When it comes to training indoors, rollers are without equal in improving your spin, balance and form. Kreitler's whisper quiet and silky smooth rollers are the choice of those in the know. Challenger rollers with 3.0" drums.
Strengths: I have the 3.0 alloy. Forces you to hold the line (great for road skills and single track handling), improves your stroke and riding techinques. You have to focus or they'll dump you - quick!! Can be a little nerve racking when you first start, but after 10 minutes you'll get the hang of it and lock in your pedals. Unlike a fixed trainer, I feel like they make me engage my core muscles more, however, since I'm concentrating more I tend to ride for 15-20miles a session. Best to set them up in a doorway or, like me, next to garage door for stability when you need it. I also ride w/ hyration pack, cause its way easier to drink then to reach for the bottle - every small movement of the bike is amplified on the rollers and sometimes I feel like I'm sliding on ice.
Weaknesses: Like all trainers boredom. I also find I get sore quicker, because I can't stand up to stretch or move around the saddle - if you stop pedaling they will come to slow to a stop, so you have to do quick streches for position changes. If you add the resitance wheel it'll give a more realistic road feel b/c the wheel adds inertia and the rollers wil keep on rolling even if you stop pedaling.
Rock'n rollers - great training tool. Best way to beat winter/foul weather blues dn stil get a great workout.
I love these rollers. I've got the 3" poly-lyte and they are the perfect size for me. I set em up and it took maybe half hour to become confident with full sprinting. The next day I set it up about 4" from my back door between the wall and the refrigerator. It's nice because if I do roll off I just bump the back door and it hasn't caused any problems yet. They do make a decent amount of noise, but being in the kitchen allows me to have some loud music coming from some speakers set up in front of me and it doesn't seem to bother anyone. Highly recommend Kreitler rollers!!
Nice to purchase these amazing rollers in the U.K. I bought the KT-10003 Alloy 4.5 Drums the quality is amazing, so smooth, I havent been off them since I've bought them..! Great for the British winter or taking to Track days fold in half & put straight into boot (Trunk) of your car (Light weight easy to carry)What more can I say if you want great quality rollers buy 'Kreitler'
a Weekend Warrior
from Boise, ID, USA
Date Reviewed: November 27, 2007
Strengths: What to say, they are great. Incredible workout. Your balance becomes very precise, toning the muscles used to maintain balance. Great for staying in shape when the ice is on the ground.
Weaknesses: A little challenging the first few rides of the year, but pretty quickly you find the groove.
I've owned these for 8 years. Used to use them with a recumbent, switched to my road bike this year as I have been doing a lot more road riding. Had on issue a few years back with one of the rollers (after 5 years), sent it to Kreitler and it was promptly replaced. Definitely recommend the Headwind, and the flywheel which keeps the wheels rolling for a short time even if you stop pedaling. These are great, still enjoy them after all these years. You
Strengths: Fantastic....super smooth, sturdy, a superb quality piece of equipment!!
Weaknesses: None....only the rider :)
Could kick myself for not purchasing rollers 2o years ago...the scare-hype of riding off, and riding into the next room is definitely hype. After two 30 minute sessions, I'm able to ride 25-30 minutes without touching walls, etc. My balance was noticably improved immediately after the two sessions...If you want to increase your spin and balance, get rollers TODAY!!!!!!
Similar Products Used: Stationary fluid trainer....absolutely hated to ride it...love to ride the rollers!
Bike Setup: Waterford 2200 Dura-ace group, Ksyrium SSLs Waterford 2200 Record 10 group, Dave's Aero Speed Dreams
from Brewster NY USA
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2003
Strengths: This review is from a newbie point of view in using trainers. I have only been using this one for 2 weeks. Some of the reviews intimidated me a little as far as the skill needed for rollers. I will try and relay my experience as a first time user. I will say that I have never used another trainer. I bought this one ( Challenger ) with the Headwind unit after research and reading the reviews. It is rock solid and from tearing open the box to spinning on top was only 30 minutes. I was hesitant about this model as the some reviews intimated that it might be to easy. I didn't want to go with the smaller drums for a harder workout because everyone said that it was easier to learn on the 4.5 inch ones. For more serious training I bought the headwind attachment for resistance. For anyone thinking of buying one I will say this. Quality A++. The effort without the Headwind seems roughly analogous to level ground. Unlike level ground you can't coast, you will come to a stop in a matter of seconds. There is a flywheel attachment that will store the energy for a more realistic feel, although I have not tried it. Thanks to other reviewers comments I know not to use my brakes and flat spot the tires as the rollers keep turning. Iniatially I felt a little higher off the ground than I would have expected. My wife at 5' 2" was at first a little intimidated by this. As to the learning curve for first timers. I set mine up by a low stair railing so that I could hold on and get up to speed. I think that really helped me get used to it. It was good to have something to hold on to if I felt I was getting unstable. Yes, I did run off a couple of times, so don't set it up 2 feet from your big screen. Truthfully though I was relitivly confidant after about 20 minutes. I have heard some reviewers mention it was boring. Maybe the novelty will wear off, but right now I like being able to put on the stereo and just hammer. Hey it's nice not to try and sneak out of work early to get in a training ride before dark. Lastly the sound level. The rollers themselves make almost no noise. The inverted tread tires I put on are noiser than I thought (not that loud though) so I will be mounting slicks. These things are never discounted, so here's a plug for Bikeman.com. I paid 411$(Challenger + Headwind ) including shipping from them, instead of the usual 450$ plus shipping.
Weaknesses: No excuse not to train because it's snowing. Price? But hey, you get what you pay for in this case.
