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Elite RIZER In-Depth Review: Incline & Steering Simulation Accessory

The simplest way to explain the new Elite RIZER is that they merged a Wahoo CLIMB with an Elite Sterzo Smart, marrying both the steering aspects of the Sterzo Smart with the up and down functionality of the Wahoo CLIMB. Except, that’d probably ignore perhaps the most interesting piece here: It’s not tied to one brand’s hardware.

Anyone with a smart trainer that allows the rear axle to move can use the RIZER to simulate grades as well as steering. Sure, there’s some added bits in the Elite trainer’s firmware that provides a slightly better experience today, but ultimately, it technologically it works with any ANT+ FE-C trainer on the market (which, is all of them). But we’ll get into that later on. Just like I’ll talk about some interesting little configuration bits they’ve got in there to address things that annoyed Zwift users on the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB.

Now, I’ve been using the RIZER on and off since earlier this spring. First on a prototype unit, then a near-final production unit, and now a final-final production unit. Once I’m done with this ever-growing pile of poles I’ll have two options: The first to glue them all together and consider a career in exotic dancing, or the second, to send them back to Elite. Given nobody wants to see me pole dance, I’ll get them all re-boxed and have them pick them up. That’s just the way I roll.

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What’s in the Box:

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The Elite RIZER box is..shall we say, well constructed. This thing is clearly designed so that your RIZER doesn’t arrive broken. Roughly the size of a small university fridge, you can easily repurpose it later as a fort.

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Inside, you’re basically gonna find three things: The fully assembled RIZER itself, a massive power brick, a box of power adapters and axle adapters. Oh, and some paper stuff – including one bright orange piece when opened that’s cleverly glued to the top in a way that clearly says “For the love of @#$# just read me, I’m only 2.5 pages of 120pt font”:

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Here’s the parts laid out:

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I know I’ve said it in both the Elite Direto XR review last summer and the Suito review prior to that – but I appreciate Elite’s focus on having things pre-built rather than playing technician. Granted, the Elite Tuo was a strong outlier there.

Here’s a close look at the axle adapters:

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And the power brick:

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And also the various country cables up there too (EU/US/UK):

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Technically it’s a three part cable, with the portion that’s attached to the RIZER permanently, then the middle beast-brick, then the part that connects to the wall:

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Ok, with that all set, we’ll jump right into setting it up.

Trainer Compatibility:

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This section will be quick. Unlike the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB which is just limited to Wahoo trainers, the Elite RIZER technically supports any trainer out there that supports ANT+ FE-C. But in reality, there’s essentially two parts to the word ‘Support’, which are:

A) Does it support the ANT+ FE-C specification: This is common on virtually every trainer you could have bought for the last number of years, and is used behind the scenes (even when using Bluetooth) to monitor what the trainer is being told gradient-wise, and then mirror it. There are some further nuances to this, but by and large this isn’t the line-item you need to worry about.

B) Does the trainer support rotation at the rear axle: Next, in order to enable the RIZER to go up and down, it needs to be able to rotate your bike. Now if you look at your bike on your trainer you’ll notice that in most cases you can generally pick up the front of the bike without problem, likely quite far. However, going ‘down’ can often be an issue, as some trainers (such as the older KICKR’s) have portions of the case that bump out and would cause damage to your frame on the rear chainstay. You don’t want that. Further, on the going up piece, you’ll want to ensure it’s buttery smooth, and not herky-jerky and actually clamped down.

For Elite smart trainers, Elite has confirmed complete and full compatibility (including updated firmware for better performance) with the:

– Elite Direto XR
– Elite Direto XR-T (simply the cassette not included version)
– Elite Suito
– Elite Suito-T (again, no cassette included)
– Elite Tuo

They’ve also confirmed that the older Direto & Direto X are *NOT COMPATIBLE*, as they don’t have the rear rotation clearance.

Now for 3rd party trainers, it gets tricky. At this point Elite isn’t going to speak on behalf of any trainer companies here, because they’re not stupid. Instead, it’ll be up to 3rd party companies to confirm hardware clearance compatibility – so that if that company misspeaks, it doesn’t hurt your bike. That said, we ‘know’ some trainers are compatible, given they already support the up and down of the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB, those being:

– Wahoo KICKR 2017/V3
– Wahoo KICKR 2018/V4
– Wahoo KICKR 2020/V5
– Wahoo KICKR CORE
– Wahoo KICKR SNAP V2

From a usability standpoint I’ve only tested the KICKR 2020/V5 though, which mostly worked OK. Physically speaking, zero problems in terms of the pieces all tying together and pairing up. Steering also worked flawlessly. The incline pieces though while roughly following the terrain with the KICKR V5 weren’t as exact, which Elite says is because they have to calculate the gradient based on the speed broadcast from the trainer (and your weight). It largely works, with it only becoming a bit wobbly when you change your speed while on an incline. Elite says that other trainers could add the gradient to their data stream, which they’ll be making available, to make that just as clean/responsive as the Elite trainers. I show this in the video a bit as well.

