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Elite Direto Trainer In-Depth Review

Elite-Direto-Trainer-Overview

Earlier this summer Elite announced the Direto, a direct drive trainer that’s fully integrated into the likes of Zwift and TrainerRoad. Priced at $899 it was initially targeted at the mid-range price market, but over the course of the last few months the target audience has widened to likely best some of the higher end trainers as well.  And ultimately, I think it’s probably the ‘trainer to beat’ for 2017 for all but the most specific of use cases.  But I’ll explain that thinking more later on.

In the meantime, since earlier July when it first announced, I’ve shifted from a pre-production unit to a final production unit.  Elite also started shipping units which have arrived on people’s doorsteps over the last week or so.  Once I wrap-up this review I’ll be sending back both loaner test units to them and going out and getting my own through normal retail channels.  Just the way I roll.

For those that want a bit of the basics, I cover almost everything you need to know about the Direto here:

Or, if video isn’t your thing, we can get onto the review itself!

Unboxing:

To start, we’ll begin with the hefty box that contains the Elite Direto:

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Cracking it open you’ll find the Direto inside, covered by foam and largely assembled.

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It’s covered in plastic, to keep it pretty in the event there’s a foam catastrophe with your local UPS man:

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And here’s all the goods laid out on the floor:

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Ultimately, you’ll just want to hit up that manual though, which instructs you on putting together the three legs.  Note in the upper right are the different options for axles, such as compatibility for 142×12 thru-axles.

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These three legs need to be inserted into the base using this handful of bolts:

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The entire process will maybe take you 3-4 minutes. Perhaps 5 minutes if you get distracted taking 58 photos of the whole scene:

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Then you need to install your cassette.  Remember that the Elite Direto does not include a cassette, so you’ll need to buy one.  I generally just plop on the same model cassette on all my trainers, which is this Shimano Ultegra 11-speed cassette that runs for about $65.  Of course, you can go SRAM if you have SRAM, Campy if you have Campy, and so on.  You will need a lockring tool though to install the cassette, and ideally a chain whip.  Though you can get away with an old glove in place of the chain whip.

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Note that you can install Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11 speed cassettes without any extra accessory, however, for Campagnolo cassettes (9/10/11 speed), you’ll need an adapter from Elite.

After installation of the cassette and legs, we’ve got the entire thing sitting there looking pretty, all legs extended and cassette teeth smiling:

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With that, we’re ready to start.

The Basics:

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The first thing to know is that the unit does require being plugged into the wall.  When doing so, you’ll end up illuminating the three lights on the side of the side/back that show you status.  This status includes ANT+ status, Bluetooth Smart status, and overall power.

Elite-Direto-Lights

Some have asked what happens if you pedal without it plugged in, and it does provide some resistance.  It won’t broadcast power/cadence/speed however, nor respond to resistance control from devices/apps.  But it will provide about 220w of steady-state resistance, and you can sprint up to about 300w or so (but it’ll quickly settle back on about 220w within a few seconds).  This will vary based on your exact gearing, but that’s the most I could squeeze out of it without power.  Still, for those that might want to do a warm-up at a race on it, it may work for you.  Or you could find one of those car battery converter things and plug it into your car’s power port.

Elite-Direto-Power

When it comes to resistance, the Direto is a fully resistance controlled trainer, meaning that it can take commands from apps and devices to adjust the resistance according to the app instructions.  So it can simulate slopes from 0% to 14%, as well as specific wattages up to 2,200w.  This second piece is known as ‘ERG mode’, and is often used in structured workouts like those that TrainerRoad and other apps excel at.

The Direto does this by electronically moving a magnet inside the unit, allowing it to simulate pretty much anything most cyclists would want.  So you can re-ride a famous climb watching a video in Kinomap, or execute Team Sky’s structured workouts on a Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT.  Whatever floats your boat.

Elite-Direto-FirstRide

When it makes this adjustment in ERG mode there’s a slight delay that I discuss more in detail in the trainer apps section below.  When in slope simulation mode there’s no delay for responsiveness.

A lot of folks ask about road-like feel.  Road-feel generally comes from the weight of a flywheel.  For the most part, the bigger the flywheel, the more road-like feel you get.  Though there are creative ways companies can double or increase the flywheel ‘effect’ without increasing the weight, such as through additional gearing like the higher end Drivo, which has a 6KG flywheel but a two gearing system that doubles the effective flywheel weight to 12KG.  And some like the Tacx Neo have no flywheel at all, it’s all simulated (and really good at it).  So it’s not as clear-cut as comparing weights as you might think.

Either way, the Direto has a 4.2KG (9.24LBS) flywheel, which is about average for a mid-range trainer.  Usually the higher end trainers (i.e. $1,100+ units) have about a 10-12KG flywheel.  But again, size isn’t everything…it’s how you use it.  Or something like that.

Elite-Direto-Close-Up-Hub

In the case of the Direto’s road-like feel, I’d rate it ‘good’, but not great.  But like I always say – no matter how good the road feel is, I’m still staring at a wall in my basement.  So it’s kinda hard to totally separate that for me.

Next, what about noise?  The Direto is about middle of the road here as well.  Noise on trainers is 100% related to speed, not power output.  Especially in ERG mode because you can sit on 1,000w at a mere 6MPH or at 20MPH depending on your gearing.  At 20MPH it will be substantially louder than 6MPH.  I often measure noise levels with a combination of my decibel meter stoplight and a straight-up normal decibel meter, and my measurements agree with that of Shane Miller in his quick video he did on noise levels below:

Keep in mind though again that many factors impact noise level testing, including: speed, gearing, chain cleanliness, room design, room size, microphone placement, decibel meter placement (distance and angle from bike), room materials, other items in room, and tidal patterns.  Ok, not tidal patterns, but seriously – I can make any trainer sound on video as loud or quiet as I want based on tweaking just one of the items above.  So take everything with a boulder sized grain of salt. At the end of the day know that it’s no Tacx Neo, it’s just middle of the road.  I do however find the sound more pleasant than the Tacx Flux, which to me has a bit of grinding sound to it (as you can hear easily above).

The Direto does actually contain a power meter, called OTS (Optical Torque Sensor), which is rated at +/- 2.5%.  That’s the best claimed accuracy we’ve seen in a mid-range trainer, and only slightly below what we see in most high-end trainers which is usually +/- 1-2%.  Elite recommends you calibrate this occasionally using a quick and simple roll-down procedure.  Note that no other mid-range trainers have a power meter.  Inversely, note that having a power meter doesn’t guarantee perfect accuracy.  In fact, the KICKR 2 and KICKR 3 showed that ditching a power meter could improve accuracy since it was one less component to break during shipping (which is what was occurring for KICKR 1 folks).  Either way, that’s not really an issue here with the Direto as you’ll see in the accuracy section.

DSC_9386

Now I will say that while I calibrated my unit once at the start, I haven’t done so since and it’s remained incredibly consistent and accurate – far more than almost any other trainer I’ve seen (except the Elite Drivo, which also uses OTS…and the Tacx Neo).  As such for this trainer, my gut feel is you can get away with doing calibration every few weeks, or when the temperature significantly shifts in your pain cave.

Finally, when it comes to movement/storage/portability, note that the legs do fold straight to the unit itself, enabling you to store it more easily:

DSC_5565 DSC_5564 DSC_5563

There’s also little adjustable portions under each leg to allow you to further adjust the height of each leg individually in the event you have a wonky-ass floor like mine is.

With that – let’s get this thing connected to some apps and cookin’.

App Compatibility:

When it comes to app compatibility, the Elite Direto is technically the most capable trainer on the market today for 3rd party apps.  Albeit, probably only a technicality. See, it’s the first trainer to start shipping that supports the new Bluetooth Smart trainer control protocol (FTMS: Fitness Machine Service).  Of course, it also supports the more widely adopted ANT+ FE-C as well.

In total, here are all the ways the Direto transmits data to 3rd party apps:

ANT+ Speed/Cadence/Power (standard transmission)
ANT+ FE-C trainer control (Fitness Equipment Control)
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence/Power (standard transmission)
Bluetooth Smart FTMS (Fitness Machine Service)

So, to put this in practical terms, who uses all these things?  Well, basically any app or device you have can leverage one or more of these options.  For example, some common ones:

Zwift: Can use everything above
TrainerRoad: Also everything above
Garmin Edge head units: ANT+ variants, plus Bluetooth Smart broadcast for Edge 1030
Garmin wearables: ANT+ Speed/Cadence/Power, and Fenix5/935 on Bluetooth speed/power/cadence
Polar devices: Bluetooth Smart speed/cadence/power
Suunto devices: Bluetooth Smart speed/cadence/power

For all the apps out there, check out my full compatibility list within the annual trainer apps guide (to be updated in October, though all the compatibility data is largely still valid).

In my case, I largely tested with Zwift and TrainerRoad – simply because those are the two biggest apps out there today.  Within that framework, I did both regular riding in Zwift (+ workouts), as well as ERG workouts in TrainerRoad.

Starting with TrainerRoad, you’d go ahead into the devices area and find the Direto listed.  In my case it showed up as DI:

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I went ahead and renamed that to Elite Direto, and then also disabled PowerMatch, because for testing reasons I want to know it’s thinking for itself and not relying on another power meter.  However, for most other people you’ll likely leave the default as enabled.

2017-09-07 16.22.53

Next, I loaded up my usual 30×30 trainer test.  This is something I end up running on virtually all trainers as a great way to validate ERG mode responsiveness.  It starts off with a short two-minute ramp, and then it oscillates power at 30-second intervals between a low wattage (about 150w on this day), and a high wattage (about 470w). You can run this same workout yourself here.

