Look Pro: Rollin’ Dirty

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.

Related Posts

98 Replies to “Look Pro: Rollin’ Dirty”

  1. @frank

    “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.”

     

    Forty five minutes? Not bad young one…my fixed gear limit to date is an hour and a half, but I have done 3 1/2+ hours on the road bike….I did an hour on the 53×16 this past Wednesday. :-)

     

  2. Can we just read about cool stuff….”riding, bikes, training”.  The article was ruined in the first paragraph.  I’m so over everyone’s political opinion.

  3. man.. i worked as a messenger in downtown SF on my Guerciotti in a 52X16 one summer.  didn’t do much for my stroke, but my quads and butt got so big i looked like a centaur or mantis or something.  not in the Forstenmann/ Bauge category, but enough that i looked really weird next to normal people and i had to buy Dickie’s pants four sizes too big and have the waist taken in like a cholo.  my favorite all around gear was a rather pedestrian 46×18.  i had a 16t on the other side of the hub for when i got bored.  never, not one single day in the 17 years i spent riding that, did i ever untilize a freewheel or brakes of any kind.

    one thing about riding a fix for a long period of time is that it will alter your pedal stroke in terms of power delivery.  as a road cyclist, i spent a lot of time honing the Guimard method of kicking your foot over the top of the stroke and sort of dragging it back, as if you were scraping mud from the sole.  after a few months on a fix, that was out the window.  my cadence was WAY up, and i found that i was delivering most of my power about ten degrees shy of bottom dead center of the stroke.  like a machine gun, as it were.  better for rapid accelerations and drastic changes of pace, but nowhere near as good in terms of efficiency.

  4. I too added rollers to my collection of “things you already have and don’t need to spend money on…” as the wife calls it. I did my best to explain the difference between rollers and a trainer.

    I started using them to smooth out my stroke, then to warm up pre-ride, then to warm pre-trainer. Now, as the dark months set in, I use them to remind me that I didn’t properly seat my tub on my front wheel when I swapped back to the winter treads.

  5. Welcome to the Machine, Frahnk!

    I’ve been a Roller Convert since 2011 when my Kreitler 2.25 rollers arrived.  I have a trainer as well but it is the rollers for me.

    I have never ridden fixed gears on the rollers so that’ll have to wait until I get a track bike but I have hit 3.5 hours on the rollers on my road bike.

    The key, for me, is to ride out of the saddle for five straight minutes every 15 minutes.  Helps the blood flow to the bits and pieces and really gives you something to look forward to every quarter of an hour on the bike.

    I usually ride them at least twice a week year round.  I keep them in my office and do it at lunch.  Quiet and efficient use of an hour that I could never steal outside the office.  My staff has “accepted” it as just another weird fucking thing that I do and they just come in and ask me questions all the time while I ride.

    Nothing like the ’93 RVV on youtube in French, my fan blowing in my face and the rollers humming beneath my wheels!

  6. @Buck Rogers

    Nothing like the ’93 RVV on youtube in French, my fan blowing in my face and the rollers humming beneath my wheels!

    the ’93 edition is a particularly fine vintage.

  7. 4 sessions this week x 45 mins.  It’s better than a turbo.  Cannot imagine it at work though!!!

  8. I’ll be doing a 3 hour indoor session tomorrow. I actually look forward to them on Zwift.

    Turbo, not rollers, but constant pedaling for three hours is something you feel afterwards.

    I might put the fixie on it one day to see what it’s like.

  9. @ChrisO

    I’ll be doing a 3 hour indoor session tomorrow. I actually look forward to them on Zwift.

    Turbo, not rollers, but constant pedaling for three hours is something you feel afterwards.

    I might put the fixie on it one day to see what it’s like.

    I’ve started doing hour long turbo sessions every week. I find that causes me enough undercarriage problems. 3 hours sounds like hell.

  10. @Cary

    @Buck Rogers

    Nothing like the ’93 RVV on youtube in French, my fan blowing in my face and the rollers humming beneath my wheels!

    the ’93 edition is a particularly fine vintage.

    The fan is essential for headwind training.

