I've never used rollers ...

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by Valbrona

In forty years of road cycling I have never been on a set of rollers.

Knee surgery is looming, and I am wondering how useful a set of rollers would be to help recovery.

My main concern is one of falling off and jiggering my knee up. How do you get up and running on them, and how do you end a session? Should I expect to fall off if I am new to them? I know that riding in a doorway can be useful.


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by glam2deaf

I'm a recent convert. Had to learn quickly to avoid looking stupid at the Velodrome. I found starting having something solid to hold is ideal. Only took 3 or 4 goes to get the hang of it and be able to just hop on and ride. Only thing I can't do is use a towel to wipe my sweat while riding.

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by Calnago

I wouldn't say rollers are a good idea when you're recovering from knee surgery, especially if you haven't used them before. But even if you have, one unbalanced twist of the knee certainly can't be something you'd want to risk. Why not just a stationary trainer? You've gone 40 years without rollers so far, I'd suggest that right after knee surgery is not the time to start.
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by jim in pc

I would not recommend trying to rehab a major surgery on rollers without a fork stand. Putting aside the fact that a single loss of balance could undo all the work of the surgeons and all the work of your rehab, at first you will struggle to have range of motion to even do a full pedal revolution. You'll want to raise your seat at first to have a less acute angle at the knee. It will be a while before you can even manage 10rpm in your normal cycling position - far below the cadence needed to ride rollers smoothly.

I'm an experienced roller rider and I used them to rehab a broken hip three years ago, but I bought a fork stand to do it. I used a cooler as a step stool to get on and off the bike. Even then I started on spin bikes at the gym. I have had an ACL repair done in a knee, too. That's a much longer healing/rehab process than a broken bone.

I just replaced my 25 year old Kreitlers with a standard trainer (Tacx Satori Smart) and I think rollers are a bit over-rated, especially in the new world of Zwift, Sufferfest, Netflix, etc. But it's not such a big difference that I would tell you not to buy rollers if that's where you're leaning. Just get or borrow a fork stand for the first 2 months or so.

Good luck with your surgery.

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by sanrensho

Agree, rollers would not be wise. One moment of inattention will land you on your ass. And it will happen if you are new to rollers.

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by mattr

It's a lot further to the floor than you think. Putting your foot down can hurt.

Turn your turbo down to 1. Or ask your physio for some recommended exercises......

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by Juanmoretime

I ride rollers when the weather does not permit riding outside. The advise of others is spot on, don't do it. You will have a few mishaps until you get your technique down. Later should you decide to give them a try anyway start by placing your rollers in a doorway to get on them and for balance until you get down your technique.

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by Rudi

As above, I'd think the realtive absolute stability of the turbo would be a better option.

If you do want to try the rollers at some point, I found the "doorway" techniqe was a hinderance rather than helpful. I found myself almost trying to wedge myself into stability with Froomesque elbows. For me personally I found being next to a wall was a lot more useful, just need to lean that way when stopping - similar to how we all do that when unclipping with a specific pedal - and place your hand against the wall. You might find a preference to have the wall on the left or right.
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by Flyfishing3

I recently had hip replacement surgery and my Dr said specifically to not do rollers

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by Miller

I use rollers a little bit, starting quite late in my cycling life. I didn't want to be in the situation like the OP where I'd never ridden on them. I started with the most stable bike I have, a flat bar commuter, it turned out to be easy to ride and that was a confidence boost. I needed to be able to ride drop bar bikes though, while clipped in, which took a bit more practice as it's startling how twitchy some bikes feel, eg my TT bike which is fun on the rollers but not relaxing. I haven't fallen off though have been close. You need something to grab onto or at minimum ride beside a wall so you can put a hand out if need be and when stopping.

The thrill of slight danger with rollers for me alleviates the boredom of stationary training. I wouldn't want to be learning rollers while carrying a fragile injury.

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by Rick

I agree with all the advice above. If you were already comfortable on rollers, they would be OK. And they are really not difficult to learn; but THERE WILL BE a few clumsy occurrences at first, which could injure something that is already injured.
Rollers with fork stand or windtrainer with light resistance seems better in your situation.

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