Not every 6-year old wants to sit on rollers or a turbo-trainer for some useful indoor training, but a few do, especially those with older siblings who may be regular competitors. Sadly, options are limited, but you can get the kit for the little one’s to keep their legs up to speed during the Winter months or pre-race warming up.

In essence, Turbo Trainers are great for ‘training’ sessions, Rollers are great for ‘warm-up’ & ‘recovery’ sessions.

Cycle Rollers For 20″, 24″ & 26″ Wheels

Our 7 and 9-year olds were keen to try rollers after using a turbo trainer for the last couple of years. Having corralled a few fellow race parents into handing over their various makes of rollers, we set about stripping and building up to fit 20″ and 24″ wheels. Most are fine with 26″ wheels, but the only one we found practical with a 20″ (451mm) and 24″ (520mm) was the Elite Arion rollers.

Turbo Trainers For 20″ & 24″ Wheels

Most adults Turbo Trainers will only function with 700c (28″) or 26″ wheel sizes. Cyclops produce a 20″/24″ conversion adapter CLICK HERE for their models to move the friction roller up, for smaller diameter wheels. If your child has a small 20″ (406mm) wheel bike, this is the only option we are currently aware of.

What Are The Differences Between Rollers & Turbo Trainers?

Key advantages to using Rollers…

  • Perfect for pre-race warm-up and recovery
  • Requires, therefore promotes a good pedalling technique
  • Develops ‘core’ muscle strength and balance skills
  • Lightweight, mobile & quick to set-up pretty much anywhere

Key advantages to using a Turbo Trainers…

  • Variable pedal resistance is perfect for harder interval training sessions
  • Newer models can be used with online virtual training programs like Zwift
  • Bike stays stable and easier to use on uneven ground
  • Can be cheaper than rollers, but newer electronic models are expensive!

Here is a short video of a 9-year old on his first go (annoying eh?) As any adult who’s tried will confirm, this isn’t as easy as it looks, but kids do have a habit of picking things up much more quickly than Mum & Dad…

Tips & Technique For Turbo Trainers & Cycle Rollers

  • Set-up next to a wall or door so you can grab something if you lose your balance
  • Ensure you have the correct tyre pressures
  • Look up, focusing approx 4m ahead (as you would riding outside)
  • Concentrate on a ‘circular’ pedalling stroke to maintain your balance
  • Use your core abdomen muscles to maintain your balance
  • Try not to look down or stare at your front wheel & don’t touch your brakes!
  • The faster you pedal, the easier it will be to balance (until you are full-on sprinting!)
  • Don’t forget your fan, towel and water bottle

Well hold the phone, his 7 year old brother is not having this! Anything you can do, I can do better...

Whilst Rollers and Turbo's suitable for 24" wheel bikes can be problematic, don't forget most kids that fit a 24" wheel bike, will also fit the 700c range of super-low standover HUP bikes - which means they can share mum/dad's rollers or turbo trainer! CLICK HERE for details on the range of 700c HUP Bikes.