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Thread: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Anyhow...

    I treated myself to some Sportcrafters rollers, with the inertia & overdrive drum.

    Well made product.

    I have the perfect doorway to set up in, nice and tight so getting up and going has been drama free, easy, and non-eventful...except for that compass tire that had it's sidewall shredded, but I digress.

    It's easier to maintain balance with resistance for me...recently, I've pulled out the resistance drum so I can do lower HR zone work and the drums feel a lot more like ice but, I adapted quickly. Takes good focus and something to target fixate on, as well as a battery of good tunes playing.

    I have a plank wood floor, pine, they're pretty skinny, and it's like 80+ years old so, different shade planks...I play games like 4,1,2,3,...2.4.1.3...etc...lining up and such while spinning.


    What I'm noticing bio-physically, besides core muscles hurting a bit from being that more active in terms of maintaining line...

    Is...

    When I focus on smooth circles, leg muscles fully engaged around the pedal stroke, heart rate goes down and speed goes up.

    When I focus on controlled breathing, specifically a long exhalation, heart rate drops as well.

    After the cardiac drift settles down in the first 20 minutes, and when I started concentrating on these aspects, I dropped from mid-high Z3, to high Z2 and speed was up by 1 mph.

    Efficiency is very cool.

    Another note...rollers, for me, really inform you what's wrong in terms of your fit... because it's such a static and controlled environment I'm noticing all these aches & pains because my reach/stack isn't correct, and I need to find a better saddle.

    Nevertheless, I like these things, it's like a little OCD cycling laboratory.

    I can't wait to see how things are in the Spring.
    Martin

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Awesome observations. FWIIW Bike fit riding indoors is not the same. Feel free to raise your bars or (gasp) turn them up a good bit.
    PS - I can't explain why.

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    The carpal tunnel really acts up on the rollers, and I'm not at the point where I can ride hands free on them...that's going to be a long while.
    Martin

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Awesome observations. FWIIW Bike fit riding indoors is not the same. Feel free to raise your bars or (gasp) turn them up a good bit.
    PS - I can't explain why.
    Yup, I just concentrate on saddle height and position in relation to the bb. The reach and bar height don't really mean as much. Maybe it was just my situation with the bike and rollers, but I found that for indoor winter work, a fatter front tire seemed a little more stable. Like a 28mm if it clears.

    I kept some fitness on the rollers, but mostly they exposed the flaws I developed in my pedal stroke through the season and gave me some cold months to fix it.
    I heart burnt bikes.

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    Yup, I just concentrate on saddle height and position in relation to the bb. The reach and bar height don't really mean as much. Maybe it was just my situation with the bike and rollers, but I found that for indoor winter work, a fatter front tire seemed a little more stable. Like a 28mm if it clears.

    I kept some fitness on the rollers, but mostly they exposed the flaws I developed in my pedal stroke through the season and gave me some cold months to fix it.
    I'm having a hard time with left hand numbness simply because my bike is too long for me...have been learning roller specific coping strategies, the new bike is quite a few months out.

    I started with 35mm on the bike, nice for getting up and going. I now have the 28mm on it. I'm doing pretty good, I can roll off 30 miles without a hitch, until my sit bones start to yell, about 1:40 time wise...
    Martin

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Biggest trick, for me, is that the rollers teach you to relax. You have that locked death grip on the bars, well, you're headed into the kitchen counter or recliner or whatever.

    Loosen up, let the bike do its thing, and its amazing how much things settle down.
     

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Quote Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
    After the cardiac drift settles down in the first 20 minutes, and when I started concentrating on these aspects, I dropped from mid-high Z3, to high Z2 and speed was up by 1 mph.

    Efficiency is very cool.
    sorry to burst your bubble, but that's not efficiency. that's just a side effect of resistance decreasing as everything heats up.
     

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Hand numbness:

    Force yourself to move them around more

    Ride no-hands for 30-90 seconds every now and again. Between intervals for example.

    Standing up for 30-60 seconds will also help with sit bone fatigue.

    There is also no shame in getting off and walking around for a couple minutes every half hour or so. Do a weights circuit or some planks for your core.

    Indoor wrk isn't about time and "miles" as much as specific training efforts and opportunity to mix it up. I can do, but rarely do go over 90 minutes on the rollers. Plenty of work, TSS, calories used in 60-90 min.

    Enjoy, rollers rule!!!
     

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    I've had a set of Inside Ride rollers for a few years, and that's how I learned to ride rollers. I agree that they're very sensitive to tension in your upper body. If things start going haywire, the best thing to do is relax and shift your weight to your butt, and let the front wheel stabilize itself. And yes, I think that your reduced effort after a 20-min warmup is mostly due to the tires heating up. Years ago on another forum, there was a guy who would do rolling resistance tests on his rollers, and he'd always warm up 30 minutes and use a tire pyrometer to make sure he got stable readings.

    Definitely teach yourself to ride no-hands, just because you'll feel like a badass when you do.

    I did a ~6hr roller century last January. I'm not eager to repeat the experience, but I did find that getting out of the saddle for 10 pedal strokes at least every 10 minutes definitely helped forestall the "crotch on fire" feeling.
     

