How to use a roller

#1
How does one use a roller correctly? I feel like I'm about to fall off the sides if I let go of the wall. I thought the rotating wheels would act like a gyro and keep me up but its not going the way I thought.... Also I did fall off the side and shot my bike through my bookshelf... Advice please!
 

theDude

Maximum Pace
Oct 7, 2011
773
111
63
Tokyo
app.strava.com
#2
How does one use a roller correctly? I feel like I'm about to fall off the sides if I let go of the wall. I thought the rotating wheels would act like a gyro and keep me up but its not going the way I thought.... Also I did fall off the side and shot my bike through my bookshelf... Advice please!

You should get that GoPro going for the YouTube thread....


;) ;)
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#3
I think it just takes practice, but how about this, is the roller level?

Lots of homes here in Japan have very wonky floors, maybe the floor the roller is on is not level....?

Do you have a marble around? Try placing it on the floor and see if it rolls to a low point.

You could shim the roller with something to make it level.

If you need to borrow a level I have several.

Cheers!
 

cubex

Speeding Up
Nov 4, 2011
72
0
26
Tokyo
#5
I have only ridden on trainers but from what I know getting used to a roller takes time and you WILL fall... apparently

and apparently its not like riding on the road either

good luck
 

Denilzon

Warming-Up
Nov 9, 2011
26
1
0
Eda
#6
Try a small gearing and a high cadence, 90 to 100.
Yes, the wheels help stabilising but you need to get them turning.
Two big mistakes on rollers, "low" cadence like on the road and too much fear to pedal faster.
And keeping balance helps... :p
And I second you recording your trials :D

Edit:
I have only ridden on trainers but from what I know getting used to a roller takes time and you WILL fall... apparently

and apparently its not like riding on the road either
I never fell, I occasionally came off the rollers with my front wheel when dropping my concentration...so you can do it too

it's more like on track than on road
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#7
Will take about a week to get used to and a year to master. Just keep at it.
Have something to fall on to if it will make you feel safer...ie a lot of cushions or a sofa on the non-wall side.
The hard part is clipping in and out... and you'll drop the front or back wheel off the sides a few times till you get used to it....

I put my tool box next to one side for my foot to stand on and the back of a chair on the other side to hold...

When I first started on my roller ( 8 years ago ) we had a narrow room like a hall and I could bump my shoulders on both sides to stay upright. (or put my hands out...).

Just keep trying... your pedalling/balance is going to improve out of sight which = more speed.
 
#8
Thanks for all the advice guys! I've decided to put it in a doorway so I can use my elbows for balance if I'm about to fall. Through trial and error I did find that higher cadence helps a whole lot. I didn't realize how noisy the roller is though. I'm afraid my neighbors will complain about itΣ(゚д゚lll)
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#9
Ok best thing to do is forget that you are on the rollers..... it seems totaly against thee laws of physics so you need to trick the mind.

Set the rollers up in front of the TV and watch 1st person replays of TDF or other cycling footage - plenty on Youtube.

Look straight ahead and get you speed up real quick - 30km/h is easily done on rollers.

Enjoy - like I said the art to rollers is forgetting you are on them.

Douglas Adams wrote a perfect explanation on the matter:

The first part is easy. All it requires is simply the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight, and the willingness not to mind that it's going to hurt.

That is, it's going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. Most people fail to miss the ground, and if they are really trying properly, the likelihood is that they will fail to miss it fairly hard.

Clearly, it is the second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.

One problem is that you have to miss the ground accidentally. It's no good deliberately intending to miss the ground because you won't. You have to have your attention suddenly distracted by something else when you're halfway there, so that you are no longer thinking about falling, or about the ground, or about how much it's going to hurt if you fail to miss it.

It is notoriously difficult to prize your attention away from these three things during the split second you have at your disposal. Hence most people's failure, and their eventual disillusionment with this exhilarating and spectacular sport.

If, however, you are lucky enough to have your attention momentarily distracted at the crucial moment by, say, a gorgeous pair of legs (tentacles, pseudopodia, according to phyllum and/or personal inclination) or a bomb going off in your vicinty, or by suddenly spotting an extremely rare species of beetle crawling along a nearby twig, then in your astonishment you will miss the ground completely and remain bobbing just a few inches above it in what might seem to be a slightly foolish manner.

