Bicycle rollers have had a huge surge in popularity in recent years. It’s hardly surprising; they allow you to train indoors with the same upright bike that you ride outdoors. They also introduce a lack of stability, meaning it engages your core, as well as your legs. It also provides you with total control over torque and resistance. You don’t get these features with an indoor bike trainer.
In this article, we break down the bike rollers market to bring you the 7 best bicycle rollers out there right now to give you improves indoor cycling.
Table Of Contents
1. Elite Arion Digital SmartB+
Editor’s Choice: The Elite Digital SmartB+ topped our list of best bicycle rollers. The rollers are fully tech integrated to allow you to get a fully immersive training experience. It will automatically adjust for uphill, flat or downhill training, and allows you to transfer all of your training diagnostics to the app. It’s also lightweight and compact.
The Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ roller is an interactive digital smart roller that works with an app to make automatic adjustments to your training resistance levels to simulate hills and valleys. It also allows you to transfer data wirelessly between the roller and your computer.
Auto Magnetic Resistance
A huge advantage of Elite Arion Digital Smart technology is its automatic resistance adjustment. It will alter the amount of resistance in accordance with the training program that you are following on the app. Your purchase of the Arion SmartB+ roller system comes with the roller and an extra-wide training mat to protect your floor surface.
Foldable & Versatile
This is a completely foldable roller, which makes it very convenient in terms of easy storage and travel. It is also extremely lightweight and compact when folded. The Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ roller system will work with both road and mountain bikes. You are able to adjust the front kinetic z rollers to customize it with the wheelbase of your bike. The drums on this roller system are quite wide so that you get plenty of lateral movement if you want it. The overall experience is good with a very smooth, natural riding experience.
2. Elite Quick-Motion
Editor’s Choice: The Elite Quick-Motion is an easy to set up and operate roller system that features roller spacing, as well as adjustable resistance. We loved its smooth ride motion and balance, as well as the fact that it was the quietest roller that we reviewed!
The Elite Quick-Motion roller is a very stylish resistance roller that provides you with a great cycling experience. As the name suggests, this one is very easy to set up. Just set the roller distance, position your bike onboard and you’re ready to ride.
Foldable, Quiet & Compact
This is a foldable roller that folds to be extremely compact. In fact, you can easily slip it into the corner of your training bag. The rollers on the Elite Quick-Motion will move with you as you make adjustments to your position or stand to power pedal. One benefit that the Elite Quick-Motion roller has over many competitors is that it is relatively quiet. That is because much of the sound that is par for the course with cycle rollers is absorbed by the frame.
Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
This roller system also features a magnetic resistance brake, which allows you to adjust the resistance to three different settings. The first level setting is suitable for endurance training. The other two ramp up the intensity for some serious training potential.
While not an interactive roller, it is possible to connect this roller with such apps as Zwick and Bkool, so long as you have a power meter on the bike. To get the full interactive experience, however, you can update to the Misuor B+ sensor.
3. Tacx Roller Galaxia
The Tacx Roller Galaxia is among the most popular rollers on the market. It features a unique suspended chassis that sits on rockers under the two rear rollers. This provides enhanced stability, which is handy for beginning cyclists who may struggle to keep their balance when first using rollers. The drums also feature a moderate curve, which adds further to the stability and balance of the bike.
The Tacx Galaxia rates very highly in terms of aesthetic appeal. The rollers are a light-blue and are off-set by a darker chassis. The whole unit looks very clean and streamlined. Not so impressive is the noise that this unit generates, however, but this is still a solidly constructed roller.
The drums are made from premium aluminum and feature solid steel bearings that are sealed to keep out dust and debris. The chassis is made from solid steel. The Tacx Roller Galaxia provides a smooth riding experience. The extra features mentioned help to balance the bike and keep it centered. These features assist newer riders, while more experienced riders are able to ride closer to the edge of the drums for a more challenging experience.
4. Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Roller
The Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Roller is the next generation up from the Tacx Indoor Roller. This version features some impressive innovations. Prominent among these are conical rollers that ensure that your cycle will stay in the middle of the rollers throughout your ride. That makes the Tacx Antares rollers easier and safer to ride.
The Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle roller features retraction capability to 31.5 inches (80 cm). Front and rear rollers spin at the same speed, delivering more angular momentum and stability. This feature also gives you the option of riding while standing. The resistance generated with these rollers is mild.
Tacx Antares rollers are constructed from a hard polly material with the chassis being made from metal. It is a hardy durable unit that has been designed to last. The Antares features the same attractive aesthetics and color scheme as the standard TACX roller.
As with the standard Tacx bicycle roller, the Antares is quite noisy. As a result, you probably don’t want to put it in the same room as others, while they are watching TV, for example.
