A detailed video on “How to Ride on Rollers & Get Quick Balance” is at the end of this blog.
"Riding on Rollers”
- A free bird
- A bird in a cage
Let’s not debate on who is having more fun, challenges, risk, and most importantly the rewards.
We are just going to talk about riding on rollers like a free bird. Here the risk and rewards are equally involved, unlike dump or smart Trainer where your bike is clamped. We guarantee that after reading this Indoor Cycling Series 5 on “How to Balance on Rollers” you will be able to learn the tips and tricks of quick balancing. Therefore, ride confidently on rollers.
With years of Experience in Professional cycling and training, Rollers have become part of our daily life. In this Indoor cycling series, we are going to share the real-life challenges of a beginner and how to overcome them quickly.
Beginner Challenges of Riding on Rollers
- Hesitation-From the First look at rollers, your instant reaction could be: “I can’t ride on rollers, I should better go with a trainer which clamps my bike and there is no risk of falling off.”
- Rare Sight of Rollers and Market Trend- Rollers carry a haughty image of Pro Cyclist training equipment. Therefore, one might feel that it is not suitable for home gyms or indoor cycling workouts just for fitness. While, exercise bikes, Dump trainers, and nowadays smart trainers are quite popular in the indoor cycling populace and quite common.
- Tightrope walking- The first time on rollers is no less than tightrope walking. Or if I say the fun on rollers is the same as walking on a rope.
Now let’s learn how to overcome these challenges to gain the reward that gives you the same feeling as if you are riding on the road.
Riding on a roller is a constant balancing act. Because it requires the brain and body to work together to pull off this difficult task. In conclusion, you need consistent efforts, motivation, and focus.
3.) A bottle Placed 3 meters away –The width of rollers is just 1.5 feet. Hence, you might sense a fear of falling every time you look down at the front roller. So, place a bottle 3 meters away from the front and look at it instead of looking at the front rollers.
4.) RPM 70-80-One should start in mid gears so that you get 70-80 rpm easily. Develop some continuous momentum that helps you keep upright.
The list of Support items one should have at the beginning …
1.) A stool of BB Axel Height– Take a stool of 1 foot or max to the height of your bike bb axel. Place on the side from where you always mount and dismount. When you slow down or stop pedalling, the leg always tends to move downwards and with stool. Thus, you will get quick support to place your foot on it. Keep the stool some 4-5 inches away from the frame of your rollers so that it does not touch your foot while pedalling, causing imbalance. This usually happens when you come to the edge of rollers.
2.) A wall on another side – The wall on the non-dominant side of your body, is always good support if you lose balance. You can always lean against the wall, for instance. When you kick start you can always keep your hand or elbow on the wall.
Easiest Hacks or Tricks of Riding on rollers
Strong Partner Assistance
- If you have a strong partner, who can hold the bike from the seat post tightly. All you need to do is just keep the handlebar straight pedal at consistent RPM(70-80). Keep the bike in mid-gear and look at the bottle placed 3 meters away.
- As you start gaining balance on rollers, your partner should remove your hands gradually without making you feel so. He has to stand cautiously so that when you stop or slow down anytime he can hold back quickly. As shown in the picture. This process should be repeated in multiple intervals of 3-5 minutes for 30 minutes of the spinning session. You will surely get the balance in a day or at least understand the fundamentals that keep you upright on rollers. To gain confidence to ride free flow without any help and support it will take a few more sessions
Door Frame Support
- Another simple trick of balancing on rollers is to place the rollers between the entrance of a room or in the centre of the door frame as shown in the image.
- Place your bike on rollers and mount it. Check if your elbows touch either side or with a little tilt it can touch.
- Now that you have support on either side the risk of fall is eliminated, still, you have to ride very cautiously for the initial few sessions.