If we look at other trainers, I haven’t fully tried them. Folks might remember the now infamous chat thread between Wahoo & TACX years ago where Wahoo’s CEO agreed to providing compatibility with the lead Tacx engineer, only to step back away from that for competitive reasons. Thus presumably, some editions of the NEO’s are probably compatible too. But again, that’d really be up to individual companies to validate.

Setting it up:

As you’ll see, setup is silly easy. First up, go ahead and figure out which axle adapter you’ll need. There’s four sets of them included in the box, for both quick release and thru-axle:

A) Quick release adapter
B) 12x100mm
C) 15x100mm
D) 15x110mm

Here’s the stack of them:

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Next, simply stick one adapter on each side of the RIZER front-axle adapter thingy. That’s the rubber chunk sticking off the front of the RIZER itself:

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Then, go ahead and stick your skewer through it (if quick release). Easy peasy:

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Now, go ahead and plug it in. Simply find the right cord adapter for your country in the box and plug it in.

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Before we go any further, if you’ve got multiple smart trainers in the room right now, unplug them. Otherwise, it might inadvertently pair to the wrong one. You can fix it later, but this will save you a few seconds.

At this point it’ll turn on and move up and down (it does this every time you add power). For the first time it does this, I’d recommend not having your bike on it. While in theory it won’t touch your bike, it’s best to simply ensure you’re in control of that inaugural flag raising rather than it. You’ll see the lights powered on.

Now, go ahead and attach your bike to it and your smart trainer. I presume you’re fully capable of sorting that by yourself:

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At this point, you can plug in your smart trainer if you haven’t already, and it’ll actually automatically pair to it. If it doesn’t though, simply hold down the lock icon for a few seconds until it starts blinking, then wait a bit longer till it stops blinking. The right light at the base will turn green, indicating it’s successfully paired up.

With pairing complete, you’re ready to roll. Err…rise.

Grade Simulation:

Using the RIZER is frankly a fairly simple affair. You get on your bike and pedal, and it goes up and down. If you turn the handlebars, then in Zwift it’ll turn left or right, the same way steering normally works on the Elite Sterzo (or, semi-similar to how it works on smart bikes). But let’s dive into each piece separately – first up, the up and down part.

There’s actually two elements at play here. The first is the vertical column, which your front fork is connected to. This column allows you to simulate grades upwards to 20% and downwards to -10%. Your front fork connects via the various adapters we talked about earlier. The connection is super stable. If the ascent is quick/sharp (like a brief steep hill), you’ll hear the relatively quiet motor moving you up. If it’s a more casual ramp, you’ll never hear it. smoothness wise seems pretty good too – nothing crazy or jerky.

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From a max loading standpoint, it’s 120KG, or 265LBS, which should cover the majority of riders. Internally, the system is a screw, which is different than the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB, which uses a belt system.  We’ve seen belt snaps on the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB over the last few years (albeit very rarely). In those cases, the cyclist got to practice their mountain biking skills momentarily, which nobody said felt great – but nobody was injured to my knowledge either.

image image

The outside of the case is aluminum, and then the base is a beastly stainless steel. Seriously, this thing is not at all light. Speaking of which, at the base are two LED lights. Using a combination of blue and green lights, you’ve got a wide assortment of confirmation and status messages:

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Realistically, you’ll need to have the manual nearby to decode all these though, but at least the manual is actually pretty helpful here:

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And then atop the pole you’ve got three buttons and another LED. The two arrows allow you to manually control the RIZER (up and down), while the middle lock button lets apps take control of it. Inversely, you can press it again to disallow app control. That’s useful if a small child or pet wanders nearby, so it doesn’t get squished underneath.

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Note that unlike the KICKR CLIMB, there’s no tethered remote here to control this, you’d have to reach down to the buttons. That’s not a big deal, but it’s worth mentioning. Alternatively, you can use the Elite RIZER app, which allows control as well:

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Also in the app are controls to configure individual rider profiles, including max and min incline/decline, as well as toggle the trainer difficulty and safety settings. If I switch back to Zwift, you’ll find that the RIZER properly matches the gradient in Zwift going up, assuming your trainer difficulty is set to 100%:

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Remember in Zwift that the default trainer difficulty level is 50%, which means that it’ll half any climb grades. Such that 12% becomes 6%. That doesn’t affect your speed at all, but it does affect how the trainer feels – and in turn, how high up you’ll go. I always prefer to set mine to 100%. After all, why buy a fancy trainer or grade simulation device to wimp out on the realistic feel?

