Elite is kicking off the Tour de France with a new high-end trainer, the Elite Justo (Justo is Italian in Venetian dialect for right/correct, referring to the accuracy). This trainer not only looks different from the outside, matching the more modern aesthetic found on the Tuo, but also has significantly increased features over the previous Direto XR. Arguably, this is the biggest jump in features for Elite in years.
The Justo sports new Flex Feet that provide a bit of side-to-side tilting movement (kind of like the KICKR AXIS feet), it’s got a new automatic calibration system, alongside increased accuracy to +/- 1% (with a power meter inside), as well as 22% bigger flywheel (now 6.2kg/13.7lbs) to increase inertia. Plus, more mundane but still useful things, like new dual-Bluetooth connections, and added ERG mode power transmission stability options.
Interestingly though, are some things we haven’t seen before anywhere else. For example, there’s a new option in ERG mode to make it easier to start an interval if you had stopped. Specifically, on most trainers in ERG mode, to go from not pedaling to pedaling when the trainer is set for a high wattage is incredibly difficult. This new option essentially gives you 2-3 seconds to ramp up the cadence before applying the ERG wattage. Note, this isn’t impacting the workout responsiveness itself, just if you were to stop pedaling for a period and try to resume.
There’s also new standalone modes, a new wired connection option, and now the ability to bridge in heart rate sensors within the trainer – useful for those that want to Zwift on Apple TV while still being connected to a steering device (like the Elite Sterzo Smart or Elite Rizer).
Anyways, enough newness here, let’s save that for the next section. Note that this Elite Justo media loaner was sent over by Elite to try out. As usual, it’ll go back to them in Italy, afterwards. If you found this review useful, feel free to hit up the links at the end of the site, or consider becoming a DCR Supporter. With that – let’s begin!
This is unquestionably the biggest trainer launch that Elite has had in years. In fact, I can’t think of any other trainer company that’s packed as many new features into any of their trainers from one iteration to the next, than the new Elite Justo. Here’s the full rundown of all the newness (roughly compared to the Elite Direto XR, which is/was the previous top-end model from Elite):
– Added new Elite Flex Feet (gives very slight side-to-side movement)
– Added Auto Calibration
– Added Dual-Bluetooth connectivity (still has unlimited ANT+ connections too)
– Added Heart Rate & Cadence sensor bridging (useful for Apple TV users to get around 2-channel limitation)
– Added ERG Mode “Easy Start” (makes it possible to easily resume pedaling if left in high-wattage ERG mode)
– Added four ERG Mode data smoothing options
– Added new wired Ethernet connection option (using extra accessory, TBD on pricing/availability)
– Added a bigger flywheel for better inertia (now 6.2kg versus previous 5.1kg)
– Increased power accuracy from +/- 1.5% to +/- 1%
– Improved reaction time to trigger Zwift Supertuck
– Reduced noise level (no exact specs given, but certainly quieter)
– Reduced size/footprint (33% less wide than Direto XR)
– Reduced plastic usage (40% plastic weight reduction than Direto XR-T)
– New looks match it’s toaster brother, without actually looking like a toaster
It’s nice to see a lot of the more ‘practical’ features – stuff like Bluetooth heart-rate bridging (mainly for Apple TV users) and multi-channel support (beneficial for Suunto/Polar/COROS users), and the ERG mode stop-recovery features. It’s good stuff.
And then, just to recap some of the normal trainer spec-list, here’s a consolidated list:
– Direct drive trainer: This means you remove your rear wheel
– Flywheel: It has a flywheel weight of 6.2kg
– Cassette: Not included, but compatible with Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11 Speed, Shimano 12 Speed Road, and SRAM NX 12 Speed (freehubs available for Shimano Micro Spline, Campagnolo, SRAM X/XDR)
– Sound: Very quiet, though not quite totally silent (far less than your fan though)
– Handle: Yes, it has a handle, and the trainer can fold up too
– Protocol Compatibility: ANT+ FE-C, ANT+ Power, Bluetooth Smart Trainer Control, Bluetooth Smart Power (everything you need)
– Unique Party Trick: Can rebroadcast your heart rate sensor within a single channel, ideal for Apple TV Zwift users (who are Bluetooth channel limited)
– App Compatibility: Every app out there basically (Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, RGT, The Sufferfest, Kinomap, etc…)
– Skewer Compatibility: Native compatibility for: Quick Release (5×130-135mm), Thru-Axle (12×142) – with accessory adapters available for 10×130-12×135, 12×148, 12×157.
