With the arrival of bad weather (rain, annoying wind or adverse weather), you’re looking for rollers to start training indoor. Don’t stress yourself, we present 10 of the best bike rollers that’ll help you enjoy that moment on your bike.
In this guide, we’ll show you the different bike roller models available in the market and also help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
What is a bike roller?
A bike roller is a fixed device with which you can convert your mountain or road bicycle into an exercise bike. With this you’ll be able to train, warm up, or engage in series of exercise at home. Thus, eliminating the need to visit a gym or spin classes and you won’t be able to take the converted bike with you when going out.
Types of bike rollers
In this article, we’ll analyze the 4 most common types of bike rollers available in the market. In these 4 models, the most common are those with a fixed V-shaped part responsible for direct holding the rear wheel of the bicycle (fluid magnetic, and direct transmission ). However, the balance rollers allows the bicycle to be placed directly on a 3-roller structure.
Magnetic rollers: These are the most common, affordable, and the most easy to operate ones. They have an easel like shape where the rear wheel is fixed. Looking at it at first glance you’ll have a feel it will take up a lot of space and be difficult to store, but are foldable and easy to store.
The rollers operate by friction of the wheel on a roller featuring a magnet system and a fan responsible for generating resistance. Many of these rollers usually comes with a lever or remote control placed on the handlebar of the bicycle, thus allowing it to adjust the strength of that resistance.
One of the drawbacks of these rollers is the noise they generate while using them, so you’ve to take into account the location you’ll use them. Also, they can produce a pedaling sensation that doesn’t closely resemble reality. In addition, you must assess the transmission of power directly between the rear wheel and the resistance of the roller causes wear of the rear wheel . This is why cyclists use a different rear wheel with special covers when mounted on the roller.
Fluid rollers are very similar to magnetic rollers, with the difference that pedaling resistance isn’t produced with magnets, but through a fluid incorporated in the roller. They provide you with a more realistic pedaling sensation and are much quieter than the previous ones.
These rollers are more advanced and in some models the cyclist’s pedaling regulates the resistance. You can also find models with a wireless system so as to regulate the resistance and even intelligent systems connected to simulators that apply the resistance necessary as if you were performing a real stage
Direct drive rollers
These are fluid rollers in which the rear wheel doesn’t engage on the roller. With this, the rear wheel is removed from the bicycle and the chain is attached directly to the roller.
This guarantee that you’ll not suffer wear on the rear wheel of your bicycle, nor will you need to have a special wheel for the roller. Also, the rollers are less noisy with a natural pedaling sensation. So, whenever you want to use them, you’ll need to disassemble the rear wheel of our bicycle.
These are the simplest of all rollers, since they feature 3 rollers fitted in a horizontal structure on which the bicycle is placed. These rollers are more difficult to control, thus you must possess the ability and balance to stay on the rollers without any support.
They are mostly used for warm-ups and for practicing the skill and balance on the bicycle. Also, they are quite silent and closely resemble the use of a bicycle. On the other hand, you cannot regulate any type of resistance and it is difficult to get used to maintaining the balance on them.
Now that you’ve purchased your choice of bike rollers, below are some the ways in which these machines will improve your physical fitness.
How bike rollers will help maintain your fitness
- The bike rollers are effective in maintaining body fitness as it allows you to warm up and train on your own without experiencing any form of interference. This makes it easy for you to concentrate on your fitness regime, and also reach your fitness goals quickly.
- Being an indoor machine, these devices allows you to be much more specific in training. In turn, you will be able to spend the exact time in the key areas of your heart rate or power.
- You’ll be able to train in a controlled environment, so you won’t have to worry about traffic, bad weather and distractions.
- These machines are time saving. It does this by eliminating any form of slow down in your training that are caused by wind, low temperatures, and rain, making it difficult for your muscles to reach their ideal levels for training.
- They are fun to use. You can perform all kinds of physical activities including cadence exercises, leg exercises, slopes, speed intervals and all kinds of training that can make the best of you.
To make things easier for you in getting the best bike rollers, we have selected 10 of the best bike rollers available in the market and are reviewed below.
1 Minoura MOZ Folding Rollers Trainer with Step Guard – Best Overall
The first and the leading roller available in our list of best bike roller is Minoura MOZ Folding Rollers Trainer. Designed with step guard, this 80mm x 420mm precision machine has an alloy frame that folds down into 3 parts. This makes it convenient for storage and transport.