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From there, off I went, right into things.  You’ll see there’s current power (465w), as well as target power (472w).

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While ERG mode will maintain a given wattage, you’ll see slight differences if you quickly shift cadence or attempt to sprint. At which point the trainer will reign you back in, but it offers you a little bit of ‘give’.

When it comes to responsiveness, I was curious how quickly ERG mode would react to the shift in power (~150w to ~472w).  And on average it took about 3-4 seconds to make that transition.  This is pretty normal for a trainer.  Some can do it a second or two faster, but you actually don’t really want to go from 150w to 500w in one second.  It’d be like hitting a brick wall.  So all in all here, I was happy with this.

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You can see above on the yellow line how things reacted quickly compared to the blue blocks which are what’s specified in the plan.  Note that different apps apply different levels of smoothing, and trainer companies also in turn enable different levels of smoothing.  Further, some trainers have technological limitations to how fast they can shift power in an ERG mode configuration.

But for the Direto, I’m not seeing that be a big issue in my case.  I suppose if you were doing ERG micro-intervals (i.e. 10-second long intervals), and perhaps at a bigger wattage differences (150w to 1,000w), the transition may be too long.  But in my case, it wasn’t a concern.

Note that in the case of TrainerRoad, the Direto is also providing cadence and speed data as well.

Next, let’s look at Zwift.  Here things are pretty darn similar.  You’ll start off by pairing to the Elite Direto trainer within the equipment menu:

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And then from there you’ll want to validate both speed and cadence are coming from the Direto, if that’s what you prefer.  I personally would use a dedicated cadence sensor for the most accurate cadence data, if it were me.  But sometimes I’m just lazy and don’t care.

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After that, you’re off and cruising in Zwift.  Of course, in regular (non-workout) mode, Zwift is transmitting the grade to the Direto, which in turn automatically adjusts the grade on the trainer.

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This means that if you ride up a 6% climb, that it’ll feel like 6% – at least if you’ve got the realism setting enabled.  That setting is by default set to 50% realism, so you’d want to tweak that in the settings to ‘get all the feels’.  Note, this does not impact how fast you might race in Zwift, that’s all dictated from your actual wattage.

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For things like responsiveness in sprints or climbs, I’ve had zero issues there with the Direto.  It responds as fast as I can throw down the wattage (I top out around 1,000w).  So I can’t speak for someone that may have far bigger legs than I.  Though I haven’t heard of any issues with the Direto either.  Note that I cover accuracy in these sprints in the next section.

When it comes to Zwift workout mode, the basics of pairing and such are all the same.  However what differs is how Zwift handles the ERG function.  Zwift will set ERG mode, but it’s not as strict as TrainerRoad is on holding the wattage.  So with Zwift, you end up wobbling a bit more at the target wattage than TrainerRoad.  Their idea being that it teaches you to hold power more accurately out on the road.  And there’s some truth to that.  On the flip-side, I personally prefer just having the trainer hold the wattage as set (after all, that’s why I bought an expensive trainer).

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Still, those differences are merely belief-based more than technical.  So they apply to any trainer you choose on either platform.

As far as apps go though on the whole, the Direto has you covered.  One interesting item to note is that while the Direto does technically have their previous Elite-specific Bluetooth Smart control in it (it’s what Zwift uses), it’s not advertised.  As such companies are heavily encouraged to leverage the new Bluetooth Smart FTMS standard.  So I suspect we’ll see some quirks this fall as companies get that cooking in full.

For example, TrainerRoad worked over the summer to get things ‘ready’ for the Direto on FTMS, and launched that last week.  They’re also working hand in hand with Tacx to ensure when Tacx lights up FTMS shortly, that things work without issue there too.  As each company navigates the slightly uncharted waters of FTMS, each one is doing it slightly differently.  I don’t expect this to be a long term problem, and it’s great to see that Elite decided to pave the way here as it really helps out consumers and smaller app makers long term to all be on two core trainer control standards: ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth Smart FTMS.

Power Accuracy Analysis:

Next up, let’s dive into some of the power accuracy figures for the Elite Direto.  In the case of the Direto, they claim accuracy within +/- 2.5%, using their OTS power meter.  In order to validate that I’m comparing against a number of ‘known good’ power meters at once on the same bike.

In the case of testing the production Direto over the last month, I’ve been comparing it against the following power meters concurrently:

– Power2Max NG ECO
– Power2Max NG
– 4iiii Precision Dual
– FSA PowerBox
– Favero Assioma Dual Pedals
– Garmin Vector 3 Pedals

When it comes to testing, I generally focus on 2-3 core apps, and then a few scenarios within that.  Keep in mind that while every app will impact slight differences in responsiveness of the trainer, it won’t impact the underlying accuracy.  In all cases, I’m recording the power data stream directly from the Elite Direto, not via the app.  I record these streams to a pile of Garmin Edge devices via ANT+ (usually a blend of Edge 520’s, 820’s and lately an Edge 1030).

With that, let’s dive right into things with the 30×30 testing you saw above via TrainerRoad.  This is my defacto test for trainers and looking at accuracy between multiple power meters.  Here’s the overall test:

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While I talked about how this is testing responsiveness, it’s also testing the accuracy in large power shifts.  And at the end of this test I tossed in two quick sprints to almost 900w.  First though, we’ll start with the 30×30 sections by zooming in (but leaving zero smoothing on):

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Here you see things look really good actually in that they all jump together at exactly the same rate and to almost the exact same place.  You’ll see very slight differences in 1-second power (as seen above), due to recording/transmission rates on the protocol.  If I add a 3-second smoothing to the graphs, it helps to show how similar they are:

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All of them are within a few watts, though the Power2Max NG ECO does briefly go slightly higher for a few seconds and then settles out.  Whether it’s being more sensitive or not it’s super clear to me.  Again, large shifts in power is always somewhat tricky to match perfectly across units.

Either way, the rest of the 30×30’s were all essentially the same.  The only variability you see in the power levels is due to me shifting cadence dramatically, which causes trainers to take a second or two to re-stabilize.  Though accuracy doesn’t shift any during that.

Looking later on in the workout I did two random sprints for fun:

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These came close to 900w and you can see all three power meters essentially mirrored each other within a few percent, which is what we’d expect.  We also see the Elite Direto show as the ‘lowest’ value of the three, which is also as expected, given it’s measuring power furthest from the source (my foot).  So all good in TrainerRoad on 30×30’s on the iPad using Bluetooth Smart control.

Meanwhile, here’s another TrainerRoad workout, this time using FE-C to control things from a Windows computer.

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The numbers are so close it’s crazy.  To the point it’s not really worth digging into in a pile of screenshots, seriously, they’re almost identical.  Really solid.

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Lastly, we’ve got one in Zwift we’ll take a look at.  This time with the FSA PowerBox along for the ride as well as the Favero Assioma pedals.

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Again, not to belabor things, but it once again looks really solid here.  Let’s start by looking at those two bumps of intensity earlier on:

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You can see all three units track within a few watts of each other the entire time, and find the same point after the initial sprint within two seconds.  As expected there’s very slight variability between the units second to second, but they all trend almost atop each other.

If we look at one early sprint just shy of 800w, you’ll see everyone matches very closely:

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But check out as I stop pedaling for 15-20 seconds what happens (below): There’s a very slight delay for the Direto to zero down the power, about 5 seconds longer than the others.  This isn’t uncommon for trainers to see this kinda taper.  While not ideal, I can’t think of many scenarios it’ll matter in real-life.  If I stop pedaling entirely, I’m unlikely to complain about a slight taper of that power to 0w.  Though to each their own.

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Speaking of another imperfection: Cadence on the Direto.  While most people probably won’t care about this either, I do find oddities here and there – little spikes.  You can see this below:

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Same goes for another ride with the same spikes:

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What’s interesting is these don’t correlate to any major efforts for the most part, but rather significant shifts in power, usually downwards (i.e. after a sprint).  Having cadence oddities on trainers isn’t unusual, you’ll see wobbles in implementations by Tacx (Wahoo and CycleOps don’t do it at all).  If you’re using a separate cadence sensor, then that’ll override the trainer and all will be well.

In any event, as for power accuracy – all seems quite well here.  Certainly for the price, it’s awesome.  And you can see why I think this challenges the $1,200+ trainers that claim higher accuracy levels.  Best I can see the Direto is matching those accuracy claims, proof and all.

(Note: All comparisons are done via the DCR Analyzer, which you can now use for your own comparisons.  Also, note that all sets above can be analyzed and downloaded by clicking on the set link before each test shown.)

Trainer Comparisons:

I’ve loaded the Elite Direto into the product comparison tool, so you can compare it against other trainers that I’ve reviewed (which is pretty much any trainer out there these days).  In order to best understand where the Direto fits in, I’ve compared it against a few other ones in the same rough price range.  Note that you can mix and match your own product comparison tables here though.

For the purposes of below, I’ve compared the most-like competitor, the Tacx Flux, as well as the KICKR SNAP.  There’s obviously units significantly higher in price that I believe it very much competes against in most categories (namely the Wahoo KICKR, Elite Drivo, and CycleOps Hammer…and to a lesser degree the Tacx Neo), depending on what you want.

