without support

treebound said:
Trainers:
Allows you to concentrate on other stuff besides balance, like watching a movie or training video or bike race while on the trainer.
Can cause stress on some framesets if you're a bit agressive while clamped into it.

Rollers:
Helps in balance and smoothness. After a winter on rollers you should be able to ride down the center of the white line on the side of the road and barely waver more than a tire width much to the amazement of co-riders following you.
Can lead to crashes if your watching a bike race on the tv while on the rollers and you lean into a corner as you follow along with the action.
The hardest part about rollers is mounting and dismounting to/from them. Start off with them in a doorway, or with a chair or ladder next to you to help starting and stopping. After a winter you should be able to hop on and get going with the rollers set up in the middle of a field outside like at a track/velodrome event.

Next year I'll probably get another set of rollers. Sold my last set since I lived in an apartment at the time and they droned too loudly for the neighbors. The trainer ended up being quieter. Now that I"m in a house I'll be shopping for rollers next Fall.

Hope this helps some. If you're concerned about falling off then lay down a bunch of padding on the floor next to where you plan to land if you fall off the rollers. I found rollers to be easier on tires than a trainer. YMMV.
Yes, but how do you actually get started without hanging onto something?
 

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with practice

janzen said:
Yes, but how do you actually get started without hanging onto something?
Stand on the roller rails with the bike between your legs just as if you were standing on the road. Then put one foot on a pedal and take off just like on the road. The trick is to do this with no wobble and without flipping the rollers up on one rail. Hint: keep the handlebars weighted until your seated and rolling. Stopping is harder than starting, especially on a fixed gear which I never got to.

I've seen a roller platform someone built once with the rollers recessed below the surrounding decking. I'll probably do this when I get a set, call it my end of summer project. I'll rummage around the net a bit and see if I can find a link to a setup like this.
 

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treebound said:
Stand on the roller rails with the bike between your legs just as if you were standing on the road. Then put one foot on a pedal and take off just like on the road. The trick is to do this with no wobble and without flipping the rollers up on one rail. Hint: keep the handlebars weighted until your seated and rolling. Stopping is harder than starting, especially on a fixed gear which I never got to.

I've seen a roller platform someone built once with the rollers recessed below the surrounding decking. I'll probably do this when I get a set, call it my end of summer project. I'll rummage around the net a bit and see if I can find a link to a setup like this.
Thanks, I'll give it a try this spring - out on the lawn, or with pillows surrounding me. Stopping, I've had no trouble. I just click out and put a foot down.
 

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Kant phuckin sphell
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I use to swear by rollers but..

I just got one of those Cycleops fluid trainers and it is awsome!
I can actually watch a tv that is not directly in front of me with out riding off!
The trainer gets my workouts done much faster as well.
Did I mention how quite these things are!
The only downside to the trainer I can see is the tire magnet up frt does not pick up my speed.I am going to have a bike built up for the trainer and it will have a magnet set up on the rear wheel.
 

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Buy what you will ride!

There are so many of both sitting around in peoples basements that never get used.

I prefer riding rollers as it has more of a road feel and is not quite so mindless. I have rollers and a fluid trainer and will always pick the rollers unless I have a workout involving standing or really hard efforts or low cadence.

If you are already a smooth rider you will pick up rollers right away. After your first five rides you will be spinning away and wonder where all the rumors and myths came from. When starting out use your big ring and go fast which is easier than going slow. The Kreitler website has some nice hints on getting started using a door way. Set up the spread between the rollers properly. Look ahead when riding, not down at your front wheel. Put something eye level about 6 or 8 feet in front of you as a reference point for staying centered.

The smaller drums provide plenty of resistance. I use the Kreitler DynoLites (their medium size) and effort in each cog is close to the road, I think I ride about one cog harder on the rollers.

I have seen the huge platforms built by others. Mine is simple. Two 2x4's about fifteen inches long nailed below a piece of plywood about 6" x 15" creates an upside down "U". I also had to chisel out a little bit to fit over the hinge in the rollers. This gives me an elevated platform to put my foot on when mounting and dismounting.

I can watch TV even without having it directly in front of me and manage to avoid turning as the pros twist around the mountain descents. The only movie that I had problems with was Bad Boys as they raced down the highway dodging around cars.

I would recommend you get some rollers with smaller drums and use your wife's spin bike for some specific workouts. Ideally if you can borrow a set of rollers and try them out for 3 or 4 rides that would be best, ask around.
 

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I have both Kreitler DynoLites and a Kurt Rd Machine. I'm not sure which I'd pick if I was forced to only have one.

The Kreitler rollers are great for easy spin days but you need to pay attention to what you're doing. Great for working on your spin and makes you learn how to ride in a straight line. Resistance is minimal so your MPH should be higher than you'd be doing on the road.

The fluid trainer is better for hard efforts and mindless time in the basement. It's also easier to ride while watching TV or a bike video. Interval / Spinerval workouts are much easier on the trainer as your totally locked down. It also has lots of resistance that progressively ramps up, you'd have to be super human to spin out in a 53/11 on it.

Both are horrible IMO compared to riding outdoors but with 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, it's the only option I have (or that I'm willing to do) this time of year for cycling specific workouts.
 

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I have Sportcrafters aluminum rollers and the Kinetic Road machine trainer.
I'm doing about an hour on the rollers followed by 10 minutes on the trainer
every other day.
If I had to choose just one, it would be the rollers. That's because my riding
technique is not the best, and I got the rollers to get better. The rollers have
shown me that I tend to pull to the left if I am not careful about keeping a very
even pedal stroke with my right leg. I never would have learned that on the trainer.
If you have excellent riding skills, the rollers may not help you as much as they
have helped me. And I have not needed any additional resistance on the rollers.
They are 3.25 inches. I put a paint can on the floor next to the rollers to get on and
off, and I have the rollers in a doorway-like setup in the basement. I've had the trainer
for 3 years, but just got the rollers last fall. I think it is easy to overtrain on the
trainer, but it is also easy to put in a lot of junk time on the trainer, too. On the
rollers, every minute is a quality minute for me.
 

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I have Kreitlers w/killer headwind,a trainer and a stationary recumbent. I ride all three for different workouts or to make a long one bearable.
I like the trainers for spin videos and but I love the rollers for watching a shorter movies(under 2 hrs) and for spint work. The stationary is good with morning coffee. I use all three for workouts over 2 hrs.
If I could only have one It would be rollers.
Get rollers and stay with them until you can ride no handed and take your jersey off while doing it. Its a fun, fun and will boost your confidence.
 

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Rollers, with out a doubt. Especially if you already have a spinning bike. They make indoor riding much more bearble and I actually prefer to warmup on them before crits/tts/ect- when I do it seems to help me get more mentally focused as well. I just carry a sheet of plywood the size of the rollers in my car so I can ride htem on grass if need be. You can have a lot of fun doing drills in them like one legged pedaling, riding no hands, riding no hands while pedaling with one leg...
 
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