The above two tricks will make you learn the basic rules of riding on rollers. It will take some time to master the skills of roller riding. #StayMotivated
Do What Is Right Not What Is Easy
The Best Part of rollers is their portability and no setup requirements. Take it to your garden, rooftop, balcony, or any of your favourite workout loci. Just place it on the ground, mount the bike, and ride. The two tricks suggested above are just to understand the sine qua non of rollers riding. Now it’s time to do the right things the right way.
- Keep a stool (as prescribed above ) on one side and on another side there should be a wall.
- Lean on that wall and start rolling. Get a push from the wall and try not to swing your front wheel.
- Look at the bottle placed 3 meters away.
- Start in mid gears and try to maintain 70-80 rpm
You have two main supports to hold you when you slow down. The stool to place your foot on one side and a wall on the other. Here is the video link of one of our customers who tried and got the balance on rollers in 2 days, he started riding like a pro the next day only.
We will be soon sharing a video on “how to ride on rollers”, “basic tricks and tips of indoor cycling and training” on our youtube channel. You can subscribe for more updates and spinning sessions.
Once you gain the balance, the next thing is to set a workout routine for the best results. You can go through our Indoor cycling series 1: “How to set an Indoor workout routine”.
Above all the tips and tricks, the most crucial aspect of riding on rollers is to stay motivated and focused for the initial few sessions. Try twice or thrice a day either similar or different ways to get the balance on rollers. Let me assure you that this consistency will make you better and understand the science that keeps you upright and rolling.
We don’t have any expertise in the science of riding on rollers, but the basic rules of Physics that apply in this act are:-
- Center of Gravity– The rider on the bike, and the revolving bike tire on rollers add the destabilization elements of motion. The rider’s ‘centre of mass’ directs over the bike and then to the rollers causing the tire to not only sway away but also move in response to the rider’s movement. It forces the rider to change positions constantly.
- The inertia of Motion– To gain balance we need to maintain the inertia of motion by continuously pedalling at a uniform cadence.
What is the mathematical explanation of “how a rider remains upright on rollers??”
What is the calculation of that theoretical ‘sweet point’ for a person to balance on rollers with minimal effort???
The pro riders riding on rollers look effortless but they are actually juggling through complex challenges of perception and motor control. (It is the regulation of movement in organisms that possess a nervous system).
Our Pondered views originated from years of experience in professional cycling, training, and guidance.
The Ultimate balancing challenge should consider The Rider, The Bike, and the rollers with their respective forces, masses, angles, and velocities to distribute how the bike rollers and rider respond to each other. We should also consider the sensory system that alerts us when our bodies start to teeter, including our eyes, and the organs of our inner ear, and originates information from our ankles and knees while pedaling.
If you move even a little off the center of the rollers, the sensory system alerts. And your bike starts oscillating to come back to the center. When this happens to the first-timers, obviously the body rocks more causing more oscillation to the bike. As a result, you completely lose balance from rollers.
You have your ways, I have my ways. So let’s not argue about which style is better for balancing on rollers. Please share your views. Or if you have any interesting tricks for quick balance on rollers, please share them below in the comments.
Also, you can check our Indoor cycling Series, an all-rounder guide to enhance your indoor cycling experience.
Indoor Cycling Series 1: This is a perfect guide to a powerful 45- minutes step-by-step Indoor Cycling Routine and Training at home with your Indoor Bike Trainer/ Rollers.
Indoor Cycling Series 2: Get detailed knowledge about the Best Equipment and Setup for Indoor Cycling Workouts and measure their pros and cons to find your ideal one.
Indoor Cycling Series 3: Record your Indoor Cycling Routines with the Best Workout Apps that come with interactive features, detailed analytics, minimal equipment, and investment.
Indoor Cycling Series 4: A step-by-step DIY process of rocker plates to transform your favourite smart trainer into exclusive designs that are ideal for your body.
Indoor Cycling Series 6: Learn how to connect Zwift or any Virtual Riding App with a non-smart trainer and what exclusive features you can enjoy thereafter.
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