Not only does this alloy frame make the machine convenient to store but also allow you to have a smooth and quiet ride. Remarkably, this rustproof and lightweight alloy construction machine comes with a durable urethane belt and a wheelbase that can be easily adjusted from 950mm to 1090mm.
Its 8 ground contact points enhance stability and meet most tasks. Also, It has a noise insulator responsible for generating natural resistance with a safety step for easy on and off.
In general, if you’re a trainer or someone who wishes to train especially without any prior knowledge, then we implore you to purchase this amazing quality machine. As its exceptional design and safety features plus durability make it our top-notch roller that is suitable for most riding tasks.
- The roller is good and perfectly designed
- Entails a step to ease riding and enhance safety
- Good for training, especially for beginners
- It is rustproof
- Too big for children size bike
- If not properly stored, it may compromise qualities
2 Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers – Best for Safe Indoor Exercise
Tacx Antares is a retractable bicycle roller suitable for indoor use. These tapered rollers are designed for optimal stability due to their center wheels. They often require no power to run and their maintenance is free. Also, with a roller diameter of 3.93”- 4.33” (100-110 mm), this rollers perfectly fit into bikes with 26” to 29” wheel diameters.
It can be folded down to 31.5” x 18.5” x 5.31” and also has a maximum footprint of 53” x 18.5”. This portable heavy-duty conical roller is easy and safe to operate and always remain fixed while in use. Thus, keeping the wheels centered.
The roller provide mild resistance and help you in building muscle memory so you can cycle freely to refine your coordination and technique. This is made possible since the front roller spins at the same speed as the rear, so the wheels will carry more angular momentum and stability.
With this, you’ll be able to have a fun-filled indoor exercise without losing the magic touch, maintain your speed, and finally, refine your technique. As you will be able to stand up and stretch your legs while still riding. Although, you might need to stay close to the wall and put a chair or something else on the other side to put down your foot in case you lose balance.
- Work for longer period without developing fault
- Has a sturdy and smooth design
- Easy to operate and store
- The presence of the taper keeps your balance
3 Guro-takkuguro-takku Training Bike GT – Best for Hill Climbing Training
Renowned for its exceptional firmness and sturdiness, this 14kg weight roller has a size of H 97 mm × W 583 mm × L 1354 mm and a 734 mm at the time of folding. This size helps cyclist and other sportsmen who uses the bike for their racing activities to explore beyond imagination. Even if they will spend several hours in reaching that far place.
The ease of riding this bike allows beginners to ride smoothly and gives a steady driving feeling ranging from ultra-low speed to high speed running. With this device, you will derive pleasure by training with your bike. Including that of dancing, sprinting, and many more.
This bike roller can reproduce climbing slopes, even for hill climbing training if you properly use the lift function of the front. The optional load unit of this device is also used to reproduce over 10% of the steep slope.
The freedom system of this roller comprises of 4 rollers, and a key feature of the Q1.1 has been developed with GROWTAC. Spending three years in order to get rid of the unstable handling peculiar to the conventional three rollers.
- The front and rear controller units work independently in controlling the movement of the bicycle to bring an overwhelming sense of stability
- Exceptionally stable
- Perfect for training hill climbing
- Price is a bit expensive for low income earners
4 TBVECHI Roller Trainer Bicycle Bike Trainer Roller – Best for All Bike Types and Sizes
The TBVECHI roller trainer is a 3 thermoplastic drum, mounted into an adjustable frame to allow all sizes of cycles to use. With this aluminum alloy roller, you will be able to practice different skills even by riding on the wall for the first time. So you can master the basic balance, from the wall after which you can show impressive car skills later.
This sleek minimalist and compact design machine with package size (14 x 53 x 84 cm) features a 1x bicycle cycling parabolic roller trainer package. The roller also contains riding materials for the steel and a roller material for the nylon material roller riding.
The black color of this machine also complements and extend its beauty. To remain safe while training with this roller, we implore you not to carry any load beyond 150 KG. As this may lead to an imbalance with subsequent falling.
Once you’re on this ride without many load, you’re free to relax as your comfort. You will even experience a more realistic ride similar to that of outdoor feeling regardless of the weather.
- Compatible with all bicycle types and sizes
- Comes with a reliable thermoplastic drum
- Different skills can be practice on it
- Requires some time for beginners to understand and have control over the roller.
5 Minoura FG-540 Hybrid Roller: Front Fork Mounted Trainer – Best for Maintaining Physical Fitness Indoors
Just like other Minoura products, Minoura FG-540 hybrid roller is an amazing quiet roller that is affordable and easy to store. This is possible thanks to its exceptional small dimension of 24.5 x 11.2 x 12.2 inches and easy folding frame.
