Rollers or Turbo Trainers

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by dharbon, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. nathanb74

    nathanb74 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use a Tacx trainer and I'm happy enough with it not to need rollers also. Have used rollers I do see the benefit of the regarding balance but found they are great for leg speed also. I do like the storage benefit of the trainer though. I set mine up in the dining room with the laptop on the dining room table and log onto cycling.tv and watch race replays.
     


  2. tumbleweed77

    tumbleweed77 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  3. Ryan Woods

    Ryan Woods New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Turbo Trainers! .... I have never been on a roller, are they good?
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,945
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    I have used Kreitler 4-1/2" rollers for about 30 years (they were my second set of rollers) and recently bought a Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer.

    The rollers promote smoothness and are good at pointing out position/fit errors on the bike. Rollers are challenging for some folks, but not tough to master. The do require some level of concentration while riding. As far a workout levels go, review the Wattage Chart provided by Kreitler below. The chart has been correlated with an SRM power meter for a reasonable level of accuracy.

    http://www.mountainracingproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/wattage_chart1.pdf

    All it takes to get a decent workout on larger diameter drum rollers (no fan, flywheel or fluid unit required) is to put it in a big gear and kick it hard. You will be sweating buckets and your legs and lungs will burn from the effort. Use small diameter drums for some real pain. With rollers, there is no increase in tire wear. When compared to road use, your tires will last much longer on rollers.

    Good rollers are quiet, smooth and a pleasure to ride. It may be more difficult to adjust your position on the bike at first, but experienced users can ride with no hands, remove a jersey when the sweating starts, sit up, go for the drops, etc. They do take some practice in a narrow hallway/doorway and a degree of confidence and they reward the rider with feedback about his/her fit on the bike. Maintenance amounts to a new belt every ten years or so.

    Additionally, the ellipitical drums, side 'bumper' rollers and the fore-to-aft slider rollers are easier to ride, offer more realistic motion and permit more of a sprint or jump and high RPM windup. Try before you buy, if you can.

    The cost of new rollers range from around $100 for cheap units from China to around over a thousand dollars if you start adding accessories and training aids.


    A decent fluid unit will also give you a great workout and you can more easily jump, sprint and ride like a gorilla on a trainer. Form is not required and you can space out to whatever tunes you enjoy...close your eyes and go brain dead. Talent and skill are unnecessary. Just bring your legs and start working your gears.

    A good fluid trainer is tuned to require a Watt input at a given gear/RPM that yields and equivalent power used on the road. It's approximate, but fairly realistic power consumption. Trainers, depending on the design, may be a bit more stressful on the bicycle frame as the rider generates side-to-side movement on the clamped rear axle. I'm not sure I would want to bolt a light carbon racing frame to my trainer despite the pro's doing so regularly.

    Both fluid and magnetic trainers can have their Watt input effort affected by heat. The longer and harder they are ridden, the more heat they build up. The silicone fluid can lose viscosity and magnets can lose Gauss. The more expensive units manage the heat problem better. Some use larger heat sinks and some incorporate fan-cooled resistance chambers.

    Magnetic, fan and fluid stationary trainers do cause some accelerated tire wear, especially if insufficient roller to tire pressure is set by the rider. Tire traction slippage and general heat buildup at the drive roller are the culprits. Use a cheap, throwaway tire or one of the 'trainer tires' if you encounter wear, are a powerful rider doing sprints and jumps, do long, high speed sessions, etc.

    Quality trainers are also pretty quiet these days and the more you pay, the better machining you get, well sealed fluid housings, better bearings, stiffer frames and so on. That said, even the bargain trainers are usually plenty good for many winter seasons of indoor torture. Trainers store in a smaller space than rollers and in a little less space than folding rollers. They are a bit more portable and are more often used on site by riders warming up for races.

    As with rollers, the cost can range from about $100 for an on-sale fan or magnetic unit to $2000 or more for a super-deluxe unit with computer interface and software.

