LAST UPDATED: February 8, 2021
The Best Bike Rollers (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Bike rollers may seem scary, but they’re worth trying if you’re serious about improving your cycling skills.
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PUBLISHED ON February 8, 2021
Cycling outside is refreshing and lets you enjoy the freedom of the open road. But it simply isn’t possible to ride outside on the road 365 days out of the year. That’s when you need to find other ways to train or workout. You could hop on a stationary bike, but they never have the same body position or performance as your road bike. This means finding a way to ride your road bike indoors.
Bike rollers take some practice, but with a little effort, you can master them. It’s a simple frame with three rollers that spin. You’ll place your bike on the rollers and begin pedaling. As the rollers spin, you’ll get a workout while remaining in place. However, not all rollers are built or function precisely the same. This guide will help you know their differences and which ones right for you.
This top-quality roller has an alloy frame and a durable urethane belt. It has cartridge bearings for a smooth and quiet ride. On one side of the frame is a non-slip footpad.
- Folds into thirds
- Precision machined
- Adjustable wheelbase
- Unstable at high speeds
- Assembly required
These durable rollers come in either red or black. There’s an aluminum frame that’s adjustable in length. A durable PE nylon belt keeps the operation quiet and consistent.
- Anti-slip foot pad
- Anti-skid surface on the roller
- Weighs 17.5 pounds
- Not a true conical shape
- Less stable feet
This lightweight and ultra-strong composite frame holds three parabolic rollers. There’s a built-in step on either side of the frame for easier mounting and dismounting.
- One-step folding process
- Arrives assembled
- Adjustable length
- No resistance levels
- Smooth plastic rollers
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Benefits of a Bike Roller
- Portable. Most rollers are foldable and lightweight. This makes them portable and versatile. You could store them away when not in use inside your home. You can take them with you for warming up before a race.
- Better workout. Riding on rollers requires you to engage your core to maintain your balance. This gives you a better overall workout. You’ll also experience an increase in top-end cadence or speed.
- Builds skills. Cycling on rollers is more challenging to master than cycling on the road. It takes an accurate awareness of your weight distribution, pedal pressure, and handlebar weight. This can help you develop stronger cycling skills and the ability to become a better rider on the road.
Types of Bike Rollers
These are rider-friendly rollers because they have a slightly conical shape to the rollers. They are wider on the sides of the rollers and skinnier in the middle. This helps to direct your tire to the center of the roller and make it easier to keep it there. Beginners will appreciate this assistance because it’s easier to control your skinny road tire and stay upright on the rollers.
The rollers on this type are smooth and flat. They are the same width across the entire surface of the rollers. This makes them better for those who are experienced with riding rollers. The rollers do not provide any assistance for keeping your bike tire centered and wobble-free. You’ll find that the increased challenge develops your skills further than the conical type.
Basic rollers spin as you ride your bicycle. There’s no change in resistance as you change your speed. Electronic rollers are intuitive and can change resistance levels to respond to your change in pace. They’ll communicate with head units or training apps for a customized riding experience. They’ll also absorb the sudden change in movement to allow for quick stops that prevent you from flying over the edge.
Founded in the Netherlands in 1957, riders depend on Tacx for high-quality bicycle equipment. The company takes an innovative approach to cycling to foster a passion for cycling and all things related to the sport. The Tacx Galaxia Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers are portable and durable.
Founded in China in 2010, the Rock Bros brand focuses on producing dependable yet affordable cycling equipment. The company ships its products worldwide so that it can supply cycling enthusiasts worldwide. You’ll like using the Rock Bros Bike Rollers Adjustable because it’s versatile and can fit a wide range of bicycles.
Founded in 1974, Saris is a proud American brand that calls a 70,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Madison, Wis. home. It distributes its products to 60 countries across the globe. Its product line features racks and trainers. While not a set of rollers, the Saris CycleOps Fluid Indoor Bike Trainer is a great piece of training equipment.
Bike Roller Pricing
- Under $100: The rollers in this price range give you simple functionality. They’re made of durable materials and can be set to the perfect size to fit your bike.