Function/FeatureElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated September 17th, 2017 @ 2:28 pmNew Window
Price for trainer$899 USD/€849/£749$1,299/€1,390/£1,099$899USD/€799$599
Attachment TypeDirect Drive (No Wheel)Direct Drive (no wheel)Direct Drive (no wheel)Wheel-on
Available today (for sale)YesYesYEsYes
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)YesYesYes
Flywheel weight4.2KG/9.2LBS13.2lbs/6kg6.7kg (simulated 25kg)10.5lbs/4.8KG
ResistanceElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Can electronically control resistance (i.e. 200w)YesYesYesYes
Includes motor to drive speed (simulate downhill)NoNoNoNo
Maximum wattage capability1,400w @ 40KPH / 2,200w @ 60KPH2,296w @ 40KPH / 3,600w @ 60KPH1,500w @ 40KPH2200W @ 30mph
Maximum simulated hill incline14%24%10%12%
FeaturesElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Ability to update unit firmwareYesYesYesYes
Measures/Estimates Left/Right PowerYEsPaid optionNoNo
Can directionally steer trainer (left/right)NoNoNoNo
Can simulate road patterns/shaking (i.e. cobblestones)NoNoNoNo
AccuracyElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Includes temperature compensationN/AN/AYesYes
Support rolldown procedure (for wheel based)N/AN/AYesYes
Supported accuracy level+/- 2.5%+/- 1%+/-5%+/- 3%
Trainer ControlElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Allows 3rd party trainer controlYesYesYesYes
Supports ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control Standard)YesYesYesYes
Supports Bluetooth Smart control for 3rd partiesYesYesYesYes
Data BroadcastElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Can re-broadcast power data as open ANT+YesYesYesYes
Can re-broadcast data as open Bluetooth SmartYesYesYesYes
PurchaseElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkN/A
Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training EuropeLinkLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerElite DiretoElite DrivoTacx FluxWahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Again, remember you can make your own product comparison chart/table here, using the product comparison tool.

Some of you will ask whether I’d recommend the Direto or the Flux.  And my personal preference at the moment is this, if only for the slightly improved accuracy.  While Flux did decrease their accuracy to +/- 3%, I’d argue that Elite’s real accuracy on the Direto is probably closer to +/- 1%.  And I’d even bet that are saying +/- 2.5% in an attempt not to undercut sales of their higher end Drivo at +/- 1%.  Said differently: My suspicion is that both units actually have the same OTS in them (despite being theoretically named differently) and that accuracy is likely identical on both. That’s (mostly) just a gut feeling.

Of course, the Flux is actually easily found now (and last year’s teething troubles are long ago history), whereas the Direto will be supply limited for probably a few months.  The sound is a tiny bit louder on the Flux than the Direto, but I prefer the ‘cleaner’ sound on the Direto than the Flux.

I also prefer the fact that the Direto can easily fold up and be moved around, whereas the Flux lacks that capability.  But again, to each their own.

Expect my full annual round-up of trainers in the week following Interbike (so Sept 25th), as I’d like to see how the new Bkool and Minoura offerings look in person.  But neither company is introducing anything that impacts this specific category.

Wrap-Up:

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So as I started off this post, I noted that I think the Direto is the ‘trainer to beat’ for the 2017-2018 trainer season.  Obviously, that can be a somewhat confusing statement.  Surely it’s not the highest end consumer trainer (I’d award that to the Tacx Neo, or perhaps the Wahoo KICKR+CLIMB combo).  But it’s by far the best value, and virtually matches those other trainers when it comes to accuracy (at $300-$700 less for the base trainer).  And that in my mind makes it the best all-around trainer of 2017.

Said differently: If my Dad were to ask which trainer to buy, this would be it.

Sure, it could be a tiny bit quieter (but still, it’s not much different than any other trainer).  Or I suppose it could be certified as +/- 1% accuracy instead of +/- 2.5% (but really, all the data I see seems +/- 1% anyway).  Or I suppose it could take 2 seconds instead of 3 seconds to shift 400w of range in ERG mode.  But I don’t think that really matters to most people.  It responds instantly in Zwift for racing, and it gives you plenty of money left over for purchasing other bike goodness.  Or buying your significant other gifts.  Your choice.

For those that want the absolute quietest trainer (Tacx Neo), absolute most road-like (Elite Drivo, KICKR or Neo), or most automated incline like (KICKR+CLIMB), then certainly there are other options at a significant premium.  But for everyone that wants a fantastic trainer at a fantastic price, the Elite Direto wins this round.

With that – thanks for reading!

Found this review useful? Or just want to save 10%? Here’s how:

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased. You can read more about the benefits of this partnership here. You can pick up the Direto trainer through Clever Training using the links below. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, if your order ends up more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Elite Direto Trainer

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.

(Side note on Direto availability: Right now the Elite is flooded with demand for Direto and limited supply, despite production starting back in late July. However, Elite signed an agreement last week with their OTS power sensor provider in Germany to increase production 50%, effective immediately, which was the constrained component for increasing Direto volumes. That will undoubtedly help production of the trainers, but expect supplies to remain limited throughout the fall.)

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224 Comments

  1. davie

    Hi Ray,

    he drivio comes with a USB dongle, or believe.

    It looks like that is not the case here?

  2. Andrea

    Hi Ray,
    Great review,
    about the delay in erg mode, I saw that if you slight reduce the cadence while the power increase seems to mitigate the problem, but it’s normal, it’s the time that the annoyng louder stepper motor need to move the magnet.
    Anyway I’m very, very impressed about the power accurancy, it’s crazy specially at that price!
    I’m one of the lucky people that had recived their Drivo on Thursday and I play with it all the weekend, also because of too many rain in Italy :-)

  3. Matt von Wahlde

    For anyone with Campy, you can get a modified Shimano cassette from Wheels Manufacturing that allows you to use the the shimano freehub body. It’s expensive, but I’ve used this on several trainer and it works perfectly with my campy drivetrain.

    link to wheelsmfg.com

    • Tim Parker

      I’m a little confused about that cassette – 11-speed spacing should be the same on Shimano and Campagnolo cassettes (for all practical purposes) and are basically drop in compatible. That’s been demonstrated pretty much since they’ve were released, so you should be able to just use any old Shimano 11-speed road cassette with your 11-speed Campy drive train.

    • Frank

      You’re right – just use a Shimano or SRAM 11 sp cassette and you’ll be fine.

    • Matt

      Yes, it does work, but the WM cassette has the spacing tweaked (and I think the cog profile) to make it work more smoothly with Campy shifters/chain…
      It’s just quieter and shifts better.

    • Antoine

      The link you give is to run 11-speed Campy on a 10 speed Shimano body. Like the others said, just run an 11-speed shimano cassette and it’ll work with shimano sram or campy.

  4. Ed

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for the review — very helpful, as ever. One follow up question.

    A few people on the Direto Facebook page are reporting the trainer has a distinct ‘old printer sound’ when adjusting resistance. You note the Direto is ‘middle of the road’ in terms of noise, but I was wondering if you’d noticed this buzzing sound or have any thoughts on how distracting / off-putting it is?

    Thanks in advance!

    Ed

    Link to the Direto Facebook posts: link to facebook.com)

    • If I’ve skimmed through all those posts correctly, it’s actually just one person hearing a sound (and the rest referencing a circular reference of the same person in multiple sites).

      If you’re not pedaling, you should hear a very slight sound when powering on the trainer and if changing in ERG mode. It does have similarities to an old printer, but that it’s about the same loudness as your cell phone vibrating on a couch in a quiet room (not a table, a couch). If it’s any louder than that, then something is defective/broken. You definitely can’t hear it after you pedal even the slightest bit, since it’s so quiet.

    • Ed

      Thanks for the quick reply and for clearing that up. I have one on order at CT, so good to hear that you’ve not experienced any issues!

    • Jason

      I agree with how Ray described when you hear the sound, and its volume. I didn’t even think twice about it until I read the post on the Facebook page. I always have headphones on when riding indoors so it’s not a factor for me at all.

    • Thanks for the support Ed!

    • Ok, for fun I made a short 78 second video that demonstrates the sound: link to youtube.com

    • Easy

      Thank you for the video of the sound. My direto is much louder and now I am worried because you wrote that something might be defect/broken.

    • TK

      Does Ray get the best units or what is the issue. This is the sound in my unit which is VERY different! link to youtu.be

    • Well, it sounds like at least Jason got the same sound as I. I’ll circle back to Elite folks on it…

    • JK

      Mine too, exactly the old printer hum all the time…

    • Jason

      I listened to both videos. From what I recall, mine sounds more like TK’s. Again, I wasn’t worried when I heard it. Probably best to let Elite listen and respond about noise levels and variance between trainers.

    • Jason

      JK – what do you mean by “all the time”? Every time you plug it in? I’ve only used the trainer briefly, with an Elite app video (free one), for 15 minutes, and I don’t recall that same “plug in” noise again. But I was also watching a DVD with headphones on.

    • JK

      @Jason. All the time when on Zwift, with gradient and resistance changes you can hear the ‘matrix dot printer’ noise. Maybe I should wear headphones too ;-)

    • Andrea

      Hi Ray,
      please can you look at my video and tell me if is the case I call Elite for some support?
      Thank you.
      My power on video: link to youtu.be

    • Felix

      Thanks Ray, I will definitely test that and ensure I get the same *low level* buzz before I leave the local bike shop!

    • Yours does sound louder Andrea than mine. To be fair, the Tacx Neo also makes a buzz of sorts on power-up too.

      Do you hear the buzz at all while riding the Direto (with headphones off)?

    • Jason

      JK – thanks. Question (as I’ve never used these apps, yet) does the buzz happen when you change wattage or when the app increases decreases resistance, or both? And is the buzz the exact same as when plugging it in?

    • Jason

      Andrea – I just checked and the plug in sound from mine is identical to yours.

      I haven’t set up any apps so I don’t know if it’s the same sound when riding.

      Would the Elite app videos, with incline changes, be a good test? I can try later tonight…

    • Jason

      To test this out I went ahead and downloaded Zwift (7-day free trial).