– Max Incline: 24% simulated grade
– Max Wattage: 2,300 watts resistance @ 40KPH (or 1,100w @ 20KPH)
– Stated Accuracy: < +/-1%
– Internal Power Meter: Yes
– Power Cable Required: No, power block compatible with 100-240v
– Standalone Mode: Yes, either at a preset gradient 0-24%, or using a speed-based resistance curve
– Pricing and Availability: $1,199/999EUR (including VAT
Finally, it’s worth noting that it continues to have native compatibility with the Elite Rizer gradient/steering simulator, as well as the Elite Sterzo Smart steering plate. In fact, it’s actually better than before, since the Justo can re-broadcast your heart rate, this means for Apple TV users, you can use the Elite Rizer/Sterzo straight with Apple TV and still maintain your heart rate channel (since that’ll funnel through the Elite Justo).
In the Box:
In my case, while I have a production unit, the printed boxes hadn’t come in yet. Thus, my box is plain. I suppose I could have my kids draw on it, but ultimately it’s set to have the same look as the existing Elite boxes (graphics on this same color cardboard). Thus, avoiding the situation where your spouse asks why you’re receiving plain unlabeled cardboard boxes, so nobody has to trust that it’s not some adult doll inside.
Inside you’ve got the trainer, almost entirely assembled, along with some power cords and other things. Here’s the trainer and two smaller boxes, and then the parts laid out:
Now you may be wondering what that round tire/Frisbee looking thing is. That’s actually a case for the flywheel. It’s the only bit of assembly you’ll have to do (aside from the cassette), and merely takes installing two screws.
One of the things that Elite has been battered on over the last two years is shipping costs. Specifically, their own internal quality policies dictate that the trainer box must survive a fall from 2 meters (on any side). With installing the flywheel cover ahead of time, they found it substantially increased packaging (and thus package size, and thus cost). But by separating out the two pieces, they were able to put better protective packaging around the flywheel while reducing the overall package size.
Anyways, inside you’ll find a skewer alongside axle adapters. You’ll also notice below two black feet, which you can use in place of the red feet (which are more flexible than the black feet). There’s a power cord, and the front wheel block
With that, let’s get this put together.
As noted approximately 12 seconds ago, we need to install the flywheel cover. This takes less time than it will to read this sentence. Simply take the two included screws, and just screw them in. The flywheel cover hovers over the flywheel, keeping it safe from small fingers.
Next, if you wanted to, you could swap out the feet. But that seems a bit premature to swap out the feet before you’ve even tried them. I mean, at least give flexible a chance before you decide you like things hard. Either way, to stiffen it up, simply rotate the knobs out, and then repeat again the other direction.
Next, you’ll need to install a cassette. Due to the bike component shortage, in conjunction with now being this very obvious consumer transition from 11-speed to 12-speed, Elite just went with no-cassette. Installing a cassette is relatively easy, and as such, you’ll need to pick one up. I typically buy Shimano Ultegra cassettes for my trainers (mostly for sound-testing consistency across videos), but I’ve also done a few SRAM ones and whatever else happens to be on sale from the bike shop. It generally doesn’t matter, except sometimes you’ll find some of the lower-end cassettes don’t quite sound as quiet as mid to higher-end ones. Either way, ensure you buy the right cassette for your bike (e.g. 11 speed for 11 speed, 12 for 12, etc…).
With that cassette, you’ll need two tools. A lockring tool (or lockring + a wrench, in my case), and a chain whip. In this case, you need the chain whip since you can’t get a good grasp on the flywheel otherwise.
