Are rollers better than a turbo trainer?

17 messages
Britrisky    pirate
06/06/2012 at 16:15
I'm thinking for those evenings when I'm stuck at home with the kids - isn't it a bit of a faff to 'install' the bike onto a turbo trainer when I could just stick it on the rollers and I'm off ... Training and baby sitting at the same time ... Or is 'off' the key word? Is it hard to stay on them? There are some on eBay that says they're angled so that keeps you on ...
06/06/2012 at 16:47

I think for most people a turbo trainer is probably the better option if you are going to have one or the other.    Whether you'd fall off rollers much is hard to say - really depends on how good you are at riding them which is a combination of your natural balance on a bike and practice.    Most competent cyclists can get good enough that falling off isn't really an issue.    If you can ride no hands no problem, including down hills, round corners etc - then maybe you could think about rollers but even then I think a turbo would probably get more use.

As for the parabolic ones - I got some for my kids to use (the Tacx type) and to be honest they are no easier to ride than my normal flat ones - I think a wider roller would probably make more difference if you were worried about going off the edge.

Dustboy    pirate
06/06/2012 at 19:53

No feckin' hope for me then!

Britrisky    pirate
06/06/2012 at 20:19
Oh I think I went over the edge when I signed up for a triathlon!!
Cpt.Jack sparra    pirate
06/06/2012 at 20:34
You can fall off a turbo too , a certain older pirate is a master *runsofftohide*
M...eldy    pirate
06/06/2012 at 20:45


Keep running sunshine  

TheEngineer    pirate
06/06/2012 at 21:05

I found out another pirate has fallen off a turbo! TWICE! 

Edited: 06/06/2012 at 21:06
M...eldy    pirate
06/06/2012 at 21:08

Barlos and Lindi crashed on turbos in a garage

TheEngineer    pirate
06/06/2012 at 23:30

Into each other?! 

*starts new rumour* 

M...eldy    pirate
07/06/2012 at 07:09

Yep ... 

07/06/2012 at 10:00

i asked for rollers for the bday. I heard they were a bit of an ars3 kick and would improve my balance. Not far wrong on either count. I have mine set up in a weeny gap in between the dining room wall and the dining room table for safety!

Britrisky    pirate
07/06/2012 at 10:08
And? ... No crashes? No moans from others trying to watch TV? Do you think you made the right choice of rollers over a turbo?
07/06/2012 at 10:17

pops sums it up - "for most a turbo is the better option".  rollers are fine if you're a competent cyclist and have a strong core and good balance but turbos as basically easier to use for any level of ability.   sure, it's a bit of faff to get setup (unless you have a spare bike you can leave in it) but in reality only a few minutes of faff.


07/06/2012 at 10:26

there would of been crashes if i wasn't jammed in between a wall and a table! i did have them in a doorway, but that didnt go down very well as i was totally in the way. I am not exactly a pro cyclist and they are really helping my balance/confidence. There is a lot of training for various things from various parties going on in this house, so no moaning re tv. The TV would just be turned up if needs be! i have used the rollers (i have Tacx Antares) for brick sessions and they work fine. my legs are just as jelly for the first 5 mins, either being out on the bike or on the rollers!

I will be getting a turbo too (my tri club has weekly turbo sessions in the winter and i would like to be in on that). My bike guru has an awesome tacx turbo set up, and he downloads his garmin, when he gets in from a ride, to his hard drive and then feeds the info to his turbo and it simulate's the ride that he has downloaded. so the same resistance going up the big hills etc. so he can practice at home then go kill it next time out. i am sure everyone else has known about this technology forever but i think its ace and when i win the lottery i will be in the market for one  

they are easy as you just jump on (carefully) and get going. but then i dont have a turbo (yet) so i dont know how hard they are to set up? for me personally, i made the right choice as i am bit of a wibbler on my bike and the rollers give me no choice but to really get my head down and concentrate.

07/06/2012 at 10:48
kittenkat wrote (see)

I've got rollers, hate turbos with a passion.

and your hair is always so cute 

TheEngineer    pirate
07/06/2012 at 13:26
oii wrote (see)

i am sure everyone else has known about this technology forever but i think its ace and when i win the lottery i will be in the market for one  

I got my Flow from and it was a LOT less than the price from wiggle or anywhere in the UK. It's still not small change but you can buy the unit and the VR upgrade on there


07/06/2012 at 15:04

We do rollers sessions for the kids and youth in our cycling club in the Winter - the rest of the year they are outside.    They are pretty good and most of the kids pick up rollers quite quickly - my son is 10 and not the most naturally confident but he got used to them - we allow turbos too but encourage them to move onto rollers - start off just standing next to them and literally put your hand on their shoulder to block them moving over too far but having a wall and a table each side like Oii does the same job.  Like Oii says they do improve your smoothness - I'm not naturally smooth on a bike - slight leg length discrepancy I think - so if I can ride them most can.

The youth group do really hard sessions on them - full on sprints - one of them is on the Olympic track programme as a sprinter so you can do proper high intensity stuff on rollers once you get the confidence - and of course warming up for a race with them looks the business (so long as you don't fall off). 

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