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Rollers and trainers. Summary

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  • Rollers and trainers. Summary

    Dear members of the forum,
    My original question was:
    I am looking for information about rollers and trainer for
    Advantages and disadvantages.
    -Rollers vs. trainers.
    -Magnetic vs. fluid.
    -Feasibility for training.
    If you are user of this equipment, personal opinion will be welcome.
    This is the summary of the different opinions and comments that I received
    from two forums: Biomech and Sports Enigeering. Thanks to all.
    If you have more opinions or comments, I will complete the summary
    in the future
    Advantages of rollers

     Good for warming up

    develop good co-ordination

    You will also have found your natural cadence, which you can then use on
    the road to tell you when to change gears

     On rollers is where I really learned bike control

    Disadvantages of rollers

    can offer little resistance

    require skill and attention when riding

    is as boring as watching cement set

    the newer grooved aluminium rollers, use touring tires- those things eat
    racing tires for lunch

    too much resistance and the bike/rider would ride off the front of the

    Advantages of trainers

    More stable ride

    several types of resistance (fan, constant magnet, variable magnet, fluid
    in order from cheaper)

    Expensive models can be connected to a PC to run a simulated program of
    variable resistance, race against an imaginary opponent or even connect
    to the internet

    Trainers are easier to learn

    probably safer

    they are smaller and more portable.

    Disadvantages of trainers

    is as boring as watching cement set


    Fluid supposed to be better than magnets which supposed to be better than

    to simulate actual road cycling you need a flywheel that has equivalent
    rotational inertia as the linear inertia of a cyclist. i.e. 60-80kg. The
    cheap units are hardly ever heavy enough to do that

    The air resistance needs to be simulated as well. Air resistance is cubic
    in nature as is water. i.e. the faster you want to go the force required
    increases cubically not linearly. This is normally done with air turbine
    fans (but rarely is it done correctly. i.e. pedal speed at a given gear
    offers the right resistance). This is not simulated by magnetic or belt
    brakes or electrical brakes ( gym equipment), which tend to be linear in

    Fluid trainers are smoother and resistance increases exponentially. 
    Most magnetic trainers give the sensation of "pulses" coming from the rear
    wheel.  Fan assemblies are also popular, but are noisy.  As in
    fluid trainers, the resistance increases as velocity increases.

    Wind resistance is used with both trainers and some rollers. It is loud
    yet can be used to create a cooling breeze very desirable when in a sealed
    room. No different resistance settings yet accurate exponential increase
    in resistance with speed. Same speed/resistance relationship as outdoors.

    magnetic resistance has variable resistance but it's not speed dependant.
    Much quieter than wind

    fluid resistance is quiet has variable resistance as well as speed dependant
    resistance. Supposedly the cadillac of trainers but I don't think there
    too much better than mag trainers.

    fans generate a lot of noise

    the noise that may be created by the fans or the magnetic unit are in my
    opinion not a big deal

    ROLLERS: also I wanted to get aluminum and not PVC drums

    Juan V. Durá - Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia
    Tel. +34 - 961366032       Fax. +34 -

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