All You Need to Know About Getting Started With Rollers by Juliet Elliott

By Juliet Elliott

Rollers. The very thought of riding them can make people nervous but this humble piece of equipment can be your key to a fun challenge or valuable workout.

Not just for warming up at races, a set of rollers can help you develop balance, finesse and fitness, whilst ensuring your brain remains ‘switched on.’ So, whilst you might not fancy completing your longer, endurance-based workouts on this simple bit of kit, incorporating some roller-based drills can be a great way of keeping things interesting.

Here are the basics

  • Make sure you have plenty of space and aren’t near anything you wouldn’t want to fall on.
  • Make sure your rollers are set up correctly: your back wheel should be cradled by the rear two rollers and the axle of your front wheel should sit slightly behind the front roller.
  • Start with the rollers near a wall or in a doorway for support. Place one foot near the rollers and swing your leg over to place your foot on the pedal. Resting your arm against the wall (or holding onto the doorframe), slowly stand up and sit on the saddle.
  • Start pedalling at a moderate pace, focusing on smooth rotations.
  • Look ahead, not down: fix your gaze on a point a few meters ahead, just like you would outdoors.
  • Tense muscles lead to jerky movements. Keep your core engaged but stay loose in your upper body. Keep your weight through your saddle and try not to carry tension in your arms.

Once you’ve nailed the basics, why not try developing your skills a little further? The following can help you develop a smooth, efficient cadence and boost your bike handling skills.

  • Hands off: begin by taking off one hand at a time and then, once you’re confident, gradually let go of the handlebars for short bursts.
  • Standing climbs: simulate a challenging hill climb by standing on the pedals and cranking up the resistance.
  • Interval training: alternate between high-intensity bursts and recovery periods for a heart-pumping workout.
  • Cadence drills: see how fast you can pedal without bouncing.

See our video for more tips and some of the skills in action. Good luck and have fun!