ELITE KURA SMART TRAINER
With the news that Computrainer is shutting down their business, the KURA couldn’t have come at a better time. I recently started searching for a new trainer to eventually replace the CompuTrainer for doing bike fits and on-the-bike coaching. Several makes and models showed promise, but Elite seemed to have ALL the bases covered, so they were my first go-to choice.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
The box contains the KURA indoor trainer body, Cassette spacer, Chainstay Spacers, Right & Left Quick-Release Adapters, Right & Left Thru-Axle Adapters, 2 Adjustable Feet (29” MTB, 27/5” MTB and 700C Road).
• Total height: 52cm (20.5”)
• Contact Surface: Very Stable 56cm x 57cm (22” x 22.5”)
5-EASY ASSEMBLY STEPS
Assembly was easy!
1. Open Box
2. Pull out KURA trainer
3. Spread the base legs
4. Insert plastic feet – use positioning based on wheel size
5. Attach cassette – 9, 10 or 11
6. Attach correct wheel adapter & spacer – quick release or thru axle
1. Rotate KURA’s feet based on wheel size.
2. Place front wheel block on ground in front of KURA trainer.
3. Insert correct adapter into KURA (quick-release or thru-axle).
4. Remove rear wheel from your bicycle.
5. Place rear of bicycle onto KURA/Cassette.
6. Insert quick-release skewer or thru axle and tighten to secure.
7. Place front wheel in block
8. Jump on bike and train!
1. Shift cassette to the smallest cog.
2. Reverse the above process
TRAINER TYPES & FEATURES
First off, what’s the difference between the each of the types of trainers. The main categories are *INTERACTIVE, *SMART, CLASSIC, ROLLERS. Each of the top trainer manufacturers offer most of these in one form or another. Several come to mind; CycleOps, Kurt Kinetic, Tacx, Wahoo and of course, ELITE. In the case of ELITE, here is their product lines;
• INTERACTIVE – Trainers that communicate ANT+ or BLU to another wireless device. Communication includes data from the trainer TO the smart display device (PC / Smartphone) as well as data FROM the smart display device that automatically controls the trainer’s resistance settings based on %grade setting within PC apps (ZWIFT, etc.). These trainers usually have magnetic resistance.
• SMART – KURA – Like the INTERACTIVE trainers except no data is coming back to the trainer to control it. These trainers usually do not feature magnetic resistance.
• CLASSIC – Standard trainer with no computer chips or memory. Similar in shape to the RAMPA but there is nothing to plug in. Resistance settings are manual and include these various types;
• ROLLERS – Consists of 3 drums (1 for the front wheel, 2 for rear wheel) on a metal frame, connected together with a ‘belt drive’ so that the rear wheel also drives the front wheel. The most realistic trainer since you are actually riding your bicycle which means that you also need balance to stay upright.
* INTERACTIVE and SMART trainers can be either a WHEEL-ON or WHEEL-OFF / DIRECT TRANSMISSION TRAINER. The new RAMPA is a WHEEL-ON trainer while the popular DRIVO and KURA are WHEEL-OFF / DIRECT TRNSMISSION trainers – see pictures below.
KURA is currently ELITE’s top of the line SMART trainer. Elite calls the KURA a fluid-technology home trainer with direct measurement of power transmission and resistance.
In my opinion, one of the most exciting features is POWER MEASUREMENT. Easily accomplished using the embedded POWER METER(s). Single leg power is built in without any special or additional parts, but, in order to get dual power to work, you will need the $17.00 Wired Cadence Sensor Kit (Elite part # 4027544). This item is needed so that the KURA will know which is the right leg and which is the left leg. The cadence sensor kit’s body attaches to the left chainstay with its included magnet which is attached to the left crankarm. On bikes with thicker chainstays (i.e., the pictured Cervelo R5ca), there is not enough room to place the included magnet. Luckily, I had a few spare rare earth magnets. These magnets are usually very thin and very powerful. I attached one to the inside of the pedal spindle. I also couldn’t use the included strap since the crank arm would hit the sensor every time the crank arm came around. Once removed, I used one of the black rubber bands from the Bryton Rider 530 GPS Head Unit to secure the Elite wired cadence sensor. The plug end of the cadence sensor attaches to the rear of the KURA. Even after a month, everything is still working perfectly!
