Bike rollers are currently on a high.
Indoor training has become hugely popular amongst new and novice cyclists alike. The bulk of interest has focused around the feature and technology-rich smart trainers and rollers. However, the standard flat bike rollers still have their place and remain in demand.
Because of this increase in popularity, the good news is that there are plenty of choices for bike rollers of every kind and at every price point. Whether you need bike rollers for your race warm-ups to help with bad weather or winter training, or maybe you just want to get fit again, we’ve likely got a suitable option for you on our list.
So, let’s get started and take a close look at the 7 best bike rollers currently available…
- 1 Top 7 Best Bike Rollers On The Market Reviews
- 1.1 1 Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers – Best Tapered Bike Rollers
- 1.2 2 Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand Steel Bicycle Exercise Magnetic Stand with Noise Reduction Wheel for Road Bike – Best Resistance Bike Rollers
- 1.3 3 Saris CycleOps Aluminum Roller for Indoor Bike Trainer – Best Right and Left Dismount Bike Rollers
- 1.4 4 Elite Arion Folding Rollers with Mag Resistance – Best Parabolic Bike Rollers
- 1.5 5 Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer with Tote Bag – Most Versatile Bike Roller
- 1.6 6 Kreitler Alloy Roller ‘Set – Best Premium Bike Rollers
- 1.7 7 Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Trainer – Best Budget Digital Smart Bike Roller
- 2 Best Bike Rollers Buying Guide
- 3 Enjoyed this Review?
- 4 So, what are the Best Bike Rollers?
Top 7 Best Bike Rollers On The Market Reviews
1 Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers – Best Tapered Bike Rollers
Tacx has a comprehensive portfolio of bike-related products. They’re probably best known for their quality bike stands and rack, but they make great bike rollers too.
The Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers weigh 18.7lbs and measure 53” x 18.5”. This is when they’re extended and ready for use. When you’ve finished your training, they can be folded down and measure just 31.5” x 18.5”.
So, nicely portable…
Their size makes them perfect for throwing in the car for use as a warm-up tool for races. They can also be conveniently thrown under the bed or tucked away in a cupboard after being used in the house.
These are hard wearing and tough rollers. They’ll take plenty of use and abuse and should work perfectly for years without needing to be serviced. As well as being tough, they’re also lovely and quiet once you’re up to speed and riding in the right position.
We like the tapering…
Tacx makes the process of staying on board a relatively easy one by tapering the rollers toward the center. It can be quite tricky at first to get used to using rollers, and this helps. For novices, the tapering is a very welcome feature.
Another great feature is the increased noise that results from you straying too far from the center of the drums. The cool thing is that as soon as you return to the middle, the excess noise stops. We’re not sure if this was a deliberate design feature, but it’s undoubtedly a useful one.
Tacx Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers are suitable for use with any bikes with wheels between 26” to 29”. This is fine for nearly all road bikes but will, unfortunately, rule them out as a viable option for a lot of mountain bikes.
Sadly, another negative is that there’s no feature to alter the level of resistance. The permanent setting feels like you’re on a very slight incline. In theory, you could always lodge a piece of wood under either side to increase or decrease your resistance, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
- Rollers taper to the center.
- Not adjustable for incline or decline.
- Limited wheel size suitability.
2 Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand Steel Bicycle Exercise Magnetic Stand with Noise Reduction Wheel for Road Bike – Best Resistance Bike Rollers
Sportneer is another company that makes excellent stands, racks, and rollers.
The Sportneer trainer wheel runs on a single roller that’s supported, off the ground, by the rear dropouts of your bike. It works by clamping your bike via its rear axle. This means there’s no need to balance, which makes it easier and safer to use than traditional rollers.
For novice riders, this may be the right choice. The Sportneer trainer feels a lot like riding the kind of bike you typically find in a gym. The difference being that the Sportneer trainer allows you to ride on your own bike.
Is it as safe?
The fact is that when you use the Sportneer trainer, you’re never going to fall off. The experience of riding these rollers is so very much akin to riding any gym’s stationary bike; you’ll barely notice the difference.
It can be used with bikes that have wheel diameters between 26” to 28”. This means its suitable for all bikes with 700c wheels. It’s a roller predominantly geared towards road bikes, so this is about the range you’d expect. However, it would have been nice to see a little more versatility.
