trainers or rollers? magnetic or whatever?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jonathandanger, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. jonathandanger

    jonathandanger New Member

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    I'd like to buy a trainer or roller to keep me in shape over the winter, but I'm a bit confused on options. I'm looking to spend $200 or less. For that price, what should I look for, and what is the difference between fluid, magnetic, or whatever other systems are availible for that price range?
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    With a trainer, all that you do is sit on the bike and pedal. It gets boring real quick so you will want to be in front of a TV or have a good book to read. Rollers take a lot more concentration. With rollers, you have to balance just like you would if you were actually riding outdoors. You also have to concentrate on riding a good line or you could ride off the rollers....and that is not a good thing:eek: !!!

    There are three basic types of resistance used on trainers. There is wind resistance, mag resistance, and fluid resistance. With wind resistance, you are driving a fan with your rear tire. As you pedal faster or upshift, the resistance increases. Wind trainers are very noisy. Mag resistance is resistance provided by a magnetic device. I don't really know how it works, but they are usually adjustable so that you can choose the amount of resistance that you want. The problem is that the resistance is the same, no matter if you are pedalling slowly or fast or just starting out. They are relatively quiet. A fluid resistance unit will let you pedal slowly rather easily, and then increase the resistance as you increase your cadence. They are also adjustable so that you can use the right amount of resistance for your level of conditioning. Nearly all mag units and fluid units have adjusters that can be mounted on the handlebars so that you can change the resistance while riding. Wind trainers are not adjustable.

    A lot of rollers do not use a resitance device. Those that do usually use mag units or fluid units. I cannot remember ever seeing a set of rollers with a wind resistance unit on it.

    Right now, Performance Bike http://www.performancebike.com
    and Nashbar http://www.nashbar.com
    have trainers and rollers on sale at good prices. Your $200 price range will get you a pretty good unit, but it won't be one of the upper echelon units like a CycleOps or a Kurt Kinetic. You can also check out eBay or Craigs List and see what they have available.

    One thing to consider, trainers and rollers eat up tires more quickly than asphalt or cement for some odd reason. On a trainer, you are only killing one tire, on rollers you are killing two. You may want to buy a set of cheap tires to use with your trainer or roller. I think Continental makes a tire specifically for use with trainers, but they are around $40.00 each.
     
  3. cpeters

    cpeters New Member

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    I have been using rollers for a couple years now. The reason i prefer them over trainers is because i don't like to just sit on the bike and pedal, i like to have to think about something. Rollers also keep your balance in check over the winter months.

    I have never used a trainer with my bicycle, but i don't think that the rollers that i have eat up my tires that much. I do have a secondary pair that i use only on the rollers.
    I spent $109 for mine at Performancebicycle.com

    Good luck with your training
     
  4. jonathandanger

    jonathandanger New Member

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    Thanks for all the help, I'll look into it.
     
  5. violette

    violette New Member

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    I've used both; The rollers are good for balance and techinique. On the rollers, you can't get bored because if you daydream or even chew gum...you crash, you have to really concentrate on pedeling and you can work up a good sweat.

    I also have the Kurt Kenetic trainer. With this one, it's more of a realistic bike workout. You can stand up, sit down, look anywhere and you won't fall off. You can add resistance and so on. I do the Spinervals DVDs. They're great for keeping you motivated and not bored. You can get some with difficult levels, which is what you want.
     
  6. djconnel

    djconnel New Member

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    I have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and I love it. Listening to music and/or using Spinervals helps a lot.

    My question is: the Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer is really heavy. I'm thinking of getting a second trainer to bring to races for warming up, as well as having as a backup so my GF and I can ride at the same time. I'm thinking of the Kurt Kinetic Cyclone, which is a wind trainer. Wind trainers have a very road-like power-speed curve (as does the KK Road Machine fluid trainer), while Mag trainers tend to have a relatively artificial curve. Anyone use wind and happy with it? Especially the Kurt Kinetic Cyclone? It's rated to 1000 watts, as opposed to 3000 watts for the Road Machine, but neither I nor my GF can exceed a kW.
     
  7. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Rollers. Makes the time go more quickly. Trains you to ride smoothly, in circles and in a straight line. Get some with metal rather than plastic drums. Your bike gearing will provide all the resistance you need.
     
  8. OoAmericanGirl

    OoAmericanGirl New Member

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    If I coudl trade my trainer for a roller, I would. My trainer is good for me to play PsP, do homework, and watch tv. It's a nice work out, but nothing compaired to the concentration you have while using a roller. If you're not confident enough to get on a roller or would like to watch tv while riding, then go for it.
     
  9. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    So back we go to the....trainer or roller question.

    If you want a workout, either will do. But you can't fall off your trainer.

    I have a KK Road Machine - no complaints.
     
  10. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    If you've used rollers long enough you barely have to concentrate on them. I watch TV on them all the time, including when I'm doing intervals when my bike computer is showing between 55-60km/h. If you go to a track meet with good riders, you'll see many of them riding rollers no-hands while chatting.

    Ultimately they both have their place, I find on rollers I tend to get a little numbness and need to grab a rail and stand and stretch (while not pedalling) every 20-30 minutes. On a trainer you can just stand on the pedals and strech while continuing to pedal. YMMV.
     
  11. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    In trainer terms your best bet is probably a fluid unit, in terms of effectiveness/lack of noise. You should, shopping around, be able to find some decently priced units. I just picked up a Tacx Satori and am quite impressed with the usefulness and build quality.

    Of course, the boredom and borderline interest in suicide brought on by trainers is something we all deal with in our own way! :D

    Having said this, I believe I will buy a set of decent rollers for next winter... if for no other reason than to get over the trainer boredom!
     
  12. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    C'mon...I can ride rollers and watch TV w/o any problem. People will get the impression that rollers are so difficult, require some Yoda type concentration but not so. If ya can ride outside in a straight line, you can ride rollers.
     
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