I bought my TruTrainer rollers 3 winters ago. I had a stationary trainer but did not like clamping my bike into it, and let’s face it; sitting there just spinning the crank is a bit less than eventful. During some research, I came across the TruTrainer rollers. The thing that intrigued me the most was the very unique resistance system on the rollers. Resistance is provided by the inertia of a heavy cylindrical flywheel hidden inside the rearmost drum of the trainer. The flywheel inside the rear drum is connected to the middle drum via a belt and a couple pulleys. Any time you increase the speed of the bike, the flywheel speeds up. I was curious as to how fast that flywheel is spinning, so I did the math. According to my slide rule, the flywheel speeds up by about 19 to 20 RPM for each RPM of the bike wheel. And the flywheel isn’t exactly lightweight. These rollers weighed in between 30 and 35 pounds and a lot of that weight is in the resistance system.
So, we have a pretty heavy flywheel spinning at warp speed. So what does it all mean you ask? It means you get a pretty realistic feel to riding the bike on these rollers. These things are very smooth. The bearings are so smooth I can’t help but just spin the drums and admire them. The resistance system delivers a feel like no other trainer. I have tried fluid and magnetic resistance trainers. While they will deliver resistance, in my opinion it is not as constant as the TruTrainer. For instance, if the bike is in too high of a gear it’s really tough to get things spinning. It really is just like trying to take off on the road in too high of a gear. But that resistance is smooth and constant all the way up until you run out of gears on the bike. A concern of mine was that these would not deliver enough resistance. Being a Clydesdale, I thought I had a pretty good amount of leg muscle, but I have yet to want any more resistance than these rollers deliver.
So that’s about it. In my experience these rollers are built solidly and are very high quality. The resistance system is very smooth and provides plenty of a workout. The bearings are silky smooth and the whole trainer is very quiet. I can’t detect any vibration from the trainer while riding the bike. I can feel lumps in my tires for sure though.
I made two additions to the rollers. Using two pieces of a 2 X 12 and some self-adhesive stair treads, I made a platform to stand on to get the rollers going. TruTrainer sells a much nicer version of my platform on their website. You can just stand on one of the rails of the trainer, but I like the platform much better. I also attached roller blade wheels to either side of the front roller. These catch the front wheel and provide a bit of a chance to recover from getting too close to the edge. TruTrainer offers these as well. You have to poke around on the website a bit to find the rail bumpers. Other options like an additional load device and a folding option are available.
The price of the base model rollers is $800, so these are a bit more expensive than some others. As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” What you will get is a high quality solidly built trainer with a great resistance mechanism. Customer service is top notch. Any questions I asked were answered very quickly. Check them out at www.trutrainer.com