Looking for a way to get more hours in the saddle without leaving home?
If you’re training for a triathlon or bike race, it makes sense to train on the bike you’ll be riding with. You can do this at home with a bike roller.
Our top pick is the Elite Arion Mag bike roller. It features three built-in magnetic resistance levels, is compatible with both road and mountain bike tires, and has 10 adjustable positions so it can fit any bike, no matter the size.
We have six more excellent options, so read on to compare them all and choose which one works best for you!
Top 3 Best and Favorite
Elite Arion Mag
Tacx Galaxia Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers
1. Elite Arion Mag
The Arion Mag may not be the newest product on the market, but there’s no arguing with the effectiveness of its design.
Its smooth, parabolic, nylon rollers deal equally well with both road and mountain bike tires. Thanks to its 10 different roller positions, you can fit almost any bicycle perfectly on this roller, and you don’t have to use the same bike every time.
Purchasing the Misuro B+ sensor separately gives you access to a free month of My E-Training. This is a useful training tool, as it monitors your data during the riding session, including cadence, power, and speed. It also allows you to connect to cycling platforms like Zwift, Kinomap, and TrainerRoad if you use them.
You don’t have to purchase the sensor, though. With three levels of magnetic resistance, you can just use the bike roller for an effective workout, especially if you have a smartwatch or similar device to measure your data. You’ll need to stop your workout and get off the bike to change the resistance, though.
Be aware that the roller is built with a weight capacity of 115kg, or 253lbs. The strength and integrity of the roller may be compromised if used by riders exceeding this weight.
- 3 magnetic resistance levels
- Up to 10 different roller positions
- Integrated handle for portability
- Foldable design saves space
- Not suitable for riders over 250lbs
2. Elite Arion
Here we have the more basic version of our best overall product. The Elite Arion may be the simpler model, but it keeps the easy-to-adjust 10-roller-position feature so it can hold bikes of any size comfortably and safely. It’s also compatible with both mountain bike and road bikes wheels.
This bike roller has a power output of 280 watts, half of what the Mag produces. The biggest difference between the two, and the feature that makes this a great budget choice or awesome for beginners, is that this bike roller has no resistance levels.
However, you can still get an excellent workout if you put the effort in. The rollers have a parabolic shape, with a diameter of 85 mm in the center of the roller, flaring out to 100mm on the ends. This design helps keep your bicycle in the middle of the rollers, and you’ll hear a telltale squeak when you’re getting too close to the sides so you can adjust before an accident happens.
This roller is also compatible with the Misuro B+ sensor, so you can link up to apps you may already be using. But, like the Mag, it’s not essential to have.
Fold the bike roller up when it’s not in use, and store it easily in a cupboard or under a desk or bed. It’s also super easy to transport, so take it along to your triathlon even to get a great warmup.
- Parabolic-shaped roller
- Built in step
- Adjustable front roller
- Easily and quickly foldable
- No resistance levels
3. Tacx Galaxia Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers
The Tacx Galaxia bike roller features conical rollers of 100mm in diameter, tapering to 110mm at each end. These are a fair bit thicker than the Elite products, which is why we’ve chosen this roller as the safest one.
Not only are the rollers more robust, but their swing system is specifically designed to absorb sudden acceleration or deceleration. This helps to prevent you from riding right off the rollers when you choose to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout.
This means you can safely and comfortably sprint, change gears, and even stand on the rollers (if you’re experienced and comfortable enough!).
Instead of being foldable, this bike roller is retractable. The front roller can slide in or out so you can open it up to fit most size bicycles. When retracted, it measures just 31.5 inches in length, so it’s easy to store or transport.
- Conical rollers
- Patented swing system
- Foldable design
- Retractable to 31.5 inches
- Assembly can be difficult
4. Saris Aluminum Rollers Trainer
If you live in an apartment or with roommates who don’t share your cycling passion, choosing a quiet roller is important.
Some rollers are extremely noisy, but the Saris Aluminum Roller Trainer is fairly silent. You can ride it any time of day or night without worrying!
The aluminum rollers are smooth, quiet, and more durable than plastic or nylon ones. Unlike many bike rollers, they aren’t tapered on the ends. This means you’ll need to pay extra close attention while you’re riding because there’ll be no warning or help if you drift off-center.
The steel frame is durable enough for use indoors or outdoors. If you choose to use it indoors, there are rubber feet on the ends to prevent damage to floors or carpets. They also keep the device stable on whatever surface you’ve placed it on, so there’s no need to worry about the frame moving on the floor.
Another nice feature is that the belt can be placed on either the left or right side of the device, so you can dismount on whichever side feels comfortable for you.
This bike roller should fit bikes with a wheelbase of up to 44.5 inches, axle to axle. The frame is 16 inches wide, allowing plenty of space for you to move.
