Question: Using Rollers out of the saddle...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Feanor, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. Feanor

    Feanor New Member

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    Hi all!

    First off, I have to admit that I'm one of those odd souls that actually like riding on rollers for long periods :) I never use it as a substitute for being on the road, but more for those times when I HAVE to be on the bike :) and its either dark outside, or there is some other pressing reason I need to be close to home.

    I have my rollers set up in the garage and facing an old TV/DvD player... Most days I just listen to the radio while spinning, but often I'll pop in a DvD recording of the TdF and watch the OLN coverage of a particular stage as both inspiration, and distraction...

    I've been getting more and more confident on the rollers with time, and as a method of relieving soreness in the backside, I'll stand in the pedals and row for a few minutes out of the saddle, whereas before I would actually stop and rest... In order to prevent dumping the bike off the rollers while doing this I've learned that one has to be VERY smooth and deliberate with the pedalling technique while standing. No mashing down on the downstroke, or twitching of the bars at any point. I'd like to think that it is teaching me some good technique as far as effeciency and fluidness of motion.

    While I am out of the saddle on the rollers, I find that my legs begin to burn in much the same fashion as a stiff hill climb, but quite a bit sooner. The only explanation I have is that it is never possible for me to truly stand "all the way up" in the pedals because of the lack of resistance on the rollers as compared to the friction and resistance of the road (particularly in a hill climb) While on the rollers, it almost feels as though I am in a permanent "partial squat" due to the fact that you have to continuously balance your body weight on both pedals and keep some weight on the pedal during the upstroke to maintain balance. Think of it kind of like using a unicycle without a seat, or holding a squat with about a 110 degree angle on the knees. The burn feels like that...

    My question for the more experienced in cycling training is this: Does time out of the saddle on rollers do any harm? My read is that it does something to build muscle strength because of the burn I feel, but I fear also that operating my knees continuously under load this way without a moment in the cycle for rest at full extension may be damaging.

    The overal feeling of exertion feels different than climbing out of the saddle on the road... In that scenario, there is almost a "rest period" in the stroke where you momentarily use gravity and extension of the leg to provide downforce, and this is almost absent in the feeling you get standing on the rollers. On the rollers it feels more like a constant weight pressing down on your shoulder and concentrating on the knees...

    Anyone have opinions? I'm still pretty new at this :)

    Thanks in advance!

    Feanor
     
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  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Standing up on the rollers, thats one hell of a skill.

    Given that the skills (road v's rollers) are so different, there is likely to be less benefit than going out and riding your bike up a hill on the road.
     
  3. Nick-NH

    Nick-NH New Member

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    I live in the northeast US, in New Hampshire. With the days getting shorter and colder I find I'm riding rollers most of the time. I know the feeling you 're describing and have often wondered the same thing. After reading your post I put in a call to Kreitler to ask if they've done any studies - they haven't come back with an answer yet. For me, standing intervals are part of my [rollers] routine. A typical workout will last an hour and I try to mix things up so it doesn't get boring - or uncomfortable. 5-10 minutes of warmup and cooldown with standing intervals every other 5 minutes is a good one. This morning I managed (for the first time) to throw in two isolated leg training intervals. It takes a lot of concentration but it worked for 3 minutes a leg. You very quickly find out which is your dominant leg and learn the importance of pulling up and over your pedal stroke. Keep your unclipped leg off to the side or behind for balance but don't place it on a stool or other object - you'll find yourself relying on it for balance and that'll throw you off.
     
  4. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Feanor -

    I'm not a keen fan of rollers, although I'll be the first to admit they do have advantages over turbo's. At first when I first got my set I spent about an hour on them at any one time. I didn't start to stand on them much until I realised I was getting numb nuts and more to the point began starting to worry that my futrue family maybe on the line! Anyway, what I started to do was stand up on them for 30 secs every 5 minutes. This seemed to do the trick, however, I noticed that standing up on rollers caused me to use a lot more upper body strength than i'd ever used before and also did a great deal of damage to my tires. The upper body 'strength' building maybe a positive thing but I can't see much use for it in cycling. Even when I'm storming up a hill out of the saddle when on the road I really use little upper body strength.

    Bottom line - my rollers are wasting away somewhere in the house and my turbo is getting a good 2 hour beating every day. Personally I would never recommend rollers. My family jewels are too important!

    Training on turbo's has it's downfall. I remember the first week I spent on it (I believe it was about 6 days in succession), that saturday after I went out on the road and had almost forgetten what balancing a bike was al about. Rollers don't leave you with that feeling. I guess the problem with rollers is the fact that too much concentration is needed - and that concentration is just dull - not like being out on the tar waiting for some idiot to mow you down!

    Keep training!
    Tom.
     
  5. Unregistered

    Unregistered New Member

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    Perhaps one of you guys can help me .... I sometimes find that when I am doing an out of the saddle, isolated leg, roller training session on my unicycle, the floor of the room occasionally shoots up rapidly and bashes me on the head.

    Wearing a helmet seems to help but I would be grateful for any advice on other ways to prevent this from happening ..... :)
     
  6. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Ah...i know your solution - easy. Stop the pints before the ride. Drinking and riding don't mix ;c)
     
  7. Sidney03

    Sidney03 New Member

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    Eye there laddie...ya just need ta get the right kind of floor, no?

    Ya need to record this feat and show us b'fore we can help ya!
     
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