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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.

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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 October 11th, 2017 @ 6:52 amNew 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%+/-3%+/- 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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429 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.

    • Kyle McElroy

      What about 10 speed 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.

    • Ed

      Thought I’d add an update now I’ve put a few hours on my Direto. I have one with the louder motor, but I don’t notice it when riding. If I try and listen out for the noise, then it is perceptible over drivetrain noise (barely), but mid workout it’s not something I notice (exception being shifts of a large number of watts in erg mode — e.g. doing sprints and recovery intervals).

      Very happy with the trainer overall and I’d definitely recommend it. I had been using a Kickr SNAP — the Direto both feels better and is much less hassle to set up. It’s really nice to be able to just ride without having to worry about advance calibration every time etc.

    • Jason

      Thanks for the update. Haven’t been using mine much so far. What app(s) have you been using?

    • Jed

      I think i got a direto from the same exact batch as you. Also no stickers and also outer plastic shell not completely aligned at the point in which they join… Did Direto reply to your message @Easy?

    • Paul

      I recently purchased a Direto trainer. It does makes a “dot matrix printer” noise all the time. But it is not that annoying to me given the white noise from the fan, drive train noise, and music I am playing drown it out. I think it is a common “feature” of this trainer.

    • Jacques Dubois

      Hi Ray, I just set up my Direto and that “printer sound” you refer to and have illustrated in your video is not the one I’m getting from my unit. I get more of a low howl of the type old dot matrix printers would make when the printer head would slide across the page before printing started. I’ve attached a video….I think this may be what some of your readers are referring to.

    • Steve B

      Same here. Nothing like the quiet hum-type one you get from your unit Ray when you plugged it in your video. I contacted elite and they told me it’s normal. Perhaps normal for this trainer, but it is a downer. In ERG mode it’s not bad at all. But when riding around Zwift, it’s bad, and loud. I still stand behind my previous comments that it’s a bit slow to respond in Zwift in general (compared to my bushido), and I think that exacerbates the dot matrix printer noise.

  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!

    • Dan

      Mind sharing when you placed your order? Right now, it says estimated availability in early September.

    • KDub

      Placed mine early with the plan to cancel if needed/desired – looks like 9 August from my email.

    • Dan

      Great, thanks!
      I placed an order yesterday through CT, hoping to get it before too long.

    • Doug

      RE: K Dub.
      I was looking for the dimensions too & DC was my first thought, then the manufacturer then google, finally i have some ‘possibly’ correct dimensions from a web retailer – but they could be hooey….
      Size (L x W x H): 840 x 650 x 550 mm
      Now which dimension refers to which – you’ll have to guess :)
      link to elite-it.com

    • Jay

      Per Clever Training’s site:
      Space occ. when unfolded (lxd):840 x 650 mm (33.07 x 25.59″)
      Space occupied when folded(lxdxh):300 x 650 x 550 mm (11.81″ x 25.59″ x 21.65″)

      Since the width is what shrinks when folded, that means the width with legs folded out for stability should be the 33.07″ dimension.

  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)

    • Dan C

      I do the same in Zwift. Directo reports about 10% lower. Who knows if that’s drivetrain lose, left-leg stronger or Stages being off. But I’m with you, I want to have the same metrics as I do on the road

  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.

    • Rob

      @STEVE

      Just got the Direto and calibrated at 6440 in PerfPro BUT my speed is showing above 100km/h …?
      I also find the derailleur cage to close to the unit while on the 28 sprocket.
      My lights continue to blink on PerfPro.

  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.

    • Christian

      My Drivo was reading about 20W too high out of the box. I takes about 1h of warmup before calibration (yes the drivo also needs a calibration) to get reasonable close to my power2max. But still, each ride there is about a 20minute warmup until the power reading stabilize. Interestingly, my calibration number is also lower after I did my own calibration. However, the Drivo is still reading about 10W higher which is odd because usually the power2max should read higher being a crank based powermeter. Adding up all these numbers would mean my power2max is reading about 15 to 20 less, which seems also a bit strange. Maybe, the are adding a factor for die Drivo power to take drivetrain losses into account?
      But I also checked Ray’s power comparison and for example the 30/30 intervalls the mean-max curve is withing 2-3 watts however, the during the Zwift workout the bepro pedals are reporting suddenly 10 watts less. I wouldn’t call this “crazy close”.

    • Just out of curiosity – how do you know the P2M unit is correct?

      Keep in mind that 10w is within +/- 2% depending on how you stack it and at which wattages.

  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.

    • Robert

      Hello All,

      Looking for feedback and suggestions on the proper spacer thickness for a Tiagra Shimano 10-speed cassette on the 11 speed trainer hub.

      I just received my elite direto over the weekend and placed both of the spacers supplied with Elite’s new trainer on the trainers hub for the same cassette on my bike’s rear wheel.

      link to chainreactioncycles.com

      My bike shifts perfectly when using this cassette on my my rear wheel out on the road. When I swap my trainer to it’s identical dedicated cassette and shift into my largest cog in the rear the bike chain comes off. To me this indicates the spacers are too much. There is also alot of slippage in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hardest gears in the rear wheel. I can get away with ERG trainer sessions and using a non-slip cog ,but it’s frustrating if I want to do anything with Zwift outside of workout mode.

      I’m not sure the thickness of the spacers in Elite’s trainer box ,but I was wondering if other people had to purchase different spacers to make both road riding and trainer riding compatible without needing to always adjust your rear derailleur!

      Send help and keep on riding!

  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

    • Matt Weaver

      My first ride on the Direto using Trainer Road in Erg mode it was slow to respond and didn’t lock in the power like the Wahoo Kickr I was borrowing did. It looked a lot like Ray’s ride on Zwift. At a lower cadence it responded faster but a higher cadences from 100-110 it took a while for the trainer to bring the power back down. I was using the built in cadence meter on the Direto. Not sure if that had something to do with it. I thought I read or saw somewhere that someone said if you naturally spin at a higher cadence you will want to use the cadence meter on your bike.

    • Were you using Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ FE-C?

      Either way, I’d reach out to TrainerRoad support and they can take a look at the log files and see what might be up. They’re pretty easy to hit up and get digging into it.

    • Matt Weaver

      Ray,

      I did contact TrainerRoad initially because I couldn’t find the calibration function for the Direto in the app. I was having issues with the Elite Android app. They told me it’s not there yet because Elite hasn’t sent them the calibration template and instructions for the spin down speed. When I mentioned the issues with Erg mode the initial thought was that the Direto connected to TrainerRoad as a power meter instead of a smart trainer. I double checked it and it was connected as a smart trainer. I did some tests with both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ FE-C connections on two different devices. It just didn’t respond and lock in the power like the Kickr I had been borrowing did. TrainerRoad did tell me that they haven’t gotten their hands on a Direto yet to test. Considering TrainerRoad just released the new app and the Direto just hit the market I figure there may be issues on both ends and that TrainerRoad and Elite will work to get them resolved. The other issue maybe in what I’m doing. It’s hard to tell at this point. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to mess with it at this point. Considering the positive reviews that you and Shane Miller gave the Direto I am more inclined to think the issues may be on my end. I just need to spend some time messing with it.

    • Matt Weaver

      Ray,

      Here’s the workout I did. Let me know if any other files would be useful.

    • spencer

      Based on my limited experience with a borrowed kickr snap and my power tap hub, I noticed that the incredibly flat power profile that the kickr was reporting was largely artificial: if I eased up the cadence (and hence the power, briefly), the kickr power profile in trainer road would stay almost completely flat but my power tap (monitored on my edge 520) would show the expected power fluctuations (often quite large). Can you post a screenshot of your trainerroad workout to give us a feel for the magnitude of the power fluctuations while in erg mode?

    • Matt Weaver

      Try again.

    • Andrea

      Hi,
      I use erg mode and trainerroad without any problem like this.
      It seems to me like when you change the percentage in the workout and then you move it again at 100% it produce the same beaver.

