Rocker Madness: Initial Ride Feedback
Four rides in on the Endurance Rockr, and I can say that it has lots of promise. Last installment I shared several questions that folks have regarding the rocker craze. I will try to answer these today.
Many are asking do they work and feel realistic, will they eliminate saddle soreness or numbness, do they increase or decrease power output, and do they help when standing up on the trainer?
The Hammer has a very heavy flywheel, and balancing it out really means having it off center and the perfectly matched CNC'd platforms really help here. I am unsure if I could have made one that works as well with the Hammer. That said, the Rockr really does work well to create a side to side rocking. When you are outside hammering away, you really do tilt the bike quite a bit, and the Rockr mimics its. It does take some getting used to, as it is a little unsettling at first. Once you realize that you are not going to tilt and fall over, you can get on with the ride. In the footage above, you can see how the climbs and standing cause the unit to sway quite a bit. It is not exactly like outside, but I did appreciate the feel on steep climbs and sprints...once I overcame the initial fear. I would say that for rides with variation, it is a nice add on.
On a long easy ride, it had a slight effect on soreness. You take for granted that outside the rocking motion eliminates soreness caused by sitting still and in one position for an hour. I still have a hard time riding inside more than 90 minutes, but the Rockr helped pass the time comfortably. It is better on rides with variance. It is slightly less effective on steady state rides with low wattage.
What about power? I definitely had lots of fun on the Rockr this week, especially on the ride shown in the footage above. I especially liked it on the short steep climbs. Did my power go up? Hard to say, but if it did it could have been because I was having a great time. I think it will take lots of data to prove this is more than just a placebo effect.
Climbing is absolutely great when you get the right gear and gradient and cadence and sway. At other times, it is absolutely scary to stand up on. I am going to say that this is going to take some practice. Tomorrow looks like a crappy, cold Buffalo day, so I may just do the Three Sisters Route and get some hills in on Zwift. I will see how it goes.