Tommy Simpson goes rollin' in the deep.

Look Pro: Rollin’ Dirty

by / / 98 posts

When it comes to training, no one loves riding outside and loathes riding inside more than I do. On the other hand, riding outside is dangerous, especially with something like the Tour de Trump running the show. So I’ve been working on my road safety by not riding on the road and riding my rollers instead.

The added benefit of the rollers is that I do it in the early hours of the day, when no one is stirring apart from the odd mouse, so there are no witnesses. No one wants to see a shirtless man crying. Not even a mouse.

The rollers are the quintessential winter training and warm-up device. Merckx rode them. I was going to list other people who rode them but then realized that the list is as complete as it needs to be with just that name on it. I’d never ridden them until last Spring, when Marko sent me his, saying I could have “those diabolical bastards”. I rode them on my road bike until it got light enough to accommodate morning rides outside which was twice. Then I forgot about them until we fell back again a few weeks ago. (Daylight Savings? More like Daylight Shavings.)

With the days getting short and my gut getting wide, I’ve turned once again to the rollers for my morning Spanish Turbo Sessions. Except this Fall, I’ve been riding my Don Walker track bike (which was here until ridden only for the Festum Prophetae Hour) which adds the benefit of an unforgiving fixed wheel to the fun of riding these torture devices.

On the plus side, nothing will give you a more Magnificent Stroke than this heinous combination will. Thirty minutes feels like a lifetime; forty-five like an eternity. I’ll let you know what fifty minutes feels like when I get there. At which point, much like with The Hour, I’ll no doubt climb off, citing road conditions.

// Accessories and Gear // Defining Moments // Look Pro // Riding Ugly

  1. @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    I have seen the kinetic rocking trainer. Although it does look pretty cool, I really have no need or desire to be out of the saddle while on the trainer. Also, I feel like I am more likely to rock too far on the kinetic and take the bike, and trainer down on top of me. I am fine just sitting down and going forward for now.

    Great discussion! I just use it as another justification for another bike!

    Anyways, I HAVE to get out of the saddle every 15 minutes for 5 minutes or so, at least, just to save my arse from going numb on the rollers/trainer. I cannot imagine riding for 1-3 hours and not getting out of the saddle at all. That just cannot be healthy!!!

  2. @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    I have seen the kinetic rocking trainer. Although it does look pretty cool, I really have no need or desire to be out of the saddle while on the trainer. Also, I feel like I am more likely to rock too far on the kinetic and take the bike, and trainer down on top of me. I am fine just sitting down and going forward for now.

    Great discussion! I just use it as another justification for another bike!

    Anyways, I HAVE to get out of the saddle every 15 minutes for 5 minutes or so, at least, just to save my arse from going numb on the rollers/trainer. I cannot imagine riding for 1-3 hours and not getting out of the saddle at all. That just cannot be healthy!!!

    When I do long trainer rides I do regular intervals out of the saddle, although in the UAE we often had to make ourselves get up on the pedals.

    I remember a chap came out to ride with us, very good rider, while he was there on business and commented afterwards how his arse was numb because you just sat down for so long, whereas at home you naturally stood up every now and then.

    And he was from Ipswich (which will mean something to @Chris) but for non-Englishers it’s a famously flat part of the country.

  3. @ChrisO

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    I have seen the kinetic rocking trainer. Although it does look pretty cool, I really have no need or desire to be out of the saddle while on the trainer. Also, I feel like I am more likely to rock too far on the kinetic and take the bike, and trainer down on top of me. I am fine just sitting down and going forward for now.

    Great discussion! I just use it as another justification for another bike!

    Anyways, I HAVE to get out of the saddle every 15 minutes for 5 minutes or so, at least, just to save my arse from going numb on the rollers/trainer. I cannot imagine riding for 1-3 hours and not getting out of the saddle at all. That just cannot be healthy!!!

    When I do long trainer rides I do regular intervals out of the saddle, although in the UAE we often had to make ourselves get up on the pedals.

    I remember a chap came out to ride with us, very good rider, while he was there on business and commented afterwards how his arse was numb because you just sat down for so long, whereas at home you naturally stood up every now and then.

    And he was from Ipswich (which will mean something to @Chris) but for non-Englishers it’s a famously flat part of the country.

