In the smart bike trainers world, rollers usually don’t come to mind. Inside Ride decided to change that by introducing an add on to their emotion rollers.
The Inside Ride emotion rollers isn’t your typical rollers. What makes the emotion rollers so special is the patented “free motion” technology base. The rollers will move with you making riding and standing a lot easier than conventional rollers. When you are riding outdoors, your bike is moving with you and shifts back and forth and the emotion rollers try to simulate that same motion. That’s why you will notice that riding the emotion is the closest thing to riding your bike outdoors.
The other main feature that sets this from other rollers is the front bump wheels. These are two wheels that looks like roller blades wheels placed on the side of the front drums to prevent you from riding off the rollers. According to Inside Ride, “It’s not possible to ride off the drums. You can try as hard as you want and it won’t happen. That doesn’t mean you can’t tip over however.” I did tip over once but I blame that on my lack of riding skills while playing Wii with the kids.
Similar to conventional rollers, you will still need to learn to balance yourself, however because the emotion is not fixed to the base due to the “free motion” technology and front bump wheels, you just need to learn to trust it. It took me couple of rides until I started feeling very comfortable on it. In fact, it is my main trainer that I use for most of my rides.
Here is me riding in aero on my tri bike:
The unit is very well made. Actually, it is designed and manufactured in the United States. I have been using the unit for many years and logged thousands of hours. I haven’t had any issues with the unit and I only had to replace the belts once so far. The company sells replacement belts which you can buy from their website. The fly wheels will cost you $12, and drums belt is $9.50. The unit is very solid in my opinion and will last you many years without having to worry about any maintenance.
The unit comes in a huge box completely assembled and you can just start riding:
There is also a front fork mount option available for $65.
Update 9/18/2016: Inside Ride ran into compatibility issues with this wireless unit and decided to replace it with a unit made by Elite. Read about it here.
In this section, I am going to talk about the ANT+/Bluetooth resistance unit. Unfortunately, this is currently not available to order yet. It’s currently in beta, but it will eventually be available to order soon.
I won’t go into much details about the unit since it’s not in production. However, I will give you a quick run down on what to expect.
Here is the old resistance unit:
Here is the new wireless resistant control unit:
The unit comes with battery installed so you don’t have to keep it plugged in to power. The battery will last for a long time. I didn’t perform an official battery test, but it lasted me for many weeks with 5-6 hours of cycling per week, before I have to recharge it again. This is a nice feature since you can easily take the rollers with you on travel or to races if you like to warm up before a race or just to take it to group cycling workout and be able to adjust resistance. If the battery is dead, you will have no resistance and it will work as a dump trainer or roller.
The unit came to me as an add on to replace the current manual resistance unit. It was easy to replace and get it to work. It comes with a remote control to manually adjust resistance. Or you can pair it with your Garmin 520 or 820 and adjust resistance manually from there.
I was also able to pair it with Zwift. It will show up as Wahoo KICKR in Zwift menu. Just select Wahoo KICKR from the menu and it will pair and you can start riding the course.
Here is a short video of me climbing on emotion rollers with Zwift:
As for using the Erg mode, I had trouble with that since the accuracy was a bit off for me. The calibration was somewhat off for me. The company is currently collecting data from all beta users and adjusting been releasing updates to its firmware. I expect this to eventually get much better as the software gets more stable.
The Inside Ride emotion rollers is a very solid trainer. In fact, it’s one of my favorite trainers. With the addition of the resistance unit, it will definitely be a contender in the smart bike trainers market. Unlike a regular trainer, the emotion will take time to get used to and some practice. However, in my experience, you just need to trust it and ride like you ride your bike outdoors.
The E-Motion rollers is currently priced at $900 without the wireless resistance unit. The resistance unit is expected to be priced around $300.