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Elite’s Direto XR trainer increases power and hints at gradient simulator

Elite’s mid-priced direct drive Direto trainer has received an almost complete update with a heavier flywheel increasing power capabilities up to an impressive 2300 watts as well as upping the slope replication capabilities.

The name also hints at future compatibility with Elite’s Rizer gradient simulator accessory.

The new £824.99 Direto XR will take over from the existing Direto X and will sit smack in the middle of Elite’s direct drive turbo range above the £649.99 Suito, but giving way to the fully-featured flagship Drivo II priced at £1,199.99.

The new update addresses a few of the existing Direto X’s shortcomings and looks to improve the capabilities to ensure regular indoor trainer users are well looked after. It also comes complete with a Shimano 105 11 speed cassette already installed so you can jump on and start using it with no delay or extra expense – although the price has gone up from the £769.99 Direto X.

Read: Elite Drivo II smart trainer review

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The Direto XR continues to use Elite’s integrated OTS (Optical Torque Sensor) power meter to measure power output, crucial for proper training and third party software functionality. This has been improved since the first Direto and now boasts a +/- 1.5% accuracy for better training results. The Direto XR has also been fitted with a larger 4.5kg flywheel and Elite state that it can generate 1100 watts of resistance at 20km/h and up to 2300 watts at 40km/h, an improvement over the maximum 2,100 watts of its predecessor.

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Slope simulation has also been improved and now the Direto XR can deliver a simulated feel of riding up to a 24% slope – the Direto X could only recreate up to an 18% slope. This new range is sufficient to cover every sick-inducing slope found on apps such as Zwift and others that can create accurate representations of real-life climbs.

Further to the increased range of slope simulation, the ‘R’ suffix hints at compatibility with Elite’s Rizer gradient simulator accessory. Details are a little vague about this long-awaited accessory but we assume it will work in a similar way as Wahoo’s Kickr Climb. Elite state that it will be able to create a life-like uphill and downhill feel but we’ll wait to see exactly what it will be capable of and what it will look like and when the launch date will be.

Elite promise ‘unmatched’ noise reduction with the Direto XR thanks to the fiddlings of it’s R+D department. Direct drive trainers are often the quietest on the market and Elite claim that this new turbo will be so quiet ‘the only noise you’ll hear is the chain itself when you’re shifting gears while working out’. Something to consider if you live with others or in a flat with downstairs neighbours.

Read: Elite Suito smart trainer review

Just as with all of Elite’s existing direct drive trainer range the new Direto XR transmits information via ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth for power, speed and cadence data, ensuring complete smart phone, laptop and even smart TV compatibility from the off. It’s also part of Elite’s ‘sensorless’ range so there’s no need to strap any additional sensors to your bike in order to record any type of training data.

It shares the same profile as the existing Direto X and the stabilising legs can be folded/removed to store it a little more easily. The legs also feature non-scratch feet that can be adjusted for height to ensure the Direto XR remains stable during maximal efforts.

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Out of the box the Elite Direto XR is compatible with both 130/135mm quick release and 12x142mm bolt-thru axle types, so almost all existing road bikes are covered. The Direto XR can also work with your mountain bike with an additional adapter that can run 12x148mm Boost spacing axles.

The Elite Direto XR is available to order immediately.

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