      It was on the London map, and not surprisingly the elevation/incline didn’t get too intense. I noticed some downhills at -3% and uphills at 4%. I left off the headphones and the fan. I pedalled for about 15 minutes. I didn’t here the buzz at all during this time. The plug-in buzz is loud enough that if it was happening during my ride I would’ve heard it, and again, I didn’t hear anything except for my pedalling. I also shifted several times, and went easier and harder. If this volume is the ‘normal experience’, I have zero complaints :-)

      Looking forward to hearing from others…

    • Antoine

      I have the “louder” “dot-matrix” buzzing. Honestly if others hadn’t brought it up I wouldn’t even have had any second thoughts about it. It happens on start up and occasionallyduring Zwift but it’s not really annoying (to me anyway). I’ve had a defective Flux so I’m definitely more paranoid than most, but for me would qualify as normal.

    • Andrea

      Definitely yes,
      I do workout,so in erg mode and the speed it’s not enough to cover the buzz , I’m quite sure that with zwift as the speed is more, you don’t hear the buz at all.
      In my opinion to accelerate the production they have jump something in the , so the product is working but you get some minor quirk.
      Anyway today I will call Elite and ask for support for the buzz, but maybe someone like you Ray, that have a better/bigger impact with the Elite company, can call and ask for serious consideration of the problematic that someone seems to have.
      Thank you Ray every time your word are welcome.

    • Andrea

      The best way to hear the buzz is in ERG mode, simply because the trainer is constantly trying to adjust the power output.

    • Easy

      I have the loud buzz, too, on start-up and every time the resistance changes in ERG-mode.

    • I’ve already asked for clarity from Elite last night, so I suspect we’ll see some of that today.

    • Easy

      Great, Ray, thank you very much!

    • Andrea

      Hi Ray and thank you,
      Today called Elite and they ask to me to send the video, I’m waiting for a answer.
      It’s odd because it work correctly,well at the end of the day you can tolerate , even because at a certain point the sufferance is much bigger :-)

    • Andrea

      Hi Ray, some folk at Elite tell me that this different sound is because of two different brand of stepper motor, one work with an higher frequencies and it’s a bit louder, but they told that while pedaling the sound it’s the same……well it’s a lie.
      Officially they will produce a video where demonstrate that, and of course I will respond with mine, while I’m doing an ERG workout.
      The reason it’s quite simple….it work with higher frequencies every time and
      is clearly audible while pedaling, it’s not a joke I’m deaf at 50% and in the same side of the stepper motor!!
      I don’t know if laugh or cry.

    • Jason

      I tried a workout in Zwift tonight, which I presume is ERG mode. I picked the Wringer, so after 8 min warmup you have 30s at 365w then 90w for 2:00. Maybe because I’m pedalling, but I didn’t hear the buzz as much as when I plug it in. So I can’t say if the volume of the buzz is as loud, and for as long. Bigger issue was that I couldn’t hit 365w :-( lol

    • Andrea

      Hi Ray,
      I read you spoke with Elite today, may you have some news for the buzz issue?
      Also I need some help from anyone intersted in this problem, because I have to send a video to Elite while riding, but after some test with the phone it’s very difficult to capture the buzz togheter with the other rumor, not because isn’t there but because of the limit of the phone microphone,so I need someone with a better microphone that can get the buzz while riding and after I will send to Elite, please help me.
      Thank you.

    • So chatted with Elite a bit on this, and yesterday they spent some time doing some tests and putting together a video.

      Essentially depending on different batches of trainers, the parts will result in different sounds for the moving magnet noise. Some quieter, some louder. As we’ve seen, some folks end up with quieter ones, others louder ones. Further, they noted that the length of the noise will depend on where it has to move from in it’s previous position, as well as whether it’s power on or steady-state.

      Elite recorded a person on a trainer showing the sound alone (the louder variant), the trainer alone, and the sound + trainer.

      Here’s that video (they just sent me a video file, so I stuck it up unlisted on YouTube): link to youtu.be

      I can’t really argue with what the numbers show. It’s no doubt louder than what I’m hearing, but as the numbers show, it’s immediately drowned out by the sound of the trainer/gearing. :-/

    • Andrea

      Sorry Ray
      I think could be a good idea if you ask to Elite to send to you ine ofthe new Direto unit with the louder motor and you can test it for rumor, what do you think?
      It’s a mater of justice, I pay the same price as your but I got a much more louder unit than you, so why they don’t want to admit?

    • I think your post and my post published at the same time. Let me know if the above doesn’t cover it.

    • Andrea

      You know I’m sure that the number don’t speak nothing, it’s the frequencies the problem, the buzz is cleary audible while riding even with the same noise level.
      For examp,e with number I can dimostrate that there are something after the death ;-)

    • Yeah, I guess at this point I’m just not sure there’s a real issue other than not liking that tone. It’s a different tone yes – but so is the gearing, the flywheel, and your fan.

      That said, having different part suppliers in the same product line with quite a difference in the end-state output is kinda weird to me.

    • Andrea

      YESSS, you have take the point!!!!

    • Jason

      Ray, thanks for following up and sharing here.

      Question – do you think there would be any quality issues with the “louder” parts that are in some trainers? I’m generally fine with the noise, but I wouldn’t want inferior parts that may lead to other issues down the road. If it’s only a difference in sound levels, and no other differences, that is reasonable.

      It’s like air conditioners for houses, when I had mine installed (someone I know well), he said you can pay $ extra for the quieter model, but the only advantage is that it’s quieter. Otherwise they’re the same.

    • I’m guessing they pass the same quality levels no matter the loudness. I think it’s simply just a case of limited availability of parts, sorta like how the power meter portion is currently the limiter on trainer production.

    • Easy

      Ray, thank you very much for chatting with Elite and for providing the video.

      I agree with Jason and feel it the same way: If it isn’t a matter of functionality I do not care much about the louder noise. But it’s definitely strange to sell so different units.

    • Andre

      For what I can tell, it work like a charm, it’s another point there, it’s the point that with their choice has produced client A and client B.
      I’m sure they did in faith, but the think remain, and also seems to refuse any critique from customere like me, who have problems with their choice
      Regards.

    • Ed

      Thanks for following up with Elite, Ray.

      The video from Elite does illustrate that drivetrain noise is louder than the beeping, although this may depend on whether a representative drivetrain, in terms of maintenance, was used to produce the video. It would also have been useful for them to record the bike in motion while the beeping occurs, to give us a more ‘real-world’ impression of how perceptible the noise is while riding.

      The bit that concerns me is that Elite seems to have sent ‘quiet’ units to major reviewers prior to launch — indeed, the issue has only come to light after customers started to receive their Diretos. I’d be willing to bet the units displayed by Elite at Eurobike were also of the quieter variety.

      All of which seems a bit disingenuous to me. If Elite were aware of a discrepancy between units then they should have made this clear at the outset. This is certainly the first time I’ve ever heard of such a difference between products of the same model number, without the difference being caused by manufacturing error etc.

      My Direto has yet to be shipped by CT, so I don’t know whether I’ll have an effected unit or whether I’ll be bothered by the sound. I think mine is due to go out start of next week, so I have a few days to decide whether to switch to a different option (Flux or Kickr, if I can find one on a decent sale).

    • Ed

      Just noticed that they did record the drivetrain and beeping noises at the same time toward the end of the video. Drivetrain certainly seems to drown out most of the beeping, although, given the high pitch of the beep, it’s definitely still perceptible.

    • TK

      And how we can be sure that other parts are the same. If Elite is showing off the silent unit, there also can be differences in the power measurement unit.

      I lost my faith in Elite.

      The users are only ones with this issue. Ray is happy with his premium version.

    • What’s funny here is this is the same sound that’s been on other Elite trainers for years, and it’s virtually never talked about.

      As for your statement about accuracy differences, there’s really no basis for that. We know that all OTS components come from a single manufacturer, in Germany (a small company). After all, that’s why there’s limited production of Direto right now. In fact, I even met the inventor of OTS at Eurobike randomly.

      I get that there’s weirdness between having two different motors, but it’s not something that extends beyond that sound. Interestingly, I think my pre-prod unit is actually louder. I’ll do a quick check tomorrow. My point being, it’s not something that I really even noticed/cared about at the time, since it’s been on Elite units for years.

      But to each their own.

    • Andrea

      I can’t speak for the past, it’s my first and maybe last Elite product, but because there is a precedent what TK said colud be true.
      So could be very nice, if two people there with the buzzer unit and a power meter would share with us some power reading.

    • Andrea

      I mean, I don’t want to tellthat there isn’t the OTS, but who can tell to us if they did a good job while calibrating the device and with the same result of yours, or maybe yours it’s a bit tweaked to gain more point in your rewiew?

    • Andrea

      After you treachery your customer, it’s very diffucult to gain another time credit.
      Look, with their video they said “hey the problem is yours, as you can see”, but it is not.

    • Easy

      I was zwifting yesterday evening and during the ride I can hear the pemanent changing of resistance when I hit watts up to 300. To be clear here: the Direto is overall very silent which is true for the buzz of resistance change, too. Thus, when saying I can still hear it, it is really no problem regarding the overall sound.

      I was worried by an earlier comment from Ray that this might be a malfunction or defect. Since Elite states that there is no problem with that sound and explains it by using a different motor, I tell myself not to worry about it. To be on the safe side on this I’m going to inform the seller and direto about this.

      Two other remarks on quality control: The outer plastic shell of my Direto has a minor flaw where it is fit together with the other half. No big thing, but I would have expected that perfect quality control would have sort this piece out. Two stickers on the folding legs are missing. No big thing, too, but QC is not on top level here, that’s a fact.