5. Elite Arion Roller
The Elite Roller features parabolic drums to help you to center the wheel and balance more easily. The rollers are not as wide as you get on some other devices, but they do provide a very smooth, natural cycling motion. This is a foldable roller that is relatively lightweight at 7.3 kg. That makes the Elite Arion Roller an excellent choice, if you plan to travel with your cycle and roller.
The frame of the Elite Roller is fully adjustable to allow you to customize it to the specs of your bike. It features a series of holes to give options for placement. This adjustment is quick and easy. You also get a secure band to attach front and rear rollers, though it is possible to get it caught up in the hinge that sits between them.
The Elite Roller is a simple, but effective, trainer that is compact and well-priced. The only real negative with this one is that it is quite loud, so this roller is not very user-friendly for a multi-person environment.
6. Krietler Alloy Roller Set
The Krietler Alloy Roller set is a simple, no-frills roller that is constructed from aluminum (drums) and steel (frame). The front end of the roller system is fully adjustable to allow you to customize for different sized wheelbases. This is a foldable machine that breaks down into a very compact, lightweight easily transportable device. The Krietler Alloy Roller set is relatively noise-free thanks to the smooth alloy rollers and sound-absorbing metal frame. The alloy end-cap boosts the mass of the drum. This provides more momentum and enhances the durability of the unit.
3 Roller Options
Krietler indoor bike rollers are available in 3 roller dimension sizes as follows:
Another cool feature of this roller set is the Killer Headwind Fan that can be adjusted to direct refreshing cool air exactly where you need it.
7. Saris CycleOps Aluminum Roller
The Saris CycleOps Aluminum Roller is a no-frills budget roller that performs well and is priced affordably. It features precision-lathed 3.25-inch aluminum rollers. This is a foldable bike roller that can be stored either folded in half or standing on its end. The unit also comes with rubber foot pads to keep it secure and rigid when you are cycling.
The Saris CycleOps Aluminum Roller comes with a lifetime warranty. Being a budget model bike roller, this unit is not overly well constructed. The frame especially looks to be questionable, which makes the lifetime warranty especially good. You can also expect a decent amount of noise with this roller system.
The Different Types Of Bike Roller
Here are the 4 main types of bike roller:
A conventional bike roller is made up of three drums, or rollers, two of which sit under the back wheel and one under the front wheel. Unlike bike trainers, this unit does not attach to the bicycle, requiring the rider to balance the bike as they’re riding. The rollers are connected to with a belt. The spacing of the rollers is usually adjustable to cater for the wheelbase of the bike.
Resistance Cycling Rollers
On conventional rollers, the resistance is provided by the size of the rollers. However, you can buy rollers that have extra built-in magnetic or fan-based resistance to provide an even more intense workout. The most expensive rollers (think $1000+) provide you with ANT+/Bluetooth resistance for the smoothest experience, with the greatest number of adjustment options.
A hybrid roller is a combination roller/trainer. It provides forks for the front wheel that attaches to the bicycle and rollers, which the back wheel sits over. Hybrid rollers are easier to balance and control than conventional rollers. As a result, they are a smart choice for less experienced cyclists who may struggle with balance issues on a conventional roller.
Smart rollers have a resistance unit built in the middle of the drum. High-end models will allow up to 16 levels of cadence resistance, all controlled by a handlebar controller. Smart Rollers also pair with a training app to allow you to analyze your workout performance and provide training programs.
Key Features To Consider Before Buying Bike Rollers:
If you haven’t already decided, here are the features to consider before choosing your new bike rollers:
You should expect your rollers to last for many years, without suffering from corrosion or breakage. The rollers should be made from premium quality aluminium and feature solid steel sealed bearings.
It is imperative that the rollers fit the wheelbase of your bike. For that reason, choose a roller that is adjustable to fit different wheelbases. Not only will that allow you to custom fit the rollers to your bike, but it will also allow other members of your household to do the same thing.
Storage And Packability
Some bike rollers are more portable and travel-friendly than others. If you plan on cycling on rollers when you’re out and about, opt for a light foldable model. If, on the other hand, your roller will spend the vast majority of its time in one place, a heavier non-folding version will prove to be stronger and more robust.
Drum Design And Material
The smaller the drum, the greater the resistance becomes. For that reason, beginners should opt for larger drums. Make sure that the drums feature sealed bearings in order to keep dust and debris out of the mechanism.
Many rollers are now featuring a parabolic drum design. This innovation allows the rider to stay in the middle of the roller and more easily stick to a straight line.
A high-quality bicycle roller will transform your cycling experience, bringing the experience indoors and offering a unique level of challenge. Topping our list of the best bike rollers on the 2023 market is the Elite Digital SmartB+. Coming in at a close second is the Elite Quick-Motion roller. Rounding out our top 3 best cycle rollers is the Tacx Roller Galaxia.