When it comes to indoor cycling, some people prefer the natural feel of rollers, while others prefer the security of a stationary trainer. The new KICKR ROLLR from Wahoo Fitness is supposed to combine the best features of both in one device.
The KICKR ROLLR’s adjustable-length frame features a pair of rear aluminum-alloy rollers – which the bike’s rear wheel rests on – as well as a front safety tire gripper, which gently pinches the top of the front tire 700c.
As the rider pedals, their rear wheel spins the rollers and sways subtly from side to side. This simulates the feel of real road cycling, enhancing the rider’s core stability and sense of balance. This way the setup looks a lot like a full set of reels.
Also, as is the case with traditional rollers, none of the bike’s wheels need to be removed. The bike is simply placed on the platform and the Gripper is clamped around its front wheel.
A big problem with regular rollers, however, is the fact that inexperienced users tend to periodically fall on either side of them. Because the KICKR ROLLR secures the bike by holding its front wheel, that won’t happen – giving the setup the appealing main look of a stationary trainer.
The 10.5 lb (4.8 kg) magnetic flywheel, which is used to manually adjust the resistance of the rollers, makes the KICKR more trainer-like. This flywheel can also automatically vary its resistance based on the output of a bike-mounted power meter and in response to virtual climbs and descents on third-party virtual cycling platforms such as Zwift.
The rollers can be slid back and forth then locked in place via a quick release lever, to match the wheelbase of the bike. It should be noted that the Gripper cannot accommodate front tires wider than 2.1 inches (53 mm).
The KICKR ROLLR is available now for US$799.99. A package including a Speedplay Powrlink Zero power meter costs $1,399.99