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Elite’s new Direto trainer–Hands on!

Elite-Direto-Trainer-Overview

Today Elite announced their newest trainer for the 2017-2018 winter trainer season – the Direto.  This direct drive controllable trainer is notable partly for its price ($899), but also partly because it’s sporting easily the highest accuracy rating of any sub-$1,000 controllable trainer: +/- 2.5%.  In doing so, Elite is basically throwing down the hammer on their competitors.  Not just from a price standpoint, but also a specifications standpoint as you’ll see.

I’ve got an initial manufacturing run test unit that I was able to get some riding in on.  Note that it’s not a final unit, as that’ll come later this month as they spin up the production lines after validating things over the next week or two.  Still, it’s definitely an interesting look at what may be one of the most competitive trainers this year.

First up though – if you want everything from trainer sound levels to first ride testing all in one video, here ya go:

With that out of the way – onwards into the tech weeds we go.

The Tech Specs:

Elite-Direto-Unboxing1

So I started hinting at the tech specs above, but I think it’s best just to bulletize them into one big pile of spec awesomeness.  Then I’ll walk through what some of the key ones mean.  Here we go:

Trainer Type: Direct Drive
Price: $899USD/€849/£749/$1,299AUD
Protocols: Dual ANT+ (incl FE-C) & Bluetooth Smart
New Protocols: First to support Bluetooth Smart trainer control standard
Trainer Apps Supported: Basically everything
Max Wattage: 1,400w
Max Incline: 14%
Stated Accuracy: +/- 2.5%
Power meter inside: Yes
Can provide pedaling analytics: Yes
Flywheel weight: 4.2KG/9.2LBS
Foldable legs: Yes – total weight is 15KG/33.1LBS
Cassette & Axle support: 9/10/11 speed, thru-axle for 130-135x5mm & 142×12.

Phew, so there ya have it – everything in one go.  Let me dive into the pieces I think are most important though:

Accuracy: Without question, this is what’s selling this trainer. A stated accuracy claim of +/- 2.5% is pretty significant.  It basically makes it on par with most power meters that sit at +/- 2% these days.  Elite is able to pull this off by integrating a power meter into the Direto unit itself.  Elite calls that the OTS – Optical Torque Sensor.  This is similar to the OTS system that’s in their higher end Kura and Drivo sensors last year, except those sensors are now known called OTS Plus.  As you may remember from my in-depth review, the Drivo accuracy is stunning, and even more than that is the stability of the wattage control.  Don’t worry, we’ll talk initial accuracy results in a bit.  For background, the vast majority of trainers below $1,000 are wheel-on (not direct drive), and within that almost all of them have +/- 5%, and sometimes that +/- 5% claim is a bit iffy.

Max Incline & Wattage: Most sub-$1,000 trainers have a max incline of about 8-10%.  We saw a few last year like the CycleOps Magnus go higher than that, but it was still wheel-on.  With the Direto – it comes in at a solid 14%.  Of course, this stat mainly matters in these Zwift days, but also as people leverage apps like Kinomap to re-ride steep climbs like Alpe d’Huez.  I don’t think the 1,400w piece matters as much here to be honest, since the majority of riders can’t get near that number (for example, I top out at ~1,000w).  However, where it is useful is for riders who might want a trainer that can handle over 1,000w and know that for structured interval work (e.g. 30×30’s) it’ll still be solid and not struggle to maintain power.

Dual & New Protocols: Sure, the unit transmits and works across both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart – as any saleable trainer does these days.  That includes ANT+ FE-C for trainer control to many apps, as well as custom Bluetooth Smart control used by many apps as well.  Plus just standard transmission of power/speed/cadence over ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart.  But there’s a new and hidden little feature here: Support for the new Bluetooth Smart trainer control standard (officially called the Fitness Machine Profile/Service).  Elite’s the first company to adopt it on the trainer front.  From an apps standpoint, TrainerRoad has confirmed they’ll soon support the new standard, as has Zwift, Kinomap and The Sufferfest.