However, Elite has an alternative solution for this (that the KICKR CLIMB doesn’t). Within the app there’s a setting that allows you to set the difficulty level. This way your trainer still replicates the 50% difficulty, but the RIZER goes full mast at 100% range of motion:

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Switching over to descents, it’s a bit trickier. Zwift will *ALWAYS* half your decline value, even if you’ve set Zwift to 100% trainer difficulty. They’ve done this forever, no matter how annoying it is. However, with the Elite setting toggled here, it’ll override that and have the RIZER actually go to 10% down when you’re at 10% down. Boom!

Finally, swapping back to the hardware for a second, there’s one little detail that’s worth pointing out: The entire thing actually slides forwards and backwards. As you might have realized by now, when your fork goes up and down, it’s not only changing positions vertically, but also laterally (forward/back). Thus, it has to move to account for that. To do so they’ve got these two rails, and the unit quietly slides back and forth on these as you both go up/down, as well as steer (since that changes the position slightly of the fork).

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You can see this in the video more clearly as well, if you take a look there. It’s notable that these rails aren’t loose and sliding around like a slip and slide though. It takes a fair bit of force to move it, thus, you might not even notice unless you were paying attention to the gap sizes on either side.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the RIZER from a grade simulation standpoint. It basically feels like a KICKR CLIMB to me. When I go up ascents, it goes up as it should, and down again like it should – good stuff.

Steering Simulation:

Next up, we’ve go the steering simulation. Simply put – this is virtually identical in core functionality to that of the Elite Sterzo Smart they released last summer.

At present the only app that supports steering in the smart trainer world is Zwift. Previously, Zwift had an exclusive on the Sterzo Smart, but that isn’t the case with the RIZER – so perhaps we’ll see some other apps support it. To pair up the RIZER with Zwift, you’ll go into the pairing menu and select the steering icon on the left side (which should only show up when a steering device is sensed). This works over both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart. Then, select RIZER (or, STERZO in my case because it’s prior to August and Zwift won’t show the name RIZER till August):

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At this point it’ll pair it up. Normally it’ll also show a small number, indicating any offset there to the left or right (so you can adjust the unit to make it straight). But the current Zwift production builds won’t show that for the RIZER, but will later in August.

Note that for Apple TV users, you’ll still be limited to two concurrent connections though, so just like with the Sterzo Smart if you want to also pair a heart rate sensor, you’ll have to either use the phone app or not use Apple TV (since the trainer is one connection, RIZER is another, and then the heart rate sensor would be the 3rd).

Once you select a route and start riding, you’ll get an overview screen on how steering works:

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After you dismiss that screen, you’ll notice at the top the steering icon in your display bar, indicating it’s paired and active:

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As you ride, you can control your position on the road between the centerline and the edge of the road. In other words, you can place your person anywhere in the red section I’ve highlighted like a toddler below. Like bumper bowling, you can’t leave the roadway.

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See, Zwift effectively has a default line that riders (without steering) stay on. Sure, you move around the road for various minor changes in position, by that’s all under Zwift’s control, and usually doesn’t adhere to the best line for a route. With steering, you gain an advantage. However, since launch, Zwift has sorta knee-capped steering by not enabling it for races and really not promoting its use in any way/shape/form. Thus, only a handful of races use it, and otherwise you’re just riding around by yourself steering tighter corners.

All of this is identical to how steering works on the Sterzo smart.

From a hardware standpoint, the steering simply uses your front fork rotation on the small rubber thingy that sticks out the RIZER, detecting which direction you want to go. I know there’s been more than enough discussion about the fact that on a real bike you ‘lean’ as opposed to steering (which is both correct and incorrect), but honestly, a year later, that entire discussion is well worn. Nobody that has a Sterzo Smart has had any issue with intuitively turning their handlebars to steer – because we as modern humans in the last 30 years have all played enough video games and car driving to know how to turn a device to change our direction.

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About the only tiny complaint I have about the RIZER and steering is that it’ll take a minute or so the first time you set it up to ensure that your bike/trainer/RIZER are all properly in a nice perfectly straight line. With the Sterzo Smart it seemed a little bit easier to just throw it down and it’ll all be straight. But with you attaching the RIZER to the front fork, it’s a tiny bit trickier for whatever reason to get all perfectly lined up. But again, that’s a minor nit that you rarely have to do once the RIZER is down on its spot (since it’s so darn heavy it won’t move anywhere).

RIZER vs CLIMB:

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No review would be complete without a comparison to the KICKR CLIMB. After all, the RIZER is clearly modeled after it. And in many ways they’re very similar devices. For the most part, the RIZER has more features than the CLIMB, but there are a handful of things that the CLIMB does differently.

As such, there’s no better way to illustrate differences than a table. While I’d prefer food be on the table, I’ll take one like the below instead:

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Essentially the four big differences are:

A) RIZER does steering, CLIMB doesn’t
B) RIZER works with any trainer, CLIMB only Wahoo
C) CLIMB has a handlebar remote for manual override mode, RIZER only via app
D) The price, obviously.

