By Rick Schultz
- Totally Interactive – replicating terrain features or training to power levels
- ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart protocols – can use with any modern app (Zwift, FulGaz, etc.)
- Slope Simulation: Up to 24 percent
- Accuracy: +/- 1.5 percent
- Power Output: 2300W
- Comes with 11-speed cassette, can use any modern cassette (9/10/11 Shimano/SRAM, 9/10/11/12 Campagnolo, 12-speed SRAM NX and 12-speed Shimano micro spline cassettes)
- Setup Time: 5 minutes
- Slope simulation: Up to 24 percent
- Power Output: 2300W
Availability: On-line bicycle storefronts, many sporting goods stores and of course, your local bicycle shop.
Accessories: Cassette, parts for thru-axle conversion.
How Obtained: Purchased from Todson
The DIRETO XR replaces the DRIVO II as Elite’s new top of the line direct-drive/wheel off trainer.
Now, you might have noticed I placed slope simulation and power output in both the Hot and the Not categories. There was a reason for this, and that one word reason is Zwift.
I used to ride Zwift and, like other competitive racers, I set both bike and rider weight combined to 10 kg and make sure to hold 300 watts on the races. That’s 30 w/kg — pretty powerful stuff. Then, to make sure I’m not dropped on the hills, I would use a borrowed trainer that topped out/simulated up to a 6 percent grade. After 6 percent, that trainer wouldn’t add any more resistance. While others were struggling on a 12 percent to 14 percent climb at a full 12 percent to 14 percent resistance, I was happily spinning at 6 percent. How do you think I would win so many Zwift races? Also applies to most other platforms like Rouvy, etc.
This is sarcasm at its best, but actually true. Zwift turned out to be a race to see who could cheat the system the best. I got tired of racing against these 30 w/kg racers and went on to do actual training in my home studio.
I upgraded my trainer to the new Elite Direto XR and have been very happy with it. I sold my previous trainer to a friend who just got into cycling, so it was a win-win.
The hardest part of unboxing was getting it out of the box without destroying the box. I needed to reuse the box to ship something, so I needed it intact. Once out, I placed the trainer on a table and removed as many of the bolts and screws on the undercarriage that I could to apply a generous coating of grease to these bolts. The first thing I noticed was that this trainer was put together with indoor training in mind. ALL bolts are hidden on the bottom of the trainer so they are not exposed sweat which would cause them to rust. Very smart design feature.
Once I bolted everything back together, the only assembly required was to swing out the support arms and plug it in. The last step was to pair it to the Elite My-ETraining app. The next thing I did was a quick calibration using Elite’s My ETraining app. Elite recommends calibration 1-2x/month depending on how often the trainer is used and the intensity of the trainings.
With a massive 11 lb. flywheel and newly designed transmission this trainer is super quiet. Basically, the whirring of a perfectly lubricated chain is louder than the trainer. This trainer is both smooth and quiet.
Coupled with an integrated power meter, the Direto XR uses an optical torque sensor to ensure it provides a +/- 1.5 percent accuracy. Note: Since I already had one sitting around, I also added the non-drive side cadence sensor kit. Elite says that even though there is a built in cadence sensor, the external sensor is a little more accurate. Do you need to hook up an external cadence sensor? Not really, but you can if you wish.
The Direto XR provides a Slope Simulation to 24 percent. This means that basically any climb you do will be realistic. Within the program, you can reduce the resistance by 10 percent, 20 percent, … 90 percent) if you need to. Just as a note, the toughest climb I have done on this trainer was Colle delle Finestre, a brutal 18.6 km climb at 9.1 percent grade the entire climb. There was no part of the climb under 9 percent. The trainer was smooth and handles the power input perfectly.
Lots and Lots of accessories for this trainer available, see shopelite-it.com
I really like this trainer.
It does everything I need it to do and it is quiet and efficient. Perfect for those early morning workouts while my wife is still asleep. So far, I have experienced no issues nor problems. It’s a rock solid trainer and I highly recommend it.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he's a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He's the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist and Bike Fit 101: Your Toolset for a Great Bike Fit in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick's full bio.