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Training Indoors Rollers Vs Turbos

There comes a time in every cyclist's life when you have to bite the bullet, pull out the static trainer, and admit defeat in your plans for venturing outdoors. But it doesn't have to be a chore; by picking the right trainer for you, your indoor sessions can be both productive and beneficial to your riding.

There are two established trains of thought when it comes to trainers, 1) Turbos offer greater resistance, and are better for hard interval training, and 2) rollers improve your bike handling, cadence and provide a more realistic road-like feel.

Whilst greatly different in operation, everyone is bound to prefer one method over the other. No boubt your training goals, and above all, personal preference, will dictate your purchase. So Here's a breakdown to help with decision…

Turbo Trainers

Choosing a turbo that suits both your riding and bank balance can be a bit of a headache. Prices can vary from under £100, to well over £1000. But what's the main difference? Well, it largely comes from the type of resistance on offer. In general, the more you pay, the greater the features. Although, of course, there are always the machines that function at a level well above their price point - The Stealth Black Mag (magnetic) turbo trainer, for example, out performs trainers 3x its value. On the other hand the new virtual reality trainers will have you staring blankly at your laptop screen, as a computer generated you navigates the hairpins of Alpe d'Huez.

Magnetic

Clamping your back wheel into the trainer, the resistance unit increases the force depending on the set resistance achieved with the help of magnetic force. The resistance can be easily increased, or decreased, from a handlebar mounted switch. Magnetic trainers are amongst the simplest and cost effective training choices.

Fluid

Fluid trainers can be quiet noisy, but the performance outweighs that issue. Your wheel effectively drives a propeller in a fluid filled compartment, with a much more balanced resistance compared to that of magnetic systems. Control over the units comes from your own shifting system, which only adds to the appeal, for those wanting a more realistic feel.

Air

They sound like an aircraft taking off, but they also offer you great control over resistance. The concept is simple, propellers spin and create resistance from the air. We stock a range of Kinetic trainers that utilise air technology, and are largely considered some of the most realistic turbo's on the market, with excellent road-feel and authentic coast down.

Rollers

Users of rollers will sing their praises, and rightly so. However, there is a hurdle to get over when it comes to embracing the drums. You will have heard stories of damaged ego's at the hands of rollers, or perhaps seen the videos. In reality, after a few shaky moments, rollers are easy to get the hang of and a greatly rewarding way to get your training in. 

Rollers are proven to refine your riding in ways that turbo's simply can't. Can't hold your line in a group? get on the rollers; need to improve your cadence on climbs? rollers; want to improve your bike handling? rollers again. Out of the two choices of trainers, rollers undoubtably improve your riding style in ways that turbo's simply can't, allowing you to address imbalances in your pedalling stroke that will benefit you in the future. What's more rollers are quiet, smooth and easy to set-up, for quick, on-the-fly, training sessions.

Resistance, a main issue that people often bring up when weighing up the decisions between rollers and turbo's. However this isn't the problem it once was. Take our Planet X Resist Rollers, or indeed, the SportsCrafters OverDrive Pro Aluminium Rollers; both these products offer up variable resistance that will rival anything offered by turbo's. In fact, the technology involved isn't to dissimilar to the magnetic trainers previously discussed. As the drum spins, magnets are drawn closer, increasing resistance, and making your legs work that bit harder.

Turbo Trainers and Rollers