    • spencer

      To be clear, are you using a power meter and power match or just the reported power from the direto?

    • Matt Weaver

      Spencer,

      I’m using the reported power from the Direto.

    • Kaj Laursen

      I am seeing something similar using Xert workout player on a Garmin 520. Want to try myETraining before I point fingers. I do not know if it´s just because the Direto reports actual power with more resolution.

    • Spencer

      Here is an erg workout from the elite app. In short, there is more variability than you see with a kickr, but I think it is more realistic based on the subtle changes in cadence/power output throughout the interval. Interval average power was within a couple watts of the erg setting.

    • Matt Weaver

      Spencer,

      I went back and looked at the numbers from my test session and just as you experienced they were within a couple of watts of the target power for the interval. The Kickr was always a few watts off as well for an interval. I guess I got to caught up in the nice pretty straight lines that were recorded from the Kickr compared to what the Direto was spitting out. The other factor could be the smoothing rate I was using. I know I set it to 3 seconds in the TrainerRoad App but I haven’t had any luck so far setting it in the Elite app. Is it jus me or are other people having issues with the Android version? I have it downloaded on an Ipad and will try that out tonight.

    • William G Humber

      The Kickr is more or less reporting the resistance setting, not the actual instantaneous power. With trainerroad it always seems to plot unsmoothed data on the large screen but it will post smoothed data on the minimized screen, at least on the PC version.

    • Matt Weaver

      William,

      Thanks for the info. I have only used TrainerRoad on an Android tablet or phone and it just showed the smoothed data on the graph when using the Kickr.

    • Matt Weaver

      Just wanted to add a follow up to my perceived issues. I have done several more rides on my Direto with TrainerRoad and everything is working just fine. I have found in Erg mode that it responds best, especially to the recovery intervals if you ride in the small ring up front and somewhere in the middle of your rear cassette. After talking to TrainerRoad it sounds like if riding in the big ring up front the trainer reaches its minimum resistance and the only way to bring the power down to match the interval is to really slow down your cadence. Since I’ve shifted down to the little ring I have had no issues with the trainer responding to the appropriate power setting.

    • Jason

      I’ve been using TR, ERG mode, and I’m also using small ring in the front and middle of the cassette and find that everything works well. It’s funny, I was going to try the big ring yesterday, and didn’t, and now I won’t…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

    • Jason

      I find that the noises of the bike are accentuated while on the trainer. I get some drivetrain noises while out on the road, and on the trainer they’re a bit more present, at times. No biggie :-)

  59. Teun

    Thanks for the great review! Unfortunately I have an issue with my Direto for which I hope to get some suggestions here.

    In Zwift I can’t pair the Direto as a controllable trainer over bluetooth. It does seem to pair as a classic trainer with speed sensor. The power meter and cadence sensor of the Direto work fine in Zwift and in My E-Training the controllable features are also working.

    Any ideas why Zwift does not see my Direto as a controllable trainer? Do I need the ANT+ dongle for this?

    • The way Bluetooth Smart works it that if another app is holding the connection open, a secondary app can’t connect to it.

      It sounds like perhaps another app (like My E-Training) may be running in the background and holding the connnection app. Double check you’ve killed off any apps that might have connected, and to be triple sure, I’d toggle airplane mode briefly and unplug the trainer and re-plug in.

    • Though, I probably should have asked – I presume you’re on iOS?

    • Teun

      Thanks for the quick response. I am using pc and android though…

    • Gotchya. Yeah, Zwift doesn’t support Bluetooth devices on a PC: link to support.zwift.com

      So unfortunately you’ll need the ANT+ USB stick.

    • Teun

      Thanks Ray. I actually read this Zwift support article, but I thought this was only about connecting directly from the trainer to a PC over bluetooth (as opposed to bridging it through an android device). Still don’t really understand why Zwift doesn’t support this, but I’ll just go for the ANT+ unit.

    • George

      That’s what I did too.
      Also, depending on how far your PC is from the trainer you might need usb extension cable. I’m using my Home Theater PC for Zwift which is in media cabinet about 6 feet away from Direto, and signal was dropping quite often. With extension cable no more drops

    • Teun

      I got this reply from the Zwift team. Seems it is supposed to work, except for an issue with ZLM for soms users.

      “We have tested the Direto without any issues; however, there are some issues with the Android version of ZMLnot connecting all sensors that has affected some of our users which we are currently working to resolve. We have recommended using an ANT+ dongleas a workaround.

      If you have one, try searching for your trainer under both Power and Controllable Trainer using that protocol, and let me know how it goes!”

    • Johann

      Hey Ray – sorry to bother you. But shouldn’t the control work if i connect my android phone with the direto and use the mobile link app?

      When i use the mobile link app i can select the direto as a powemeter or cadance meter but not as a controlable trainer – is that normal?

      Cheers

  60. Rory

    Great review Ray. Just placed my order with Clever Training UK. Website says they’re expected end of September so hopefully any day now or have you got any better inside information?

  61. Ribbo365

    Great Review and I really like the look of this trainer. Torn between this and the snap but leaning towards the DD.

    Wondering how can I find out whether my disc brake equipped road bike will be mountable on the Direto?

    I have a Whyte Suffolk 2015 with TRP HyRd disc brakes and want to make sure that it will be ok before ordering.

    Thanks

  62. marklemcd

    My Direto was delivered yesterday. Set up was indeed easy, and my first foray into cassette removal from a wheel and installation was not hard. So that was all good.

    Coming from the Tacx Vortex, the difference is astounding. Way quieter. And WAAAAAY more solid and stable when you’re on the bike. This alone is worth the additional cash outlay.

    I will say in my initial ride this morning I struggled with a couple things.
    1) Trainer road found the trainer fine, but every time I tried to calibrate the trainer the app froze. I tried to calibrate on Elite’s app as well and the same thing happened. I tried probably 8 times to no avail. I did my workout anyway and the power number seemed plausible even without calibration. I’d like to know how to calibrate with my Elemnt if possible.

    2) I connected it to my Garmin 935, and it sent speed numbers over (which I don’t care about in general) that were really strange. It said I was going 125 miles an hour. Not sure what that was about.

    I’ll likely reboot my ipad and retry calibration with trainer road later, maybe that will do it.

    • Matt Weaver

      Make sure to set your wheel circumference to 173 on your head unit. In the Elite App put in 2096 and it will recalculate it to 173 automatically.

    • marklemcd

      Thanks for the suggestion and set my 935. I’ll do the same on the Direto when I get home and test it out tonight.

  63. chris

    Not about this trainer, but the Magene Gravat. Ray, please please please get one and test. Apparently it’s ”half the cost of a kickr”, although I find that it’s about 75% of the cost of a Kickr (maybe my google shopping skills are poor today).

    If this is the start of Chinese designed smart trainers bringing the price down, this could be huge. At 75% of the kickr cost, I think I’d still buy a Kickr-2017 for 20% off in a sale, but if it truly can be found for 50-60% of the cost and you give it your blessing … well, that’d be it for me.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work,

  64. Hovis

    Just checked my order page on CTuk and it looks like my direto is shipped. Hooray

  65. marklemcd

    Ray or others with some experience here. I have the left side only 4iiii precision on my bike and have now ridden on the direto twice. I love the direto. Would you trust the power numbers from the direto more than the 4iiii? Both have been offset and the direto runs ~10-15 watts higher when (255 on the 4iiiii v 265ish on the direto).

  66. Philip Gerrity

    Ray, have you been able to get accurate speed numbers with the Wahoo Elemnt and the Direto? My speed numbers are about 12.1 times higher than they should be on my Bolt because of how Elite handles the wheel circumference parameter. I’ve emailed with Wahoo Support and they say that they do not support configuring manual wheel circumference for fitness sensors. Any advice to get accurate speed numbers until Wahoo can implement a fix?

    • Easy

      +1 here, thanks!