Price: Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the price is a big deal.  It matches that of the Tacx Flux, which has a stated accuracy range of +/- 5% instead.  The Flux is also limited to a 10% grade (vs 14% for Direto).  But let me dive into that all a bit later in this post.

Ok, with those big ticket items out of the way, let me backup a bit for those that may not be as familiar with these trainers to offer some quick background on how it works from start to finish.

First up is that folding aspect.  The unit can be folded up for easy storage. Given it weighs a fair bit less than some of the higher end trainers, this makes movement all that much easier.

EliteDiretoTrainer

The two legs lock in place using these little thumb screw type things, so it won’t go anywhere.  You can also adjust the height of the legs, should you have wonky flooring.

Elite-Direto-ThumbScrew

Next, you’ll need to plug it in to get the controllable aspects to work.  It will provide a low amount of resistance without power, but it won’t be controllable without it.

Elite-Direto-Power

Once plugged in you’ll get the status indicators to light-up.  This includes power, ANT+, and Bluetooth Smart.  When a connection is maintained over those channels, that indicator will illuminate:

Elite-Direto-Lights

The direct drive nature means that your rear wheel is removed when you place it on the trainer.  This is generally considered a good thing as it eliminates any slippage and in most cases is quieter – since you’ve removed the sound of the tire on the trainer.

Elite-Direto-Side-View

Now because it’s a direct drive trainer, you will need to install your own cassette on it.  The unit accepts 9/10/11 speed cassettes.  A cassette will typically set you back about $50 for a Shimano Ultegra one (just an example), and then another $15-$25 for the tools if you don’t have those.  Not a huge deal, and it only takes 3-4 minutes to install.  But just something to be aware of:

Elite-Direto-Cassette

With everything all set you’ll start by pairing it to an app to control the trainer.  Elite includes a 12-month subscription to their platform, or you can use any of more than two dozen apps (see my huge app guide for that).  These include apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, The SufferFest, Kinomap, and many more.  It can do this over ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart.  Here it is pairing on an iPad via Bluetooth Smart:

Elite-Direto-Zwift

And then here I am pairing it with a Garmin Edge device via ANT+ FE-C (so I could re-ride given routes straight from the Garmin):

DSC_5526-1

From a standards standpoint it supports the following:

ANT+: Power with speed/cadence channel, ANT+ FE-C Trainer Control standard
Bluetooth Smart: Power with speed/cadence, private Elite BT control, Bluetooth Trainer Control Standard

So basically, it has everything you’d need from a control or transmission standpoint, and does so concurrently.  So you could mount your Garmin to your handlebars and get your power data transmitted to it at the same time you ride using Zwift and Bluetooth Smart.

 

With all that goodness out of the way, you’re ready to jump on and ride.  Given it’s a controllable trainer, it’ll automatically adjust the resistance to match what your app is dictating.  This means for apps like Zwift or Kinomap it’ll adjust the incline appropriately to the scenery – such as 7% incline.  And for ERG apps like TrainerRoad (or Zwift Workout mode), it’ll adjust the wattage to the defined levels – such as 315w. That’s really the beauty of such a device – you just need to pedal.  Of course ‘just need to pedal’, can certainly be a challenge in a tough workout session.

So what about road feel?  I talk about this in the video – as it’s something that you can get two people side by side on two different trainers and then swap and they’ll both give differing opinions.  Still, I’d say this is good – but not in the same category of the $1,200 trainers (i.e. KICKR, etc…).  But it felt a bit better than the Flux while in Zwift in terms of responsiveness and feel.  Again, it’s a hard thing to really judge, even when swapping trainers back and forth.