Although ,as I stated, I have not used another trainer I would not hesitate to reccomend this one. You feel like you are really riding. Using rollers effectivly forces you to smooth out your spin, so not only do you get a workout you get better at riding.
a Cross Country Rider
from Watertown, MA
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2003
Strengths: Very well built, smooth, quiet...
A truly superior product. As many before have noted, Kreitlers are the best made/engineered rollers available. I bought mine used, and have used them 2.5 years regularly...very dependable.
NOW, I'm not looking to defend Kreitler as his product can more than defend itself. My BEEF is with the last reviewer. Just b/c he can't stand on rollers to relieve pressure on his "sore" parts doesn't merit a lower rating for these rollers or any other rollers for that matter. The weakness is with the RIDER. Rollers, of all kinds, can easily be stood on with some practice. AM I THE ONLY ONE HE GETS BENT FROM THESE STUPID STATEMENTS? Rate the freakin' product, not your ability to use, or NOT be able to use the product.
Just scratching my head, just scratching my head over people who don't seem to have the ability to comprehend and analyze.......
Similar Products Used: trainers, performance rollers.
Bike Setup: FS mtb, road bike
a Cross Country Rider
from Eagan, MN
Date Reviewed: September 15, 2002
Strengths: Solidly built. Quiet as can be. Have to love the Lifetime warrnaty ;) BTW the price was for both the Challengers and the Killer head wind.
Weaknesses: None at this time
You want to work on you pedal stroke. This rollers are about the only way to get a nice smooth efficent pedal stroke. I used it for two day for 1 hour once and 30 minutes the next. On my next ride my legs didn't hurt as much. I could tell my spin was getting much better since starting to train on the trainer. It felt nice. Now i need the flywheel and i am set :)
Favorite Trail: I am a roadie. City streets for me ;)
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Bike Setup: Cannondale R700 USA Special Edition
a Cross Country Rider
from Farmington, CT
Date Reviewed: March 28, 2002
Strengths: You get to focus on your spin and balance as well as endurance. With the " killer headwind " it's the closest to riding outside.
Weaknesses: You can't do standing sprints, or one-legged workouts on rollers. At least I can't. Don't throw away that wind trainer.
Since I got these rollers I haven't minded training indoors. I do think you need the " killer headwind " to get that brutal tempo workout. Plus the headwind blows wind on your body, just like the outdoors. I still use my wind trainer for sprints and one-legged workouts, but I look forward to using the rollers. I also noticed my average cadance went from 83 to 90 since using rollers. Awesome training tool.
from Powder Springs, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 16, 2002
Strengths: The Kreitler Rollers are smooth, quiet, and durable. In all the years I've had them (15), I only had to replace the belt once (because the neighbors kid was messing around with it). They are very well constructed and I wouldn't even consider another brand. A fine example of American craftsmanship! Dealing with Al is also great. I also like the fact that I can use my cycling computer to record my riding stats.
Weaknesses: I had the fork stand once but didn't like it because it offered much less resistance. OTher than that, none. Sometimes it takes a lot of motivation to get started because riding them requires a bit of concentration, but that is actually beneficial.
I've been using the alloy Al Kreitler Customer Rollers for about 15 years. I only use them in the winter, but manage to put about 500 miles per year on them using my road bike. I wouldn't even consider another type of wind trainer. I bought a Minoura wind trainer once and returned it on the same day. You also get bragging right because it's hard to ride on rollers. If you can ride rollers, you get the best cardiovascular workout, and even without resistance, you get a damn good workout becuase you have to pedal fast to stay up. Only rollers teach you balance and improve your ability to pedal in circles. I should also mention that the one time I contaced Al (via e-mail) we had a nice correspondance (directly between the two of us) and he replaced the broken belt no questions asked. A very pleasurable experience.
Bike Setup: Cannondale CAAD3, XTR, 747s, Fatty SL, WTB seat, Mavic 517 Cannondale XS800, Cyclocross, 105, WTB seat, Mavic Open
a Weekend Warrior
from New Mexico
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2001
Strengths: Quality construction, smooth ride, great support from Kreitler.
Weaknesses: None. OK one weakness... When I ride them, they make me tired :o)
The world would be a better place if every product was as well built and backed by the manufacturer as Kreitler Rollers.
You can tell just by looking at them that they are well constructed, and riding them only proves the point. They are super smooth and quiet. I'm convinced that they have improved my spin, balance, and ability to ride a straight line, something I wouldn't expect from any non-roller trainer.
Al Kreitler really stands behind the product. He personally responded to my questions by email, and I could tell that he really cares about customer service and the quality of his products.
Neither myself nor my wife found them difficult to learn to use. I was up and riding within 5-10 minutes. Al recommends that you ride them in a doorway or narrow hallway while you are learning so you can catch yourself if you loose balance.
I would recommend that you buy some cheap slicks. MTB tires are loud and the rollers will eat the knobbies off of them pretty quickly. I would also recommend the optional "Killer Headwind" fan attachment for added resistance.
After two seasons of use, I couldn't be more happy with this product. They are more money, but worth every dime. Good job Al!
Similar Products Used: Based on the reviews here and elsewhere, I didn't even consider anything else.
Bike Setup: Giant XtC DS2
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2001
Strengths: very smooth, very durable, quiet. Nice if you live an apartment.
Weaknesses: If you purchase via conventional outlets, the weakness would be price. I bought one year old rollers on e-bay in excellent condition. No other weaknesses.
If you want to work on spin and balance, don't screw around with any other roller. There are some other great trainers such as the Kinetic Fluid trainer to help you, but they can also stress your frame. If you're thinking rollers, this is the unit to get. I would strongly recomend the fan option.