Best Indoor Bike Rollers

Bike rollers allow people to ride their bikes indoors without having to purchase an indoor bike. However, if you choose to purchase one, you will want to get a quality one. So, what are the best indoor bike rollers?

The best overall bike roller is the Kreitler Challenger Rollers 4.5. It is well made and can easily be moved. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. The most popular bike roller is the ROCKBROS Bike Rollers, and it is much cheaper than the Kreitler Challenger Rollers 4.5.

The following bike rollers are the best on the market.

Best Overall For Quality & Price – Kreitler Challenger Rollers 4.5

Price: $479.95

Pros:

  • Extremely High Build Quality
  • Easily Transportable
  • Lasts Forever
  • Lifetime Warranty included
  • Upgradeable

Cons:

  • Is relatively expensive
  • Doesn’t include a fan or flywheel
  • Some harmonics or noise when biking very fast

Quality

Kreitler Rollers are considered the best of the best when it comes to quality in many circles. A good Kreitler Roller will last virtually forever, so much so that many people recommend buying one-second hand for a much cheaper price.

Even used, they will most likely last you as long as you’ll need them to. While the Kreitler alloy rollers are more expensive than these, they are most likely unnecessarily high-end for anyone less than a professional biker. This brand is considered the best of the best for a reason! I’ve never had a problem with my slightly older Kreitler rollers, and I’ve had them for years!

User Experience

According to one review, these rollers can feel somewhat daunting at first, but give a good sensation of speed. They also are much quieter than a lot of cheaper rollers, and as such can be much better for apartment buildings. I can tell you myself that while they are a little bit challenging balance-wise at first, they make for a very smooth ride once you get the hang of them.

These are great if you like the feel of actually having to balance as if you are biking outside, although that makes them relatively difficult to use for people who have never used rollers before. The consistency really does help though, and there is no shame in using these in a doorframe so that you can catch yourself if you fall. That’s what I did when I started out!

Ease of Use

These rollers are a little heavy due to the all-metal frame, but they are relatively easy to set up, and breaking them down to make them portable is pretty easy. They fold up quite nicely as well, making it easy to fit them in the car or store them when you’re not using them. This is a really nice feature if you’re someone with not a lot of extra floor space and you want them out of the way when you’re done with your workout.

Notable Features

  • Non-parabolic rollers
  • No fan or flywheel included, but the manufacturer sells them separately
  • No end stops, which can cause some angst for people new to using bike rollers

Specs

  • Fits wheelbases 31.5″ to 48″
  • Steel Frames
  • Black Expoxy Powder Coated Frames
  • Folds for easy storage
  • The wheelbase is easily adjusted and doesn’t require tools to do so
  • Comes with a Lifetime Warranty (All Kreitler rollers come with one)

Review Highlights

These rollers generally have very high reviews online. The biggest pros that seem to be mentioned by other bikers are the build quality and smooth feel of the ride, and relatively quiet operation.

One complaint I have seen is that they do not offer very much resistance without adding on a fan or flywheel unit, so keep that in mind if you intend to purchase one new from the manufacturer. If you get this bike roller second-hand it may come with add-ons like a fan. Overall the general consensus seems to be that these are really good rollers, with portability being a big plus for many.

Most Popular – ROCKBROS Bike Rollers

Price: $149.99

Pros:

  • Excellent price, especially when compared to more popular brands
  • Aluminum rollers last for a long time
  • Good adjustability (can fit a good range of wheelbases)

Cons:

  • Build quality may vary slightly depending on how well your specific rollers were assembled
  • Not the quietest rollers

Quality

The quality of these rollers is pretty good, but not great, as it has aluminum rollers. Aluminum rollers tend to outlast plastic rollers in my experience, which makes aluminum rollers score a lot higher in my book. Bike rollers are too pricey to keep buying another every couple of years!

The biggest issues with this bike roller are the frames and where the rollers are attached to them, as this specific part of the build quality seems to negatively impact the smoothness of the ride to some extent.

User Experience

These tend to be a relatively wobbly ride, though not enough to make them unusable. If you are a beginner, you may not want to opt for these. They ride ok if you adjust them appropriately for how you like them, but beware: when it comes to bike rollers, you tend to get what you pay for. That being said, while these may not be luxury rollers, they still get the job done well enough for your average biker.

Ease of Use

Adjusting for different wheelbases can be quite tricky. This makes them somewhat more difficult to use than more top-end models. Setup and takedown are also somewhat complicated.

Assembly

Assembly with these is pretty simple, but many people find that their pair of these rollers come with the rollers overtightened. It is a pretty easy fix, however, if you have the right tool to fix it and a lubricant like WD-40. The instructions are not the easiest thing in the world to follow, but there are videos to help you if the instructions don’t make sense.

Specs

  • Fits wheelbases between 970 mm-1090mm.
  • Parabolic rollers
  • Sealed bearing
  • Lightweight (only 6.5kg per pair)

Review Highlights

Reviews are mostly positive for these, but there is some controversy over the quality of the build. Some people apparently seem to receive better units than others. However, there is consensus on the price being good, and that these rollers are pretty quiet for what you are paying for.

