What is a smart roller and how can it help you in your training?

The possibility of cycling at home in a professional manner is nowadays a reality within the reach of many. There are more and more modern and sophisticated devices that allow us to get the most out of our bicycle without having to take to the road. These devices are known as bicycle rollers and can be of various types, such as the bicycle roller, the magnetic resistance roller, the hydraulic resistance roller, the direct transmission roller or the intelligent roller, which is the one we analyze in this article -and which has some very special features-. If you still don’t know what a smart roller is, we recommend that you continue reading this article. Let’s get to it!

What is a smart roller

The smart roller, like any other type of roller mentioned in the introduction, is used to keep the bike stationary and to be able to practice cycling inside our living room, garage or anywhere else we want -generally, indoors-. However, it is different from the rest for many reasons, and this type of roller offers us the possibility of experiencing a higher level of bicycle training. Smart rollers generate more realistic cycling sensations in your living room, the latter are fixed on the rear wheel of the vehicle. That is, the tire sits on it and a platform is placed on the front so that the wheel slides smoothly. Smart rollers can also feature a total of three drums that act as a rolling road, as well as a frame and a resistance belt, i.e. the design may vary slightly between each manufacturer of smart bike rollers.

However, they all pursue the same goal, which is to allow us to enjoy cycling at home by creating a very realistic feeling (which is the most outstanding quality of this type of rollers). In addition, smart rollers have a very outstanding option and that is that, in general, they are usually rollers that offer connectivity to our devices. So we can access metrics and other results (such as power, cadence and speed data), and even configure some resistance parameters. Smart rollers are usually loaded with technology, sensors, offer excellent connectivity and maximum realism.

How a smart bike trainer works

An unwritten rule, but one that everyone who uses a roller for cycling knows, is that with this mechanism for indoor cycling, each training session is equivalent to twice the time you spend on the street. The rollers are ideal for making the most of the weather and for being able to use the bike when the weather conditions do not allow you to do so. They are also a great way to stay in top condition and improve your personal bests on the bike.

Smart bike trainer: automatic adjustment

The reason smart rollers are so named is because of the realistic experience they offer during workouts. Some of these devices are able to automatically adjust the resistance according to the route, making it very similar to what you would do outdoors.

Smart bike trainer: stability

The bike trainer offers great stability when cycling at home. This is achieved thanks to the quality support composed of the telescopic legs of the best models on the market. They are very safe devices.

Smart bike roller: noise reduction

One of the most distinctive aspects of smart rollers, compared to other roller models – such as rollers of the roller type – is that they are very quiet. This is made possible by a magnetic resistance (usually automatic) and a special ventilation system.

Intelligent bicycle rollers: professional performance

In addition to all this, the rollers allow us to obtain a professional performance when carrying out our workouts. In addition, they are suitable for everyone as they allow you to cycle in a safe place, being completely safe from traffic, uneven terrain and bad weather. And of course, by allowing us to make better use of the time, without having to organize each route, consult the GPS and check the weather. With them we can make better use of the time to improve our personal bests and obtain a professional performance with it.

Smart bike trainer: connectivity

Smart rollers offer us wireless connectivity to be able to link our devices. Which gives us the possibility to consult data such as pedaling, speed and even change resistance settings. This wireless connectivity is usually based on ANT + technology, as well as Bluetooth. They are also compatible with the FTMS protocol.

Smart bike trainer: adapts to the wheel size

Last but not least, we find the possibility of using any bicycle with the cycling trainer – regardless of whether it is a mountain or road bike. This is possible thanks to the adjustable design of the devices, which generally allow us to attach wheels from 20″ to 29″, of course, depending on the model. In addition, smart rollers are one of the easiest rollers to use. They are easy to install and mount, as they are already calibrated at the factory. On the other hand, the bike is very easy to fit on them, as there is no need to remove the rear wheel.

How to convert a normal roller into a smart roller

To convert a normal trainer into a smart trainer, you need some technical knowledge to do it. You will need a speed sensor and a cadence sensor, as well as a bluetooth or ANT+ connection on your computer, GPS, tablet or smartphone – and pair them in the system. You need to place the speed sensor on the rear wheel hub and the cadence sensor on the left crank. Then you’ll have to connect the device to the sensors to turn on the program (there are many different ones) and that’s it, you’re all set. However, this sensor will not send power data, only cadence and speed data. You must keep in mind that this is a temporary solution because at a professional level it may fall short. If you really want to get the most out of your workouts it is highly recommended that you purchase a quality smart sensor, with it you can get these metrics and many more, in addition to enjoying a lot of features to have the most realistic experience possible on your bike.

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