Smart rollers - am I mad?

I’m in the market for a trainer upgrade from my current Tacx Vortex Smart, which has never performed brilliantly and has felt like it’s on its last legs for a few years now.

I was looking at used kickr cores/older kickrs which are selling for about the right price point on eBay, but I’ve also been tempted by a set of essentially new Elite Nero Smart B+ FE-C Rollers for the same sort of price.

But, I’ve never ridden rollers before, so am I mad for thinking about this, and using it as my main training device? I’ve heard sprints can be tricky so I could keep the Vortex if I needed for those.

Right now due to family commitments, my riding is 100 percent indoors so the idea of something more realistic and engaging is appealing.

Power will be coming from my Assioma Duos so accuracy isn’t a major concern, I’m more looking for a good riding experience!

I mainly use TrainerRoad, but do venture over to the dark side of Zwift from time to time when they give me a free trial (often still running erg mode from TR though).

Any insights from roller users, or others, would be appreciated!!

I don’t know if they are Smart Rollers but Johnathan uses rollers and it doesn’t seem to done him any harm. My self I have smart rollers and a trainer but I barely use the rollers but I ride a lot outdoors. When I was training for the Tour of Flanders back in 2013 (pre my interval/TR training) and the weather was grotty I got quite into them.

I’ve moved to rollers this years due to injury and hip pain caused by working out on a fixed trainer (kickr core). I have no complains about it, I will say it takes a few seconds in the first interval to kinda figure out the cadence and gear you need for a given power target, and I can see how short sprints of 15 or even 30s would not be as good as on ERG mode, I’m using a regular roller and quarq powermeter no smart roller, currently using a tacx but I’m already thinking of updating to inside ride rollers given that the tacx costed me less than $200 as an experiment. But I have no intention of getting the smart version, manual resistance mode should be totally fine for me, since smart rollers are just not as good or fast reacting as a smart trainer

I just bought a set of elite quick motion rollers. They’re coming this weekend, to mostly replace my fixed smart trainer.
I mostly do endurance rides indoors, so I don’t feel the need for anything that I can sprint on.
They have parabolic rollers with bumpers (makes it easier to balance) and 3 levels of resistance. They also have a floating feature that provides a little forward-backward “give” in the rollers when you stand up or push hard.

Last I checked, they’re the same model that @Jonathan uses.

I’m really looking forward to getting started with them!

The most clever piece of advice that I saw for learning to ride rollers was to use flat pedals. It’s a great idea to set them up in a doorway, but flat pedals also make it really easy to step off!

I only used roller for indoor riding for 20 year, then i start using zwift and rode off them more in one week than the last 20 years. I decided it was not worth crashing and got a smart trainer. They feel great, but you do have to pay attention a little.

I have non smart rollers and did a threshold 90 minute workout on them earlier today. I kinda crashed a couple of times as i lost concentration. Endurace rides and sweet spot are OK as long as you can get enough resistance to hit your power targets which you will with the ones you mentioned.
Give em a try - they are fun and all you need to do is put your bike on them, climb on and pedal. You do have to pay attention though.

I use Feedback Sports Omnium Over-Drive. This not really a roller in the traditional sense - you attach the fork to a fixed position and the rear wheel spins on a roller. The roller has a magnet in it that increases resistance as it spins faster.

Shane Miller’s review:


  • you can put it into a suitcase and check it onto a flight. Great for work trips or other space/time-restrictive training situations
  • it’s pretty quiet and doesn’t vibrate the floor it’s on too much
  • for me with vasovagal issues, being able to choose how quickly I progress up to a interval’s power is very valuable


  • it takes a little getting used to the feeling if you’re used to the flywheel on a smart trainer
  • although you can fly with it, pretty sure you have to check it (it’s a large metal object longer than 7")
  • I think Shane notes sprints are little weird?
  • it’s not a smart roller - the resistance is applied passively per wheel speed

I also have a PM on my bike. TR, a PM, and the Omnium gets the job done.

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Check out emotion smart rollers. -

I’ve been riding their rollers for over 10 years (before they had smart options) and the build quality and operation is excellent. Their marketing sucks, so the web page is a bit of a mess, the company is run by an engineer.

Use for TR workouts and zwift. Whether you go with emotion or one of the other rollers, I’d highly recommend going with a floating frame style (I assume other companies are doing this now). For me, that is a key part of comfort and getting the “outside ride” feel (the lack of forward/back movement is what I hate about stationary trainers).

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I want to upgrade my tacx to a insideride rollers as well as get their e-flex plus to put my kickr core as well for the summer, since I will end up putting more aggressive tires on my gravel bike and it gets too loud to ride the rollers! really looks like great products

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They’re definitely a love it or hate it. May be worth picking up a cheap set on FB Marketplace or trying someone’s out who’s local to you first, unless the Elite rollers are too good of a deal to pass up? Dumb rollers go for real cheap, most people don’t like them so they sit for a long time, mine started out at $150 and kept dropping and dropping. When I finally messaged the seller he just responded “give me a $20 and get them out of my house”. I didn’t really get along with them last year, but tried again this year and have been doing all my indoor training on them, including threshold, VO2, etc.

I don’t have experience with the off-the-shelf smart rollers, but I made mine smart and I do really like being able to just sit and spin while focusing forward. It was annoying with dumb rollers having to always focus on the power and power target, made it hard to concentrate on not falling over. At this point my longest ride has been 1:15 without putting a foot down.

So inquiring minds… What rollers did you get, and how did you make them smart?

They’re Travel Trac rollers, just simple 3.25" aluminum rollers. Here’s what I’ve put together so far: GitHub - acedeuce802/DIY-Smart-Roller: Converting a standard cycling roller to a smart roller via FTMS protocol, strong magnets, and a servo

I’m still working on finishing up all the documentation and will get some video, then I’ll make a separate thread for it.


Whoa, talk about above my pay grade!

Congrats for having the skills and expertise to apply to this project and sharing your work so openly.

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Just got this beauty for less than 1/2 the price on FB market! Will be giving it a try on Tuesday!