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The following link: has a man limp to a bike (a Pinarello) leaning against a wall, climb on to it and ride the bike for a good minute to a minute and a half, while remaining stationary. My question is:

  1. What is the simulator like device called? It looks like a bike treadmill, but what is it called?

  2. How does the bike remain stationary on that device for all speeds? I would imagine that the bike would be stationary for only higher speeds, but that does not seem to be the case.

  3. What are these devices used for?

Any insight on the above is most welcome.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Rollers. You have three drums, two at the back, one at the front and the front roller is powered by one of the back rollers. You can also get add ons to give you a breeze:

enter image description here

Balance is what is needed to stay on the rollers, also a wall (as per featured video) comes in handy.

Rollers are used for training purposes although they can also be used for demonstrations at trade shows etc. When riding rollers instead of an exercise bike you do need to balance as well as push the pedals, you can therefore improve your riding, not just your strength/endurance.

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The fan add-on (in addition to giving a breeze) provides speed-dependent resistance. The other way to get resistance is to use smaller diameter rollers. – Angelo Sep 7 '11 at 16:56
thanks matthew! – Sriram Sep 9 '11 at 7:05

Yes, rollers.

They are excellent for improving form and efficiency. It takes a while to get used to them because as matthew indicated, you really need to actively balance yourself or else you'll tip over.

In particular, rollers improve pedaling technique because they force you to be more even in the stroke. If your stroke is not smooth, you'll have a MUCH harder time staying balanced on the rollers. It is a way of learning through "negative reinforcement".

On the road, roller work-outs translate to being more stable and wasting less energy.

They are also excellent for warm-ups. Some racers prefer rollers over resistance trainers to warm-up at race sites.

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thank you for the reply Angelo! – Sriram Sep 9 '11 at 7:05

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