There are then more nuanced changes beyond that:

A) RIZER is best if you’ve got an Elite trainer
B) CLIMB is probably best if you’ve got a Wahoo trainer
C) RIZER is more expensive than the CLIMB, but it’s also got steering that the CLIMB doesn’t
D) RIZER can be adjusted to override Zwift’s Trainer Difficulty setting (specific to gradient simulation)
E) RIZER can be adjusted to compensate for Zwift’s 50% downhill gradient quirk

My recommendation here would mostly be based on how much you like steering, and then if that doesn’t matter to you it’d be based on what brand your trainer is. If you’ve got a KICKR trainer, I’d probably stick with Wahoo for more seamless integration. Whereas if you’ve got anything else, then frankly RIZER is your only choice – but now you’ve at least got an option (and a good one at that).

Wrap-Up:

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The Elite RIZER appears to be a very solidly built piece of hardware, with some pretty cool tricks up its sleeve for incline simulation. Some of those tricks might seem minor, but these minor software tweaks easily address some of the pain points people have had with the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB and Zwift. Beyond that of course, there’s the steering and open compatibility nature of the RIZER, both of which are ideal if you’re not in the Wahoo ecosystem.

In terms of the feeling of the incline simulation, it’s spot on with the Elite Direto XR that I did most of my testing with. I’m pretty happy with the smoothness and matching aspects there, pretty much on par with what Wahoo has with the KICKR+ KICKR CLIMB. On the steering side, it too was basically on-par with what we see with the Elite Sterzo Smart – the only slight difference is that it doesn’t ‘snap-back’ to the center line like the Sterzo Smart does when you let go. It didn’t have any impact though on my usage, though certainly some people may prefer one or the other.

As far as 3rd party trainers go, as I said above, it’s not a perfect solution in terms of responsiveness of the gradient simulation, at least until other companies implement the transmitted gradient in the data stream. Elite says they’re more than willing to share that with any trainer company that asks for it. Whether or not others take them up on that, I’ve got no idea. I could see the business case for and against. There was opportunity to cooperate years ago, before it got squashed. Perhaps that’ll happen again. After all, that’s the entire point of protocols and ecosystems – to allow consumer choice and increase competitiveness on the merits of their own products, rather than just ecosystem lock-in.

Finally, there’s the price aspect. The USD pricing on the Elite RIZER is tough, and Elite admits that. They’ve noted that the cargo container shipping cost from Europe to the US has increased for them by 400% since last August – and ultimately, is the singular reason the price of the RIZER isn’t closer to parity. They said they don’t like it any more than anyone else, but that’s the card they (and virtually every other company on this planet) have been dealt. They said once those costs come down, they’d love to reduce the USD price of RIZER, as they acknowledge it’s hard to be competitive there. Nonetheless, for Europeans – the pricing is more competitive once you consider the added features (or the fact that it’s available for any trainer).

Elite has started production of the RIZER, and you should see these arrive later in August in Europe, and then into September or early October for North America markets. That timeline is basically how Elite does production each year for new products.

With that – thanks for reading!

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88 Comments

  1. Neal Stoeckel

    Seems cool would be a nice to have- but wow $1100 holy crap – that’s tough to swallow.

  2. Carl

    Compatability with the original Direto doesn’t seem to be about clearance – having just popped the front wheel out and let the fork dropouts rest on the floor, the frame isn’t anywhere near the Direto casing. The axle doesn’t pivot freely though.

  3. Sylwester Jakubowski

    > beastly stainless steal

    fyi Ray 🙂

  4. Isaac

    Does it seem feasible that Wahoo could add the Zwift gradient override in firmware?

    • Easily technically possible. Whether or not they want to do so, I don’t know. I’d hope so though.

    • Isaac

      Sure would be nice, now that someone else has the feature. It’s kinda annoying how it is now, especially since I can never remember how I have things set up 😂😭

    • TJCobey

      You can change the wheel base in the Wahoo app to account for the gradient at any % of difficulty. I thought Ray showed that trick a while back but it might have been GPLama.

      I use the correction so that I get more “gears” for climbing but still get the Climb to adjust to the indicated % in Zwift.

  5. carlitos

    It is not compatible with the Direto x ????????😡😡

  6. eugene

    The “any trainer” part of the title is hugely misleading.

    • I tried “for 3rd party trainers”, but that didn’t really fit without getting crazy. Not sure what the right wording is there, but dropped “any trainer” till I figure out a better title then.

  7. TheStansMonster

    I’m assuming if you used this with any other trainer (like a Saris H3) because the broadcast protocol is compatible you’d be about 3 weeks away from irreparably wearing down your dropouts.