      Besides these minor flaws I really enjoyed the ride on the Direto an I’m looking forward to the winter season on a still great trainer. Considering the price I paid (699€) I can’t complain.

    • Jacek

      No further discussion on the resistance change buzz sound?

      I care about the silence a lot since I want to be riding early morning hours (starting 5 AM) in a block of flats. I’m assuming using the ERG mode I can be riding hard while maintaining fairly low speed and in this case would be resistance change buzz be not too loud / annoying?

      One more question – no such issue at all on any Drivo unit?

      Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Jason

      Similar to Easy’s post above, the buzz while riding is very quiet, and most often split-second as the motor is adjusting resistance in small increments (unless going up 100’s of watts…but that’s not loud either, to me). The sound of you pedalling (drivetrain) is not surprisingly, louder, as it would be on any trainer. Once you get going and stop trying to listen for stuff, you don’t notice anything.

      Jacek – do you you have a current trainer that you use indoors at 5am? If no sound problems with your neighbors I would assume the same for the Direto. The overall sound video posted bub Ray covers this. And the one by Elite (that one might be on the FB page).

    • Just as a minor update, this morning I pulled out the prototype Direto and compared the sound to the production one. Sure enough, the prototype one is the louder variant. What’s funny here is that it never really occurred to me, since it’s the same sound as the Drivo and other trainers they’ve had previously. All of which is instantly drowned out by the noise of the drivetrain/etc.

      I didn’t quite have time to make a video as I was running to catch a train, but it simply matches the sounds already published above.

  5. Nathan B

    Hi Ray,

    I see that you’re looking to update the Annual Trainer Apps guide for October. Have you come across BigRingVR? It’s in an free open public beta atm, and I’ve been really impressed with it. (I’m in no way affiliated with it, I just like the app, and the developers are extremely responsive on Strava and Twitter).

    • Yup, I’ll ensure it’s on my list. Generally speaking my cut-off for apps is that they have had to release some sort of update since early spring. I feel like if they haven’t done that, then they aren’t really a real player in the space. Again, just a rough line in the sand.

    • Aji

      Hi,

      I just learned about Big Ring VR thanks to your post. Direto is not listed as a supported trainer but am I correct in assuming that everything will work as perfectly as both Direto and BRVR both support ant+ fec?

    • Andrea

      I rode a bit with Big Ring and it work flaulessy with Direto, it’s a bit annoyng that if you stop a ride at certain point you have to create a custom one to restart from the last point, but apart this it’s a very good program and work great.

    • BigRingVR will definitely work with the Elite Diretto. It works with all ANT+ FE-C trainers, ANT+ power meters, speed, cadence and heart rate sensors.

    • We’ve been releasing new versions of BigRingVR about once every month, so that cut-off won’t be a problem.

      Also, we’re releasing new rides in beautiful HD video once every few days.

  6. Hovis

    Nice review.

    Ordered one to replace my vortex. Would you say I will feel much difference in terms of road feel?

    Also, is the calibration bike specific? Can I use multiple bikes and get consistent power readings?

    Thanks!

    • The calibration is location-specific, or basically more temp specific. Not bike at all. So you can swap bikes no problem.

      As for the Vortex, yes, the Direto feels much better to me.

  7. Jason

    Great review, thanks.

    As someone new to smart trainers and the apps, I found it especially helpful that you covered TR and Zwift in the way you did. I was confused about how the resistance/watts of the trainer is controlled via the apps, though now I understand this much better.

    I didn’t even realize that the Direto can provide cadence data (I received mine the other day, but have only tried briefly…as the weather has been great where I am). I’ll be using the Wahoo Cadence sensor though, and given some of the slight imperfections you pointed out, it’s probably worth the small price I paid.

  8. Vitaliy

    Thanks for another great review Ray. I placed my order on CT on 8/12/17 and it should be delivered in two days.
    Hope my experience will be as pleasant as yours.
    Cheers

  9. Geoffrey

    Great review DC (as always)…and now since you have confirmed some of what you wrote earlier this is going to be my trainer….period.

  10. richard braginton

    Hi I’ve just looked on the Evans cycles site and they will be shipping these shortly however it only mentions suitability for sram and Shimano cassettes no mention of campagnolo

  11. Andrea

    For everyone interested, speaking with a tecnician at Elite, he told me that the android application will support the pedaling analysis shortly, and that they are tweaking the algoritm to speed up a bit the things while there are big wattage differences in ERG mode.

  12. Luís

    Hi,

    Is there any direct drive trainer that can work with a 8-speed shimano cassette, maybe with some spacers? I’ve an old alloy bike solely responsible for trainer duty, I was using it with a Tacx Flow but it died recently, I would love a direct drive but don’t want to shell out for a groupset upgrade.
    Another option I’m looking into is a Kickr Snap + cheapish powermeter (Favero maybe) on a later time and pair them together. For my tri and road bike I already have a P2max.

    As always, great review Ray, keep it up!

    • Hovis

      Could you just replace the 8 speed chain with an 11 speed one? I think it will mesh fine with 8 speed chainrings.

    • Luís

      Now that you mention, probably it would work since the 11-speed chain would only be narrower, I would only need an 11-speed shifter and and an 11-speed derailleur, which I may find them cheap used.

    • Hovis

      You might not need any of that, I think the chain will wrap around the jockey wheels of the existing derailleur. And you don’t really need to shift with an ERG trainer so just get it index to mesh with one of the cogs of the cassette and it should all work as is.

      Maybe..

    • Luís

      Indeed, but shifting would be useful when on Zwift (although I only use it in the off-season). But I could get a shifter only and use the current derailleur, I’m sure it doesn’t have the range to do 11 but it may work for 9/10 sprockets.

      I’m just rambling here…

      Anyway, thank you for your feedback, it’s indeed an option I haven’t though before and might work, albeit a little frankensteinish :)

    • chris benten

      Why do you need the power meter with the Snap…comparison??

    • Luís

      I may be wrong, and dcrainmaker’s snap review surely tells otherwise, but I’m not sure on how reliable the snap can be week after week, but as I said, I might be, and probably am, wrong.

      Until recently I didn’t care about reliable numbers, I was only using a Tacx Flow and the numbers were reproducible, so they were good enough for training, but now with a real PM on my main bike I would like to track accurately my weekly TSS, and use the same power ranges for both indoor and outdoor (although these might differ a little).

      If I go with the Snap, before investing in another PM I will compare it with my power2max and if the numbers are accurate enough I’ll call it quits.

    • nalc

      8 speed cassette with a 1.85mm spacer should fit just fine on the trainer, right?

    • Think of the trainer as if its a wheel with an 11 speed hub. Seems like you just need the spacer:
      link to bikeradar.com

    • chris benten

      For the Snap, and I have an older one and not the new Snap2, power readings are flakey until it warms up. This takes about 7-10 minutes and I notice a significant jump in power…maybe 30 watts or so. I currently have it set up inside (Texas) so the temps are cooler (75F) and it does warm with use. Once warm it matches reasonably well with my P1 pedals. I exclusively use Zwift and use smoothing so Zwift does not pick up peaks but Strava does. Since the last Zwift update, I am loathe to use the spindown function as I think it drives the power numbers a bit too low as compared to the P1s.

  13. Neil Jones

    Ray, in the comparison table headings you’re showing the Drivo twice instead of the Snap

  14. K Dub

    Thanks for the writeup Ray – mine is scheduled for delivery from CT on Wednesday! One minor suggestion I’m guessing you’ve already considered – for the comparison tool it would be nice to have some sense of dimensions/mass – I get this is difficult for trainers given the shapes. I’ll be moving mine around regularly, so one of the (many) reasons I’m excited about the Direto is my sense it is lighter and “folds up” smaller than the Kickr. We shall see soon!

  15. Lee Sutton

    I reckon a DIreto with a bluetooth cadence sensor (Damn you Vector 2!!!) is looking like the way for me!

    I’d generally do any sprints less than 30s in slope mode anyway as the targets are nearly always wrong when based on % of FTP so the extra 1-2s lag over the likes of a KICKR shouldn’t be an issue.

    Hopefully order next month, hopefully the backlog at CT won’t be too long by then :-)

  16. Lee Sutton

    That’s the one I’d go for. At £30 you can’t go wrong!

    Even budgeting for that and a riser block it still comes in about £150 less than a KICKR which is a hard saving to ignore.

  17. Looks like the Direto and the Drivo both do pedal analysis, only the Directo is 12 points and requires an app to be bought and 24 point and comes with the Drivo. link to drivo.cc

    Wonder how that compares with pioneer’s pedal analysis.

    Both do left/right (estimated).

  18. ES

    Hey Ray,

    Does the Direto require a block for the front wheel?

    • Doesn’t look like you can adjust the height of where the rear attachment is so be pretty hard to make it not use a block. Its compatible with both road and mountain bikes so the size of the wheels it has to support are different plus a 23mm wide tire take less space then 32mm so that could raise or lower the front

  19. John Ligon

    Will the Drivo be able to get dual left an right power measurement through a firmware update or is it hardware related? I have the Drivo already and kind of wish I would have waited for this….

  20. John

    Is there sufficient clearance for mid-cage or long-cage rear derailleurs?

    I just put Shimano’s new RD-R8000-GS rear derailleur and 11-34T cassette on my hill climbing bike.

  21. Kaj Laursen

    Impressed, and think that I will upgrade from my Vortex. Ready to order, but the the Bkool Smart Air suddenly appears in newsletters from vendors – link to bkool.com

    Any impressions on that one? It’s more expensive, but seems very impressive in power and lack of noise.

    • Yup, I’ve got meetings already set for next week. They didn’t have a unit at Eurobike, but will have one for Interbike. It’s interesting for sure, but we’ve only seen renders, which I suspect means it’s going to be on a further timeable than other trainers this summer.

