How-To: Free motion cycling rollers

Bikes Fun & Games

I just got one of those indoor bike trainers. You know, the kind that props up the rear wheel against a heavy, resistance-providing wheel. The front of the bike rests on the floor, the rear axle is pinned, and there’s no balancing required. I didn’t think of it at first, but that’s not really how you ride a bike in real life, and therefore must not be good enough for athletes training for more than just a good indoor cardio workout. Instructables user pennachi1 created this indoor cycling rig that lets you actually ride your bike the way you would outside. Looks a little scary to me, but I’m informed it “works fantastically!”

6 thoughts on “How-To: Free motion cycling rollers

  1. relawson says:

    I don’t find too many things that make me feel uneasy, but the entire time I watched that video I felt very unbalanced for some reason.

    I’ve always thought about something like this and if it would even work at all!

    How would one more roller on top to provide friction affect the dynamics? obviously the lower ones can’t have the resistance… else you ride off of the rig entirely :)

    1. Wilson! says:

      The rear wheel is supported by two rollers, so it’s trapped, and you don’t “ride off the rig.” The front roller is driven by a belt from the rear roller(s) to provide spin to the front wheel. With proper balance, no additional support is required. (now, if the rollers suddenly seized up, you might launch forward, although I don’t want to be the guinea pig on that)

  2. Chris says:

    The set of three rollers he’s riding on are a standard product (usually just called “rollers” by cyclists). The new part is that he’s put wheels on the base of the black roller frame so it can move forwards and backwards.

    Generally riding rollers can be very bouncy and you want to have a very smooth pedalling stroke, and riding out of the saddle isn’t usually an option. So this modification probably does make the ride much more realistic – the only downside might be that the ‘bounciness’ of rollers is often seen as an excellent way to improve your pedalling stroke by forcing you to smooth out your power to the pedals.

    But who cares – it looks *awesome* and I still want to try it!

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

View more articles by Becky Stern


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).