    • A. Weber

      I’m having the same issue with the speed readout when pairing the Direto and the Elemnt Bolt. I’ve corresponded with Wahoo support and they’ve replied saying they just got their hands on a Direto and will provide a fix in the next couple weeks

  67. Jason

    That I would share a ‘fix’ I did to my set-up to help with leveling the saddle.

    For the roadies out there who would have found that when their bike is mounted there is a downward slope on the saddle, and who also found that the standard front wheel riser block (I have the elite travel block) over-compensates and ends up with a nose-too-far-up saddle, I’ve done the following…

    My bike trainer is in the basement, and I’ve always had a thin carpet (think ‘hallway’ carpet) beneath a yoga mat. To get my riser block a little lower, I cut out a piece of carpet and yoga mat where the block sits. Now it’s sitting inside the cut-out, a few mm lower, and as a result the saddle position is same as when the bike is off the trainer.

    Hope this helps if anyone is struggling to get things level.

  68. Hovis

    Got my unit from CTuk yesterday. Only had time to take it out of the box and have a go at plugging it in. Looks like I got one of the oldschool printer variants. Is pretty loud but I suspect once drivetrain and fan noise come into the question, it will be drowned out.

  69. fernando

    I have a Computrainer and don’t want to suscribe any app; do you advise me to change CT for an elite direto or tacx flux?

  70. Steven Bessen

    Ray, I have an Elite Direto connected to a MacBook via Bluetooth. I want to calibrate the Direto using Zwift. I recall reading somewhere that I can only calibrate in Zwift using an Ant+ connection (apparently a wrench icon will appear next to the pairing button if I have an Ant+ connection. I am not seeing a wrench with my Bluetooth connection). Is this correct? If not, how do I calibrate using the Zwift app? If it is true, which specific dongle (make and model) do you suggest?

    • Rick

      Steven, Shane Miller (GPLama) in his latest youtube video on the Direto says to calibrate it once using the Elite app on your phone and you’re good to go for a couple of months. He would know.. he’s one of the top “Zwifters” out there.

    • I agree with Shane. I see virtually no need on the Direto to do so every session.

      (Which yes, goes against my general guidance. So yes, I still recommend doing so occasionally to validate. In both Shane and my cases, we have multiple power meters, so we’d know instantly if something was amiss.)

  71. I have just sent my direto back to madison via the LBS.
    Initial couple of rides the trainer worked fine.
    10 min into the third ride at around 130w at 90 cadence (in zwift) the wattage stared to read 2000w and a knocking noise could be heard from the trainer and felt through the pedals. After jumping off the trainer whined as it spin down.
    I checked the cassette and 12mm adaptor were tight. Re started and connected to zwift and the same issue. Getting up to speed the trainer started knocking and the cadence reading was 160-odd at no where near that in reality.
    I could not connect to the app to perform a spin calibration either.
    I’m unsure if this is an issue anyone else has had but hopefully will be resolved soon.

  72. David Walker

    Ordered via Clever Training UK. The positive review and the price differential to the Neo relative to features were the deciding factors

    This will replace my Tacx Flow circa 2011. Spent sometime trying to establish if I would get an reduction in noise levels but couldn´t find anything definitive. Am assuming at worst it will be no noisier. If anyone has any experience please let me know.

  73. Andreas

    Hi Ray

    I preordered the Direto on CT UK, with the code to support your site! While it was in shipping the price dropped significantly on Athleteshop (516£).

    I first asked CT.com if the UK site could do some kind of price guarentee, I talked with “Paul” who said to me that I should just send them the link. I mailed CT UK with the link to the better price. They didn’t mail me back until today when the unit arrived. The answer they gave me was that a price match couldn’t be done. Now I’m kinda angry and I feel cheated.

    So just to you and everybody else CT service isn’t what it looks like. Just buy from another store which want to help you even after the purchase.

    /Andreas
    Student

    • Hi Andreas-

      Hmm, I’m not sure why Paul said that to be honest. CT generally doesn’t do price matches. You can get the DCR discount (which is 10% off in the UK/Europe). As for Athleteshop, they won’t have them in stock for another month at that price. And that assumes their shipment is on time/etc.

      To be honest, I wouldn’t expect CT Europe to chase every last online site in Europe on pricing, especially ones that don’t have stock. As you probably know, many shops in Europe take a loss on some items to up-sell other items. It works for some, and then plenty others go out of business. Ultimately, I’d prefer CT figure out their place in life without going out of business trying to sell stuff at a loss.

      Still, sorry for the confusion from the rep – but generally speaking people tend to be pretty happy with the CT across the board – plus it helps support the site here. Thanks for the support though!

      Cheers!

    • Andreas

      Thanks for the reply.

      Yes I’m also confused. And yeah I used the support code as written earlier. But the price difference is still huge (for me).

      Hopefully CT will see their own fault and help me out.

      /Andreas

    • David Walker

      Andreas,

      The price difference on the site is large but not quite as large now as you originally quoted with postage the price works out at £588 compared with CTUK £674.

      Given that I ordered today I have also asked the question of CTUK re closing some of the difference.

      Ray’s point re availability is a good one as other site is quoting end October delivery. I am assuming CTUK has stock but am yet to hear back from them.

      Given the choice I would probably wait a few weeks and save my self some money with the worst case scenario being that the other site can´t meet dates and I have to reorder from CTUK.

      David

    • Mariusz

      I think I have to send back my direto. The resistance is not held when I go uphill the power drops suddenly from 320W to 150W and then up again. At intervals too, suddenly no resistance. Once the coach stopped at Zwift completely and muttered only. After 10sec, he went back. Driving is not going well, because he constantly down-regulates the resistance, uphill.

      Mariusz

    • Andreas

      To everybody reading this with interest. CT UK would not want to price match even though they told me yesterday that they would.

      So because they can’t admit their own mistake this unit is going back to CT, Athleteshop (and better price) here I come!

    • Andreas

      Another update. CT UK has contacted me again, their reasoning not to pricematch was “…it is Elite itself who have denied this request based in the legally binding agreement that we have in place”.

      Then I contacted Elite, funny enough they don’t know anything about an agreement.

      Seriously CT…man up. They don’t even contact me back on my mails anymore.

    • Hovis

      You are obsessed. Let it go. If the price difference means so much to you just send it back, wait another month and go for the cheaper option. Nobody cares about your price match tales or whether CT uk are “manning up” for you.

  74. Lee Sutton

    Hi Ray

    Just wanted to get your opinion on the level of comments about issues with the Direto. Overall it seems to be positive but there a few comments on defective units and calibration issues etc. In your opinion (don’t worry I won’t hold you to it :-) ) would you say it’s perfectly normal levels given such a popular (i.e. high sales volume) new product?

    Cheers

    Lee

    • I think anytime in consumer electronics there’s a failure rate (usually accepted as 3-7% by time it reaches a consumer). When it comes to shipping heavier items, that can be impacted by shipping as well (as seen with the original KICKR).

      In terms of issues with Direto, they seem abnormally low actually. I believe most of the ‘calibration’ issues aren’t actually Elite issues, but just 3rd party apps getting caught up more than anything.

    • Lee Sutton

      Thanks Ray!

  75. Tim

    So Ray, in your opinion after reading some of the reviews/issues with the Hammer. The Hammer vs. Direto (where one could get a deal for each unit)?

  76. Laki

    Quick question about setup with Zwift.
    I am using PC and Zwift mobile connect through my Android phone via Bluetooth. I can’t get it to show up in Zwift as a controllable trainer. Is it possible at all to connect through Bluetooth as a controllable trainer thank you

    • Vitaliy

      No, not possible at the moment. If you want connect it to PC you need to get ANT+ dongle

    • Teun

      See my question earlier. Zwift team said it’s supposed to work, except for soms users that have unclear issues with ZML Bluetooth connection. Apparently we are those users!? Ant+ works fine though.

  77. Jason

    Anyone else using their Direto with TrainerRoad?