- $100 to $200: There are dependable rollers in this price range. They’re perfect for everyday training and extended use. They’ll use durable materials for the construction and have smooth rolling functionality.
- $200 and up: These top quality rollers are designed for serious cycle enthusiasts. They’ll have the latest innovations and technology to make the riding experience more enjoyable and customized.
Look at the materials used and the construction method for the rollers. It needs to be strong enough to support the weight of you and your bike for extended rides. The best rollers are made from aluminum. Another great option is polyethylene. These rollers are lightweight and can reduce noise and vibration.
The rollers you buy need to fit the length of your bike. You should be able to set it once and never have to adjust it again. A versatile set of rollers is the best because you can adapt the rollers to your bicycle as you upgrade and buy new ones. Otherwise, you’re stuck buying a new set of rollers every time you buy a new bike.
The material, shape, and size of the drums will directly affect their durability and tire resistance. Parabolic rollers are shaped to help keep your tire in the center of the rollers. The larger the size of the rollers, the lower their resistance will be when riding on them. Whether you choose aluminum or hard plastic for your rollers depends on how you plan to ride and the training you want to do.
- Price. Try to buy the best quality rollers that you can afford. You indeed get what you pay for. It’s worth investing more for a better quality piece of equipment that will last through heavy use. The last thing you want is for your rollers to give out mid-ride, and it sends you flying.
- Portability. Some rollers can fold in half, making them easier to take with you. This is an ideal solution for when you want to warm up before cycling races or other meets. They also take up less room while in storage. If you have limited space and don’t want to leave your rollers set up all of the time, then this is a must-have feature.
- Resistance. Not all rollers will have the ability to create resistance. This feature tends to only be on electric or higher-end rollers. If you plan to use your rollers for training, then you’ll want to consider this feature. It will work with your head unit or an app on your smartphone to let you adjust the resistance level.
Best Bike Roller Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This is a top-quality roller that’s made from an alloy frame with a durable urethane belt. You’ll like the sizeable non-slip footpad on one side to make mounting and dismounting your bike easier. The precision machine alloy drums have cartridge bearings to create a smooth and quiet ride. The rollers measure 80 x 420 millimeters. You can fold the frame in three parts for a compact unit that makes storage and transport easier. Adjust the frame to accommodate wheelbases measuring 950 to 1090 millimeters. The durable frame is rustproof and corrosion-resistant. There are eight ground points for increased stability.
Unfortunately, this roller can become unstable at higher speeds. This can limit the type of workout you use this roller for. It also requires assembly upon arrival. This can delay your use of the roller.
This roller stands out because it has anti-slip surfaces. There’s a built-in footpad on one side. This makes mounting and dismounting your bicycle safer and easier. The rollers also have an anti-slip surface to make it easier to maintain traction and stability. The rollers are parabolic to make it easier to maintain control and stay on the rollers. You can choose from either black or red for your frame. Adjust your roller to fit wheels measuring 24, 26, 28, and 29 inches. It’s also compatible with 700C bicycles.
The downside of this roller is that the rollers aren’t conical or parabolic shaped. They are flat with a raised edge. Your wheels can walk to this edge and then bumper off, making for a not smooth ride. The feet are also not as secure or stable as other rollers.
You’ll appreciate how lightweight and compact this roller is. Its frame is made from an ultra-lightweight and strong composite. The roller is parabolically shaped for an easier riding experience. This helps you focus on the ride and maintain better balance. The frame has a built-in step on either side to make mounting and dismounting easier. You’ll like how easy it is to fold the roller down in one smooth movement. This makes storage easy. You’ll appreciate how smooth rolling and quiet this roller is during operation.
One potential drawback of this roller is that it may not fit your bicycle. Check the measurements and ensure that it can adjust long enough to fit your bike. You’ll also want to be careful to not crack the rollers.
The tapered rollers on this trainer make them user-friendly and easier to ride. You’ll appreciate the increased stability and ease at staying centered. You can use this roller setup with bikes that have wheels that measure 26 to 29 inches. When not in use, you can fold your roller down to a footprint measuring 53 x 18.5 inches and weighs 18.7 pounds. The roller diameter measures 3.93-4.33 inches. What makes these rollers stand out is that the front and rear rollers spin at the same speed. This gives you increased angular momentum and stability.