Once you’ve got the cassette on, simply put in place either the quick release skewer or thru-axle adapter (depending on your particular bike).
And finally, we’ll plug it in! You’ll wrap the cord around this little section here, which in theory keeps it from damaging the trainer itself if you trip over it the wrong way (for example, twisting it towards the front). But in reality, this is probably my only criticism of the Justo: It’s time to have a flexible instant-release cable like many other trainers. That enables it to cleanly and painlessly detach if you trip over it.
Anyways, with it plugged in, let’s throw that front wheel block down and then stick our bike on it (which just requires removing the rear wheel):
Now it’s time to ride.
The first and most obvious basic thing to note is that it’s got a faux-leather handle up top. It looks like you could easily remove/replace it with just a hex wrench if you wanted to. But I found it easy enough to grab and swing around to move the trainer wherever I needed to:
Once you arrive at your next destination (the closet), you can fold up the legs to save a bit of space. They’ve redesigned the leg folding mechanism a fair bit and now it’s much better than before, and feels far more polished. That said, one of my button pressing things was a bit sticky and needed probably 1mm more push-range to make it nice and slick. But I’m sure that’s an easy inline tweak for them and really the most minor of nitpicks.
Next, there’s a small status LED panel on the side of the trainer. This helps you validate that it’s powered on, and you can see whether things like ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart are controlling it.
With everything all set, we’ll pair up an app and start pedaling. I’ll talk about the specifics of apps in the next section, as it doesn’t matter for this section which app you use. Here I’m going to focus on things like ride feel, sound, and so on. So anyways, we start pedaling.
Given the Elite Justo is a smart trainer, it’ll change resistance automatically in a few different ways, primarily driven by different applications/methods. But most of this all boils down to two core methods:
ERG Mode: Setting a specific power level – i.e., 205w. In this mode, no matter what gearing you use, the trainer will simply stay at 205w (or whatever you set it to).
Simulation (SIM) Mode: Simulating a specific outdoor grade – i.e., 14% incline. In this mode, it’s just like outdoors in that you can change your gearing to make it easier or harder. Wattage is not hard-set, only incline levels.
In the case of simulation (aka slope) mode, the Elite Justo can simulate from 0% to 24% incline – which is at the high-end of what you can do on smart trainers. As I’ve said in the past, it’s a bit of a spec battle for the sake of battling. First off, nobody actually wants to go up a 24% hill. Seriously, you don’t. And atop that, there’s little reason most of this matters if you use the defaults in Zwift, because it automatically halves the values anyway. A 10% grade feels like a 5% grade. You need to change the ‘Trainer Difficulty’ level to 100% in order to feel it (and most people don’t bother to). Where it can matter though is at low-speed high wattage climbs up those 12% or beyond ascents.
The second mode the trainer has is ERG mode. In that case, the company claims up to 2,300w of resistance at 40KPH. Although, realistically, you don’t care about that. I can only barely (maybe) break 1,000w for a second or two, and even most front of the non-pro pack cyclists aren’t going to top 1,800w. The pros would only be just a bit beyond that. Said differently: Peak numbers in this competition don’t matter. Instead, what matters is actually a harder metric to make clear – which is the ability to simulate high grades and lower speeds (especially if you’re a heavier cyclist).
One core test I do with all trainers though is responsiveness: How quickly does it respond to ERG mode changes? I typically do that with a 30×30 test via TrainerRoad, though it doesn’t really matter what method you use as long as you’re looking at big shifts in wattage:
Now, I dive into all the nuances of this later on in the accuracy section, specifically including my 30×30 test via TrainerRoad, though it doesn’t really matter what method you use as long as you’re looking at big shifts in wattage.
However, one super cool new feature I’ve never seen before is Elite’s new Easy Start feature in ERG mode. For those familiar, if you’re in ERG mode doing intervals, and the doorbell ding-dongs and you jump to get your non-descript cardboard box, when you return, it can be nearly impossible to start pedaling again. There’s a massive amount of resistance on most trainers when you go from 0 cadence with the system set for 250w (or whatever value). It’s very challenging.
