I can’t remember the last time I trained on bicycle rollers ? Probably as far back as my days of collegiate racing ? Ah, yes that was it ! Flashback – hanging from a rafter in my dorm room in order to get started. A nearby couch or bed in the event I needed to make an emergency bailout, and a bucket of dry-wall plaster on hand in order to fix the damage I caused to the wall(s) when said bailout plan failed. That, combined with lack of any real resistance is why I closed the chapter on rollers, and embraced fixed wheel trainers over the years.
However, I must admitted, I did enjoy the sense of unbridled balance and freedom rollers offered, that I’ve never quite experienced on later fixed wheel devices. But, nothing over the years by way of roller technology has been able to mitigate those "white knuckle" experiences, and lack of resistance, enough to assuage my interests.
However, I recently read about new product (when I say new, I mean new to me), that appears to opaque all that I remember being bad about rollers, with new technology in terms of stability and most importantly – resistance. The product is called TruTrainer, and the rollers are the result of two "roadies" turned engineers, or vice versa, who seem to have put matters to rights with rollers. Check it out !
TruTrainer rollers are designed and manufactured by CycleDyne LLC, located in a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. CycleDyne LLC is a partnership between Ross Belloni and Jeff Rhodes. We are cycling enthusiasts who were not satisfied with our winter training experience using conventional rollers. We have been riding together since the 1980’s; and with short daylight and harsh Indiana winters our outdoor riding would be put on hold extended periods. So, each winter we would spend many hours on rollers waiting on spring and the opportunity to outdo the other on the bike. The problem was that other than helping develop balance, rollers did little to simulate a real world training experience. Power at a speed did not match the real world; sprinting or riding out of the saddle came nowhere close to the open road feel and the cyclic force “feedback” during each pedal stroke was completely inaccurate.
As well as being friends and avid cyclists, we are aerospace engineers with over 50 years experience designing and developing jet engines. So when one phoned the other and said “Hey, I’ve got an idea….why don’t we design and sell a better set of rollers”, the partnership was formed. Our goal was to devise a set of rollers that would come as close as possible to duplicating a real world bike riding experience. The TruTrainer design (patent pending) is the result of 15 years of basement engineering, design, and development.
Evaluations by amateur and professional cyclist alike have confirmed that TruTrainer rollers deliver a real world training experience. We believe that our rollers will exceed your training expectations for those days when it’s too dark, dangerous, or inclement to be outside on the bike. We’ve been training on them for six years now and our indoor training experience has never been better. The cycling team at Marian College agrees. We think our rollers have spoiled them because they can’t stand to go back to their old ones. One Marian College standout, Jake Rytlewski, rode them for six hours straight one snowy Saturday. He then rode them for another three hours on Sunday!
2005 CycleDyne LLC formed
This was a hectic year for us and things did not always go according to plan. We wanted to have the production line up and running by August so that we would have plenty of time to market our rollers prior to fall-winter sales season. In late July, without advanced notice, our supplier of machined components backed out because they could not hold the aerospace tolerances that we had specified. Needless to say we burned a lot of midnight oil scrambling to recover for our first sales season. We were very happy with our first year, because the response from customers and reviewers has been overwhelmingly positive. Many customers tell us that they can’t stand to go back to their regular trainers or rollers.
2006 First European sale
The challenge of our second year was keeping up with sales. Word of our rollers was getting out thanks to some great reviews from Fixed Gear Fever, Pez Cycling News and NYVeloCity. Even people as far away as the UK were buying them and the compliments from the customers kept rolling in.
2007 Travelers introduced Q3
Now that our supply chain was set we decided to release the traveler version of our rollers. these are a light weight version of the TruTrainer without the rear flywheel and are targeted at the fixed gear guys who carry allot of gear to and from the velodrome. We also began marketing an upgrade kit to add the flywheel option for those who purchased travelers.