Once the frame is secured in place, the rear wheel rests on the roller, and the front-wheel rests on the wheel rider block that you place on the floor. The good news is that all the contact points of the trainer can be adjusted to ensure a stable fit on any surface. This also includes on uneven floors.
One of the best features of the Sportneer trainer is that you can change the resistance. It has a handlebar controller that has six different settings. You can use it to go from gentle slopes to crazy punishing mountain style inclines.
One of the frequent complaints with indoor rollers is that they’re noisy. Not so with the Sportsneer trainer, as it comes with a noise reduction wheel. It works by reducing the hum and noise as a result of its natural resistance with the wheel. This makes it excellent for using when you want to watch a movie or just keep down the noise for the people around you.
There’s no doubt about it; these are very quiet rollers.
- Good build quality.
- Suitable for all levels.
- Adjustable resistance.
- Very quiet.
- Can only be used for bikes with wheels between 26” to 28”.
3 Saris CycleOps Aluminum Roller for Indoor Bike Trainer – Best Right and Left Dismount Bike Rollers
These are a set of aluminum rollers that can be folded for easy transportation and storage.
When in use, they measure 32” x 20.5” x 6.5”. When you want to store or transport them, they take up approximately half of this size. They also weigh just 19lbs, so they’re not too difficult to carry around with you.
The frame is made from robust steel. The rollers measure 3.25” diameter and are made from hard-wearing aluminum, and the drums are made from PVC. They are highly durable rollers, and the company seems to think so too. They offer a reassuring lifetime warranty, so be sure to keep that receipt!
What’s so great about aluminum rollers?
The aluminum rollers have a couple of key benefits over cheaper made alternatives. Firstly, they are quiet, and secondly, they tend to distort less under excesses of heat and light.
Although they are quiet, it should be noted that they do make a slight humming noise. However, this is more of a gentle background noise that’s unlikely to interfere with you having a conversation or listening to tunes or watching a movie.
The best part?
One of the main features is that the belt can be altered for either a right or left-sided dismount. This is to improve safety for when you finish your session. Just remember to keep the rollers on the opposite side of something solid for your dismounts. A wall is usually best.
Although the rollers are not feature-rich, there’s no tension adjustment, no lips, or tapering on the drums; they still offer good value for your money. There’s no doubt that they’re basic rollers, but the excellent quality and smooth running still make these an excellent choice for the serious cyclist.
- Smooth running.
- Easy to store or transport.
- Lifetime warranty.
- No tension adjustability.
4 Elite Arion Folding Rollers with Mag Resistance – Best Parabolic Bike Rollers
These are a set of quality rollers. They are priced very similarly to the Saris CycleOps Aluminum Roller. It’s, therefore, safe to say that they sit at the premium end of the market
The frame is made from plastic, and this is our primary, if not only, bone of contention. Despite it being made from strong plastic, it’s never going to offer the same kind of durability as frames made from steel or aluminum, and, over the longer term, there’s always a good chance that the plastic will crack.
Frankly, at this price point, we expect more…
Thankfully, things are much better when it comes to the rollers. These are made from an anti-static plastic material and are quality through and through, and they are more than up to the task. They will give you years of trouble-free training and only require the minimum of maintenance.
The rollers have a parabolic shaped drum. Essentially, this means that they have a very slight dip running towards the center. This helps to keep you riding in the middle of the rollers naturally.
Another advantage of this shape is that they become slightly noisier as you ride towards the outside. This is a great audio warning to help keep you within the confines of the rollers.
Another useful safety feature is the flanged edge. If the dip and the noise can’t keep you within the limits of the rollers, the flanged edge is the last safety feature to help keep you on board.
As well as being safe to ride another big plus is that the Elite Arion Folding Rollers are also quiet. There’s a slight noise, but it’s not much above what you’d expect from riding on the road. It is not enough to distract you from having a conversation or listening to music.
Finally, one of the best features is that you can dial in three levels of resistance. Most of these styles of rollers have zero resistance, so this gives the Elite Arion Folding Rollers a considerable advantage over a lot of the competition.
- Parabolic shaped rollers.
- Rollers have a flanged edge.
- Three resistance settings.
- Easy to transport.
- Plastic frame.
5 Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer with Tote Bag – Most Versatile Bike Roller
The Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer comes in two parts. You get a set of rollers, and you get a tripod to support the bike by the front forks. The rear wheel rides on the rollers in the usual way.