But the new Easy Start feature kicks in when the flywheel stops rotating, and automatically removes the resistance temporarily. Once you start pedaling again, it gives you roughly 3-4 seconds before re-applying the previously set resistance. It’s super practical, and makes me wonder why on earth this hasn’t been a thing for the last 20 years.
So what about road feel and noise?
Like I always say – for me personally, it’s hard to separate the fact that I’m riding indoors from outdoors. It’s still a trainer, and I’m still looking at a wall in front of me. My brain can only turn off so much of that. Still, much of the road-like feel is driven by the flywheel, and be it physical or virtual, flywheel sizes tend to be measured in weight. This impacts inertia and how it feels – primarily when you accelerate or otherwise change acceleration (such as briefly coasting).
With that prefacing taken care of, the road feel/inertia is clearly better here than on past Elite trainers. It’s pretty much to the point where it’s not noticeable anymore that I’m riding on an Elite trainer versus the Wahoo KICKR or Tacx NEO. Previously, it very much was. The bulk of the reason for this is likely due to the increased weight (from 5.1kg to 6.2kg). The larger the flywheel, the more inertia it has, and generally speaking that results in better road-like feel for accelerations and decelerations.
As usual, I’m sure folks will argue about which exact inertia they prefer. But I’d wager a fair bit of money that I could stick a dozen sports tech journalists blindfolded on trainers (with headphones on too), and at this point they wouldn’t likely be able to tell the difference – nor even agree which one they prefer. Maybe that’d be a fun DCR Open House game some year.
And as for sound? Like the flywheel, Elite improved here too. It’s quieter. It’s not silent though. At least, not in all gearings. There’s a very slight bit of noise that comes at higher speeds (if I’m in the big chainring). But we’re talking far less noise than a fan, and I’m guessing most people would confuse it with their drivetrain. I show it within the video up above (where you can listen to my creaky bottom bracket).
The point is, while in the past I’d say audio on Elite’s trainers was a determining factor, it no longer is here. It’s quiet enough.
So, what about those new feet? The new flexible feet essentially squish as you pedal, providing very subtle left/right sway, which in turn helps reduce fatigue on longer rides. Essentially, by trainers (or trainer accessories) adding a slight bit of movement, it forces your butt and core to react and move very slightly on the saddle (in the order of millimeters), which in turn reduces fatigue. In Elite’s case, the Justo comes with two different feet, the red ones pre-installed which have more flex, and the black ones which are stiffer.
I used the red ones and liked them. Remember you can adjust the height on the adjustable feet. So in my case, combined with the trainer mat, I probably should have given them one or two rotations to be a bit firmer and not squish into the mat as much. I show this all in the video too, both regular riding, sprints, and then just silly leaning left and right.
I’d argue that Elite did a better job than the Wahoo KICKR AXIS feet, in that these provide visible squish. You can’t meaningfully see (or feel) the KICKR AXIS feet squish mush. Whereas when I tilt left or right on the Elite feet, you can very easily see it squishing like a ball.
Elite says that heavier or larger riders may prefer the black ones, or, simply lighter riders that want virtually no movement at all. But ultimately, it’s up to your own personal preference.
The Justo follows the same app compatibility standards as previous Elite products, and essentially follows the industry norms as you’d expect from a high-end trainer. As you probably know, apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, SufferFest, Rouvy, RGT, and many more all support most of these industry standards, making it easy to use whatever app you’d like. If trainers or apps don’t support these standards, then it makes it far more difficult for you as the end user.
Thankfully, that’s not the case here. The Justo transmits data on both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, as well as allowing interactive resistance control across both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart. By applying resistance control, apps can simulate climbs as well as set specific wattage targets.
The unit supports the following protocols and transmission standards:
ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control): This is for controlling the trainer via ANT+ from apps and head units (with cadence/power data). Read tons about it here.