2008 Auxiliary load system begins development
This year we began development of a wireless auxiliary load device that will allow you to get rid of your stationary trainers. The auxiliary load device is contained within the middle roller and is simple drop in retrofit that will allow hill climb load simulation. Our test results show that it will boost the existing load allowing 500 watts at 50 RPM in a 53×12 gear. Our plan was to begin marketing the auxiliary load device in the fall but issues with battery life and dependability with the electronics package have delayed us. The mechanicals are finished and the results of the testing of the production units are shown below. We are re-doing the electronics and moving to an ANT compliant system so that we will be compatible with your gizmos.
2009 Manufacturing in source
To make it easier to to provide the quality that we demand, we in sourced all of our manufacturing. No easy task, since we had to reconfigure our shop so that we could bring in our own CNC equipment. A lot of effort but the results are worth it. We owe a big thanks to the Hurco Machine Tool guys who are headquartered in Indianapolis for helping us get started. Our Hurco TM6 lathe and VM10 mill are pictured below.
2010 Production Capacity Increases
This year we focused on fine tuning our production systems so that we could keep up with demand without sacrificing quality. We think we were successful in provide the service levels our customers have come to expect even though we burned allot of midnight oil getting our production line humming. Most of our efforts revolved around creating the CNC machine tool programs along with requisite tooling and fixtures needed to produce our parts. We managed to increased our production capacity by eliminating setup time and increased part quality by designing and making precision fixtures to hold our parts while they are machined. This left little time to sort out the wireless auxiliary load system; and allot of work remains to sort out the ANT compliant electronics.
2011 Manually Adjustable Auxiliary Load Device Beta Release
In order to satisfy owners who have been clamoring for more load. We released a beta auxiliary load bar to low rate production. We do not advertise this on our web site, but do sell it for $79.95 to those who contact us. Picture below is the load bar and manual adjustment mechanism.
The load bar that bolts onto the frame behind the middle roller. It uses the tapped holes pre-installed for the belt guard so the installation is fairly easy. it has four load positions from no load to full load. In the latter position, at 20 miles per hour the manual auxiliary device adds 200 watts of resistance. So high torque low RPM workouts in the 52×11 gear are possible. If you are interested, give us a shout and we’ll get back to you.
2012 Front Fork Stand and Rail Bumpers Beta Release
We received some requests from owners wanting to do massive sprint intervals without worrying about coming off the rollers. So we went to the drawing board and come up with a front fork mount and rail bumpers that we beta released for testing. We do not offer them for sale through our web site, but will provide them as special order items if you contact us.
TruTrainer Premium Bicycle Rollers are engineered to bring the road to you anytime anywhere. We hope you experience the difference!
2013 Auxillary Load Bar, Front Wheel Bumpres and Front Fork Stand Production Release
We took the feedback from our beta release of these options and incorporated it to improve the design. This year we tooled up and production released these options. You can order them via our website with rollers or as stand alone options. we think you are going to like them.
Jeff and Ross
TruTrainer rollers may look like regular rollers but they don’t feel like them. In fact, they are unlike any trainer you have ever ridden. The secret, aside from their extraordinary quality, is a high speed tubular flywheel contained inside the rear roller. The flywheel duplicates the cyclic resistance experienced during each pedal stroke as well as resistance to continuous acceleration. Additionally, viscous drag forces between the flywheel and roller simulate wind and rolling resistance. What does this mean to you? Plenty.
The removable platform helps with mounting and dismounting without the use of walls. If you plan on riding in the middle of a room, then the platform option is for you. Great for shorter riders too. The platform is CNC machined from solid ultra high molecular weight polyethylene our platform has a black finish and includes anti-skid rubber tread. Both of these materials withstand the abuse of the "sweat zone" and can be easily cleaned with soap and water. This option may be ordered separately.
Flywheel Quick Release Option
Allows the flywheel to be disconnect flywheel for speed work. With the flywheel disconnected the rollers behave like standard rollers in that there is very little inertia load or resistance. The disconnect feature is ideal for warm-up and cool-down with fixed gear track bikes. Two 6mm allen screws disconnect the rear roller drive belt allowing load change in seconds.
