Elite takes a fresh look at indoor training this year. The new Tuo is a uniquely cube-shaped trainer, adding brushed aluminum & hardwood legs to bring affordable style to suffering. Their best-selling interactive smart trainer gets power & accuracy boosts as the new Direto X. And a new steering control wheel block hints at the future of interactive indoor training….
Elite Tuo interactive indoor trainer, smart & affordable style
The idea behind the new 410€ Tuo was to create a compact indoor trainer that packed all of the core interactive smart functionality of larger, more expensive trainers into a more stylish package that you wouldn’t mind leaving in the living room of your apartment.
Fold it up out of the way and the Beech hardwood legs & brushed aluminum cube that house the soft Elastogel polyurethane roller & small automatically controlled magnetic resistance unit, make the Tuo look unlike any other home trainer. The whole thing was created together with Adriano Design a design studio in Torino, and made in Italy.
The compact Tuo is designed to simulate slopes up to 10%, with a max resistance of 1250W and power accuracy of r +/-3%. It is surprisingly compatible with road or MTB setups, including all adapter from 130mm QR axles up to Boost 148x12mm thru-axles.
Like the more expensive & much more powerful Direto X below, the Tuo is still an interactive smart trainer connecting with ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth to immersive virtual training environments like Zwift, Kinomap, TrainerRoad, Rouvy etc. and to almost all smartphone, tablet or PC training apps via iOS, Android, OSX & Windows. Tuo transmits power, speed & cadence data wirelessly, and requires a home outlet power source.
Elite Direto X powerful, accurate indoor trainer with real power meter
Elite’s more advanced Direto interactive smart trainer gets a lot of new overhauled internals to make it more powerful and more accurate than ever before.
From the outside the new 740€ Direto X looks pretty much identical to its predecessor introduced two summers ago. But this new direct-drive, interactive indoor trainer now adds fifty percent more resistance – with power output now up to 2100W – and forty percent better accuracy – now with power accuracy +/-1.5%. It can even simulate steeper climbs, now up to 18% slopes, and does so quieter than before.
All of the comes down to a more powerful resistance motor and upgraded Optical Torque Sensors inside, which Elite says makes this – together with their original Direto & their Drivo II – the only home trainers on the market to directly measure power output while training. The internal belt-drive Direto X works with standard road & mountain bikes, with QR or thru-axles and Shimano, Campy & XD/XDR freehub bodies available.
Elite Steering Control wheel block prototype
Did you happen to notice the front wheel blocks on both of those two new trainers? It is a new pre-production design that Elite has developed to allow for rotation of the front wheel. Why do you need to turn the front wheel?
With the recent addition of steering control inside of the Zwift mountain bike environment, more possibilities are opening up to add even more realism to your indoor training experience. Whether for maneuvering on a virtual road (or trail) or simply to allow the handlebar to act as a video game controller, more possibilities for steering input are expected to blow up in the virtual training space soon.
Elite says they have this pre-production rotating wheel block (currently with a return-to-center spring) ready to roll out once the online functionality is ready. A dumb version will be cheap (think: ~20€) to be used with sensors in your smartphone, or a Bluetooth version with its own sensor is possible for a bit more (think: <50€).
Elite Suito easy-setup, direct-drive interactive smart indoor trainer
In addition to all this new gear we also got an up close look at the new compact 610€ Suito trainer. Designed to be a compact, easy-to-use direct-drive trainer that is ready to go out of the box for fully immersive, interactive training, it is about the simplest way to get into interactive virtual training, down to the preinstalled cassette.
All of the new Elite trainers look like they should be available within the next four to six weeks or so (by mid Nov 2019). But the Suito is expected to come into stock sooner, with the next two weeks.