The RooDol Compact Rollers make excellent sense for transporting to an event for a pre-race warm-up, or for those of you whose space is limited at home for indoor training. With easy setup, use and quick disassembly, the RooDols are the perfect companion for the rider who needs to train anywhere.
- Pros: Portable, foldable, true spinning, custom bag
- Cons: A little flexy for hard efforts
In the custom kit bag you'll find the folded plastic framework, three rollers and a traction belt, with each piece sat in its own specific pouch. The bag itself measures in at 920mm long, 230mm wide and 150mm deep, and with an overall weight of just 5.15kg it is very easy to handle.
You even get two adjustable straps too, so you can carry it as a rucksack, perfect when you're pushing your bike in one hand and carrying kit in the other.
Assembly literally takes a couple of minutes, if that. You can see the process in the pics but it's basically: unfold the frame into a U-shape, open it out to complete the rectangular framework, and then drop the rollers onto the pins – remembering to loop the rubber band around the front and middle rollers.
You need to apply some weight to the frame to stop it twisting and flexing to get the final roller in because of the tension on the rubber band but once located it's all good.
There are five positions for the front roller to help get the centre of the wheel in line with the centre of the roller.
The rollers don't lock into place or anything, they just sit on the pins, but each one is angled in a direction that the bike's tyres and weight will keep them firmly in position.
Disassembly is simply the reverse.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
In use the RooDol is smooth to use and the rollers spin much truer than those on the Riva Sport Adjustable Rollers I've also been testing (review to come), so you don't suffer from any vibration through the bike. You don't get the rounded roller edges of the Riva, though, to stop you sliding off the edge, so it takes a little more concentration.
From the rubber band you get a decent level of resistance for a workout or warm-up while using the bike's gears, and if you do stop pedalling the bike slows quickly.
Because of the nature of the frame, there is some flex which is probably why RooDol has a recommended weight limit of 125kg, inclusive of rider and bike, plus a max speed of 50kph (31mph). If you're going for it you can feel some movement, but it's not massively offputting.
The RooDol has no feet adjustment either, so you will need to make sure you find a flat and smooth area to set up shop, not always the easiest thing to do if you find yourself warming up in a gravel car park or in a field pre-time trial or road race.
The USP of the RooDol is its foldability and easy transportation, so there is little on the market to compare it to. For £195 it's more expensive than the Riva Sport by 95% but the RooDol does have a very smooth ride. It's half the weight, too, but by sacrificing weight it has obviously come at the cost of stiffness.
You can get the Tacx Antares for £159.99, and again that looks to be much more stable for really hard efforts, but, as I say, the RooDol is aimed at a slightly different market.
A brilliant travel-friendly solution for pre-race warm-ups and training basically anywhere
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Roodol Compact Rollers
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for
Rodool says (here), "RooDol® training system has revolutionized the way of understanding the indoor cycling and it is an ideal system for keeping up an optimal physical state for being able to maximize our physical capacity.
"It is the best complement for the training of circular pedaling as well as allow to perform specific training such as series of sprint, high cadence or strength pedaling which are very complicated to perform on public roads with a lot of traffic or roads are not adapted to your training.
"RooDol® with Patented System has revolutionized the concept of these types of systems. Everything came from the need of a cyclist to warm up before races 'wherever you are' and it allowed to make a training when it was necessary. Its light weight and its ability to fast assembly and disassembly is currently helping to professional cyclists and triathlon champions in their warm-ups and indoor workouts."
The Roodol rollers are ideal for warming up anywhere thanks to their easy setup and portability.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
RooDol COMPACT pack is a training system of three cylinder for the practice of cycling. COMPACT rollers are designed to increase resistance and this provide a real sensation as well as training in the road.
RooDol COMPACT pack comprises of:
1 RooDol® structure
3 RooDol® COMPACT rollers
1 RooDol® COMPACT traction belt
1 RooDol® COMPACT bag
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A smooth ride feel to the rollers and very easy to assemble and disassemble.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some frame flex.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're very quick to set up and put away, and the rollers offer a decent ride feel. For a race warm-up they're ideal. A good weight, well made and decent value – very good overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.