  8. Mark Hewitt

    Does this connect to any trainer now over standard ANT+FEC without firmware upgrades etc?

    If so how does it do that? The only way I can assume is that it pairs to the trainer over ANT+FEC and then in turn the likes of Zwift pair to the Rizer rather than the trainer?

  9. ESC

    Big Elite fan.
    Reading through the whole article….
    “I love this thing, but how much”
    “Great Feature! wonder how much”
    “If I can afford it I am getting this thing!”
    Gets to last section….”Maybe I will find one on craigslist next summer….”

    I love they are innovating, hopefully they get the US price down in the near future!

    • Jeff K

      That was my reading journey too! I might be able to justify the $600 for a thing that makes my bike go up and down (still working on that one). $800 is as much as the cost of my Kickr Core. However, for price parity I would take the steering over climb.

  10. Blake

    Will it fit on the front of the Saris rocker board?

    • Secret_squirrel

      I’d like to know about rocker plate compatibility in general. Does it work or is it a recipe for toppley death?

    • Eric

      I put my Neo bike on my Saris Mp1 and works fine. Added a piece of oak that is horizontal where the wheel block goes. So I am thinking it would be fine.

    • Paul Himes

      Yeah, I was wondering about the size of this fitting on a rocker plate too.

    • Chad McNeese

      Elite list the footprint (W x L): 345mm x 387mm [13.6″ x 15.2″]

      Hard to say without a more precise drawing of the rocker plate deck and estimated location of the front wheel / Rizer placement. That may fit the stock width and location of some rockers, but I won’t be surprised to see the front side being wider in some (many?) cases. If so, it would be possible to modify extensions to properly support the forward feet of the Rizer. I see it as something that can be overcome reasonably easily if it is the deck is not wide enough, for those that want the combo bad enough.

    • RDVelocipede

      GPLama did a Lama Live video where he combined this Elite Rizer with a KOM rocker plate (for-aft & side-to-side model) using Vecro straps. It was a near thing for the front feet to fit but it all worked. An excellent video demo of two add on toys 😉
      Search for “Lama LIVE: Suki’s Playground ZWIFT Route Badge Ride // New Equipment Test”

      I’d say that the MP1 is slightly wider than the KOM RPV2 so it’s likely the Rizer would fit for you.

    • Paul Himes

      That rocker plate looks awesome. I would love to try that setup he has there.

    • Fwiw: Here’s my review of that rocker plate: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Paul Himes

      Huh, I’d actually read that and forgotten. Thanks for all the reviews.

    • RDVelocipede

      Here is a link to a new for/aft and side to side rocker plate that is taking pre-orders. I like it better than the KOM RP2 used in the video because it does all the motion with only two boards (not three like the KOM) plus they are marketing a refined design (higher axis of movement) that resolves the reverse motion all current rocker plates seem to have.
      See “ROCKR AXIS” link to rockrindoortraining.com.html
      They are an established rocker plate maker so the design marketing hype may be legit. In any event it is definitely more compact than the KOM RP2.

  11. Scott

    Is there a video of it in action, or am I an idjit and just not finding it? I can’t quite wrap my head around how it handles steering with the rear axle fixed in place.

  12. Rob

    How does this unit handle ERG mode workouts while zwifting? Does it stop simulating grade like the CLIMB and instead adjust height based on power?

  13. gtg007w

    I have been looking forward to an alternative to the Wahoo one, and as a Elite Suito owner, I was excited, but damn, if this unit didn’t cost as much as my bike…. Between the price for this, the Suito and the bike, aren’t I better off with a complete smart bike set up instead?

  14. Sean Roe

    Hi Ray….thanks as always for the in-depth review and being front of the pack with the latest and greatest….Wondering about the compatibility – I use a Drivo II which seems to have vanished from Elite‘s latest catalog. They have a model called Turno which looks identical. Drivo does FE-C but unsure about the ‘rotation’…Any idea what happened here? If not I will wait until autumn and go down to the store where I got the Drivo…

    • Sean Roe

      Just got back home and have checked the rotation with the Drivo II – looks good.so this trainer should work as well.

      S

  15. Ryan

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for the review.
    Do you reckon there’s any chance of this working with a 2016 kickr?!
    It’s still going strong and I always wanted a Climb, but it’s incompatible….I’ve a horrible feeling this will be the same story.
    Can’t justify selling my trusty old kickr so if it’s not compatible I guess I’ll just hold out for a Zwift bike (or viable alternative that actually works at a sensible price) at some point in the hopefully not too distant future!

    • Chad McNeese

      The 2016 Kickr does not have a rotating rear axle mount, so it would not be a good match to the Rizer. It’s the same reason/restriction that Wahoo excludes the 2016 model from Climb support.