    • chris benten

      Oh wow…that looks nice. And quiet!! Looking for a quiet trainer but do not want to pay for a Neo…hope the price for this one is in the Direto range.

  22. Brian

    One feature I learned about on the Kickr that is pretty dang cool is that it will sync with your power meter (for me a Stages left only) and adjust the resistance based on what the Stages is reporting (versus the internal strain gauge). To me it means having a more synced up experience between road and trainer (I think).

    Will the new Elite trainer do something similar? I didn’t see it specifically mentioned in the (always overhwelming) review.

    • Not natively, though many apps are adding that feature in – such as TrainerRoad.

      To be honest, given how near perfectly close these are, I’m not seeing much of a reason to have it though here.

    • Is that really trainer dependent? Couldn’t software see the “real” power meter is reading 200 watts while the trainer is set for 215 and know the trainer should be set higher if you really want 215 watts? It could learn the offset over time (its probably not just adding a percent or a constant number)

  23. ingo

    Hi price at bike24.de €799.- i saw today. I bought my Flux there and think about changing it.

  24. Steve

    Just got the Direto…finally calibrated it and got 6393 as a calibration number. Is that in the ballpark? Do the lights continue to blink even after you connect and see data on your computer program (Perfpro)?

    • Jason

      I was in that 6,000 range too (64xxsomething). Yes the lights continue to blink, though I don’t look down at them all that much once I got going.

  25. Gerald Brown

    I am very interested in the real world accuracy of this.
    I have an (otherwise much loved) Kickr (1) which reads 8% above my P2M power meter. Although they advertised it as being +/- 2% accurate, Wahoo fitness tell me that “8% is not outside the normal range”.
    I would like to know how Elite would respond if I bought a Direto and it was this inaccurate. Is my expectation that expensive trainers should match their advertised specifications unreasonable?

    • Others that have tested Direto accuracy are reporting the same as I. So I’m pretty sure all of us are real-world.

      At the same time, I’d be curious who at Wahoo says +/- 8% is normal? +/- 4%, probably possible given measurement in two locations. Also – have you tried using the far newer 2017 KICKR firmware update that applies to the KICKR1 to change how power is measured?

    • ms

      I had the same experience at Wahoo. They brushed me off when I emailed to inquire why my Kickr V1 is 10% higher than my P1 pedals. Note, the P1s measure in line with a PT hub I have so the Kickr is odd man out.

      I may get a nice Computrainer off Ebay for $300 or so and sell the Kickr. DC, do you think 300 reasonable for a GOOD used CT??

    • ms

      DC,

      You might want to do a quick comment regarding what you think are acceptable power measurement variations i.e. 2.5%, 5%, XX% etc. Mine at 15-16 watts variation @ 200 watts is quite frustrating. BTW my Kickr has latest firmware, carefully done zero offset etc.

      I bought mine direct from Wahoo in Sept 2015 so it should be manufactured after the spate of QC issues they had with the V1s circa 2014.

    • ms

      Edit should be @ 180 watts

    • In general my math is usually:

      Crank/spider/pedal to spider/pedal/crank region power meter: +/- 4% total swing (as it’s +/- 2% for each unit typically). I might alot another 1% at best for loses in a crank arm from say the pedal to the spider.

      Downwards from crank/pedal to drive train to trainer, hub, wheel: Reduce by 1-3% for drivetrain inefficiencies (usually 3-10w depending on how clean/dirty).

      The PowerTap G3 hub is always a bit of an international man of mystery in these equations as many people in the industry believe it’s purposefully skewed slightly higher to have originally matched the SRM units years ago so that test folks would say it was fine (regardless of whether or not that true). So take that tidbit for what its worth.

    • ms

      Thats not happy news since my Kickr measures 9-10% higher (not lower) than the P1s. It would be a unique bike that gains power through the drive train as opposed to losing it.

      A friend has a Computrainer. I’m going to simultaneously measure P1 pedals and a PT hub against the CT. That should tell the tale.

      After that, I’m afraid I’ll be call Wahoo again.

    • Just to clarify though – with your KICKR are you using the newer 2017 firmware on it (even if an old KICKR)? And did you do an advanced spindown as well?

    • ms

      Newest firmware and multiple calibrations. Did the advanced immediately after a 50 minute Sufferfest ride so it was well warmed up.

      Normal calibrations since all show a near identical offset so the problem does not seem to be a “user error”.

    • Gerald Brown

      I’m using the latest firmware and have performed an advanced spindown calibration. I felt I was “managed” by wahoo rather than helped…

    • Gerald Brown

      Not sure if I can sell my kickr being so inaccurate… alternatively perhaps it’s more valuable to someone who wants an 8% boost on Zwift

  26. Pierre Strontal

    Great review. Here in Europe the Flux can be found at ~650€ vs the Direto generally above 800€. Still not sure, but I might choose the cheaper one.

  27. Micro553

    I have a Diverge Comp 2016 with SCS or when a use my summer Wheels a diffrent hanger that is NON SCS. I belive my hub is 135×12 (DT 350 hub with centerlock)

    Can this trainer work with this? You said 142×12 in but do that mean 135×12 will work aswell?

  28. Heiko

    Stupid question: I have a pedal-based powermeter on my bike. With this kind of trainer…would i switch off the pm and rather use the integrated one? If so, whats the advantage?

    • Generally speaking if people have a power meter on their bike, they’ll record from that same unit inside and outside, so the numbers are totally consistent. Yet at the same time, if you’re only seeing the numbers differ by a couple watts – I wouldn’t fret it.

      It’s more of a concern if you’re seeing a 10-20w+ offset (which then brings up other concerns).

    • chris benten

      I use the App to record the trainer (Snap) and the head unit (Fenix 3) to record my P1s. Dump both into Strava and compare the power readings. In Strava you can “hide” an exercise to not double count. You may have to edit one of the files (Fit File Tools) with a time change as Strava will not double load if a second exercise comes across as a double.

  29. Jonas S.

    Hi Ray, where did the direct comparison between the Direto and the Flux mentioned in your video go? Can’t find it on Youtube.

  30. Tom

    I have been testing my Direto over two different rides now and it seems that I have a +6 % difference (excel comparison on two different files for each ride) on the work intervals between my Stages PM and the Direto Trainer (Direto measuring higher). Given the accuracy that is stated by the company and this review, I am starting to doubt my L/R balance. I am planning to check the calibration figure on the Direto, just to make sure the tension on the belt is OK. Then I will try to verify the L/R balance (estimation) given by My E-Training app and try to match this to my Stages PM. Does anybody have experience with the app and the L/R balance estimation? I figure that if I have 47-53% L/R balance this can explain the difference. This makes it a little (OK very) hard to do ERG intervals having to push 20W extra on an FTP interval.

    • Tom

      Update
      Looks like I have a slight different offset number after calibration than the one mentioned on the bottom of the trainer 6495 vs 6497 from factory. The manual states I should tension the belt slightly and re-calibrate and check the value again. This process should be iterated until the same value is achieved. I have asked Elite if they see an issue with the drop in the the value. As I do not know what that number stands for I do not know if it is a significant difference in offset value.

      As for the L/R balance, the free trial provided by Elite does not include the pedal analysis tool. I should fork out another 10 EUR just to check out the functionality. Shame, they could have at least provided a trial version for a few weeks.

  31. Lee Sutton

    I don’t have the app or stages but I’ve got Vector pedals which give true L/R balance and I know for me I can range anything from 47/53 to 53/47 so coupled with the actual accuracy of the power measurement a left only could have me out by +/- 10%. I don’t know how useful the Direto app will be at genuinely giving L/R balance as it has no way to distinguish between pulling up on one pedal v pushing down on the other.

    Even though my power meter gives me a true balance, I never do anything with it, it’s just the fact it gives you a total power number that I find handy given that my balance does drift.

  32. Frederik

    Hi!

    Can I ask you, what value (diameter) you used in the Elite-App to calibrate?
    And what diameter do you use on the controlling device (in my case Garmin 520)?
    I set it to 2070 on the Garmin and got an average speed of 37 today (with 208 Watts) on my Ride…

    Thanks!

    Regards

    • From the manual:

      “Should the software/app/device employ the Speed & Cadence protocol to detect speed, you must set a wheel circumference value that equals the actual wheel divided by 12.1. For instance, if wheel circumference is 2095mm, the value to input as circumference is 2095/12.1 = 173mm.”

      Given the fact that you aren’t actually putting a wheel on it, it’s a bit weird (but not Elite’s fault here), so just go with 173mm to make your math life easier.

      (Don’t feel silly, I also missed it in the manual back in July when I asked Elite the same thing.)

    • Frederik

      Thanks!
      I already read that part… What is a bit confusing, if i put in this value in the Elite App, it automaticaly gives me the value divided by 12.1, so if I enter 2097 (on the app) and press OK, i get a value of 172.
      I got an answer on the Elite-Direto-Facebook group, they say that on the app i should simply set 2096 and the app will calculate this value (172)…

      If I set a value of 173 on the Garmin, i get a speed around 3 km/h :D

    • Interesting.

      Btw – as a quick aside, if you’re using the controlling device of an Edge 520 – be sure you’re pairing as an FE-C unit, and not the speed/cadence/power sensor variants.

    • JK

      Errrr if I us 173 I only drive 3,1 km/h at 200W. I have multiplied it by 10 and use 1730mm now and the numbers are accurate 31km/h at 200W (72kg).

