Friday, October 29, 2010

Roller Thoughts

I was not prepared for how much I like rollers compared to a stationary trainer. It is actually riding a bike as compared to sitting on a bike. Thus, your entire body is engaged -just like it is on the road. On a trainer your upper body, arms, core, have no function. I always feel like I should be cooking dinner or something. A few thoughts.

Learning to ride rollers is not hard. Once you get the hang of it, it's very natural feeling. Took less than a total of an hour to get IT.

I've learned about my spin quality! Rollers provide instant feedback on your spin. One interesting thing I've found is knee stability. I've never had great knee alignment. I've been fit twice, and each time when pedaling in the fit studio, my knees looked great. But never looked as good on the bike under actual conditions. Saddle height, Q-spacers, wedges, nothing seemed to be able to take all of the knee-knock out. I learned why on rollers.

I've been subconsciously using my knees to balance with. I've been throwing a knee to the side at top of each pedal stroke to compensate balance. It wasn't a positioning problem at all. It was a dynamic balance issue. Why was this not spotted? All of my fittings were done on a stationary trainer.

Related to the above, riding rollers has made me sore in some odd places. My knees weren't supported into alignment by inner thigh muscles at the top of my pedal stroke. They were being pulled outboard by outer hip muscles. Now... my knees are properly supported but the muscles aren't as developed as they should be.

Rollers are a great training tool with benefits beyond getting one out of the weather.