As for noise?  Well you can check that out in the video too.  It rates about average to slightly quieter for a trainer (when I tested at 20MPH, which is what I usually test at).  Still, since it’s ERG driven in ERG mode you can reduce speed (without impacting power) and get very quiet (also shown in video).  And I’d say there’s less of a grinding sound than there is on the Tacx Flux, so it ‘sounds’ better in that respect.

Now that I’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into an initial ride data.

Initial Ride Data:

Elite-Direto-FirstRide

The trainer arrived at just the last minute on Friday, before I had to take off (literally) for the Tour de France.  So my time is limited with it.  And that’s OK.  Elite doesn’t want this unit to be considered for a full in-depth review, since it’s not 100% a final production unit.  While very close, it’s technically considered a test production run.  If everything looks good from this manufacturing run set, then they’ll commence full-scale production in a few weeks.  At that time they’ll shoot me another unit to evaluate more fully and deeply for a complete review.

Still…I can’t help myself.  I’ve gotta at least see what things look like accuracy-wise, right?

For that I loaded up my bike, which is equipped with its usual power meter pile of goodness.  Since it’s a direct drive trainer I had to remove the wheel (which contains a PowerTap hub).  That left on the bike a PowerTap P1, Power2Max NG, and then a Stages left-only unit.  For the purposes of this test I focused on comparing it to the Power2Max NG and PowerTap P1 (for a total of three units).

My test would be simple – just wander around Zwift for a while, but with some solid sprints in there.  Also, I’d test out both high and low-cadence and a variety of different gears.  Basically, a complete blend of stuff.  I paired to the Zwift app via Bluetooth Smart, which I ran on an iPad.

DSC_5534

Here’s the results of that.  You can dig into the files yourself on the DCR Analyzer, with the data set located here:

image

(Wondering why I stopped at the 14-minute marker? Well, funny story. In order to shoot the video in the tight spaces of the cave I run out of lens width, as well as outlets. I had stretched the Direto power cord to its absolute length limit.  See that sprint? Well I rocked the cord just enough to pull it out of the wall.  Took me a few moments to figure out what the heck happened.  Next time I’ll scoot back a few millimeters.)

As you can see, the unit handled really well from an accuracy standpoint in terms of matching the others (shown here smoothed at 3-seconds).  For example, look at this sprint below:

image

You can see it quickly tracks the power shift with virtually no delay at all.  Very solid.  Some slight differences at the top between the units in terms of both ordering and exact maxes, but that’s normal for sprints between multiple power meters.  Timing and such plays a part into that.

If we look at more random points along the way, you’ll see it’s very close – only thee watts on 208w.  Of course, you can get a bit into the drivetrain loss argument here too.  But I think these graphs show it tracks incredibly close – which is great.  I’ll certainly be diving into more data on final units.

image

So for a first ride – so far so good!

The only minor beta bug is that I was unable to connect over Bluetooth Smart from the TrainerRoad iPad app to the unit.  Well, I was able to connect, just not control it.  I had no issues with TrainerRoad and ANT+ FE-C.  My guess is just a minor compatibility thing.  In talking with TrainerRoad, they say they’ll dive into it and resolve it quickly.  Historically speaking, that means like a few hours. 😉

Of course – again, it’s not final and thus things could change.  Perfect accuracy like above could go to crap.  Though, usually that doesn’t happen.  But still – I just want to point out that this isn’t a full review, but just a first look.

Product Comparison:

I’ve added the Direto to the product comparison tool, which allows you to compare it against virtually any other trainer on the market (or at least, all the ones I’ve tried out).  For below I’ve compared it against the Elite Drivo (that’s their higher end model), as well as the Tacx Flux (same price), and for random comparison the Tacx Neo.  Of course, you can make your own comparison charts here to mix and match your own trainers.

