If you’re serious about cycling, it’s time you bought a bike roller. This piece of training equipment lets you ride indoors, without destroying the house. That means you can work on your balance, stamina, and technique every day, no matter what the weather is doing. We’ve been searching for the best bike rollers and have narrowed it down to the following 8.
The Best Bike Roller
The CycleOps Rollers is one of the most popular bike rollers on the market. It’s not the cheapest roller around, which puts it into competition with the gold-standard bike rollers like the Kreitler and Elite Arion rollers (more on those later). So, why is this one such a big hit? We think it’s down to two reasons.
The first is the quality – it has 3.25” aluminum roller drums that run completely silently and so smoothly it feels like you’re cycling on a cloud. These are mounted onto a sturdy and durable steel frame that can take a beating, so it’s no problem throwing into the back of the car or accidentally standing on it. You can fold the whole thing flat or stand it on its end, for convenient storage. It doesn’t look anything special, but you can tell it’s made to last and the company has backed up the quality with a lifetime warranty.
3.25” aluminum drums
Patent-pending 5-level resistance
Fold or stand on end for easy storage
- Weight20.6 Pounds
Well-Built – it will last a long time.
Adjustable resistance makes training more realistic.
Lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind.
Some reports of products arriving with missing parts.
This next set of cycling rollers have a few added features designed to make them easier to use and more life-like. A lot of cyclists are put off by rollers because they’re more difficult to use than a trainer. You need to be concentrating 100% to avoid falling off and injuring yourself. However, the Tacx Roller Galaxia has thought about this and attempted to fix the problem by developing roller drums that are tapered inward. That means the bike wheel is drawn towards the center of the drum, instead of veering off to the sides. This small innovation makes the bike roller a whole lot easier to use.
The other innovation is the patented swing system that allows the whole frame to move backward and forwards. This recreates the motion of pushing the bike forward when you pedal harder. This system absorbs that energy and stops your wheels from derailing. This bike roller is almost certainly the best gift for cyclists who are just starting. Even professional cyclists can find bike rollers difficult, so these added features are a huge plus.
Conical rollers – tapered inward
Patented swing system
In-built resistance band
- Weight20.8 Pounds
Innovative features make it easier to ride on.
Swing system provides a more realistic feel.
Loud noise from rollers.
Some reports of products arriving with missing parts.
Kreitler is seen as the gold-standard in bike rollers. Check out any review on cycling magazines and blogs and you’ll see that they’re heaped in praise as the best rollers available. Of course, that sort of quality comes at a premium price. Kreitler Alloy Rollers are the most expensive rollers we’ve featured and are used around the world by both amateur and professional cyclists.
So, what sets them apart from other rollers? The main thing is the quality of the construction. The rollers are made in the USA and are backed up by a limited lifetime warranty. The drum rollers and end caps are made from aluminum, which is pretty standard. However, they are machined to a much higher standard. The movement of the rollers is super smooth and virtually silent. These are mounted onto a superb-quality steel frame that is finished in black epoxy coating. If you didn’t know anything about this brand, it would be easy to mistake this product for something a lot cheaper. It doesn’t have a modern aesthetic and doesn’t have any additional features. But if you’re serious about cycling, this is the bike roller you need.
Aluminum drum rollers and end caps
Sturdy steel frame
Made in the USA
Limited lifetime warranty
Includes resistance belt
3 drum sizes available
Extremely high-quality materials and construction.
Lifetime warranty offers peace of mind.
Used by pro cyclists.
More expensive than other models.
This bike roller from CyclingDeal is the cheapest roller on this list. We think it’s the best value option around – a lot of them aren’t even worth looking at. When you’re riding a road bike on top of aluminum drum rollers, you need to know that you can trust the product. Of course, this product does have its limitations when you compare it to a more expensive bike roller. CyclingDeal Premium Indoor Stationary Bicycle Bike Roller doesn’t have the same smoothness and silent motion of a Kreitler roller and it doesn’t have any added features like the Tacx Roller Galaxia. However, if you’re looking for an introduction to the world of bike rollers, this is a solid product.
It has 3.25-inch aluminum rollers, which comes on a painted steel frame. The rollers are a little too narrow, which can make them difficult for beginner riders. Everything comes semi-assembled in a carry case. This is great if you want to move the bike roller around and not keep it in one place. We think this product is worth a try – it comes with a 5-year warranty, so if you’re not satisfied, you can get your money back. Be sure to also check out our guide to the best bike pumps for more amazing bike gear.
3.25-inch aluminum rollers
Painted steel frame
Comes in a carry case
- Weight15.60 Pounds
Amazing value for a bike roller.
Carry case is great for portability.
5-year warranty offers peace of mind.
Rollers are a bit thin.
Not as quiet or smooth as more expensive bike rollers.
Most bike rollers are old technology. They work perfectly for their intended purpose, but there’s nothing 21st Century about a couple of aluminum drum rollers and a steel frame. So, for those tech fans out there, we thought we’d include the Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Trainer. This product combines the old tech of bike rollers with smart technology. It’s essentially the same as a bike roller, except that it has sensors that send information to an app.
Using the app, you can record your training sessions, adjust the resistance, and even change the gradient of the slope. This is all fantastic, but it’s the compatibility with Zwift that makes this bike roller so popular. Zwift is an online cycling app that allows players to compete with other cyclists. You can race around the world without ever leaving your house. All of this connectivity is going to cost you, but if you’re serious about your indoor cycling performance, it’s well worth the money. If you prefer going outside and exploring rough terrains, check out our reviews of the best mountain bikes and pick your favorite.