    • JK

      On the Elite app that is

    • George

      A little confused here…actually very confused :)
      So, on my EDGE 820 when I search for new sensors I see indoor trainer and speed/cadence sensors. Adding both, correct? For speed/cadence enter wheel size 173, in indoor trainer circumference default at 2096, leave it as it is?
      Also, when tried to calibrate using EDGE target speed blank, current speed zero… pedal for a few seconds, get message speed is sufficient, calibration complete and no return value…
      Am I missing something?

  33. Dennis Bossaerts

    hi Ray,

    do you think Tacx will drop the price of it’s flux (anytime soon) due to the release of the Direto?!

    brgds,
    Dennis

    PS: keep up the good work

    • I wouldn’t expect so anytime soon. At this point it’s simply supply and demand. Until there’s enough supply of Direto’s, you’re unlikely to see Tacx shift prices.

  34. GPSIG

    “In fact, the KICKR 2 and KICKR 3 showed that ditching a power meter could improve accuracy since it was one less component to break during shipping (which is what was occurring for KICKR 1 folks)”

    What do KICKR 2&3s have if they don’t have a power meter?

    Separately, I think you mean “rein in” vice “reign in”

    • Tim Parker

      @GPSIF
      The later Kickr models – and the original Kickr since the beginning of this year after a firmware update – use a power calculation based on modelling the brake itself rather than using the strain gauge based power-meter (electrical characteristics, e.g. you know the power you’re putting into the electromagnets, the physical properties of the damping disc or what-have-you and where it is, it’s speed and so an). It’s a general technique that’s been used for donkeys years – Wahoo showed a number of benefits using it on the Kickr 1 over the power-meter, so they must be doing the sums pretty decently :)

  35. Joel

    Can these trainer companies make the electrical cords longer? Seems like 2m or less is about standard

  36. Mudge

    If you could get a Drivo on sale for $100 more than the Direto, would the Direto still be your best value choice?

  37. mike rondelli

    Thanks for the review! I am going back and forth between a direct drive trainer or a stand alone spin bike; i am a bigger rider and can push above 2k watts, so i need something that stays rock solid to do my intervals against. Which of the direct drives, at any cost, are the best at being rock solid for an erratic, fool-hardy out of the saddle sprinter?

  38. Toby

    Hi,
    is the Direto able to support 135x10mm axis ?
    As the interhal hub provides enough diameter for 142x12mm I would assume so.
    But are there any adaptors available ?

    • No, it supports 135×5 but not 135×10. In talking to Elite about it this morning they are going to work on a solution to see that at some new units going out can include support for it, and then figure out a retrofit solution for existing units (that would likely require some sort of service, but still TBD).

    • Tom

      Some hubs allow a very easy conversion of the axle. Sometimes as simple as switching the endcaps without tools. Worth a check.

  39. marklemcd

    Refurbed 2016 kickr for 999 or direto for 809 (after 10% due to DCR)??????

    • Chris

      @marklemcd – that’s something I’m wrestling with too, or even wait for REI 20% off a 2017 kickr (or TP Black Friday 20% off).

      Now:
      2016 Kickr $999
      Direto $899 – 10% = $809

      If you wait a couple of months:
      2017 Kickr $1199 – 20% = $980
      Direto $899 – 20% = $720

      tough call.

    • Tim Parker

      I’m unsure what practical benefits you’d be getting extra for the additional $ 200-250 beyond more grunt on very steep climb simulations (which may, of course, be important for you).

  40. Jason

    I thought my 10-sd shimano cassette was installed fine, but I was putting the bike on today and realized there was some play. I tightened it down and it still had play. When the shop installed it they took it off a wheel as is…which has a spacer toward the hub. The instructions show two spacers if a 9-10 speed cassette. So I guess I need another spacer by the hub? Spacing between the chain rings is fine.

  41. RichieMc

    Hey Ray

    Thanks again for a great review!

    I am really close to pulling the trigger on this one. But I am wondering – and this applies to turbos in general – how important “accuracy” really is. Most of us at this price point probably already have expensive power meters and will be using the power match feature. So as long as these are accurate (or at least consistent) when we are below target wattage on Zwift or TR the resistance should get harder and vice versa when we are above target wattage. Here I have seen massive variability across the smart trainers I have tried. A cheapy cheap Elite Qubo Smart B+ was really good and responsive (but not too responsive, i.e., you don’t rocket up to 600w from 150w in under a second) while the Snap I am about to return was a disaster.

    • marklemcd

      I get what you say about the cheapy, in terms of wattage if you have a PM.

      For me, I have a left side only 4iiii, so I always wonder what my true power is. I have a Vortex Smart and the reason I am considering jumping up to the Direto is purely that I want a wheel off trainer because I don’t feel all that steady when I really amp up the effort. When I got the 4iiii and Vortex last year I was pretty new and my power output wasn’t that great. A year of good training has changed that, and I want to feel rock solid when I push, not like I could go flying forward at any second.

    • Gerald Brown

      Hi RichieMc,
      personally I see dependable high accuracy in trainer as being valuable because
      1) you can use a second bike without a power meter (and I have a few of those…) sitting permanently on the trainer
      2) you can use the trainers power to compare with what you get from your bikes power meter so you will more easily notice your bikes (or trainers) power meter losing accuracy…
      having said that its worthwhile always using the same power meter for consistency.

  42. Enrique

    Hey Ray, thanks for the excellent reviews. I´m thinking of upgrading from my Kickr Snap to a Direct Drive trainer. Would the Direto an upgrade in terms of accuracy and road feel or should I just bite the bullet and get the real Kickr?

    • Having spent time on a Snap tonight and being increasingly frustrated with getting it accurate, I’d say it’s a definite upgrade just there alone. Let alone all the other reasons.

    • Enrique

      I know, I didn’t want to complain about having to do a spin down every Ride because you know., 1st world problems

    • Actually, doing a single spin-down I’d been happy with. Half a dozens spin-down later and the numbers still aren’t accurate.

    • Luís

      After being undecided between the Snap or spend a little extra on a Direto, I thinks this settles it :) My turbo bike is all year round on the turbo, and is used on average 2 times/week, having to spin down every time (and not even be sure if the numbers were accurate) seems to be a way to stressful.

    • Jason

      I went the Direto route because I wanted the direct drive trainer so that I can cut down on prep time. Anything to make riding less work/stress, the better (save the work for riding).

  43. Charlie

    I bumped into this review oddly just after I completed a joyful session with my Direto and Zwift…probbly not worth a cent what I’m saying but now it’s dinner and red wine :)

  44. chris

    While elite continue to implement their resistance at 5% gradient like levels of inertia I just have no interest in them.
    People querying ‘road feel’ are on to the right track. The neo can simulate almost road levels of inertia and hence I can hold my tight hip angle tt and tri position like on the road.
    Lazily engineered efforts from elite and most others have my legs begging for mercy at the same wattage.
    Erg mode is particularly bad for this. Not an issue on a road bike but I can’t understand why only tax have made a serious stab at this. Discounting crazy stuff like the lynx.

    People obsessed with Erg mode due to concern over hitting wattage intervals precisely are missing the wood for the trees IMHO.

    • marklemcd

      Can you explain this. I don’t follow what you mean by implementing resistance at 5% gradient

    • Yeah, I’m confused as well – what are you talking about?

    • Chris

      Traditionally elite have always had abysmal inertia to their trainers. 300w say on the flat with a tailwind feels dramatically different to 300w into a headwind on a climb. Their trainers have always felt like the latter. Stevenage irwin the UK tter did a lot of work on this mapping kinetic energy VS wattage and gave feedback to the tacx folk who I believe then implemented ‘tri’ mode on slope on the neo.
      Meanwhile elite make trainers than an average cyclist has to use in the inner chain ring. The higher inertial load makes cycling at a tight hip angle much much easier. Hence why I can do hours on my neo or Kurt kinetic with big wheel but after 10mins on an elite I have to sit up at the same wattage.

    • marklemcd

      So you’re basically saying something about the trainer makes it so you can’t hold aero?

    • And what Elite trainer specifically have you tried?

      If you compare a cheap $200-$300 Tacx trainer to a cheap $200-300 Elite trainer, yes, the road feel isn’t as awesome at all. But on both brands once you clear $899 and above, they are totally different beasts.

    • Jens

      So the Direto should be very different from the Turbo Muin?

      The Turbo Muin has a rather high resistance where I always ride in the small ring.

    • Depending on which Turbo Muin you have (some are electronically controlled, others aren’t). But yes, it’ll be different. With an electronically controlled trainer you set the wattage based on apps/devices, versus a fluid/mag trainer, it’s based on a set power curve.

    • Jens

      Ah, thanks!

      Still considering whether to do an upgrade since I ordered the Assioma… and hope I can sell the Turbo Muin (not smart, serial 30000+, with a Misuro+). Any idea what a realistic price would be? I paid around 450e, that of course doesn’t set the market value. Around 250e or maybe 300?

  45. pavel

    Are you sure that MEASURES/ESTIMATES LEFT/RIGHT POWER not support by Direto?

  46. Marcin

    Does anyone, other than me, have problems contacting CleverTraining UK via email? I’ve been trying to cancel my direto order for two days now but there have been no feedback yet. I hope I didn’t end up in a spam box.

  47. Nick

    How is Elite’s customer service? I have found Wahoo’s service to be pretty stellar. What are your thoughts?

  48. Steven Bessen

    I just purchased an Elite Direto smart trainer. I seem to remember reading detailed instructions on how to set it up to use with Zwift with a large television monitor instead of a laptop. I recall using a dongle was necessary. Unfortunately, I can’t find the article. Does anyone remember this article? I believe it was on this website or possibly the Zwift website. Thank you.