    My ultimate answer to the OP's question is: Get both. Both rollers and stationary trainers can be plenty boring after a few sessions as the snow flies and alternating workouts by shifting devices might help you keep your sanity while waiting for Spring to arrive.
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    Your question is years old, but folks doing current searches may find these rollers slightly easier to use than regular rollers... and a bit more expensive.

    Emotion rollers by Inside Ride:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,945
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    It's -2° right now with a wind chill of -15°. Riding 15 MPH into that wind would drop it to 'Colder than a witches' tit in a brass bra!' cold. And more snow is coming soon.

    Who, among us, is manly enough to cycle forth into these conditions?

    Only Maydog! Cycling God of the Frozen Northern Wastelands!

    The rest of us mere mortals mount our rollers and trainers and curse Höðr.
     
  7. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    Not me that's for damn sure. I can handle the pain of a few minutes at 97% of my actual maxHR (not my field tested avg maxHR btw), but I ain't going nowhere outside on a bike today. Call me a wimp, I'm fine with it ;)

    Maydog, now that fella's a real man.
     
  8. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    You guys are going to make me blush. The truth is that I have only put about 70 mile on the road so far this year. The problem is not so much the cold itself, I have gear for that; but the roads refuse to clear. Short of trucking a few miles on a MTB with heavy studded tires the roads are just to slick to be enjoyable.
     
  9. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    By "gear" you mean your Boba Fett outfit? ;P
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,945
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    Same here, Maydog. I've been out twice for about 30-35 miles total. The roads are just a mess down here. When we did get a brief warm less cold than the external fuel tank on the Space Shuttle spell...we had rain turning to freezing rain.

    You should see the road salt and grit down here. Steel bikes should fear ODOT! And chains that normally go a cleanish 200 miles in the summer require a brush job after every ride...tiny particles of sand, stones, limestone, cinders...it's a mess.

    No wonder the pros train in Kaleefornya and Cube goes to Majorca...I'm screwed.

    See you guys on the trainer and rollers this afternoon.
     
  11. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    I spend most of my training time in spin / indoor cycling classes - 2 hour sessions 3 times a week and one or two one hour sessions. If I have to ride at home, my preferred setup is to use my rollers. I have a set of cheaper travel-trac rollers. They work well but I had to ride at quite a clip to put any real power down. I could do 40mph runs for minutes at a time which was pretty noisy and my cadence was too high for comfort.

    I ended up building a wooden frame to place underneath the trainer so I can use it on top of the squishy workout flooring on top of my basement carpet. A few mm from the back roller, I placed a large and powerful 12 inch shop tool holding magnet. Now I can put out decent power at much lower speeds (and gears), 15mph is sustainable and anything over 20 is a pretty good effort. Its much quieter too.
     
  12. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,945
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    Wow! Three 2 hour sessions with spin maniacs per week? No wonder so many 'sotans are crazoid! I always thought spinners were wimps until I started clocking their RPM's. Even at almost zero resistance the output is still hellishly high. And at gym room temps I would be sweating buckets. I try to keep it about 45°-50° and even then I want a fan or two on me for indoor riding.

    I prefer rollers to trainers for form and just spinning away the junk miles...just keeping the legs loose and in some semblance of form. The fluid trainer seems just a bit more Watt-sapping from off-idle to top end, requiring progressively more power as the speed builds. Rollers hit a flat spot pretty quickly, like you said. It takes a big gear unless you have fluid, fan or magnetic Resistance options added.

    Speaking of accessories for indoor training, I like my in-ear ear buds. They're great for keeping the head cool and so light they go unnoticed during indoor work, but they lack...well, everything from a sonic standpoint. Bass sucks, mid-range is mushy and blurred, highs are tinny and indistinct, tonality and presence is just sad.

    Yesterday, I was out shopping and found a blow-out deal on some headphones. I notice my ears get warmer and my hair gets wet under the head band, but DAMN! is the sound quality better. When a 150 BPM bass line starts ripping the pedals seem to gain 10 RPM on their own.

    Do you provide your own tunes for spinning or listen to the instructor's playlist? What is your preferred music types and tempos? Lately, it's been vocal trance, hard house and anthem trance with some dub and post bud thrown in on my list. I tried some of the canned running/spinning playlists and so far I've found them to be too preppy and peppy.
     
