How do you get going on rollers?!?!?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by stiffback010, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. stiffback010

    stiffback010 New Member

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    Hi all,
    I've just put together the Tacx Ecotrax rollers I had bought and decided to try them out .
    Three Questions really; How the hell do you get going on them.
    Are they supposed to be a bit stiff to pedal on.
    and How the hell do you stop the wife and kids from p*****g themselves while you keep banging into the doorways?
     
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  2. otb4evr

    otb4evr New Member

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    Very small corrections with your body weight...

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rollers+bicycle&search=Search

    They are fun, once you get the hang of them...

    Don't know about the wife and kids thing, though. I go down into the basement...

    Jim
     
  3. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    is your problem that you can't get going or that you keep falling off of them once you get going? if it's the latter put a reference point in front of the rollers that you can line the front wheel on (a box)... that helps a lot and i think a wall is better than a doorway... also during your warmups and cool downs parctice riding close to the edges of the roller...go from one side ride there then go to the other side and ride there for a bit, this will make you more comfortable and improve your confidence...

    if it's the former i need more time and i'm out the door right now... they are great once you get the hang of them...
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Start in a doorway or narrow hallway (sounds like you already are), start in a mid range gear that you can spin, clip into one pedal and get up and onto the bike using the doorway for support, ride on the tops with one hand on the doorway until you're spinning smoothly and are riding near the center of the front roller, don't stare at the front roller, your balance will be better if you look five or ten feet ahead and just keep the front roller in your peripheral vision, make sure the rollers are adjusted properly for the wheelbase of your bike - you won't go off the front if the rollers are a tiny bit long - but they're more stable if they're not too long, and most of all relax...especially your elbows and shoulders!
    Not unless you've got one of the headwind or resistance models. Make sure you haven't overtightened the rollers themselves.
    Not really your problem is it:) assuming of course you're not p*****g yourself either:)
    You could try reminding them that if you fall off it'll make a ton of noise but it's basically the same as falling over while standing still with the added excitement of the wheels spinning. Even though your wheels are spinning at 20 or 30 mph you aren't really moving. IOW you don't actually have any momentum so if you fall off and hit the carpet you don't actually race through the TV set and out the plate glass window. You just fall over and make a racket and maybe get some bruises. Doesn't really matter, they won't believe you, heck you probably won't believe it until you fall off (that's a when, not an if.....)

    Have fun and good luck,
    -Dave
     
  5. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    I knew of a guy in our Cycling club who(back in the days when we made our own rollers - they were never that good!) lost it on his. The bike hit the floor running and the front wheel smashed through his laundry wall!!:eek:

    Don't try that at home:)
     
  6. Hookyrider

    Hookyrider New Member

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    You couldn't be more correct - I love my rollers! It sounds counter-intuitive, but just get relaxed - you'll find out when you are fatigued as you will start to wobble, and make mistakes, it's then time to stop for the night. Also at slow speeds it's more difficult to stay upright - but be careful with whipping it up to high speeds! You will be more stable, but the risk of coming off does kind of go up. If your front wheel comes off it seems pretty scary, but the wheel will not really cause you to move forward, and if you are near a doorframe, wall, etc. you'll be able to catch yourself - no problem. It's at high speed you can get a little crazy, and have the rear wheel come off and hit the floor - that can and will pose problems with forward momentum - I've sacraficed one of the little bones in my left wrist, and dented my refridgerator, with something. Needless to say I missed the end of that Simpsons episode...

    otherwise - enjoy!

    HR
     
  7. L.Viento

    L.Viento New Member

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    The biggest piece of advice I can give about riding the rollers is just to commit to it. If you're the least bit hesitant when you get going, you're going to be off-centered and on the floor. Just take a few deep breaths and relax. Use the wall to support yourself until your front wheel feels stable, then just commit to the rollers and get your hands on the tops.

    It's a steep learning curve, but you do get good at them quickly. You'll be pedaling no-handed (maybe with one foot too) in no time. It takes a few crashes, but after a while you realize that the falls aren't so bad after all and your confidence skyrockets. Confidence is crucial -- commit, believe that you can ride them, and be convinced that there are worse bike handlers than you that have been able to do it...so why shouldn't you? Your pedal stroke will thank you.
     
  8. rayhuang

    rayhuang New Member

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    Kepp your hands on the tops of the bars-dont try to ride on the hoods or drops till youve really gotten good. I got rolling on them my first try (very scary and shaky-but I did it) and got smooth enough to ride for 15 minutes+++ after the third try (still scary). I still roll off the side of the rollers when i try to get cocky. I went straight from the between the doorway to a chair next to me immediately as well.


    On the chair is the bottle, DVD and TV remote and towel. I also hold the chair to get started. After awhile you get the confidence to drink and towel your face dry. Like the previous poster said-its about positive thought!!

    I will somtimes ride 15 minutes, stop-drink, towel dry and get going again. Its just less stressful!! Some days i do it all while riding. This is on the Kreitler Dyna-mites which are supposedly the hardest to ride so maybe when i buy my own (the dyna's were borrowed) rollers with larger diameter drums I will be able to pull a bottle out of the cage and drink.

    Oh last, I practice one handed drills every roller ride as well. It helps build confidence and smoothness for when you do need to reach for something.

    Last bit of advice-DONT hang your towel on your handlebars!! lol

    Ray
     
  9. stiffback010

    stiffback010 New Member

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    Had another go today, done 5 miles!!!
    Only shot off the back once when I slowed down to reach my water bottle. I'm hooked , they're bloody great fun even if I do look like Bambi on the ice!!
     
  10. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    Nicely done! ;)
     
  11. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    nice!!

    set up of the rollers themselves is important too...
    1. make sure a vertical line going through your front wheel's axle goes though the axle of the front roller or as close as possible, slightly behind is ok too
    2. depending on the size of your bike bike your front wheel and back wheels might not be at the same height off the ground when place on the rollers, meaning your bike is actually angled... when at the same height it will help your bike to sit in the rollers better and prevent them from "popping out" as easily... measure the distance from the ground to the axle of both wheels.. the two heights should be the same.. if they aren't get something to wedge under the feet of the rollers (some have twist adjustable feet) until the axles of the wheels are at the same height... this can also save your butt while on rollers until you get used to it you sit a whole lot more than on the road and with the seat pointed up can make your butt and nether regions get kinda sore...
    3. i have a giant tool box in the middle of my rollers so i can stand on it and can be at the same height if the bike was on the ground and i'm not stepping up to get on the bike
    eventually if you want to do real long workouts of any length you will need to:
    1. get as big and powerful a fan as you can get your hands on and if you can locate close to a window so the fan blows cool air... even better
    2. learn how to stand (gives your butt a break) and ride no hands give your back a break...
    other advice would be to use a big gear to get started and when doing anything like reaching for a bottle... with the big gear the wheel turns faster per rev meaning better stability and since you aren't spinning as fast there is less side to side motion meaning less wobbling and chance to go to far, over correct, panic and i think you know the rest... : )

    i think you've realized from falling off a few times that you really don't hurt yourself (well maybe your ego takes a hit from the family...) and this kinda make you settle down a bit... biggest thing is to just relax and realize you are just riding a bike and falling off has WAY less consequences than on the road

    but it's really good to focus on something in front of the rollers and line that up with your front wheel... then you know where you are on the rollers without looking down.... don't want to be looking down too much
     
  12. stiffback010

    stiffback010 New Member

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    Cheers Guys,
    Great advice all and a special thanks to doctorSpoc.
     
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