- Aluminum roller drums
- Weight capacity upto 300 pounds
- Maximum wheelbase of 44.5″ axle to axle
- Rubber foot pads for stability
- The rollers don’t have tapered ends, so you need to pay extra lose attention so you don’t wander off-center
5. ROCKBROS Bicycle Roller Trainer
The ROCKBROS bike roller wins our best budget spot. It’s packed with great features and sports a nice price, too!
It may not look quite as sleek as some of the others, but it does the job well and is highly durable. Aluminum alloy rollers won’t become brittle in the sun or cold, and they’re also generally quieter than plastic ones.
The front roller is adjustable to five different positions, so you should be able to find a great fit for bikes with wheels of 16 to 29 inches.
This bike roller folds up really nicely, so it becomes about a third of its original length, making it easy to hide away when not in use. It’s also very easy to place in the trunk to take with you to your triathlon event for a great warmup or cooldown.
The rollers aren’t parabolic, which means you’ll need to focus hard when riding so you don’t drift off to the side and risk falling.
- Adjustable front roller
- High-end aluminum alloy rollers
- Features parabolic rollers
- Lightweight, foldable, and portable
- The rollers are flat, not parabolic
Top Resistance Roller
6. Feedback Sports Omnium Over-Drive Portable Rollers
The Omnium Over-Drive Roller is tough and durable, featuring aluminum drums that have been precision-machined for a smooth ride every time. Be aware that the rollers are not tapered, so you’ll need every ounce of your focus when riding on this device!
The rollers use Internal Progressive Resistance, which naturally increases the resistance the more intensely you pedal, making it feel like a real-world, on-the-road experience.
A stable platform with adjustable dimensions to fit most bikes makes this a usable device for almost anybody. It’s also lightweight (just 17lbs) and folds in half for quick and easy storage.
You can use this roller both indoors and outdoors. The frame is manufactured from powder-coated steel, and the hardware is zinc-plated for extra durability. Rubber feet on the bottom also allow you to place it on wooden floors or carpets without worrying about damage.
- Lightweight and foldable
- Internal Progressive Resistance
- Adjustable wheelbase dimensions
- 3-year warranty
- Rollers are not tapered
7. LONGWHEEL Bike Rollers
If space is a concern for you, we recommend the LONGWHEEL bike roller. It folds up to almost half its length (27 inches) and it’s fairly flat, so you can store it almost anywhere. It also comes with a handy storage bag, which also makes it easy to carry around with you if you need to.
Able to bear a weight of up to 330lbs, the LONGWHEEL is suitable for almost every rider out there. It can also accommodate wheels of between 16 and 29 inches, both road tires and mountain bike tires.
For beginners, the addition of a nifty non-slip step is a bonus. This is surprisingly helpful for getting on the bike safely and easily while it’s resting on the rollers. It’s also useful if you feel yourself losing your balance and need to set a foot down to stabilize yourself.
The rollers themselves are made from aircraft-grade aluminum and feature symmetrical bearings for a smooth roller action. They can take bikes with a wheelbase of up to 51.5 inches.
- Non-slip step for easy mounting
- Maximum wheelbase of 51.5 inches
- Foldable design and storage bag
- Weight capacity of up to 330 pounds
- Non-parabolic rollers require precise focus when riding
Wondering if buying a bike roller is worth it? Here are some of the most common questions about the best bike rollers for triathletes to help you make your decision.
What Are The Benefits of Bike Rollers?
Bike rollers offer numerous benefits that can help improve your performance in competition.
Firstly, they’re a great way to get your bike ride in even if the weather is bad outdoors or it’s too late or dark to be out. A bike roller is a more affordable alternative to an exercise bike, and it’s also easier to move around or pack away when you’re finished using it.
Balancing on a bike roller may take some time to get used to. But regularly riding on a bike roller can improve your balance, make you more aware of your own movement, and give you a great core workout at the same time!
Because you have to concentrate harder when riding on the rollers than you do when riding on the road, it can also help to keep you mentally sharp and build up your mind-muscle connection.
All of these things can contribute towards increased confidence on the road or trail!
How Do Bike Rollers Work?
Unlike stationary bike trainers, bike rollers usually consist of three rollers (also called cylinders or drums). One is situated at the front of the device, and two at the rear. They’re connected by a belt.
You place your bike on the rollers, with the back wheel sitting across both rear rollers and the front wheel resting on the front roller. From there, you need to begin pedaling without falling! It’s easiest to set the bike roller up in a doorway, so you have a ready-made support structure that will help to keep you from falling over.
When you begin to pedal, the rollers move underneath the wheels, allowing you to effectively ride in place.
Do Rollers Damage Tires?
If you’re riding regularly on the road with the same bike, the rollers won’t have any bad effects on your tires. They’re usually made of smooth, non-abrasive material that doesn’t damage the rubber on your tires at all.
You will get a bit of natural wear and tear on them, but it won’t be nearly as much as on the road.
But do watch out for your floors – a good protective mat will prevent scuff marks and reduce vibrations.