ANT+ Power Meter Profile: This broadcasts as a standard ANT+ power meter, with cadence data
ANT+ Speed/Cadence Profile: This broadcasts your speed and cadence as a standard ANT+ Speed/Cadence combo sensor
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Profile: This broadcasts as a standard BLE power meter, with cadence data
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Profile: This broadcasts your speed and cadence as a standard BLE combo Speed/Cadence sensor
Bluetooth Smart FTMS (Trainer Control): This allows apps to control the Justo over Bluetooth Smart (with cadence/power data)
Between all these standards you can basically connect to anything and everything you’d ever want to. Be it a bike computer or watch, or an app – it’ll be supported. Further, the Elite Justo now supports dual/concurrent Bluetooth channels. Meaning, you can connect to run Zwift on one device, while still connecting another device via Bluetooth too. It continues to support unlimited ANT+ channels. The dual-Bluetooth scenario is particularly useful for people that have watches that don’t support ANT+ (such as Polar, Suunto, and the COROS Vertix 2), as well as those that want to run Zwift & TrainerRoad concurrently on non-ANT+ devices.
In the above list, you’ll note there’s also cadence data baked into the various streams. That’s handy if you’re connecting to Zwift on an Apple TV, due to Apple TV’s two concurrent Bluetooth Smart sensor limitation (plus the Apple TV remote). This means you can pair the trainer and get power/cadence/control, and with Elite’s new heart rate re-broadcasting, you can then pair your trainer with your heart rate strap, so that it allows that same trainer to bundle that into the data stream, taking up only a single channel. Which ultimately means you can still connect the Elite Sterzo or RIZER steering accessories, as shown below on Apple TV:
This also works on TrainerRoad too. If you look here at my TrainerRoad screenshot and the settings, you’ll notice it shows the heart rate provided by the Elite Justo stream.
You’ll set this up with the Elite app, whereby it’ll search for the nearest heart rate sensor (ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart), and pair to it. While I agree that for most cases this should work, I’d really appreciate the option to pick a specific sensor ID out (similar to what other companies do for power matching). Also note that this same heart rate bridging works for cadence sensors too.
Further, in that same app you’ll find the ability to change the ERG mode smoothing setting. This setting only changes what’s broadcast over ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, not what you’ll actually feel. Some people essentially prefer a smoother-looking data set.
In my testing, I used Zwift and TrainerRoad as my two main apps (which are the two main apps I use personally). In the case of Zwift, I used it in regular riding mode (non-workout mode, aka SIM mode) as well as ERG mode (workout mode). Whereas in the case of TrainerRoad I used it in a structured workout mode (ERG mode). For Zwift I used Apple TV, and for TrainerRoad an iPad. I also connected it to an Edge 1030 Plus for data recording via ANT+.
Now, no matter which platform you use, you shouldn’t need to manually calibrate it anymore. Elite has adopted a new automatic calibration routine, similar to what Wahoo does, whereby it automatically triggers a calibration behind the scenes if it meets certain criteria. This has the benefit of making it easier for consumers to use, but also harder for people to fake the calibrations in esports, since it’s going to quickly reset it back to the known good automatically. Elite didn’t specify what exactly those conditions are.
However, in what will probably spoil the next section of my review – I never manually calibrated once. I simply took it out of the box and used it, and it was spot-on.
Finally, one area I can’t cover at this time is the new Elite external ethernet adapter for the Elite Justo. This allows direct wired connectivity, in the event you suffer from crappy WiFi/interference. Just like Wahoo’s Direct Connect adapter, this external accessory plugs into a silly telephone-jack style port on the back of the trainer. Here, right below the power plug:
Elite’s adapter will come later this year, and the company says it’ll be the same price as Wahoo’s, and actually, use what should be the same protocol (not same hardware, just how it interacts with software). Essentially, the trainer companies have agreed that’ll be the standard going forward, which is great news for both consumers and app developers out there, not to have to re-invent the wheel. That protocol is already supported by virtually all the major apps today for Wahoo.
Of course, the bad news for consumers is that we need an annoying dongle, yes, dongle, for what should just be a built-in ethernet port. But hey, gotta start somewhere I guess.
