Elite Direto Turbo Trainer Review
I was very impressed with the Elite Direto and feel what it offers is outstanding value for money in the indoor cycling world. The models up offer better statistics, and I feel they will provide an excellent experience too, but unless you are professional, the Direto is enough. As far as turbo trainers go, we’re very impressed.
- Very Sturdy
- Extremely Quiet
- Easy to Set up
- Dual Connections
- Can be stored away easily
- Accessories are not the cheapest
User Review( votes)
Indoor training in the last decade has changed dramatically. In 2014, Zwift was released and suddenly, getting on the turbo in winter for a workout wasn’t so much a chore but a pleasure. Suddenly it became interactive, and we could race online, make new friends, and create a professional-level training structure.
I have been lucky enough as a semi-professional rider and from years of working in bike shops to try a lot of turbo trainers and have gained valuable experience and can soon tell the good from the bad.
Recently an Elite Direto turned up at my door, and in this article, I want to tell you all about it.
Let’s get into the cold hard stats from your Elite Direto you are going to get
- Direct Drive Turbo Trainer
- 5% Accuracy
- Maximum Gradient Slope 14%
- Bluetooth and Ant+ Connectivity
- 1400w Max power Generally and 2200w at 60kph
- 2kg Flywheel
The Direto Range
Before we start, we need to understand a little bike about the Direto range. There are currently three available they offer. The original Direto, the Direto X, and the Direto XR. The Direto is the first edition and the most basic and has the statistics above.
The X is the next model up and is up to 1.5% accurate, can go up 18% gradient, and has a Max power of 2100w. The Direto XR is accurate up to 1.5%, can go up to 24% gradient, and has a max power of 2300w.
The Direto turns up in a reasonably large box which weighs about 20kg, the unit itself unpacked weighs 15kg. It is very well packaged and installing it was very straightforward. All you need to do is attach the legs and insert the power cord.
I would allow about 30 minutes to put it together, and all the tools are in the box. One thing to note is it doesn’t come with a cassette, so you will need your own. Although the unit, when built, is relatively large, the legs do fold away, and it will fit in a cupboard or small space very efficiently.
The turbo trainer itself is a fantastic bit of kit, and for the most basic model, Direto is full of some incredible features that we must speak about that set it apart from its competition.
Stable, Sturdy, and Quiet
The unit itself, when being used, is one of the most stable turbo trainers I have been on. It is incredible to ride and even in the strongest of sprints just feels so planted. Alongside this, it has a beautiful smoothness about it and is very quiet.
I have personally used a lot of high-end turbo trainers, and as far as structure, this feels like one of those.
Like with many turbo trainers at this price, you get the automatic resistance or, as some call it, ERG. On the Direto, it is very smooth, and as you race through the road of applications such as Zwift, it challenges you and keeps you on your toes.
I love the fact not only will it change by the road you’re virtually on, but also, in your custom workouts, you can set the wattage and cadence you need to be at, and it will adjust for that too.
One thing very overlooked about the Elite Direto range is the connectivity. This turbo trainer not only has both Bluetooth and Ant+, but you can have multiple connections between them going at the same time.
This is something many turbo trainers cannot do and does open you up to a broader range of accessories such as heart rate monitors and even so amazing accessories.
Elite offers some fantastic accessories which can turn your basic turbo into a very interactive trainer. They have the Rizer, which can simulate climbs and give you that outdoor feel. You also have the Sterzo Smart, which means you can also interactively steer and is excellent for mountain bikers who need a little bit of indoor training. The accessories are good but not the cheapest.
When you buy a Direto, you get offered a year’s free My Elite Training application. Suppose you want something a little more basic and different from Zwift, I can highly recommend it. It is also an application if you ever need to calibrate the turbo trainer, you can do it here.
When we used it
I did an interval session and a two-hour endurance session and never did the wattage drop out, the connections were always strong, and it felt great.
After having a lot of experience with turbo trainers, I had an assumption it would be ok, but nothing special, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is silky smooth, very quiet, and just performs so well as a turbo trainer.
As far as what they cost and their competitors, I did think they were just a bit ahead of the market. Although some of the competitors offer better stats, the experience this gives you is outstanding. Although it’s not the most important thing, I also loved the way it looked, the design is very modern and complements any training room.
Robbie Ferri has spent years working in a bike shop, has worked with industry leading brands on product creation, has been a semi pro athlete, and is a fully qualified strength and conditioning coach. He has broken World Records, bikepacked all over the World and raced ultra distance at a top-level.