It has a roller resistance system which enhances its usage. Thus, making it the go to choice of cyclists and those looking to maintain their physical fitness while indoors. This machine is quick and easy to assemble the model and it also has a second-hand value meaning you can still dispose of it off once you feel like getting a new one. Although its beauty never fades with age. The significant lightweight of this roller makes it easy to lift and store. If necessary. This roller is also durable thanks to the superior materials used in constructing it.
It is comfortable to operate and you’ll find the urethane belt and wheelbase easy to adjust to suit your needs. To fully enjoy using this roller with your bike, you should lubricate its full metallic part.
- Light in weight and comfortable to transport
- Operate quietly when in use
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Proper maintenance is needed for outstanding performance
6 Kreitler Alloy Roller – Best for those Who are Allergic to Noise
Renown for its outstanding performance, Kreitler is a unique and simple USA complete made roller that has various drum diameters. Notably (4.5-Inch, 3.0-Inch, 2.25-Inch) all which are 15-Inch wide. Also, this roller has a fan unit that can be easily rotated to point low or high airflow including a belt and standard frame which covers a wide range of wheelbases to ease mobility.
The beauty and balancing of this roller lie in the combination of its alloy model design and its end caps that are perfectly positioned. Also, when it comes to quietness, all other roller products that claim to be quiet falls behind Kreitler as users vowed it is the quietest and smoothest rollers on earth.
The diameter of this roller decreases with an increase in its resistance. And it also has an adjustable resistance to aid action plus a cooling breeze. To round it up, this moderate price tag roller also has a killer headwind fan in addition to the aforementioned features. All to complement its precise work even if used for heavy duties over a long period.
- Helps to highlight any pedal deficiency or imbalance
- Raises fitness level within a small period
- The unit can be folded up half and remove when not in need
- Its platform is stable and the drums roll very smoothly and quietly
- Not affordable for tight income earners
- The tightness of the drum tends to loosen up easily
7 ELITE Nero Interactive Roller – Best for Higher Income Earners
The ELITE Nero is the first roller to feature a pair of flywheels for natural and fluid riding. Suitable for higher budget earners, this interactive roller has a technical feature of 3 rollers to ensure simple control over the pace. Its combined Arion Digital Smart B+ and Q-M innovation design interactive roller feature a floating system and a comfortable quick-motion.
The roller is easy to adjust as it is compatible with both road and mountain bike wheels. Even, the front roller can be adjusted in 11 different positions to fit the bike frame. The ease of portability of this machine makes it easy to fold into 3 sections with one simple movement. While the ergonomic handle plus the lock system aids transport.
The hassle of jumping on a bike especially newbies has been simplified thanks to the integrated step responsible for assisting the rider. This item also uses the ANT+ and Bluetooth wireless communication protocols to send all training data to programs, apps and software immediately. Thanks to its advanced technology.
- Comes with a wide range of improved innovative solutions to the indoor training experience
- Technically advanced as it can interact with many apps, software, computers and other devices with iOS, Android, macOS and Windows
- Has a floating system that makes it easier to approach
- Since it is very light, it may not be too sturdy for use
8 Kreitler Challenger Rollers – Best for Beginner Cyclists
Just like other Kreitler roller, Kreitler Challenger Rollers is also a fully American made product that is available in various drum diameters. Notably, (4.5-Inch, 3.0-Inch, 2.25-Inch) all of which are 15-Inch wide. It also includes a belt and a standard frame that covers a wide range of wheelbases.
This item feature aluminum drums and polycarbonate end caps that help to enhance durability. Thus making it economically preferred compared to the popular alloy models. However, similar to other Kreitler models, this roller’s resistance increases with a decrease in diameter. Another feature that comes with this affordable budget is the killer headwind fan.
This adds to the adjustable resistance and the cooling breeze. The fan unit can also be rotated to point the airflow low or high. Just like its contemporary, the weight of this roller is moderate and can be stored easily. Even without any prior knowledge of storage.
Although the major downside of this roller is the development of higher decibel level which can harm the ear upon extended use, this, however, shouldn’t be seen as a challenge. As we recommend the use of headphones for music or TV.
- Package includes the high quality of all necessary materials
- The fan is helpful in mimicking the wind resistance
- Has a warranty period within 30 days of purchase
- Requires patience and effort to operate
9 Elite Arion Roller – Most Easy to Setup and Operate
If you’re still not satisfied with the aforementioned rollers, then you should try Elite. Elite Arion is a very light, ultra-strong composite frame with a Parabolic-shaped roller. This keeps you safe and gives a perfect balance when you ride on it. In fact, you don’t have to worry about falling or encountering an accident while using this roller.