Function/FeatureElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated July 4th, 2017 @ 12:40 pmNew Window
Price for trainer$899 USD/€849/£749$1,299/€1,390/£1,099$899USD/€799$1,599USD/€1,399
Attachment TypeDirect Drive (No Wheel)Direct Drive (no wheel)Direct Drive (no wheel)Direct Drive (no wheel)
Available today (for sale)Late July/Early August 2017YesYEsYes
Availability regionsGlobalGlobalGlobalGlobal
Connects to computerYesYesYesYes
Uses mouse/keyboard as control unitYes (with apps)Yes (with apps)Yes (with apps)Yes (with apps)
Uses phone/tablet as control unit (handlebar)Yes (with apps)Yes (with apps)Yes (with apps)Yes (with apps)
Wired or Wireless data transmission/controlWirelessWirelessWirelessWireless
Power cord requiredYes (no control w/o)YesYesNo
Flywheel weight4.2KG/9.2LBS13.2lbs/6kg6.7kg (simulated 25kg)Simulated/Virtual
ResistanceElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Can electronically control resistance (i.e. 200w)YesYesYesYes
Includes motor to drive speed (simulate downhill)NoNoNoYes
Maximum wattage capability1,400w @ 40KPH / 2,200w @ 60KPH2,296w @ 40KPH / 3,600w @ 60KPH1,500w @ 40KPH2,200w @ 40KPH
Maximum simulated hill incline14%24%10%25%
FeaturesElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Ability to update unit firmwareYesYesYesYes
Measures/Estimates Left/Right PowerYEsNoNoNo
Can directionally steer trainer (left/right)NoNoNoNo
Can simulate road patterns/shaking (i.e. cobblestones)NoNoNoYes
AccuracyElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Includes temperature compensationN/AN/AYesN/A
Support rolldown procedure (for wheel based)N/AN/AYesN/A
Supported accuracy level+/- 2.5%+/- 1%+/-5%+/- 1%
Trainer ControlElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Allows 3rd party trainer controlYesYesYesYes
Supports ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control Standard)YesYesYesYes
Supports Bluetooth Smart control for 3rd partiesYesYesYesYes
Data BroadcastElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Can re-broadcast power data as open ANT+YesYesYesYes
Can re-broadcast data as open Bluetooth SmartYesYesYesYes
PurchaseElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Amazon LinkN/ALinkLinkLink
Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training EuropeN/AN/ALinkLink
DCRainmakerElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxTacx NEO Smart
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Again, remember you can mix and match the your own comparisons here.

Impact to the market:

Elite-Direto-Close-Up-Hub

So what’s this all mean going forward?  Well the most obvious thing to me is that this is the trainer to beat for 2017.  While traditionally new trainer announcements extend into the Eurobike/Interbike time period (last week of August/middle of September), I don’t think we’ll see much in the way to compete with this.

Last year we saw Tacx throw out the daggers with the Flux.  That got off to a rough start though with both delays and then manufacturing QC issues.  These days all is well of course, and it’s a solid performer.  The question is whether Elite can avoid that same fate.  My hunch says yes.  Partly because Elite historically has a better track record of doing so, and also because Elite is over 2 months earlier already than Tacx was.  Elite’s planning on starting shipping in merely a few weeks, compared to Tacx had planned to initially ship in October last year.

Of course, we could still see something new from Wahoo, or perhaps Kinetic if they’re willing to join the rest of the world on dual ANT+/BLE.  I don’t expect anything new from CycleOps, since they had a pretty strong new-products year last season and really only caught-up this winter with demand.  Which roughly looks like Tacx too.

As noted earlier though – expect a full in-depth review of the Elite Direto in early-mid August, assuming I get a final production Direto in late July.  And then as usual expect my Annual Trainer Recommendations Guide in the fall, after Interbike and Eurobike.  I suspect it could be out far sooner this season than years past, given the timelines of companies involved.  But even those best laid plans often get slighted by someone.

With that – thanks for reading!

P.S: Also check out initial thoughts from Titanium Geek and GPLama, both of which do good work in this space.