Auxiliary Load Bar Option
The auxiliary load bar option will simulate hill climb levels of resistance. With this option, you can experience up to 800 watts of total resistance at 30 mph. This will enable you to do low rpm high wattage interval training. The auxiliary load bar bolts on and features a four position lever allowing manual adjustment from no load to full. If you purchase this option separately, let us know if your belt guard has a cutout for the load bar. Early versions of the belt guard are not compatible; and we will send you a new guard with your purchase should yours be obsolete.
Front Roller Bumper Wheels Option
The front roller wheel bumpers provide that extra amount of safety for doing maximum effort out of the saddle accelerations. Also helpful for those learning to ride rollers. These units may be purchased separately and install in seconds by tightening two allen head cap screws. features dual bearing 80 mm roller blade wheels mounted with stainless steel spindle into 6061-T6 aerospace grade aluminum housing.
Front Fork Stand Option
The front fork stand converts your rollers into a stationary trainer yet provides the same resistance and inertial feel of our premium rollers. If you are unsure about learning to ride rollers, or you just need extra stability during max intensity interval training or one leg strength drills the the front fork stand provides extra safety. The fork stand is a bolt on option and can be rotated out of the way when not needed. It is constructed of TIG welded 6061-T6 aluminum tubing and powder coated to provide a durable and stable training solution.
Go Faster With TruTrainer Rollers
TruTrainer Premium Bicycle Rollers will improve your bike handling skills, your pedaling form and your physical fitness. Our secret is a patent pending design consisting of a flywheel, viscous load device, and roller geometry that provides a real world ride sensation while eliminating many of the limitations experienced when riding standard rollers or stationary trainers. Our rollers allow you to train in a more realistic way than other indoor trainers. More realism means the pedaling form and handling skills you develop on our rollers can be directly applied to track or road riding. More realism also means more fun and less boredom; so you are inclined to train more often and for longer periods.
TruTrainer rollers provide a higher level of comfort than regular trainers. Everybody that has trained indoors knows how tough it is to train consistently day after day. Minor annoyances like vibration, noise, numbness, or muscle cramps can mushroom into unbearable burdens. These burdens may cause you to cut your current session short and to dread the next one. Our TruTrainer rollers are vibration free and whisper quiet. And, the flywheel allows you to coast and to ride out of the saddle so that you can easily make an adjustment to whatever is bothering you, take a stretch, grab a drink or change the tune on your MP3 player.
TruTrainer rollers reduce the little distractions that prevent you from getting the most out of your training session. With less distraction and more comfort you will train harder and longer.
Going faster on the bike is all about improving fitness and pedaling efficiency through quality time on the bike. TruTrainer rollers are a comfortable, natural training tool that allows your indoor training sessions to be more productive. The bottom line is that TruTrainer rollers will help you become a better cyclist by maximizing quality time on the bike.
Who Should Train With Rollers?
If you happen to live in bicycling paradise, then …..you know that place all the magazines write about: 72 °F average temperature, never any fog/rain/snow, 12 hours of sunshine a day, wide freshly paved and lightly trafficked roads….you don’t need to train on rollers. You can just get on your bike and ride!
Unfortunately, few of us experience this kind of cycling heaven. In the real world, it is sometimes too dangerous to be on the road. Our training is often hindered by extreme weather, vehicle traffic, poor roads and darkness.
Commitments to day jobs, significant others, and children also limit our ability to get out and ride. If you love to ride, but find that for one reason or another you just can’t get enough quality time on the bike, then our rollers are perfect for you. TruTrainer rollers’ real-world ride sensation brings the road to you anytime and anywhere. At last, you have an indoor training solution where time on the trainer is equivalent to time on the bike
TruTrainer rollers allow you to maintain and improve your fitness by bridging the gaps between your outside rides. Our rollers are an ideal training tool for the hardcore enthusiasts, like competitive racers, tri athletes, bicycle club riders, time trialists and bicycle tourists. TruTrainer rollers allow you to get in more miles per week than ever before. Many of our customers ride them for two, three, even six hours at a time. TruTrainer Premium Bicycle Rollers allow you to train when it is convenient for you. Never again will you need to delay or put off your training ride due to bad weather, darkness, work or other obligation.
