Now I don’t want to get too excited but the new Elite Arion Digital Rollers are really worth talking about. Elite have broken away from the pack by offering a parabolic set of rollers complete with a wireless cycle computer that not only adjusts resistance on the rollers but also measures your performance.
The Elite Arion Digital Rollers are feature-rich (which is what you would expect for the price) so I am going to start at the very beginning. The frame itself is made of a super durable and very lightweight resin that will easily cope with the toughest regimens. Like many of Elite’s other rollers, the frame has a built-in step to make mounting your bike that much easier.
The rollers are perfectly smooth and are made from a reinforced PVC. In addition to this, the rollers are parabolic which means that they are 85mm in diameter in the middle and 100mm in diameter at the edges. This plays a crucial role in preventing you from veering toward the edges and slipping off when in motion. Something that many roller users will be all too familiar with.
The Elite Arion Digital Rollers offers a two-way ANT coded handlebar mounted cycle computer with a large LCD display. The computer is very user-friendly and displays 5 information fields including: speed, distance, heart rate (although you will need to purchase the ANT+ chest strap separately), cadence, time and wattage. More specifically, the computer stores and displays the following information:
- speed: current, average, total average, maximum
- power: current, average, total average, maximum
- cadence (optional): current, average, total average, maximum
- heart rate (optional): current, average, total average, maximum
- heart rate within a training zone (optional)
- trip distance
- total distance
- training time
- total time
- battery status
The cycle-computer communicates with the resistance unit wirelessly via ANT. What this means is that there are no wires at all which is always nice.
There are 16 resistance levels on offer and switching back and forth between them is smooth and hassle free. Additionally, the cycle computer comes with 10 pre-programmed training modes which vary from interval to strength training. Each session lasts approximately an hour. The sessions themselves are actually really good and will give your training a bit more variety.
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can also download the iQubo app which gives you the option to ride courses created with Google maps. This is a really nice feature but it does require an ANT dongle to work – which is not included with the trainer.
Once you have got the hang of the rollers, you will find that they give you a great workout. Because you are so focused on not falling off the bike, you will inevitably start improving your pedal stroke and balance which ultimately works your core muscles.
The other added bonus with these rollers is that they arrive pre-assembled so all you need to do is unfold them and you are ready. They also fold down to a neat size making them easy to store.
The Elite Arion Digital Rollers are exciting because they effectively combine the smooth ride of a roller with a cycle computer programmed to adjust resistance while measuring your performance. As a cyclist determined to improve my time and fitness, what more could I ask for?!