    Speed #1 = Flanders

    Speed #2 = Wellington

    Speed #3 = Netherlands

  11. @Harminator

    @Cary

    @Buck Rogers

    Nothing like the ’93 RVV on youtube in French, my fan blowing in my face and the rollers humming beneath my wheels!

    the ’93 edition is a particularly fine vintage.

    The fan is essential for headwind training.

    Speed #1 = Flanders

    Speed #2 = Wellington

    Speed #3 = Netherlands

    the New Orleans lakefront is enough for me.  25-35kph this time of year.  of course we have a lovely subtropical climate to mitigate this.

  12. @edster99

    4 sessions this week x 45 mins. It’s better than a turbo. Cannot imagine it at work though!!!

    The rollers are so quiet and I have a shower right there.  Works perfectly, esp as I have five youngish kiddos and a saintly, wonderful VMH at home that I cannot justify taking the time away from them when I am at home as I work pretty long hours as it is.

    Best solution to an imperfect world!

  13. @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    I’ll be doing a 3 hour indoor session tomorrow. I actually look forward to them on Zwift.

    Turbo, not rollers, but constant pedaling for three hours is something you feel afterwards.

    I might put the fixie on it one day to see what it’s like.

    I’ve started doing hour long turbo sessions every week. I find that causes me enough undercarriage problems. 3 hours sounds like hell.

    That’s why I stand for 5 straight minutes every 15 minutes. Otherwise I’d have to be sneaking into the Pharm for the costco-sized viagra bottles!

  14. @ChrisO

    I’ll be doing a 3 hour indoor session tomorrow. I actually look forward to them on Zwift.

    Turbo, not rollers, but constant pedaling for three hours is something you feel afterwards.

    I might put the fixie on it one day to see what it’s like.

    Could I use zwift if I had a powertap?  Right now I do not have any powermeter and I do not think that I can use zwift with my rollers or even with the KKPro trainer that I have.

  15. @Buck Rogers

    For sure you can use it with a Powertap, or any power meter. You would just need an ANT+ USB dongle ($15) to receive the data into your PC or Mac.

    But actually you can use it with a KK R&R, it’s on their list of supported trainers. So all you need is a speed monitor (and the ANT+) and Zwift calculates your virtual power from the known speed and resistance of the KK.

    It’s a calculation rather than a measurement but if you follow the instructions it is reasonably accurate, and if you’re not using the power for anything other than making your avatar move then it doesn’t really matter.

  16. @ChrisO

    @Buck Rogers

    For sure you can use it with a Powertap, or any power meter. You would just need an ANT+ USB dongle ($15) to receive the data into your PC or Mac.

    But actually you can use it with a KK R&R, it’s on their list of supported trainers. So all you need is a speed monitor (and the ANT+) and Zwift calculates your virtual power from the known speed and resistance of the KK.

    It’s a calculation rather than a measurement but if you follow the instructions it is reasonably accurate, and if you’re not using the power for anything other than making your avatar move then it doesn’t really matter.

    Oh man.  I might have to do this.

    I just LOVE numbers/tracking data (but have held off on power as I am not racing and do not want to get too caught up in numbers) and the idea of Zwift is spookily drawing to me.  I have always wanted to do it but did not have a power meter and could not really justify it.

    My KK trainer is an older Pro model from 2010 that works really well but is wired.

    I might surf ebay for an old powertap wheel to use on the rollers/trainer.  I know buying wheels off of ebay is scary (I have never done it before b/c I feel that I could never really trust it on the road) but it would be safe on the rollers.

    Now to search some ebay for wireless power wheels.  Do I need the headset computer zwift or just the power meter wheel?

  17. @Buck Rogers

    @ChrisO

    @Buck Rogers

    For sure you can use it with a Powertap, or any power meter. You would just need an ANT+ USB dongle ($15) to receive the data into your PC or Mac.

    But actually you can use it with a KK R&R, it’s on their list of supported trainers. So all you need is a speed monitor (and the ANT+) and Zwift calculates your virtual power from the known speed and resistance of the KK.

    It’s a calculation rather than a measurement but if you follow the instructions it is reasonably accurate, and if you’re not using the power for anything other than making your avatar move then it doesn’t really matter.

    Oh man. I might have to do this.

