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Training on rollers

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I have just got a set of rollers as I like the idea of a variation from my turbo trainer. Can anybody give me some advice on some good sessions to do on the rollers ? Which type of session works best ? How long do you spend on rollers - can I do an endurance session if the weather is poor ?
Any help appreciated.
post #2 of 46

Re: Training on rollers

Quote:
Originally posted by peterwright
I have just got a set of rollers as I like the idea of a variation from my turbo trainer. Can anybody give me some advice on some good sessions to do on the rollers ? Which type of session works best ? How long do you spend on rollers - can I do an endurance session if the weather is poor ?
Any help appreciated.
I doubt whether you'd be able to do any thing over 60 minutes on rollers, use your trainer for endurance and interval sessions. You'll probably get bored/sore nuts/ fall off and look like a goose. Also, it's harder to watch TV than on a trainer as you have to keep the bike on the spinning bits.

Rollers are best used to develop smoothness and pedalling efficiency - use them often enough and you'll be able to ride on them no handed. Basically this helps you relax on the road as you have better stability.

My latest rollers session involves chucking it in the granny gear and measuring the average cadence I can generate over a 30 minute session. It gives something to focus on and shows me that my spinning improving, which is important for track riders such as myself.

Other uses I've found are: warming up for track races, warming up while you wait for your mates to turn up to go for a ride, warming your body after a freezing cold ride, laughing at your triathelete friends who can't ride them.....
post #3 of 46
Although I've never used a trainer, I figure rollers are easier to do longer rides on, since you're more active. My rollers have resistance too.

I didn't really do "long" rides on them though. This year I grew a pair of stones and crammed in 4-6hr rides outside once a week, all winter (rough winter in Boston this year too).

The longest I've done on the rollers was an hour and a half. I did a warmup, then 2x20 minute intervals with enough warmup, rest and cooldown time to total 1.5hrs.

Another interval session that I've been doing now closer to spring is warmup, then 3minutes on (hard, but not as hard as I can), 3minutes off for an hour....then cool down...1.5hrs total.

During warmups/rests/cooldowns, I reach for the water bottle, alternate hands, try no-handed stuff, try spinning out a few times.

For entertainment, I only have music down in the basement right now. I find the radio to be better than CD's. With a CD, when it's over, I think it acts like a psychological punctuation mark. If you're feeling lazy, you might be tempted to quit after one. The radio is better, especially around 5-8pm, when the music seems to flow non-stop, and every song is different. The speed of the music or type of music doesn't seem to bother me either.

I think the only thing you can't do on rollers is to accelerate really fast, as the belt will slip.
post #4 of 46
I'm glad someone started a thread on rollers. I had a few questions myself.

I have older Magura Aluminum Rollers. I put some michelin tires on and now there's squeeking as I'm riding. Are there any remindees for this?

Plus, besides endurance rides (I can only last about an hour on the rollers) and sprints out of the saddle are there other workouts you can't do them as opposed to a trainer?
post #5 of 46
just sticking up for triathletes - there's no one to catch a ride off when you're in an Ironman - rollers are therefore perfect for triathletes - they generate smooth efficient technique, improve mental stamina, and most importantly - there's no peleton to hide in....
post #6 of 46
+ the roads are shot to bits in the Uk and the drivers are sh!te - so you have a better chance of living through a session on rollers!!
post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally posted by 2minus
just sticking up for triathletes - there's no one to catch a ride off when you're in an Ironman - rollers are therefore perfect for triathletes - they generate smooth efficient technique, improve mental stamina, and most importantly - there's no peleton to hide in....
Couldn't agree more, but (in Melbourne anyway) most triathetes have mag-trainers, whereas most cyclists have rollers. (I have both, but only use the mag-trainer when it's raining, cold and dark, which luckily coincides with when the Tour is on TV). A lot of triathletes could benefit from a 30 min recovery session on rollers every week, but you never hear of any doing it. Whereas you go to any velodrome, and at least 90% of the people there are comfortable on rollers.

I guess my slur was really around the fact that triathletes tend to be aerobically fit, but often lack the skills/smoothness needed to ride in bunches. And over the 180km bike leg in an ironman, efficiency must count for something.
post #8 of 46
ROLLERS - 4 drums vs. 3 drums

my friend said to get the kind of rollers that have 4 drums, b/c they are more stable. I can't find any though? does anyone know if this is true, and if so, who makes them?
post #9 of 46
Rollers are best suited for easy day, recovery, or light workouts. They don't have the resistance you need to get faster on the bike, and attempting high intensity workouts on rollers can be dangerous.

