If the idea of rollers has always seemed a bit too sketchy for you, or you just haven’t felt quite stable enough to zone out on Netflix while putting in the base miles, Crown Roller could be the answer. Designed with a curved set of rollers, they create a resistance curve that’s easier in the center. As the diameter decreases toward the edges, it adds progressively (but mildly) more resistance. Since your tires naturally want to follow the path of least resistance, they’re subtly guided back to center as you ride.

They’re on Kickstarter now for a deal As of this post, the campaign is just getting going but almost fully funded. And, the founders told us they decided not to wait for the funding to finish before staring manufacturing, so the units are already in production. Meaning, they’ll ship and deliver before it’s actual trainer season.

crown roller curved cycling rollers for indoor training with a design thats more stable and easier to learn

The idea is to increase resistance as you roll down the sides, which will slow down the wheels to give you tactile feedback when you’re drifting off the side. It also helps to keep you centered by improving stability while riding.

Think about when you’re riding in a gutter, or in a rut on a mountain bike, and the tire wants to grab the side and pull you up and out of the rut (and try to kill you). Same here, except in reverse. They wanted to make a roller that anyone could hop on and ride, making it easy to transition to training on rollers, but are good enough to be your last set of rollers.

crown roller curved cycling rollers for indoor training with a design thats more stable and easier to learn

The two rear rollers are positioned to raised the rear axle so the bike sits level with the ground. Adjustable length helps it fit most any bike, but also telescopes down for easier travel and storage.

There’s no active resistance, only the passive resistance of spinning the alloy metal tubes (the tires’ deformation creates resistance). There’s a magnet slot on the back roller to add a 3rd party speed sensor to it, or just use speed, cadence and power meters on your bike to send the data to whichever indoor training program or cycling computer you use.

CrownRoller.com

13 COMMENTS

  1. If that works it’s a great idea and beautifully counter-intuitive, at least for me, having always seen ‘safety’ rollers with a raised outside (a lip – which these also have, incidentally).

    Also nice to see the raised rear rollers – seems obvious when you see it, but it had never occured to me that my front wheel was higher than the back.

    • David, this is how most flat belt pulleys are designed. The belt ends up riding in the center of the pulley. This concept was counter intuitive to me to in regards to pulleys but the explanation above regarding rolling resistance makes perfect sense.

      I’ve owned Kreitler 4.5, 3.0 and 2.25 inch rollers. Although the difference in diameter may not seem like a lot, the 4.5, I could be in my 53×11 spinning at 120 RPM and still not reach my max threshold power. With the 3.0, I would be in my 53×11 with fully pumped up tires and be able to hit my threshold power at a comfortable cadence, and with under inflated tires, I could hit threshold much higher up the cassette. With the 2.25, I can run fully inflated tires and hit threshold in the middle of my cassette.

      My question (although I’m not in the market for these) what is the diameter at the center?

  2. I’m pretty skeptical about the concept that just because there’s more resistance at the ends than in the middle, this will magically create a centering force on the tires. However, the change in potential energy (your center of gravity will be a bit closer to the ground when riding near the ends) means there will be an anti-centering force. But I’m not sure that having a centering force at the contact patches would make riding rollers easier.

    On the other hand, maybe the increased resistance will serve as a form of feedback to the rider, letting you know where you are on the rollers without looking at them. This would let you focus on the “virtual bike lane” in front of your rollers, making it more natural.

    • I think it might help for when you already can ride rollers just not well, but if you have no skill at all on rollers (me for example) I’m not sure how well this works. Wouldn’t you need something that could hold the front fork and get used to the rear of the bike on the rollers and then move to both wheels on the rollers? I gave up on the rollers I got last year and bought a kickr.

      I kind of want to learn to ride rollers but the cost of these is too high when I sucked so much the last time I tried.

      • The thing is unless you actually have some medical conditions limiting your balance anyone should be able to use rollers comfortably and safely after only a few minutes of riding them.

        • I was able to get my wife who’s not athletic at all to learn both clipless and rollers at the same time and my (at the time) 58 y/o mother as well.. After about 10 minutes they were fine. Just set it up in a door frame or hall way and you’ll be fine. Even after 1000’s of miles on mine, I set mine up next to a wall. It just makes getting on much easier.

      • Thanks Eli, We were able to get about 25 people to try rollers for the first time at interbike I would say that half of those picked it right up. The other half probably needed a good five minutes in a doorway and then would be set. Yes people who are already good at rollers don’t spend much time at the edges. In that case our rollers just fit well and take the mental strain out of long sessions.

  3. Thanks for reintroducing old school rollers. I’m sure we’re all tired of the modern floating roller with smart resistance and bumper wheels. And why use a crowned drum when you can get a much wider range of resistance by just shifting gears?
    Rollers have not looked this good since the 1950’s!

    • The crown drum only changes the wattage by about 10 watts on the outside edges. The benefit of the shape is that is nudges you to the center so that they are more stable. And pretty….. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for reintroducing old-school rollers. I’m sure we’re all bored riding on modern floating rollers with smart resistance. And the crowned drums? What a great way to provide only a small fraction of the resistance you get by just shifting gears. Rollers have not looked this good since the 1950’s!

    Crown’s next products should be friction shifters and toe straps.

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