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Rollers or Turbo trainer???

Tombird1Tombird1 Posts: 63
Looking into getting something to train on this winter when the weathers really censored . Could someone explain the pro's/cons of Rollers/Turbo's. Rollers look like more fun but presumably can only give low intensity training due to lack of resistance (I can't afford the ones with resistance).

Any advice much appreciated.

Posts

  • This has been discussed many times before on here, a quick search should tell you all you need to know. In a nutshell, rollers will improve your balance and your smooth pedalling efficiency (but offer little resistance without the resistance unit). Turbos allow you to vary the resistance or at least provide some resistance, as you are fixed there is no balance advantage. Its disputed whether you need a dedicated wheel (or bike) for wrecking with a turbo. The con to both is that they are boring to use and difficult to go for long sessions on.
  • I have both but I definitely prefer the rollers.

    They take more getting used to (practice somewhere with some handholds or walls, like a hallway, because you'll fall off a couple of times) but ultimatley are way more fun and actually add something to your bike handling. As s_p says, you can get more resistance on a turbo, but it's quite possible to get a good resistance on rollers if you shift up the gears. They're also less stressful to the bike and don't strip rubber off the rear tyre.

    Of the two, I'd get rollers unless you're dead set on massive, 'eyeballs out' interval sessions. If you're intending to train for serious alpine style climbing a turbo might just have the edge too.
  • Rollers any day! They don't have to be low resistance anyway - I modified mine as follows:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNSBFAjDq4E

    With the aperture for the headwind fan opened right up, the limiting factor becomes tyre slip on the roller. That doesn't happen to me very often on the open road, regardless of inclination, so you can be sure there is plenty of resistance there if you want it! I normally train with it about 1/4 open, so it is not too much harder than riding on the regular road.
  • My personal preference would be Turbo. I've tried rollers and I'm certainly not knocking them, I just personally prefer a turbo due to the fact you a fixed in thus allowing you to really put the pedals down and do some good resistance work. Not that you can't do resistance work on rollers, rollers just make me feel rather weird when you are mentally trying to keep the bike upright at all times!
  • Thank you very much for your help.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    Rollers are fantastic. They improve your style, and you can still work on sprints, no probs.
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Hi - I have both. I've got the turbo (imagic with virtual reality etc) set up in my bedroom with dedicated censored bike on it but I still prefer my rollers. The time just seems to pass by more quickly on the rollers.
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    I get scared of falling off on the rollers but the parabolic things seems to guarantee a level of staying-on-ness. Shame I already bought rollers without....
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Have just gone back to the rollers for winter, have gone through the remembering-how-to-balance-on-them phase plus the how-to-balance-on-them-whilst-doing-one-leg-drills phase.
    Next is the how-to-balance-on-them-whilst-on-the-TT-bike-on-aerobars phase : that really does tend to concentrate the mind...
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    andy_wrx wrote:
    Have just gone back to the rollers for winter, have gone through the remembering-how-to-balance-on-them phase plus the how-to-balance-on-them-whilst-doing-one-leg-drills phase.
    Next is the how-to-balance-on-them-whilst-on-the-TT-bike-on-aerobars phase : that really does tend to concentrate the mind...
    And finally, that never-to-be-forgotten midair oh-censored -I-knew-I-should-have-moved-that-glass-coffee-table-first phase :wink: !
  • Rich-TiRich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    I used rollers for the first time today - so much more interesting than a turbo!!

    Took me about 3 or 4 mins to get going without leaning on anything. After a 30min session I was sweating profusely! Mine might not have resistance but it's still quite a workout!

    You also notice how much more focused your riding is as you try to balance yourself - core muscles feel worked as do different leg muscles where you have to focus on a smooth technique to ensure you stay as still as possible.

    I loved it! :D
  • umn Derek Watts - I've tried watching the vid but it doesn't explain what you've actually done to your rollers. Give us a clue please?
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    http://www.bebo.com/FlashBox.jsp?FlashBoxId=2599596637&

    amazing vid - I think about this when I'm on the rollers sometimes :)
  • Ive just bought a set of rollers and apart from just trying to stay on does anyone have any training routines etc for when on them.

    Sorry for the minor thread hijack.
  • andy_wrx wrote:
    Next is the how-to-balance-on-them-whilst-on-the-TT-bike-on-aerobars phase : that really does tend to concentrate the mind...

    HI there.