    I’ve used it twice so far with the free month trial. I did the FTP test, and a 1hr15m interval workout (on ERG mode). I like the TR app, it works perfectly on my iPhone, which is just beneath my TV (watching Netflix). The cadence seems accurate, and I was able to keep to the target power without much thought. I love the ‘set it and forget it’ feeling to the platform (no shifting, pick the cadence you want and the trainer adjusts resistance). The Direto was very solid, and with earbuds in I didn’t hear anything from the trainer.

  78. Jacques

    Hi – I’m just curious….all your images are of the drive side of the Direto – there are none of the non-drive side. It’s kind of like trying to find an image of the “non drive” side of a bike. In my case, I’m trying to get a sense of the clearance on the non-drive side for frames with disc brake calipers, which is the case of my bike (Spesh S-Works Tarmac disc 2016) are inboard of the dropouts.

    • Kaj Laursen

      I took a picture of my Direto with bike mounted. Not disk brake equipped, but hope it helps. For me, it looks like plenty of space in front of the axle.

  79. Rob

    @Ray

    I believe you mentioned you had to fiddle a bit to get the bike “straight” on the trainer ?
    It looks like if my rear pads are not horizontal, even without quick release the bike is not sitting parallel.
    Maybe the foto explains what I mean.
    I also need to try another bike…?!

  80. Rob

    Another angle

    • Kaj Laursen

      Just checked mine. I think it is “straight”, it is just off-set.

    • Rob

      Thanks Kai,

      After measuring with a level and tape I came to the conclusion the turbo is horizontal @37cm. So if yours is “off-set too, I’m good.
      Began to think my frame was skewed.

  81. Joakim

    Hi!
    I´m a real newbie to cycling but due to certain circumstances (deteriorating vision) I probably will start training on an indoor bike. This Direto trainer seems like a very good choice.
    However, it seems like all direct drive trainers (which is what I´m going to get) are only compatible with cassettes with 9-11 speed. These on the other hand seems only to be available on more expensive bikes.
    Since I´m not going to use my bike much outdoor, I thought I could by a cheap bike and put the money on the trainer which is where I will see a difference.
    Anyhow, do you think it is possible to use a cheaper bike that is delivered with a 7 or 8 speed cassette if I have a 9, 10 or 11 speed cassette on the trainer. I understand that I will only be able to use as many gears as the bike is supposed to have but is it possible to get the above configuration to work, considering chains and so?
    Would make it much easier to find a cheap second hand bike.
    Just thought that with all your experience, you might have some input on the subject.
    Thanks for all the useful reviews anyhow.

    • Jason

      Riding indoors if you have a vision problem is a good idea. Though with a dedicated riding buddy maybe you can ride outdoors safely.

      You have a few things to think about if setting up your indoor experience for the first time. The bike is key, and the fit should be paramount. A steel or aluminum frame bike with 9 or 10sp cassette should be very inexpensive (like an entry level Trek or Giant from the last decade). I’m thinking around 350-500. I would get it tuned up too. To make good use of the trainer there are various apps (Zwift and TrainerRoad as examples), these cost 10-12 per month (TrainerRoad is $99/year). There is also a fan, TV, etc. The Direto is probably the most expensive of your purchases!

    • Joakim

      Thanks for the input Jason. At first I was hoping to be able to use one of my old racer bikes from around 1990 with 5sp cassette but that does not seem to be possible so I was hoping/aiming for something in a price range which is almost identical to what you mention (although converted to Swedish “kronor” ) but so far I haven had any luck (but on the other hand I haven’t been looking for so long time yet). Will keep my eyes open for the brands you mention. I ordered the Direto today so hopefully I’ll find something in a not to far future. A fan is something I haven’t thought about before but come to think of all the very “wet” spinning sessions I had, it might be well invested money.

  82. byron yu

    Is there an ideal operational temperature? Would i be able to train with it in my unheated garage when the weather outside is -20c? with a heater blowing at me of course.

    • Rob

      From Titaniumgeek.com :

      A crucial point is the OPTICAL in the OTS name. As there is no strain gauge, there is no source of heat, and so in addition to not needing recalibration, the OTS has no need for temperature compensation. Something which has been independently verified by German test labs, and which Elite are very proud of:

      I’ve been using my turbo in Andorra on the balcony with -15°C and surely no need for a heater just 1 thermic underwear shirt.

    • b

      thanks for the reply. I guess i’m also wondering about the internals (like belts or whatever). Like a car needs to warm up from a cold engine. Since a trainer technical doesn’t warm up, will it shorten the live of the trainer running it in the cold?

    • Felix

      I would think that Elite Support personnel may have something to say about using their smart trainers below a normal indoor temperature. Especially if you take the trainer inside from the cold, there could be potentially damaging levels of condensation on the electronic components or boards, if the air inside is humid. (It does not take that much humidity to condensate if the unit goes from cold to warm air).

    • While I haven’t seen anything specific to ‘normal’ temperature ranges in terms of calibration required on the Direto specifically, I’d think that -20C and any swing after that would be of concern.

      Remember, it’s not so much the ‘current’ temperature that’s a problem for calibration, but rather, the change in temperature/warm-up. Further, it matters more for certain types of trainers than others (less for Direto, but again, not sure on that massive a swing).

      Someday, in a DCR Cave V2 or V3, I’d like to have a temperature chamber to test some of these things. But today I lack said space.

    • Constantine

      I’m beginner cyclist. Can i really feel difference between Tacx Neo and Elite Direto. Can i feel that gap in price? Is it worst it to invest right now to more expensive trainer like Neo? Do you think during blackfriday or christmas it will be some discount on Direto?

    • Rob

      I paid € 625 here in Spain which is half price of the Neo.
      You will only notice it in your pocket 😂

    • Luis

      Hi, could you please tell where you bought it at that price? I’m searching for one in Europe and they are all out-of-stock and most of them are >750€. Thanks

    • Rob

      I’m not sure whether it’s allowed but I bought it here :

      link to kitres.com

      I’m not affiliated with them just a happy customer passing on a tip.

    • Luis

      Thank you, direto ordered :) Fortunately they also send to Portugal!.

    • Edelweiss Pirate

      Elite’s OTS is very much a strain gage: it is a gage* that measures torsional strain.

      What Elite means to say is that their trainers use no resistive foil strain gages. That might sound like a petty distinction, but it matters: it’s roughly like saying that your hydraulic-disc-braked bike has no brake calipers. It absolutely does have brake calipers, just not the cable-actuated rim-grabbing kind.

      There may be a language barrier here, so I’m inclined to cut Elite a little slack. Their occlusion-based torque sensor is less sensitive to thermal changes than foil-type strain gages, but it’s not athermic (not remotely). Optical strain gages absolutely benefit from thermal compensation, just not as much as foil gages do.

      By the way, Titaniumgeek.com gets it wrong: strain gages don’t add significant heat; the problem is that temperature changes alter the strain reading from the gage unless thermal compensation is implemented. Plus, there’s a huge source of heat: the resistance to the rider’s effort! That heats up the OTS and, yes, changes its accuracy.

      This is specialized information, and gear bloggers can’t be expected to have this knowledge. But IMHO, Elite’s marketing department is crossing the line from “spin” to “deception” in some of the information they’ve provided to the press.

      *Engineers spell it “gage.” The rest of the word writes “gauge.” This is basically a professional shibboleth, and kind of a silly one. But in an engineering context, it’s correct to spell it “gage.”

    • Tim Parker

      @Edelweiss Pirate

      To be fair to Elite, those were James’ words and Elite just refer to having a torque sensor. I’d also be inclined to cut some slack here as well, given the audience.. from an engineering perspective we know this torque sensor is a type of strain gauge – as is a spring – but it seems reasonably obvious what he getting at (sloppy wording, agreed).

