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Rocker Plate?

Old 01-19-23, 02:23 PM
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WT21
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Rocker Plate?

Anyone use a rocker plate? Does it help? Which ones do you use/recommend? Would like to keep it under $500 and preferably under $250.
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Old 01-19-23, 06:31 PM
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Bald Paul
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I do believe it helps. Cuts down on the sore butt syndrome from having the bike immobilized. I built my own (there are plenty of ideas, plans, and suggestions online) with a couple of industrial vibration isolation mounts, 4 tennis balls, and some 3/4" plywood. Took an afternoon to put it all together. Remember to add in a block to raise your front wheel the same amount as the height of your rocker plate or you'll be riding downhill constantly.
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Old 01-20-23, 07:49 PM
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I built mine out of parts I had on hand. It's rear wheel only, but I may extend it to support the front wheel too. It has fore-aft motion on round linear bearings. The linear bearings I had were bigger than the typical 20mm, so there was a bit more space between the plates than most people have. I wasn't happy how floppy it was with the playground balls I was using. I saw someone used a couple of pilates balls that are a bigger diameter, and so I tried those and it works much better. I probably could have added some spacers to change how much room the balls had between the plates.

I have a kickr and I dropped the wheel size all the way to make it so I'm not going downhill all the time.

I wasn't happy with it last week and stopped the motion for a couple of rides. It feels really weird to have the motion stopped like that. I do think the thing I noticed most was the lack of side to side motion, but it seems like fore aft motion is important too. I used to have tailbone pain after about an hour before I put it on the rocker, and that has stopped almost entirely. I did have tailbone pain on one ride after I hadn't been riding for a while, but that hasn't recurred.
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Old 01-21-23, 09:08 PM
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If anyone is willing to share pics of what yours looks like (particularly between the boards), that would be most appreciated.
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Old 01-22-23, 06:26 AM
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I built my own also, and as others have said it has really helped with relieving butt pain.






I placed two rubber balls on each side, the amount of air pumped into each one adjusts the rocking. Just make sure the valves are accessible.
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Old 01-22-23, 09:28 AM
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Two 3/4" plywood panels connected along the centerline with industrial vibration isolation mounts, held in with countersunk bolts. Four tennis balls sit in holes, with a small dab of hot glue holding them in place in the lower board.



I used some scrap pine to lock in the trainer rear leg position so the tire would be centered. Straps hold the rear legs down. Originally, there were six tennis balls, but I found that to be too 'stiff' so I removed the two center ones.



A block was made at the same height as the rocker plate to raise the front wheel holder.

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Old 01-22-23, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Two 3/4" plywood panels connected along the centerline with industrial vibration isolation mounts, held in with countersunk bolts. Four tennis balls sit in holes, with a small dab of hot glue holding them in place in the lower board.

I used some scrap pine to lock in the trainer rear leg position so the tire would be centered. Straps hold the rear legs down. Originally, there were six tennis balls, but I found that to be too 'stiff' so I removed the two center ones.

A block was made at the same height as the rocker plate to raise the front wheel holder.
So the supporting layer between the two playwood boards are just two industrial vibration isolation mounts? No rocker bar or anything like that? Some kind of neoprene or rubber mount? Any info on height or where you got them?
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Old 01-22-23, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Pacelineg View Post
I built my own also, and as others have said it has really helped with relieving butt pain.

I placed two rubber balls on each side, the amount of air pumped into each one adjusts the rocking. Just make sure the valves are accessible.
You built this yourself? You are way more talented than I am! What did you make that top plate from?
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Old 01-22-23, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21 View Post
You built this yourself? You are way more talented than I am! What did you make that top plate from?
I wasn't difficult to make.
The top and bottom plate are made from 3/4" plywood. I used black stain then several coats of clear coat sanding in between each coat.
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Old 01-23-23, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by WT21 View Post
So the supporting layer between the two playwood boards are just two industrial vibration isolation mounts? No rocker bar or anything like that? Some kind of neoprene or rubber mount? Any info on height or where you got them?
Mounts can be found here: KIPP - M10 Plate/Plate Vibration Isolator - 52203676 - MSC Industrial Supply (mscdirect.com)

I found the countersunk metric bolts for them at a local hardware store. I'm sure you can find them online as well. I used a 1.75" diameter hole saw for the tennis balls. Most of the center section of the lower plate in the middle is removed for weight. You would have to possibly adjust the size of the plate to fit your trainer.
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Old 01-23-23, 01:45 PM
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DIY Rocker Plate for Kickr

THIS website has a very nice how-to on DIY Rocker Plate.
I keep looking at it and wondering if I should build one.

Somebody here should do a build thread (he said taking a step backwards).

Right now, my Wahoo Kickr Bike has 4 layers of Harbor Freight rubber matting under it, just to get some give when riding.

Barry
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Old 01-23-23, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
Somebody here should do a build thread (he said taking a step backwards).
The problem is that there are so many brands and types of trainers available. Unless one could come up with some design that would accommodate them all (and I'm not up for taking on that challenge) you'd be better off just making one for the trainer you use.
I had a 'dumb' trainer initially and built a plate for it. When I changed over to the Tacx smart trainer, I found it wouldn't fit - completely different footprint. All I had to do was design and cut new plywood plates, and transfer the isolation mounts and tennis balls.
I guess a build thread could be useful for some generic design ideas, though. If I get the urge to upgrade to a direct drive trainer, I'll document the rocker plate design and build.
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Old 01-24-23, 07:38 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I built mine out of parts I had on hand. It's rear wheel only, but I may extend it to support the front wheel too. It has fore-aft motion on round linear bearings. The linear bearings I had were bigger than the typical 20mm, so there was a bit more space between the plates than most people have. I wasn't happy how floppy it was with the playground balls I was using. I saw someone used a couple of pilates balls that are a bigger diameter, and so I tried those and it works much better. I probably could have added some spacers to change how much room the balls had between the plates.