Attaching the front forks to the tripod is a quick and easy process. They are attached using a though-axle. Once the frame is in place, you simply adjust the rollers to sit under the bike’s rear wheel.
The trainer is suitable for any type or size of the bike. Unlike a lot of bike rollers, you can train on bikes with small wheels and also with bikes that have a short wheelbase. This is a big plus.
Another advantage is that there’s less noise in comparison to a traditional set of rollers. Now we’re sure you’ll all agree that’s a big plus too. Other features we like include the fact that the trainer comes in one piece, and has a bag included, so it’s easy to carry around to events.
One final positive…
We like that you get the same feeling of riding classic rollers but without the possibility of falling. The Feedback Trainer strikes a nice balance of being somewhere between a static bike trainer and a set of bike rollers.
It’s honestly not a bad place to be.
The only negative is that there’s no resistance element. This is hardly unusual. However, with this being a bit of a cross-breed, it’s something we’d have liked to have seen.
- Suitable for any bike.
- Easy to transport.
- No resistance settings.
6 Kreitler Alloy Roller ‘Set – Best Premium Bike Rollers
These are the Cadillac of bike rollers. Frankly, these are not for the casual bike user. However, if you are serious about your bike training and cycling in general, then these may find a place in your home.
The Kreitler Alloy Roller ‘Set is not feature-rich, but what they lack in functionality, they more than made up for in quality. They are made in the US, and every part of the rollers is exquisitely constructed.
The drums are 15 inches wide, and you have the choice of 2.25”, 3”, and 4.5” drum widths. These are top of the range rollers precision machined from high-grade aluminum. All the internal bearings are high quality and hard-wearing too.
The cool thing about the Kreitler Alloy Roller ‘Set is that it’s fit to last a lifetime. Maintenance requirements are minimal. However, if you keep on top of essential servicing, this is something you can proudly pass on to your son or daughter.
They’ll probably go on to sell it online, but we never said we live in a perfect world!
Unlike the Elite Arion Folding Rollers, they have no dip in the middle and no flanged edges. This, therefore, requires a little extra skill to keep within the limits of the roller. Since these are firmly marketed at the enthusiast, it’s not likely to be a problem, and we think the Kreitler Alloy Roller ‘Set is unlikely to be a first bike roller purchase.
Are they resistance-adjustable?
There’s no ability to increase or decrease the resistance. You get what you get. And what you get is insanely smooth and quiet running. These are the best bike rollers for both. This is where their precision engineering really shines through.
The only thing that’s adjustable is the frame, which can be altered for your frame length. Plus, the frame can be folded in half, which makes it easy to carry around on race days. But that’s your lot!
- Premium build quality.
- Super smooth.
- Remarkably quiet.
- Super durable.
- Easy to transport.
7 Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Trainer – Best Budget Digital Smart Bike Roller
If you need rollers with more than the basic features and increased functionality, then these might be the answer. They measure 31.5” x 23.6” x 13.8” but fold away into just half the size, which makes them easy to transport on race days. Plus, if you live in a small apartment or house, they’re easy to store out of the way.
A realistic indoor ride…
These are smart rollers for cyclists who want a more interactive and realistic indoor ride.
The frame is made from plastic and is the same as you find on the Elite Arion Folding Rollers. The same criticisms of strength and durability, therefore, apply. We personally think steel or aluminum frames are always the way to go.
More positively, they use the same quality rollers as on the more basic Elite Arion trainer. This means you get quiet running, durable rollers, with the added features of a flanged edge and concave shape.
We’ve no complaints about these whatsoever.
Elite My Entraining App…
The Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Trainer can be paired with a variety of different training apps. This includes their own Elite My Entraining App. You get a free 12 months subscription included in the price of the trainer.
The Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Trainer is ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible. This means if you don’t want to use Elite’s app, there are plenty of other third-party options available. The trainer is even Zwift compatible, which opens up a whole range of possibilities.
On Zwift, you’re able to send the data from the trainer to the screen to immerse yourself in the riding experience fully. As you climb, the Arion trainer adjusts to simulate the slopes.
How cool is that?
It all helps to transform indoor riding and make it feel like a much more realistic ride. Unfortunately, you are limited to climbs at 6% and under. Additionally, the speed and power data aren’t as good as you can find on more expensive trainers. However, for most cyclists, it’s accurate enough.
The bottom line is that this is an inexpensive and smart trainer offering very fair value.
