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Elite’s New Training Desk: First Look

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Elite showed off their new trainer desk at Eurobike, which includes a place for a power strip of your choice, and the ability to fold up for easy storage. It maintains the same style as both their Tuo trainer as well as their RIZER gradient/steering accessory (and also, their slightly more expensive 14,000€ Fuoripista smart bike). Except, unlike all of those products, it lacks a name we collectively struggle to pronounce. It’s simply named ‘Training Desk’. Actually, technically it’s in all caps, like an old man screaming – TRAINING DESK – but hey, at least it has all its vowels intact.

While I’ll have a full actual-usage review of the new Elite trainer desk at some point between here and the future, for now I got to poke at it while at Eurobike. So consider this just a quick peek at things till I get a unit in the DCR Cave to run through its paces.

Note that this, combined with Elite’s earlier RIZER gradient and steering simulator make up Elite’s announcements for Eurobike and the upcoming ‘indoor trainer season’ (as much as that concept is fading…aka…winter). This is likely a pattern we’ll see throughout the rest of the indoor trainer industry. Demand is extremely high, and many of these companies have sold out distributor/retailer allocations well into next year for new products, based on the maximum they can find ways to manufacture (which, like everyone else, is limited by ‘all the things’ these days).

The Specs:

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Look, this post won’t take long. I promise. Starting from the ground up, it sits on three swiveling wheels that allow it to be rolled around. The two legs are made of steel, and wood (bamboo, specifically).

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The main pole that supports the desk (also metal) is adjustable and can go from a minimum height of 75cm (29.5”) to 120cm (47.2”).

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Atop that, is the table portion. This supports a load of 20kg (44lbs) – which should be enough for even the largest Haribo containers I can find, as well as a laptop and a few bottles of Prosecco. All our usual indoor training essentials.

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Inside that bamboo topped desk is a spot for a power strip – while Elite showed a 3-port one at Eurobike, that isn’t included (which means, you can probably find a better one that also includes USB ports – while still ideally having a 3m/9-10ft long cord). In fact, below the wooden base is a larger empty area for you to rats-nest a bunch of cables as you see fit.

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There are little grooves cut in the top so you can hide the cabling and just have the charger part sticking out on the desk.

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On top of the desk you’ll get two non-slip pads for your laptop and phone, plus an actual wooden phone or tablet holder.

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About the only immediate downside I’m spotting is that there isn’t internal cabling routing down to the ground. Elite includes two Velcro straps so you can make it as tidy as possible yourself, but internal cable routing would have been a nice touch at this price point. Also, I caught Elite pretty early in the show (right at open), so they hadn’t quite put on their Cable Guy hat yet and made the wiring look crispy. Plus, it also didn’t help matters that I made them take it apart (break it down) too:

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The desk can fold up for storage, which should look like this picture from Elite’s site once you finish doing so:

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One of the things that is slightly advantageous about this design is that there isn’t a direct dependency on front-wheel forward space clearance, or any point that could be impacted on a rocker plate. Some desks can be a bit more tricky there, but this should resolve that. But I’ll have to dig into those aspects once I have it in the Cave.

Wrap-Up:

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Now, like many premium-looking indoor trainer accessories, this one isn’t cheap. It’ll set you back 299EUR, or $399USD. Elite says the US pricing is beholden to the same increases as the RIZER was, due to the 400% increase in shipping costs over the past year. Still, Elite says there’s already significant distributor and retailer interest, and that the first batches arriving this month in stores are already spoken for. And I will say that based on briefly poking at it during the show, it feels well built.

This post though reminded me I still haven’t written up about the Saris TD1 desk, which I unboxed this past winter/spring (with much frustration, as folks saw on my Instagram stories at the time). I’ve been using it here and there since. I’m hopeful that Elite’s high-priced option will be better engineered and quality-controlled than the Saris one I received (an abnormality for Saris, which usually produces well made/engineered items). At first glance, the Elite desk seems to be – but the proof in the tiramisu will be getting it into the DCR Cave, assembling it, and using it. Which, should be very soon.

Else, I think the cheaper plastic/metal options from KOM Cycling and RAD Cycling/etc will continue to reign supreme in finding reasonable bike/trainer-specific desks. Still, I’m all about power outlets, and that’s something those lower-priced offerings don’t have. Nor of course, do they have the style that’s shown here.

With that – thanks for reading!

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28 Comments

  1. Joseph

    Ray,

    The desk looks great. I am wondering how low can the desk be lowered. I think I could justify the the cost, if it can double as a portable work desk.

    Thanks Joseph

    • Chad McNeese

      Per Ray’s article above:
      – The main pole that supports the desk (also metal) is adjustable and can go from a minimum height of 75cm (29.5”) to 120cm (47.2”).

