IceBike: Elite rock and roll with E-Motion

New floating rollers 'nearly impossible' to fall off

by Dave Atkinson   February 26, 2010  

Elite E-Motion roller - in action

Things that are good about rollers: they're simple to set up, quiet and easy to stash under the bed when they're not being used. For most people the main downside is that fact that you need to keep your wits about you - one slip and you're off and careering into the sideboard/sofa/wall/plate glass door. We've heard apocryphal tales of over excited roller users watching the Tour on rollers, coming off in the cut and thrust of the final sprint and riding straight through their telly.

Well, Elite feels your pain. They were showing off their new set of rollers at IceBike, the E-Motion. You might recognise the profile of the roller drums themselves from Eilte's Ghibli unit; they're a similar parabolic shape which gives you a bit of a nudge if you're close to the edge. With the E-Motion, though, Elite have taken the concept a stage further.

By the front drum there's a smaller roller, a bit like a skate wheel, mounted horizontally on both sides of the frame. Should you reach the limit the roller contacts with the tyre or rim and stops the wheel leaving the roller. It's such a simple idea that we were amazed no-one had thought of it before, but Elite were adamant that they hadn't.

The biggest change, however, is that the entire roller bed is floating within a separate frame that's in contact with the floor. The rollers are centred with springs and can move forwards and backwards a few inches. This effectively means your bike can move underneath you much more naturally, especially when you're out of the saddle and going for it.

The upshot, Elite say, is that it's 'nearly impossible' to fall off the E-Motion rollers and though we gave it a good go on our short test run we'd have to say that they're right. The motion of the bike is much more natural than fixed rollers and even when you're really going for it the platform feels very steady. It's more often than not your front wheel you lose on the rollers and that really isn't possible here, unless you hop over the little wheel. slam it into the side and it just bounces back, it's very reassuring.

There's three levels on the resistance on the E-Motion, they're accessible by a switch on the side of the unit so you have to pretty much pick one and stick to it, but there's plenty of magnetic resistance in there if you want to do a few hill reps. Without some kind of costly wireless switch it's hard to see how they'd bo a bar mounted control, you don't really want a trailing wire anywhere near a set of rollers. One for the next incarnation, maybe?

Sounds all good? It pretty much is, except for the bit where you get your bank statement the next month and there's a £649.99 hole in it. That's some wedge for a set of rollers but if it has to be the best – and you're going to put the hours in to justify the spend – then they look like they'll be the new benchmark.

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Quote:
Should you reach the limit the roller contacts with the tyre or rim and stops the wheel leaving the roller. It's such a simple idea that we were amazed no-one had thought of it before, but Elite were adamant that they hadn't.

I must have just imagined the other 'e-motion' rollers, from http://www.insideride.com/? Which er... have those? And even have a patent on them from 4 years ago? http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=cTjJAAAAEBAJ&dq=7604575 (of course having a patent doesn't mean much since they don't seem to check for prior art these days)

The Inside Ride version always seemed to be difficult to get hold of in the UK though - there was a bloke on one of the forums who used to sort out the imports but he claimed to have a long waiting list and it was IIRC something more like £1000 to get your mitts on them.

posted by bazzargh [144 posts]
26th February 2010 - 12:48

like this
Like (2)

hm. interesting. we thought we'd seen them before too but couldn't remember where, thanks for that Smile

elite have presumably either bought out the patent or licensed the design then. especially if they're calling it the same thing. we'll check up on that...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7315 posts]
26th February 2010 - 13:03

like this
Like (2)

elite have lisenced the patent for all sales outside the US, and they have redesigned the rollers making them sturdier and far more easy on the eye. I was demo-ing these yesterday at icebike and have to say, they are fab.

posted by gematkinson [4 posts]
26th February 2010 - 14:11

like this
Like (2)

Yeah, Tony had all that information as it turned out. I was too busy having fun on them and I wasn't listening to the spiel Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7315 posts]
26th February 2010 - 14:17

like this
Like (2)

Thanks for the info. And don't get me wrong, these do look very nice. Could be tempted...

posted by bazzargh [144 posts]
26th February 2010 - 14:33

like this
Like (1)

Review of the original InsideRide eMotion rollers here:

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/reviews/insideride/

posted by don_don [149 posts]
28th February 2010 - 1:03

like this
Like (3)

I don't see the point of rollers designed to be easy to ride and not fall off. Isn't that the point of rollers, to hone technique?

The falling off the side bit is all part of the education, plus you really don't go anywhere if you do, as you have no momentum, so the worse that happens is your tyre burns the carpet...

I would buy a set of normal rollers and a turbo for that money; the resistance on rollers is still only ever minimal as you would just get tyre slip if it was very high due to the tyre not being forced onto the rollers, as in a turbo. It's not that I'm averse to spending cash on trainers, as I have a Fortius and Cyclops Alu rollers with resistance unit. It seems the main advantage is to be able to ride hard out of the saddle, but with practice you can do that pretty well on standard rollers.

It seems like learning to drive in an auto; you know the basics, but will still be in trouble when trying to get into a manual...

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [649 posts]
28th February 2010 - 9:19

like this
Like (5)