To comfortably mount and dismount this roller, a step has been built with it. This roller also as an Arion folds with one easy movement and comfortable to store. And it often comes assembled directly from the manufacturers. Although some minor adjustments like tightening of bolts and others may be needed to make this roller perfect.
This roller operates quietly with road tires which are among the reasons why we strongly urge and recommend it for you. Especially, if you’re willing to overcome the initial challenge of ice riding. To prolong the durability of this quiet roller, it is advisable not to sit folded up in the corner.
- They come already assembled.
- Operate quietly and easy to set up
- Ultra-strong and light in weight
- Their customer service response is slow
10 Saris CycleOps Aluminum Roller for Indoor Bike Trainer – Best for Occasional Riders
The last but not the least in our list of available rollers is the Saris cycles. This aluminum made roller drums is smooth and run silently. It also has a fold-flat or stands on end to aid storage. Also, the improved balance, more control, and ease the ability to ride features make it possible to train with this roller in a straight line without any hassle.
The quality materials used in manufacturing it contributed to its life span and style. For those who ride bikes occasionally, this roller is meant for them. As they are specifically designed for such moderate or low use.
To ease and complement your riding, we strongly implore you to read through the manual to have a better understanding. It comes with a warranty period that covers all the materials built with it. In fact, the machine is also good for people of all ages and moderate height and size.
- Perfect for a light workout
- Perfect for bikers who hate running on treadmills
- Helps to aerate the body, especially during indoor exercise as the upper body strength is needed to move the non-moving bike
- If use heavily for longer hours, one of the roller drums may get spoilt.
Ultimate guide to choose the best rollers
When choosing the best bicycle roller, it’s important to lookout for some factors. These will guide and help to determine which one best suits what you need.
Let’s dive in!
Noise level is one of the factors considered in choosing the best bike rollers reviewed above. This is done to avoid buying bicycle rollers whose noise can be quite annoying.
Also, it’s important you note that whenever the wheel come in contact with the roller, noise will be produced. So, if you’re allergic to noise or want absolute silence, then opting for a direct drive roller is the best option.
To overcome the noise, we recommend using a special roller cover. These covers feature no drawing and are designed with a material that produce little to no noise, unlike a road or MTB cover.
What training do you need?
If you’re an amateur cyclist, its known that you’ve a different need compare to professionals. So, when choosing a roller for your bicycle, it’s important to define the training you need.
If you’re only focusing on strength or endurance training, then, don’t purchase a balance roller, because doing so wouldn’t allow you to keep your attention on a single objective.
Frequency of use
As for the frequency with which you want to use the roller, not only must it be taken into account, but also buy a model that’ll last for a long period. Also, you should keep in mind that some rollers do cause some parts of bicycle to suffer wear, such as the rear wheel cover.
For intensive uses, it’s best you mount a specific cover for rollers, thus, causing the bicycle parts to suffer less wear and they emit little to no noise. However, if you intend to use it occasionally or only for heating, then it’s best you opt for a balance roller. This is because it offers greater durability in every way.
How compatible are the rollers and bicycles
When shopping for the best bike rollers, you won’t encounter any compatibility problems. The only thing you should be on the lookout for is the diameter of the wheel, whether it is within the range allowed by the roller.
Of course, many times the rollers come with the nut of tightening of the hub, whose use is necessary as it allows you to comfortably mount the bicycle. This is to avoid it from moving while training, thus providing you with maximum safety conditions.
How much does a bicycle roller cost? Are they very expensive? It depends. It’s clear that the price increases as the performance of the rollers increases.
This depends on your needs and how you intend to use it. If your intended level of use is like an exercise bike at home, then, a magnetic roller will serve you well. The magnetic roller is quite economical and perfectly fulfill its function.
However, if you need more professional features, then, investing in a more advanced model with better adjustments and materials including direct drive rollers or fluid rollers.
Frequently asked question
How fast will my bike goes if it were standing on a roller?
Yes, a bike can travel fast while standing on a roller at a speed similar to a motor spaced bicycling, but that depends on the bike and rider.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the best bike rollers available in the market, you should take into account the budget you’re willing to spend, the purpose of the roller, be it training or warming and the noise that you and the people around you are willing to suffer. We hope this article has helped you to know which one is best suited to your needs.