Cycling Training Rollers. The solution to bad weather

25 February, 2019

Surely it’s happened to you before: You prepare a bike route for the weekend, you meet your group, you get up early and it’s raining. Departure cancelled, early morning in vain but you still want to go out on your bicycle. In those circumstances a cycling training roller saves your weekend.

But do you know the types of rollers on the market? Which one suits your budget or your needs best? Don’t worry, we’ll explain it to you.

Let’s go through the basics; a training roller is a device that allows you to use your regular bike as if it were a stationary bike. The rollers can be divided into four types: balancing, magnetic, fluid and direct drive.

Balancing training rollers: This is the most economical option. It is a base with three rollers, two for the rear wheel and one for the front wheel, which offer resistance to the two wheels of the bicycle. This type of roller requires some practice and balance, as although the rollers are concave it is advisable to get used to using it near a wall or element on which you can rest your arm. There is one exception, the Omnium Over-Drive model from Feedback Sports, which holds the front wheel and is also compatible with virtual environments.

Pros:
They are silent
They allow you to move the bicycle laterally and to perform sprints
Economic
Easy to store
Cons
Resistance cannot be controlled
You have to learn how to keep your balance

cycling training rollers
Magnetic training rollers: Also an economical option. In this case the roller has the shape of an easel, to which only the rear wheel is attached. It has a band that offers resistance to the wheel by means of a system of magnets. The force is adjustable by means of a lever that is installed on the handlebars, or if you have Bluetooth or +ANT also through virtual applications. The main disadvantage of this type of roller is the noise generated by the magnets, which can be annoying for your neighbours or relatives. It also wears considerably the back tyre, so it is recommended to have a smooth tyre to use exclusively on the roller.

Pros
Economic
Adjustable resistance
Easy to store
Virtual environment options
Cons
Noise generated
Rear tyre wear

cycling rollers
Fluid training rollers: Very similar to magnetic rollers in structure but quieter. Instead of magnets they have a circuit of a fluid, oil or water, which offers resistance to the wheel. They offer a more realistic pedalling feel than magnetic ones, but the resistance cannot be regulated, which must be done by pedalling. Like the magnetic trainers, they can be folded, taking up very little space when not in use.

Pros:
Silent
More realistic pedalling
Virtual environment options
Cons:
Less economical than magnets
No resistance regulator
Rear cover wear

rollers cyclism
Direct drive training rollers: This is the most complete system, but also the most expensive. The roller has its own sprocket that offers resistance, to which the chain of the bicycle is attached. This provides a direct resistance to the transmission, offering a very realistic feeling. They are also very quiet. The only sound you will hear is the sound of the chain and the sound of the pedalling itself. The main drawbacks are that you have to dismantle the wheel every time you use it and that they are not foldable.

Pros:
Silent
More realistic pedalling
Does not wear the rear tyre.
Virtual environment options
Cons:
The rear wheel of the bicycle must be removed
Most expensive roller type
Cannot be folded

rollers santafixie
For some extra info, some fluid type or direct drive rollers can be considered intelligent rollers. Through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity these rollers exchange information with an app, modifying the resistance automatically according to the conditions of the virtual road. 3D virtual environments such as Bkool or Zwift are popularising the use of this type of rollers, making home training more enjoyable and competitive.

You can find all types of rollers on the market at Santafixie.

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