P.P.S: You can pre-order the Direto now from Clever Training.  In doing so you help support the site, plus you’ll save 10% using DCR coupon code DCR10BTF and free US shipping.  For European folks, Clever Training is looking to have the CT Europe listings up shortly, which also qualifies for the coupon code and free shipping.

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90 Comments

  1. Kyle Polansky

    Thanks for the tip on your TdF Stage 1 post to “strongly suggest checking back here around sunrise Paris time on Monday”.

    I was hoping we’d see a new post comparing the time required to carry trainers a mile, but a look at power cord stretchy-ness (or lack thereof) makes up for it.

    • 😂 I was just going to mention that hint but haha! Ray you should really consider doing a “Watts used and time elapsed to carry a trainer a mile” comparison.

    • After having to carry a Tacx Neo about a mile at Eurobike two years back, I’d say this ranks more favorably in that specific evaluation criterion. Though, my memory of that incident may be tainted from when we had to get it over the top of a 8ft high fence.

  2. Phil

    I like It and… it’s not white…😁…

  3. Pao Casty

    Another great update DCR! But briefly, what are the major features that the Direto gives up for a decrease in price versus the Drivo? Was thinking of getting the Drivo this week, then suddenly this one appears. :) More power, sir!

    • Main things:

      A) Drivo has +/- 1% accuracy, Direto +/- 2.5%
      B) Drivo has 2,000w+ ceiling, Direto 1,400w
      C) Drivo is a little quieter
      D) Drivo can simulate grades of 24%, Direto 14%

      Pro Tip: You can also use the DCR Comparison tool to compare them here. In fact, there’s the exact comparison chart: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Fabian

      Hi Ray,

      at the moment the drivo can be purchased at about 1050/1100 euro online. I think the street price of the direto could be max 800€ max if they want to sell some unit.

    • Yeah, street pricing is challenging in Europe and honestly I’ve given up on following it because it’s just too hard to manage.

    • Fabian

      Ray i know it’s very subjective but maybe one of the most important things it’s also the ‘road feel’ that you explain well in the video. I mean, for me and i think for the 98% of cyclists here, is more important than the ‘limit’ of only 1400watts.

      At the moment is the only thing that keep the drivo in my wishlist..

  4. Charles

    Hi,
    what is the benefit of simulating an incline? What is the difference between simulating an incline vs. increasing the resistance on a trainer?
    Thanks!

    • Generally speaking it’s tied more closely to speed. Typically the faster a trainer goes the higher wattage it can resist from a motor standpoint. Whereas at slow speeds such as 6-8MPH, it becomes much more difficult for trainers. Of course, that’s usually the speeds for steeper inclines.

      For example, the Direto is rated at 1,400w at 40KPH. But it also carries a rating of 2,200w…albeit at 60KPH. But I standardize everything here on the 40KPH ratings (as do almost all companies).

  5. Philip Gerrity

    You mention that it can support thru-axle bikes. Is a separate adapter required to connect to the bike? Or does that adapter come with the trainer?

  6. Felix

    Have you felt any lag in Zwift?

    • Nothing that I felt. It reacted quickly to me, as well as the terrain. I was doing Zwift Island, and my particular route didn’t have any super sharp climbs (such as some of the short sharp climb of Richmond). But I’ll be going in search of that tomorrow.

    • ekutter

      Similarly, it would be interesting to know how responsive it is to big wattage jumps in ERG mode, say going from 150w to 350w, compared to other trainers like the kickr. How long does it take to make the adjustment?

  7. Garrett

    Just making sure I have this right, my road bike only has a powertap, but this one has pretty solid power accuracy, so I could use this without an on the bike power meter and get enough accuracy to make erg training worth it without have a separate power meter elsewhere on the bike? Really excited about this, intervals are not easy to accomplish where I live, so this would be a huge benefit for me.

    • Yup, correct.

      For folks like yourself with a PT Hub that couldn’t use it on a direct drive trainer, this would be a virtually even match for power accuracy to that hub.

