I use a resistance trainerthat is, one of those gadgets into which you clamp the bike. It gives me a fine aerobic workout but, unlike rollers, doesn't require me to think too much about balance, form, and so on. Cycle rollers are spinning cylinders set into a flat frame that sits on the floor, between which you slot the bike wheels. They force you to act like you're really on a bike, and most bike people say they're by far the superior indoor training method, particularly if you live in a climate (say, northern Minnesota or Anchorage) where it might be impossible to get out on a bike for weeks or even months at a time.
No need to fear rollers, but they do take a little getting used to. One piece of advice: When learning how to use it, set it up halfway through a door frame, which will give you something to hang onto. Don't worry, you're not going to go zooming off into the wife's antique armoirethe worst thing that could happen is that you might tip over if you're really klutzy.
Rollers don't have to cost a ton. High-end ones aren't cheap, such as the $450 Kreitler Alloy Rollers. But, decent rollers are available for under $200, comparable to most resistance trainers. Performance, the catalog/online cycle store, sells a good-quality unit for $180. Resistance trainers start at around $150, for something like the Minoura Magturbo Ergo, and go up to $400 for the Cateye Cycle Simulator. Most trainers these days are rear-wheel onlyyou clamp the rear hub into the mechanism, then set the front wheel into a slotted pad to hold the bike in place.
Filed To: Snow Sports