    I just LOVE numbers/tracking data (but have held off on power as I am not racing and do not want to get too caught up in numbers) and the idea of Zwift is spookily drawing to me. I have always wanted to do it but did not have a power meter and could not really justify it.

    My KK trainer is an older Pro model from 2010 that works really well but is wired.

    I might surf ebay for an old powertap wheel to use on the rollers/trainer. I know buying wheels off of ebay is scary (I have never done it before b/c I feel that I could never really trust it on the road) but it would be safe on the rollers.

    Now to search some ebay for wireless power wheels. Do I need the headset computer zwift or just the power meter wheel?

    It’s so good.

    I don’t have any time now for people who say indoor training is So Booooring…

    It’s not just about the numbers. Today I lead a 3 hour ride with 137 people on the start line. We had lots of chat in the ride online and through a voice channel and it meant a huge number of people could follow a structured endurance ride all together. We had Brits, Japanese, Americans, Slovenians, Germans, French, Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Portguese…

    It’s certainly better if you have accurate power, and yes an old powertap wheel would be fine on a trainer. Or a basic crank PM like Stages or 4iii. If you’re not sure about the KK I can ask on the FB page – someone is sure to have tried it. What are the details?

    You don’t need a headset unit at all. If you have the ANT+ connection then Zwift does the same job, displaying power, recording HR etc and it produces a .fit file which you can upload to Strava or any other programme to record or analyse.

    I would just say you need a reasonable computer. Specs are on the website. The better the graphics card the more detail you’ll see on screen.

  18. And BTW, since so much of our rationale is based on “We do it because the pros do it”…

    This week I’ve seen Matt Brammier, Edvald Boassen-Hagen and Andre Greipel on there. Laurens Ten Dam leads a regular morning ride through the off season, and Matt Hayman credits it with allowing him to do enough training to win Paris-Roubaix while he recovered from injury. Jody Cundy, the paralympic gold medallist, has often joined our rides.

    And if that wasn’t enough, Jens Voigt is one of their ‘ambassadors’.

  19. @ChrisO

    @Buck Rogers

    @ChrisO

    @Buck Rogers

    For sure you can use it with a Powertap, or any power meter. You would just need an ANT+ USB dongle ($15) to receive the data into your PC or Mac.

    But actually you can use it with a KK R&R, it’s on their list of supported trainers. So all you need is a speed monitor (and the ANT+) and Zwift calculates your virtual power from the known speed and resistance of the KK.

    It’s a calculation rather than a measurement but if you follow the instructions it is reasonably accurate, and if you’re not using the power for anything other than making your avatar move then it doesn’t really matter.

    Oh man. I might have to do this.

    I just LOVE numbers/tracking data (but have held off on power as I am not racing and do not want to get too caught up in numbers) and the idea of Zwift is spookily drawing to me. I have always wanted to do it but did not have a power meter and could not really justify it.

    My KK trainer is an older Pro model from 2010 that works really well but is wired.

    I might surf ebay for an old powertap wheel to use on the rollers/trainer. I know buying wheels off of ebay is scary (I have never done it before b/c I feel that I could never really trust it on the road) but it would be safe on the rollers.

    Now to search some ebay for wireless power wheels. Do I need the headset computer zwift or just the power meter wheel?

    It’s so good.

    I don’t have any time now for people who say indoor training is So Booooring…

    It’s not just about the numbers. Today I lead a 3 hour ride with 137 people on the start line. We had lots of chat in the ride online and through a voice channel and it meant a huge number of people could follow a structured endurance ride all together. We had Brits, Japanese, Americans, Slovenians, Germans, French, Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Portguese…

    It’s certainly better if you have accurate power, and yes an old powertap wheel would be fine on a trainer. Or a basic crank PM like Stages or 4iii. If you’re not sure about the KK I can ask on the FB page – someone is sure to have tried it. What are the details?

    You don’t need a headset unit at all. If you have the ANT+ connection then Zwift does the same job, displaying power, recording HR etc and it produces a .fit file which you can upload to Strava or any other programme to record or analyse.

    I would just say you need a reasonable computer. Specs are on the website. The better the graphics card the more detail you’ll see on screen.

    Ho Lee COW!!!  That looks amazing!  I really have to check this out since I ride inside all the time anyways.

