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Bespoke Rocker Plate R1 Black Edition



High-quality rocker plate that makes turbo training more comfortable and natural
Well-controlled rocking motion
Adjustable springs
High quality construction
Decent value
Finish is a bit rough in places

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Bespoke Rocker Plate R1 Black Edition is a high quality indoor training rocker for a good price. If you want to feel a bit more natural on the turbo and take a little bit of the stress off your bike, it's an excellent investment.

COVID-19 and the lockdown has affected businesses in many ways. While it's not a bad time to be running a cycling website (what else is there to do other than muck about on the internet?), it's not such a great time to be in the exhibition stand building business, on account of there not being any exhibitions now and in the foreseeable future. The Bespoke Rocker Plate range is born out of a Bristol-based events company with plenty of good quality raw materials and some CNC machines to hand, and not much to do with them. And to be honest, it's difficult to see how it could have made a better job of it.

> Buy this online here

The R1 Black Edition is CNC-machined from Buffalo Board, which is what they use to make commercial vehicle flooring. It's a heavy-duty plywood with a non-slip patterned vinyl coating, and it's solid stuff: this R1 rocker weighs 18kg, so you're going to need dedicated space for your trainer setup. It's not the kind of thing you'll be wanting to set up every time you want to ride indoors, although there is a smaller half-length board if you struggle for space.

2020 R1 rocker.jpg

There are two layers of board separated by heavy duty rubber washers held in place by good quality stainless hardware, and on either side of the rocker axis there's an adjustable air-sprung toric rubber cushion; that sounds better than 'wheelbarrow inner tube'. It's perfect for the job, anyway: the valve is angled so it's easily accessible from the top, and the heavy duty tube is hardwearing and simple to replace should it fail.

2020 R1 rocker - tube.jpg

The R1 is drilled to accept most popular trainers. Out of the box it fits any Tacx Neo, Tacx Flux, Wahoo Kickr, Wahoo Kickr Core, Cycleops Hammer/Saris H3, Wahoo Kickr Snap, Elite Drivo or Elite Direto. If you've got a trainer that's not on that list it might still fit fine: there's a whole range of holes to choose from and it's just a case of looping the supplied Velcro straps through the top plate and over the legs. If your turbo doesn't fit, it's possible to get a custom version.

2020 R1 rocker - cut outs.jpg

In use, you want a rocker plate to feel solid but also offer enough movement to make indoor riding feel more natural and comfortable, and that's exactly what the R1 does. Out of the saddle there's plenty of side-to-side movement but the progressive nature of the resistance from the springs means it never feels out of control, and you can add more air if it feels too floppy, or take some out if it's a bit rigid.

> Buyer’s Guide: 11 of the best smart trainers

The two straps are enough to keep the turbo (a Tacx Neo 2 in my case) firmly anchored, and it's useful to have a longer one to hand to loop through your front wheel and riser; they tend to move about in use and there are holes drilled to accept a strap.

2020 R1 rocker - strap.jpg

The movement makes the time on the turbo more comfortable: you don't end up sitting in a fixed position and even small movements in the bike's position help to shift the weight on the saddle about to stop you getting sore or numb. The fact that that the bike can move under you also reduces stress on the frame; that's a good thing generally, but especially if your bike manufacturer doesn't warranty your frame if it's on a static trainer

> Buyer’s Guide: 14 of the best indoor trainers and rollers

Overall, the R1 is really good. It's especially impressive considering that the company has had to quickly pivot to making rocker plates from its normal line of business, but even if it had been making these things for years I'd be saying it was a high-quality, durable bit of kit and not really have that many complaints.

The only real negative is the finish of the boards, which is a bit rough in places, leaving some edges you won't want to catch your ankles on. It could do with a bit more finesse in places, but in terms of function it's hard to fault.

2020 R1 rocker - underside.jpg

There's a lot of space in the market between the Saris MP1 at £999 and the plethora of kits and ebay specials that you can pick up for around £100. There's not a huge amount of competition in the mid-market for people who want a quality product and don't want to build it themselves, and for the standard of materials and build £295 feels like a decent price. The most obvious direct competitor is the Realplate + at £349, which uses a similar construction. I haven't used that rocker yet, but this one comes recommended: it's nicely made, sturdy and adjustable for the ride feel you want.