    Must be my northern Vermont heritage. You cannot go 2 k’s in any direction without hitting a climb up there!

  4. I’d used rollers predominantly for years, but then got a used turbo last year and leaned on that for most training, and mixed in rollers for recovery and some pedal stroke work. Last night I did my first honest-to-goodness workout on them in probably a year or so and goddamn I forgot how effective they were. I did intervals to an album with 2.5-3.5 minute tracks using HR as the metric. The intervals were roughly 95%-90%-95%-recover-95%-90%-95%-recover-95%-90%-recover-end.

    It was only a 32 minute album, but by the end of it I was losing form to the point that I almost went rolling off. I’m optimistic about gains this winter…

  5. @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    I have seen the kinetic rocking trainer. Although it does look pretty cool, I really have no need or desire to be out of the saddle while on the trainer. Also, I feel like I am more likely to rock too far on the kinetic and take the bike, and trainer down on top of me. I am fine just sitting down and going forward for now.

    Great discussion! I just use it as another justification for another bike!

    Anyways, I HAVE to get out of the saddle every 15 minutes for 5 minutes or so, at least, just to save my arse from going numb on the rollers/trainer. I cannot imagine riding for 1-3 hours and not getting out of the saddle at all. That just cannot be healthy!!!

    I vary my seated position on the trainer. Every 15 minutes or so I take my hand off of the bars and sit straight up. I reduce my cadence as resistance increases given the additional weight on the back tire and ride upright for a minute or so. Then I resume my normal position on the handlebars. This seems to keep me from getting too stiff or numb.

  6. Brilliant find today on my lunch roller ride.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BosoKajLw_I

    I watched this race and man it was awesome! I have never seen Dwars Door Het Hageland but if you need an hour-plus vid for the rollers, this will not disappoint, esp with Matthew Stephens commentating.

  7. @Buck Rogers

    Ha, awesome. I’ll save that for Thursdays session.

    You really have immersed yourself in the Euro race scene. I’d never heard of that one!

  8. @chris

    @Buck Rogers

    Ha, awesome. I’ll save that for Thursdays session.

    You really have immersed yourself in the Euro race scene. I’d never heard of that one!

    Man, I had never heard of it, either but it popped up on my youtube suggestions and I had to try it when I saw the description which was “The Belgium Strade Bianchi”. Esp when I saw that Matt Stephens as co-commentating! I am going to have to go watch it next year! I wonder if they do a cyclosportif of that race???

  9. @Buck Rogers

    Tro Bro Leon 2018?

    Haven’t been on my rollers for a while but I came close to losing my lunch in the turbo last night. I think my FTP is probably nothing more than a good indication of 90% of how much I can hurt myself in 20 minutes and bears no relation at all to what can be achieved in an hour or even 45 minutes.

    There is much work to be done before the Ronde.

  10. @chris

    @Buck Rogers

    Tro Bro Leon 2018?

    Haven’t been on my rollers for a while but I came close to losing my lunch in the turbo last night. I think my FTP is probably nothing more than a good indication of 90% of how much I can hurt myself in 20 minutes and bears no relation at all to what can be achieved in an hour or even 45 minutes.

    There is much work to be done before the Ronde.

    That is one race that I have watched many years of on youtube on the rollers. Another awesome, under-the-radar race. I would love to do it as a sportif in 2018! I am planning on doing Strade Bianchi in 2018 without a doubt, though so not sure how close they are to one another. Cannot do too many or I will be in trouble with the VMH and kiddos! Only one or maybe two if they are well spaced, per year!

    And as for the Ronde, oh yes, much work to be done. I am riding the rollers four days a week now for the last month, up from three days a week in October but now my right knee is starting to bitch at me a bit.

    Need to try to get outside for longer rides as an hour, ten minutes on the rollers is not going to translate well into 230 k’s of Flanders at all, even if I do it seven days a week!

  11. @chris

    @Buck Rogers

    Tro Bro Leon 2018?

    Haven’t been on my rollers for a while but I came close to losing my lunch in the turbo last night. I think my FTP is probably nothing more than a good indication of 90% of how much I can hurt myself in 20 minutes and bears no relation at all to what can be achieved in an hour or even 45 minutes.

    There is much work to be done before the Ronde.