Rollers Improve Your Bike Handling Skills
Rollers are unequaled at developing your balance. As you pedal, you must control and position your bike between the left and the right edges of the roller tube. Experienced roller riders have excellent balance and can usually maintain their position on the rollers to within a few inches. Bike racers must be able to "ride a line" to maintain safety in the peleton and minimize energy expended while drafting in a pace line. To check your ability to ride a line, cruise through a puddle. If you leave a single tire track, Congratulations! You can ride a line. If not, and your considering racing, you had better learn, otherwise you are more likely to cause a crash. The ability to ride a line is also a great way to minimize distance traveled and energy expended; thus very valuable for century rides or time trials.
TruTrainer Rollers Overcome The Deficiencies of Conventional Rollers
Conventional rollers have two short comings that have prevented them from becoming a popular training tool. First of all, most people find them difficult to learn how to ride. It is not uncommon for beginners to crash a few times until they re-learn how to ride a bike. There is a saying: ‘There are only two types of roller riders, those that have fallen and those that will fall.’ No surprise that the stationary trainer market has boomed. With a stationary system, you can jump on your bike, and train without the fear of falling off. Unfortunately, stationary trainers do nothing for your balance skills. Secondly, conventional rollers do not provide realistic steady state or transient power absorption capability. In other words, standard rollers just don’t feel like you are riding your bike on the open road. So, you cannot equate miles ridden on conventional rollers to miles ridden on the road.
The good news is that TruTrainer rollers have overcome the deficiencies of conventional rollers. TruTrainer rollers are easier to ride, provide a realistic ride sensation and thus make indoor training much more enjoyable and beneficial. What follows is an explanation of how TruTrainer rollers’ innovative functionality has overcome the deficiencies of standard rollers; and how they can help you become faster on the bike.
TruTrainer Rollers Are Easier To Ride
It is best to first understand why conventional rollers require you to re-learn how to ride a bike in order to understand why it is easier to ride TruTrainer rollers. When you ride standard rollers, the feedback your brain receives is very different from the sensation of riding a bike on the road. The brain interprets the difference as a "new experience" even though your body already knows how to ride a bike. Subsequently, the brain sends the body incorrect signals in response to the new stimulus. These errant signals cause your body to over correct balance and steering. Combine this with a relatively narrow roller tube, and you get a potentially difficult learning experience. The result is that most learners ride off of the roller tube. Typically, most people say that their first ride on conventional rollers was a white knuckle affair. They had to stop because either they fell off or could not continue because their hands were cramping from squeezing the handlebars so tight!
Standard rollers provide such a different feedback than the open road because they lack sufficient inertia. In other words, when you start pedaling on conventional rollers, your legs feel very little resistance to changes in speed. On conventional rollers, without expending much effort, an average rider can accelerate from a standing start to sprinting speed in a few seconds. The chart on the left illustrates this point. It was created by getting a rider to do maximum intensity sprints on both standard and TruTrainer rollers while measuring how long it took to accelerate up to speed. As you can see, standard rollers can be accelerated from 10 to 40 mph in about 5 seconds, while it takes a on the order of 20 seconds to accelerate TruTrainer rollers to the same speed. The feedback the brain gets when the body starts pedaling a bike on TruTrainer rollers is essentially identical to that from pulling away from a stop sign on the road.
The reason for the similarity to the open road feel is that TruTrainer Rollers feature a tubular flywheel internal to the rear roller which provides a resistive load when accelerated. The load comes from changing the momentum of the flywheel mass as it is accelerated. When riding TruTrainer rollers, the brain is more likely to interpret the feedback as something that the body has done before. Thus it will send the correct signals for balance and steering. While there is still some learning required, it is easier to master the learning due to the realistic pedaling feedback provided by our patent pending design.