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    It's going to be a bit of time before I'm hands free, I get the feeling that it's easier than one hand on the bars though, a head game at first I'm sure...I may just dedicate a day a week to "Roller essentials," this way I can utterly ruin the sheetrock all around the doorway I set up in...

    Got out today for 61 miles and after three roller workouts this week I have to say things felt different in terms of just being "centered" on the bike, spinning up and down cadence gracefully, etc..

    I'm digging them...Can't wait for Spring.
    Martin

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Few weeks and you will posting videos of stupid roller tricks.

    I can't seem to get the hang of no hand + one leg or bunny hopping on to start. I need those two tricks badly for self esteem...

    No hands, just let go. And keep pedaling. One hand twists your torso and isn't a good roller posture so go straight from two to none.
     

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Did my first "Interval" workout yesterday...

    First, I figured out why I couldn't stay in Zone 2 easily...Coffee. For the first time in years I went over a day without the java and looked in amazement at how easy it was to maintain Z2...did that for like 40 minutes to warmup...

    followed by some steady-state in Z4 just because...cool to see how the body reacts...

    and for intervals I did a set of 7 spinning up to the maximum rpm I can hold on rollers...110 peaking at times at 120-ishes, holding those maximum efforts for 45 seconds getting within 10 bpm of my maxhr, then backing off to my Z2 cadence/speed until the heart dropped back into low Z4 and then I'd begin the next interval.

    Rollers let you know just how sloppy you really are. things that I took for granted out on the road are far more difficult to pull off with finesse on rollers.

    Today...I'm just gonna steady state some S(uper)H(igh)I(ntensity)T(raining)...Z4 for an hour bookended by 15 minutes of warmup...

    I want to peel off a real 10 pounds for Spring.

    So...cool!
    Martin

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Got out of the saddle today for the first time for quite a few revolutions...then the bike shot backwards out from under me...lmao. I must have unweighted the rear then the front tire fell off the drum and back I went...kinda weird. No biggy, happy I was out of the saddle though. Important skill, need be able to stretch, relieve pressure and such....gotta refine. Did 1:30 of High Z4 Low Z5...
    Martin

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Quote Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
    Got out of the saddle today for the first time for quite a few revolutions...then the bike shot backwards out from under me...lmao. I must have unweighted the rear then the front tire fell off the drum and back I went...kinda weird. No biggy, happy I was out of the saddle though. Important skill, need be able to stretch, relieve pressure and such....gotta refine. Did 1:30 of High Z4 Low Z5...
    Because of the lack of inertia on the drums, and the more piston-like motion of the legs when out of the saddle, riding standing up on rollers is neither easy nor natural. That's why you squirted off the back.

    TruTrainer and e-Motion rollers have that problem licked, and the result is it's much easier to ride out of the saddle when you want.

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Polack View Post
    Because of the lack of inertia on the drums, and the more piston-like motion of the legs when out of the saddle, riding standing up on rollers is neither easy nor natural. That's why you squirted off the back.

    TruTrainer and e-Motion rollers have that problem licked, and the result is it's much easier to ride out of the saddle when you want.
    Understood...I went with more conventional rollers because I wanted the more unforgiving aspect of really forcing you to hold a solid line while seated. I got the Sportcrafters with the Overdirve & Inertia drum at an excellent sale price about $420 total... The eMotion device has some great features, thanks for the tip regarding the TruTrainer.
    Martin

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Quote Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
    Understood...I went with more conventional rollers because I wanted the more unforgiving aspect of really forcing you to hold a solid line while seated. I got the Sportcrafters with the Overdirve & Inertia drum at an excellent sale price about $420 total... The eMotion device has some great features, thanks for the tip regarding the TruTrainer.
    That makes a difference. I'm guessing from reading the website that the Sportscrafters Inertia drum provides the same effect as the TruTrainer rollers. The only difference between the two setups is the TruTrainer rear rollers are spaced apart farther, creating a deeper pocket to hold the rear wheel so you can ride a little more recklessly. If you can adjust the Overdrive feature, try reducing it to see if it makes out of the saddle riding easier. The Sportscrafters are a very good bargain; good choice.

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Just wanted to bump this one. This is the first year I've really used rollers. I've really enjoyed them.
    First few rides were terrifying. Once I moved the front drum closer to the axle, things smoothed out a bit, but I was still pretty squirrely.

    A few months in, and I'm riding no handed while watching Netflix, no problem.

    Like anything else, if you're new to it, consistency is key.
     

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    Right on, they are a joy. Lead me to the roller races...the real ones not gold sprints.

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    I've been using them during the regular season at least once a week. It tightens up form. And if the weather goes South or it's too late, they're definitely a convenient alternative that keeps you in trim.
    Martin

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    Default Re: Rollers: Musings of a newb...

    How are people feeling about InsideRide vs. TruTrainers vs. other roller options?
    I am eager to get going on this Zwift phenomenon soon!
    That could be a great motivating tool...especially when 4-foot snowdrifts are outside.
     

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