Training rollers used by cyclists have remained largely unchanged for years. Set your resistance, hop on, and ride. With most rollers, the resistance unit, whether it was a fan, magnetic unit, or simply the diameter of the roller drums, can not be adjusted while riding. To make the workout harder or easier, changing to the next gear was pretty much to only option while in the saddle. The Italy manufacturer, Elite, has changed all of that with the introduction of their Arion Digital rollers for 2013.
The new Arion Digital resistance training rollers are being touted as the “…first roller with integrated resistance controlled from a wireless console to be placed on the handlebar”. This means exactly what it states – instead of adjusting the resistance before riding, simply mount the ANT cycle computer to your handlebar, select the resistance level or pre-set program on the computer, and ride.
If you want to adjust the resistance or change programs, press a few buttons on the computer and it sends a wireless signal to the magnetic resistance unit telling it to make the requested adjustment. Pretty simple, but this control is very helpful while riding and maintaining your balance on a set of rollers.
The Arion Digital rollers has 3 different trainings modes:
- Adjustable resistance level (1-16)
- Constant power
- 10 Different pre-set programs
The cycling computer that is included with the Arion Digital rollers have a number of features beyond the ability to control the resistance unit. The ANT cycle-computer allows the following data to be shown during training:
- Power (shown in watts)
- Heart-rate (current and average)
The rollers on their own have many features expected to be included with modern units. Parabolic-shaped rollers to help the bike stayed centered while riding; composite frame for that doesn’t rust when coated in sweat; and a composite, folding frame to allow for easy storage while not in use and light weight for easier transportation. These are features that Elite incorporates in every set of rollers that they produce.
The Elite Arion Digital rollers come out of the box as probably the most sophisticated rollers available to consumers. This level of technology does come with a price. The Arion Digital rollers have a suggested retail price of $864.99, making them one of the most expensive units on the market. But if well cared for, this type of training device can last for years. In fact, looking back on a set of rollers that this reporter purchased in 1996 for around $400, they have cost me only $2 per month so far. How many gym memberships are that inexpensive?