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the zen of rollers

neebneeb Posts: 4,362
Just used a set of rollers today for the first time (Tacx Antares - bought them on a whim when I got back to the UK for Xmas and saw all of the snow...) Fun, but a little scary at first! The trick seems to be to relax the inevitable initial death-grip on the bars and not think too much about falling off...

Maybe a silly question - is it actually possible for the bike to fly off the front of the machine while both wheels are still on the rollers? (i.e. without wandering off at the side). I just have this constant slight fear that if I pedal too fast I might suddenly end up flying across the room and hitting the far wall... :wink:

Posts

  • dawebbodawebbo Posts: 456
    You have no forward momentum, so the short answer is no. You could technically come off, but you certainly wouldn't shoot forward
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,362
    dawebbo wrote:
    You have no forward momentum, so the short answer is no. You could technically come off, but you certainly wouldn't shoot forward
    I guess I was thinking of the momentum the wheels have rather than the bike, and how that could be translated to forward momentum if the bike came off. But I suppose because the wheels aren't very heavy, the momentum isn't very much.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    I think I've managed to ride off the front *and* the back. Not sure how I managed it though.

    In terms of lateral movement, I found it much easier to stay on the rollers when I kept my head up and looked straight ahead.

    In the immortal words of Go West, "Don't Look Down"....
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Best thing I found was to have a point of reference in front of me that was dead centre to the rollers - so you can keep your head up and look forwards and know you aren't drifting towards the side.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • darren Hdarren H Posts: 122
    I have a set of these in the shed. I use them all through winter. Build up steady and keep at a high cadence. I normally do between 70 and 90 mins which is tough in the big ring.

    Odd times vie done 2 hrs which kills you. They have been a god send in this snow and ice
  • Rollers are good for your leg speed and pedal stroke, and also great for recovery spins. However, to get any real intensity, you'll probably need to use a turbo - I find myself maxing out on the 53x11 too easy on the rollers.
  • AlanWAlanW Posts: 291
    I have had two "crashes" on my rollers in the past few days!

    1) Nearly at the end of the hour session in the garage, and pushing quite a hard gear. I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I stood up and started sprinting. :shock: Shot straight of the front of the rollers into several bottles of wine stacked at the front. Thankfully I was on my road bike and hit the brakes!!

    Lesson learnt..............DON'T stand up!!!

    2) Doing another hour session this morning, this time in the kitchen. Doing the last 10 minute warm down and was altering the volume on my i-pod that was on the work surface. Next minute I had come off the rollers and went crashing down to the left into the kitchen table and chairs. Thankfully managing to unclip my left shoe, thus avoiding possible serous injury. :oops:

    Lesson learnt............pay attention!!!
    "You only need two tools: WD40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape"
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,362
    Getting the hang of it, only fell off once during my session today (although it did draw blood - elbow hit the edge of the door frame!).
    Rollers are good for your leg speed and pedal stroke, and also great for recovery spins. However, to get any real intensity, you'll probably need to use a turbo - I find myself maxing out on the 53x11 too easy on the rollers.
    Yeah, I can't really get near threshold effort on them even spinning away like a hamster in highest gear for 45mins. Great for technique though - the smoother the pedal action the easier and more comfortable it is. And it'll be enough to keep my metabolism from seizing up completely during the hols...
  • darren Hdarren H Posts: 122
    Neeb when you get into them after a few more rides try going over the hour. It starts to get hard then. 90 mins even tougher .
    A lot of riders who say you don't get the intensity on rollers simply don't stay on them long enough.
    I find doing intervals on them is the key. Do an hour then when it starts to get tough crank it up and make it harder.
    Beware though concentration is needed
  • darren Hdarren H Posts: 122
    Forgot to mention with skill you can stand up in the climbing position for a few seconds to just give your butt a rest. This comes in handy as you start to go longer on them.

    Oh and I find after about 70 mins a bit of prodigy also helps.
    Happy rollering
  • dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
    I hated my rollers for the first 2 weeks....now i'm riding my fixed wheel bike on them which really teaches you how to spin properly.
    Much better than a turbo imo, the only thing i still struggle with is reaching down for my drink.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I just ordered a set of the Tacx T1000 from Ribble as they were on special price 8)

    I am going to use them in a narrow hallway to help save any embarrassing crashes.

    In addition to help getting some extra KM under my belt when the snow/ice prevents going out i hope it will improve my bike handling. Can you use these hands free or is that a 100% idiotic idea!!!
  • There are some good and entertaining you tube clips of people riding no handed, single legged etc....and some crashes too.... :D
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,362
    NWLondoner wrote:
    I just ordered a set of the Tacx T1000 from Ribble as they were on special price 8)

    I am going to use them in a narrow hallway to help save any embarrassing crashes.

    In addition to help getting some extra KM under my belt when the snow/ice prevents going out i hope it will improve my bike handling. Can you use these hands free or is that a 100% idiotic idea!!!
    Damn, the Ribble price is now even cheaper than the price I paid for mine at Chain Reaction just before Christmas! :evil: :wink:

    I reckon hands free might be possible, but very difficult. It's just like a road bike with mega-twitchy steering. My guess is that the position of the contact point of the tyre slightly further forward (due to being just behind the top of the roller) effectively reduces the trail considerably.
  • darren Hdarren H Posts: 122
    Riding no hands on the rollers will come to you in time. It's just the same as when you do it normally.
    Don't try and attempt it to soon or disaster might happen.
    Good luck .
    They def help to keep the mileage up in the winter. Did 60 miles on the road this morning and after 70 mins on the rollers last night that's two good sessions.
  • 45rpm45rpm Posts: 43
    look up 'rollers fail' on you tube, lots of handy hints of what not to do on there :)
  • 45rpm45rpm Posts: 43
    45rpm wrote:
    look up 'rollers fail' on you tube, lots of handy hints of what not to do on there :)

    and look at my message board fail. Must learn to read the full thread, doh!
  • Jeff JonesJeff Jones Posts: 1,865 Editor
    There are some good and entertaining you tube clips of people riding no handed, single legged etc....and some crashes too.... :D
    Posted a few of 'em in this blog: http://www.bikeradar.com/blog/article/h ... lers-28636
    Jeff Jones

    Product manager, Sports
  • AlanW wrote:
    I have had two "crashes" on my rollers in the past few days!

    1) Nearly at the end of the hour session in the garage, and pushing quite a hard gear. I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I stood up and started sprinting. :shock: Shot straight of the front of the rollers into several bottles of wine stacked at the front. Thankfully I was on my road bike and hit the brakes!!

    Lesson learnt..............DON'T stand up!!!

    2) Doing another hour session this morning, this time in the kitchen. Doing the last 10 minute warm down and was altering the volume on my i-pod that was on the work surface. Next minute I had come off the rollers and went crashing down to the left into the kitchen table and chairs. Thankfully managing to unclip my left shoe, thus avoiding possible serous injury. :oops:

    Lesson learnt............pay attention!!!

    Made me laugh this!

    having just shelled out over a grand on a track bike think i should get some...!
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    +1 for the paying attention!!

    Here is a small clip of me using my T1000 after a few tries.

    http://youtu.be/xCK9KMHzRoU :shock: 8) :oops: :roll:
    :D
  • genkigenki Posts: 305
    It gets a lot easier with practice. I got my rollers this time last year and remember that even changing gear was enough to cause a serious wobble. Now it's all second nature.

    That said, I'd add one more warning - if you're removing a long-sleeve top while pedalling one-handed, make sure the first sleeve doesn't get snagged in the front wheel. It doesn't end well... :lol:
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