As usual, I put the trainer up against a number of power meters to see how well it handled everything from resistance control accuracy, to speed of change, to any other weird quirks along the way.
In my case I used one primary bike set up in the following configuration:
Canyon Bike Setup #1: Favero Assioma Dual-sided pedals, Quarq DZero crankset
This is all in addition to the trainer itself. Note that because you remove the rear wheel I can’t use something like a PowerTap hub to compare as well (which I would use in power meter testing normally).
In any case, I was looking to see how it reacted in two core apps: Zwift (Apple TV) and TrainerRoad (iPhone). The actual apps don’t typically much matter, but rather the use cases are different. In Zwift with simulation mode you get variability by having the road incline change and by being able to instantly sprint. This reaction time and accuracy are both tested here. Whereas in TrainerRoad in ERG mode I’m looking at its ability to hold a specific wattage very precisely, and to then change wattages instantly in a repeatable way. There’s no better test of that than 30×30 repeats (30-seconds at a high resistance, followed by 30-seconds at an easy resistance). However, I also did an ERG workout in Zwift as well.
There’s two ways to look at this. First is how quickly it responds to the commands of the application. So for that, we need to actually look at the overlay from TrainerRoad showing when it sent the command followed by when the Elite Justo achieved that level. Here’s the levels being sent (the blue blocks) by TrainerRoad (in this case via Bluetooth Smart on iPad) and how quickly the Elite Justo responded to it:
In general, when it comes to ERG mode ‘accuracy’, I’m actually looking at three specific things:
A) Base power accuracy: Is the power measurement aspect correct?
B) Power Responsiveness: How quickly can it achieve a given set point (e.g. how long to go from 150w to 450w?)
C) Power Stability: How stable is it in holding a given ERG mode setting?
So, looking at the Elite Justo, the simple answer to all of those is: Pretty much spot-on.
Starting with the responsiveness, it was just like the Elite Direto XR was, in that it consistently took about 3 seconds to stabilize each time going from 150w to 450w. Which is just where I want it. You actually don’t want it to be instant (0-1 seconds), as it’s like riding into a brick wall.
The next bit is stability – assuming I’m riding with relatively even pedaling form, how stable is the wattage being held. Here again, pretty good. This is where one could turn on ERG mode smoothing to cheat a bit, but we won’t here. Further, I had done a slew of sprints for 25 minutes prior to this, so my legs weren’t quite as fresh and stable on these 30×30’s. But I’m totally good with this.
As always for ERG mode, I used the smaller ring in the front chainring (as recommended by the trainer company and app company, as it helps control flywheel speed). However, I typically don’t worry too much about the rear cassette. In this case it was about halfway down (or up) the cassette, and it was fine.
So let’s look at the actual power accuracy data then. In other words, how does it compare to other power meters? For that here’s a comparison with a Quarq DZero power meter and the Favero Assioma pedals (data set here):
As you can pretty easily see above, it’s virtually identical between these. There’s a few tiny dips slightly lower on the Favero Assioma, whereas the Quarq and Elite units stay in lockstep. In power meter math theory, the Favero should be highest (pedals), and Elite lowest (trainer), with Quarq just below Favero. In reality, when you’re this close, and then combined with +/-1 to +/-2% differences, they just land where they land. Again, being a couple of watts off here at 450w isn’t going to change anything. Here’s the workout a bit closer up, with these 30×30 intervals:
Then we can take a look at Elite’s cadence algorithm, which is estimated cadence. It’s very very close. A few tiny bobbles where it might be off by a couple of RPMs for a couple of seconds, but again, no practical difference there.
And finally, a fairly boring graph for this relatively straightforward test – the mean/max chart comparing them:
So, let’s zip over to Zwift and look at a SIM mode workout (basically, regular Zwift mode). Here’s that data set:
You can see at a high level, again, very very similar. And also the same pattern of Favero being a bit low, and Elite/Quarq higher. At this point it is what it is. Welcome to having multiple power meters on a bike.
Zooming in on a series of surges I did (was in a group/bunch here), you can see it handles quite well, no problems with these shifts in power. Reading slightly higher than the other two, as per the pattern across the board here. But then again, Favero shouldn’t be below either of these two.
