Last year, one of the things I wanted to do is improve my cycling during the winter months. To do that staring at my bike all winter long wasn’t going to cut it. Riding the trainer was ok and TrainerRoad made it a little more fun to do so. However, I was missing the true road feel which my fluid trainer didn’t provide. At the same time, having a full time job and a family, I wanted to be able to do most of my training early mornings and riding in the dark most mornings wasn’t the best or safest idea so moving my riding indoor was the best and safest option.
So after doing a lot of research, I narrowed my search on the E-Motion Rollers by Inside Ride.
The first thing you will notice about this rollers is the hefty price tag. At $850 (shipped), it is one of the most expensive out there. However, I spent over a thousand dollar many years ago on an elliptical machine that barely get any use. So I was able to justify the price since I knew I was going to spend a lot of hours on it. I ended up putting more miles and hours on my emotion than my car this year. I put it on my birthday wish list and my dear wife got it for me.
So all year long I moved my cycling in my pain cave in my dark musty basement except for my long Sunday rides.
What makes the emotion 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.
One of the nice things that I like about the emotion is the included resistance unit. It comes with four levels (0-3). Setting it on zero will give you no resitance (feels like having a nice tail wind) and three will simulate hill riding. Most of my workouts I do on 1 which seems to simulate flat road riding the most with some head wind. I am able to generate over 320 watts on level 1. I find my speed on flat road outdoors few miles faster than indoor for the same power when the resistance on 1. I like to do my long endurance rides on 0.
If you don’t have a power meter, emotion provides an interactive power calculator spreadsheet which you can download here. You can enter your weight and the desired speed and it will calculate your power output based on each of the resistance setting.
The most common question I get is if I can do intervals on the roller or if they are mostly endurance rides.
In the past year, I have logged thousands of miles on it and it is my main bike trainer. I have done long rides (4-6 hours) and done all kind of intervals including many Sufferfest videos with no problem.
The unit is very well made. I haven’t had any issues with the unit. The company sells replacement belts which you can buy from their website. Also, later last year, they introduced a wireless remote controle for the resistance unit which allows you to change the resistance level at any time with just the touch of a button on a wireless remote control clipped onto your handlebar. I haven’t been able to test it out yet but will plan on getting one hopefully soon.
As far as noise level, the roller is not very loud compare to other trainers I have been on. There is that ‘squeaky’ noise that can be annoying but no one complained yet and it doesn’t bother me a bit since I always ride with music on.