    • Garrett Work

      Appreciate it. Will look forward to the in depth, the few issues with the Tacx Flux kept me from buying one, but this looks promising!

    • Steve

      You are not alone on that.

      Buying an unreliable phone is annoying, but it’s easy/cheap to send back. I never want to have to package up and post trainers back. So no Flux for me…yet.

  8. Brad

    “Of course, we could still see something new from Wahoo, or perhaps Kinetic if they’re willing to join the rest of the world on dual ANT+/BLE.”

    Am I trying too hard if I see that statement as a hint of a new Wahoo trainer coming soon?

    • I wouldn’t read into it too much.

      As noted above – I expect this to be a fairly quiet year for trainers. I expect things from companies more inline with what Tacx did last year with the Neo – tiny mods for frame/manufacturing compatibility, which then results in a new SKU, but basically the same.

      I am interested though in trying out the new Jetblack trainer coming. Been chatting with them, I think they were saying late July last I talked.

    • Gary W

      What about the Tacx Magnum? They have been talking that up for some time.

    • I did a video on that last year: link to youtube.com

      I think they’re shipping now.

      They offered to send one over, but I declined. I simply don’t have the space for it unfortunately.

    • across226

      @DCR, are you going to prepare a review of Tacx Magnum in foreseeable future though?

    • No, unfortunately not. I just don’t have the space for it here. And while I could certainly travel to Tacx and do something over the course of a few days in their facilities, I think for me I like to tinker with things on my own time and generally just figure it out from start to finish over a longer period of time.

  9. Joe

    Thanks for that. So how does the sound compare to Tacx Neo Smart?

    Thanks

    Joe

    • It’s louder than that. Mostly because everything is louder than it.

      It’s more of a gearing-flywheel loudness sound than anything really. Not bad though, just not silent.

    • Joe

      Thanks, living in a Paris apartment, I let go my Wahoo for Tacx because of sound. The more silent the better for me!

  10. Brett

    You know, one of these times, your write-up on these trainers is going to lighten my wallet. I’ve been using Zwift with a dumb trainer for a few months now, and the resistance control aspect just gets more and more appealing. The one trainer that I keep watching is the the Stac Zero. Any word where they are on the resistance control features?

  11. Russ Lynn

    Great review of the Direto! I’ve been looking forward to a product like this for a while.

  12. Cristian Gal

    This is quite a nice unit. Does this one require calibration before each workout? I understand that for Tacx Flux is required but for the high end units like Neo or Drivo this is not required.

  13. John Senger

    And here I was just about to buy a Kickr. One question – will this trainer work with Zwift when using a power meter on the bike? I’d like to use my Quarq to measure the power for consistency when outdoors.

  14. Tosin Akinmusuru

    in the bullet point section, you have:

    Protocols: Dual ANT+ (incl FC-C) & Bluetooth Smart. you mean FE-C?

  15. Michael Beauchamp

    Excellent and very helpful review

  16. Rick Smits

    Great review. This has me again interested in a trainer. Especially so when I see Tacx Neo on Chain Reaction for 800 quid. Thoughts on that pricing Ray?

    • Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that for ‘only’ 50 pounds more I’d easily go NEO. But in that same vein that’s comparing a GBP list price to a non-list price.

  17. Lee Sutton

    Hi Ray

    One thing that, for me at least, would be really useful is the watts at 30kph. This is approximately the max speed of a wheel in a 52/11 gear at 50rpm. I have a few workouts where the aim is to improve force and climbing that require really low cadence with high power. My current KK dumb trainer doesn’t quite produce enough resistance which is one of the reasons I’m looking at upgrading. Plus it kind of rounds out the operating range I guess?!

    Cheers

    Lee

  18. Tim Grose

    Just noticed you say this can measure left/right power. If so, the only trainer that does?

