How to Make Homemade Rollers for Bicycle Training
Making homemade rollers for bicycle training begins with selecting the proper diameter for a particular level of training. Similar to bicycle sprockets, larger rollers give you a relatively easy rotation and smaller rollers provide a more strenuous workout. The best all-around rollers are made from 3-inch diameter galvanized tubing that’s fitted with an axle for mounting on the roller frame. If you have limited knowledge of steel fabrication, compile the short list of parts and enlist the services of a certified welder to assemble your homemade rollers for bicycle training.
Measure the width between the roller mounts on the trainer frame. Deduct 1 1/4 inches to provide 5/8-inch inside clearance between each end of the roller and the mounts.
Put on your safety glasses. Cut a piece of 3-inch-diameter galvanized steel tubing to length with a miter saw that’s outfitted with a steel cutting blade. Remove any burrs at the cut ends with a flat file.
Set up a power drill or drill press with a 5/8-inch drill bit. Drill a 5/8-inch hole at the centers of two 3-inch-diameter galvanized steel tubing caps.
Put on your welding gear. Weld the caps onto the ends of the steel tubing. Allow the welds to cool.
Measure the distance between the outside faces of the roller mounts on the trainer frame. Add 1 1/4 inches to the measurement to provide excess for the roller attachment nuts at the outer ends of the axle.
Cut a piece of 1/2-inch threaded rod to length as the axle. Remove any burrs from the cut end with a flat file.
Insert the axle into the holes in the end caps on the roller. Center the axle each way. Secure the axle in place with 1/2-inch nylon pipe grommets fitted into the drilled holes and around the axle at each end. If necessary, tap each grommet fully into place with a small hammer.
Recheck the axle to make sure the length of the exposed ends are equal. Thread 1/2-inch machine nuts onto each end of the axle by hand. Tighten the nuts against the outer faces of each nylon grommet with an open-end wrench.
Slide 1/2-inch nylon washers onto each end of the axle and against the machine nuts as friction bushings before mounting the roller in the trainer frame.
Screw a 1/2-inch machine nut well onto the end of the threaded rod before cutting it to length. Unscrew and remove the nut with a wrench to recut the starting thread on the end of the rod.
William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.