    • Ryan

      Thanks Chad, as I feared. Guess I’ll be holding out for the golden unicorn smart bike that can do it all! 🙂

  16. Fabian

    I have y Direto X and my bike have a full rotation clearance from touching the ground to 90% (upright). So do you think it will work or is there anything else?

    • Chad McNeese

      Per Ray right above:

      “They’ve also confirmed that the older Direto & Direto X are *NOT COMPATIBLE*, as they don’t have the rear rotation clearance.”

      So ‘No’, it is not compatible because the axle is fixed and won’t rotate to match the bike angle. Use with a fixed axle like that would lead to frame damage, and is the reason they don’t allow it.

  17. JD

    Typo Tipster —
    it technologically it
    RIZEZR
    making publish
    this cases
    RIZER will later

  18. Pete Parfitt

    I suspect Elite will be monitoring this so almost a question to them. Is this compatible with the Elite Zumo.

    Many thanks

    Pete

    • Hi Pete,
      Here we are, fear of missing out is real right now 🙂

      The Rizer will work only with trainers that allow for rear axle rotation so the Zumo isn’t compatible because it doesn’t have the rotating part in the back.
      Should you need any more info, just drop a comment, I’ll be in touch.

      Thanks,

      Salvatore
      – Elite

    • RDVelocipede

      Salvatore,
      I’ve just checked and it appears my Saris H3 rotates without issues up and to the floor. As you commented on units that aren’t compatible due to rotation compatibility, please comment on rotation compatibility with a Saris H3.

    • Chad McNeese

      The axle mounts on the H3 do NOT rotate. They thread into the mounts on the trainer and lock into place when installed correctly. If you lift the bike and change the angle, one of two things is happening:

      1) The bike is rotating around the axle, but slipping against the axle mounts in the trainer, that do NOT rotate when installed properly.

      2) The bike is rotating with the axle mounts that may be spinning on their threaded mounts if they are not installed correctly.

      In either case, you are either creating a friction slide between the frame and axle mounts, or are rotating the axle mounts on their threaded connection. Neither is good for long term use and will potentially lead to damage or failure.

  19. Geoff Pomerantz

    Curious to get your opinion on this product vs rollers. As a long time user of rollers I’ve always enjoyed the freedom and closer to being on the road feel they provide I use eMotion insideride rollers, so they work great with Zwift and of course, allow me to get out of the saddle.

    Putting money aside, is this set up a game changer and should I ditch the rollers?

  20. dan

    265 pound limit, with any weight bias?

  21. Jason Richardson

    So guessing not compatible with TACX Neo 2?

    • Chad McNeese

      Correct. None of the Neo trainers allow for axle rotation.

    • Trisk3l

      On my Neo, I lift the front wheel without any problem.

    • Jason Richardson

      Whelp, time for someone to make an wheel mount adapters with roller bearing on inside surface to allow for the required frame rotation.

    • Chad McNeese

      Triski, you may be able to lift the front of your bike, but that is pure leverage overcoming the clamping forces and the fixed axle. Long lever against minimal surface area doesn’t prove anything about potential function. Your test doesn’t validate compatibility with the Rizer in any way.

      I can assure you, with repeated cycles of tilting in that trainer, you would damage your frame from the friction and wear between the frame (rotating) and the trainer (non-rotating). As they say, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

    • No Porch Joe

      Seems like a few teflon washers and teflon tape on the axle would be sufficient to make the Tacx Neo series work with the Rizer. A little maintenance may be required on the axle tape, but my Neo 2 is a significantly better device than any of the Elite trainers. No spindown required, downhill motor, road feel and can be used without power are all features that I wouldn’t give up just to use the Rizer.

    • Lone Hansen

      Mine does. So this is not correct.

    • Lone Hansen

      That is not correct. The axel pivots on bearings. The frame is not rubbing against anything. There is a space between the frame and the NEO. The axel rotates with the bike, when you lift the bike.

  22. Tony Kapeller

    Is it going to work with the Drivo II. I might consider getting this unit. Great review as usual. Thanks

  23. Robin

    Maybe I missed this, but does the RIZER or Climb require the user to input their bike’s wheelbase? If not how do they actually calculate the correct amount of rise? Do you they use some average wheelbase figure? Do they use another position sensor (i.e. tilt on the Climb or horizontal displacement on the RIZER)?

    • Chad McNeese

      The Climb definitely uses the bike Wheelbase in the setup via the Wahoo app. I haven’t looked close enough on the Rizer to know, but it seems very likely based upon what I have seen and read.

  24. Linda

    The Elite Tuo is a wheel-on trainer. Surprised to see it’s compatible with this RIZER.

    • Chad McNeese

      Wheel-on vs wheel-off is not an issue. There key aspect here is the ability of the trainer axle support to rotate freely to follow the angle change of the Rizer. The wheel contact with the roller is similar to that drivetrain within a wheel-off trainer and it’s resistance unit.

