Switching to rollers - and why you should try too

Something is goofy with the camera – I agree, he looks huge. Cardigan corgis are bigger than Pembrokes… but still, it makes him look like a cartoon character.


I’ll agree on the super high intensity stuff for sure, no ramp tests will be done on the rollers… But then again, my FTP is so much higher outside that I don’t bother testing inside for my ego’s sake lol.

Also - the “zoning out” long ride is what I hate with the trainer. I don’t like that it allows me to zone out while riding. I typically don’t train with any entertainment or stimuli other than - very rarely - some music. I never use music, podcasts, and certainly not TV/Youtube while riding outside, and I don’t want to do it inside either. I have no issues doing 2-3 hours on the rollers with nothing but my own thoughts. I ride my bike to ride my bike - not to watch TV. I understand that everyone is different, but for me, if I have to use a bunch of external stimuli to just get though my sessions, I’m not enjoying the actual cycling, I’m numbing the boredom with something else. That, to me, is not cycling.


I use kreitlers with my track bike and do all my high intensity or sprint workouts on them, used to have trouble hitting targets but just put a bigger front ring on…
The only workouts I wont do on rollers are anything in excess of 2 hours… boredom sets in and I start to wander…


The only thing I’m not comfortable doing on rollers is out of the saddle sprinting (which I don’t do much outside either). I’ve seen folks do them on the e motions, just not something I’ve tried and not part of my indoor routine. I don’t have a second thought about anything else (including ramp tests, climbing out of saddle, high wattage/cadence intervals, etc.).

This is where I’ll sound like an Inside Ride shill - but I think their design makes rollers just as easy as outside riding in most situations. There is no way to go off forward or back like traditional rollers because there are catches in both directions (as well as the floating base moving with you). It’s possible to go off the side if you make a sudden move and hit the bumpers so hard that you can’t correct and get your balance back to center, but hitting the bumpers just becomes a friendly reminder once you learn not to freak out. Really, I think riding the e-motion rollers is mostly about just getting over the mental apprehension about riding rollers. Once your brain resets and realizes it’s pretty much the same balance dynamic as outside, you don’t give it a second thought as long as you keep pedaling. No extended coasting or back pedaling allowed, so that could be a negative for some I guess.


Don’t worry, you’ll hate rollers as much as you hate your trainer eventually. I’m 100% rollers now too, but I’ve been riding rollers for a decade, trust me when I say, the honeymoon will pass.

But… if it keeps you excited about doing the work, that’s what matters!


Yes… i ride rollers exclusively, but riding my p2 on my rollers put a lot of pressure on me to find a cockpit setup that was more comfortable. The stock setup was just not very comfortable. And now i can ride much better in aero outside.

That said, it is still a challenge riding in aero on the rollers, i can only do 5 to 10 minute blocks at a time.

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Well, that seems like a bit of an unnecessary comment, sir.

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It is a counterpoint that seems valid to me. Like many things in life, change can be a spark that reignites interest and enthusiasm in activities. Over time, those things that worked to drive motivation and such can wane for some people. What as fun and exiting at one point can become boring and less stimulating.

I went through a similar phase to a point when I switched from a fixed dumb trainer to DIY motion rollers for full season. It is the most realistic indoor riding experience I have had and may only fall short when compared to those luxury cycling treadmills. But as mentioned above, there are some negatives that come with the positives of using rollers. For me, those negatives grew in size and lead to me moving away from the rollers onto other solutions.

I am guessing that is essentially the type of thing he is discussing, where these may lose their luster over time and lead people to either switch away entirely, or possible mix them in with other options vs full commitment to rollers.

Either way, it is an opinion like any other offered on the forum, and welcomed point of view IMO.


Let me restate - that seems like like an unnecessary way to phrase such a comment, sir. “Don’t worry, you’ll hate rollers as much as you hate your trainer eventually”, is perhaps the least positive way to convey that message. I don’t mind counterpoints nor differing opinions to mine, but formulating such thoughts in that manner may come across as rather discouraging. No opinions or arguments should be excluded from an open forum thread - that defeats the purpose.

I read that comment as very much tongue-in-cheek, even if there was more than an element of truth to it. I think ibaldwin was just trying to be funny.


I have Elite NERO and Tacx NEO trainers. I truly enjoy the rollers but over time have used the NEO almost exclusively. Rollers are fun, and demand more engagement (cognitively and physically) - but I have found that on longer Z2 rides I now like to ERG it and disengage cognitively with Apple TV (podcasts, netflix/crave/YT), while intervals could be a riskier proposition (falling while clipped is not fun). But for variety, rollers are great.


Probably, I’m just being sensitive lmao;) I hope ibaldwin and the other chad don’t think I hate people now hehe


I use rollers exclusively since coming back to TR.

I did have a smart trainer before and it was great, but i really do enjoy the rollers. Absolute numbers aside, its a constant reminder to maintain a smooth pedal stroke, stable upper body and balance even during hard efforts, when tired and when legs are burning (well, for me at least). It may mean i cant go AS hard as i might be able to on a stable trainer but im ok with that.

pursuit bike on the rollers is great for the above too.

I look at it as whats the point of 10 extra watts if i cant hold my self stable and in position while the bike is moving.


For all those considering rollers I just upgraded my old school static rollers to Elite Quick Motion rollers and the moving platform is such a huge quality of life upgrade. Being able to adjust your position and get off the saddle makes it much easier to do longer rides on the rollers. Also having resistance settings obv. expands the options for workouts.

The only thing I miss is the larger diameter of the roller on my old skool ones did feel a hair more stable, but the fore/aft of the quick motions more than makes up for it.


Coincidentally enough I have just been given an old pair of Tacx rollers by a friend who has upgraded. I have had a quick try and valour soon gave way to discretion, or rather fear of falling. Can anyone advise suggest an idiots method of how on earth I learn to ride these things without falling off?

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…with many more:

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Aside from the the traditional ‘try it in a doorframe’ suggestion I’d suggest getting a tiny step stool to put your off foot on when clipping in. Starting is the most precarious part and starting on a bike thats ~4" higher than normal is a bit awkward.

Also if you’re somewhat handy and have some old rollerblade wheels or similar, mounting those horizontally by the edge of the front roller helps with keeping the wheel from going off the roller. Some manufacturers make a non DIY version of this, too.


I had never ridden rollers before getting mine a few weeks ago, but I was able to ride them with complete comfort after about 5 minutes. I simply got on the bike in regular sneakers so that I could jump off at any time, and I found it surprisingly easy tbh. The only part that is still a little shaky at times it getting on the rollers when the wheels are moving very slowly. The more speed and momentum they have, the more stable the bike becomes. Therefore, my best tip is to sit on the saddle with only one foot clipped in and spin the cranks up and build some speed before clipping in the second foot. Also, you can pedal for a while with only one foot clipped in and then clip in the other foot when you feel balanced and in control.

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Yep, starting is the trickiest part and having a step to the side of the rollers makes it easy. You can even put a single foot in and spin things up before jumping on the bike. The e-motion rollers use the rollerblade wheels you are talking about. It’s still possible to go off the side if you can’t get balance back to center, but they do a nice job of letting you know you are at the edge. I’ll bang into mine frequently, it’s a non-event.