    Interesting if so. Maybe this is through the “pedaling analysis option” mentioned at link to elite-it.com

  19. Rune Larsen

    I’d be interested in knowing if there is a “resistance floor” of the trainer also.
    I have a Tacx Flux, and use it with TrainerRoad, and I find that when there are large variations in the power of the intervals, e.g. 380W on / 100W off, I have to change gears to hit my power targets.

    • Elite

      Ciao Rune,
      We are not sure about what you mean with “resistance floor”. Based on the type of training you’re doing, you have to maintain the same gear or change it based on the power created by the trainer.
      Anyway we’d be happy to answer you in a more detailed way if you dropped an email at info@elite-it.com.

    • Elite

      Direto, as much as many other interactive trainers, has got a minimum and a maximum threshold of simulated power.
      In some specific situations, in order to reach given power values, it is necessary to modify cadence and potentially the bike gears.

    • Will

      Hello Elite,

      Is this range of simulated power the same for the Drivo vs. the Direto, or is the range higher on the Drivo? Does this power range correlate to the Max incline e.g. 24% vs 14%?

      Looking forward to the production review and sound comparison (to the Drivo)!

      Thank you

  20. KDub

    Was working up the nerve to replace my ‘dumb’ trainer, this post created the new anxiety of actually placing an order (using the the link of course) before Ray actually reviews… I comfort myself with the idea I can cancel, this unit sounds tailor made for my use case which will involve regular relocation of the unit. Looking forward to that review Ray!

  21. GoustiFruit

    Can you confirm that we Europeans can pre-order from the main CT website and that the order will be transferred to and managed by CT Europe ? Or should we wait for CT Europe to be up ?

  22. Michael Rixon

    Hi Ray, is there a link to the sound tests for this unit? Cannot seem to find them anywhere :-)

  23. Thomas

    No issues with long cage (mtb) derailleurs? I know the flux doesnt work with long cage..

    • Elite

      Dear Thomas,

      We’ve developed Direto by considering the main cases of incompatibilities that we had with the previous models.
      Due to a protuding shape that Fux has, sometimes some derailleurs touch the Flux. This protuding profile is not present on the Direto.
      We’re still testing all the derailleurs but so far everything is ok!

      Surely the rear derailleur doesn’t touch the case of the fan highlighted on your previous email because it stays forward from this shape.

      At disposal for every further information.

  24. Bart

    I’m liking the accuracy and 14% incline and was going to wait for this trainer but the Tacx Flux is going for €639 at the moment. Not sure whether the Direto is worth the additional €219.

  25. Courtney

    I’d just about settled on a Tacx Flux over a Kickr Snap – now I see this! This might be the new favourite…

    • Indeed, this is definitely the better of the three. Though, the SNAP is cheaper, and with the 2017 version there are some nice accuracy changes (more on that on Wednesday).

  26. Hovis

    Hi DC, great review and looks like a great trainer. Any ETA for us UK folk?

  27. Andrew

    Still a ways off, but last year I recall a big 20% sale on trainers around the holidays. I THINK it was through Clever Training (Maybe REI?). Think this will be included? I believe the Flux was included last year.

    • Clever Training had one in November of last year (as well as May of this year). All trainers on the market were included.

      The current plan is for something in the fall this year with similar terms, though the exact timing is currently being discussed. REI also did something similar as well.

  28. Lee Sutton

    Hi Ray

    Does the Direto hub use standard shimano/sram lockrings and tools?

    Also, am I right in thinking that really the only difference between this and the KICKR2 as the max watts? Accuracy seems as near as damn it the same. Thinking this one will be cheaper and won’t have that horrible whining noise :-)

    Thanks

    Lee

  29. Siegi

    Hi,
    I have a Standard Question about trainers.
    What about the frames of the bikes? The trainers can handle up 2000W or more but what about the Frames of the bikes?? Sitting maybe would be no problem but If I go out of saddle??

