HOW TO RIDE THE ROLLERS
by Robert Thorpe, Executive Editor
by Robert Thorpe, Executive Editor
Italian indoor cycle trainer brand Elite have probably the widest range of high quality indoor trainers and rollers across the cycling world. We’ve been using their Quick Motion and Nero Smart rollers this year, both of which have technological advancements to help you stay on the trainer. However, riding the rollers can seem daunting and a recipe for an accident, but in truth it’s easier than you think. Time for us to give you some detail and confidence.
Indoor cycling rollers work on basic physics; you place the bike wheels across a set of rolling tubes which turn in the opposite direction to the bikes power output, and the bike stays stable. Action and reaction between the bike and the rollers are equal and opposite. The effect is simplistically superb and produces probably the most realistic of indoor cycle trainer experiences, especially when using the Elite Nero smart interactive rollers, which also replicates slopes up to 6%. These advanced rollers operate via ANT+ and Bluetooth protocols, and the resistance is automatically adjusted by your chosen training app, bringing the benefits of a smart turbo trainer to those who prefer the feeling of rollers.
Elite have designed both their Nero and Quick Motion rollers to work on four platforms under the roller unit, producing a floating system that allows the roller to move with the rider and absorb unintended movements, making these the safest, easiest to ride rollers out there. With two quiet and smooth operating flywheels, a fluid and natural riding experience are delivered as it absorbs unintentional movements to make these the safest smart rollers on the market. It’s just like riding in the road – just ask our own Larisa Chinces, who’s been using them all year.
However, whilst these are far advanced of the rollers at the other end of the Elite range, such as the Arion, this more simplistic and traditional roller design is still easy to conquer and can make the world of difference to your training. It’s a standard parabolic roller, with curved edges to keep you central on the rolller and away from the edges, but how do you get started – let’s get you going shall we. I’m using the Quick Motion rollers in the images here; however, the principles remain the same across the whole range of rollers offered by Elite, who have rollers to suit all experience levels and all budgets. The one thing that they all share is high quality materials, technology and excellent performance.
Over many years of roller training, I’ve worked out that placing the rollers in a doorway is the best option. Make sure that you set things so that when you’re on the pedals, your arms and more importantly, your elbows are close to the door frame. Place your feet on the pedals and use your elbows to push against the door frame to keep you balanced, and then simply pedal away as you use your elbows forced against the frame to stay upright. As you get more confident, relax the pressure from the elbows and allow the bike to simply balance – it will. Your core muscles will be working overtime, just as they do when you’re riding on the road.
Training on the rollers is a great core workout, as you’ll soon find yourself, so take it easy initially. Try to cycle for about 20 minutes until you get more confident. When you can easily manage 20 minutes without using elbow pressure in the doorframe, it’s time to set things up independently. Now you can really rock and roll.
As you’ll still be a novice, set up the rollers close to a shelf and place your drink bottle on the shelf, so that you can grab it easily without losing balance. Practice letting go with one hand for split seconds and reaching out, until you’re confident to easily grab the bottle and take a drink. Having the shelf to your side will give you something to grab if you lose balance. Before too long you’ll be confident to easily let go of the handlebars and grab a bottle from the cages on the bike, adding more realism. You should also by now be able to complete a 1 hour training session on the rollers; and once you’ve mastered that, you may want to consider more advanced rollers, such as the Elite Quick Motion, which allows you to stand up and pedal, thanks to the technical floating platform.
Having rollers independently positioned at home, in front of a screen, and with bottles on your frame, really will bring the outdoor experience indoors. I guess that, if you put a fan in front of you and got a friend to squirt water at you, it could be even more realist 😉 – for now though, Elite bring you the very best experience.
Indoor cycling rollers are great for training at any time of the year, and for warm ups and warm downs. In autumn and winter though, they come into their own, producing the most realistic of indoor cycling experiences – and nobody knows this better than Elite. Take a look at their range of cycling rollers, by clicking the link on this page, and work your legs and your core to the maximum, so that when the sun does shine, you’re able to maximise your outdoor riding experience – after all, that’s the ultimate goal for everyone.