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New to rollers and throroughly humbled!

BUICKBUICK Posts: 362
edited April 2008 in Road beginners
I used to think I could ride a bike! After searching for old 'roller' posts I feel a bit less upset and will persevere knowing that it does take practice for everyone - but... it was a hell of a shock when I first mounted the rollers and got started. I knew it was best to keep the revs up so got on with the confidence of a lifelong cyclist - I bmx'd dirt tracks when I was at school and could do the basic street tricks with confidence, mountain biked later in my teens and have commuted on bikes for the majority of my years - but my first attempt on the rollers lasted about 4 seconds! Front wheel went off the centre line very quickly, I tried to correct it and found the back wheel drifting outwards. I panicked slightly then fell off sideways!

So - any practical tips outside of just keeping at it, and having a handhold nearby? I've already worked out that a fan is going to come in handy and that hadn't occurred to me before - I was dripping after 5 minutes - althought some of that was probably due to the flush of humiliation
'07 Langster (dropped one tooth from standard gearing)
'07 Tricross Sport with rack and guards
STUNNING custom 953 Bob Jackson *sigh*

Posts

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    - hold the bars as near the stem as you can - if you hold the brake hoods, any slight movement of your arm is multiplied as your hands are further apart
    - don't watch the front wheel religiously, try and fix on a point on the straight wall in front of you and head for that - your front wheel should follow!
    - heavier wheels have a bit more centrifugal force and want to spin in a straight line more than lightweight ones
    - relaaaaaaaax 8)
  • BUICKBUICK Posts: 362
    Thanks Bronzie. Tried again after some mental readjustment and did 10 minutes quite comfortably, being more 'relaxed' like you suggest. Going to keep taking short turns until I'm used to it some more!

    Specific question: has anyone got a definite opinion about whether tire pressure should be the same as you would use on the road or whether there is an advantage to more/less pressure on the rollers?
    '07 Langster (dropped one tooth from standard gearing)
    '07 Tricross Sport with rack and guards
    STUNNING custom 953 Bob Jackson *sigh*
  • musto_skiffmusto_skiff Posts: 394
    I had rollers in the past and have come off them; burnt a big grove in the carpet when the back wheel landed ... it was rented accomodation.

    I now have a i-Magic; IMHO much better as you have variable resistance, lots of coputer rubbish to keep you interested and you cant fall off (well not unless you have made a big error :( )
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Make sure the length is adjusted so the front wheel is hitting just behind the top-centre of the front roller, not in front of it = verrry twichy

    Do it in a doorway or narrow passageway until you get more confident/practiced - this will also practice how to elbow your opponents out of the way in a bunch sprint !

    Tyre pressure - same as on road. Lower pressure = more effort, but you've got to get it really low to make a big difference, and that will guarantee a pucture if you come off it !
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    I (and a lot of others, I think) set up the rollers between a door frame. I hang on to the frame with one hand until I get my revs up. After that it's everything Bronzie said. I tend to wobble a bit for the first minute or so but slowly get smoother. Perserverence, and a willingness to bruise elbows on the door frame occasionally, is the key :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wME5NTriTco
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Set it up in the front door, open the door, then when doing 150 rpm bunny hop to the right and see how fast you can shoot off and watch the smoke off your tyres :D
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    keep going mate it gets easier quite quickly, be warned changing gear or reaching for a drinks bottle will have you wobbling all over the place. You will soon be going no hands, taking your top off and on for kicks, As a reward this really helps your slow ridding on hills where people wobble all over the place.
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • blackhandsblackhands Posts: 950
    Set it up in the front door, open the door, then when doing 150 rpm bunny hop to the right and see how fast you can shoot off and watch the smoke off your tyres :D

    Of course you wont shoot off anwhere as you have no forward momentum.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    blackhands wrote:
    Set it up in the front door, open the door, then when doing 150 rpm bunny hop to the right and see how fast you can shoot off and watch the smoke off your tyres :D

    Of course you wont shoot off anwhere as you have no forward momentum.

    Your wheels are spinning though, the wheels will send you forward rather than spin the rollers if you jump off the rollers.
    I like bikes...

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  • Use a level and check side to side and front to back. Even a little off makes it tough.

    Keep your tire pressure up.

    The fan is a necessity. My husky figured out if she stands in front of it, I will get off and take her outside. :roll:
    It\'s not how many miles you put in, but what you put into the miles that counts
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Whoops - forgot the most important one!

    - start in a big gear (at least use the big chainring) to build up wheel speed fast - the faster the wheels go, the more centrifugal force there is to keep you upright
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    blackhands wrote:
    Set it up in the front door, open the door, then when doing 150 rpm bunny hop to the right and see how fast you can shoot off and watch the smoke off your tyres :D

    Of course you wont shoot off anwhere as you have no forward momentum.

    No forward momentum but wheels rotating at about 40mph!! Try it (outside not indoors like I joked ) then report back on here and let us know what happens then :D

    My brother once commented how easy it looked until he had a go on my patio, some how with no forward momentum he came of and crashed into fence, wonder how that happened?
  • BUICKBUICK Posts: 362
    Thanks for the tips! Some really helpful comments - I hadn't thought to check the rollers were properly level at all. I've been using my fixed bike on the rollers because it's the only bike I currently own with smooth tires, so don't have a choice about the gear I'm in, but have been getting more comfortable on the rollers regardless. What a shock to the system though!
    '07 Langster (dropped one tooth from standard gearing)
    '07 Tricross Sport with rack and guards
    STUNNING custom 953 Bob Jackson *sigh*
  • GuyGadoisGuyGadois Posts: 37
    Like the others say, a doorway provides that needed support.
    Creator of ProLog Cycling 2011 (also 2010, 2009 & 2008) - Excel based cycling log for avid cyclists
    http://www.ProLogCycling.com
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