Rocker plates are platforms that sit under indoor trainer setups to allow the setup to move sideways and for some, back and forth. It is not a new concept and it has mostly been DIY-ed. More recently, with the uptick in indoor training thanks to the Zwift wave (and now the COVID-19 pandemic), established firms are now diving into the market. Notably, Saris released its MP1 (moving platform v1) recently at a steep price of US$1,200. I was tempted but its incompatibility with the Wahoo Kickr Climb meant it was not a viable option for me. So, I took the next best alternative – SBR’s Rockr Pro and had it shipped from the US. I have since taken it for a few spins and here are my thoughts:
- A massive upgrade. I regret not getting this earlier. The Rockr Pro easily outstrips the Kickr Climb in terms of making the indoor ride feel realistic. The Kickr Climb comes alive when there are simulated climbs but unless you are going up and down hills all the time, there will be periods where the Kickr Climb does nothing because the simulated roads are flat or have an unchanged gradient. But the Rockr Pro is active every single second. Every pedal stroke whether at 30W or 300W, seated or standing, activates the Rockr Pro. My indoor trainer sways left to right just like a bike does outdoors and more aggressively so when I put out more power. It feels real. It also makes the indoor spin a lot more comfortable. Having a swaying saddle means fewer hot spots on your bum because you are naturally making micro shifts on the saddle just like outdoors. I might actually try an indoor metric century ride on Zwift. And this is a significant difference for me given that I could not bear more than 30-40 minutes on a trainer prior.
- Well executed. Unlike most rocker plates made by small builders, SBR’s version is polished, works well and actually looks good. Various rocker plates use different devices to allow movement – some use springs like the MP1, some use foam inserts and others use gym balls. SBR utilises the latter and it works perfect because you can adjust the amount of movement by varying the air pressure in the balls. (The balls are the yellow things sandwiched within the platform.) This method also helps to balance the platform for trainers that are asymmetrical (like my Kickr Core) such that it weighs more to one side than the other. (Simply pump more air on the heavier side to balance things out.) I went for a medium amount of pressure and still enjoyed great flexibility. I also like how the usage of the Kickr Climb works very well with the Rockr Pro. Swaying left to right while the Kickr Climb started boosting my indoor bike upwards felt sturdy and not precarious.
- Huge compatibility. The Rockr Pro fits any trainer in the market and also the Kickr Climb. It is very hard to find a rocker plate that can fit them all. If your trainer is not on the list, SBR will help you customise your order such that it fits yours.
- Easy to setup. The Rockr Pro comes fully assembled in the box. All you have to do is to place your trainer on top, fasten the trainer to the platform, position the balls and inflate them. It is simple. It weighs around 16.7kg, so it is very easy for one or two people to shift this around.
- Expensive. At US$600, the Rockr Pro is not exactly value for money. It is well made and looks polished but US$600 still is a little steep considering how simple the device is. Add US$200 for the cost of shipping to Singapore, and the Rockr Pro will become more expensive than some trainers.
- No fore aft movement. Unlike the MP1, the Rockr Pro only does side to side movement. This may not necessarily be a huge downside given that some reviews of the MP1 indicate that the MP1’s back and forth movement feels unnatural.
Product aside, I had a poor experience getting the Rockr Pro shipped to Singapore due to USPS. My Rockr Pro took 3 months to reach me because USPS took most of the time to eventually return the package to sender. SBR then re-sent it to me via DHL and it arrived within 5 days. To SBR’s credit, SBR was generally responsive to my constant queries about where the shipment was. We exchanged around 30 emails in the space of 3 months. You can imagine my frustration at having the package stuck with USPS for so long. If you want to ship the Rockr Pro to Singapore, I suggest contacting SBR early and requesting for shipping to be done via DHL. You may want to quote my experience to avoid an incredibly lengthy shipping time.
The SBR Rockr Pro has made indoor training a great experience. I wish I had purchased and received this way earlier especially when Circuit Breaker measures were at its strictest. Better late than never. I highly recommend this for those who take indoor training seriously.