    I made a really low offer on a new, buy-it-now PowerTap Ant+ G3 Shimano Wheelset on ebay and they have just counter-offered.  Too high on counter offer but I’ll go up a bit and try again.

    Really exciting stuff!

  20. Surely it can’t beat a post gale ride in the wet with a slow puncture…………..

  21. @Teocalli

    Surely it can’t beat a post gale ride in the wet with a slow puncture…………..

    A fitting reply for the man with Ronde icon.

  22. @Harminator

    Even after 28 years living in Wellington it’s still possible to misunderestimate the wind. Once the aftershocks had eased and the floodwaters receded last week I headed up the Rimutakas, finding it all relatively easy. Turning around at the summit was another story. On the way down I was brought to a complete stop and just managed to avoid getting blown over. Managed to get going again between gusts, with the first 2-3km downhill no faster than the last 2-3km uphill… Appreciated the extra weight of a steel bike that day.

  23. In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

  24. Back in the distant 80’s, my brother attempted what he described as a land speed record on my rollers in our kitchen.  He hit a monster speed and the bike jumped off the rollers and left a good black screech across the linoleum that remained until the day we did a remodel.  I did the remodel demo so that I could grab that portion of flooring and many years later created an engraved trophy with a piece of the tile that commentated the achievement.  The trophy was given to him at Christmas, and when he opened it and began to read and see the bit of linoleum, he rolled over laughing and I enjoyed every minute of the gift that came back to him about 10 years after the occasion!

  25. Love my rollers. Whenever I have only an hour or so to train they are the go to. Super efficient. For some reason I can’t stand turbo trainers, they are just so boring (for me). Rollers make you balance, engage your core and pedal smoothly. There is just something about them that is engaging.

  26. @Ktc

    Can we just read about cool stuff….”riding, bikes, training”. The article was ruined in the first paragraph. I’m so over everyone’s political opinion.

    To be fair, I’ve never been run off the road by a Prius with a Bernie sticker on the back.

  27. @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own.  I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

  28. @Rick

    I ride rollers in a doorway so that when I inevitably roll to one side or the other I can stop from flying off entirely.

  29. Rollers are great. I have two sets with different diameter drums. It’s been the off-season go to for me the past couple winters. Just picked up a Tacx Vortex Smart and finished the free trial on Zwift. Did a group ride on Watopia and Box Hill on the London circuit. I’m sold. The connecton to Strava is also great as, being a social animal, it keeps the motivation up for me. It looks like I’ll be in better shape come Spring.

  30. @Rick

    Recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest.

    Link please! I also find Turbo boring but am even more bored with the same videos…

  31. @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    You’d be fine.  Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did).  It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

    And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

  32. @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    You’d be fine. Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did). It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

    And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

    Unfortunately I am also confronted with space limitations. I have no place to store rollers. My #1 spends the winter months set up on the trainer in the living room.

  33. @Rick

    @KogaLover

    @Rick

    Recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest.

    Link please! I also find Turbo boring but am even more bored with the same videos…

    I love these Train with GCN videos.

    @KogaLover

    @Rick

    Recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest.

    Link please! I also find Turbo boring but am even more bored with the same videos…

    I should have added this to the reply above but I really like the 30 Minute Workout- Indoor Cycling Hill Climb Training.  The scenery is from a ride up the Sa Colobra.

  34. @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    You’d be fine. Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did). It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

    And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

    Unfortunately I am also confronted with space limitations. I have no place to store rollers. My #1 spends the winter months set up on the trainer in the living room.

    It sounds like you have a great set up, which is exactly what I used to do so I only offer the following if you are truly looking to switch over to rollers.

    I actually store my rollers under the bed (they fold up easily and nicely into a small unit) and the bike in the garage and then when I want to ride, I pull the rollers out from under the bed and bring the bike inside to ride it.  This actually is much more space efficient than having a turbo set up all the time.

    Also, a #1 bike on fixed turbo always worries me.  Maybe someone with more experience and tech knowledge (that would be almost any one here on the site) can weigh in on whether or not it hurts a bike to be fixed into a turbo for long periods of time.  Always makes me worry about the rear triangle with the odd stress of the turbo fixation (depending on the turbo interface with the bike but most hook into the rear triangle).