    Good lord. Due to a nagging injury, I took 5 weeks off from twice-a-week soccer. I played last night and had serious trouble running for the full 90 minutes. Add to that a 7 month old and very little time for long rides, and my conditioning is HORRIBLE and my waist line has grown.

    Ugh, I officially felt old last night having trouble running for a full scrimmage.

    Gotta drag the rollers out!

  12. Just got my first set of rollers in like . . . 30 years. Once turbo trainers came out in the late 80s it was bye-bye to the rollers (which were so crap and noisy they could be heard by my folks in the house when I was outside in the garage).

    Damn, they’re tricky to get used to. First session was basically worthless. I think I rode unsupported for maybe 10 seconds. Second session was better – a couple of 10-15 minute sessions. Determined to get to “second nature” point soon.

    What gets me is the strange mixture of having to relax and seriously concentrate at the same time. It really makes you aware of any subconscious tension or flaws in your stroke.

  13. @wiscot

    Just got my first set of rollers in like . . . 30 years. Once turbo trainers came out in the late 80s it was bye-bye to the rollers (which were so crap and noisy they could be heard by my folks in the house when I was outside in the garage).

    Damn, they’re tricky to get used to. First session was basically worthless. I think I rode unsupported for maybe 10 seconds. Second session was better – a couple of 10-15 minute sessions. Determined to get to “second nature” point soon.

    What gets me is the strange mixture of having to relax and seriously concentrate at the same time. It really makes you aware of any subconscious tension or flaws in your stroke.

    Isn’t it amazing?!?!? You describe it perfectly, the weird sense of having to be 100% aware all the time but needing to be relaxed and keeping it all balanced.

    And it truly is a steep learning curve. Another one or two sessions and you’ll be cooking up yer eggs while riding like that amazing video of the female pro that was posted here a year or so ago!

  14. I’ve started taking a different training approach with my turbo sessions recently. I’ve always used HR to train, so a tempo or threshold session would be based around trying to hold a steady heart rate.

    I’ve had some HRM issues recently and it dawned on me that a I have a power curve for my turbo (and Excel), I effectively have a power meter. I did an FTP test on the turbo and worked out power zones.

    A session training with power is so different from a session training on HR. On the latter, I’d be trying to maintain a steady HR while my speed (ergo, power) dropped lower and lower. Now, I just hit a steady speed and hold it while I work harder and harder to keep it there.

    Feels like I have to go deeper for the same workout, and it feels a lot of targeted.

  15. @Buck Rogers

    The thing about winter training is that it is a well known fact that the cold air is thicker which explains why it is slower/harder in the winter……

  16. @Teocalli

    @Buck Rogers

    The thing about winter training is that it is a well known fact that the cold air is thicker which explains why it is slower/harder in the winter……

    I genuinely put a post on my club’s Facebook page asking if it was possible for Shimano Dura-Ace bottom brackets to gain increased resistance when worn. Turns out it was just a bit cold and I was a bit tired.

  17. @Teocalli

    @Buck Rogers

    The thing about winter training is that it is a well known fact that the cold air is thicker which explains why it is slower/harder in the winter……

    Does that also apply when I’m on the turbo or the rollers in my garage? It can get into the 20s or 30s in there sometimes. Thicker air would explain a lot!

  18. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    @Buck Rogers

    The thing about winter training is that it is a well known fact that the cold air is thicker which explains why it is slower/harder in the winter……

    Does that also apply when I’m on the turbo or the rollers in my garage? It can get into the 20s or 30s in there sometimes. Thicker air would explain a lot!

    Is cold Treacle harder to stir than when hot?

  19. @wiscot

    Just a thought, which you probably know stone cold anyway, but if I remember mm’s can make a difference to your stability – that is where your front wheel falls on the front roller. Off just a little and you won’t be happy… It’s worth fiddling with it to see if anything changes. Problem is I don’t remember if spot on, a little behind or in front give the best result.

    I’m sure the real pros here will set me straight about this – I may be imagining it all since its been 35 years since I trained/raced rollers.

  20. @Rob

    @wiscot

    Just a thought, which you probably know stone cold anyway, but if I remember mm’s can make a difference to your stability – that is where your front wheel falls on the front roller. Off just a little and you won’t be happy… It’s worth fiddling with it to see if anything changes. Problem is I don’t remember if spot on, a little behind or in front give the best result.

