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Crown Roller Review | Interbike 2018 | Kickstarter

Rollers are one of those cool training devices that can make for a better rider.  Rollers can improve your balance and smooth out your pedal stroke and improve your form.  Today at Interbike I had a chance to check out Crown Roller who have taken the concept of rollers and did something rather unique.

Crown Roller Rollers

Crown Roller Interbike 2018 Kickstarter

If you own a set of rollers or are thinking about owning them, you’re really going to find Crown Roller’s concept super interesting.

Crown looked to engineering and physics and came up with a design that at first glance makes zero sense.  You see their rollers are higher in the middle and then taper off towards the edges.  This is a radical idea and totally counter intuitive to the way you’d think they should be designed.

The funny thing is it works.  As you ride on these rollers, your wheels will naturally track to the path of least resistance, which happens to be in center of the rollers.  As your wheels drift outward on the rollers, essentially moving down hill, more resistance is applied forcing the wheels to track upward, where there is less resistance.

SAY WHAT!  At first glance it makes zero sense, but it works.

REVIEW

CROWN ROLLER REVIEW

Crown Roller’s made a bold statement saying their rollers “are the most stable rollers you will ever ride.”  Considering rollers have been around since the 1800’s, that is a truly bold statement to make.

Crown Roller Key Concepts

Rollers are one of those tricky devices that take practice to use.  When you first start riding them, it’s very scary.  You feel like you’re going to fly off at any moment.  After a while you become more comfortable, but there are still some days that your comfort level can go from calm to terrified in a spit second as you launch off the rollers or almost wipe out.

Crown Roller hopes their design eliminates some of those terrifying moments by making their rollers more stable to ride on and keeping a bike’s wheels in the center of the rollers.

How it works:  Stability

Crown Roller’s help improve stability by forcing your tire to seek the path of least resistance. The larger diameter section at the center of the roller has the least resistance, so that is where your wheel wants to go.

Here is Shane Miller checking out the Crown Roller booth.

Technical Note: The roller setup uses 3 metal drums, 2 of which use the crowning concept or have a higher center point while the rear roller is raised to produce a level riding surface.

Crown Rollers Front View Interbike 2018

Front View of the Crown Roller. Notice the roller tapers near the end.

Crown Rollers Rear View Interbike 2018

The Rear drum is level across without any taper. 

On traditional rollers, the front wheel sits on TOP of the front roller and the rear wheel sits BETWEEN the rear rollers. This causes the rear wheel to dip below your front wheel.  Crown Roller’s (Level-Fit Frame) raises the rear roller so that you ride flat, just like on the road.

For those that still prefer the rear wheel to sit below the front, the rear roller can be lowered to a more traditional position.

Traveling With Your Roller

The guys at Crown Roller pretty much thought of everything with respect to traveling with your rollers.  The front roller railings slide inside the rear railings, like a telescope and reduce the overall length to around 32″.

Crown Rollers Travel Size

Crown Roller Peg Adjustment

The bottom of the rollers have holes so you can size the rollers to fit your bike and also make the rollers smaller for travel.

The railing system uses an index pin and holes to adjust trainer size and a locking pin latches it closed for travel.

Product Specs

Crown Roller Product Specifications

Currently Crown Roller is a kickstarter campaign and they aren’t available for sale at the moment.

  • The rollers are ~20lbs.
  • All total the box it comes in is (33x21x6 inch) weighs 22.6 lbs
  • The rollers have an 85mm center diameter or about 3.35″
  • Resistance – At 5 mph you need about 50 Watts of power.  At 40 mph You need about 350 Watts.  Resistence does also depend on tire pressure, size, drivetrain efficiency etc. Riding on the outside edge of the rollers adds roughly 10 watts of resistance.
  • Retail – $650 (Save $250 by hoping on the Kickstarter Campaign)

Note: For those that want to calculate power, there is a recess in the rear roller for adding a magnet. This allows you to attach an aftermarket adapter like the Elite Misuro B+ that will calculate virtual power without mounting anything to your bike.  The other option of course is to purchase a power meter.

Q&A

Crown Roller Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Rollers Fold up?

NO they don’t, but the frames are designed to slide into each other, like a telescope.

What is the length of the rollers for traveling?

The Rollers can be condensed down to 32″

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about buying rollers, you must put Crown Roller into the mix of contenders.  Their radical approach to roller design will make riding them much more enjoyable and as a result will probably be used more.

Are there any downsides? At the time of this review, the only downside is availability.  The rollers are the real deal and if you are thinking about getting some, these seem to be the ones to get, but they will not be available until later in the year.

You can find out more about Crown Roller on their website (https://www.crownroller.com/)

If you want to save some bank, check out Crown Roller’s Kickstarter.  Signing up will save you some mulla over the retail price.

 

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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