    But, please keep doing what you are if it works for you!  Just some alternative thoughts.

  35. @Rick

    I love these Train with GCN videos.

    How could I have overlooked these… I watch GCN regularly but focus apparently too much on how to botch-repair chain breaks or flats, besides cornering like a pro or the 10 devious ways to gain the unfair advantage against your competitor…

  36. Ha, no one wants to see a shirtless man cry, not even a mouse. That is awesome.

    I haven’t been on my rollers since I moved 600 miles south in 2011. But, with a 7 month old, and at the suggestion of Buck,…I shall been unfolding mine and rollin’ ’em out this winter. “Honey, I’m going out riding for three hours, have fun with the screaming baby,” really, really doesn’t cut it these days.

    Zwift looks pretty cool, just not gonna dip into the Budgetatus these days for the gear needed.

  37. @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    You’d be fine. Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did). It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

    And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

    Unfortunately I am also confronted with space limitations. I have no place to store rollers. My #1 spends the winter months set up on the trainer in the living room.

    It sounds like you have a great set up, which is exactly what I used to do so I only offer the following if you are truly looking to switch over to rollers.

    I actually store my rollers under the bed (they fold up easily and nicely into a small unit) and the bike in the garage and then when I want to ride, I pull the rollers out from under the bed and bring the bike inside to ride it. This actually is much more space efficient than having a turbo set up all the time.

    Also, a #1 bike on fixed turbo always worries me. Maybe someone with more experience and tech knowledge (that would be almost any one here on the site) can weigh in on whether or not it hurts a bike to be fixed into a turbo for long periods of time. Always makes me worry about the rear triangle with the odd stress of the turbo fixation (depending on the turbo interface with the bike but most hook into the rear triangle).

    But, please keep doing what you are if it works for you! Just some alternative thoughts.

    Although I am not an engineer, it is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

  38. @KogaLover

    @Rick

    I love these Train with GCN videos.

    How could I have overlooked these… I watch GCN regularly but focus apparently too much on how to botch-repair chain breaks or flats, besides cornering like a pro or the 10 devious ways to gain the unfair advantage against your competitor…

    You are not alone, I found them quite by accident. I much prefer the shorter more intense workouts to the longer more monotonous spinning sessions that I would have on my own. I hope you enjoy the workouts as much as I do.

  39. @Rick

    is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

    I agree with that. The clamp is on the skewer not the frame.

    However on the general issue of No.1 bikes on trainers you should note that many manufacturers exclude trainer use from their warranties and some advise against using them – I’m talking mainly carbon frames here.

    From the general feedback on Zwift there are no particular issues with using carbon bikes on trainers and personally I think it’s just a bit of ass covering from manufacturers.

    Some people have had frame failures but that happens in real life too and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a higher incidence. The only problem might be if you’re doing massive sprints the bike has less ability to flex and move so that might stress the frame.

  40. @ChrisO

    @Rick

    is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

    I agree with that. The clamp is on the skewer not the frame.

    However on the general issue of No.1 bikes on trainers you should note that many manufacturers exclude trainer use from their warranties and some advise against using them – I’m talking mainly carbon frames here.

    From the general feedback on Zwift there are no particular issues with using carbon bikes on trainers and personally I think it’s just a bit of ass covering from manufacturers.

    Some people have had frame failures but that happens in real life too and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a higher incidence. The only problem might be if you’re doing massive sprints the bike has less ability to flex and move so that might stress the frame.

    See , this is what reading gets me!  Being not overly mechanically engineering inclined, I read about the stress one puts on the rear triangle by having the skewer fixed into the turbo and the side-to-side motion of intervals beating it up and causing microfx’s and eventual frame failure.  I have never used my #1 on the turbo for that reason.  But like I said earlier, I have no idea what I am talking about so don’t listen to me!

  41. @Buck Rogers

    @ChrisO

    @Rick

    is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

    I agree with that. The clamp is on the skewer not the frame.

    However on the general issue of No.1 bikes on trainers you should note that many manufacturers exclude trainer use from their warranties and some advise against using them – I’m talking mainly carbon frames here.

