There are loads of products available for training and some are clearly better than others… My relationship with stationary trainers has been… shall we say “rocky” at best. I have personally set fire to one and melted another, witnessed my wife throw one out because she couldn’t stand the racket, and stumbled with others that, although they were unbelievable high end effective training aids, were just a pain to set up for easy spin days.
Enter Elite. These guys supply a who’s who of folks like Saeco, Fassa Bortolo, AG2R, Columbia Selle Italia and Telekom / T-Mobile. They are also the bottle cage and bottle guys etc… One thing they do well is basic trainers. But don’t take “basic” as easy… Basic for a few companies means cheap, noisy, hard on your bike, supply no feedback or they last for half a season. Elites New TDF edition is solid stuff.
The first thing I noticed was the unit had an elastomer roller and no adjuster knob to push it into the tire. Three good results from this…
The elastomeric roller means that this thing doesn’t chew up rubber. That’s no big deal if you have a trainer bike with cheap tires, but if you’re like most of the well-heeled Pez Cycling News’ readership, you have expensive rubber on your expensive wheels. This roller is as easy on your tires as it is on your ears, which is the second benefit of the roller. Once your tire heats up a little, it stops squeaking and this trainer is basically silent.
The nice part about the spring loaded adjuster (as opposed to a knob crank) is that it is a pre-tensioned force against your tire and wheel. It prevents you from tightening the roller too much which means it is a little easier on your wheel / tire. It is also quicker and simpler to use…
Elite’s Fluid trainers are known for their silent smooth operation. This unit is no exception. What is exceptional about this one is that it also monitors power Output (current / max / avg), speed (current / max / avg), distance, trip time, etc. (all the basic functions of a bike computer) and is adjustable for resistance. This is new for Elite and is presented in a very refined and extremely easy to install head unit.
The top is simple, with one button to change screens.
The attachment is no tougher than what amounts to a QR… and it is small enough to be installed along with most computers and will fit under most cable sets, including a double front Campy setup.
The base unit is very stable. It is well made (as is all Elite stuff) and the bike attachment is a snap with a fast adjusting ratchet type closure that is also very easy on the hands (with a big knob).
The unit does the deed with lots of functions including the all important Power meter in watts. It could use a cadence sensor, but that would probably double the set up time. Set up is a snap for the base and head unit and the whole thing folds up flat. It is just a clean simple alternative to larger more complicated trainers.
They are rare. Only a few are available and the Centenaire Tour badge is the reason. The SRP is $499.95 and you can order them at your favorite retailer, or call Pronet at (360) 782-2477 for more info.
See the Elite website at www.elite-it.com
Check ’em out if you’re looking for a super smooth, super simple and very well functioning trainer, or you are Christmas shopping for a quiet gift for the cyclist in your life!