If we look at the first of two sprint sections, you’ll see the Justo does overshoot a bit on the main peak. This isn’t that unusual for most trainers, to be honest. One only need to look at any of my past reviews to see that. It took Wahoo some 6 months after the release of the KICKR V5/2020 to fix their overshooting issue. Ideally Elite would tame this down just a tiny bit.
You can see it again on the second sprint, again a slight overshoot here.
Here’s a look at the cadence for this one. Again, as is normal for estimated cadence, it’s not an absolutely perfect lock, but it’s good enough for most people’s needs. And if you want to use a dedicated cadence sensor, it’ll pass it through easily.
Here’s the mean-max graph, where you can see the impact of those slight sprint overages on the Justo being just a bit higher at the left edge of the graph:
Now before I forget, here’s a comparison of the heart rate data pass-through. On this one, I passed through the Garmin HRM-PRO data via the Justo to the Apple TV. It’s identical to the same data recorded on the Edge 1030 concurrently:
Finally, last up for now is a Zwift ERG mode ride:
As you can see, this looks super crispy! Keep in mind, ERG mode is ERG mode in this context. So the fact that the lines look shaper here than in the TrainerRoad one is simply that it was nearly an hour-long workout, so it smooths out the data more than a shorter 30×30 test.
That said, hot damn this data looks stunning:
Look at these 800w surges. You’d barely realize there were three power meters here. So close together.
On these longer 10-minute chunks, you see more variability, likely because my legs are slow-burning at 280w after all the previous sprints.
The cadence looks crazy perfect too:
And the mean-max is very solid as well:
Ok, so where do we stand on accuracy?
Well, starting off in ERG mode, it looks stunning across the board. Super happy there. Responsiveness is where I want it for the big wattage swings, and then stability is solid as well – no problems with holding a given wattage and no oscillating a bunch. And of course, as you can especially see in this last set, the actual accuracy of the power is very solid.
And that’s virtually all true for simulation mode as well. Everything felt good and was in line with the others. Cadence was very good for an estimation algorithm, and the power across the board was very good. About the only quibble I’d say was the slight overage in some of the higher-power sprints. While that’s common for many trainers (including higher-end ones), I’d like to see if they can snip off the top just a bit more there to get it closer on those peaks.
Finally, I was happy to see the heart rate sensor pass-through/bridging worked great across all my workouts, no latency or other issues there.
(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy sections were created using the DCR Analyzer tool. It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks, and plenty more. You can use it as well, more details here.)
High-End Trainer Comparison:
I’ve added the Elite Justo into the product comparison database. This allows you to compare it against other trainers I’ve reviewed. For the purposes of this particular table, I’ve compared it against the Wahoo KICKR V5, Saris H3, and Tacx NEO 2T, all of which are the top-end trainers from each company. You can also mix and match and create your own trainer comparison charts with just about any trainer on the market in the aforementioned/linked product database.