    I’m sure the real pros here will set me straight about this – I may be imagining it all since its been 35 years since I trained/raced rollers.

    Any advice from the Velominati would be welcome. I’ve seen various ideas about the placement of the front roller vis-a-vis the front hub. Some say the hub should be above the back edge of the roller, others completely behind. Currently my front hub drops right behind the roller.

  21. @wiscot

    @Rob

    @wiscot

    Just a thought, which you probably know stone cold anyway, but if I remember mm’s can make a difference to your stability – that is where your front wheel falls on the front roller. Off just a little and you won’t be happy… It’s worth fiddling with it to see if anything changes. Problem is I don’t remember if spot on, a little behind or in front give the best result.

    I’m sure the real pros here will set me straight about this – I may be imagining it all since its been 35 years since I trained/raced rollers.

    Any advice from the Velominati would be welcome. I’ve seen various ideas about the placement of the front roller vis-a-vis the front hub. Some say the hub should be above the back edge of the roller, others completely behind. Currently my front hub drops right behind the roller.

    My front hub is almost-but-not-quite directly above the front roller, when looking at it a minute ago it is set back by maybe 2-3 mm.

  22. @wiscot

    But, I should add that I’m fucked if I know if that is correct or not (but I can attest that it has worked for the 100’s of hours that I have done on them over the last 4 years)

  23. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    But, I should add that I’m fucked if I know if that is correct or not (but I can attest that it has worked for the 100’s of hours that I have done on them over the last 4 years)

    And therein lies the dilemma. Am I squirrelly because I’m a newbie or squirrely because my set-up isn’t right? Time and practice will tell I guess. Thanks for the advice!

  24. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @Rob

    @wiscot

    Just a thought, which you probably know stone cold anyway, but if I remember mm’s can make a difference to your stability – that is where your front wheel falls on the front roller. Off just a little and you won’t be happy… It’s worth fiddling with it to see if anything changes. Problem is I don’t remember if spot on, a little behind or in front give the best result.

    I’m sure the real pros here will set me straight about this – I may be imagining it all since its been 35 years since I trained/raced rollers.

    Any advice from the Velominati would be welcome. I’ve seen various ideas about the placement of the front roller vis-a-vis the front hub. Some say the hub should be above the back edge of the roller, others completely behind. Currently my front hub drops right behind the roller.

    My front hub is almost-but-not-quite directly above the front roller, when looking at it a minute ago it is set back by maybe 2-3 mm.

    @wiscot I think Bucko has it my memory is center of hub (wheel) is 2-3 mm behind. If your whole hub is behind then maybe too much behind? But my hope in opening this can of worms was that you fiddle with it and see if you get a more stable ride. My memory of the kind of stability is that when it’s right you can do 150rpm or take your jumper off with no hands at 50 rpm.

  25. I too have a love/hate relationship with my rollers. I now own two different sets of them. WTF?! You say? It started with a set of the Kreitler 4.5″ full alloy rollers on full-length frames. So freakin’ smooth. Unlike me. For years, they have served me well. Then a couple of months ago, a kind-hearted old gentleman walked into the shop and right up me then asked if I would be interested in a free set of “cycle rollers”. Of course, I said yes. I walked out to his car with him. He opened the trunk (boot?) to reveal a set of full alloy 3″ Krietlers on a compact frame. The man told me that they had been his son’s rollers and that his son had passed away “years ago”. Of course, I accepted them. They definitely are a different kind of ride than the 4.5s. By comparison, the bike is much more squirrelly and requires a quite bit more effort to maintain speed while riding on the 3’s. On the 4.5’s, accelerations happen more sluggishly due to the increased mass, but then maintaining a speed is much easier and there is a bit more coasting power before unclipping. Getting on and off of them is easier with the lower deck height of the 3″ rollers. Those rollers under Mr. Simpson up there look massive. I bet those rode like a Cadillac!

  26. What are the considered opinions between Tacx and Elite models (or any other)?

  27. @Teocalli

    What are the considered opinions between Tacx and Elite models (or any other)?

    For rollers only? – in which case I can’t help – or for their turbos? in which case it’s a matter of budget and intended usage.

