Many are misled into believing that cycling rollers are an invention of the 21st century. However, historical evidence indicates that they’ve been around for nearly a century, with the original models crafted of enormous wooden rollers on a wooden framework.
Presently, cycling rollers come fitted with aluminum alloys and sturdy plastic materials. Regardless, the newer rollers seem to thrive on the same concept and application as of their previous counterparts.
Bike rollers have been created to offer training or exercise to those who can’t train outdoors for their own specific reasons. Sometimes, you may not want to get soaked in the rain or you may simply not have enough time on your hands for an adventure outside.
Bike rollers mimic the experience of cycling outside, providing similar health and training benefits to a large extent. After all, you’d have to balance yourself while pedaling on a cycling roller as you’d do on your bike, and unlike stationary bikes, cycling rollers activate the core too.
Another aspect of bike rollers that makes them more popular than their stationary counterparts is their packability. Once you are done with your session, you can easily disassemble the components and neatly store them away.
Now, there are plenty of cycling rollers available on the market, and finding one worth purchasing can be a challenge.
If you don’t have time to conduct your own research, go through my comprehensive list of 6 of the best bike rollers money can buy. Mind you, these bike rollers have been shortlisted after countless hours of trials and analysis.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Bike Rollers
- Top 6 Best Bike Rollers 2020 – Our Reviews:
- What to Consider When Buying Bike Rollers?
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Bike Rollers
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the bike rollers that most people buy).
- Elite Arion Mag Parabolic Resistance Rollers Top Pick
- Trutrainer Rollers Runner-up
- Kreitler Alloy 4.5 Rollers Runner-up
Top 6 Best Bike Rollers 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Elite Arion Mag Parabolic Resistance Rollers
The Elite Arion Mag Parabolic Resistance Rollers ensure your training sessions remain fruitful by providing a wide selection of magnetic resistance levels. The varied resistance settings are available largely in part because of the neodymium magnets in the rollers.
You can start your workout with zero resistance and slowly work your way up to higher resistance levels to get a more rigorous training session. Although the resistance may not offer the same level of push-back as a turbo trainer, it still does a pretty satisfactory job.
This bike roller manages to mimic the natural experience of cycling on a road to a large extent.
I also like the fact that the drums on the Elite Arion Mag are parabolic, ensuring you stay safe during rides by guiding your wheels toward the middle. Another excellent feature of the Elite Arion Mag has to be its packability; these rollers fold 180-degrees, helping you store them with ease.
Constructed of sturdy composite frame, the Elite Arion Mag Parabolic Resistance Rollers has been built to last for a long time and is, therefore, an excellent choice for burgeoning cyclists.
- Provides the best experience of cycling on a road
- Easy mounting process
- Has been constructed of sturdy composite frame
- Good selection of resistance levels
- May take time for you to get used to it
- Not one for the amateurs
2. Trutrainer Rollers
The Trutrainer Rollers are widely accepted by many as the best rollers for a road-like experience. Designed by a couple of aerospace engineers, the Trutrainer has been purely constructed of the most durable and premium components.
The designers have expertly achieved their goal of simulating cycling on the road by incorporating a flywheel inside the drum. The flywheel mimics the resistive acceleration you experience while cycling on the road and also gives off propulsion when you are decelerating.
The Trutrainer Rollers are truly your safest bet of experiencing road cycling without ever stepping outside. Although priced quite steeply, the Trutrainer Rollers provide excellent value for money.
- Provides a similar experience to cycling on the road
- Resistive acceleration and propulsive deceleration to mimic real-life cycling
- Constructed of only high-quality parts and the best components
- One of the best options for safe cycling
- Priced rather steeply
3. Kreitler Alloy 4.5 Rollers
Assembled and manufactured in America, you can rest assured that the Kreitler Alloy 4.5 Rollers have been constructed of only the most premium materials. After all, products made in the USA have to undergo strict scrutiny from the responsible bodies and adhere to high-quality guidelines.
What attracts me towards the Kreitler Alloy 4.5 bike trainer is its ability to operate smoothly and quietly. With drums made of aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum on a steel frame and alloy sealed cartridges, you can expect to go about your business without disturbing anyone in your vicinity.
For those who like challenges, the Kreitler Alloy Rollers offer plenty of resistance on account of its weighted flywheel.
The Kreitler Alloy Rollers are for you if you don’t like compromising on quality and would prefer a premium construction over something flimsy. This excellent roller for bike also does a fantastic job of simulating a quality outdoor ride.
- Premium construction
- Operates quietly and smoothly
- Mimics a quality outdoor ride
- One of the best options for safe cycling
- Some have complained that the drums aren’t perfectly balanced
- Noisy when used on wooden floors
4. Elite Arion Digital Smart B+
The digital world we live in has given us access to a plethora of smart devices, and the Elite Arion Digital is another smart device that has managed to make our lives easier.
The Elite Arion Digital Smart bike trainer provides a digitally controlled magnetic resistance. In essence, you get to choose your level of resistance or training program through your smartphone or laptop.
Additionally, your training data is stored in your chosen device, allowing you to monitor your progress. Since the Elite Arion Digital comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, you can easily use various indoor cycling apps on the rollers too.
