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Trainer vs rollers?

Old 10-07-13, 03:44 PM
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Sdjclevland
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Trainer vs rollers?

Looking to buy one or the other. From what I gather people seem to like the rollers If I get a trainer It would be a cheap fluid trainer. Does any one have any input to what is better to use? I have never used either. I plan ok riding twice a week when the weather gets bad for an hour or so just for exercise really. I'm not looking to do some insane workout with it
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Old 10-07-13, 04:34 PM
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All I know is from the videos I have seen the rollers look sketchy even if the person is good at it
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Old 10-07-13, 04:41 PM
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Krietlers with Killer Headwind. Adjustable resistance and adjustable wind. The harder/faster you ride, the more cooling wind you get.
Saves you from sweating like a pig, without having to fiddle around with an electric fan.

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Old 10-07-13, 05:21 PM
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Personally I prefer rollers.

Use search function (click on advanced search) for tons of threads on this.
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Old 10-07-13, 05:26 PM
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I have the insideride e-motion rollers. I will never go back to using a trainer. Rollers replicate the road feel and improve road handling skills in addition to being a much harder workout.

It took me 10 minutes to get used to them. The best thing to do is to set them inside a hallway so that you can reach out and balance against the wall on either side and keep looking forward.
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Old 10-07-13, 05:40 PM
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Thanks. I did a search but found it odd nothing really came up on it but I did not do an advance search thanks. Looks like rollers are what I am leaning toward more now
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Old 10-07-13, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdjclevland View Post
Thanks. I did a search but found it odd nothing really came up on it but I did not do an advance search thanks. Looks like rollers are what I am leaning toward more now
The plain search function in this site sucks. Advanced search works.

Don't ask why, it's been this way for years.
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Old 10-07-13, 05:48 PM
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Rollers help your technique.
But, I prefer a trainer. It allows to me to ride longer because I don't have to concentrate on balancing. I can zone out, ride with my eyes closed if I want, grind a big gear out of the saddle...
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Old 10-07-13, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Rollers help your technique.
But, I prefer a trainer. It allows to me to ride longer because I don't have to concentrate on balancing. I can zone out, ride with my eyes closed if I want, grind a big gear out of the saddle...
+1

Answer to OP: it depends on why you're using them.
I use rollers (mostly in off-season) for 10-20mins after my on-the-road-rides to enhance my pedaling technique (pedal in circles).
But, I own a trainer, too. If there's bad weather or no place else to warm-up, I use it before races where it's important I be warmed up before the start. Although, I have used rollers prior to races for warm-ups as well. They work, too.
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Old 10-07-13, 06:25 PM
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I recently got rollers. They're not all that hard to get used to. That being said I still ride in a doorframe for the time being just in case. It does give you quite a good workout because you are using all the muscles you use on the road because you're actually riding and keeping your balance. It helps with your technique, smoothness, and bike handling as well as your riding strength. All important factors I feel if you want to "get better."

Also for price they are very competitive. Mine are incredibly quiet and I snagged them on sale for about $120 shipped. I would just feel like I would get bored just riding a trainer.

I will say that a trainer is nice, however because you can use it anywhere: living room, garage, parking lot before a race. That can be a big factor for some.

Last edited by Element GT; 10-07-13 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 10-07-13, 06:52 PM
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Trainers will keep your legs in shape, but rollers will do all that and more: improve your riding technique by forcing you to ride straight (if you don't, you get dumped, so you learn quickly) and smooths your pedal stroke, among other things. Plus, rollers are a chick-magnet, or so I've heard.
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Old 10-07-13, 07:00 PM
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rollers for recovery days and warming up pre race... nice fluid trainer for everything else.
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Old 10-07-13, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
But, I prefer a trainer. It allows to me to ride longer because I don't have to concentrate on balancing. I can zone out, ride with my eyes closed if I want, grind a big gear out of the saddle...
Isn't that what roads are for?
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Old 10-07-13, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Rollers help your technique.
But, I prefer a trainer. It allows to me to ride longer because I don't have to concentrate on balancing. I can zone out, ride with my eyes closed if I want, grind a big gear out of the saddle...
Co-sign!!!

