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Elite has followed up on its top-end Drivo smart trainer, with a similarly named high-end product.
If you’d rather just check the product out. You can still get one from Wiggle.
First off, the Drivo was a well-regarded direct-drive smart trainer. As usual with a revamp it’s interesting to see how the Elite Drivo II reviews and compares to the older version.
Price-wise the Drivo II is in the same bracket as the Tacx Neo and the Wahoo Kickr, in the $1200 range.
If you’re interested in how the Drivo II compares to the Neo and the Kickr, check out the Best Direct Drive Trainers of 2020.
It is hard to tell from the pictures, but the Drivo is a beefy piece of kit. Length-wise it is 76cm and 79cm wide. Its height is 53cm.
You’ll need space for it.
Weight-wise it is not as bad for this price segment – still beefy but coming in at just under-19kg.
So bigger than both the Tacx and Wahoo trainers mentioned above but the Drivo II weighs less. So if you’re looking for portability, this is not it.
Drivo II review – the numbers
Elite has increased the Drivo II’s resistance to 3,600 watts (at 60mph). This is an increase of 1,400 watts on the original Drivo.
Are you ever going to need this sort of resistance? No. Would Chris Froome? No. What about Chris Hoy? Maybe.
Us mere mortals will never produce enough juice to stretch this bad boy.
Out of the box
Assembly is pretty straightforward. Simply fit the legs with the tools provided. One downside is the lack of a cassette.
The Drivo II works with Shimano cassettes out of the box, from 9-to-11 speed. If you want to use Campagnolo, you will need to switch the freewheel.
In terms of axles, it works with 130mm, 135mm, and 142x12mm axles.
Getting the turbo trainer up and running
Getting things set up is fairly straightforward.
As you would expect, it connects with ANT+, FE-C and Bluetooth. Pretty much as you’d expect from all smart trainers these days.
So you would be able to connect to any kind of device, be it Android, OsX, Windows, iOS etc. In fact, it works from set up and there’s no extensive software set up etc.
That said, you should always calibrate at least once a week.
It can also be linked with your Garmin, Wahoo, or Bolt bike computer. So you can re-ride old rides.
Sim and ERG mode
The Drivo has standard modes of use. ERG and Simulation (Sim) mode.
In terms of Zwift, Sim mode handles the changes in terrain. This is what simulatesAlpe du Zwift – the steep bits and the flatter bits on the hairpins.
ERG handles workouts. You can also run the trainer in ERG via Elite’s myETraining app on your phone.
One area where the Drivo II comes good, is it’s incredibly accurate.
In fact, it beats every trainer out there with an accuracy measure of 0.5%. While in terms of the Sim mode, the Drivo II can imitate an incline of 24%.
Not sure where you’ll find that but it’s impressive all the same.
More good bits
It is quieter than the original. It is now around 70 decibels. Not bad. Although not as good as the Saris Hammer 3, which is in the 50s.
One thing many reviewers have commented on is how solid it feels. Especially when you get out of the saddle and push some power into it.
The connectivity and the inclines are one thing. But really it’s the ride quality and responsiveness you are paying for.
What does everyone else think?
Bicycling magazine said it was a solid trainer. Albeit one that more suited to structured training in ERG rather than group rides on Zwift.
If you want a smart trainer for riding in a virtual world, and the idea of doing structured workouts is nauseating, this may not be the best trainer for you.
While Gearmashers took more of a positive viewpoint, especially with regards to the app.
The Elite DRIVO II is the real deal. The design is sound and the platform is very stable. Those who own Apple 4TVs will welcome the fact that they don’t have to use Zwift’s companion app to connect, if they are recording both heart rate and cadence.
A decent bike trainer – concluding thoughts
The Drivo II is a solid upgrade on the Drivo. But would you upgrade if you had the older version?
If you were looking at upgrading from a mid-range trainer like the Tacx Flux for example. Then you could do worse.
Ultimately it sits comfortably around the Tacx Neo and Wahoo Kickr price range of $1200. You might not need the power and it takes up a lot of space.
But what you are really buying this for is the accuracy, responsiveness, and the ride quality. Tech moves on but a trainer with this quality will keep you happy.