Another Norcal League class at Crufit

Coach’s notes
Like all of us, I’ve been training indoors a lot more lately. I’m on my second Kurt R-1 trainer that is suspended on elastomers. Kurt has been offering this for a long time now with their Rock ‘N Roll line, and I always thought it was kind of marketing hype, but I’m a convert now. Eventually, I’ll buy another setup with a motion capability for a bike fitting space, that’s how valid I think “freeing” someones pedaling motion is, and how much I want to have it mimic what they look like outdoors. As a coach, I’m getting more feedback about pain emerging with relatively low volumes of riding. This is likely because of the inability to shift your weight and with any asymmetries in your pedaling motion, your body is pushing against an immobile force. Cycling is SO REPETITIVE (think 9000 revolutions or 4500 pedal strokes PER LEG for a two-hour ride) that it’s easier to injure yourself than you might think, this is why proper bike fit is so important. With Kurt likely owning some type of patent on this design, more companies are moving into the rocker board space. I’ve been trading emails with several Tempo athletes about finding solutions to enable them to ride longer pain-free, and Jay was nice enough to write up this short review of the Gravitrainer.

Jay’s Notes:

I do a lot of indoor workouts, especially recently. Since the bike doesn’t move I get saddle pain and some knee pain. I’ve seen info about rocker boards you put under your trainer that are supposed to help with those things.

They cost $600 – $1200 so I wasn’t going to buy one. I found DIY kits for $150 and almost bought one but they were sold out. Then I found a board for $275 – and took the plunge. 

I got it, started riding, and felt underwhelmed. It doesn’t fundamentally change the indoor riding experience. It just rocks back and forth a bit.

After 2 weeks I removed the board to see if I would notice a difference. I did! 

Riding without the rocker now feels uncomfortably “locked down”. I rode for 20 minutes and promptly put the rocker back.

Summary :

It works as advertised. I didn’t think it was anything special when I first got it but, now that I’ve gotten used to it, I would not want to give it up. 

I would recommend it for sure.

Jaybob says two thumbs up.

Other notes:

  • Riding out of the saddle is weird. The bike snaps back to center quickly so while you’re pushing one handlebar to make the bike lean, the rocker is trying to push you back to level. I got used to that quickly though.
  • The thing has sand or something in the paint. The top surface is rough and has lots of friction to keep the bike and trainer from moving around. 
  • I have done a couple of Zwift races where I yanked the bike around a LOT. I’ve moved it slightly on the board but there’s no risk of dragging the bike off the board.
  • It takes a little effort to center the bike properly. The trainer is heavier on one side than the other. I probably don’t sit completely straight up/down on my bike either. I had to set my bike/trainer just slightly off-center. This is no big deal at all.
  • I twist my handlebars when riding hard, so there’s a black mark on the board from my tire rubbing. I checked to see if the tire was getting worn down – the amount of rubber being scraped off seems very nominal.
  • Fancier rocker boards also have fore/aft movement. This one does not. 

Back To Coach:

I want to hear if the trainer has been creating pain and if so, let’s be proactive and fix it. Indoor training and racing are here to stay. It’s time-efficient and super structured. I live right next to a 1000 foot climb and we are still on the trainer several days a week.