Rollers and resistance

I’ve been using a set of Tacx Galaxia rollers along with a Quarg dzero for about a year and both have been great. However, as my strength progresses I’m finding it harder and harder to hit high power targets at suggested lowers cadence. I suspect this is because of low/no resistance on the rollers and my bike being setup with a compact crankset (50/34); cassette is 11-34.

For example, I did Moosilaukee yesterday and during the sprint intervals the only way I was able to hit target power of 385 is to spin up to 125 - 130. I’ve started to run into the same difficulty at the end of a ramp test, to hit target power I have to spin really fast since the biggest I’m able to do is 50:11.

TLDR: 50 is the largest chainring my frame will fit and new bike is just not possible right now. Given that constraint, is a new set or rollers my best bet for more resistance and what do you all recommend? I also have some perineal discomfort that is significantly lessened by rollers so a trainer is not an option. Yes, even on rollers I still stand to release pressure rather frequently :wink:
The Elite Nero’s are particularly tempting.

Maybe you can add a resistance unit?

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Yes, add a resistance unit. I have one for my minoura rollers. It makes training on rollers easier, you can adjust the resistance so you can ride in a normal gear and at a normal cadence. That also keeps the wheel speed down, which helps with noise levels.

There’s newer versions now, so I picked them up relatively cheaply but I have Elite Arion Smart B+ the advantage being you don’t have to manually vary the resistance.

ELITE Arion Digital Smart B+ Rollers: Unboxing, Build, Ride Details - YouTube

For TT warm up I also use the Feedback sports resistance rollers. I’ve only done a couple of different warm up workouts on them but I reckon they’d be good for most workouts unless you are putting out 1000w sprints.

Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer (Bicycle Trainer) - YouTube

Oh awesome! I didn’t realize how much the Arions are able to do with that bluetooth unit. When I looked on the site it seemed like it would only serve as a way to transmit data, not do any kind of resistance.

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A mag unit is tempting but at this point I’m getting so much out of indoor training that I don’t have problem throwing some money at not having another project like this on my plate :slight_smile:

Be careful when shopping. They offer a couple of different units with the basic “Arion” name, and not all have controlled resistance. There are at least 3 possible versions I know of, and only one is the controlled, another has pure data transmission, and the other is “dumb”.

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Buy some gatorskins and ride those on the rollers. Or even some Schwalbe Marathons if you really want t to go slow.

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100% rollers here…

For riders who just need a little more resistance, a small mag unit or a change in drum size could be the ticket. The difference in resistance between say the Kreitler large drums and the smallest drums is significant.

TruTrainer sells an interesting drum product with different types of resistance. They will sell the resistance drums separately. Be aware not all rollers have the same length drums so a simple swap of drum A for drum B might not work. But worth a look. TruTrainer seems to have a new controllable resistance drum product but can’t speak to it. Their stuff is quality though.

I have had eMotions for the last 15 years. Currently have the latest model with the App/Software controllable resistance (*) These are the only roller types I’ll use for daily training indoors. They are a great product. So bite the bullet, pay the price and enjoy the ride.

For the DIY inclined, that is you Chad, rollers are simple. Its easy enough to buy the drums, fabricate your own rails and make a basic movement platform. I sent the check for the eMotions because it’s a nice product. But for folks with inclination, could end up with a sweet training platform for less money and a little bit of sweat equity.

(*) These can do ERG mode with Zwift, TR, etc. I don’t use that functionality and others have reviewed that aspect of the product.

(**) No affiliation. I’ve just ridden rollers of various types for 40+ years and eMotion just nailed it with their product.


absolutely love my Elite Quick Motion rollers. Do all of my hard interval training on them, rarely have to use higher than resistance setting 2 (of 3). much prefer resistance mode on rollers (using Assioma power meter) to erg mode on Kickr

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+1 on the e-motion rollers w smart resistance. I use them for TrainerRoad, zwift, etc. They are an awesome product and I have been riding them over 10 years. No issues doing big wattage intervals, sprinting at end of races, etc.

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I have a set of SportCrafters rollers on a DIY floating platform , and with some additional “stuff” (based on @jdlbb 's great post on the paincave thread). Over time I went from a Cyclops add-on mag resistance unit to SportCrafters OverDrive resistance drum, and also added their intertia drum. This setup works well for both resistance and road feel – as well as the benefits of a floating platform.