    Andy - I do a lot of longer intervals on the rollers on the aerobars. Just relax and grip lightly! My thinking is that riding the aerobars on the rollers makes you smoother and more efficient. After a couple of winters of this I now have very little (if any) upper body movement while on the aerobars.

    Billios - unless you've got a resistance unit attached I find it hard to do short intervals on the rollers (I use the turbo instead). Longer intervals (e.g. 2 x 20mins) are ideal for the rollers.

    Cheers, Andy
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Yeah I'm back on the aerobars on the rollers.

    Last Winter I had to go back to the narrow doorway to try it, went well for upto 15 or 20 minutes until my concentration waned and I'd end-up having to elbow or shoulder myself back off the doorframe.

    This year I'm doing it in the garage, with parked bikes on one side and a lawnmower and woodpile on the other. Too painful, I'm gonna have to stay on the rollers !

    Definitely felt it improved me last Winter, made the whole pedalling thing smoother.
    I started-out pedalling-squares, stamping on the pedals and making the front wheel zigzag from side to side on the front roller.
    Not obvious on the road but very obvious on rollers, feedback instant and so very easy to correct.

    Assuming a flat course, I prefer to spin rather than grind on the TT bike, so making it all smooth and efficient at a high cadence has to be the way to go, then out at the weekend on the roadbike to find some hills.
  • I've been doing quite a bit on a turbo recently. I've also had pretty bad lower back pain. I think they might be related.

    I've never had a problem like this from cycling on the road. I've only really used a turbo seriously recently.

    I know it's not a joint problem, but the muscles around my lower back and hips locking up.

    Has anyone else got experience of this? If so, have they had a better experince on rollers?
  • It's because you're working harder on the turbo/fluid trainer. You have fit issues. The trainer is stiffer than the road because the support is at the axle, not through the wheel and tyre.

    If one follows the workout DVDs from Spinervals, you push a LOT harder than you ever could on a roller, to the point that it would not be safe on a roller.

    I've got both, but I find it's only a matter of time before you crash on a roller if you put any real time and effort on one.
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    I have both too, rollers with magnetic resistance and a Tacx Fortius turbo.

    The rollers are great for getting technique issues sorted and cadence rate up, but I really don't find them good for any form of intensity training. The resistance unit enables me to not spin out in my biggest gears, but there is not enough flywheel effect from the rollers to make it feel nice when you wind the resistance right up.

    The turbo gets about 75% of my indoor training time, and all of that tends to be my high intensity intervals etc. I like to do my lower intensity/recovery rides on the rollers.
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • DoobzDoobz Posts: 2,800
    Billios wrote:
    Ive just bought a set of rollers and apart from just trying to stay on does anyone have any training routines etc for when on them.

    Sorry for the minor thread hijack.

    This is what I call a workout - everyone is different - I have a standard set of rollers

    Start off with 10 min warm up just riding chatting to the missus or the kids.

    then go into 53/25 and work it as hard as I can in that gear and after 1 min I drop to the next gear for 1 min. I do this for each gear for 1 min till I have reached 53/12 at full pace so its 10mins aprox at max effort in each gear dropping down from 25 to 12

    Once I have hit peak at the final 1 min I just drop to spinning again in 53/25 for 5 mins and then I do 4 x 3min intervals @ 70 - 80% Effort in 53/12 with 1 min breaks

    I then spin for 5 mins and repeat the first block of 1 min in each gear and then spin down till I feel like my legs are ok.

    I try ride every day but only like above once a week - usually on a friday night as my week usually consists of this

    Sunday 70 - 80mile Hard Club Ride @ 18 - 19mph
    Monday 45 - 60mins on rollers @ mild effort just to ease the leggies
    Tuesday Rest (I might sneak on the rollers for a little spin)
    Wed 70 - 90mile Training ride @ 17 - 19mph
    Thurs 45 -60mins on rollers @ mild effort just to ease the leggies
    Friday is the workout above
    Saturday - Rest (no sneaking allowed because Sunday will be hard - bye bye leggies)
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  • rb1956rb1956 Posts: 134
    derekwatts wrote:
    Rollers any day! They don't have to be low resistance anyway - I modified mine as follows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNSBFAjDq4E
    Kudos for your hard work building the rollers and posting the vid, but the lighting and camera positioning doesn't really show anything much beyond someone riding rollers. The sequence where the camera operator is trying to show (I assume) the belt-driven fan setup is so dark that one cannot see anything much at all.
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