Rocker Plates for Trainers

That is a really cool setup. I can imagine that has a great feel to it. smart.

Thanks! Comfort wise it is a little better than just side to side tilt only. But I still haven’t found my goldilocks saddle for my trainer setup so it just helps makes thing a bit more tolerable.

I was thinking of going the rollerblade wheels route or using conveyor roller bearings to add the fore/aft movement but decided against it only because using my old rollers didn’t require buying any more parts. Just only time to work out the concept and to make the modifications to set it up.

1 Like

Inspired by lots of great ideas in this thread I went from trainerless and clueless about both trainers and rocker plates to with trainer and with rocker plate over the last few weeks.

Here’s v1.0 just testing dimensions and function with this as it’s just cut from some mdf I had laying around. I made pockets for the ribbed arches in my plans but forgot to change the dimensions to accommodate the thicker mdf I was cutting the test from so the pockets on the top were supposed to be on the bottom. Details. Also seems I could have made the ball holes slightly smaller in diameter but the function of the balls seems good.

First ride tomorrow.

5 Likes

That looks really nice and well made.

Can’t wait to here your feedback after the ride. :smiley:

Thanks, I cheat a bit like some others in the thread. I let the computers do the heavy lifting.

With any luck I can help out some locals with some options in the city for these rocker plates as I see shipping costs are prohibitive.

3 Likes

Wait. Tell me more about that cutter.

1 Like

It’s a cnc router, just a home job but still quite impressive for what it can handle and really a perfect tool for projects just like this. Mine is an openbuilds lead machine.

4 Likes

This thread is great! Set up my Kickr on a very simple rocker system. Seems to work pretty darn well. Gonna test it out on a 50K ride tomorrow on Zwift!

As you can see, there isn’t too much space, so I just used two inflatable balance pods on each of the outside legs. Under the base, I used some wood shims. The shims worked well to get them evened out between the front leg and the base in the back. I’ve since taped the shims together so they stay in place. It seems pretty stable as well.

There’s a pretty good amount of rock for such a simple system. I should also add that I have the Kickr Axis attachments on the front leg and back base. They’re a softer rubber than the original front leg and base supports, so I think that helps with the rock on the two side legs positioned on the balance pods. Being short on space in the area my trainer is located, next to my wife’s trainer, I think this system will have to do for now. I’ll let you know how I like it after my longer ride tomorrow. It will be my longest ride on Zwift so far! Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!

1 Like

That looks really good. That setup in particular will be decent since the center is mostly rigid and just leans. I think it will make a notable improvement over the original Axis feet for comfort and overall action.

Let us know after the ride. Have a great one. :smiley:

1 Like

Rode my longest Zwift ride with the basic set up above. The natural rock worked well and definitely helped with the long ride. Although my sit bones did hurt for a short bit toward the end and then felt better. That said, with the above set up I did try to get out of the saddle and crank hard for a short bit. That didn’t work at all! My trainer almost came completely off one of the balance pods and slipped off the wood shims under the base and front leg. I had to hop off and fix it while I was coasting downhill! :astonished: If I want to get out of the saddle I’ll need to figure out a way to secure the balance pods on the outside legs and the wood shims to the base and front leg. As things are right now, I just don’t have the space where my trainer is located to build a proper rocker plate on top of the balance pods. Perhaps even some tape connecting the pods and shims to the trainer might work. Part of the fun is continuing to look for ways to refine things!

2 Likes

Yeah, these hack setups are usually OK for regular riding and dangerous for hard efforts and sprints. I don’t have a great solution short of adding some lumber as a connection between the trainer and pod.

1 Like

Has anything happened with this rocker design?

I hacked a similar setup after getting a saddle sore following the 2 hour rides at the end of TBMV1. TBMV2 has 2+ hour rides and even though my sit bones do get sore, it has not turned to a sore and the soreness resolves by the next mornings ride. It really doesn’t hurt any different than if I were riding outside for 2.5-3 hours.

I have also found that I have to be super cautious with out of the saddle sprint efforts. If I lunge forward too hard it wants to tip the trainer.

2 Likes

Well after a few rides on my rocker I have to say it’s pretty nice, I didn’t have much to compare to but the movement it allows is quite nice. 3/4" mdf is more than strong enough, obvious water risks aside it’s a way to keep costs down.

I whipped another one up for a friend, this time I used 5/8" mdf and one more rib than I had for mine. He’s been trainer riding for a few years and he said the comfort difference was night and day which is great to hear. I’m nearly out of my scrap bin mdf so now that some proof of concept is mostly done next ones will likely be from nicer materials but free is free for friends.

And a quick try at a tablet mount to boot

6 Likes

Very clean construction! Great work and happy to hear you like the improvements. Happy rocking :smiley:

1 Like

@mcneese.chad do you know if there is a collection of trainer base diagrams/dimensions at all? There seem to be a few general shapes, and I assume most of the specs just list total footprints. Maybe I should just ask for images of trainer bases with dimensions drawn on.

The best I know is the “Files” section on our FB group, if you are a FB user.

If you don’t have access there, I might be able to help grab something for you, if we narrow it down to one or two designs you think you want.

Okay thanks, I’ll check it out, I just made a first few fb posts recently for these rocker plates actually. If I need access I will request to whomever the admin is.

1 Like

Thinking of building this.

and looking at Inside Ride’s setup for the Kickr gave me a thought.

What if I put the front tire on a lazy susan type device, separated the front wheel and the trainer on the top platform by cutting across the platform to allow the two platforms to rock independently, but still attached to the same rod and bearing system so they would move fore and aft together. this would then allow the movement of the handle bars to tilt the bike from side to side like the Inside Ride device does. Or would that be too much? or not work at all how I’m thinking it would?

If your aim is to allow fore-aft and lean, with some level of input for steering, you may be headed to what I did by modifying my E-Flex.

I have a “mini rocker plate” via fulcrum and leveling springs added under the front section of my E-Flex.

It works really well and once I con enough people into trying it, I think we will see more steer and leverage combo rockers. At least for those looking to make the rider more “realistic” compared to just adding comfort.

I really need to do a quick video on how this works, because I don’t think my text describes how well it really works.