Elite Drivo smart trainer - Review

High-tech, heavyweight turbo bursting with info

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Elite already had some of the most accurate, pro-racer-proof trainers in its line-up, but its new Drivo brings a whole new level of lab-quality data and accuracy directly into your home.

  • Highs: Works well and easily with Zwift and TrainerRoad; vast amounts of resistance and accurate training data, including cadence and pedal analysis
  • Lows: Vulnerable plastic casing; software set up needs patience; resistance can slip under very hard acceleration, like the start of a sprint
  • Buy if: You want a smooth and accurate smart trainer with quality data analysis

It's a heavy beast to haul around, but with the cassette already fitted and just the front T-bar leg to swivel around, you're good to go straight from the box. We also found the pre-calibrated wattage reading to be bang on the money when we cross-checked with Stages and Quarq power meters.

This accuracy comes from the Drivo's multiple sensors, which combine with built in — or optional strap-on — cadence sensing to allow for analysis of your complete pedal stroke, for a nominal upgrade fee.

The resistance is generally very smooth, with a 2,200w maximum capacity. When using it with Zwift, we did get the resistance to slip for a split second under really hard acceleration. The CycleOps Hammer does the same thing. In both cases, this was for a very steep section of the Zwift London course.

The three-point stance can wobble if you get really wild, and though the big plastic Star Wars AT-AT-style casing stops roaming pets and toddlers getting mangled by moving parts, you will need to be careful with your bike and chain to keep it looking clean. You also need to make sure you have your chain on a small cog before installing or removing your bike.

While it's fine with third-party software, Elite's own myETraining software and apps need patience to set up and decipher, although the data and range of virtual rides, tests and simulations is amazing once you start seeing the matrix.

We had a bit of trouble syncing elements of the myETtraining app between phones/tablets/PCs and deciphering some of the data. But once you've got the hang of it, Elite's training and virtual ride software gives laboratory-quality information for you or your coach to work with.

At 200w, we measured the noise at 71dB, which is about normal for smart trainers.

The Elite Kura

Elite's other new trainer — the Kura — delivers similarly extremely accurate wattage data and its powerful fluid brake also works when unplugged. But there's no FE-C interactivity, so while it will connect with Zwift, it's you rather than the app that controls how hard you work. 

Full Specifications

Specification
Name: Drivo
Built by: Elite
Price: £1,200.00 /US$$1,300.00 / AU$2,000.00
Description: Noise level @200W: 71dB 

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