ELITE states: The KURA has very accurate power measurement. The internal ergometer represents the heart of the product and precisely measures the torque applied to KURA’s transmission shaft and calculates the right power level. That’s how watts are calculated and can be accurate with a ±1% tolerance, just like the most precise and professionally used scientific measurement devices.
I agree, the KURA is very quick and easy to setup, pair and to start training.
The KURA is a wheel-off trainer so it uses direct transmission of power from the cyclist. Being a wheel-off trainer, the KURA is connected directly to the bike’s chain. This ensures a more accurate and secure fit of the bicycle to the trainer. No more slipping of the rear tire like there is on a conventional wheel-on trainer when sprinting or out of the saddle drills. No more special trainer tires or worn out racing tires like there is when using a conventional wheel on trainer. No more fiddling with your 29’r or removing the rear tire and replacing it with a 700x32C so you can use your conventional trainer with your 29’r MTB. The Kura does away with all of this nonsense.
Again, being a wheel-off direct mount trainer, the effort on pedals always transfers evenly and efficiently to the resistance unit.
Pedaling resistance is self-adjusting and progressive and is generated by a fluid technology braking unit, where silicone oil always offers stable and round resistance. How it works is that fluid resistance increases automatically along with speed.
The KURA is also compatible with third party apps and software; computers, smartphones, tablets and cycle computers that feature the Ant™+ and Bluetooth Smart protocols.
• Data sent via ANT profiles include: Ant™+ Power, Ant™+ Speed & Cadence.
• Data sent via Bluetooth profiles include Bluetooth Smart Power and Bluetooth Smart Speed & Cadence.
• And, since KURA uses Ant™+ Power, Ant™+ Speed & Cadence, the KURA easily connects to platforms such as MY E TRAINING, Zwift, BIKEVO, Kinomap, Trainer Road and more.
MY E-TRAINING APP – LIFETIME LICENSE w/KURA
KURA also includes ELITE’s App My E-Training which is a sophisticated virtual coach. You can manage power, heart rate, speed, time and distance directly from your smartphone or tablet with the My E-Training App.
When purchasing an ELITE trainer, the KURA and come with a LIFETIME subscription to MY E-TRAINING. For the other trainers, the yearly license is about $11.50 per year.
First, with your smartphone, go to either the Google play store or the Apple App Store and search for “My E Training.” Download and install this app onto your smartphone.
My E-Training App creates interactive indoor training sessions on iOS or Android smartphones and tablets. It displays and manages power, cadence, heart rate, speed, time and distance data. It is also possible to train with ELITE RealVideos and download hundreds of user-created My RealVideo for free. It should be available on PC-based computers later in 2017.
• REALVIDEO: train with ELITE RealVideos and download hundreds of free user-created My RealVideo
• TRAINING SESSIONS: constant-power, pre-set level, programmed training sessions
• TRAINING TEST: generate a month of indoor personalized training sessions after a rider’s evaluation test
• MAP RACES: use Google Maps to create courses from anywhere in the world;
• MULTIPLE USERS: The App can register multiple users for the same device
• EASIER TRAINING PROGRAMS CREATION: graphic editor to easily create new programs
• EXPORT DATA: export training data with Strava, Training Peaks and MapMyRide
• GPS COURSE RECORD: GPS data from road courses is available for indoor training
• IMPORT GPS DATA: easy to import data from GPS cycle computers
• MATCH: train on a virtual course and challenge other riders
• IN CLOUD DATA: save your training data to the Cloud and share it with multiple devices
• VIDEO PLAYLIST: create a Playlist with device videos for your training sessions
• SHARE RESULTS: all training data can be saved, exported and shared on your social networks to record and monitor your performance over time.
And, my favorite;
• PEDALING ANALYSIS: an additional and optional paid feature that performs much like the Computrainer Racermate Spin Scan software. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest applications that sets Elite apart from the competition.
As for the KURA, I was impressed with the build quality and ease of setup and use. No more wires taped to the floor, wireless is the real way to go. So, have a look at the entire line at http://www.elite-it.com/en/products/us/trainers.
A true 5/5-star rating!