Bike rollers are an alternative to bike trainers. While bike trainers involve attaching your bike into the trainer frame so it stays upright and stable while you pedal and also allow you to adjust the resistance of the trainer so you can train to your specific fitness and ability. Bike rollers are very different. Bike rollers are made of 3 rollers attached to a frame, in which your back wheel sits between two of them so when you pedal it spins the rollers. Your bike is held up the same way it is on the road, so if the rider goes to slowly the bike will tip over.
The rollers do allow you to adjust resistance as a trainer does, however your gears work much more effectively on a roller so they can be used to adjust speed by a significant amount, making them much better at producing fitness applicable to the road. The roller also works on your balance as your ride as you need to keep the bike stable.
Below are a selection of the Best Cycling Rollers
Elite are a large and famous producer of cycling equipment that pride them selves on quality of thier products. The Elite Arion is something for them to be proud of as it is packed full of the latest features. The roller is completely compact meaning it can fold down to a very small size, usually much smaller than that of bike trainers so can be very easily stored and traveled with. The roller also comes with an inbuilt step so it is easier to get onto the trainer, a task that takes a lot of time to get used to.
The trainer features adjustable resistance which can be adjusted wirelessly from your bike computer, so you can adjust the difficulty of your training with ease and on the fly. The rollers themselves are parabolic in shape meaning that your tyres are always centered on the bike roller making it a lot more safe and more comfortable for the rider. The bearings in the roller are also some of the best in the world, making them smooth and durable.
- Easy to fold away
- Magnetic resistance unit with wireless electronic adjustment by cycle-computer
- Compatible with road and mountain bikes
- Makes quite a lot of noise
Tacx are a company that produce both trainers and rollers for bikes, so have made leaps and bounds in the technology used inside of them. The Tacx Antares are the companies rollers that they claim to be ideal for track cyclists to develop power and speed, though the roller is still perfect for cyclists of any other discipline as well. The adjustable resistance goes up very high to the point that sprinting and short bursts of power can be done on this trainer without it being to easy for anyone, and cal also be adjusted down by a lot so it can be used by new riders.
The Tacx Antares rollers are designed so they are almost impossible to ride off of so helping with balance and making your ride a lot safer and making you more confident. This roller is also designed to improve the riders balance and make the riding more applicable to riding outdoors so it improves performance much more than usual.
- Improves the balance of rider
- Highly adjustable resistance
Minoura Action Roller Advance
The Minoura Action Roller Advance is made the by the large company Minoura that specialise in bike rollers. The Action roller is designed to be as low to the ground as possible making riding on it like being on the road as you are not raised up off the ground as you would be on a trainer or other brands of rollers. The unit is highly lightweight and folds to a very small size making it ideal for traveling and easy to store.
The product is compatible with bike wheels and frames of any size so can be used by all types of cyclists. The rollers are also anti-rust to protect against the sweat that drips on it as you train. This roller also has sound proofing on the moving drums so that it makes little noise and it does not disturb neighbors as much as much as other rollers, though it is louder than bike trainers.
- Close to the ground
- Sweat resistant
Bike rollers are a very good alternative to bike trainers in fact in many cases they are significantly better. They teach the rider balance and handling skill while riding and do not teach bad habits as riding a bike trainer can. The adjustable resistance as well as the inability to just stop riding like you can on a bike trainer makes rollers the next step in training. However, they can be quite expensive so anyone buying one will have to make a decision on their price bracket. Out of those listed here the best is the Minoura Action Roller Advance as is offers much more than any other roller at a relatively low price.