      As for spelling, this may be part geographic (or influenced from). As a Brit, in the times when my path as crossed the more engineering-oriented ones, i’ve never used or seen ‘gage’ used locally – always ‘gauge’. I’ve seen ‘gage’ in some US mechanical engineering papers but we more typically hang onto the French influenced spelling of things, alas.. I feel sorry for anyone having to learn English as a foreign language.

    • Edelweiss Pirate

      Thanks for your input, Tim. You’re probably right about “gage” being an affectation of American engineers. I much prefer “gauge” but I write “gage” when my audience is other US-based engineers.

      I’d call bending that isn’t symmetric “asymmetric bending,” but mechanical engineers (at least in the US) prefer to say “unsymmetric bending.” My inner grammarian—a pedant without equal—cringes at welding the Proto-Germanic “un-” prefix to the Greek-rooted “symmetric” when the Greek alpha privative (“a-”) is totally a thing. But heck, archaeologists don’t talk about pottery shards; they talk about pottery sherds, which they pronounce as spelled. Well, à chacun son goût.

      Regarding what is and isn’t a strain gauge, we basically agree. But it annoys me that Elite claims that they don’t need thermal compensation because they don’t use strain gauges. It’s like when Doc Brown in “Back to the Future” who said, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” If he really meant that they don’t need roads paved with asphalt but they did need roads paved with concrete, then the reality isn’t nearly as cool as the claim.

    • Tim Parker

      ‘asymmetric’ – with you all the way on that :)
      The quark ‘Kwark’ vs ‘Kwoork’ battle was the one that used to drive me round the bend…

      Regarding the Elite OTS, i’ve not seen any details on the sensor itself but can believe that it’s robust against temperature variations found in typical usage – not totally immune to temperature induced effects for sure, but there’s some clever optical sensors that might fit the bill (quadrature encoders I believe, i’d have to check with someone who actually knows). I think using the expansion on the leading and trailing edges of a metal encoding tree / disc to effectively ‘cancel out’ the thermal variance might have legs as well. I’m not saying Elite use either of those, but there is stuff out there that doesn’t suffer from the type of temperature induced strain offsets you get with foil sensors. I’d really would like to know more about their design but i’ve not yet dug deep enough to find the papers and submissions.

      As for Doc, well reckon he meant they don’t roads due to the fact that the car could fly and go straight up and down :) Have fun and keep fighting the good fight with grammar.

  83. Steve B

    I have to tell you guys, the printer noise is really annoying (to me). It is not quiet. I am replacing a Tacx Bushido with this, and am questioning if it was the right choice. Bushido is/was quieter. That’s probably my biggest gripe. Oh, and hills on zwift seem tougher on the legs now :-)

    • Jason

      Are you wearing headphones and/or listening to music? I’ve been using the trainer a lot with TrainerRoad lately, and on ERG mode the adjustments to resistance (with some degree of buzz) are frequent, and I honestly do not hear it. I’m wearing headphones while watching Netflix, and I’m running a fan (though it isn’t particularly loud). I’ve used Zwift too, and cannot imagine riding for 1-2 hours and not listening to something…

      I agree about the hills! I did the epic KOM the other day and didn’t know anything about it…so to me it kept going and going as I was expecting something shorter. I was in my easiest gear…but I’m a wimp :-)

    • Steve

      Music drowns most of it out, but the fan alone does not. It is louder then the drivetrain, and fan on Low and Medium setting.

      Zwift Races and Group Rides w/out music are easy because you are busy looking at the screen trying to stay in the draft or attack. For workout mode, music is a must!

  84. Andy Hamilton

    Just bought the Direto, having sent my Tacx Neo back after numerous problems, and have to say I’m blown away by how good it is. Feel is great, and very solid. Adjustable legs make it great if floor is uneven and means you can get out the saddle with confidence. ERG and Zwift modes are awesome and response seems much quicker than other smart trainers I have had.
    I have one really small weird problem, when I’m connected to my Garmin headset. I use the speed/cadence sensor option so I can record distance, and somehow it thinks I’m doing about 177mph? Any ideas what this could be? I reckon its the size of the wheel configured in my Garmin 1000, but don’t know what this should be? Its normally 2050 or 2070mm, which I think is the issue??
    Any suggestions?
    (Although it is making my Strava and Garmin Activities look quite good ;-)

  85. Johann

    Hey Ray – sorry to bother you. But shouldn’t the control work if i connect my android phone with the direto and use the mobile link app?

    When i use the mobile link app i can select the direto as a powemeter or cadance meter but not as a controlable trainer – is that normal?

    Cheers

  86. Teun

    @johann: check my earlier posts.

  87. Hi Ray,
    Thanks for this review!
    Is there any limitation regarding TT frame compatibility? I ride a Canyon Speedmax SLX (2016)
    Cheers
    Philip

  88. Laki

    Question about power smoothing, how long it took you to complete it?
    I started and tells me don’t stop pedaling until told so, but after few minutes I don’t get anything so I stop,
    For Trainer calibration using the phone its does it in 20 seconds or less. Using PC via ANT+ it forgets me, so I use my phone.
    My personal observation:
    In general I think folks with apple product are having somehow easier time, as they are connecting via Bluetooth directly .
    I have a PC and I dont understand why Zwift/myTraining application cant connect via Bluetooth directly but I need my phone(unless I am using ANT+ dongle for PC). For me Bluetooth is Bluetooth, you either work or don’t work.

  89. Matt

    Hi Ray,

    Received my Direto from CT USA. 2 questions/concerns:

    1. Compared with my P2M Type S, it’s about 10% high, always, and I’ve calibrated it several times to be sure. My P2M is consistent generally on RPE vs. my Ultegra Stages on another bike, so I’m thinking the Direto is generous. Any thoughts?

    2. It has a rumble vibration, mild until the flywheel really gets going, not ERG mode, where the trainer vibrates the bike and the floor. As if the flywheel is out of balance. Any experience or notice of that? I’ve sent both CT and Elite e-messages to see what they suggest.

    Otherwise, it’s quiet definitely, not terribly hard to set up or carry, and fun. It seems to work well with TrainerRoad and Zwift, but I’m not sure how well the resistance magnets adjust for small incline changes. Some of the free MyE-Training “real” videos show climbs, “Col de la Madeleine” for example showing some pitches above 20% for brief periods but the resistance doesn’t really change reliably over a small single digit grade. Does make noise, doesn’t feel consistent with grade. Maybe it’s because the free one’s suck. TR and Zwift felt better, but still the Swift resistance changes were usually sudden.

    Appreciate your insights!

  90. Nick

    I have elite direto and have noticed that ERG control bia bloototh smart and my 5th generation iPhone does not work if the trainer just “wakes up” by pedaling. I have to unplug it to get ERG to sync with trainer road, and I don’t think it has worked correctly with zwift either. Anybody having this issue/ know whats up ??

    • Julian

      Yeah I have similar problems. Sometimes the ERG Mode works and the app (TrainerRoad or Zwift) controls the trainer, sometimes not. Tested on iPad Pro, Mac (2105) and iPhone (7+).

  91. Garvin Krug

    I’d really love to know if the Direto is compatible with the Cube C68 frame (2016 version, the one Andreas Raelert rode in 2015 Hawaii Ironman). I bought this bike and tried to put it on my Elite Turbo Muin, but it didn’t fit, because the chainstays hit the casing of the trainer. Can anyone help me out here?

  92. Kim Viner

    Here is a very basic question. If I calibrate the Direto using the Elite ios app, is it calibrated for use on other apps such as Rouvy? I ask this because Rouvy says it cannot calibrate the Direto.

    • Kim V.

      I should have mentioned that calibration on ios app is with bluetooth and windows is with ant+ (as windows app currently says “bluetooth coming soon.”

    • Kim V.

      So I also queried Shane Miller and he says that calibration on the ios app works with other apps.

  93. Neil

    Great review! Bought one on your recommendation and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. Got 20% off plus my points at Performance. Feeling pretty good about that!

