Rotation: 34 degrees on each side
Max wheel size: 56mm wide
Connectivity: Wireless; Double ANT, and Bluetooth
Powered by: 3 AAA batteries
How Obtained: Company sample
Available: Online or retail
RBR Sponsor: No
Take Zwift Racing to the Next Level
If you want a Zwift racing advantage or just want your avatar to catch a sweet draft around Watopia, Elite’s STERZO SMART Steering Riser might be your dream come true. With quick installation, just unbox, place under your front wheel, pair with Zwift, and ride. Yes, literally that simple.
Released in August 2020, the STERZO SMART Steering Riser comes fully assembled, including 3 AAA batteries already installed. I just pulled out my old stationary riser, slipped the STERZO under my front wheel, and opened up the Zwift app to pair. It pairs the same way as a smart trainer and HRM pair. An icon appears in the left bottom corner of the screen showing you it is paired.
Then next screen displays to provide pointers about steering within Zwift. First, you cannot collide with other riders. Second, you cannot steer off your side of the road. I tried several times on purpose to cross the centerline or go off the road to the right but was constrained to my side of the road. Third, the best place to capture the draft is directly behind a rider. There are no crosswinds in Zwift that would require echeloning.
The rise on the STERZO versus my stationary riser was the same. I measured them both from the floor to the top of the handlebars and they were the same height. Note that even though the base comes with anti-slip feet, make sure you place the STERZO on a mat or non-slip surface to prevent the whole platform from moving around.
What’s So Cool About Steering?
If you’re into the gaming aspect of Zwift, It helps to make the indoor riding experience more realistic. With 34 degrees of rotation on each side, it eliminates the static feel of a trainer ride. Your Zwift avatar can move around groups of riders which is especially advantageous during a race. Steering to take an inside corner and surge in front of the pack could give you those precious few seconds that might win you the race. Or tuck behind the pack and enjoy the advantages of a draft. Once you’re in place, just let the platform spring back into its neutral position.
The steering should work on Zwift rides, events, meetups, and races however, all the TDZ events I participated in had steering turned off. Not sure why they disabled the feature, but each time I joined a TDZ event a message popped up saying “Steering has been disabled for this event.”
Another aspect I like about the STERZO platform is because the handlebars aren’t rigid, I find I engage my core more during the ride. This is another way it provides a more outdoor realistic feel to an indoor ride.
I would like to see the next version of the STERZO be more eco-friendly and come with a rechargeable battery. Even though the company says the batteries will last 500 hours, I just hate to be so wasteful.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.