Best Luxury Pick – Wahoo Fitness Kickr Rollr Smart Bike Trainer

Price: $800

Pros:

  • Built with the intention of preventing you from flying off of it
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Great adjustable resistance (controlled with an app no less)
  • Great safety features
  • Allows for power-based training
  • Ultra-smooth ride feel

Cons:

  • The price is much too steep for most people
  • Switching resistance sometimes feels a little clunkier than one would expect

Quality

The build quality of this bike is very good. There is no expense spared on this bizarre roller/trainer combo, and it shows. Visually, it’s quite stunning and reminds me almost of the roller version of a Peleton bike.

User Experience

This roller/trainer hybrid system is a great example of some of the more up-and-coming innovations in bike training. The number of features this thing comes with is enormous. The greatest benefit this system provides over traditional rollers is safety, really. It is hard for me, even with all my year’s experience, to use a bike roller and do almost anything else (including even just watching TV!).

While this can sometimes be one of the benefits of rollers, as they are intended to help you with your form, sometimes I just want to ride my bike indoors without worrying about flying off and landing on my coffee table. The Kickr trainer/roller combo is the answer. Since the back wheel sits on rollers, you still get some of that gyroscopic motion to feel like you are riding outside, but without the fear of falling off.

For this reason, if you are someone who wants to heavily invest in being able to ride your bike inside (perhaps you live somewhere particularly wintry), this may well be something you want to look into. Ironically enough, this roller is probably the easiest for beginners to pick up, but most beginners (understandably) don’t want to sink so much money into a device that can be replaced by something much cheaper.

Ease of Use

Assembly is a little complicated given the features, and there is some setup to be done in terms of connecting your app to the product, but overall setup is not so bad. Because this is a fixed-wheel trainer/roller combo, you’ll find that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of setting up hub-and-axle adapter kits with the back wheel (which is on the roller part).

Notable Features

  • Safety tire gripper
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Connected app
  • Variable resistance
  • Great flywheel
  • Can be used without a power source in a mode that feels like using conventional rollers

Specs

  • Weighs 50 pounds, with a 10.5 lb flywheel
  • 9 inches difference between the shortest and longest wheelbase configurations
  • Tire width can be up to 2.1 inches
  • Electromagnetic resistance
  • Max user weight of 250 lbs
  • Adjusts to the max grade of 10%
  • The maximum power output of 1500W

Review Highlights

There are not too many reviews of this out there, but there are a few, including some other professional reviews. This bike scores pretty high with most people, and most people report being able to set it up in only ten minutes, which is excellent given what would seem to be like a complex product on paper.

The biggest downside for many is the requirement for a separate device to measure your power output if you want to use a third-party app. Overall, this roller is a great choice for someone who wants luxurious biking in their own home, with the benefit of that good old authentic biking feel.

Best Budget Pick – Garmin TacX Antares Indoor Retractable Bicycle Rollers

Price: $198

Pros:

  • Parabolic rollers keep you centered well
  • Excellent price
  • Maintenance Free
  • Very easy to set up and use
  • Very portable

Cons:

  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
  • Rollers are plastic

Quality

These are quality rollers, especially for the price. The whole system is sturdy, with no real complaints for me. This may be the exception to the “you get what you pay for” philosophy, because not only are these rollers a great choice for beginners, but they are often heavily discounted on various websites like Amazon.

One of the biggest things that may be a negative for this product is the lack of upgradeability: these are not really designed to be the end-all-be-all rollers on the market. However, the quality is still excellent for the price, and they aren’t particularly loud either, which is great!

User Experience

They ride pretty smoothly and consistently and give you a relatively stable ride, which is great if you’re someone like me who uses them to supplement my other training without overtraining. The great thing about the parabolic rollers, which are really nice despite being plastic, is that they allow you to stand while riding, which makes it easy for you to change your biking workouts at home.

These are a great step up from bike trainers if you want to get more of an on-the-road feel for your biking workouts, and if you are a beginner looking to improve your form. As a side note, these look really spiffy if you like blue.

Ease of Use

The setup for these rollers could not be easier. Adjusting your wheelbase is very easy. These are also pretty small, so they aren’t space hogs, and they’re very portable. In fact, they even retract to 31.5 inches for portability. No folding is necessary!

Notable Features

  • Parabolic rollers

Specs

  • Fits bikes with tires that range from 26 inches to 28 inches in diameter.
  • The roller diameter is 3.93 inches to 4.33 inches.

Review Highlights

The reviews for these rollers are the most consistently positive of any rollers on this list. Some of the biggest things people like are the build quality, low price, portability, and the smooth ride that the rollers give.

Overall, people note that there are a few extra features (such as a flywheel), but this makes sense given the price. As a whole, these rollers are a great starting spot for any beginner looking to start using bicycle rollers.

Adam Johnson

As a middle-aged, 40 something cyclist, my riding goals have changed over the years. A lover of all things retro, and an avid flat bar cyclist, I continue to live in the glory days of past triathlon glories.

Recent Posts