    Quick question, do you recommend a riser block for this unit? I was thinking with the wheel off it s/b level but it doesn’t feel right. I guess I can pop a level on it next time to see for sure, but was wondering if you have an opinion.

    BTW, my only critique is that it’s a bit tricky getting it mounted without having to manually guide the chain. The flywheel body is a bit wide. Could just be my bike, but thought I’d mention it.

    Thanks!

  94. Julian

    Hey there,

    first of all thank you for the great review, was a huge help in deciding which trainer to buy!

    Received the Direto yesterday and the first impression is good so far. But I’ve also encountered some problems connecting it via Bluetooth with my iOS devices (no ANT+ stick et). Although it’s connected via bluetooth, the ERG Mode does not work properly sometimes. Are there some known problems?

    Example: I connect it in TrainerRoad on my iPad Pro: ERG Mode does not work (no “old printer sound” –> no adjusting of the resistance). Then I disconnected everything, started TrainerRoad on my iPhone (7+) and ERG Mode worked. I tested this several times on the devices, sometimes ERG mode worked, sometimes not.

    Is there anything that could be blocking the communication between trainer app and the Direto? Some processes in the background?

    Best regards.

  95. Danny Wright

    Hi Ray,
    Ordered Direto from your recc site, received discount, fast free shipping, great customer service. I love this thing! Thank you for all you do, I was a little overwhelmed with the different types of trainers until I found your site. Thank you for all you do, I check your site daily now, god stuff👍🏻

  96. Jacques

    Quick question Ray – with all the testing you’ve done on these direct drive trainers, I’ve not seen you mention any adjustments to the rear derailleur when you go from bike to trainer. My bike is a 2017 Specialized Tarmac Di2 disc. When I mount it on the Elite Direto – it shifts beyond the largest cog (I’m using an Ultegra 11 spd 11-28T cassette on the trainer) causing the chain to come off on the inside at which point the derailleur is hard against the side of the trainer. Have you seen this? Will adjusting the low limit screw on the rear derailleur be enough? Of course, I hate messing with my rear mech beyond adjusting the indexing – I’ve read that over adjusting the rear mech can cause battery drain and/or damage to the shifting motor. Unlike you, I don’t build bikes…I rely on my LBS to do that. Any advice from your experience?

    • Kim V.

      I have the same issue with Campy Record 12-25 50-34 mechanical shifting. Chain did not drop but really out of alignment.

  97. Tom Vet

    Mine broke down at 3rd use.

    1st use was easy spinning and “investigate” all the features a smart trainer can offer. Duration approx 40min
    2nd use was 8min FTP- Test. Duration approx 70min
    3rd use while warm up after 12min: Suddenly unrealistic power data (1000+Watt at 60RPM), Sudden start of bumping noise. Slippery pedal-feeling (like pedaling on ice).
    By manually manipulating the flywheel it felt like it jumped out of its fixation.
    I suspect an issue of the driving belt fixation an/or flywheel bracket.
    Sent back to dealer. New one is on the way.

    It happend when my training plan switched from very easy spinning (60-65RMP) to fast pedal (95-100RPM). Both with ~100W. For fast pedal I shiftet to an “easy” gear to make more RPM- 2 sec later the Direto passed away.

  98. Dan C

    I do the same in Zwift. Directo reports about 10% lower. Who knows if that’s drivetrain lose, left-leg stronger or Stages being off. But I’m with you, I want to have the same metrics as I do on the road

  99. Jonas S.

    One question: the Direto comes with two cassette spacers… my 5700 10 speed 105 cassette came with one… I installed both spacers from the Direto as per the instructions. Was that correct? Shifting seems a little of to be honest…

    • Kaj Laursen

      I ended up installing all 3 spacers. The two from Direto and the one from the cassette.

    • Jonas S.

      And you have no shifting issues?

    • Kaj Laursen

      No, works fine. The cassette seemed to not tighten when using only two spacers.

    • Jason

      I think the important thing is to be able to tighten the cassette so there is no play. If shifting is off, turn the barrel adjuster as needed, and note down the number of runs and direction as needed (for indoor and outdoor).

    • Barry

      I used 2 spacers with a 10 speed cassette. It tightens fine with two (not with one), but the shifting is definitely off a bit. I’ve even had the chain shift off the largest cog into the flywheel, but have never shifted into the spokes on my bike. Feels like I need 1 and 3/4 spacers.

      One thing on trainer/zwift shifting is I’m far more harsh in my shifts. Getting better, but it’s a different technique.

    • Jason

      Barry – I completely agree about harsh shifting in Zwift. This highlighted a few technical issues with my drivetrain that I’ve since resolved. This morning on Zwift I intentionally shifted more gently, with a short soft-pedal on shifts with the big ring, as well as some with the little ring. Also, on very short climbs (esses), if I’m in the big ring, I stay in it and gut it out.

  100. fabio

    Hi Everybody,
    i’ve opened a ticket do Zwift that is under analysis by the second level support. My direto seems to respond very slow to terrain incline changes when i’m riding in zwift.

    I’ve used the little climb in the metro station on london map and i can feel that the resistance get harder only 2 or 3 seconds after the climbs start ….and i keep to feel the 15% inclination even after 2 or 3 seconds when my avatar is on flat terrain at the end of the climb.

    My ant+ dongle, with an usb cable extension is really near the direto.

    any other experienced something similar?

    • Barry

      Mine is fairly similar. I’ve always thought about it as a second or two, but never timed it. It’s not a big deal and it’s easy to adjust to. The spot you mentioned is the only area where it’s *really* noticeable.

    • fabio

      Thx for your answer Barry. I asked that because some other guys with the direto seem to not have this issue and even Ray said “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 maybe there is something we can do to make it responsiveness better

    • Steve B

      Fabio, my experience is similar. 1-2 second delays. During 1 minute intervals, it takes 5-10 seconds to go through 80W to 300 W :-). Especially if I increase cadence at the same time. It seems the trainer tries to both compensate for the increase in power and cadence at the same time, and that takes longer compared to keeping cadence steady and increasing power.

      I don’t know enough about the internals of Direto, but I would think they can fix it with firmware. Cmon Elite :-)

      As far as Ray’s comments for responding as quick as he can throw down the wattage, maybe it’s all relative to other trainers in the category and what most (not us truly picky consumers) would find acceptable?

      Ray, maybe you can comment on this?

    • fabio

      This morning, before a zwift session, i tried a custom workout with trainer road. some short intervals from 50% to 100/110% of FTP. As you can see (i hope) from the picture attached the behaviour of the direto is really good. Listening to the ‘beep’ from the direto it seem that Trainer road start to ‘talk’ with the trainer about 1 second before the interval ends. After 1 second my leg start feelin’ the resistance change and after 2 or 3 second the right amount of watt was reached.

      So my problem seem to be a zwift problem..not a ant+ dongle problem (i use the older garmin dongle) or a trainer problem.

    • As others have noted (and the same in the review), the changes I see on TrainerRoad are lightning quick. That tells you that the trainer is working properly, and any other apps having issues are just that: App implementation issues.

      Now, sometimes it’s not actually an issue, but just how an app behaves.

      For example, Zwift doesn’t implement ERG mode in the same manner that almost every app does. Most apps implement ERG mode in a strict sense: App tells trainer to hold 350w, and trainer holds 350w, almost spot-on.

      But within Zwift workout mode, it gives you ‘play’, so it doesn’t actually hold 350w, but puts you in the ballpark. Personally, I think this is stupid, because on an ERG trainer, that’s the point. Especially since all you do to ‘tweak’ this is simply adjust cadence. So instead you’re busy chasing cadence to ‘fake’ the 350w, rather than just riding at 350w. Sigh…

  101. Prub

    Hi Ray

    After calibration of the Elite Direto, I get another offset number than the one written on the bottom of the trainer.

    The stated offset number is 6375.

    The number I get after calibration is 6373.

    I warmed up the trainer for 10 min at 100-150 W, which Elite recommends.