  30. Alex

    Hi Ray, I just wondered if the in-depth review will be posted in these two weeks? Really look forward to it as I am considering between the Direto and the SNAP.

    • They shipped out the final production unit yesterday to me, and it’s set to arrive tomorrow (French delivery peoples willing). So my guess is about two weeks from today.

      I’ve used the pre-prod Direto since, and short of them screwing something up in prod, it’s the trainer to beat this year.

    • Alex

      Thanks for the reply. Have you tried pairing with your own power meter to make it work together with the trainer (i.e. In ERG mode)? I wanted to have consistency throughout outdoor and indoor training.

      Thanks again!

    • I haven’t. Mostly because I’m more interested in how accurate it is from a straight-up standpoint. The whole ERG matching thing is really to resolve inaccuracies in trainers. If a trainer is so accurate that the numbers match anyway, then it becomes a non-issue (as seems to be the case with the Direto).

  31. Antti

    tech sheet of direto states (40 km/h) 1400 Watt – (60 km/h) 2200 Watt. Whas is this alternative 2200watt?

    • Lee Sutton

      As speed increases the amount of resistance it can apply also increases so they’re just giving examples of what the max resistance is at two different points. It largely depends on your gearing and cadence if you can get the rear wheel (virtual wheel really) up to the 60km/h hence why most manufacturers specify the max at around 40km/h.

    • Antti

      Many thanks Lee!

  32. Vitaliy

    Great, placed an order on Kickr Snap last night… Just went to Clevertraining to cancel an order and get Direto ….just to find out Snap was already shipped. Oh well, as soon as Clevertraining will get Direto in stock, snap will go back.
    Why didn’t I see that earlier..

  33. matt dokken

    Ray – Based off the review, price point and accuracy, it feels like this may be a better option over the wahoo kickr. Would you agree?

    • Lee Sutton

      I’m thinking along those lines too!

      Essentially the same accuracy, not significantly different max resistance, quieter/less annoying noise and cheaper!

    • Matt dokken

      I just wonder riding both side by side what has a better road feel?

    • Lee Sutton

      I know Shane Miller rated it just behind the KICKR but ahead of the Neo, he posted his unboxing and first ride review on YouTube in case you’ve not seen it.

    • Ignoring the road feel, yes, for the vast majority of riders I’d say Direto is a better option. The exceptions might be those that want a bit more incline/wattage – but that’s like a 1% or less sort of thing (for example, I’d not be applicable to either of those categories).

      The road feel is similar, and I’d agree with Shane there on the ranking.

    • Lee Sutton

      Cheers Ray, as I’m on 52/11 as my max gearing that means I can hit 60km/h at 100rpm which is 2,200w. Seeing as I normally sprint at 110+ I reckon that’ll cover me :-)

      Any news on the production review? This trainer definitely keeps finding it’s way back to the top of my decision whichever way I cut it!!

      My only slight concern is clearance with a SRAM eTap WiFli rear mech?! What’s your thoughts on the clearance? From Elite’s reply above it looks like they’re confident on compatibility

    • I’m working away on a production review, I’d like to get 1-2 more rides in. But so far all rides on the production unit look fantastic.

    • Matt dokken

      I had read there is some lag when riding within zwift….has that been cleared up on the production unit? I would assume that is something they could clear up in a software update.

    • There’s a little bit of slowness in ERG mode in large power shifts, but honestly nothing too far out of the norm. It’s really only an issue if you’re doing something like 10s repeats and the power gap is big (i.e. 125w up to 600w and back).

  34. Fabian

    I ve asked shane about road feel in the comments section of his youtube video. He gave a 9 to the lemond revolution a 7 to direto and something between 6.5 and 7 to the neo. But what surprises me was that shane think that direto is even better than the drivo.

    I know that road feel is maybe the most subjective thing to talk about…and that Ray sensations about it are different from shane sensations but it really seem that this trainer is a best buy for the following season.