Rollers Vs Winter Bike

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Matey
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:12 pm

by Matey

I wondered what you guys had found the most beneficial for keeping form over the winter months; using rollers (possibly with one of the trainer software options) or getting a winter bike and some proper winter kit and facing the elements?

Last winter I intended to make more use of my turbo trainer but found motivation really difficult.

BikeAnon
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:36 pm
Location: NY USA

by BikeAnon

The turbo trainer is the most beneficial tool for keeping/increasing your fitness. It lets you control intensity better than any other option (including going outside).

Winter training is all about managing time/intensity.

All the things that don't involve turning your legs at X intensity for X minutes are just to distract you.


Winter training is HARD. People spend thousands of dollars just to distract their minds during it... CompuTrainers, videos, software packages, etc. These things are just to fill your mind while you body is taking care of business.

A power meter and heart rate monitor can help, but the main thing is to get on the turbo, and do your workouts and get off.


I've found something very useful for the mental aspect of riding the turbo.... darkness. I turn off the lights in the garage. I have a phone-holder on a stand just in reach (keeps the sweat off it). I can play music, and use the stopwatch.

But.... Even watching the clock is boring and hurtful. So I do this.... In iTunes, create Smart Playlists. Make lists of songs that are X length. Set iTunes to random play. When you need intervals, you hit a playlist of songs that are the length you need, then GO.

Use the stopwatch during the "rest" period of the interval. Then hit another song and GO.

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

My missus watches films. Lord of the rings is good, apparently.
I'd rather get it over and done with in half an hour.

And tbh, I'd discount rollers. They are good for pedaling form and speed work. Not amazingly good for much else. Turbos are better. So are winter bikes.

Matey
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:12 pm

by Matey

Thanks for the advice, the dark riding sounds interesting, I can see the benefit of it being easier to 'zone-out'.

You've confirmed my doubts that the rollers were probably more an excuse for another purchase than a necessary addition I just need to find adaquate motivation.

Do you value software like 'Trainer Road' or am I still just looking to distract from what is actually required - Commitment and effort?

Matey
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:12 pm

by Matey

I'm just about to put a TV in the garage so my girlfriend can watch it whilst on the turbo (she's only had the bike a week so needs all the encouragement she can get!) so that may be another option to explore (I thought it would also be a good way to catch up on any tour highlights!)

As we're talking about things to watch to distract / motivate; do you rate the 'Sufferfest' style videos at all?

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boysa
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Location: Too far from my bike.

by boysa

I've had several types of rollers and trainers, and my most recent purchase is hopefully my last: Wahoo Kickr.

This thing is great when you're forced indoors. I turn the lights down, play music, and simply tackle the intervals. It has ergo mode, and it's a complete ball buster. Set your target wattage and suffer. I limit my workouts to 90' and done. In some respects, the ability to target your goals so specifically is tremendous.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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boysa
Posts: 1452
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:03 pm
Location: Too far from my bike.

by boysa

I'll add as far as rollers go, I have Inside Ride Emotions and they are awesome. Only problem for me is I couldn't do VO2 workouts on them.

Inevitably I'd get dizzy and end up on the floor!
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

Oswald
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:11 pm

by Oswald

Winter training is all about endurance and power. So what about running, swimming, cross country skiing, weighlifting, etc... ? There is little need to 'face the elements' on a bike...

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TwiggyTN
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by TwiggyTN

Other than you just love riding...

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jekyll man
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by jekyll man

you need to mix the turbo up with real riding, or you start to lose the reasons as to why you're doing the turbo workouts.
A decent set of lights aren't too expensive nowadays, and a couple of hours z2 is easy enough. Any longer and it has a habit of getting too cold for me :unbelievable:


For turbo workouts, you need to know what you are going to be doing before you get on it. Write it down or whatever (6*10mins sweetspot etc). That way you will focus on what you are meant to be doing, and then OFF, rather than 10 mins warm up followed by I can't be arsed...

I find music better than movies- its easy to slow to the pace of the film.
Trainer mode in golden cheetah I find useful as I'd rather have a trace changing in front of me instead of just watching my headunit
Official cafe stop tester

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Cuki
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:20 pm
Location: Vienna

by Cuki

Oswald actually reminded me of something that bought back some very good memories.
I spent one week in Norway back in the 80’s participating and training with a group of experienced cross-country skiers. It was brutal, without doubt the hardest week of training I ever experienced in my athletic career. A group of us went, all marathon runners. That year we all ran faster than we ever ran before. We all knew why and we all promised ourselves we would go back each year. We never did. I sometimes wonder how fast I would have run if I went every year to Norway instead of Lanzarote.

Matey
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:12 pm

by Matey

Wow that Kickr does look rather nice but is sadly a little out of my budget at the minute for a trainer.

I do some weight training over the winter but dont run due to an old foot injry so was really looking for something else to keep up the cardio / leg strength.

I guess I'll hold off on any winter purchases for the second as it sounds like I may finally be able to justify buying a powermeter to use alongside my existing turbo to 'save money'...

Oswald
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:11 pm

by Oswald

Back when I was racing, I used to do 4 to 5 hour long endurance rides even when it was snowing. And if it got really cold, I would do 3 hour rides on the Tacx, watching movies.
I know better now. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't risk getting into an accident on icy roads or getting sick. Now I would go swimming, lift weights, etc... Sure, you need to keep cycling, but you can replace some of the cycling workouts with other sports. It'll make you stronger and more eager to get back on the bike once the weather gets better.

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Rick
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:30 pm

by Rick

I have rollers and a cyclops fluid2 trainer.
But I absolutely hate to train indoors. It is a mental thing. I just can't get any intensity at all. So I ride as much as possible, bundled up on a winter bike.
But there are times when it is just too icy, rainy, dark, etc...so the rollers and trainer do get used. I won't ride on ice or in cold rain.
I also weight lift in the winter, so the rollers get used to just spin the legs out. The trainer gets used for some intervals.

dmulligan
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:16 pm

by dmulligan

I use Trainerroad to keep me focused on my training plan and to train with structure.

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