I have Assioma pedals, so don’t need any electronics in the rollers themselves to give me power, and since the SportCrafters drum has progressive resistance I’m good not having erg mode (full disclosure, have never ridden a trainer in erg mode, so perhaps I don’t know what I’m missing:))

I also have tried several fork stands for days I want more stability; when I had my knee replacement a year ago I picked up an Omnium trainer so can use that when I want to be more brainless than roller require.

FWIW, I do have two SportCrafters drums and an InsideRide Floating Fork Stand available if anyone is in a DIY mood.

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Seeing this thread, I just tried combining both the Cyclops magnet bar and SportCrafters Overdrive drum on Cyclops rollers. In 34/20 at 80rpm it was easily 170w, with me at 67kg and some 110psi Veloflex 23mm tyres. Popping it into the 50/20, it was easily 300w for the same 80rpm. In something like 50/16, and trying 80rpm, I was easily at 400w. I’d say there is plenty of resistance with this for ramp tests. I might order the high intertia drum for indoor training once the weather gets bad enough.

I also have a set of the smallest diameter Kreitler alu drums. In comparison, the Kreitler feel just as smooth, even though they are a narrower diameter, and provide more of a road like feel. However, it does get so that you are in your biggest gear on a ramp test on the Kreitlers.

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I have a TruTrainer and the drum in question. It can provide a lot of resistance. Garmin interface shows the resistance as % slope and can go from 0-15. I’m still trying to figure out if I want to try erg mode with it. Not very experienced w/ erg and it drove my cadence through the floor when I tried it.

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i do also use the Elite Quick Motion rollers, compact, easy to use, superquick in setting up, 3 resistance levels, plenty of Watts to push… great choice

I have a Kickr gen 1 but have used alu Cycleops rollers for 10 years as well, and pretty much exclusively the last couple of years. I added the magnetic resistance unit a few years ago and it makes a big difference although its fairly basic and isnt a perfect solution. I still find I need to tweak tyre pressures a little so I can do things like SST and Thr intervals at the target cadence and power, but I’d still rather do that with rollers than erg on the Kickr.

I’'d dearly love a set of the Inside Ride rollers but you cant buy them in the UK sadly. I’m hopeful the arrival of new Wahoo semi-roller system might be a sign that some smart roller tech is on the way, as I’d jump at the chance for a quality roller that had some form of variable resistance or erg that made it easier to hit specific wattage goals. From the reviews I’ve read the Elite Nero smart roller just isnt up to the job currently, but maybe something good is around the corner?

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I’m very glad you mentioned that! If Wahoo is already working on rollers I bet we’re going to see a lot of improvements in smart rollers over the next few years. So perhaps I’m better off just getting some actual indoor tires to start and then diving into DIY resistance units if necessary. I’ve been riding on the same tires I use for road rides (schwalbe pro one) b/c switching tires is just another hurdle to get over before going on a ride. I’ve been thinking about getting a 650b wheelset for playing around on some of the single track here so maybe that’ll solve it :)…lighter 700 wheelset gets used for outside, heavier for indoor and a shiney new gravel wheelset.

I had an unused set of road wheels that I put Vittoria trainer tyres on and use them all the time on the rollers. Not sure what effect they’ve had on resistance (I think they slightly increased resistance IIRC), but wear and slippage is zero and after several years of use they still look like new except for a silver stripe down the centre!

I don’t know if the market is big enough for companies like Wahoo to invest in, but given they already have the new roller thing made, hopefully they will also introduce a proper 3 roller set. I’m not interested in any kind of fork stand design as I may as well just put the bike on the Kickr if I want to be stationary.

I looked again at the new Tacx Neo but I’m not sure it offers enough to make it vfm? I like the rocker motion idea but frankly dont really have much, if any, real need for out of the saddle efforts, and the reviews of the slow response to resistance changes and terrible power accuracy just means it wont offer more than my alu rollers and 10 gears…

Usually I just ride my normal tyres (schwalbe pro one) on the rollers, and have not seen any issues with wear or anything. One of the best things about rollers is imo that you don’t need to faff with the bike/wheels beforehand, and can just use your outdoor bike as it is. However, as I’m now unlikely to take that bike outside again until about April, I’ll probably swap to my backup wheels with clinchers, mainly because they need pumping up less often than the tubeless tyres. But anyway, just wanted to say that I don’t think you need to worry about the tyres on rollers.

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I have found that rollers, with tubeless tyres is problematic, it almost always opens up an old hole thats previously been filled with sealant.

Its either to do with the heat, or the shape of the tyre as it sits on the roller.