Estimating Distance On Rollers
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  1. #1
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Estimating Distance On Rollers

    Is there a formula for this? I don't use a computer, but I have read that one hour at a good cadence on the rollers equals about 1:15 on the actual road. I usually do about 20-22 miles in an hour and fifteen on a flattish route with little headwind.
    That said, I have ridden 46 days on the rollers for 50 to 90 minutes per session, so I am estimating that I have ridden an equivalent of over 1000 miles since Christmas.
    Am I off my rocker, or does that seem possible?
    (Yes, I am off my rocker)

  2. #2
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    46 roller sessions...? gah, you have my sympathy...

    I have 3 (including one yesterday since it was 41F and raining) and hopefully that will be all for 2019.

    can't imagine doing a 90-min session...30-40 is my absolute max. I get bored, sweaty, and my taint aches...
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    I watched Deadpool 2 today, 2h 14 minutes. Probably 25 minutes of that in 52/11. I have some pretty serious riding objectives for 2019...

  4. #4
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Is there a formula for this? I don't use a computer, but I have read that one hour at a good cadence on the rollers equals about 1:15 on the actual road. I usually do about 20-22 miles in an hour and fifteen on a flattish route with little headwind.
    That said, I have ridden 46 days on the rollers for 50 to 90 minutes per session, so I am estimating that I have ridden an equivalent of over 1000 miles since Christmas.
    Am I off my rocker, or does that seem possible?
    (Yes, I am off my rocker)
    I'd invert that relationship. Of course it depends on how hard an effort you're doing.

    Either way, use a wheel sensor to track.
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  5. #5
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    this may point u in the right direction.

    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

    years ago, we used an online calculator (can't remember where) to get starting gears for time trials but a wheel circ, gearing and cadence should be all you need to plug in...

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    Maybe one of the free tracking apps that allows data from a speed sensor ?

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    Doing math on how far your bike would have rolled based on the number of wheel revolutions isn't really the same as the answer to "I rode on the trainer for an hour, how does that equate to an outside ride".

    There are a lot of variables such as wind, drag, elevation, etc., that factor in there.

  8. #8
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    I'm aware the calculation is pretty vague, I am just looking for a ballpark.

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    Are you using resistance on the rollers? I don't track miles on my rollers, just look at time, cadence and do my work, but yes, I can hold a higher average mph on the rollers than on the road. The resistance is so much less than that on the road and wind that I know of no real number. I think you answered your own question: If on the road you average 16 mph, and you put out an equal effort on the rollers you did 16 road miles even though your technical roller miles are higher. The workout counts, the miles don't. I am old school and use the rollers for high rev pedal work, single leg workouts, balance and pedal stroke work and to sweat. But you don't build the strength without more resistance and it is not a mile thing. I look at it how track riders don't measure their workouts just in how many miles they road on the track, but the workload, intensity and other metrics. Hope this doesn't help.

  10. #10
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    I do use wind resistance, I feel like I ride harder on the rollers in what could be seen as 'flat' terrain (as opposed to climbing 10% grades in the granny gear).

  11. #11
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    With out knowing how many times your wheels turned I donít think there is anyway to figure out your mileage. Get a cheap cateye or similar.

  12. #12
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    Trick question. No matter how long you are on the trainer, the distance is still zero. You went nowhere mate.

    Your body only recognizes effort and time so just stick with that.

  13. #13
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmach View Post
    With out knowing how many times your wheels turned I donít think there is anyway to figure out your mileage. Get a cheap cateye or similar.
    I can't stand watching the computer, I prefer zoning out to the movies/shows. Sane reason I don't use one outside. I guess I could cover the display, though!

  14. #14
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    The only rollers I know are on the perimeter road shown on the map.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Estimating Distance On Rollers-rollers.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    I can't stand watching the computer, I prefer zoning out to the movies/shows. Sane reason I don't use one outside. I guess I could cover the display, though!
    Actually, you'd find that the computer continues to record your data even when you're not looking at it. In fact, you can limit it to making sure it is working in the beginning and hitting stop when you quit.

  16. #16
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    I guess if you're really curious enough about the data but don't want to be looking at it while riding you could mount the computer on your seatpost or somewhere else where you can only check it after the ride but not during (or cover it like you said).

    I'm pretty low tech on the rollers. I don't have a power meter or even a HRM, I just ride for time and how I perceive my effort to be. My riding philosophy has changed over the years though and not everybody's is the same anyway.
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  17. #17
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    resistance depends a lot on tyre pressure so the effort for a given number of wheel revolution also depends a lot on tyre pressure.
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  18. #18
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    You could calculate your gear ratio, count your pedal strokes, and multiply. Or just spend $6 and get a computer and save yourself the headache of attempting the math.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Is there a formula for this? I don't use a computer, but I have read that one hour at a good cadence on the rollers equals about 1:15 on the actual road. I usually do about 20-22 miles in an hour and fifteen on a flattish route with little headwind.
    That said, I have ridden 46 days on the rollers for 50 to 90 minutes per session, so I am estimating that I have ridden an equivalent of over 1000 miles since Christmas.
    Am I off my rocker, or does that seem possible?
    (Yes, I am off my rocker)
    The correct answer is trainer "miles" don't count

    I will say it takes a lot of willpower to put in that many trainer miles

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bee-an-key View Post
    I think you answered your own question: If on the road you average 16 mph, and you put out an equal effort on the rollers you did 16 road miles even though your technical roller miles are higher. The workout counts, the miles don't.
    This pretty much says it all. There is no way to "convert" roller miles to road miles except through knowing equivalent effort. The resistance of any given set or rollers at any given tire pressure can vary hugely. Our rollers have pretty close to "road resistance" but that doesn't mean that yours do.

    Time and effort are what count. Short of having an HR monitor or power meter, go with perceived effort. And when riding the rollers keep the room as cool as possible and have fans blowing otherwise your perceived effort will come from the inability to dissipate the heat rather from actual power output.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    This pretty much says it all. There is no way to "convert" roller miles to road miles except through knowing equivalent effort. The resistance of any given set or rollers at any given tire pressure can vary hugely. Our rollers have pretty close to "road resistance" but that doesn't mean that yours do.

    Time and effort are what count. Short of having an HR monitor or power meter, go with perceived effort. And when riding the rollers keep the room as cool as possible and have fans blowing otherwise your perceived effort will come from the inability to dissipate the heat rather from actual power output.
    Yeah, I keep the room between 55 and 60. Works for me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Yeah, I keep the room between 55 and 60. Works for me.
    it's the airflow that matters more. once can be sweating buckets in freezing temperature in no time if there's no relative airflow.
    Blows your hair back.

  23. #23
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    Power meter would at least give you kJ so you can right-size your post roller session feasting.

  24. #24
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    Wattmeter reveals all. Check your strava watts average for say a 1 hour ride, and try to avg the same watts on the rollers. The answer is the distance of your 1 hour real road ride. approximately, depending on how hilly a ride you're trying to simulate.
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by den bakker View Post
    it's the airflow that matters more. once can be sweating buckets in freezing temperature in no time if there's no relative airflow.
    This is really important^^

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