This is a moment for superb and delicate concentration. Bob and float, float and bob. Ignore all consideration of your own weight simply let yourself waft higher. Do not listen to what anybody says to you at this point because they are unlikely to say anything helpful. They are most likely to say something along the lines of "Good God, you can't possibly be flying!" It is vitally important not to believe them or they will suddenly be right.

Waft higher and higher. Try a few swoops, gentle ones at first, then drift above the treetops breathing regularly.

DO NOT WAVE AT ANYBODY.

When you have done this a few times you will find the moment of distraction rapidly easier and easier to achieve.

You will then learn all sorts of things about how to control your flight, your speed, your maneuverability, and the trick usually lies in not thinking too hard about whatever you want to do, but just allowing it to happen as if it were going to anyway.

You will also learn about how to land properly, which is something you will almost certainly screw up, and screw up badly, on your first attempt.

There are private clubs you can join which help you achieve the all-important moment of distraction. They hire people with surprising bodies or opinions to leap out from behind bushes and exhibit and/or explain them at the critical moments. Few genuine hitchhikers will be able to afford to join these clubs, but some may be able to get temporary employment at them.
Oh and just like flying, the landing is the tricky part!
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#10
I think I'll use the goPro when I'm not gonna embarrass myself infront of the world!
no entertainment value in that!

look ahead of the rollers maybe at a far wall or tv, not down at the rollers or bars, that'll help your balance and remember to get off before you get tired (while still learning) with the corresponding drop in concentration. Speed of cadence is your friend.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#11
FE is closest on this ..

1) Make sure your roller is setup correctly. The Minoura (or many other mfg) have good installation instructions on where to set wheelbase. DO THIS FIRST!

2) Rollers will amplify ANY movement you make. They will let you know if your arms are stiff , knees cocked, etc. The key is to relax at the bars as much as possible and ride straight with smooth pedaling.

3) Setup your rollers where you can fly off either side without destroying your room. Then just go for it. It's like learning to ride all over again. Don't worry - when your bike hits the ground not much happens except you 'crash' at near zero velocity.

4) LOOK AHEAD. Don't watch the rollers - your bike is already on them. If you look AHEAD you will have much greater peripheral balance and control.

5) Trust the force.

6) hey, A 5yo can do this - so can you! https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150508764668376
 
May 22, 2007
3,591
1,416
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#16
Yes. Eyes to the front is the key for me. (I stuck my iPad onto the window in front of me.)

It's not like riding on the road. You can't take micro-breaks and coast, and you lack the inertia/momentum of your body weight and the bike's weight to keep you upright.

When I drift dangerously close to the edge I force myself to look up and slow my cadence just a little. Things then usually correct themselves.

You'll catch on soon. And your pedal stroke will become much smoother as a result.
 

TOM G

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2011
102
3
38
Minato
#17
I've been using rollers for about one year. When I first started on them, I went off the side several times but never completely took a header. Similar to the advice of the others, I found that high cadence and looking forward (not down) was key and I now ride comfortably on them.

My question to the group is how to now get good enough to comfortably take one hand off the bars (e.g., to take a pull from the water bottle)? I still can't do that for fear of crashing. Is it attainable?
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#18
I've been using rollers for about one year. When I first started on them, I went off the side several times but never completely took a header. Similar to the advice of the others, I found that high cadence and looking forward (not down) was key and I now ride comfortably on them.

My question to the group is how to now get good enough to comfortably take one hand off the bars (e.g., to take a pull from the water bottle)? I still can't do that for fear of crashing. Is it attainable?
Just do it... 2 hands off should be easier (logically).
Just go slow and concentrate on the pedalling not the water bottle.
It's all about keeping your balance.
Guys in my team eat their breakfast or read magazines...not because they want to or have to...they just like to show off.

Your bum controls the center of gravity...not your arms...
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#19
My question to the group is how to now get good enough to comfortably take one hand off the bars (e.g., to take a pull from the water bottle)? I still can't do that for fear of crashing. Is it attainable?
Camelback, as long as no roadie sees you.
 

TOM G

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2011
102
3
38
Minato
#20
Camelback, as long as no roadie sees you.
Exactly my thought. I cringe at the thought of using Camelback, but it has crossed my mind for the rollers. I'm not selling out... I'll just have to practice hands free as Edogawakikkoman suggested and expect I may crash once or twice... Builds character, I suppose.