  28. @ChrisO

    Ah yes I should have been specific. For Rollers.

  29. @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Ah yes I should have been specific. For Rollers.

    Kreitler are the number one name in rollers. You cannot beat them in my opinion.

  30. @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Ah yes I should have been specific. For Rollers.

    Kreitler are the number one name in rollers. You cannot beat them in my opinion.

    Never used them so no help… but I will say that for an extra 30 quid over the Kreitler standard rollers you can get a Tackx Vortex Smart which gives you variable feedback resistance on Zwift and other training software.

    If you’re going to use the rollers then go for it, but if you want to get into the whole virtual cycling thing then the entry point is about the same. You don’t even need a high-spec laptop now, Zwift have released an IOS app.

  31. @ChrisO

    I have a dumb turbo that I’ve had for quite a few yearsand I guess that is the question as to whether to try rollers for a different game or a new turbo.

  32. @Teocalli

    Rollers will fine tune your balance, round your pedal stroke, and teach you to ride with a quiet upper body. Or make you good at falling over sideways. Turbo trainers will build strength.

  33. @Art G

    @Teocalli

    Rollers will fine tune your balance, round your pedal stroke, and teach you to ride with a quiet upper body. Or make you good at falling over sideways. Turbo trainers will build strength.

    Rollers will also build strength and endurance and as you get better at using them, you can easily do all the hard intervals that you want on them.

    Nothing against turbos (I still use mine as well as the rollers) but with a power meter and rollers, there is pretty much nothing that you cannot learn to do that you can do on a turbo and get all of the additional roller benefits, to include using zwift if that is a consideration.

  34. @Buck Rogers

    @Art G

    @Teocalli

    Rollers will fine tune your balance, round your pedal stroke, and teach you to ride with a quiet upper body. Or make you good at falling over sideways. Turbo trainers will build strength.

    Rollers will also build strength and endurance and as you get better at using them, you can easily do all the hard intervals that you want on them.

    Nothing against turbos (I still use mine as well as the rollers) but with a power meter and rollers, there is pretty much nothing that you cannot learn to do that you can do on a turbo and get all of the additional roller benefits, to include using zwift if that is a consideration.

    True, you can certainly use Zwift, Sufferfest, TP or any of those.

    The only thing you can’t get though (and the same applies to a standard turbo even with a power meter) is the smart resistance i.e. on Zwift if you have a smart trainer it changes resistance to match the gradient on screen so you get a more lifelike feel. I think there is a brand of rollers that does variable resistance (I’m not sure if it is smart-controlled) but mostly they don’t.

    Doesn’t bother me – I use the trainer to avoid lifelike issues like going downhill at the exact moment you’re supposed to be doing 450 watts. But it is a big factor for many.

    In fact the top of the range Tackx trainers now have a kinetic feedback like in game-console controllers. You ‘feel’ different road surfaces like cobbles, planks on a bridge etc. Lot of people really get a kick out of that.

  35. @Rob

    @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @Rob

    @wiscot

    Just a thought, which you probably know stone cold anyway, but if I remember mm’s can make a difference to your stability – that is where your front wheel falls on the front roller. Off just a little and you won’t be happy… It’s worth fiddling with it to see if anything changes. Problem is I don’t remember if spot on, a little behind or in front give the best result.

    I’m sure the real pros here will set me straight about this – I may be imagining it all since its been 35 years since I trained/raced rollers.

    Any advice from the Velominati would be welcome. I’ve seen various ideas about the placement of the front roller vis-a-vis the front hub. Some say the hub should be above the back edge of the roller, others completely behind. Currently my front hub drops right behind the roller.

    My front hub is almost-but-not-quite directly above the front roller, when looking at it a minute ago it is set back by maybe 2-3 mm.

    @wiscot I think Bucko has it my memory is center of hub (wheel) is 2-3 mm behind. If your whole hub is behind then maybe too much behind? But my hope in opening this can of worms was that you fiddle with it and see if you get a more stable ride. My memory of the kind of stability is that when it’s right you can do 150rpm or take your jumper off with no hands at 50 rpm.

