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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

3 Benefits of using a Rocker Plate while Cycling Indoors

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Indoor cycling is a popular and effective way to stay fit and train for outdoor events. However, many cyclists find it boring, uncomfortable, and unrealistic compared to riding on the road. One way to improve the indoor cycling experience is to use a rocker plate, which is a device that allows the bike to tilt from side to side and sometimes also move forward and backward. In this post, I will discuss the benefits of using a rocker plate in indoor cycling, such as increased comfort, enhanced realism, and improved performance.

Benefit 1: Increase comfort and reduce saddle soreness

One of the main benefits of using a rocker plate in indoor cycling is that it can increase comfort and reduce saddle soreness. When riding on a stationary trainer, the bike is fixed in one position and does not move with the rider’s natural body movements. This can cause friction, pressure, and chafing in sensitive areas, especially during long or intense sessions.

A rocker plate can alleviate this problem by allowing the bike to move slightly with the rider’s pedaling and shifting of weight. This reduces the stress on the contact points and mimics the natural motion of riding on the road1,2. A rocker plate can also help prevent numbness and stiffness in the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck by enabling the rider to change their posture and angle more frequently3.

Benefit 2: Enhance realism and immersion

Another benefit of using a rocker plate in indoor cycling is that it can enhance realism and immersion. Many cyclists find indoor cycling dull and monotonous compared to outdoor riding, which can affect their motivation and enjoyment. A rocker plate can make indoor cycling more fun and engaging by simulating the feeling of cornering, climbing, descending, and sprinting4,5. Some rocker plates can even integrate with virtual platforms like Zwift or Rouvy and respond to changes in terrain and gradient4. A rocker plate can also create a more natural sound and vibration by absorbing some of the noise and movement from the trainer3. These features can help the rider feel more connected to their virtual environment and forget that they are indoors.

Benefit 3: Improve performance and fitness

A third benefit of using a rocker plate in indoor cycling is that it can improve performance and fitness. A rocker plate can challenge the rider’s balance and stability by creating a sense of instability when cycling on a trainer3. This stimulates the natural balance of riding on the road and activates greater core strength and overall recruitment of cycling muscles. A stronger core can help the rider maintain a better posture, breathing, and power output. A rocker plate can also increase the range of motion and flexibility of the hips, knees, ankles, and spine by allowing them to move more freely with the bike1,2. This can prevent injuries and enhance recovery by reducing muscle tension and fatigue1,2.

Where to buy Rocker Plates in USA and Canada

Depending if you are looking for a basic rocker plate that offers side to side (horizontal) movement, or a premium full motion rocker plate with forward and aft movements there are several options available to you.

KOM Cycling has a very popular basic rocker plate on Amazon for $499.99, while full motion rocker plates are available from Velocity Rockers in the United States ($1069 CDN) and UK based Turbo Rocks ($950 CDN). Both companies ship to Canada, with Velocity charging $135 Canadian, taxes will be collected at delivery. Turbo Rocks takes the worry over international shipping, for $240 all shipping, duty, and taxes are covered.

KOM Cycling also offers an upgrade for their basic rocker plate to convert it to a full motion rocker – Fore/Aft DYI Starter Kit. However, this upgrade is only available on the website and retails for $450 USD. Shipping to Canada is an additional $55.

In conclusion, using a rocker plate in indoor cycling can have many benefits for cyclists who want to improve their comfort, realism, and performance. A rocker plate can reduce saddle soreness, make indoor cycling more fun and engaging, and strengthen the core and other muscles. However, a rocker plate is not a magic solution that will make indoor cycling easy or effortless. It still requires proper setup, adjustment, maintenance, and practice to get used to it. It may also not suit everyone’s preferences or budget. Therefore, before buying or building a rocker plate, it is advisable to do some research, read reviews, watch videos, or try one out if possible. A rocker plate can be a great addition to an indoor cycling setup if used correctly and wisely.

Sources:

  1. cyclistshub.com
  2. cyclistshub.com
  3. bettertriathlete.com
  4. turborocks.co
  5. joyfultriathlete.com

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Mark Hanlon

Editor

Mark is an avid photographer, Starbucks addict, motivated cyclist, struggling runner, and rocking single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with two chronic ilnesses, Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) can be an interesting mix.