I have a kickr and I dropped the wheel size all the way to make it so I'm not going downhill all the time.

I wasn't happy with it last week and stopped the motion for a couple of rides. It feels really weird to have the motion stopped like that. I do think the thing I noticed most was the lack of side to side motion, but it seems like fore aft motion is important too. I used to have tailbone pain after about an hour before I put it on the rocker, and that has stopped almost entirely. I did have tailbone pain on one ride after I hadn't been riding for a while, but that hasn't recurred.
I keep thinking about building one (would need a full bike-sized one and want fore/aft motion), but strong enough plywood sheets (would probably need 2x 4'x8') are pretty expensive, and that (plus laziness) has been holding me back for now.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I keep thinking about building one (would need a full bike-sized one and want fore/aft motion), but strong enough plywood sheets (would probably need 2x 4'x8') are pretty expensive, and that (plus laziness) has been holding me back for now.
The site I linked claims a single 3/4 4x8 sheet.

Id guess the rocker top plate has the grain straight, the lower plate is crooked.

Barry
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Old 01-24-23, 10:46 AM
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I went through my workbench drawers (something I need to do more often, evidently) and found ONE of these, which I used in my build.
GN 351 Rubber Vibration Isolation Mounts, Cylindrical Type, with Steel Components | JW Winco Standard Parts
It's under $7, I have the metric countersunk bolts as well. If anyone would like the mount and bolts (you'd just need to order one of the above) I'll send them along for the cost of shipping. Just let me know.
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Old 01-24-23, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
The site I linked claims a single 3/4 4x8 sheet.

Id guess the rocker top plate has the grain straight, the lower plate is crooked.

Barry
I saw that, and it's probably true if you can get someone to CNC it for you. Since it'd be me and my jigsaw, I'd probably be better off planning for 2 sheets. Also, I'd like something a bit longer than the 60" listed because I ride a 64 cm bike (62 cm CTC top tube) and from the back of my trainer to the front of my wheelblock is ~62 inches if I recall.
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Old 01-24-23, 12:06 PM
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I don't see why the jigsaw makes it any different. You'll have to fit it fairly carefully. It will make it easier if you have two copies of a full size plan. I only had some partial sheets and couldn't fit a full-sized top on it, that's why I went with a rear wheel only design. If I add rocking for the front wheel, I will just splice it in the middle. There is plenty of room between the top and base for a splice. And actually it can be spliced on top as well. Right now the front wheel support is just 2 2x6 dimensioned lumber.
The rear wheel platform is just 2 foot squares of plywood. It helps that my kickr fits diagonally on one.

I might post some pictures of mine but it's definitely towards the lazy hackery end of the scale so I'm reluctant.
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Old 01-24-23, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
The site I linked claims a single 3/4” 4’x8’ sheet.

I’d guess the rocker top plate has the grain straight, the lower plate is crooked.

Barry
For my build I was able to fit both top and bottom plate on a single 4x8 sheet with left over. Both plates have straight grain.

Here's the bottom plate.
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Old 01-24-23, 03:22 PM
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I'm not sure the idea of "straight grain" really holds up that well when the plywood is made from veneers peeled from a log. In any event, it's not a violin. Just paint it or find something to top it with. The material they sell as toolbox drawer liners probably comes in wider rolls.

I think a lot of rocker plates I see use more material than necessary. It's nice to have something to step on that doesn't rock, and the top plate of a lot of rocker plates is occupying that space.
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Old 01-24-23, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I'm not sure the idea of "straight grain" really holds up that well when the plywood is made from veneers peeled from a log.
I thought it was obvious I was referring to the top layer of gain that's visible.
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Old 01-24-23, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I'm not sure the idea of "straight grain" really holds up that well when the plywood is made from veneers peeled from a log. In any event, it's not a violin. Just paint it or find something to top it with. The material they sell as toolbox drawer liners probably comes in wider rolls.

I think a lot of rocker plates I see use more material than necessary. It's nice to have something to step on that doesn't rock, and the top plate of a lot of rocker plates is occupying that space.
not only that but plywood is made of the sheets laminated with the grain rotated 90 degrees every layer.
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Old 01-24-23, 08:20 PM
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I've read of people using the waterproof black textured paint that you can paint on surfaces beside pools to prevent slipping. Not meant for wood, but an interesting idea. I hear what you're saying unterhausen about wanting an indent in the plate to have room for a stable stool. When I was using my rollers on a platform that I'd built with fore/aft motion getting close enough with the stool could be an issue at times.
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Old 01-24-23, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Pacelineg View Post
I thought it was obvious I was referring to the top layer of gain that's visible.
I know what you meant. Your plate looks great.
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Old 01-26-23, 03:44 PM
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I was going to build my own, then I found this one for $200, which I purchased a year ago. It's been great - I have to add air to the balls every few months or it gets really rocky, but otherwise it's simple and does the job.
LifeLine Indoor Cycling Rocker Plate | Chain Reaction (chainreactioncycles.com)

My only complaint is that the extra height makes getting on/off the bike a little more difficult. I like the rocking action and think it does help on longer rides to be able to move back and forth just a little.
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Old 01-27-23, 10:48 AM
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There's no way I could get off my bike without something to step on. Okay, there is a way but it involves probably injury. I have a collection of footstools around my trainer. I probably should just pick one. A lot of people build a step into their rocker plate.
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