      It’s parallel to Wahoo with their Snap V2 trainer working with the Climb unit they offer, no problems.

  25. Rob B

    Ray, big difference between “me pole dance” and “my pole dance” come on Bobbie share the videos

  26. Keith

    Much too expensive for me. I’ll stick with my climb.
    And if it ever breaks down, then I would think about getting the new one

  27. Carl

    I wonder if its possible to replace axle adapters to add a bearing in to introduce pivot on older trainers. It wouldn’t be cheap, but cheaper than a new smart trainer….

    • Chad McNeese

      It’s not critical to have anything as complicated as a bearing mount. The Wahoo trainers that work with the Climb use simple spacers that insert and rotate freely within their mounts. I added some light grease inside my mounts, to make movement easier and mitigate wear.

      This basic approach could potentially be applied to other trainers. But getting a design that works with the specific mounts of each unique brand’s trainer will take some research and design. Totally possible to accomplish in most cases, but could be limited for some trainers depending on the specifics of their axle support design.

    • Jason Richardson

      Should be possible. Something like shock or pivot bearings on MTB.

    • Joe

      Plywood base to support your trainer feet with a semi captive PVC pipe underneath it perpendicular to your bike would solve your pivot problem, assuming rider+bike+trainer remain under the weight limit.

    • Chad McNeese

      I see where you are going with the idea, and conceptually it “works”. But that is essentially relying on the limited friction between the frame dropout and axle supports to control the trainer angle to follow the bike as tilted by the Rizer.

      That connection between the frame and axle is not likely to be sufficient to resist some amount of slip in all but the best circumstances. The typical body movements (specifically in hard efforts or when changing from seated to standing and back), not to mention the new pivot are likely to lead that type of setup to shift the frame to trainer relationship and end up that the limit of the tilt travel.

      Oddly, the restriction of a non-rotation axle is too much and will lead to frame wear if you tilt it, but it also is not enough grip to control the pitch of the trainer in the way you mention. I see it failing and ending up with a “fixed” trainer all over again, but one at a different angle.

    • Chad McNeese

      Giving this some more thought, if you added a secondary support from the bike frame to the trainer support (the one with the perpendicular fulcrum beneath it), this concept could work appropriately.

      Essentially, a linear connection from something like the chainstay near the bottom bracket, straight down to the trainer deck, such that it would be a compression/tension member, and control the tilt angle of the trainer deck in line with the pitch changes of the Rizer, it could work.

      You need a direct connection to transmit the angular input from the Rizer, through the bike frame, into the “Trainer Pitch Deck”, that keeps the bike and trainer in perfect alignment with each other. Remove the consideration of friction at the dropout, and control the motion transfer with a linear connection straight down from the bike to the deck. It’s a bit of a hassle, but would certainly work to keep the bike and trainer aligned, and eliminate the rotation at the dropout and axle connection.

      With this concept, you could potentially use any trainer, even those with fixed dropouts like the Neo, Hammer series, Drivo and just about anything else. More effort than some would like, but it’s not the toughest DIY concept I have considered with respect to trainer motion.

    • DaveO

      If you can find an appropriate diameter, this would be easily achievable with a thrust needle roller bearing – might need a couple of plain washers either side.
      As a very quick example: link to uk.rs-online.com

  28. jordi

    a question, have you said how much the product weighs in kg?

  29. johnodenver

    DC,

    I would like to know how it works in general for standing and pedaling as we often do on steep inclines. And have you tried it on your Tacx Neo 2? I know you mentioned you thought it might work but if I were going to cough up $1100, it might be nice to know if you’ve actually tried it (without of course making any guarantees).

    • For steep inclines and pedaling, no issues. I show it in the video doing that (see at very top of post).

      I have not tried it with the Tacx NEO 2 yet (and am out of town for another 10 days or so – sorry!).

    • Joshua D Goldberg

      In response to Ray’s video review on youtube, Elite posted the following response on whether it would work with a NEO: Hi there, Rizer works only with trainers that have the rotating part in the back (like the Direto XR, Direto XR-T, Suito, Suito-T or Tuo), other trainers won’t be compatible.

    • johnodenver

      Thank you!

    • Brian Akers

      Let us know when you get a chance to test it with the Neo or Neo 2.. that’s the elephant in the room ;-O

  30. Daniel

    Is it possible to use the RIZER on a Rocker Plate? If yes, are there any points to take care of?

    • Chad McNeese

      It may be possible to use the Rizer on a rocker plate, much like we have seen for the Wahoo Climb. Considerations may differ a bit, especially since the base for the Rizer is larger, but the basic concept is the same.
      – Make certain the actual trainer is locked to the rocker plate very firmly.
      – Make sure the Rizer has full support at the feet on the rocker plate, and is firmly attached at the 4 outer feet.
      – Once those two attachments are done (trainer and Rizer), I see no reason this won’t work as well or better than the Climb equipped rockers we have seen (and I have used successfully).

