Roller is a great training tool! It develops balance, core strength and pedalling technique and you are more entertained than on a normal turbo trainer during the long and cold winter evenings. You can do any endurance session on easily and if you have resistance unit on it, you can bash harder interval/ strength sessions as well. I tried one couple of months ago and I got fully addicted after my first session. I had couple of fails (recorded our shop CCTV... ) and I was very unstable at the start, but now is much much better. When you think, you have a good bike handling skill and good balance, you should try a roller. I bet 90% of the cyclists are going to fail during the first try!
Market is loaded with all sort of different type one. You can buy the cheapest around £120 ( too much plastic parts..)and price is going over £800. If you wanna buy a new one, I recommend some mid range one, with stable metal frame and alloy drums. If you buy the very cheap basic one, you will have lots of aggravation in the future.
After lots of research and thinking, finally I made the decision and bought a Cyclops Roller with resistance yesterday. I was hesitating between Cyclops and Elite( I love the bloody Italian design..), but the stronger construction and better price won. Cyclops has a full steel frame with alloy drums, Elite made mainly from plastic. Also our Cyclops representative (Jamie Newell superstar - foghorn on legs) sorted out a blinding deal on it for me. Luck in the luck, we had one on stock and I could straight start to use it. I had planed 2 hours training (1,5 on roller) with 2 times 10 minutes SST session. Great! I could try out the resistance unit as well. I used a same roller couple of times before, but it hadn't got a resistance unit. It was fine for general endurance sessions, but wasn't enough for intervals.
It is ready for use right out of the box
The resistance unit is attached next to the rear drum
Ready for test
I rode 90 minutes on it last night. It was 100% fun and with switched on resistance unit I could do my intervals without any problem. I finished of my session with lots of sweat and big smile on my face. I am going to use it a lot in the next couple of weeks. Not only because the bad weather, also session to session I am better and I enjoy the fact, that I can ride on it harder and do more "tricks". Yesterday I managed to stand out from the saddle couple of time and I rode on the drops as well (these are big things for me...).
Ok, let see, what you get for the £310 RRP.
- Lifetime warranty
- Bombproof and very stable foldable steel frame
- 3,25" alloy drums with proper cartridge bearings - Very smooth running
- No moving parts magnetic resistance unit : it is Cyclops own pattern and it works very very well! It has 5 different resistance level + zero resistance. I used level 1 last night and I could push 280+ watts without any problem