    Happy news to report. Did 45 mins on the rollers last night (after Green Bay pounded Seattle, of course) and all dismounts were by choice, not poor technique. It’s amazing how tuned into one’s stroke and body language you become. Managed to move hands around the bars and even go one handed a couple of times. For anyone thinking of getting a set, I’d recommend it and don’t let a bad first experience get you down. This was session #3 and the confidence is climbing. Hopefully, pride shall not precede a fall . . .

  36. @wiscot

    My Turbo is right next to a large pan of glass – if I get a set of rollers I’ll have to find a different location………

  37. @Buck Rogers

    @Art G

    @Teocalli

    Rollers will fine tune your balance, round your pedal stroke, and teach you to ride with a quiet upper body. Or make you good at falling over sideways. Turbo trainers will build strength.

    Rollers will also build strength and endurance and as you get better at using them, you can easily do all the hard intervals that you want on them.

    Nothing against turbos (I still use mine as well as the rollers) but with a power meter and rollers, there is pretty much nothing that you cannot learn to do that you can do on a turbo and get all of the additional roller benefits, to include using zwift if that is a consideration.

    I also use both rollers and a trainer. The strength gains I’ve noticed from riding my rollers is core support. Not so much the legs, but then this new-to-me set of smaller 3″ rollers might be quite different. I immediately noticed how much more difficult every gear feels on them than with my 4.5’s. I still think of my rollers as primarily to improve my technique. I have to justify ownership of both a trainer and rollers. Otherwise, one must go away.

  38. My rollers and I have developed a mutually abusive relationship. I sweat on them, swear at them and have recently been unfaithful, having gotten a cycleops fluid trainer for group interval sessions. In retaliation, they consistently dish out helpings of wintertime V and still occasionally buck me when I become a little too involved with watching stage 15 of this year’s Vuelta.

    Having just moved back northward (Ohio) after 5 years in the armpit of North America (Houston… think about it… Florida being the arm, south Texas and Mexico, the body; Houston is always humid and it normally smells pretty foul…) I am beginning to miss the adequate outdoor riding weather. While not cold-averse (in fact, I prefer it to the other thermal end of the Rule #9 spectrum), I am averse to idiot drivers on wet roads who lose the ability to make rational maneuvers when the days grow shorter.

    To this end, I’m hoping some southern Velominati brethren can offer suggestions about where good roads and good people can be found for long weekend trips in the coming months. I’m looking at Tennessee, maybe north Georgia or Alabama… The Carolinas are a possibility. What do you all suggest?

  39. @KlamSoss

    Fouche Gap in North Georgia. Great roads, great climbs (the former Tour of Georgia rolled through there). Just don’t ride a pink bike, that’s like freakin catnip to rednecks with empty beer bottles in their trucks.

  40. Ok, just gotta brag a bit. Went on the rollers last night. 30 minutes in, I took a break, basically to, ahem, ease some numbness. Second session I got it in a nice big gear then slowly and carefully released the bars and . . . sat up, riding no hands! Still had to focus, but boy, was I happy with myself.It took me maybe 7 or 8 sessions to get to this point.

    The rollers are all about technique, but also confidence and feel. Shit weather in WI means I’ve only ridden outside once since I got the rollers, but I feel a distinct smoothness to my stroke and a change in upper body tension. Looking forward to more roller rides and seeing the extent to which they affect the open road riding.

  41. @wiscot

    Nice one.

  42. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    Nice one.

    Thanks. I’m old enough to not remember the feeling I had a a kid when I rode solo for the first time without help or stabilizers, but this had to be pretty damn close.

  43. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    Nice one.

    Thanks. I’m old enough to not remember the feeling I had a a kid when I rode solo for the first time without help or stabilizers, but this had to be pretty damn close.

    Ever ridden at the velodrome? I know what you mean and diving down the banking at full gas is something equivalent to this sensation.

  44. @wiscot

    Ok, just gotta brag a bit. Went on the rollers last night. 30 minutes in, I took a break, basically to, ahem, ease some numbness. Second session I got it in a nice big gear then slowly and carefully released the bars and . . . sat up, riding no hands! Still had to focus, but boy, was I happy with myself.It took me maybe 7 or 8 sessions to get to this point.

    The rollers are all about technique, but also confidence and feel. Shit weather in WI means I’ve only ridden outside once since I got the rollers, but I feel a distinct smoothness to my stroke and a change in upper body tension. Looking forward to more roller rides and seeing the extent to which they affect the open road riding.