    Do you know if it’s normal?

    • fabio

      Mine gave me 6449 and i’ve the impression that the watt readings are a bit too high. comparing with watt from lemond revolution (with power box) it seem that i have about 20W more…

      i’ve perfomed the calibration last time after a 1h ride in zwift…but event the calibration before gave me 6449

    • Steve

      As long as you are +-4 from the factory offset number, you are good (according to Elite). Each individual unit can have a different offset number from the factory.

    • fabio

      But how can i know what was my factory offset number?

    • Prub

      Thanks Steve.

      I just got an email from Elite as well, which also states that +- 3 or 4 points is normal, so no worries!

    • Prub

      Fabio: You can read it underneath the trainer, it is written on a label.

    • fabio

      Tx Steve and Prub, on my label the value is 6451..so i’m ok with a calibratin value of 6449…

      it was not easy to read it with the bike mounted :)

    • Jason

      I didn’t know there was a factory offset on the bottom of the trainer. Good to know! Just have to remember to check with the bike is off the trainer ;-)

  102. Sebastien Pouliot

    I purchased a Direto a few weeks ago. It has been a lot of fun using it on Swift but I have found that the power readings from it are inaccurate. I checked the readings using my PowerTap P1 pedals and found that readings from the Direto were on average higher. I tried re-calibrating the pedals and the Direto. Ride after ride I observed the same difference. I borrowed a friend’s PowerTap wheel to check that my pedals were giving correct power readings and they gave the same readings as the wheel.

    I contacted Elite and we have exchanged a few emails. In the last email I sent I told them that a 7.6% difference was too large and that I wanted to exchange my Direto for one that gives accurate readings. I haven’t heard back in the last two days. I hope to get a response tomorrow.

    I attach a figure of my power numbers during a ride. You can see that the readings clearly differ. Enough for me to be unhappy with the Direto. You can see there that I stopped for a few minutes to re-calibrate everything and it did not solve the problem.

    Anyone else with the same problem? Have you been able to solve it?

    • fabio

      that’s what i’m worried about. I don’t have a power meter on the bike so i have to trust direto power readings.

      before the direto i used for years a lemond revolution so the power was estimated with a known power curve. Since i use the direto it seem that i ride at about 10/15 Watt more but i’ve to say that lemond could only simulate flat courses while with the direto i always climb a lot (with zwift). so MAYBE it is one of the reasons i have avg power higher than before.

    • Jason

      Have you tried TrainerRoad or another app to see if you observe the same differences?

      Also, I see you have PT pedals, can you make the pedals your power meter and allow Zwift to control the trainer (that way the slope affects you, but power is from the pedals). While this isn’t the solution you’re looking for, it may be a good option…for now.

      I’ve never used power before and actually I’m not concerned with accuracy, exactly. I would be concerned if one day it’s 1% off and the next day it’s 8% off…that would make comparing riding over time rather challenging. For me, a smart trainer is simply a way to rather enjoy cycling indoors when riding outside isn’t feasible. But I know others would see accuracy as more of an issue based on their needs.

      Best of luck!

    • Alwyn

      I have the same higher Direto power readings approx 10% higher than my 4iiii. Hopefully a firmware update to follow to resolve Elite?

    • The P1 is tougher to troubleshoot. But for the 4iiii – is that a dual or single leg setup?

    • Alwyn Jones

      It is a single side 4iiii setup which reads slightly higher than my Powertap G3. So the Direto is reading higher than both?

    • S. Pouliot

      I have the dual P1. I’m confident that the readings from the pedals are accurate as readings from my friend’s PowerTap wheel were the same.

      I have been using the power readings from the pedals in my last few rides on Zwift. That is not ideal given that I should be getting accurate reading from the trainer.

      I’ve been in touch with Elite. Tomorrow, they will remotely access my computer to do some tweaks to the trainer. I’m not too comfortable giving remote access to my computer. They did not tell me exactly what they will do to the trainer but I thought it was worth giving them a chance to fix the problem. I’ll post an update later.

    • Hovis

      How did you get on? I’d also like to be able to scale all the power numbers down from my direto to match my P2m.

    • S Pouliot

      The tech remotely accessed my computer and connected to the trainer. I could see that he installed a small software that allowed him to edit what looked like the parameters of a polynomial function. I’m not an engineer but I guess that is the function that maps the readings from the power meter into watts. The tech was able to do that because I had sent an excel file that showed the power readings from my PowerTap pedals and the Elite Direto. I’m guessing that they used the readings from my pedals re-estimate the polynomial.

      I attach a figure that compares wattage from the two power meters. They are now very close, especially after I re-calibrated everything around the middle of the ride. I’ll test a few more times and post and update if the power meter is a problem once again.

  103. Rasmus Olesen

    Is any of you having a strong vibration? at first I didn’t noticed it but going through intervals of higher cadance it get really annoying. Clearly feel it in the handlebars.

    • Bart

      I noticed vibration when the unit wasn’t balanced well on the floor. Make sure it is positioned very stable (you can adjust the rubber stops on the feet if needed).

  104. Alwyn Jones

    Was wondering why my chain keeps drying up using the Direto.
    On closer inspection I noticed a fine dust all over the cassette and the Direto housing. I guess it’s from some belt wear? Doesn’t seem to be affecting performance in any way except the feeling of a dry chain.
    Anyone else seen a fine dust coming form within the unit and going all over the cassette?

    • That’s weird. Any chance it’s coming from somewhere else on the bike/chain? Meaning, any rubbing going on anywhere else? Or any pics?

    • Alwyn Jones

      Hi no rubbing I can hear or see The pic is after one session after cleaning the chain.
      I did notice on taking the freehub off that it wasn’t screwed tight with the Allen bolt!
      For my peace of mind I will thoroughly clean chain, cassette and housing and report back.
      Hopefully tightening the freehub on wilĺ be the cause.

  105. Ari

    Hi – just purchased a Direto and have been using with TrainerRoad in ERG mode. Problem is that the Direto will not lock in on the target power but rather power ranges in a wide band of 20 – 30 watts. This issue also occurs when using the Direto with the Elite myetraining app, so it is a problem with the Direto and not the controlling app.

    I have contacted Elite about this but they haven’t been of much help. Any thoughts on how to correct this issue?

    • Ari

      I should have also noted that I am using an iPhone with latest iOS version to connect with the Direto via Bluetooth.

    • Jason

      To be clear, if the interval target is 200 watts, what do you see in TarinerRoad as the actual power throughout the interval?

      On mine, the actual power I’m putting out will rarely be 200, but will fluctuate all around 200 (green if I’m close, red if I’m outside a range, but only briefly as the trainer adjusts resistance accordingly).

    • Ari

      Jason

      If target power is say 200W, the actual power reading will oscillate between around 170 and 220W. Furthermore, in ERG mode power is sensitive to cadence and if I reduce cadence for a moment, power drops even further to say 150.

  106. fabio

    Ray, a new problem after about 3 weeks with the direto. usually a ride with zwift but sometimes i use Trainer road or elite app for test or calibration.

    this morning i’ve tried my custom workout in erg mode (1′ easy – 1′ hard 5 or 6 times…) and it seem that direto can’t adjust the resistance if i push well above the target wattage.

    As u can see in the image, when the interval target is 130 W..if i ride at 200/210W it does not adjust the resistance. It seems that it only adjusts it when i go below the target..such as ERG mode leave me free to go high as much as i can.

    i’ve tried with Trainer road, with app elite, i’ve restarted my laptop, restarted direto, changed the ant+ dongle (with and without usb cable extension), i ve done the calibration but nothing has changed.

    Any suggestion?

    • fabio

      Solved (i suppose) !

      It depends on the gear i choose. With the 50x 34 or 14 the problem occuours and the direto can hold the target wattage i specify in the app. But with a 34×16/18 everything in the ERG mode works fine and if i push it at 100W more than the target ..it corrects its resistance as espected in ERG mode.

