Rocker Plates for Trainers



I’m 165-170 and built mine out of 3/4" hardwood plywood (think it was birch). After a few months of use I have zero flex, I wouldnt want to use 1/2", it would be less rigid and possibly warp over time.


I really enjoy seeing all the stuff you guys have done in this thread, really cool for an engineer nerd like me.

I’m slightly surprised you’ve seen much with the Neo though, as it already moves more than what I do actually riding on the road. Is it just for standing efforts or something else?


I’d say that if you already have the 1/2" material, doubling is a good idea. I have used it and added structural steel to make it stronger. I also did one doubled that was good.

I like 5/8" or 3/4" to be safe. You can use the U-bolts too. I did that on several builds. I also like house clamps that are sometimes easier to install and remove the trainer.


It seems to me minimal movement. Better but not as smooth or adjustable as a full rocker. Might be more of a feel thing than total movement for most.

I do think the Neo is lacking in freedom for standing, which usually means a larger swing angle.


@bbarrera I ended up bagging the cups and positioned two pods under the front two legs and three pods under the back with two of those close together on the left (flywheel side) and the other to the right about 9”of those two.

I found the board was ‘creaking’ and this has helped eliminated that. I need to screw a cross piece underneath to mitigate the flex, as suggested by @mcneese.chad, but I’ve been a little lazy.


Wow, my setup seems woefully under-engineered. Still just some 3/8" plywood sitting on top of the pods and the trainer sitting on top, not fixed down in any way. The plywood isn’t structural since I don’t use a centre support so it just bounces up and down, not rock side to side. Nothing has moved so far. I did go as as far as trimming it to a trapezoidal shape but that’s it.


It depends highly on the load and support points. If you have the springs and/or pivots under the legs of the trainer, you don’t need much wood support.

I like a full connection between the rocker and trainer to ensure it won’t slide off during intense use.


Sure, could be. Personally I want mine to move less. On the road there is basically no side to side movement due to the gyro effect unless you are really mashing or standing, and the movement annoys me a bit.

Would be nice to be able to simulate the gyro effect, while being able to rock it while standing. The ultimate goal I suppose!


The gyro only acts to stabilize. We can mimic it via the leveling springs and the pivot geometry.

I have a couple of designs in alternate pivot geometry that is meant to get a more realistic feel. I need to make time to build them and see if my concepts work.


Would you mind posting a link to those exercise balls please?


The are links are in a couple of posts from Nov 5 or just search for balance pods on Amazon


Doing a deep dive into rocker plates I came across some interesting videos. I believe Chad’s original design would be far better than the “squishy ball” design. Mostly to allow lateral rocking versus squirm. Below is a good example of how I believe all “squishy” designs may perform, but I guess put up a camera and see for yourself.


Yes4All Balance Pods Hedgehog with Hand Pump – Sensory Stepping Stone for Children, Kids – Hedgehog Balance Pods/Balancing Pods (Set of 6)


There’s a fair amount of movement laterally out of the saddle. I modified the design, somewhat, from another TR user earlier in this tread. My take on a rocker plate was borne out of necessity due to room constraints (I need it to easily be put up and taken down).

Is it a true rocker plate? May not but I can tell you the movement has made a big difference in my comfort during the ride and post. And for around $50 all-in, it’s a sound investment.


Gotcha. I guess the challenge is to get the proper spring rate for each riders weight and power so it doesnt move under normal pedaling but gives under hard mashing or standing.

Would be great for a Kickr and such. As I noted the neo already moves so it’s unable to be still under normal load as it is though.


Chad, RE this two bar design. Have you figured out ratio between the space between plates and the offset between top and bottom hinges? IOW, if the plates are 2 inches apart the top hinges need to be set X inches inside of the lower hinges?


Still playing with the design. I’m not at my CAD machine, so I can’t grab the numbers right now.

I will share info when I can and when I get a demo built.


Ignoring price, any thoughts on these two?


Either, I think, would be structurally sound enough but I wonder if the OSB has more ‘flex’? I got a piece of 3’ x 4’ x 15/32” of 5-ply at Home Depot and had them cut it down to size for me.


Question for McChad and others who are already using the rocker plates. I started using mine this week and since it was a recovery week, there were only endurance workouts until today. Good way to get used to the rocker, so no complaints.

To get ready for my FTP test Monday, I did the Truuli workout (the “leg opener” one), which includes 3 VO2 Max intervals. I noticed during these intervals that the rocker was doing more of a bounce than a lateral rocking. There was still some lateral rocking, but the bounce was more pronounced than the rocking. I wasn’t bouncing on the saddle. I was actually really well seated and was able to hold my cadence over 100 RPMs. All-in-all, it felt pretty good and I liked the feeling.

Just wanted to find out if anyone else has noticed this on their rocker?