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Homemade Wheel Update

It’s been almost five years since I first video taped the do-it-yourself one arm rollers.  In the time since, there have been several discussions on the forum regarding handle upgrades for added comfort and convenience.  When I first built the wheels, I admittedly opted for the fastest and easiest handle option (duct tape).  I still have the original wheels that I used over 5 years ago and they have held up very well.  I do realize however that there are better handle options available.

Below is a video tutorial that was sent to me earlier in the week that shows how to build a PVC style handle. The instructions throughout the video are detailed and easy to follow.  Thanks to Kyle for the video.

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Another video was emailed to me that shows how a traditional wheel can be converted into a single arm roller.  The only question mark that I might have would be the strength of this wheel when performing one arm standing rollouts (particularly for larger athletes or those adding weighted vests).  I will update this thread if I get around to testing this wheel style.

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If you are unfamiliar with this kind of wheel and what you can do with it, take a look at this past article from the site:

The Homemade Wheel

You will also find several progressions and exercise variations within this past video:

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Lastly, for those who are new to the site, you can find many more homemade equipment ideas at the link below.   If anyone has any additional equipment ideas, pass them along and I will update the site.

Homemade Equipment Archive

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22 Comments so far

  1. marc December 23rd, 2009 3:17 pm

    Ross, you’ve been a big inspiration! I made mine a while ago with good ol’ fashion gorilla tape. I’ve been doing countless ab roll-outs since then. Best wheels ever. Keep up the awesome work!

  2. Doug December 23rd, 2009 4:43 pm

    Same here, love the wheels. I used a padded handle from a broken set of cables and they work great…

  3. [...] Exercise: Love these pieces on homemade equipment. Here is the homemade wheel. [...]

  4. John December 23rd, 2009 6:51 pm

    Ive been doing this work-out with a dumbell after Ive seen the vid , but I,m gonna make wheels like this after the hollidays

  5. Bjorn December 23rd, 2009 8:21 pm

    Very nice! Will make these for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  6. TomG December 24th, 2009 1:18 am

    Hard to justify the time and cost involved, not to mention the need for a few tools, when you can get a pair of durable AKROwheels for 39.95 at amazon.

  7. Administrator December 24th, 2009 2:44 am

    Perhaps with the modifications ^, but when I built my wheels, I purchased lawnmower tires for less (and didn’t use many of the other supplies). The time to build was a matter of minutes (I used duct tape). The end product is also far more durable than any commercial model I’ve used (I’ve tested just about everything out there). The lawnmower tires are obviously durable when you consider what they are designed for originally. I’ve been using my wheels for many years and they are still as good as new. Lastly, if something was to break, I can easily buy a replacement part for a few dollars at most. All of the parts are readily available at any hardware store.

  8. kyle December 24th, 2009 4:18 pm

    I agree with TomG….Akrowheels are a much simpler option – and they work Really well.

  9. Southern Trainer December 24th, 2009 4:38 pm

    I bought Akro wheels back when they were 49.99. One of the wheels broke within 2 or 3 weeks of LIMITED use. The construction is NOT durable. It was a hassle to send them back, wait for a replacement, and even the replacement didn’t make me feel comfortable. I have since built two homemade pairs for myself and clients. For the handle, I first used pipe insulation, and then wrapped a thin layer of duct tape around. The pipe insulation is an inexpensive way to thicken the handle. A single length will be 1 or 2 dollars. The homemade model is much more durable, the wheels roll smoother and as Ross mentioned, ANY part can be replaced by visiting a local hardware store. The total cost for a pair of rollers was around $20 to $25 if I had to guess. I don’t recall the exact cost. In the least, I saved $15 for a more durable pair that can be used indefinitely.

    Homemade FTW, especially if you are a big guy who doesn’t want a cheap wheel to break and leave your jaw stuck in the floor.

  10. Leslie December 26th, 2009 3:02 am

    Hey Ross,

    Great website!

    Have you ever tried the Valslide, or the cheaper Furnitureslide (get a furniture slide from Target :) ? Just curious as that seems a bit more versatile than a wheel. =)


  11. Ed December 29th, 2009 12:20 am

    Hey Ross

    Made these tonight…took ~25min and cost $29.55

    Instead of the PVC nipple…since Sears Hardware did not have them, I used just a smaller diameter PVC pipe and slid it into the larger one…I also added large OD washers to either side of the wheels

    Worked like a charm!!! Thank you

  12. joe January 24th, 2010 9:53 pm

    what is the song name??

  13. joe January 25th, 2010 12:55 pm

    hey ross
    could somebody please tell me the name of the song

  14. Arcady January 26th, 2010 10:11 pm

    I originally bought the Acrowheels, but they looked too feminine for my sexual orientation, so they went straight to my wife and I went straight to Home Depot for parts to build Rosswheels :) My version was similar to the latest video, only I used hoses for handle thickness and grip plus washers on either side of the wheels.

  15. sbslider January 31st, 2010 8:18 pm

    I built the first version with a couple of twist that minimized tool usage. I used 8″ hex bolts instead of cutting down 12″ bolts. Also only need one nut, and just used a bit of goop to keep the nut from turning (ala locktite). One tweak that did not work was trying to put 12″ of 3/4″ pipe over 12″ of 1/2″. The pipe cooled too quick, and I did not get them all together. Ended up getting it to work with a few extra cuts and another trip to the oven, but I was trying to reduce the number of cuts a bit. My handle ended up about 4.5″ wide, which seems narrow but works fine with the wheels I have. They have a spacer built in one side, so that provides sufficient room to clear my hands from the wheels. mine are 7″ wheels, as I found them somewhere on the ground. Total cost for one wheel so far, $3.40. I still need to buy a second bold and nut, and find 2 more wheels.

  16. Blog : Barbell Rollouts February 20th, 2010 4:12 pm

    [...] past entries, I have highlighted various homemade  ab wheels designs.  I also wrote an article on the subject [...]

  17. Robert February 28th, 2010 2:21 pm

    I used a wide dumbbell with clamp on grips at the ends. Works great.

  18. Manny April 1st, 2010 1:11 am

    I made the wheel last night. The 3/4 PVC needed more than 5 minutes to bake. (8 minutes worked) The wheel works great! Thanks!!!

  19. Beach May 29th, 2010 9:31 pm

    I re-used tires from an old lawn mower. You could probably get them cheap at a mower repair shop. Thanks for sharing Ross, these are awesome!

  20. ilikemycivic February 25th, 2011 9:26 pm

    I when I built mine I used duct tape to “build up” the bolt then cut then ends off and slid on rubber bicycle handles. Cost about $40 for everything but I think they’ll outlive me. Thanks for the suggestions Ross!

  21. Brucho May 11th, 2011 8:12 am

    Hey Ross, nice vid. But can you or anyone else tell me what’s the name of the song in the last video “The Homemade Wheel Demonstration”? It sound pretty cool. :)

  22. Renato March 31st, 2012 2:17 pm

    Bicycle inner tube can be handy with this training tool also.
    It can be used as grip.Just slid it over.

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