    From the general feedback on Zwift there are no particular issues with using carbon bikes on trainers and personally I think it’s just a bit of ass covering from manufacturers.

    Some people have had frame failures but that happens in real life too and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a higher incidence. The only problem might be if you’re doing massive sprints the bike has less ability to flex and move so that might stress the frame.

    See , this is what reading gets me! Being not overly mechanically engineering inclined, I read about the stress one puts on the rear triangle by having the skewer fixed into the turbo and the side-to-side motion of intervals beating it up and causing microfx’s and eventual frame failure. I have never used my #1 on the turbo for that reason. But like I said earlier, I have no idea what I am talking about so don’t listen to me!

    I understand how that puts stress on a frame. I am very careful not to rock the bike side to side on the turbo. Any intervals are short and I make sure that my upper body is stationary so as not to stress the frame. I understood your original post as simply keeping the bike fixed to the trainer as a source of frame stress. I am careful and conscious of any potential frame stress that might result from my turbo sessions. In addition, all feedback and suggestions are always welcome as I still make mistakes and break rules after years of riding.

  42. @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    You’d be fine. Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did). It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

    And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

    Unfortunately I am also confronted with space limitations. I have no place to store rollers. My #1 spends the winter months set up on the trainer in the living room.

    It sounds like you have a great set up, which is exactly what I used to do so I only offer the following if you are truly looking to switch over to rollers.

    I actually store my rollers under the bed (they fold up easily and nicely into a small unit) and the bike in the garage and then when I want to ride, I pull the rollers out from under the bed and bring the bike inside to ride it. This actually is much more space efficient than having a turbo set up all the time.

    Also, a #1 bike on fixed turbo always worries me. Maybe someone with more experience and tech knowledge (that would be almost any one here on the site) can weigh in on whether or not it hurts a bike to be fixed into a turbo for long periods of time. Always makes me worry about the rear triangle with the odd stress of the turbo fixation (depending on the turbo interface with the bike but most hook into the rear triangle).

    But, please keep doing what you are if it works for you! Just some alternative thoughts.

    Although I am not an engineer, it is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

    I’ve asked this same question for years and looked at the flex points and the consensus among mechanics and everybody I know who uses one is that trainers don’t damage a bike. My carbon frame is just fine. In fact, a frame is made to flex and you can see that happening when you’re pushing power on the trainer. That said, getting out of the saddle is awkward and I don’t do it much other than to stretch the legs a bit. The reviews seems good on that Kinetic rocking trainer, so that looks pretty neato if you want to train out of the saddle more while in the garage.

  43. @BacklashJack

     

    I’ve asked this same question for years and looked at the flex points and the consensus among mechanics and everybody I know who uses one is that trainers don’t damage a bike. My carbon frame is just fine. In fact, a frame is made to flex and you can see that happening when you’re pushing power on the trainer. That said, getting out of the saddle is awkward and I don’t do it much other than to stretch the legs a bit. The reviews seems good on that Kinetic rocking trainer, so that looks pretty neato if you want to train out of the saddle more while in the garage.

    If you think about it, it’s probably not a lot different to what happens on the road, it just mentally seems to be worse when the rear wheel is locked and you can easily picture the frame under torsion around the BB and Chainstays.  However, if you are stomping it on the road the bike will be laid over to one side while you stomp on the other side so you still have a similar torsional load.  In fact, if you consider that you might be actually levering the bars one way while stomping the other way the torsion could be greater on the road vs on a turbo.

    Then again I could be talking bollox.

  44. @BacklashJack

    @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    You’d be fine. Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did). It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

    And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

    Unfortunately I am also confronted with space limitations. I have no place to store rollers. My #1 spends the winter months set up on the trainer in the living room.

    It sounds like you have a great set up, which is exactly what I used to do so I only offer the following if you are truly looking to switch over to rollers.

    I actually store my rollers under the bed (they fold up easily and nicely into a small unit) and the bike in the garage and then when I want to ride, I pull the rollers out from under the bed and bring the bike inside to ride it. This actually is much more space efficient than having a turbo set up all the time.

