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Work your fitness and handling skills with one of these three roller sets.
Ride: The easiest set to balance on also provided the most realistic ride feel. Hourglass-shaped drums provide a subtle stability boost while still forcing the cyclist to control the bike.
Resistance: Large drums create less resistance than smaller ones, and Galaxia’s are the biggest of the bunch. As a result, getting past VO2max effort can be a struggle for stronger riders.
Usability: Compressing the rollers for storage is easy—the front portion of the rails slide into the rear—and they expand quickly when you’re ready to train. Plastic drums might wear quicker than metal.
Kreitler Kompact Rollers 3”
Ride: Staying upright on these requires a little more concentration and skill than the Galaxia, but the grooved drums slow any wild swings. They send more vibration up to the rider than the Tacx.
Resistance: These midsize drums are capable of creating enough resistance for threshold workouts, but they turn a little too easily for all-out anaerobic sessions.
Usability: Couldn’t be more straightforward. The front half folds over the rear when out of use; just open it up when you’re ready to train. Solid and simple construction helped this set earn its reputation as a workhorse capable of lasting for the long haul.
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CycleOps Aluminum Roller with Resistance
Ride: Riding the CycleOps rollers feels almost identical to the Kreitler. Firmly planted, the metal rollers challenge your balance and vibrate more than the Tacx.
Resistance: The magnetic resistance unit can be used to increase the rider’s max power output. They make enough of a difference to do an intense interval session, assuming you can keep yourself upright while going anaerobic.
Usability: Moving the front drum on the CycleOps can be done by hand; the other two require tools—a benefit if you want to alternate bikes. It opens like the Kreitler but has a more complicated hinge.
Riding rollers takes a little bit of practice. The bike is free to roam and can easily slide off the drums, sending you to the living room floor if you lose your balance. Once you’re up, keep your eyes trained in front of you and relax. Balancing becomes easy after just a couple of workouts.
Watch a demonstration of mounting rollers at Triathlete.com/rollers.