On traditional rollers, when you stop pedaling, it takes only a few moments before your wheels stop spinning. The chart on the right compares TruTrainer rollers’ coast down time to those of conventional rollers. As shown, standard rollers loose all of their speed in about 5 seconds, while it is possible to coast for more than 30 seconds using TruTrainer rollers.
Based on the coast down times, TruTrainer Premium Bicycle Rollers provide a more realistic coasting experience. The ability to coast is also a sensation that eases the transition from open road to roller riding. The quick accels and decels allowed by standard rollers are a symptom that they lack the inertia of a a rider on their bike on the open road. Feedback from test riders and owners alike confirm that TruTrainer Rollers are easier to ride than standard rollers.
TruTrainer Rollers Provide a More Realistic Workout
A significant drawback of standard rollers is that they do not simulate the steady state load experienced while cycling on the road. Standard rollers don’t provide much of a workout because they can’t absorb very much power. TruTrainer rollers have overcome this problem through our innovative viscous load device and we provide a realistic training solution by simulating the aerodynamic loads you would experience on the open road.
We have fine tuned the steady state load absorption of TruTrainer rollers so that it approximates what you would experience on the open road. The graph on the left compares our steady state load absorption capability to the open road. The data for this comparison was obtained from a power meter using the same rider and bike for an apples to apples comparison. TruTrainer Premium Bicycle Rollers duplicate the aerodynamic loads that a solo rider experiences at 20 miles per hour on a level grade with no wind. At higher speeds, our rollers absorb load in line with what a rider experiences drafting behind another rider. Most importantly, TruTrainer rollers have a maximum continuous load absorption capability greater than 1/2 a horsepower (375 Watts). For reference, it takes about this much power to cruise at 26 mph on a level road. This means that TruTrainer rollers can provide adequate load for those training sessions where you need to crank out some high power. A key feature of TruTrainer rollers is that the power absorption happens automatically. That’s right, no knobs to turn or buttons to push. When you accelerate, the load automatically increases. Oh yeah, no batteries or auxiliary power required either. Just get on them and ride!
TruTrainer Rollers Are Perfect for Interval Training
Interval training is another strong suite for TruTrainer rollers. Our integral flywheel assures that the rider feels a life-like inertia load as they accelerate to speed. The chart to the right shows that TruTrainer rollers require approximately 5 times more energy to accelerate up to speed than conventional rollers. When sprinting on TruTrainer rollers you will find that it feels like sprinting on the open road. With our power absorption capability and life like inertia, TruTrainer rollers provide an ideal interval training tool.
TruTrainer Rollers Are Ideal For Perfecting Spin
Simulating the momentum of the bike and rider via the flywheel is essential to developing proper spin. Inertia is what smoothes out your pedal stroke when you are on the road. So, with TruTrainer rollers, the pedal smoothness that you feel while roller training is identical to the feel you will have on the road. Thanks to Mother Nature, the spin you develop on TruTrainer rollers is the same spin you can use on the road.
Ridding Out Of The Saddle Made Easier With TruTrainer Rollers
Riding out of the saddle is also easier on our rollers because of our flywheel. On the road, when you ride out of the saddle, your body mass can be supported through the pedals. As your stand on a pedal, your body’s weight is opposed by an inertial load developed by the changing the speed of your body mass. This is the same load your legs would feel if you were sitting in the saddle and accelerated from low speed where aerodynamic loads are negligible. With TruTrainer rollers, our flywheel provides an inertial load which can support your body weight through the pedals, just like the open road. While it is possible to ride out of the saddle on standard rollers, you have to do so by supporting your body weight with your arms through the handle bars. This is a very unnatural feeling and is very difficult to sustain long enough to be of value. Standard rollers do not have enough inertia as evidenced by the previous charts which show they can be accelerate from low speed to nearly 40 mph in less than 5 seconds.
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