|Function/Feature||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated September 11th, 2023 @ 6:12 pm New Window|
|Price for trainer||$1,199||$1,099||$1,399||$1,199|
|Trainer Type||Direct Drive (No Wheel)||Direct Drive (no wheel)||Direct Drive (no wheel)||Direct Drive (No Wheel)|
|Available today (for sale)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wired or Wireless data transmission/control||Wireless + Upcoming Ethernet Adapter (Accessory)||Wireless||Wireless||Wireless + Wahoo Direct Connect Ethernet Adapter (Accessory)|
|Power cord required||No (Note: No control w/o power though)||Yes||No||Yes|
|Flywheel weight||13.7lbs/6.2KG||20lb/9kg||Simulated/Virtual 125KG||16lbs/7.25kgs|
|Includes cassette||No||No||No||Yes (11 Speed SRAM/Shimano)||Resistance||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Can electronically control resistance (i.e. 200w)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Includes motor to drive speed (simulate downhill)||No||No||Yes||No|
|Maximum wattage capability||2,300w @ 40KPH||2,000w||2,200w @ 40KPH||2,200w @ 40KPH|
|Maximum simulated hill incline||24%||20%||25%||20%||Features||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Ability to update unit firmware||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Measures/Estimates Left/Right Power||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Can directionally steer trainer (left/right)||With Elite Rizer or Sterzo Smart (accessories)||No||No||No|
|Can simulate road patterns/shaking (i.e. cobblestones)||No||No||Yes||No||Motion||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Whole-bike physical gradient simulation||With Elite Rizer (accessory)||No||No||With KICKR CLIMB (Accessory)|
|Can slide forward/back with movement||No||With Tacx NEO Motion Plate (Accessory)|
|Can rock/tilt side to side (significantly)||Very slightly||No||No||Barely...just barely.||Accuracy||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Includes temperature compensation||Yes||Yes||N/A||Yes|
|Support rolldown procedure (for wheel based)||N/A||Yes||N/A||N/A|
|Supported accuracy level||+/- 1.0%||+/- 2%||+/- 1%||+/- 1%||Trainer Control||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Allows 3rd party trainer control||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Supports ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control Standard)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Supports Bluetooth Smart FTMS (Trainer Control Standard)||Yes||Yes||No, but supports most apps||Yes|
|WiFi or Ethernet||Ethernet (with accessory)||No||Ethernet with Wahoo accessory adapter||Data Broadcast||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Transmits power via ANT+||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Transmits power via Bluetooth Smart||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Supports Multiple Concurrent Bluetooth connections||Dual (Two Channels)||No, just one||No, just one||Yes, 3 Concurrent|
|Transmits cadence data||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bridging or re-transmission||Yes (HR & Cadence)||No||No||No||Purchase||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
|Wiggle||Link||Link||Link||DCRainmaker||Elite Justo||Saris H3||Tacx NEO 2T Smart||Wahoo KICKR V5/2020|
And again, as always don’t forget you can mix and match your own trainer product comparison tables using the database here.
Overall, I’m impressed. In many ways, Elite’s trainers over the last 3-5 years have always been good, but never really pushing the boundaries in terms of new features. Their accessories like the Sterzo Smart, sure, but not their trainers. They just kinda went with the tide and competed more on affordability than anything else. But Justo changes that. There’s a slate of real-world novel and useful features here, like the heart rate/cadence bridging (especially for Apple TV users that want Steering), or the ERG Mode Easy Start.
Add to that catch-up features that put them right alongside some of Wahoo’s multi-channel Bluetooth connectivity as well as automatic calibration features, plus the upcoming ethernet/wired connectivity option for those that need it. In fact, many of these features seem targeted at checking off a list of KICKR V5/2020 features – such as also the KICKR AXIS feet, where it’s easy to see Elite’s new Flex Feet give more range of motion than Wahoo’s. And finally, there’s just some general polish on various Elite Justo components, like the way the leg trigger button swings in is better than before (or really, better than anyone except perhaps the Tacx NEO series, depending on how you like that design.
Of course, as with any product, there are certainly some things to nitpick. The power cable at the back really needs to have a flexible adapter on it for trip-proofing it (arguably one of the features they should have copied from Wahoo). Similarly, while the sound/noise is certainly very quiet, it’s not absolutely silent. To be clear, it’s below any fan you’d have, and even below the sound of your drivetrain (or at least my drivetrain). But, it’s not as quiet as the electromagnetic trainers are. And finally, I’d like to see a bit less peaking on the SIM-mode sprint accuracy. It’s in the ballpark of others for what is a hard metric to nail, but for a top-end trainer, a bit closer would be better.
But again, overall, no trainer company has delivered this many new features for as long as I can remember. Or at least, all the way back to the very first Wahoo KICKR a decade ago this year. Elite’s ability to launch a new product with so many new features is even more impressive when we see story after story of indoor trainer companies shuttering plans, or their entire company. Hopefully, Elite is able to turn this new product into actual sales of said product – but given this is a worthy one, it shouldn’t be too hard.
With that, thanks for reading!
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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. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!