Rollers v Turbo...Stephen Gallagher gives his view.
Oct 16, 2012
It is a question we are often asked when it comes to this time of year 'what do I use to train on indoors?' With so many variables between each product and rider it is hard to provide a generic answer but hopefully the following can shed some light on the benefits of each:
- Can make a huge difference to your bike handling.
- Develop your ability to maintain a smooth and consistent pedalling motion.
- Balance and core muscles play a bigger part in the ability to perform a solid training session, excellent for developing both.
- Great tool to notice weakness in core strength area and learn to develop during the winter months for bigger training gains.
- Teaches you to develop a fluid motion and keep the upper body relaxed.
- High cadence efforts and higher respiratory rates on rollers is great to develop an excellent aerobic ability under stress and keeping a breathing rhythm under control.
- The majority of efforts have little muscle strength depression because the main system being used is aerobic due to higher cadence efforts. Ideal combination when joined with a structured gym/weights programme to improve this area of training.
- The bike is physically fixed to the turbo, allowing it to be a safer option than the rollers if you feel you bike handling skills are not yet at the level to ride the rollers.
- More stress free training session.
- Be able to use resistance which allows the ability to mimic challenges on the open road, climbs, out of the saddle, shorter muscular efforts at a high resistance – all of this is sometimes not possible on rollers.
- Allows the freedom to choose your gradient and get out of the saddle to relax your muscle groups.
- Provides a safe environment for those new to the sport and/or a new bicycle to develop ability and confidence to ride out of the saddle.
- When developing more 'strength' training outside of a gym setting a turbo will allow development of neuromuscular pathways through completion of specific sessions using the resistance on a turbo.
So to sum it up, it really depends on your goals and confidence if you pick rollers or a turbo to train on. Look at what it is you need to work on. Evaluate this. Where are the biggest gains going to made in that all important hour when you get home after a day’s work but want to complete an hour indoors. Make it count by making the right choice. The right choice will make gains for your 2013 goals. This is where it all starts.
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