Using rollers forces one to concentrate & focus constantly, there's no mental or physical relaxation while using rollers. Otherwise you will end up across the room embedded in your flat screen tv. So, it is a more complete workout than what you would achieve on a trainer.

A trainer, which is what I use now (Cycleops fluid 2) allows you to build up your leg muscles through repetition and resistance. You can read a book, watch tv, and even look out the window while training your legs. I emphasize "legs" because thats all that's getting a true workout. Sure you can get into aero mode and really grind, which to a small degree matches real world, but the muscles used in this fashion doesn't equal what is required for rollers or real world. So, the workout is incomplete.

Summary:
Trainers for endurance\strength building (Legs in particular)
Rollers for the most tru-to-life workout indoors
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Old 10-07-13, 08:51 PM
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If you ride with a group and you've just started, get the rollers. They build form quickly. Even after many years of riding/racing, if I feel like my form is terrible (again) I'll get on rollers a couple times. I should probably do it now but I'm being lazy.

Trainers are great for overall fitness. I use the trainer year round, meaning for various reasons I can't or won't go outside and train. You can do easy rides, hard rides, intervals (all but sprinting basically).

Specialty devices:
- Rock N Road trainer (Kurt) - allows you to stand and rock the bike
- e-motion roller (link within BF) - these allow you to (pretty easily) stand while on rollers

As a regular indoor rider I built a set of free motion rollers. I think my long term habits from riding regular rollers won't let me go full out on the free motion rollers. I rode them a few times but haven't ridden them in a while, maybe a year. They do allow you to get away with some pedaling habits that regular rollers strongly discourage.

I designed a conversion to a spare Cyclops frame I have to convert it to a home-made Rock N Road type rocking trainer. I don't weld (or use a plasma cutter - I could only find ~3/8" plate steel for free) but I haven't picked up the trainer yet. This thread it motivating me a bit as the trainer was done about 8 months ago.

If you buy a Fluid trainer you should get the Kurt. The CycleOps will leak, eventually. I have two right now, the third one leaked (hence I have an extra CycleOps frame). The Kurt fluid trainers don't have a shaft connecting the fluid chamber to the tire roller - they use magnets so the fluid is in its own sealed chamber, no shaft seal necessary.

Finally if you want to be able to fine tune your workouts in small increments (so, for example, on the road you usually shift one gear at a time, not 5 gears at a time), then you may want to consider the noisier mag trainer units. They do NOT have exponential resistance like fluid and wind trainers so you can step up your resistance a little at a time. If/when my next Fluid resistance unit goes I'm going to look for a mag unit for that reason. Mag units can give you a workout closer to motor pacing, where you can vary speed slightly without majorly influencing resistance. It's a minor thing but if I am motivated it's hard to find and maintain the sweet spot for resistance on a fluid trainer.

My tips for getting trainers - look in Craigslist or some local version of it. I bought a second set of rollers for cheap (I was going to use them as regular rollers but ended up loaning them to a teammate) and I regularly see other trainers listed.

The answer to the original question of which to get is "Get both if you can".
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Old 10-07-13, 08:58 PM
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Both are good. I end up spending 98%+ of my time on the trainer, though, although when I learned the rollers, it was a lot more roller time to get that basic technique down. I found it worth learning for the smoothness factor, but after that, my results are much better with the trainer, as I can really hammer on it whereas I can't quite hammer as hard on the rollers. (Using non-e-motion rollers.)

