Riding on rollers can be an appealing option at this time of year, and if preparations for Christmas have left you cash strapped GCN’s new video shows you how to make your own for 20 quid.
Here’s what you need:
• 2 x 5ft lengths of 4 x 2in wood
• 6 right angle brackets
• 3 rolling pins
• Inner tube
• Puncture repair kit
• 2 Camembert lids (yes, the cheese)
• 8 x 4in screws
You’ll also need these tools:
• Tape measure
The video shows you exactly what to do, and it looks very simple. Essentially, you build a wooden frame, mount the rolling pins on to it, and use the inner tube to provide the drive for the front wheel.
You know how some rolling pins are just a single piece of shaped wood, and others have an axle down the middle and handles that don’t rotate while you’re doing the rolling? Okay, you’ve never actually given it much thought before, but take my word for it.
Anyway, GCN have used the latter type, so the main body of the rolling pin spins on the axle as you pedal, and the handles are fixed on the wooden frame. This means there’s no friction between the rolling pins and the frame, which is good news.
The bad news is that there’s a hell of a lot of friction inside those rolling pins. Rubbing dry wood together fast is a really good way to start a fire. GCN are fully aware of this!
“These rollers won’t be anywhere near as good as a set you can buy from the shop,” says GCN’s James Morell. “They’ve got a lot of resistance and they’re basically all-round rubbish, but you can build a set of rollers for £20.”
So, they’re not the answer to all your roller needs, then.
You might be able to make yourself something half-decent using industrial plastic rollers instead of the rolling pins. You could get yourself three 50 x 400mm rollers on eBay for just over £20, for example.
If you have any other suggestions for improving the design, share them down below.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.