    Also, a #1 bike on fixed turbo always worries me. Maybe someone with more experience and tech knowledge (that would be almost any one here on the site) can weigh in on whether or not it hurts a bike to be fixed into a turbo for long periods of time. Always makes me worry about the rear triangle with the odd stress of the turbo fixation (depending on the turbo interface with the bike but most hook into the rear triangle).

    But, please keep doing what you are if it works for you! Just some alternative thoughts.

    Although I am not an engineer, it is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

    I’ve asked this same question for years and looked at the flex points and the consensus among mechanics and everybody I know who uses one is that trainers don’t damage a bike. My carbon frame is just fine. In fact, a frame is made to flex and you can see that happening when you’re pushing power on the trainer. That said, getting out of the saddle is awkward and I don’t do it much other than to stretch the legs a bit. The reviews seems good on that Kinetic rocking trainer, so that looks pretty neato if you want to train out of the saddle more while in the garage.

    I have also done some research on this topic. I agree that the consensus is that the trainer does not damage the frame under reasonable use. I have only found one person on the entire interweb who claims to have seen frames damaged in a trainer. This person posted in a forum and claimed to be a former rep for a bike manufacturer. While I have no doubts regarding his claim, by guess would be that those frames were put under unreasonable stress while training.

    According to the forums, an all out spring on the road puts a frame under more stress than most anything done on the turbo trainer. Although these anonymous forum posters could be fabricating their data, I did see a GCN video where Si stated that they had contacted a number of frame manufacturers who said that a trainer would cause no frame damage if the bike was mounted properly.

    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.

  45. @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @Buck Rogers

    @Rick

    @BacklashJack

    In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

    Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

    In summary, Rule #10.

    I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

    I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    You’d be fine. Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did). It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

    And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

    Unfortunately I am also confronted with space limitations. I have no place to store rollers. My #1 spends the winter months set up on the trainer in the living room.

    It sounds like you have a great set up, which is exactly what I used to do so I only offer the following if you are truly looking to switch over to rollers.

    I actually store my rollers under the bed (they fold up easily and nicely into a small unit) and the bike in the garage and then when I want to ride, I pull the rollers out from under the bed and bring the bike inside to ride it. This actually is much more space efficient than having a turbo set up all the time.

    Also, a #1 bike on fixed turbo always worries me. Maybe someone with more experience and tech knowledge (that would be almost any one here on the site) can weigh in on whether or not it hurts a bike to be fixed into a turbo for long periods of time. Always makes me worry about the rear triangle with the odd stress of the turbo fixation (depending on the turbo interface with the bike but most hook into the rear triangle).

    But, please keep doing what you are if it works for you! Just some alternative thoughts.

    Although I am not an engineer, it is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

    I’ve asked this same question for years and looked at the flex points and the consensus among mechanics and everybody I know who uses one is that trainers don’t damage a bike. My carbon frame is just fine. In fact, a frame is made to flex and you can see that happening when you’re pushing power on the trainer. That said, getting out of the saddle is awkward and I don’t do it much other than to stretch the legs a bit. The reviews seems good on that Kinetic rocking trainer, so that looks pretty neato if you want to train out of the saddle more while in the garage.

    I have also done some research on this topic. I agree that the consensus is that the trainer does not damage the frame under reasonable use. I have only found one person on the entire interweb who claims to have seen frames damaged in a trainer. This person posted in a forum and claimed to be a former rep for a bike manufacturer. While I have no doubts regarding his claim, by guess would be that those frames were put under unreasonable stress while training.

    According to the forums, an all out spring on the road puts a frame under more stress than most anything done on the turbo trainer. Although these anonymous forum posters could be fabricating their data, I did see a GCN video where Si stated that they had contacted a number of frame manufacturers who said that a trainer would cause no frame damage if the bike was mounted properly.

    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.

    Putting my money where my suffering is, I plunked down for a new Cycleops Powerbeam Pro ANT+ today as they were only $400 on Competitive Cyclist / Backcountry and I bent my old one.

    Quite honestly, if I ever broke a bike on my trainer I think it would be a badge of honor for the V that I laid down in my suffer cave and I would Instagram the shit out of that and hang it on the wall of the aforementioned suffer cave next to the flag of Flanders.

  46. @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!!!

     

  47. @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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.