Ok so now it’s cold and wet and dark – time to delve into the arsenal of indoor training equipment and one of the best pieces of kit I recommend is rollers. Originally being a track sprinter I have been rolling a long time, as rollers are a key training tool for all trackies. But even if you don’t ride track, rollers are a great training tool to improve pedalling efficiency, balance, leg speed and fitness. I have tried many different brands of rollers but the ones I keep going back to are the Tacx Antares. They are widely recognised to be one of the best value and best made sets of rollers available. They haven’t changed a lot since their first came out – in fact up until recently I was using a first gen pair, but I know have a new pair and I still like them.
Roller setup needs to fit your bike well – the front extension needs to be able to have the front wheel balance directly over the top. The Tacx Antares has a good system of a small metal button underneath each runner, this can be set to exactly the same distance on both sides (distances for wheel bases of your bike are provided in the manual), this set up is easy to do and also to adjust if sharing with others. Another great thing is the Tacx Antares use high quality bearings in the rollers, and strong plastic and metal for the runners. The roller drums are conical which helps to direct your bike back to centre if you drift towards the edges. This is great in preventing a wheel slipping off the drum if you are doing high max rev efforts, or are new to the whole roller thing. The Tacx Antares is one of the cheaper models available on the market. You can spend more and get added features such as “rockers” that allow increased stability when sprinting on the rollers, as well as resistance units that can be added to allow higher powered training. In my experience, unless you are an Olympic level male sprinter needed extra resistance for you warm-up prior to the Flying 200m, the best sessions for rollers are with less resistance such as technique, high cadence and recovery.
The Tacx Antares are well made, strong, easily assembled and easily transportable – I bought a Tacx Antares carry-bag which is great to carry extras like track pumps. They provide everything you really need for roller training, rain, hail or shine!
– By Jessica Laws – Pushys sponsored rider