For staying fit through winter, conditioning myself for ski season, and keeping stress down through excercise I use training rollers. Rollers are a great way to improve endurance and balance. Usually they cost anywhere between $100 to $400. I got these parabolic rollers from Performance Bicycle as a gift for my birthday a few years back. Usually I’ll try to ride 6 to 8 miles on the rollers every morning at an average speed between 18 and 20 miles per hour.
Rollers are tough to get used to. There is no coasting, once you stop pedaling the rollers stop and you’ll lose balance. there is enough resistance with the set of rollers that I have that I get a better workout per mile on rollers than on street riding. For the first year I used rollers I had to position them in between a doorway so I could hold myself up and keep my balance. Now I’ve gotten used to them and don’t need them in a doorway.
If your interested in trying rollers and your a mountain biker you’ll need to start by getting a set of slick tires. Knobby tires wont work with the rollers and even with slicks on, they are still pretty loud. I use my rollers upstairs in my spare bedroom with a dampening mat underneath them. I had to put a board on top of the mat because otherwise the rollers would rub on the carpet. I’d also recommend using platform pedals as opposed to clipless. I’ve used clipless with rollers and It can be a bit scary. It’ll be a bit difficult too with a suspension fork. I find rollers much easier on my track bike than on my front suspension mountain bike. I wouldn’t even attempt to ride them on my full suspension.