      So…no big gears.

  107. Ivar Koster

    I’m very interested in this trainer. Seems almost perfect.

    I’m having trouble to find info about the free hub. I have a 10 speed Campagnolo road bike and an eleven speed TT bike. So if i want to switch bikes I would need to switch the free hub.

    Is this switching of free hub difficult, not sure how this is done? And doing this multiple times, how high is the risk of causing damage?

  108. murray

    Wattage floor??

    Got a tacx flux recently and was a little surprised….but if i think about it makes perfect sense….by the wattage floor….on my wheel on vortex, i quite liked riding in the big ring and didnt really experience much of a wattage floor;

    considering changing the flux for a direto (can still return the flux) but wondering if the direto has a similar wattage floor, presuming it does as its just the mechanics of it?

    flux just cost me £575 and i can get a direto for £660 so have to spend a bit more and have the hassle of sending the flux back

    not to worried about the difference in accuracy and have a stages powermeter anyway,

    appreciate your thoughts!

  109. fabio

    @Ray.

    i’m reading a lot about the ‘issue’ in ERG mode with big rings. It seems that ERG mode sucks with the big ring and it’s only usable with smaller rings. My experience, and the one from other guys i’m asking, confirms this. And it seems that the ‘issue’ occours even when the drivo.
    Many say that the problem is that with smaller rings ERG mode works but the road feel get worse.

    During your test with Drivo and direto were u forced to use small rings to obtain that kind of results??

    • fabio

      Trainer Road and Elite My app. In both cases (there is a screenshot above) when riding with big gears seems that the direto cannot ‘resist’ me. For example: target Watt: 260 for 1 minute

      if i push hard i can sustain 300/320/330 watt without reaction from the direto. some target watt with small rings and the direto works fine and makes me hold the 260W

    • Nah, something is wrong there in your setup somewhere. I’m almost always in the big ring with ERG workouts, and with TrainerRoad specifically. Most of my interval wattages are in the 330-550w range, and no issues.

      I’m not quite sure what the problem is in your case (assuming you’re not at some weird cadence like 45RPM or 150RPM), but you might want to start with TrainerRoad and validate it’s not something more innocent like signal dropouts. If you open a ticket with them, they can usually give you data back on your specific workout if there were any trainer control problems.

    • fabio

      Hi Ray,

      analyzing a zwift log i saw a 10% signal dropouts but it doesn seem this to be the problem because the trainer ‘receive’ correctly the input from the app. As u can see is not a signal dropout becuase i can keep on rideing at 100W more than the targets for minutes.

      When i write to the elite support they told me it was normal and linked me a Shane Miller video where he explained ERG mode.

      SO i asked Shane if with direto he was in some way forced to the small ring and this was is answer:

      “Is this how ERG should work in general? No. Is it how it works on the Direto, seems so. As above, slowing the flywheel down by changing to an easier gear is sometimes required on the Direto when in ERG mode. It seems both the Direto and Flux (mid range direct drive trainers) operate like this. The flywheel speed needs to be <30km/h for ERG to respond as expected."

    • Andrea

      Hi,
      You have to check the curve speed/power That elite posted in the forum and I shared also here…..at certain speed it can’ t handle the resistance (read power) needed by the workout.
      If you bought a drivo or an neo you didn’t notice the problem ;-)

    • fabio

      Hi Andrea,

      i saw the power curve but is not in the curve the problem. It seems that for me and other guys, it can hold the target watts only with small rings, and its indipendent from the watts.

      I.e.
      – 300 Watt target with big ring: i can hold 350W or more for all the time i want
      – 300Watt with small ring: i can NOT hold 350W because erg mode works fine and it push me back at 300w.

      and some guys with drivo are tellin me that it is the same with theri drivo…they have to work with small rings. But for ray is not the same so i have to find whats going wrong with their trainers.

    • A couple things:

      A) The flywheel speed aspect Shane is referring to can be true, but it’s not really a factor at 300w.

      B) Zwift ERG mode should be taken with a huge grain of salt, it works different than all other ERG modes on earth. It’s why you end up ‘chasing’ power numbers, as opposed to TrainerRoad and others that apply them to you.

      C) What’s your gearing combination specifically? In my TrainerRoad screenshots above with pretty high ranges, I can almost guarantee you I’d done those in the big ring (it comes from years of mental training to be in the big ring on the CompuTrainer to avoid spiral issues).

    • fabio

      ok. Try to answer in my wonderfull english lang:

      Erg mode i’ve tested was only with TR or Elite app, at the moment zwift for me is only in free ride mode.

      c) i can’t remember exactly but for sure i was with the 50 rings…i think with 14 or 15 back.

      What i can’t understand is why with the 34 ring it seem that the issue was solved. I’ll perform other test with TR, but i’m sure that i was in the big ring when i ‘broke’ target watts in TR,

    • For fun, if you want, on TrainerRoad you’ll find the exact same 30×30 test I linked above. I use TrainerRoad for orther workouts of course, but that test is interesting.

    • fabio

      Thx Ray,

      i’ve contacted Elite support and they confirm that what i found is not the correct behaviour of the direto (and drivo).

      So they asked me to perform a warm-up , a calibration and a test workout with 50W incremenatl steps since i’ll reach at least 350W.

      I’ll send them exported files from their app so they can analyze what’s goin on.

      Since i’m not the only one with this issue i’ll let you know if they solve it.

      Thx for your support

    • fabio

      Hi Ray (and congratulations).
      I don’t know if it can be helpful for someone else but following is what i found during my latest test (suggested by elite support)

      i create a workout with 3′ intervals with increasing target wattages (150,200,250,300 and 350).
      Gear used 50×14

      The first attempt with cadence in the range of 84/86 RPM was fine, direto worked in erg mode.

      So i ride a second time the same workout, with the same gear but with higher rpm and here is the strange (for me) behaviour !!

      It seems that there is something like a “critical cadence” beyond which direto can NOT make me ride at target wattages.

      So for example: the first interval @150W if i ride at more than 95/96 RPM was perfomed at 200W…the second @200W was perfomed at 230 and so on. to ‘broke’ the 250W target i had to push over 100rpms but even in this case i ride at 280/290 without reaction from the direto.

      It seem that this critical cadence gets lower when i use a bigger gears.

      I can’t explain why but this, maybe, explain why other guys with the direto have not experienced any issue with erg mode.

      Maybe this is normal for elite and they’ll answer me ‘everything works well’…

  110. Paul Hermon

    Great review as always (and contributed towards my decision to purchase)

    However, I have some problems setting up and would really appreciate some help.

    1) The bit that the cassette sits on looks like this….. link to imgur.com is this standard???

    2) I don’t think I have received all of the parts required for quick release installation (I don’t seem to have item B or G from the manual which I believe are both required????) I only have the 3 parts in the photo so am confused? or am I missing something obvious? link to imgur.com

    Would really appreciate some help/clarity!
    (I will be contacting elite but find other folk just as helpful)

  111. Steve Blagoue

    Hi Ray,
    Love your site. Try to support you and spend a lot of time here. The Direto looks like a compelling unit, especially at the current 20% off from Clever Training. But, a used Wahoo Kickr, version 1 or 2, can be had for a similar or possibly even lower price. My question is, given better road feel, etc., with the Kickr, would you go for a version 1 or 2 Kickr or a Direto?

  112. Janosch

    Hi. I received my Direto today. This review helped a lot with the decision what to buy. First impression is quite well, BUT I’m struggling with the wheelsize. I’m using the elite app and set the wheelsize to 2094, also in my polar m450. While the app shows 30km/h at a specific cadence and power, the polar shows above 200km/ (or nothing) at same values. Any suggestions to solve this problem?

  113. Sam Langston

    Does the Direto have clearance for Disc brakes?

  114. Ed Zimmerman

    Can you also just do a stand alone training ride not hooked to zwift, trainer road, rouvy, etc. on the Direto? Did you try to sync with Training Peaks?