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The best bike rollers of 2022

Cyclist magazine
23 Jun 2020

A breakdown of the best bike rollers of 2022 and what to look for before you buy

Training on rollers offers something the average turbo trainer doesn't. It keeps you fit, while also helping to develop a better pedalling style. Plus it feels a little more like riding out on the road.

Because you are rolling freely over a set of rollers, rather than having the rear wheel or cassette fixed against a turbo trainer, it requires development of balance and bike handling skills. 

While traditionally they created little or no real resistance, many modern rollers are able to generate resistance using magnets, but rarely as much as a turbo trainer. That means they’re good for building technique and cadence but less suited to strength work.

Rollers are composed of three drums, two at the back and one at the front. These are connected by an elastic drive-band. With most models housed in a folding frame, once set up the effect is like a rolling road for your bicycle.

Alongside technique work, rollers are also popular for warming up before events. Ahead of any hill climb or local time-trial, the nearest car park will be full of people spinning on rollers just like those listed below.

Ultimately rollers are fairly simple things. Being portable is a key criterion, as is the level of noise generated. While most rely on the drums themselves to generate a modicum of resistance, a small number will have some form of variable resistance control.

The shape of the rollers is also a key consideration, with those using a parabolic shape making it easier to stay in a straight line. Here are some of our favourites.

The best bike rollers

Most of those listed are selling fast but all were available at the time of writing. Grab some while you still can!

Tacx Antares Professional training rollers

Buy now from Wiggle for £164.99

Incredibly, the first set of Tacx rollers, the Tacx BV, was developed 48 years ago in 1972 so you can assume that the Antares Professional trainer rollers come from good stock.

While these are not smart rollers, meaning they're not compatible with apps such as Zwift, the heavy-duty conical rollers are designed to make it almost impossible to ride off the rollers while also providing a smooth and solid ride.

These rollers are also collapsible to a transportable 80cm meaning they are perfect for taking to your local time-trial or hill climb for warming up.

Buy now from Wiggle for £164.99

Elite Arion Mag Parabolic Resistance Rollers

Buy now from Wiggle for £299.99

In case your geometry isn’t up to scratch, a parabola is a plane curve that’s symmetrically mirrored and approximately U-shaped.

When applied to bicycle rollers, what this means is that the drums on which your wheels rest have a slight dip in their centre. This helps keep you towards the middle. Except the Elite’s parabolic rollers are actually flat across most of their length, but rely on raised edges to stop you wandering off the sides.

That means they feel natural, yet won’t mollycoddle experienced riders. With plastic sides and an easily adjustable span, their overall ability to replicate the feeling of being on a road is commendable.

The real hook, though, is resistance. This is the second generation of the Arion, and though the three tiers of resistance won't produce as much push-back as a turbo trainer, it will be plenty to put you into bother and keep you fit.

Buy now from Wiggle for £299.99

Minoura Live Roll rollers

Buy now from Tredz for £219.99

The Minoura Live Roll rollers slide into a smaller form with so much ease, but the best thing about the rollers is the adjustable wooden step that can be placed on either the left or right.

When mounting or dismounting, this gives you a raised platform to place your foot, doing away with the awkward hop or nearby wall that is usually needed to start or finish your session.

Additionally, a thick 105mm roller ensures both smooth yet silent pedalling while a light aluminium quick release can adjust from 950 to 1080mm to comply with almost all wheelbase lengths.

Buy now from Tredz for £219.99

Feedback Sports Omnium trainer

Buy now from Tredz for £350

The big reservation for anybody looking to invest in rollers for the first time is the dreaded worry that you may not be able to master the knack of being able to mount and dismount at the start and end of your session.

Thankfully, Feedback has addressed this with a hybrid solution to the roller system that allows you to attach your front wheel to a fixed fork mount. 

The wheelbase is adjustable for road and cyclocross tyres while internal progressive resistance will allow you to click through the gears for a thorough warm-up.

The Feedback Sports Omnium is also compatible with apps such as Zwift and the rollers even come with their own handy tote bag.

Buy now from Tredz for £350