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The Tacx Antares Basic Trainer provides a simple and engaging way to train or warm up. The adjustable length makes use with different bikes very easy, and the smooth, quiet running of the rollers gives a decent road feel.
If the thought of getting on an indoor trainer and mindlessly pedalling away for an hour or so fills you with dread, then rollers could be a very good option. They are a more engaging way to train indoors as, just like on the road, not paying attention is going to cause you to fall off.
Half an hour on these basic rollers passed far more quickly than an equivalent spin on my smart trainer hooked up to Zwift, so if you find yourself getting really bored, these basic rollers are a great solution.
Rollers also allow for the development of basic cycling skills such as pedalling smoothness. The only way you're going to stay in the centre of the rollers is by using a smooth pedalling technique, so away from the simple physical workout, you can also perfect your pedal stroke.
The Antares Basic rollers don't have any resistance built in. The resistance comes from your tyres and there is a surprising amount of effort required to get your biggest gears going.
Up at those top wheel speeds, the rollers do produce more noise than a turbo trainer, so you might want to give these a miss if you live in a block of flats.
For warming up, the rollers are very good. Not only can you get a good sweat on while you wait to start your race, the focus required to not fall off and look like an idiot really helped me to get in the zone for racing.
Lobbing a bike onto the rollers is simple, and folding them away is easy, so if you are running late for the start, they're not going to hold you up.
If you are just looking for a warm-up option, I'd also consider something like Feedback Sport's Omnium hybrid rollers. They are quite a bit more expensive at £350 but they eliminate the possibility of falling off in the car park.
The Antares Basics are cheaper than the Elite Arion Parabolic rollers (£199.99) and the JetBlack R1 (£189.99), but if you can spend a little bit more, the Tacx Galaxia Advanced rollers come in at £219.99 and add movement to the rear wheel to better simulate the feel of riding on the road.
Rollers are far more immersive than even a gamified app such as Zwift, and if you want a basic set then these Antares Basics are brilliant. The ride is smooth and they are quick to deploy, so getting going is easy. For pre-race warm-ups, I'd highly recommend them.
Smooth rollers that make indoor training engaging
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tacx Antares Basic Trainer
Size tested: 1350 x 470 mm
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?
Tacx says: 'When your training takes place indoors, the Tacx Antares roller trainer lets you cycle freely to refine your coordination and technique - or just to get in a good workout."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS Max: 53.0" x 18.5" (1350 x 470 mm)
DIMENSIONS WHEN FOLDED 31.5" x 18.5" x 5.3" (800 x 470 x 135 mm)
WEIGHT 17.0 lbs (7.7 kg)
HEIGHT 5.3" (135 mm)
ROLLER DIAMETER 100-110 mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Smooth rollers that work very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Because you are having to focus, time passes by much more quickly than on a turbo.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Cheaper than the Elite Arion Parabolic rollers (£199.99) and the JetBlack R1 (£189.99).
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? For my use, I'd have a hybrid roller.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're really good: inexpensive and smooth.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.