Unfortunately, this roller lacks the same level of adjustability and ease of adjusting that other setups have. It also lacks some of the durability and portability that other rollers have.
Choose from white or black for the color of your trainer. The frames are made of high strength aluminum and then powder coated for durability. The rollers are also constructed of aluminum for durability and a quiet ride. The rollers have a sealed bearing system to keep them quiet. You can adjust the length of the trainer with three screw-fixed brackets. This helps to keep the frame stable. You can use this roller with mountain bikes, 700c road bikes, and folding bikes that measure 16-29 inches.
One potential issue with these rollers is that they can be slippery. This makes balancing and holding your bike steady a challenge. You can use solid supports to hold yourself steady until you get the hang of it. It can also be difficult to get the rollers moving.
You’ll like how smooth moving this roller is. It’s made from composite, aluminum, and plastic. This helps it to be lightweight and durable. The main frame is black, and the rollers are a beautiful accent in a bright silver metal color. The rollers are smooth and flat to give you a workout while also improving your wheel control and balance. The rollers have aluminum drums and spin silently and smoothly. When not in use, the roller folds flat and can stand on end for convenient storage. The feet supporting the frame have rubber caps to give it stability and prevent damage to your floor.
One potential drawback of this roller set is that the rollers are smooth and flat. This makes it easy to accidentally fall off if you aren’t careful and constantly steering.
This sleek black and red roller setup is perfect for training at home. It’s adjustable and foldable, making it convenient to store it when not in use. You can adjust the rollers to work with bicycles that have a wheelbase of 950-1090 millimeters. Your wheel should also have a diameter of 650C, 700C, or 26-29 inches. The frame is constructed of aluminum with nylon materials. The rollers have a non-slip design to make it safer to get on and off of your bike while on the rollers. One nice feature of this roller is the flat footpad. This gives you a flat and steady surface for balancing on when mounting or dismounting your bicycle.
Unfortunately, getting this roller moving takes a lot of effort. This can make it difficult to get started. However, you can reduce this resistance by riding on a thinner tire or a higher air pressure.
This aluminum stand is perfect for training indoors. The frame is made of aluminum, with rollers for the back tire, an extension rod, and a front fork mount. The frame is adjustable to accommodate bikes with 24-29 inch wheels. It includes 9-millimeter quick release and thru-axle adapters for 12x100mm, 15x100mm, and 15x110mm. What makes this roller setup stand out is the five levels of magnetic resistance. You’ll appreciate how durable this trainer is because it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum for strength. It also comes with a heavy-duty tote bag for transportation.
Unfortunately, this trainer is louder than other options. You may also find that the resistance causes you to have jerky pedal movements, making the experience and frame feel less stable.
- Start next to a wall or something stable. This gives you something to hold onto or keep yourself steady while you’re learning how to balance while riding on rollers.
- Adjust the rollers to fit your bike before you start riding. The front axle should be slightly behind the top of the roller. The rear wheel should be cradled between the second and third roller.
- Pick a focal point in front of you. Do not give in to the temptation to stare at your front wheel. This will have you staring straight down, which makes it harder to balance.
Q: Are parabolic rollers better than traditional ones?
Parabolic rollers can make it easier to learn. However, this doesn’t necessarily make them better. The learning curve is lower, but this also limits your development. Traditional flat rollers give you more of a challenge, which can further develop your skills and muscle strength.
Q: Are rollers good for training?
Yes, rollers are good for long-distance training. They give you a smooth pedaling experience and a smooth rolling surface for your tires. This lets you practice fluid pedal strokes for more efficient long-distance riding while also staying in place.
Q: Are bike rollers better than trainers?
It depends on what your goal is while riding. Bike trainers are better for aggressive bursts, while rollers are better for steady long term pedaling. Both will give you a great workout when used for their intended purpose.
For a solid cycling workout that builds stamina and weight, the Minoura Folding Trainer Rollers are perfect because they’re precision machined and adjustable. For a more affordable option, the Soozier Adjustable Cycling Parabolic Roller is easy to use with its anti-slip footpads and roller surfaces.