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Turbo trainer Vs Rollers

Hi all,
I am very new to Triathlon (having completed 2 sprint's over the last few months!?), but been 'roped' into UK IM 70.3 in june!!!
I need to continue to build my 'base' aerobic fitness and strength over the winter and I keep hearing reference to turbo trainer and rollers.
So what are peoples thoughts of these trainers? Is it purely personal preferrance or is one better for tri training?
The rollers seem to require more technique but do they still build strength/fitness in the same way, ie like the turbo's seem to?
Thanks for any thoughts
Cheers Steve.

PS anyone around the Southport area who wants to hook up for some training sessions?


  • there might be a similar thread on the general chat bit i think! i've got a turbo which works well enough! there was some rollers stuff last month in 220, so i can't say which is best - though with my balance, the turbo is at least heavy and supported!
  • Turbo trainer compared to rollers.

    Both are very good especially when it’s not safe to train outside.
    You need to set the turbo up so it mimics the effort you put out on the road
    This can be tricky and time consuming but worth it.
    You need to do some road riding and made notes of your speed cadence compared to various heart rates on the flat.
    So when you train at your threshold the speed corresponds to the speed you would do on the road. Yes it is a great feeling to cycle 10 miles in less than 20 minutes

    Set your tyre pressure the same to get a accurate comparison. With no wind rain road surface changes you get a good comparison speed and heart rate.

    Roller training
    I have found rollers to be best to improve smooth cycling when you start cycling.
    After 2-3 years then progress to a Turbo.
    Cheaper alternative to expensive rollers, just get on and ride.
    They work with 3 drums attached to a frame and rubber band between the front and rear roller.
    Once the rear wheel moves the rear roller it makes the front roller move.
    They are light weight easy to set up and take to a race or when you need to
    Rollers don’t provide much resistance though but the top cyclist can ride at 35 mph (56kmph) or faster without coming off!
    I have known nameless friends take them to their hotel and train, don’t forget to ask for a noisy room and blame the noise onto someone else!
    Turbo trainers
    Turbo trainers can be more expensive than your bike. It’s what you when that counts.
    Too much hard riding in January will leave your best fitness on the turbo in April not during the race season
    Don’t get bogged down with watts just focus on cadence and heart rate.
    Both allow you to ride your bike indoors come rain shine or when it’s dark and cold outside.

    A word of warning you will wear out your tyre & make it smooth. If you go on the road you have less grip and more likely to slip especially in the wet and increase the risk of getting a puncture.
    I use an old wheel and a turbo tyre for extra grip that also slippage.
    See you at the races
    Ironmate mark
    400 + Triathlon finisher
    30 x Ironman Triathlon Finisher
    2 x Double Iron Distance Finisher
    1 x Triple Iron Distance finisher
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