- Can be connected to 3rd party training apps.
- Zwift compatible.
- Free 12 months My elite Entraining App subscription.
- Quality rollers.
- Ride data could be more accurate.
- 6% incline limited.
Best Bike Rollers Buying Guide
Rollers have a few different uses.
They are frequently used when the weather makes cycling outside difficult or dangerous. And, during cold winter months, they can be a significant boost to winter training. When you get home late, and it’s dark outside, or you’re trying to snatch a quick hour of training, they can indeed prove their worth.
Another common use is for warming up before a race. This is why so many are made to be portable, so it makes them all the easier to transport in the car with the rest of your kit.
One big difference between traditional rollers and a stationary exercise bike is that rollers require the need for a bike. Being able to use your bike makes for a more comfortable, familiar, and realistic experience than riding a stationary bike. With increasing levels of modern connectivity and functionality, it can also lead to a more immersive experience.
Standard rollers are very popular with cycling enthusiasts. They are the most common tool for warming up before a race and event. Their simplicity, reliability, and ready portability make them perfect for the job.
One of the disadvantages is that they offer no way of altering the resistance level. You’re stuck with what you’ve got. Usually, what you’ve got is a small amount of resistance that makes them feel like you’re riding up a slight incline.
These styles of rollers are great for mimicking the experience of riding the bike for real out on the roads.
They do take a little bit of skill to master and stay onboard. Rollers like the Elite Arion Folding Rollers and the Tacx Antares Rollers have drums that taper towards the center to make things a little easier. They also have a flanged end off, which makes it hard to ride off the drum’s limits.
There is very little to go wrong with standard rollers. If the rollers are well made and well maintained, they can last a lifetime. The Kreitler Alloy Roller ‘Set is an excellent example of highly durable bulletproof bike rollers.
Variable Resistance Rollers
Being able to vary your resistance makes for a much more interesting and much better training ride. If resistance is offered as an option, you can expect the best bike rollers to provide a good spread of resistance to simulate multiple climbs.
If you want to climb hills during your training, and most cyclists do, the Sportneer Bike Trainer is a good bet. It has six different gradient settings, from gentle to brutal. It has all the settings you’ll need to get your heart pumping.
How does it work?
Variable resistance rollers work by placing direct resistance on the back wheel. Often, as in the case of the Sportneer Bike Trainer, the front of the bike will be secured to the trainer by the front forks.
This makes the whole experience a little like riding a stationary bike at the gym. Though, of course, you get to ride your own bike. But it’s very different from the feeling of riding your bike on standard rollers.
Digital Smart Rollers
Digital Smart Rollers have exploded in popularity over the last few years. They offer a deeply immersive experience without having to leave the house. One of the common problems with even the most fantastic bike rollers is that they can be boring to use after a short time.
Think about how boring those stationary bike rides at the gym can be!
To try to prevent you from losing the will to live, smart rollers work by interacting with an app and a TV monitor or screen. You get to ride on courses with the images right in front of your eyes. As you progress and inevitably hit the hills, the rollers rise to simulate the climb.
The rollers do this by communicating via Bluetooth, and the information between the rider, and an external app is shared. Subsequently, lots of wizardry ensues, and before you know it, you’re riding up iconic climbs and rides in the comfort of your home.
All in all, they’re much more fun to train with. Their runway popularity is a testament to this. As they keep improving year by year, they look to be the future of indoor cycling. However, we’re not too sure if they could take over from a set of standard rollers as a race warm-up and warm down tool.
Smart rollers and trainers function by linking up, usually using Bluetooth, with a training app like Zwift. There are lots of other training apps, but Zwift is currently the number one cycling indoor training app.
The Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Trainer is an excellent example of a budget digital smart roller.
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Back to bike rollers…
So, what are the Best Bike Rollers?
There you have it. Hopefully, whatever you intend to use a set of bike rollers for, there is something on the list for you.
We understand that for the more competitive cyclist, the most desirable bike rollers are probably going to involve at least one set of standard rollers. However, we feel whatever your level, there’s always room for another pair of more feature-packed bike rollers.
For this reason, amongst the others, our top pick is the…
Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Trainer
We love the interactive feeling when it’s paired with a training app. We also love its ability to mimic climbing. The fact is that we also feel that this style of bike trainer is the future, so it is a worthy pick.
Enjoy your bikes, and enjoy your rides.