Picked up a set of e-motion rollers for the winter. I thought Pros/Cons list might be useful for those wondering if a set of these need to be in their future.
Price paid: $775 (not including shipping)
Bought from: Inside Ride’s eBay store
Full Disclosure: I have never owned rollers before, nor tried any other brand. Hey, before October, I’d never owned a road bike (I have traveled to many countries with my trusty MTB by my side though – between me and the road actually – so I’m not new to riding).
1. They’re rollers for dummies.
I read somewhere that these are the easiest rollers to master and good for beginners – something to do with the floating motion making it feel more natural and like the road. After a few tense moments in a hallway trying to get the nerve to let go of the wall, something switched over in my brain, I stopped looking at the front tire and looked ahead instead, then bammo, I was off to the races. Took about 8 minutes of overcoming fear to get to that stage, and I was shaking the whole time, which didn’t help. (Old folks like me are always afeared of taking a tumble and breaking a hip). I still have them set up close to a wall to start and stop, but I’m confident enough on them to take one hand off to drink, hit FFWD, or wipe the sweat from my forehead while I churn. I doubt I will ever get to this level for mount and dismount
Even before I put specific roller tires on (which apparently cut down noise), they really weren’t that loud. Over time they’ve developed a bit of a squeak, but I think there might be a little dust the front roller. I had read that the biggest worry for wood-floor apartment dwellers was the vibration on the floor annoying the downstairs neighbor. To nip that in the bud, I bought two heavy-duty, 3×3 rubber mats from Home Depot – the kind you find in kitchens – and put the rollers on that. I’ve not heard any complaints, and I live above a guy who complained to building management about me walking too loudly in my apartment, so I think that’s a good sign.
3. The kind of rollers Ikea would sell
Meaning they’re super easy to put together. Why? Because they essentially are already put together when you get them. The only adjustment I had to make was to move the front roller forward to ensure my wheel was correctly placed, and it comes with it’s own tool to make that adjustment (what I would call a spanner, but I’m not sure what Americans call it). To change resistance is a breeze – there’s a magnetic wheel near the back rollers – flip a little secondary magnet to different setting to increase the resistance.
4. Kicks Winter’s arse
I know myself pretty well. When it’s 6am and freezing, I am less likely to have the motivation to drag myself out of bed, rug up, and go for a ride (summer easy, winter, not so much). But if I get home from work and I’m just going to be watching TV anyway, why not move 3 feet over to the rollers and go for it while I’m absorbing the visual delights of The Daily Show or catching up on my TiVo-ing? Just gotta remember to be vigilant about not laughing too wildly. (*see Losing Concentration in the Cons section)
5. Bumper car time!
Drift too far to the side and you’ll be gently nudged back by the roller’s side wheels, set on each side of the front wheel. They look like rollerblade wheels. There’s also a bumper system to stop the back wheel jumping forward when you lurch for your stand up sprint. Which brings me to…
6. Stand up, young Padawan!
Fear. That’s the one thing that’s holding me back from jumping up and sprinting for the finish. These rollers are supposed to be awesome for actually getting out of the saddle and cranking. But there’s something in my brain that keeps talking myself out of having a go. I can see myself flying off the side with some erratic spring up. I guess I have all winter to sort this out, but any tips are welcome.
1. These puppies are expensive
I’m not talking mildly expensive, I’m talking doing something unsavory to your wallet expensive. I got mine from Inside Ride (the manufacturer) for $775 on ebay and that’s without shipping. But this was my rationale. I am new to riding, and to ride through winter would require a substantial investment in winter riding gear. I mentioned my motivational “get out of bed in winter” problem – well, I’m pretty sure that that gear would remain neatly folded in my drawer all winter, thus making the investment a bit Bernie Madoff-ish. I set a goal in October of riding 5 days a week all winter, a goal I have only broken once due to the flu, and one other time for a reason I can’t remember. I can thank the rollers for keeping to my goal, so I think they’re already paid for themselves.
In fact, that’s the only con I can think of…except to say, and this is more of a general rollers comment:
2. Losing concentration kills
So far, I’ve only been unceremoniously deposited on the floor once, and that was when I was getting ready to get off and stop. (I’d say “touch wood” here, but my floor is wood and I really DON’T want to touch it if at all possible). But there have been many times when I’ve had close calls, usually when I take one hand off the handlebars to do something. If you don’t panic, it’s pretty easy to right yourself. Just remember: if you get too caught up in watching something on the tele, or just drift off into dream world, it’s easy to swerve into danger, and those bumpers won’t save you every time.
Awesome. Well made and well worth every cent.