Rollers: I need help!

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  • Rollers: I need help!
  • damascus
    Member

    I’ve just changed jobs and cycling to work isn’t always possible and with a little Damascus an evening ride isn’t always possible either.

    I’ve got a turbo trainer but it bores me to death so I thought I’d try rollers. I bought a cheap set off here a few weeks ago.

    I’ve watched a few videos and tried a few times but I’m all over the place and I can’t bring my self to let go of the work top when I’m clipped in.

    So, what are your tips to get me rolling free?

    Thanks

    joshvegas
    Member

    Big gear and let go.

    Do you know what happen if you get it wrong on rollers?

    Nothing very much you drop 5inches onto the wheels then topple sideways.

    Plenty to get your shoulder braced for a gentle tap against the wall.

    But big gear is key.

    Oh. Door frame to start.

    dovebiker
    Member

    Head-up and focus at something on the far wall straight ahead – works every time.

    joshvegas
    Member

    Great point don’t look down

    JoB
    Member

    set the rollers up inside a door frame so you can balance yourself both sides if needs be

    don’t focus on the front wheel but look up at the far end of the room

    think about your core muscles holding you steady

    it won’t hurt if you fall off

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Subscriber

    Looking forward and not down worked for me.

    damascus
    Member

    I’m looking down to make sure I don’t roll off the sides. I’ll try facing my fear! Thanks

    Maybe a bit counter intuitive, but hold the bars on the tops (I assume you’re on a drop bar bike), rather than the hoods. I found this to be easier to start with as there isnt so much steering leverage ( I’m sure there a more eloquent way of describing this) when your hands are near the stem. The bike tracks nice and straight and you have a more upright position to keep your eyes forward. Rather like real riding, your bike goes where your eyes are pointing.

    Lean on the door frame/wall with your elbow and keep both hands on the bars it’s easier to move completely on to the rollers then also, don’t clip in, use flat pedals until you get confident.

    I had all sorts of issues until I adjusted the length of the rollers, initially I had the front roller too far away which made the bike want to fall into the middle, pushing the back wheel off the back. Also caused horrendous ‘bouncing’ under any effort at all.

    Once I had positioned the front roller as close to directly underneath the front wheel as possible it made things much easier.

    Premier Icon K
    Subscriber

    Set the front roller very slightly behind the front axle will make the bike more stable.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    +1 for setting up in a door way. Allows you to pedal with both hands on the bars with your shoulder leant against the frame and you don’t have to take that leap of faith letting go of something with your hands.

    I tried a chair first but like you couldn’t take my hand off it. Door frame and I had it sorted in minutes!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yeah you need the roller contact point right under the front hub. If the rollers are set too short it gets twitchy.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Set the rollers up with the centre of the front roller a tiny fraction in front of the centre of the front hub.

    Put a small light on the bars and set the spot against the far wall then watch that (stops you looking down). It does not need to be a massive thousand lumen job, a tiny little key ring single LED works best.

    Bigger gears help, gives you something to push against and reduces bobbing. If you try and spin too small a gear, the weight of your legs going means you start bouncing.

    TiRed
    Member

    AS above, you need to stop looking down, and a small light will help with that. My other tip is to ask a 10yo, they seem to be able to do it at whim! I like to ride fixed on mine, as you can’t coast, and a fairly big gear too.

    Now try and get down on the TT extensions. It took a lot of practice to do that.

    Premier Icon eskay
    Subscriber

    Focus on something in front of you and put hands on top of bars but don’t grip the bars – flatten out your hands so that just your palms are touching (and fingers point forwards) this ensures that you are not gripping the bars tightly (bad).

    damascus
    Member

    Thanks for the tips.

    1} front wheel was way too far forward, bring it back helped a lot.

    2) looking out front made the difference. I watched random Tandem on my boys kindle

    3) didn’t go between the door because the other side of my garage door is 3 inch lower and I couldn’t be bothered to bodge it and it’s cold the other side.

    4) it’s hard in a big gear!

    5) tri bars? Lol. Im struggling to even change gears!

    damascus
    Member

    Do rollers ruin your tyres like a turbo does?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Do you know what happen if you get it wrong on rollers?

    Nothing very much

    Not so. I crashed on mine and went a-over-t on the wheelie bin I was using to steady myself. It wasn’t an elegant dismount…

    TiRed
    Member

    Tyres are fine on rollers. Resistance depends on pressure with lower being harder. I absolutely love riding rollers. With a pedal power meter and Eurosport. I do recovery during the ads.

    Now you are riding on them, quickly progress to riding off them and then back on. Then perfect dropping off the rollers and track standing on the frame.

    I got bored of mine very quickly 🙂 and they ruined my wife’s tyres. Should sell really!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Try not to watch MTB films with lots of corners and switchback while riding on rollers

    Sage advice right there that is

    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/zuvvi/media/bc_files/sportivetrainingplans/20_MINUTE_WARM_UP.pdf

    The British Cycling 20 minute warm up is ideal for rollers, lots of cadence changes to keep it interesting, and the full gas intervals are excellent practice for smooth pedalling! Important not to change gear, I found 5th or 6th sprocket down whilst in the big ring was perfect.

    The 20 minutes passes really quickly, I’d normally do this then jump on turbo for a sweetspot or similar sort of workout. Alternatively I reckon if you dropped your tyre pressures or picked a bigger gear then just doing this workout twice would be all the session you needed.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    Try not to use them in the corner of a room at work with no ambient light and the overhead lighting controlled by movement detectors which don’t recognise someone doing intervals on rollers and thus go off after ten minutes.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    look forward works for me, and get a good speed up.
    Still can’t really do no handed, or indeed get water bottle from chair or bottle cage.

    I’ve got one handed nailed although towelling off is still tricky.

    Going two handed is like being a child again, I can briefly take both hands off before frantically grabbing the bars again.

    Standing up is coming along nicely, super easy when I use the MTB with slicks, less easy on the road bike. It feels like a really good core strength challenge though so I’ll be trying to incorporate a bit more standing up practice in my sessions.

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