Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

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Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby Seasider71 » 28 Jan 2013 15:20

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... tAod3hAADA

In the absence of a Product Review Page (AHEM!) I will post this here.

I have toyed with the idea of getting Rollers for about a year now, but always reverted back to my Turbo Trainer - however I recently decided to bite the bullet and buy a set of rollers.

I watched numerous clips on YouTube, of both competent and incompetent people using them prior to purchase just to make sure that I would be able to use them, I then did a search of makes and models available - I opted to go for a basic model (no resistance & other gadgets) for a couple of reasons

1. Cost
2. If I didn't get on with them I wanted to be able to sell them on again.

So I decided on the Tacx Antares purely on a basis that my Turbo Trainer is a Tacx - a search on e-bay found several for sale, I wanted to look around the £100 mark, and managed to find a set for collection only 15 miles from my house, so the bidding commenced and I got them for £96 (almost new and still with the box). :D

Setting up is really easy, the frame comes in 3 pieces (Rear section & two front sections) the rear rollers are straight forward to position, they just secure via an allen bolt to the frame (don't forget to ensure the rubber band is placed over the front of the two rollers prior to securing) to adjust the front roller simply place your bike on the rear rollers and judge where the front roller should be seated - a nut is then dropped into each section of the frame and a limiter screw inserted.
Secure one end of the front roller, place the rubber band over then secure the second end of the roller, the front and rear sections then simply slide together - the limiter screw determines how far the sliders can go.
Once in the desired position there are 2 locking handles on the inside of the frame, these prevent the elastic band pulling the rollers together.
And that's it........you are now ready to ride :shock:

I set the rollers down in my Mancave (garage) opposite the TV/DVD (as per the turbo setup) - following YouTube advice this has a wall at one side and my Weights Station at the other, so in the event of an Incident I would have something to grab hold of ;) and placed a block as a step at the side to allow getting on/off.

My first attempt I decided to just go with my trainers rather than clip in (better safe than sorry) to say getting started was a giggle was an understatement, it was like trying to learn to ride again. After about 5 mins I managed to get up and running, the experience of rollers can best be described as cycling on an Ice Rink, the slightest lapse in concentration can send you across the roller and jumping off the edge.

My second attempt was a planned hours session, so DVD on, cycle shoes on and off we go - got started straight away, my previous practice had taught me what to expect, and being clipped in made it feel more stable :?: about 20 mins into the ride came my first lapse in concentration, I looked across to the right, rather than straight ahead and before I knew it the bike had dropped off the front roller, no shooting across the room or collapsing to the floor, simply unclip foot down and start again. I did the same at about 50 mins, but just jumped back on.

Third attempt was an hours session this morning - got on rode the full 60 mins got off without incident :D :D :D

What I will say about Rollers - when using them, there is nowhere to hide, you can't stop peddling as per the turbo, adjusting position takes great concentration, even shifting your hands from the handlebars to the hoods !!!! this may get easier over time but for now much care is required. After 60 mins I was quite numb, as you can't stand up to let the blood flow.

Resistance is offered via switching through your gears as you have to keep your cadence up to stay on board, so I don't think the rollers with resistance would prove to be any bonus, they are more of a sales gimic IMO.

I think the Galexia Rollers (http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=68512) could be a good upgrade, as the rockers on the frame allow you to get out of the saddle when things go numb, but at present these are out of my price range.

The only issue I have at present is the amount of static that builds up whilst riding, you get a bit of a bolt when you touch earthed metal (weights station), but a bit of earth wire, going to an earthing point should quickly solve that problem.
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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby KidStardust » 28 Jan 2013 16:07

that's a great review, gav. useful.
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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby IanM » 28 Jan 2013 16:43

Good review Gav. A few points from my experience:

* my hands start getting numb after 20-30 minutes, although not too bad.
* you can coast, as long as you can balance. Obviously not for long periods, but you should be able to coast comfortably for a few seconds.
* definitely agree on not needing resistance - mine definitely give me a good workout
* related to the above point, fans, fans and more fans - easy to get very warm, and sweat in your eyes on the roller isn't fun...
* I've also found that looking to the side can be detrimental!

Some good technique sessions:

* switch your hands from hoods->drops->bars->hoods->... repeat, 2 minutes on each one. Gets you used to moving about on the rollers
* extend the above so you're including one handed riding. I've not yet managed to get to no hands though :oops:
* spin ups: pick an easy gear, then do 10 mins @ 90 rpm, 5 mins @ 100 rpm, 3 mins @ 110rpm, 1 min @ 120rpm, 5 mins @ 80rpm.
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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby Tritans » 28 Jan 2013 22:27

Very interesting. I am extremely close to following suit.

Has anyone tried it on their TT ?
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One who doesn't, will find an excuse.

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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby IanM » 28 Jan 2013 22:40

Tritans wrote:Has anyone tried it on their TT ?

I considered it. Then watched a video of someone doing it on YouTube. Never considered it again after that!
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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby Jack Hughes » 28 Jan 2013 23:05

Good post.

Some things to consider when deciding on rollers:

1) diameter of rollers: the smaller the diameter, the faster they have to spin, so the more resistance (friction feom the bearing and tyre resistance) there is. 4.5" - relative easy. 2" bloody hard. The bigger the diameter, the more they will coast. So you can free wheel more easily on larger diameter rollers.

2) roller width. The wider they are, the more room you have to wobble around. 15" rollers - lots of room. 10" rollers - eek!

3) roller shape - flat rollers - wobbly, concave, (so they get wider as you move towards the sides) serve to push you towards the centre.

4) positioning - you want the axis centre of the roller to be slightly behind the axis centre of the wheel - not so much that you fall off the front, but just enough. This increases the stability tremendously. Not a lot of people know this.

You should choose a pair that suit you. If you produce a low power output, have a rough pedalling action, then wide, deep rollers are best. If you produce a lot of power, have a smooth pedalling style, the shallower narrower ones might suit (narrow just means that they pack away small/take less room)
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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby Kevy427 » 28 Jan 2013 23:09

Talking of rollers, has anyone heard from Treefrog? He's not posted for a while and was going through a stressful time :|
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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby IanM » 29 Jan 2013 00:03

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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby Lead Balloon » 31 Jan 2013 11:20

Tritans wrote:Very interesting. I am extremely close to following suit.

Has anyone tried it on their TT ?

I've got a set of Elite Arion parabolic rollers and I've used my Focus TT on it. Interesting to say the least
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Re: Tacx Antares Rollers - Product Review

Postby Bendy Ben » 31 Jan 2013 12:18


I Can't have both

Rollers or turbo?
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