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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have a trainer, but I do have rollers. It's been good for my balance, but does I'm wondering how useful rollers are vs trainers or spin class in preparing for a race?
 

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I have seen pros spin quite fast on rollers, so fast pedal workouts are ok. So are muscle tension workouts around 70 rpm. You just can't jump into sprints on rollers that I know of. I dont have a power meter so I use cadence, heartrate for good workouts. I guess you see trainers in classes because of the group being together, and roller users usually need a starting balance point. Trainers just seem to be more convenient and user friendly Use the rollers; which reminds me I need to get on my rollers more. I think coaches and serious racers prefer rollers. you get a workout and balance at the same time
 

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crnkygrl said:
I don't have a trainer, but I do have rollers. It's been good for my balance, but does I'm wondering how useful rollers are vs trainers or spin class in preparing for a race?
I train for racing, did nearly 20 races last year. Seems that I can do everything needed on my rollers, especially during the base training months. Can even do some of the cycling drills like fast pedals or one-legged isolations.

As far as sprinting, by the time I incorporate that into training, I'm riding outside exclusively anyway. Sprinting is the only thing you really can't do safely.

As said above, it seems that most roller owners are racers. IMO, it's the best tool for developing a smooth and efficient pedal stroke, while forcing you do ride a straight line. Probably more "roadie desires" than "mountain bike desires."

As far as resistance, my rollers top out at 420 Watts. More than adequate resistance for any "speed endurance" interval I want to do. I can also add a wind fan or flywheel to get more resistance.

Anyways, I'm sounding like a rollers salesman. Good luck.

Ponch
 

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Another trick I learned on this forum is to bunch up an old towel underneath one of the rollers to add some more resistance.

To get over 300 Watts on my rollers I have to go a bit over 30mph. I just didn't like the idea of my wheels spinning so fast, that's why I added the towel during interval sessions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Poncharelli said:
Seems that I can do everything needed on my rollers, especially during the base training months. Can even do some of the cycling drills like fast pedals or one-legged isolations.
Thanks- that's enough to convince me not to save my money and keep using the rollers. I've basically been sticking to the same routine when I use them, but it sounds like I could be changing it up a bit. What's good for base training?
 

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Poncharelli said:
As said above, it seems that most roller owners are racers. IMO, it's the best tool for developing a smooth and efficient pedal stroke, while forcing you do ride a straight line. Probably more "roadie desires" than "mountain bike desires."

Ponch
Some research indicates that XC racers have the 'best' (Smoothest) pedal stroke.
http://boulderreport.bicycling.com/2007/01/attack_of_the_e.html
A requirement for maintaining traction.

That being said. Sold my rollers long ago and been on Tacx Flow for several years. Much better for the kind of intervals I do.
 

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I tried rollers once. Then I found out that my balance wasn't nearly good enough. I thought it was a pretty good workout, though. But this was one of the models with the really small rollers (which is apparently harder than larger rollers) plus it had a fan for resistance/cooling.

I see they make them now with lips on the edges of the rollers for those of us who are balance-challenged, so I would like to try one of those.
 

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Rollers are one of those counter-intuitive things that have benefit where you would least expect it. For those winter months where long slow distance is the key, they are the bomb. At first they will seem like riding on ice. After your first hour (and several "crashes" into the coffee table) staying upright won't be enough of a challenge, and you will start trying one-foot drills, riding no hands, etc. After several more crashes you will develop balance, pedaling and focus skills that you will never develop just trying to ride a white line.

Plus, they are relatively cheap.

Mental Note: Move coffee table before I break it (or it breaks me).
 

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crnkygrl said:
Thanks- that's enough to convince me not to save my money and keep using the rollers. I've basically been sticking to the same routine when I use them, but it sounds like I could be changing it up a bit. What's good for base training?
Wow, what a loaded question!!

Depends who you talk to. Every training book has a little different twist on what to do during the base months. Different people do slightly different things.

I have a friend who's an incredible masters roadie and only skate skis during December, January, and February; his butt does not touch a bike seat for those months. And he comes into the first race in March and absolutely screams.

I pretty much follow the Joe Friel training bible. Other's follow the Morris Plan. Other's have personal coaches.

But in general, most start building their aerobic engine (zone 2, incorporating some Zone 3), strength train (with weights or on the bike), integrate longer intervals (zone 4), and do some specific cycling drills. The drills and intervals are dependant on the individual's strengths, weaknesses and goals.

Here's some more info:
http://www.cptips.com/preseas.htm
http://www.cptips.com/wntrtrg.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I have Joe Friel's book, but I haven't developed much a plan around it. It was a rainy weekend here and I had hoped to sit down with it and get a little more focused, but it didn't quite happen.

Wow, what a loaded question!!
I know, I just snuck that in there, knowing that there would be multiple options, but hoping for just one. At this point, I'm on a pretty tight schedule and I'm left with time to either read about training or actually do a workout- and the workout usually wins out. I just need to shift priorities a little. I just hope that I can do it soon, rather than waiting to come in last in a race to get the motivation to make the necessary changes.

So considering my issues with work/life/training balance, I'm wondering how large a part of your life is training & racing?
 

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I'm by no means an expert, but I will say that I spend about 99% of my time on my rollers; If you watch Off Road to Athens, there is are clips of all the racers warming up at one of the UCI world cup events. Most of the riders were on trainers, my guess due to the ability of being able to ride them anywhere. There was one rider I saw warming up on rollers: Gunn-Rita Dahle. Not exactly slow on a bicycle. That, and as others have pointed out above, nothing else is going to give you better training for a smooth, efficient pedal stroke. It turned mine from hideous into just plain ugly.
 

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I just hope that I can do it soon, rather than waiting to come in last in a race to get the motivation to make the necessary changes.

If you been spinning on the rollers, and you're racing women's beginner, you should do fine. Women's sport......that's another story. The female sport racers I know train fairly serious.

So considering my issues with work/life/training balance, I'm wondering how large a part of your life is training & racing?
For me, training and racing has become a life style. It's just something I do without really thinking much about it. My wife and I both race (she's in sport, I'm in expert), so that makes it easier to train and race since we push each other to train and make the races.

Some people do fairly well without putting a whole lot of time into it. Read this blog from Bart Gillespie, he's one of our top Utah pros; I like some his philosophies and methods for getting training time in:

http://ashwinearl.blogspot.com/2006/08/prq-11-bart-gillespie.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Admittedly my desk job isn't doing my training any favors. I found that when I was really focused on training, I was stressed out and I didn't enjoy my rides as much as when I would just go out with some friends. Once I stopped taking it too seriously, I started having better rides (though who knows how that will translate in a race). It's supposed to be fun, right?

training and racing has become a life style
That's the ideal. It definitely helps to have people around you that are also riding or training for an event. Most of the people in my usual riding group recently moved to CO or UT (for the altitude and trails). That's great for them, but a bummer for me. Last yr, I didn't race much, but tried out SS beginner/sport (the upside was I didn't have to choose between beginner or sport). This yr I'm on an 8spd and trying out sport--seems like I have some quality time with my bike ahead of me- both on the rollers and the trail.
 

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well, I just won the "little 500" in Indianapolis on my rollers!:D

ive been renting movies and tv shows to watch while riding. I find myself naturally riding faster/slower according to what's happening on the screen. while its not as fun as riding outside it does make the time go by faster and i'm definitely getting a workout...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
mcd said:
ive been renting movies and tv shows to watch while riding.
A few weeks ago I rode while watching the Patriots' playoff game-all the penalities, time outs and change of possion commericals kept me riding longer than I had expected to.
 
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