Slope simulations up to 6%
12-month free subscriptions to Elite My Entraining
Compatible with Zwift
- Weight27.7 Pounds
Useful to see your performance information.
Zwift compatibility is a lot of fun.
Very versatile and adjustable.
The frame feels a bit flimsy.
In the product description, it says that Kinetic wanted to make a bike roller that’s a little different to other rollers. The main thing they’ve done is create a tri-fold design that folds down to a third of its full length. That makes this one of the most portable and easily storable bike rollers on the market. You won’t believe how small this product gets until you pull it out of the box. It comes fully assembled – all you have to do is unfold it and start cycling.
This roller is the perfect middle ground between a budget roller and a Kreitler roller. It doesn’t have much in the way of added features, but it’s well made. It has precision-made aluminum rollers that are attached with durable steel bearings. Everything is surprisingly lightweight and feels very solid. Plus, the whole thing is backed up by an unconditional lifetime warranty. If you’re looking for a mid-range bike roller, this is easily one of the best. Be sure to also check out our guide to the best bike cleaning sprays for some amazing bike accessories.
Precision-machined aluminum roller
Durable steel bearings
Tri-fold design frame
Folds into a third of the size
Unconditional lifetime warranty
- Weight23 Pounds
Well-built with high-quality materials.
Folds down really small.
Lifetime warranty offers peace of mind.
No added features.
This set of Elite Arion Folding Rollers are the same as the Digital Smart B+ bike rollers, but without all of the smart technology. That means if you’re not interested in tracking your performance or competing with other cyclists on Zwift, you can get some of the amazing added features for about half the price.
The most important feature that this bike roller still has is the integrated resistance. Unlike some of the simpler rollers, you can adjust the resistance to three different levels. This is excellent if you want to recreate tough hill climbs or start your exercise out with an easy warm-up. It’s also got the same parabolic shaped rollers that make it easier to control your bike.
Parabolic shaped drums
3 magnetic resistance levels
Integrated carrying handle
- Weight3.52 Ounces
Easy to fold up and carry around.
Parabolic shaped drums make it easier to control the bike.
Resistance levels are great for training
Plastic case feels a bit flimsy.
We’ve featured 7 bike rollers on this list so far. However, we thought for our last product, we’d include a bike trainer. With a trainer, you clip your front axle to the trainer and your back wheel sits on two drums. This means you don’t have to control the bike in the same way as you would on a roller. You can still get the exercise benefits but without the control element.
We think the FeedBack Sports Omnium Portable Cycle Trainer is one of the best on the market. It has a system called Internal Progressive Resistance (IPR) that is designed to recreate the feeling of a road. Instead of choosing the resistance, the trainer increases the resistance based on your speed. This means you can control the resistance with your gears more effectively.
Internal Progressive Resistance (IPR)
Works with standard QR 12×100, 15×100 & 15×110 (boost) thru-axles
Adjustable wheelbase and fork mount heights
Travel bag included
No tools required for assembly
- BrandFeedback Sports
- Weight14 Pounds
Doesn’t require you to control the bike.
Easily foldable and comes with a travel bag.
IPR system gives a road-like feel.
A little noisier than most rollers.
Bike Roller Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Bike Rollers
Brand - You don’t want to buy a bike roller from a brand that you can’t trust. It’s a technical product that costs a lot of money to buy, so you need to know it’s been made by experts. That’s why we've only selected bike rollers from trusted cycling brands.
Price - There aren’t many budget bike rollers. However, we’ve tried to include products from across the price range. Look out for our Best Value and Premium Product items for the two ends of the spectrum.
Reviews - One of the best things about shopping online is the fact that we can read reviews from other customers. This gives us the ability to be more informed about products before we make a purchasing decision. We can't send out products to hundreds of people and ask for their opinions, so we use reviews on online marketplaces like Amazon instead.
Features To Look For In Bike Rollers
Quality - The quality of the bike roller will affect how well it works and for how long it will work. For example, the Kreitler Alloy Roller Set might cost more than other models, but it won’t wear, corrode, rust, or fall apart.
Size - Most bike rollers will fit road bikes with a wheel size of 26-29 inches. The front drum of the bike roller is adjustable so you can fit it to your frame size. The front drum should be just in front of the front axle of your bike.
Wheel Base - Some bike rollers, like the FeedBack Sports Omnium Portable Cycle Trainer, have a wheelbase for the front wheel. Instead of putting your wheel on a front drum, you remove the wheel and attach it to the wheelbase. This makes it slightly more stable.
Material - Generally, all bike rollers use the same, or similar, materials. The frames are made from steel or aluminum, the belt is made from rubber, and the drums are made from PVC or aluminum.
Bike Roller FAQ
Q: What is a bike roller?
A: A bike roller is a piece of training equipment that allows you to cycle indoors, without moving forward. It consists of three drums that act as a rolling road, a frame, and a belt for resistance.
Q: Are cycling rollers any good?
A: Yes, they are used by professional cyclists to improve performance. Not only do they provide a fantastic cardiovascular workout, but they also improve balance because the rider has to ensure that the bike stays upright.
Q: Do bike rollers have resistance?
A: You can get bike rollers with resistance and without resistance. The models with resistance are better for cardiovascular workouts and are often more expensive.
Q: How do you use a bicycle roller?
A: You place your bike on the roller with the back wheel in between the back two drums and the front wheel on the front drum. It’s best to place the roller next to two solid objects or in a doorway so that you can lean on something either side. Then, you clip one foot into a pedal, step over the bike, clip the other foot in, and start pedaling.