  13. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    The instructor is quite good, otherwise I would skip most of the classes. He geeks out over the workouts and has a custom playlist choreographed to the session and varies his theme from workout to workout. Intervals, climbs, jumps and sprints are all coordinated with the music. It makes the sessions much more tolerable, maybe even enjoyable.

    The workouts are quite hard, I spend a fair amount of time in Zones 4 and 5. I loose between 8 and 12 pounds of weight during spin sessions and that is after consuming 2 liters of water. I guess I am infamous for being the gross sweaty guy whose puddle underneath the bike migrates out to bikes nearby - but hey, all of my other riding has much more effective cooling - below freezing. There is also something to be said to working out with others to make you go harder and keep you honest.

    When I do fluid trainer sessions at home, I am in the garage with the door open - still get a healthy sweat going.

    I've tried sessions with other instructors, the workout is OK but not as fun. Many instructors use a canned routine that has some music but it is mostly just background - kind of like spinnervals live.

    The music varies alot, the most effective seems to have a defined beat that is at the desired cadence or a multiple thereof. He uses a lot of long mixes or mashups of various songs.
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,945
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    Quote by Maydog:
    "When I do fluid trainer sessions at home, I am in the garage with the door open - still get a healthy sweat going."

    Yup...Maydog is for sure known around the 'hood as the crazy biker dude! Even among the hale & hearty up there, that is beyond sanity! But, I concur...when you're sweating with the garage door open into that icy blast of an Alberta Clipper even the snow flakes pelting your bare arms feels good.

    I was a skinny gym rat in college and that place got me turned off to heat in workout rooms. And no amount of deodorant can mask the funky smells...

    4° this morning and another inch of snow down before it got up to 24°...but, the heat wave's over now! The thermometer is on a nose dive that will be around zero for the next three days.

    Let's see, trainer or rollers tomorrow?
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    I'll have to make the big decision tomorrow on whether I need the undershirt underneath the short sleeve top or whether I deal with the sweat during some harder efforts.

    Great weather preceding the great California drought of 2014...
     
  16. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,945
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    1"-2" of snow is coming down right now and the winds are right around 30 MPH. It's 18 freakin' degrees with a windchill of -1°...and the temperature is dropping to -12° tonight.

    My barn cats are tougher than you Kaleefornyuns! Our winters build character!

    And yes, they SUCK!

    Have fun, swampy. It looks like another week, at the earliest, that road cycling will be an option here. Snow and cold and wind through at least Saturday.
     
  17. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    I dealt with crappy English winters for many many years. While they're not as cold as what you have to deal with they were always windy and with the temps hovering around freezing we got a nice mix of ice, snow, slush, rain all mixed with rock salt on the roads. Of course, the guys would always want to go meet when the sun had just come up which would sometimes mean setting of to meet with lights on. ... So yeah, sun, warmth, good weather. Loving it. The wind out here sucks but I'd take the 25mph winds over more snow and freezing cold, plus the big wind farms look kinda cool.
     
  18. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,945
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    It's minus 12 this morning. If only I could put up with fruits, nuts and flakes (the people, not the cereal) I would live in Commiefornia. Great terrain and a climate made for being outdoors.

    I envy your weather! If the rest of the state ever revolts and secedes from LA and Sacramento...I'm in.

    Oh...and they can keep Berzerkly and San Fran.
     
  19. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Yeah, commiefornia. We'll be in a major drought this year but the state won't lift its ban on desalinization plants for drinking water as a few fish and plankton might get sucked into the system. Sounds like 2005 when they let Sacramento flood - apparently opening the sluice at Fremont Weir to drain the area would have meant the lesser spotted blue pissant frogs would have been swept away from their watering hole. What's $600 million in property damage, anyway? SoCal needs to become its own State and get its own water instead of taking ours.
     
  20. 6fhscjess

    6fhscjess Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    9
    I used to have rollers with a fan on each side of the rear roller. I got a great workout and the benefit of balance and a smooth pedal stroke.
     
Loading...
Loading...