Anyone using rocker plates? If so, which and why? Any thoughts or experiences with DIY builds or commercial offerings? All thoughts and comments welcome. The reason for asking is I find if I spend too much time on the turbo lower back ache and right side sciatica creeps in (bike fit is well dialled in so its not that) and thought perhaps some side to side (semi realistic) movement may be the ticket to relieving this a bit, also for stand efforts as well figured it made more sense and placed less strain on the bike and axle in the Neo.
I’ve been using a Coplate for a long time now, with a Tacx Neo.
Certainly some pros and cons - but what interests you most about these?
I’ve done a lot of research as well since I had some business relations with some manufacturers of rocker plates.
Certainly makes it a bit more comfortable and easier on the bike.
Also, join this group:
Already joined that thanks anyway, was struggling to locate an “open source” design for a self build scenario.
Thanks Sir Yotam, its relief for ongoing back problem that only becomes problematic on the turbo trainer. When I ride on the road - no problem at all. Want to get it fixed for the winter!
Just found them - under the files section
Yup - if you have the equipment/know-how to fabricate yourself then it’s pretty much straightforward.
Couple of pointers from my experience:
- The weakest link are the inflatable balls (if you use them) because they can puncture or lose pressure. It takes a bit of time to balance the system out, and then once you’re on the bike it changes all over again. I had many moments of frustration with this (imagine being halfway through ISLTA and you’re gradually leaning more and more to the left…). I have spares, and some systems use balls with inner tubes.
- It’s not ideal for all types of rides. I prefer sprint sessions without the rocker plate, for example.
- There’s also the discussion about form when standing, but if you’re aware of what you’re doing then it’s no problem.
- Think about the added height of the system - besides getting on/off the bike - screens, fans, ceiling, etc.
- Lastly, the Neo is best secured to the plate with cups that replace the existing rubber cups on the Neo. If you can find those, that’s the best solution I think. The straps and other restrainers might be also good, but if you’re hitting that entire setup with +1000W all out sprint with lots of side-to-side motion, you’d want things to be as secure as possible.
Andy van Bergen from Cycling Tips built one: https://cyclingtips.com/2020/05/how-to-build-a-rocker-plate-for-more-realistic-indoor-riding/
I’m looking to fabricate a Rocker Plate over the next couple of months for my Kickr. Very curious about the increase in comfort level, and hopefully be able to do longer endurance rides over winter when the weather is poor.
I’m not much of a sprinter, so the whole standing/sprinting weird dynamics shouldn’t put me off. Very curious how that is overcome though!
I’ve never understood rocker plates, when you ride outside you have two fulcrums of rotation for your bike. When seated it is going to be the centre of mass of you and your bike in the vertical plane and your rotation and when sprinting, the fulcrum will be closer to the wheel axles but with some side to side bike movement in the horizontal plane
Seems like you’d need your bike floating below you so that you can throw it around while maintaining in a consistent position with your much more substantive rider mass above the bike.
This concept would work on a bike treadmill but no real way on a rocker plate to get a realistic action.
?? Are these rocker plates really beneficial? Educate me.
Ask me in a few months when I have it built and tested!
Apologies for resurrecting this thread, but I figured it was better than starting a new one.
I think I plan on building or buying a rocker plate, but…
There is surprisingly little actual information available on any of the commercial designs, most of the reviews are along the lines of “Yeah, it works and makes it feel better”, but not so much as further opinion or explanation of feeling, much less quantifiable information.
My biggest question is, does fore and aft movement add anything worth having?
I’m very much in that basket of “I’ve spent enough on equipment, I’m happy to spend as little as possible” while at the same time not wanting to miss out on anything that actually adds to the experience.
Currently I’ve got doubled up yoga matting under my trainer and climb unit, which gives a light flex, getting rid of some of the “fixed unit” pressure you feel on the saddle.
I want to find the sweet spot between here (£5) and buying a Saris MP1…
Has anyone experienced a rocker with fore-aft?
Mine has a little for/aft movement and it is noticable when shifting to standing/sitting but also if the pedal stroke isn’t perfect. So in that respect it’s like a biofeedback device for a smoother stroke.
I haven’t tried the MP1 yet but in general, unless you’re a sprinter looking to transfer every single watt into the drivetrain in a push for the line, I find the rocker plate more comfortable as a whole and would always prefer using it than not.
Otherwise, seen these?
For what its worth, I don’t plan to have forward aft movement on my DIY build as the general concensus is that side to side movement is 90-95% of the benefit.
This is my first attempt at it though, so still learning.