If I could get one though, it would hands down be the trainer, not the roller. The skillset gained from the rollers is very narrow, and will by no means make you a good bike handler on its own, even if you are a very good roller rider. I would consider getting just rollers if it were the e-motion model, though. Note that with the e-motions, though, you are losing a bit of the strict technique that non-float rollers force upon you, as the float removes the hardest part of rollers for someone who can ride them competently - it's the fore/aft jerking that's the biggest problem for competent roller riders, not veering sideways off the rollers, which forces you to really minimize extra movement on standard rollers.

Most riders who have never ridden rollers can ride e-motion rollers within 15-20mins, whereas it'll typically take them weeks to comfortably ride regular rollers at a similar level fo intensity and comfort because of the more forgiving nature of the emotions.

Last edited by hhnngg1; 10-07-13 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 10-07-13, 09:07 PM
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I ride rollers 99% of the time (I recently picked up a set of krietler 2.25s, and while they have a nice amount of resistance, they still are far from amazing, for example tempo intervals at 330 watts are done at 100 rpms in my 53/12. I have no clue how their wattage chart has 32 mph at 400+ watts and so on.

Luckily most of my riding during the winter time is sub z4, so i'm fine on rollers only. I also have a trainer, but it's rare for me to use it, and it's even rarer for me to need 360+ watt efforts in the middle of january.

I say get a nice set of rollers, and get a resistance unit if you can (cycleops resistance unit could get me up to about 400-430 watts for sustained work, but they started to get that trainer like feel to them).
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Old 10-07-13, 09:27 PM
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Rollers with resistance are the thing. What everyone else said. It's all I use. I have no interest in zoning out when I'm supposed to be training. When I train, I train. Best buy I know of are these:
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...21_-1___000000
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Old 10-07-13, 09:44 PM
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I use Elite Arion Parabolic rollers. They have a curved lip so it helps to keep you centered. I'm new to rollers but after getting the hang of it, I can ride and watch tv with not much issue. Really helps you become a smooth rider. I can't mash on it like I'm climbing a mountain but I can still get out of my saddle. Feels way more natural than my trainer.
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Old 10-07-13, 10:28 PM
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I have rollers, but also a spin bike, which is compact, always set up, and you can crank as hard as you want on it. Boring? Yes.

I prefer the rollers. Also valuable for fit adjustments, test rides, etc.
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Old 10-08-13, 05:29 AM
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I was wondering about exactly this question myself recently. I asked a friend who had ridden both and he replied "Are you going to watch television while you're riding it?" This surprised me - the answer is yes - I watch tv while I'm "riding" inside. He said then get a trainer definitely - if you don't pay attention on rollers then it is possible to ride off the edge and have an accident - he's managed this himself apparently- crashed into his bed.
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Old 10-08-13, 05:32 AM
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I'd break my neck on rollers. I like the kK Trainer because I can sit up, take a rest, not pay attention, etc.... without falling
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Old 10-08-13, 08:38 AM
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When you ride off rollers, you have zero speed and no forward momentum, so basically just fall to the side. If you're quick and can release fast, you just put your foot down. Alternatively you can stick your arm out and catch yourself against a wall, if that's the direction your falling. I set mine up in a door so I can catch myself on either side.
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Old 10-08-13, 08:42 AM
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I've always ridden rollers, but there are times when riding with less concentration would be nice. All secondary to riding outside of course.
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Old 10-08-13, 09:06 AM
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This question gets asked regularly about this time every year. I have both and have been using both for quite some time now. And as one reply answered, get both if you can. One is better in some aspects over the other. As for watching TV while riding rollers, I do it all the time with no problems of "going off the edge." I usually play a bike movie or race and workout on the trainer/rollers.
Fluid trainers have improved over the years for a leak problem but I still prefer mag units. Minoura makes fine and affordable units. I use Sportcrafters rollers. VERY good units with lifetime warranty on parts. I have one band wear out, wrote the company for a replacement, and got it sent FREE.
http://www.sportcrafters.com/products/rollers

Either way, one or the other, will help keep you fit over the winter months if used in earnest.
Cheers
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