High-quality rocker plate that makes turbo training more comfortable and natural

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Make and model: Bespoke Rocker Plate R1 Black Edition

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From the Bespoke Rocker Plate website:

Rocker Plate R1 - Black Edition

Is professionally designed and CNC machined out of high quality Buffalo Board (Coated textured surface)

12 Month Warranty Included (not including wear & tear)

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Confirmed Compatibility List

Tacx Neo (All Versions)

Tacx Flux (All Versions)

Wahoo Kickr (All Versions)

Wahoo Kickr Core

Cycleops Hammer/Saris H3

Wahoo Kickr Snap

Elite Drivo (All Versions)

Elite Direto (All Versions)

Rate the product for quality of construction:

CNC machined, good quality hardware.

Rate the product for performance:

The right sort of range of movement, adjustable spring tension.

Rate the product for durability:

Very high quality materials throughout.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

Reassuringly solid.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

Adds comfort to any training setup.

Rate the product for value:

Decent value given the high spec build.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Well made, adjustable action.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Some of the plate finishing could be better.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

The obvious direct competitor is the Turborocks Realplate + at £349, which uses a similar construction. We haven't tested it so can't compare performance, but the R1 is £50 cheaper for a similar build.

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

Hard to fault in terms of its construction and performance; £295 is a decent price too. Finish is a little rough in spots.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 189cm  Weight: 94kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

Add new comment


pwake | 474 posts | 3 years ago

None of these rocker plates make any sense to me when they claim to offer a more natural experience. When you get out of the saddle on the road you lean the bike in the OPPOSITE direction to the pedal that's on the downstroke and these rocker plates do the exact opposite when you weight the downstroke pedal.

KnightBiker replied to pwake | 96 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

Yes, you are right, but: the idea is though that you have a less static bike under you, which should increase the comfort. I'm pondering if & how this could be solved though.

powerup replied to pwake | 1 post | 3 years ago

Your point is  not quite accurate. Rocker plates can tilt correctly out of the saddle, but most people don't because it's not that easy to learn. I personally couldn't get the hang of it and think I would have to alter my riding style to do it, which defeats the original goal of a more realistic indoor ride. I currently have a rocker that uses  subtle steering input to sync the tilting motion (Kickr E-flex). It's easier to rider than generic rockers.   

KnightBiker | 96 posts | 3 years ago

This is one of these things that one should try an build yourself on a rainy Sunday afternoon: with less the 50 pound at the hardware store, you can build your own. Probably less refined, but every bit as functional.

EddyBerckx replied to KnightBiker | 1526 posts | 3 years ago

If you've already got all the tools, the space, all the bits you need, a design...and the competency to do something like this then yes, you could build something like this. Many people dont or cant be arsed and so this would be suitable for them tbh

KnightBiker replied to EddyBerckx | 96 posts | 3 years ago

I have two left hands but even I can do this, in my living room, a simple saw a  screw driver and some tennis balls or other rubbery parts. If you don't have the tools, borrow them from your neighbour or stepdad.

dave atkinson replied to KnightBiker | 6732 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

i certainly wouldn't suggest that you can't build a rocker plate from scratch. but the question being asked here is: is it a good product for the money? and it is. Just buying enough buffalo board on ebay to start building one ( would cost you nearly half what the R1 is selling for.

spj7 replied to KnightBiker | 10 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

I built my own not long before this review was published, taking my lead from

It wasn't hard, I really enjoyed making it and although mine is a lot rougher & readier than either Derek's (in the link) or the one reviewed here, it cost me just over £50. I used thick ply rather than the board used here but with a coat of varnish it will resist the worst my sweat can do to it.

RobD replied to KnightBiker | 1070 posts | 3 years ago

The cost of a router to cut the boards and holes would pretty much eat into almost any savings I'd make over buying one of these, and it's not a tool I'm likely to have use for very frequently, nor do any family members etc have one I could borrow (I checked as the thought of building one had crossed my mind)

check12 | 692 posts | 3 years ago

seems a decent product at a more sensible price than many, +£28p&p good luck to the guy 

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