    • Paul Himes

      That would imply a larger front end than most commercially available rocker plates have though, right?

    • Chad McNeese

      Maybe, even pretty likely, but we don’t know without more info on the rockers in question. As I mention in a related reply above, we know the size of the Rizer, but specific rocker deck dimensions and shape aren’t published in all cases. Even if they deck is too narrow in the current form, it is something that can be corrected with some retrofitting of additional support material.

  31. Tim

    I assume this functions the same as the Climb for Zwift workouts – in other words, not at all?

    Sometimes I just want Zwift to hold me at a set wattage while I watch the world go by or watch a movie or something – especially on a long ride I’ve moved indoors. Having the bike move up and down would certainly help this.

  32. Paul Himes

    I currently ride on rollers with progressive resistance and a fork stand that I’ve put on a homemade motion setup (so the whole thing moves forward and back). I’ve long wanted to move to a direct drive smart trainer (or smart bike) but budget kept me from doing so.

    The budget issue might be changing soon and I wanted gradient capability, so I was thinking Wahoo was my only option. I was concerned that, as soon as I bought a Kickr and a Climb they were going to come out with steering, so I was considering that I’d have to increase the budget even more to go to a smart bike.

    If I wanted to stay in the Elite ecosystem (I don’t trust that they’ll share their code or that other trainers will be willing to take advantage of it – at least not and make upgrades to current systems to let them use it free), I’m not sure about the Kickr v5 + Climb vs Direto XR-T + Riser.

    The Elite system comes with steering, which is cool, but, while more expensive as a set, the Direto seems more on par with the Core (and might be a bit noisier).

    The quiet, slight rocking, and heavier flywheel of the Kicker (plus the fact that the system is a bit cheaper – imagine that, Wahoo being cheaper) make the Wahoo package appealing. If I were confident that a remote to allow steering would be forthcoming, that seems like the better option at the moment (especially with current pricing).

    Any thoughts on buying a whole system with gradient device?

  33. Marc Simkin

    Is there a rough time frame for when the USA based eCommerce sites will start to have these in stock?

    Thanks

  34. Paul Himes

    This question popped up elsewhere, but no one there had one of these in their hands. Is the forward/back motion free or is it controlled mechanically? How much forward/back motion is there? If someone wanted to pair this with something like the insideride e-flex base for the kickr (of course the Climb works better with the kickr, so why, unless you have money to burn), would they play well together? Give you the forward/back motion for realism while still giving you the up/down of the rizer and steering?

    • Chad McNeese

      “Is the forward/back motion free or is it controlled mechanically?”
      Check out the bottom view in DesFit’s video:
      link to youtu.be

      You can see the main round shafts for fore-aft motion. They seem to be attached via springs to control motion to some degree. Based on the views I’ve watched in used (about 4 mins in to the vid above infact), you can see the subtle motion allowed and controlled by the springs. It appears there is some sort of friction damping applied too, since the great travel motion seems to be somewhat “controlled” vs free sliding.

      Notably, all this is deduction from the images and videos, so I could be off on one or more details. Hopefully Ray can nail all this down, because it’s very interesting to me too.

    • Paul Himes

      In the video you linked, when he mounts his bike on the rizer (I didn’t watch the whole video) it looks like there is some free forward/aft motion (with pushback from the springs visible in the under the unit shot), which supports my understanding that the forward/aft motion was controlled by the change in height of the fork (the hypotenuse of the right triangle – the bike’s wheelbase – needs to stay the same as the angles change which forces the length to decrease as the height increases, the whole a^2 + b^2 = c^2 thing). If that’s the case, whether you could pair it with the insideride e-flex motion base would depend on whether or not they have similar amounts of motion.

    • Chad McNeese

      Sorry, I dropped the ball on the second half of your comment.

      Yeah, interaction with an E-Flex base would be very interesting. I’ve had a side discussion with someone about it and I think it *might* work fine. Setup would be important and need to allow at least a bit of forward movement from the Rizer (when level) to match the E-Flex at the rear, in order to give some fore-aft motion. That may already be part of the regular Rizer setup, because I could see them wanting to allow some flex when level.

      The relatively controlled and damped motion of the Rizer looks like it might mate well with the E-flex based on my experience on the E-Flex. I’d love to try the combo to see if it would work like I expect.

      As to why someone might choose this over the Wahoo Climb if you matched all else, the steering connection for apps like Zwift might be the answer. With an aim towards more “immersion”, that is one feature that would be nice to have integrated in a full-featured bike simulator.

  35. Brendon

    Occasionally i’ll just use my iPad to run Zwift, and use Bluetooth to connect to the Elite Suito, will the Elite Rizer work on Zwift when i am in this configuration?