The absolute finest rollers in the world are Kreitler rollers. Al Kreitler makes several versions, including the "Dyno-Myte" and "Dyno-Lyte." These rollers have much smaller drums and increase resistance quite a bit.
Kreitler rollers are the rollers by which all others can be measured. They are the best you can buy!!!
post #10 of 46

Re: Training on rollers

I train on rollers for 2 1/2 hours a day - four days a week during the winter. I don't buy the theory that you can't train or develop on rollers. I have ZZZing rollers (www.zzzing.com - great, great, rollers by the way) with small drums, and you have to work hard on those small drums. I train on a converted $150 yard sale racing bicycle, 5 speed, with a 53 chainring up front and a 11 - 21 rear cassette that I made up. I also use 700 x 28 tires @ 90psi instead of thin, high pressure racing tires. Between the gears, tire size, and roller diameter you work your butt off. I got rid of the small chainring up front. I also stand on the rollers and this develops wonderful climbing skills because it makes you put your head forward, focus, balance, and again, you get so damn efficent in your circular pedal roation that it becomes an art.
post #11 of 46

Re: Training on rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterwright
I have just got a set of rollers as I like the idea of a variation from my turbo trainer. Can anybody give me some advice on some good sessions to do on the rollers ? Which type of session works best ? How long do you spend on rollers - can I do an endurance session if the weather is poor ?
Any help appreciated.
I too love my Kreitler rollers (smallest drums), but unfortunately, riding rollers does not entirely mimic real world situations. High cadence work and recovery are the two main uses for rollers (i.e.: what rollers are BEST suited for), but some endurance training/maintenance can be done on them as well. What rollers can not mimic are the variety of torque requirements experienced when riding on the road. However, I'll admit I've never seen a power file from someone using small drum rollers with a resistance fan addded.
post #12 of 46

Re: Training on rollers

I generally do no more than an hour on the rollers.....but i have a nice little fartlec based workout that seems to work for me.


Warm up - 6mins

TIER 1
Operate at approx 60% of your aerobic capacity (based on HR) - 6 mins
Go all out (100%aerobic/anaerobic) - 30 secs
Recovery - 3 mins

TIER 2
Operate at approx 65-75% of your aerobic capacity (based on HR) - 6mins
Go all out (100% aerobic/anaerobic) - 30 secs
Recovery - 4 mins

TIER 3
As per TIER 2

TIER 4
Operate at >80% of your aerobic capacity (based on HR) - 6 mins
Go all out (100% aerobic/anaerobic) - 30secs
Recovery - 5 mins

TIER 5
...all aboard the pain train!!
Go all out, for as long as possible...about 5 mins or till vomiting ensues..
Recovery - 6 mins

That goes for about an hour - those are roughly the times i work on, but they sometimes vary depending on how i am feeling. It is an awesome program that helps boost your recovery time and general high end aerobic capacity.

enjoy!!
post #13 of 46

Re: Training on rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterwright
I have just got a set of rollers as I like the idea of a variation from my turbo trainer. Can anybody give me some advice on some good sessions to do on the rollers ? Which type of session works best ? How long do you spend on rollers - can I do an endurance session if the weather is poor ?
Any help appreciated.
Two interval routines I've had luck with are high-cadence intervals + 5 min hard intervals. Both begin with 10 min warm-up then for the high cadence stuff I do 5 minutes on (as fast as I can spin without throwing myself off of the bike) and then 5 minutes real slow to recover. Easy gears are ok for this as it's all about foot speed. I can spin at 110 all day if necessary because of this. The other interval is 5 on 5 off as hard as you can maintain for the complete 5 minutes. You want to make sure and pick a gear that you can maintain cadence + intensity for the complete 5 minutes. Don't go 3 and then start slowing down. On your off interval do 5 minutes as slow as you can. Make sure and cool down after. Usually I do an hour. Much more than that I start to hallucinate
post #14 of 46

Re: Training on rollers

Quote:
Originally Posted by canonball
Two interval routines I've had luck with are high-cadence intervals + 5 min hard intervals. Both begin with 10 min warm-up then for the high cadence stuff I do 5 minutes on (as fast as I can spin without throwing myself off of the bike) and then 5 minutes real slow to recover. Easy gears are ok for this as it's all about foot speed. I can spin at 110 all day if necessary because of this. The other interval is 5 on 5 off as hard as you can maintain for the complete 5 minutes. You want to make sure and pick a gear that you can maintain cadence + intensity for the complete 5 minutes. Don't go 3 and then start slowing down. On your off interval do 5 minutes as slow as you can. Make sure and cool down after. Usually I do an hour. Much more than that I start to hallucinate
My exact workout. At least im not the only one doing it.

To add to the resistance factor, I use my heavy cyclocross wheels with heavy and cheap tubes and tires. Tires are 700x25, 100psi and disposable. These things weigh a ton. Having more rotational weight makes it harder.
post #15 of 46

Re: Training on rollers

I put 2 hours on the rollers 4 days a week in the winter. I am so tired of hearing that crap from bicyclist and bicycle coaches in regards to "you can get a good work out on rollers". Yeah, you won't get a workout if you sit on them for 30 minutes in a 53 - 20 gear ratio. Let me tell you what I do:

I put a 56T chainring up front, that's right, a big monster. I got rid of the small chainring because it makes you lazy. I put a 11 - 18 cog/cassette in the back. I have 700 x 30 tires at 90 psi, heavy road dudes that increase resistance. The bicycle that I used was bought from a yard sale - it's an old ten speed, classic racer.

So that crap that you hear from bicyclist that you can't get a workout are people that have not tried this or they read stats in a book, or they are lazy.
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