Can You Use Rollers with a Mountain Bike?

Going for a ride is a great way to get out of an otherwise boring day. But what if it’s impossible to go outside because it’s too hot or too cold? Fortunately, there are ways that you can still enjoy cycling indoors. One perfect way is using rollers.

But the question is, can you use rollers with a mountain bike? Keep reading to find out more on bike rollers.

What are bicycle rollers?

Bicycle rollers are a type of bicycle trainer that allows you to ride your bike indoors without moving forward. Unlike other type of bike trainers, rollers don’t attach to the bike frame, and you must balance on the rollers when training.

How is a roller different from a trainer?

A trainer and a roller need you to use your bicycle, unlike a spin or indoor bike, which is more of a stand-alone exercise bike. Bike rollers have been in existence for a long time. In fact, they were in use before the bike trainers became the norm.

Rollers come with three cylinders or drums, two in the rear and one in the front. When pedaling, the rear tires of your bike turn the two rear cylinders. The rollers also have a belt connecting the front cylinder to the middle cylinder, which helps the front wheel to spin as you pedal.

In a bike trainer, you have to attach your bike frame and press the rear tire against a roller. Therefore, you have to do the balancing act in the bike rollers, unlike in a trainer where the bike is stable. Thus, riding your bicycle on the rollers is similar to riding outdoors.

You can improve your bike handling and balancing skills with a bike roller. You can also improve your pedaling stroke when training on a roller. However, riding your bicycle on a roller requires some practice. You also need to stay focused when working out to maintain the balance.

Can you use rollers with a mountain bike?

Absolutely. You can ride a mountain bike on a roller. You need to adjust the position of the front drum to fit your mountain bike. Always ensure that the front tire is slightly behind the drum.

Reasons why you should train on rollers

Improve balance and bike handling skills

Whether you’re hitting the trails alone or in a group, you need to have excellent bike handling and balancing skills. Although we assume that everyone can do it, it’s not as easy as it sounds and takes a lot of work. Bike rollers help you improve balance and bike handling skills while in a group or in a race.

Engage the core

Cycling on the road demands a lower level of engagement. However, rollers present a challenge that keeps you focused and aware. Since you want to remain stable on the rollers, you’ll need to stabilize the body and hips so you don’t drift right and left.

Top-end speed

High-quality rollers are smooth and have low resistance, allowing you to attain speed and cadence rolling. Pedaling fast on rollers gives you a sense of going fast, which you’ll apply when you hit the road.

Pedaling efficiency

Most of us are good at pedaling but not the best. Rollers are designed to allow you to pedal in circles constantly. This is a great way to perfect your pedaling, which takes time and effort.


How hard is it to bike on rollers?

Riding on rollers requires commitment and efforts to perfect your pedaling skills. You also need to maintain stability and can take a fair amount of time to learn them extremely well.

Are rollers bad for your bike?

Rollers are not bad for your bike and will not cause your bike to wear out compared to a trainer. Although both tires are in contact with the roller cylinders, they’re made of smooth plastic or aluminum that won’t pressure the bike’s wheels.

Do I need special tires for my rollers?

One disadvantage of using bike rollers is that rear wheels wear out easily due to friction and heat from the rollers. This is why it’s recommended to use trainer tires with low tread and smooth texture. Some cyclists use their old tires when riding on tires.

Which is better for your tires, aluminum or plastic rollers?

Although aluminum and plastic rollers are good for your mountain bike, aluminum rollers give a longer life to your tires because they cool down easily than plastic.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an easy way to ride your bike indoors, consider getting a set of rollers. These rollers are easy to set up and worth the convenience of riding anywhere, anytime!

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