  49. Maarten

    Great review again! What I’m curious about, and it’s maybe more a more common question about direct drive trainers, is how these perform at lower speeds. It states that it can produce 1400W at 40 kmh, but what are these numbers at lets say 10-15 kmh? The same holds for the maximum incline, as this is just a conversion of the maximum wattage at a certain speed. In other words, is there some sort of working range figure (wattage versus speed) for the direto?

    • Luis Sanz

      I’m also interested in this. Could someone owning a direto give us the maximum wattage the trainer can deliver at, for example, 8km/h, 10km/h, 12km/h, 15km/h and 20km/h? I would really appreciate it cause that data can help people igure out the maximum slope the trainer can simulate for their particular weight. Thanks.

    • Lee Sutton

      If it helps I asked Elite about max wattage at 30km/h which basically equates to 50rpm in 52/11 gearing. My thought process being that’s close to the lowest cadence I’m likely to be able to sustain on a climb. At that speed they state 990w, so realistically you should be able to mimic any climb you’ll be capable of doing.

      Not sure if that fully answers your question but hopefully it helps :-)

    • Andrea

      It’s from the Elite forum:
      link to forum.elite-it.com
      Anyway the curve it’s only an idea of the response of the trainer because it depend directly from the calibration of it self.

    • Luis Sanz

      Thanks Andrea, that is exactly what I was looking for. From the curve and using interpolation one can approximate the power for any desired speed and then, using any bike calculator and the weight of bike+cyclist, the maximum slope the trainer can simulate.
      Lee Sutton, I agree with what you say but my question concerned the simulation of climbs at the true speed real climbing takes place. Using high gearing (and therefore high speed) almost any trainer is valid (at least for my poor physical capacity) to simulate climbs. Thanks to both.

    • Luis Sanz

      If fact, observing the curve for the elite drivo, one can see that i can deliver 460w at 10km/h whereas at that speed direto can deliver only 197w. The difference between them is huge at those low speeds.

    • Andrea

      This one is from the Drivo……..it’s a beast!
      I’m also search at this for the same reason, but for the moment I don’t found anything can reach the maximum for the Direto.

    • Andrea

      Yes, but it cost 400/500 Euro more!

    • Steven Bessen

      I’m missing something. I have an iphone 6. I will use the firewire port for the Ant+ dongle. How can I hard wire to a television?

    • Luis Sanz

      Andrea,
      from
      link to bikecalculator.com
      and a total weight (bike+cyclist) of 80kg, climbing at 10km/h a 8% slope requires 200w (more or less the 196w Elite Direto can deliver). Therefore, for me at 10 km/h Direto can only simulate 8%.
      As another example, at 12km/h it delivers (using linear interpolation) 274w, which again for 80kg results in a simulation of 9%.
      So it seems the simulation of 14% is either for very light riders or for very powerful riders who can climb very fast. In fact, in order to simulate a slope of 11% I would need to be able to climb at 19 km/h (536w) which, of course, is totally imposible.

    • Andrea

      Yes it is correct……but it’s for this reason that there are premium trainer ;-)

      Anyway i found that for ERG mode it’s not an issue at all, you have plenty of power to fight against and in simulator mode I never found nothing near 14% of slope.
      Look…..if you want to climb some 14% slope you have to train in ERG mode before :-)

      or spend almost 1100/1200 euro against 700/800 for the Direto.

    • Spencer

      I went a step further with the Direto power curve data and plotted (using the bike calc data) the max gradient that can be simulated as a function of power for me (155 lbs/18 pound bike (70.5kg/8.2kg)

    • Maarten

      This is great info! To make an even better comparison, does anyone have this same data for Tacx Flux? I don’t really understand why this is not part of any review out there, as the maximum wattage as a sole number is not that informative.

    • Andrea

      yes, I think so… please Ray can you help us asking to tacx the same information?
      What do you think to implement this kind of information/test in your review?
      Thank you.

    • It’s something I can try and get from different companies.

      Testing it personally would be tricky, since it’s not always super clear when you hit that envelope. Meaning, it’d be difficult to know whether the trainer is faking the higher grade, since most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between 8% and 10% while indoors without context (changing between 8% and 10% sure, but not if it’s the whole lobster slowly boiling in a pot thing).

    • Andrea

      Yes of course, in my mind you can ask to the companies their data and at the least you can do a reverse engineering with a separated power meter, to confirm their data, for example from 8km/h to 14km/h with step of two km/h, but really it’s only an idea.
      What it’s important for me is that I can see the characteristic of a trainer at very low speed.
      It’s a kind of data very useful to see the capacity to simulate a real climb.

    • Tim Parker

      I would agree it’s a very important piece of information for those looking at low speed efforts (such as climbing sims) – it’s certainly what guided my last choice of trainer as that scenario was one of the main reasons I got a smart trainer. Tacx used to have a couple of brake characterisation graphs like the Elite ones up on the product pages, certainly for the Genius and believe one other at least – can’t see them now on the new style site alas – might be worth asking if they still have them…

      Edit.

      There is a small amount of stuff in the trainer comparison document here

      link to wwwstatic3.tacx.nl

      ..but that appears to be only for the manual resistance trainers.

    • Mark

      Hmm, this is new information to me. I may need to cancel my order now as being 100Kg+ it’s just not going to work too well for me on the climbs. Anybody any advice? (apart from drop 20Kg :D )

  50. Kamil

    I just purchased Direto trainer and have a small problem with initial setup. In My E-Training app (Android version) there is no Trainer sensor calibration option available. Should be in Advanced Configuration manu. Any help? How can I performe calibration?

    There is an option called Powewr smoothing but cannot be entered.

  51. Barry

    This is my first time with a smart trainer and I’ve come across some oddities using Zwift. A few days ago, I was unable to calibrate the trainer because the Elite App wasn’t working. I was on the Richmond course and every little change in elevation (changes you couldn’t even visually see) created a very noticeable “wall” in power. The main Richmond climb was a bear, as it probably should be at over 10%. Now, calibration complete, I’m on the London route and on a 5% grade I can pedal up in the 52 big ring several cogs down at 90 rpm with power around 175 watts or so. No possible way I could do that in real life without seriously cranking and shortly dying. I have realism at 100% and the trainer isn’t in ERG mode (made that mistake once). Seems strange?

  52. Jason

    If you calibrate properly and use Zwift the inclines should translate to expected resistance. I did the KOM on Zwift the other day and I spun in an easier gear and had to give it. My speed would drop to an expected number, then increase as it flattened out or went downhill. I did a workout in ERG mode and when I was in a big gear and the watts increas to close to 400 I couldn’t do it…which tells me it’s working, even if my body wasn’t ;-)

  53. dizpark

    To those who have the new Direto and have tested it in ERG mode (trainerroad or otherwise), what has been you experience? I remember that with the more expensive Drivo there were quite a lot of complaints about Drivo overcompensating/fluctuating in ERG mode. Perhaps these have been individual setup cases or maybe this have been solved with Drivo FW upgrade.

    But I would just like some comments from Direto users here. Thanks!

    • Luis Sanz

      I second that request, regarding both Drivo and Direto’s behavior in ERG mode. This point is the final decider to chose between the two. Thanks

  54. Lee Sutton

    I weigh 100kg and I can’t put out more than 400w at low cadence for more than a minute or two. The Direto can provide (on 52/11 gearing) over 900w at 50rpm so it has plenty of head room for any climb I could ever contemplate attempting.

    Speed on an indoor trainer genuinely shouldn’t matter as really you want to train by power and duration at specific cadences.

    Yes, technically when you use as certain % slope it won’t be as per the real world for anyone other than the rider they’ve modelled it on but that isn’t what power based training is about. Zwift make their own speed calculation so all the slope does in there is effectively control your cadence. So if you want to make a climb harder (i.e. lower cadence) just don’t do it in your lowest gear.

  55. Jason

    Has anyone found an app with *free* ERG based workouts, where you select from a library and it controls your trainer? I know of TrainerRoad ($), and will try it once winter settles in…but for now I’m looking for a free app that I can use indoors, for time periods where I’m typically riding outdoors (a few times per month). I went through DC’s trainer app guide, but a couple didn’t seem to pair with anything but the Kickr (such as Hurts Ergo). I’m looking for something with a searchable library, that is easy to use; I don’t even want the rides to be downloadable or anything, just simple to use and good interaction with the Direto.

  56. Jason

    I have the app and tried one of the 10 workouts already. I didn’t feel like it was erg mode. I’ll have to try again

  57. Steve B

    Ray, the power graph in Zwift in ERG mode that you posted (link to media.dcrainmaker.com) looks REALLY choppy. Did you have it set to Instant interval vs 3 second smoothing? Were you just messing around constantly increasing/decreasing your RPMs? Or holding same RPMs? That last 10 min segment is all over the place. I’ve got a Tacx Bushido currently (considering upgrading), and its much much much smoother. Of course I HATE the spin downs on the Bushido, but that’s another story…. but cringing a little bit looking at how much variation there is in power, with this trainer, and zwift ERG mode…..

    • That’s actually due to the way Zwift Erg mode works. It’s not a very ‘firm’ ERG mode like many other traditional apps. Rather, it gives you ‘flex’ so that you have to work to hold the power yourself.

  58. Geroge

    Did a test ride yesterday, noticed my Quarq Dzero power reading doesn’t match Direto… Not sure which one isn’t correct.
    Blue – Dzero, purple – Direto.

    Cadence on other hand looks almost identical

    • Andrea

      It’s not correct, at a certain point the graph are both shifted

    • George

      Beginning looks ok, then at some point graph got shifted. Not sure how to fix that, offset would move entire length and make it look even worse.

      On side note old printer sound is present, but with drive train and fan noise I couldn’t hear it during the Zwift session. I’m hearing some creaking noise, but I think it sounds more like it coming from bike, not trainer