      Per their product page:
      – Frame height on the TRAINING DESK is totally adjustable going from from 75 cm to a max 120 cm (29,5” x 47,2”).

  2. Richard Mercer

    I like this a lot, but holy cow, £300 for it? I struggle to see the value.

  3. David W

    One thing bothered me compared to the previous trainer desks- the V shaped base. I like to have my computer directly in front of me as opposed to off to the side like in the pictures. Also, where do you put your fan with the feet in the way? You want it fairly close to the front wheel to keep the fan out of the wind shadow of the desktop. But with this design it will be hard to have the fan and desk both close to you.

  4. Joe

    The wood top looks great, but I really don’t understand why one leg is steel and the other is wood. It looks awful to me. Maybe appearance doesn’t matter too much in a trainer desk, but I mean for $400 especially? (Plus they’re already saying aesthetics are important to them by having the desk be wood in the first place).

  5. joze

    Cross chaining on the bike on second picture?

    • Generally speaking at trade-shows people are hopping on a bike for a few seconds to try something out, often left with whatever gearing the person in front of them did something in.

  6. Mark

    Ray is there any way to get this super annoying box to stop appearing on every page I visit, every time I visit?

    It just gets in the way and the fact it always comes back is making me want to scream 🥺 not sure what the point of it is, like if it was useful it would just immediately be taking me away from the page I’ve just started trying to read, so seems odd anyway.

    • Hey Mark – that’s very odd. As a DCR Supporter, you shouldn’t be getting any ads at all.

      I presume you’re signed in (since the checkmark is showing). Can you confirm that? I can also follow-up off-line too.

    • Mark

      D’oh, I was not logged in Ray no – thanks for the pointer

      That said, the box is not adverts, it’s just scrolling links to other DCR posts, so it is an odd UX if you aren’t logged in as it just appears the moment you scroll slightly on a page. E.g – I clicked to read this article, then before I could read anything there’s a popover box saying ‘hey, go read these other 5 articles instead!’ – just my 2c 🙂

      Just seen your reply to someone else who has mentioned too but they’re referring to a google ad appearing centre bottom.

      The one above for me it’s been appearing for quite a while but seems (quickly tried in a few browsers) to be only on mobile when not logged in

    • Yeah, it’s technically an adverts thing. Basically most times it’s links to other pages, but sometimes it’s adverts. Either way, the ad company basically says that the links to other pages drives up page views, which in turn drives up ad views.

      I agree something seems quirky today/yesterday on it, but any other evidence is helpful. I’ve flagged it to them to dig into.

      As always, it’s a balance. I don’t like ads as much as anyone else, and I’ve rejected the overwhelming majority of ideas they’ve put forth (such as skinned pages). But ultimately, it’s about finding a balance.

      If everyone was DCR Supporters, then this wouldn’t be a discussion – appreciate the support!

    • Mark

      No worries, am happy support, thanks for keeping the content quality high for so many years now 👍

  7. David Solstoem

    Hey Ray and thank’s for the review.
    Just one comment: there are a trainerdesk with poweroutlets and bottleholder (lifeline pro trainer table) these days and it is also radically cheaper than this and wahoos more expensive ones.
    Best regards DavidS

  8. Abdiel

    Two fun facts:

    1.) The tablet/phone-holder is an exact replica of the “Bergenes” holder from Ikea (in Germany down to 1.99 €).

    2.) Boamboo isn’t actually wood.

    My first impression is like: Nice but overpriced.

  9. not amused

    Oof. The new static pop up ad that rides along the bottom center of the screen its pretty darn obtrusive. Keeps coming back whenever you close it too.

    I get it’s a business, but I’m not subscribing to a blog. I use all your affiliate links and tolerate all the sidebar ads. This new one sucks, a lot.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure what’s changed. The bottom ad has been there since February. I’m seeing if perhaps something is different today/yesterday, either for certain browsers or such. If you can leave a note which browser you’re seeing it on, that’d help.

      Appreciate the support via the links!

    • Just as an update on the weird ad issues some folks were seeing. Indeed, something went wrong the last few days, causing one of the bottom ads to float-up and overlay atop both content and other ads in a non-ideal way. I’ve been told that’s fixed, and it seems to have addressed it from what I can see.

      Cheers!

  10. cheapskate

    I bought 2 ikea “lack” side tables 55x55x45 com @ 7 euros each

    I put one upside down and the other one on top of that, leg to leg, with some tape to keep the legs together.

    With 14 euros i got a training table 55×55 cm and 90 cm tall.
    Job done.

  11. Igor

    For that price you can already buy an Ikea sit/stand office desk with electrical motor.