However, what impresses me the most about the Elite Arion bike trainer is its ability to simulate climbs up to 5%. So, if you want to coast through hilly trails and tackle mountainous terrain, this roller should serve you well.
Featuring parabolic rollers, you can rest assured that your wheels will not wander off to the edge. Plus, like all premium bike rollers, these trainer rollers can also be folded for easy storage.
- Provides numerous wheelbase adjustments
- Training programs controlled through smart devices
- Compatible with a variety of indoor cycling apps
- Drums operate smoothly without problems
- Electromagnetic resistance
- One for those who prefer elevated cycling
- Power measurement is not accurate when used at high output
5. Tacx Galaxia
Want to experience cycling on tracks while indoors? If so, go for the Tacx Galaxia.
Boasting of parabolic drums that keep you secure and safe during your sessions, the Tacx Galaxia is an excellent choice for beginners venturing into the world of roller cycling for the first time.
However, the feature that truly catapults the Galaxia bike trainer to the forefront of cycling rollers is its trademarked swing system.
This revolutionary feature enables the rider to swing slightly forward during acceleration and backward when decelerating, providing a near track ride experience. The feature also allows riders to absorb some of the kinetic energy during speed changes, thus helping improve pedaling techniques.
Additionally, the Tacx Galaxia bike trainer can also be folded down to 80 cm, making it easy to store and portable beyond belief.
- No learning needed on these rollers bike
- Helps improve pedaling skills
- Retractable down to 80 cm for storage
- The rollers are quite heavy
- You can’t slack off on these or you’d fall off
6. Feedback Sports Omnium
If you are a newbie who has just started learning the ropes of riding on cycling rollers, you should check out the Feedback Sports Omnium. This bike roller can set you on the right course of your “roller cycling” journey and prove to be the perfect introduction.
Constructed of premium-quality aluminum rollers, the Feedback Sports bike trainer particularly excels at providing a smooth ride experience. The rollers function ably, providing an internal progressive resistance curve to mimic the external resistance you may experience while you ride outside.
It’s also easy to get started on the Feedback Sports bike rollers. You’d simply need to mount the front fork of your cycle on the bike roller and you’re good to go.
Also, you needn’t worry about maintaining your balance as the hybrid roller, with its two round drums at the back ensuring your complete balance and safety.
To maximize the benefits of the Feedback Sports roller bike, I’d recommend you to use it as a tool for pre-race warm-ups. Of course, this bike roller can also be used for full indoor sessions.
Lastly, like all great cycling rollers, the Feedback Sports Omnium, too, is lightweight and easy to store.
- Lightweight and easy to store
- Best rollers to use for pre-race warm-ups
- No need to focus on balancing because of the two round drums at the back
- One of the best bike rollers for newbies
- Limited resistance versatility
What to Consider When Buying Bike Rollers?
Quality of Construction
There’s no point in splurging on a product that hasn’t been built to stand the test of time. Your bike roller is expected to undergo several rounds of rigorous training sessions and must, therefore, be durable enough to withstand the stress.
Not only must the roller be able to handle your weight, but it must also be able to carry the weight of your bike for a long period while you’re pedaling away like a man possessed!
To be on the safe side, only consider rollers constructed of aluminum. You can also go for polyethylene rollers.
When it comes to the frame of the cycling rollers, know that the durable ones are mostly constructed of steel or aluminum. If your budget falls short, you can opt for a high-density polyethylene frame.
Ideally, you’d want a bike roller to be easy to pack, store, and carry around. Most of the options I’ve presented you with can be folded down or disassembled for easy storing.
On the downside, the smaller they are, the more they cost. So, if you want a solidly-built bike roller capable of being folded in half, you must be willing to pay the big bucks.
Hybrid rollers are, more often than not, the smallest, lightest, and most compact bike rollers around as they don’t have drums in the front.
Design and Material of the Drum
Bike rollers come equipped with a variety of drum designs. While some may possess a uniform shape, others have a parabolic design. Parabolic rollers are particularly renowned for guiding the bike towards the center, preventing the bikes from wandering off the rollers. Therefore, such rollers are considered much safer to use.
Also, understand that the size of the drum is directly related to the amount of resistance produced by the bike roller. If the drum is large, expect it to produce a lower amount of resistance.
Those who don’t want to exert too much effort can opt for a larger drum. Those looking for extra resistance to do their warm-ups and high-intensity interval training can go for rollers with smaller drums.
When looking at the materials used, it is in your best interest to only go for alloys constructed of two materials: polyethylene or aluminum.
Now that we’ve reached the end of the article, I expect you to be well-versed in the ways of bike rollers. To select a bike roller best suited for you, you must be honest with your skillset.
Don’t go for a pro bike roller if you’re new to the scene. The learning curve will be too much for you to handle and may even discourage you from ever setting foot on the bike roller again.
For beginners, I would suggest the Feedback Sports Omnium Rollers or the Tacx Galaxia. If you’re confident in your abilities and would like to experience the joy of riding in mountainous terrain, you can go for the Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Rollers.
For those simply looking for a bike roller that mimics the experience of riding on a road, the Trutrainer Rollers would be one of your best options.
If you’re strapped for cash, I would recommend the budget-friendly Soozier Roller Bike Trainer. I haven’t included this one on the list for obvious reasons but you could liken it to a poor man’s Elite.