I surfed the web for videos of the rollers to see just how hard they were going to be to ride, and found the design to be pretty cool. Basically the principle of the rollers is that they are suspended within a free-moving frame and housed in a stable base.
Elite have licenced the American-invented technology and currently hold the rights to sell it worldwide, minus the states. Elite have also re-designed the rollers, making them a lot more aesthetically pleasing, taking the original raw cumbersome steel frame and crafting a base unit with smooth lines and making something that wouldn't look out of place in a modern furnished house.
So, I mounted the rollers, and within 3 minutes or so i was riding confidently and about 10 minutes later I was out of the saddle. That's right! out of the saddle..... This is what Elite had in mind with these rollers, they provide a unit that really does simulate the feeling of riding outside. Its probably as true a riding sensation as one will ever be able to have without actually heading outdoors.
The rollers move freely and provide float inside the frame, and this is what allows you to climb out of the saddle and put the hammer down, all without flying off the side as would potentially be the case with traditional rollers. It also corrects any small nuances the rider makes when it comes to the thorny issue of balance, making these rollers ideal for both beginner and experienced rider.
My whole core felt engaged during the sessions, and it felt like I was getting a great in depth workout, from legs to arms and all in between. I was finding these rollers addictive! I tried, unsuccessfully, in the past to ride a turbo but found it so incredibly dull, that I soon sold the turbo unit (ironically made by Elite also) on eBay.
The UK RRP is around £650, which yes, it rather expensive, but these are a training aid for someone who is serious about their hobby of cycling, whether its at the humble level of enthusiast or at a level of competitive racer. After riding the rollers, I can fully appreciate the costing and I think they are 100% worth the money. I myself will probably be purchasing a pair for winter 2010, such was the persuasive nature of the ride.
Cervelo test team were also pictured using the new rollers as their official training aid. Apparently, they too were impressed! (I had almost mastered no-hands within one day as demonstrated by our good friend below, almost, but not quite!)