    Chapeau!!!

    I actually ride standing up every 15 minutes, for a full five minutes each time, while on the rollers to help with the blood flow and comfort.

    Not sure if you have tried this or are already doing it but if you can ride no hands, then you can easily ride standing up while on the rollers and then you will not need to ever stop!

  45. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    Ok, just gotta brag a bit. Went on the rollers last night. 30 minutes in, I took a break, basically to, ahem, ease some numbness. Second session I got it in a nice big gear then slowly and carefully released the bars and . . . sat up, riding no hands! Still had to focus, but boy, was I happy with myself.It took me maybe 7 or 8 sessions to get to this point.

    The rollers are all about technique, but also confidence and feel. Shit weather in WI means I’ve only ridden outside once since I got the rollers, but I feel a distinct smoothness to my stroke and a change in upper body tension. Looking forward to more roller rides and seeing the extent to which they affect the open road riding.

    Chapeau!!!

    I actually ride standing up every 15 minutes, for a full five minutes each time, while on the rollers to help with the blood flow and comfort.

    Not sure if you have tried this or are already doing it but if you can ride no hands, then you can easily ride standing up while on the rollers and then you will not need to ever stop!

    Nope. Not done out of the saddle yet. That’s the next trick to learn. I’m guessing it’s all about weight distribution – not too much up front, but not too much on the back. I’ll give it a shot tonight.

  46. Oh man. I rode my rollers on Sunday for the first time since probably 2010 (I moved far south, not much snow/ice here). While my pedal stroke is vastly improved from all the riding I’ve done, my confidence on rollers is low. I’m fine getting out of the saddle to relieve and adjust…but no hands or 5 minutes out of the saddle, no thanks. I’m riding in a small room where I store all my bikes, plus next to a window. A fall is not worth it in there.

    But, nice work on those with the skillz!

  47. @wiscot

    Nope. Not done out of the saddle yet. That’s the next trick to learn. I’m guessing it’s all about weight distribution – not too much up front, but not too much on the back. I’ll give it a shot tonight.

    Methinks I need a higher gear than compact 50×12 as not really enough resistance to stand – or maybe that’s me and needs more work.

  48. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    Nope. Not done out of the saddle yet. That’s the next trick to learn. I’m guessing it’s all about weight distribution – not too much up front, but not too much on the back. I’ll give it a shot tonight.

    Methinks I need a higher gear than compact 50×12 as not really enough resistance to stand – or maybe that’s me and needs more work.

    Out of the saddle is hard on a compact but not impossible. Resistance helps (I remember reading somewhere that placing a folded towel on the floor under one of the rear rollers will increase resistance), as does good weight distribution but I think the key is smoothness which I find so much harder to achieve standing than sitting.

    I know it’s easier said than done but at the end of the day though it’s just about getting up and doing it. Rule #5.

  49. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    Nope. Not done out of the saddle yet. That’s the next trick to learn. I’m guessing it’s all about weight distribution – not too much up front, but not too much on the back. I’ll give it a shot tonight.

    Methinks I need a higher gear than compact 50×12 as not really enough resistance to stand – or maybe that’s me and needs more work.

    Interesting. I was in a 50-13 or 50-14 I think when I was going no hands. Clearly, the big gear is essential for stability. I warm up on the small ring and the whole affair is certainly much more twitchy. I’ll be rolling tonight so I’ll experiment on the gears and report back.

  50. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    Nope. Not done out of the saddle yet. That’s the next trick to learn. I’m guessing it’s all about weight distribution – not too much up front, but not too much on the back. I’ll give it a shot tonight.

    Methinks I need a higher gear than compact 50×12 as not really enough resistance to stand – or maybe that’s me and needs more work.

    Can’t speak regarding rollers, never having tried them (yet), but at our local track training sessions we do out-of-saddle drills, which I imagine have similar effects. My personal record out of the saddle is around 1.5km (but actually 2x 1.5kms with a couple rest laps in between), not a world record or anything but improving with every attempt. Never felt a burn quite like it before.

    I’ll shut up now and go get some rollers, so I might actually have something useful to add to the conversation.

    Carry on.

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