Progressing to cycling on rollers indoors is a big step to take. To be honest, it is a daunting step to take. Try searching on YouTube for crashes on rollers — “cycling on rollers crashes” gives one of the longest lists of cyclists taking a tumble. That will give you an idea of what may lie in store for those willing to give it a go. However, with enough practice, proficiency can be gained and once the skill has been mastered, the preference to rollers over trainers will be high.
The principal of cycling on rollers is the same as cycling on a road surface. Both wheels are in constant motion and the bicycle will head towards where the front wheel is pointing to. Two rollers at the back nestle the back wheel while the front wheel rests slightly behind the front roller. It has to be behind the roller to actually prevent you from cycling forwards. An elasticated band joins the front two rollers so that the back wheel causes the front roller to spin which in turn makes front wheel spin. A beautifully simple design.
Keeping the front wheel straight is probably the most important thing to keep in your upper most thought. That, and not cycling too slowly. Failing to keep the bicycle straight is the surest way of sliding off the rollers and once the bike hits the ground, the wheels are still spinning and it will take you forwards. If you are used to watching TV when training indoors, make sure the TV is directly ahead, as the front wheel tends to follow the direction of the eyes.
Beginners often ride the bike with some sort of holding surface to one side. It could be a wall or a sofa. For sure it needs to be something solid enough to support your weight should you need to put out a hand or a shoulder. Don’t have it too close that it is possible to bounce off when cycling close to it but just close enough it is comfortably close. About ten inches to one side. Those cyclists of a more nervous disposition feel probably feel safer with support on both sides.
The actual riding, once the cyclist gets into the swing of things, is more rewarding than using a trainer. It actually feels like proper cycling. It definitely requires as much concentration as riding on a busy road so much more difficult to multi-task. However, perseverance is the key. Training once in a while is not going to lead to proficiency so if you decide to go down this route, stick with it. Before you know it, there will be a video on YouTube of you cycling on rollers with no hands and only one foot on a pedal. An actual video of this used to exist. Go check it out!
If you feel inspired to switch to rollers, come back here and let us know how you got on. Brand’s Cycle & Fitness in Wantaugh sells them and other decent bike shops can probably order them. Good luck!