Elite Square ... everything you wanted from the Zwift Ride

Suprised nobody has posted, but Elite have released a Zwift Ride alternative, it’s more expensive, but has the features that a lot of people made the Ride a no for them (hence why it’s more expensive)

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This is an interesting one much more so than the zwift bike in terms of adjustability and gearing functions.

I never quite got zwift’s virtual gearing when it’d be much better to just replicate real gears as on the kickr bikes for instance.

Isn’t that what they (Zwift) are doing ?

Sort of, here is roughly what I understand:

  • Kickr Bike and others use shifting controls connected to their resistance unit and adjust to the fake gearing and send to Zwift.

    • Shifter > Resistance Unit > Zwift
  • Zwift Virtual Shifting actually uses the Zwift app as a middleman between the shifter to the trainer.

    • Shifter > Zwift > Resistance unit > Zwift (redundant in this example?)

Zwift is an integral part of the gearing aspect for VS where the smart bikes have that all internal.

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Great work, the super nice part about virtual gears is that these work with all trainers!

From DC:
„Of course, the even more interesting thing here is that you can actually pair this frame with any trainer, not just Elite trainers. That’s because, in effect, the Square is attaching to its own little cassette of sorts. So, for a 3rd party trainer, you can just mount that new belt-cassette onto the existing trainer using existing free hub standards.“

And per comment:
„ the virtual shifiting Elite has developed in the Square works with no connection at all with any indoor training app. That means it works with any smart trainer of both Elite and other brands al long as they come with FEC communication protocol. Indeed the trainer only will be connected to the software while the Square won’t. So yes the Direto XR is compatible and works superbly well. And again, since the Square virtual shifting is not controlled by any app’s protocol, it can work with all these apps.
The trainer will be controlled both by Square (virtual shifting) and by the app (e.g. braking while you hit a climb).“

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Thats how I understand it, I am just intreged as to jz91 precieved to be the difference to the user

I expect Zwift went this way, as it means less hardware changes, the trainer doesn’t have to connrect to two controlling devices, and it probaby helps force a standard, if left to the Trainer complanies, they would all be bringing out their own controllers that only worked witht their trainers

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Yup, this is key and what most people would have expected & preferred vs Zwift’s proprietary solution.

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The adjustability is a big plus for those who need it…I like how the incorporated the reach adjustment. It sounds like you can swap out the HB, but that wasn’t 100% clear from Ray’s video.

The belt drive is a nice touch, but the execution here indicates how it isn’t quite as simple as many people think it is.

But that price tag is a bit much.

It is also kinda fugly. The (single) WB placement doesn’t look terribly convenient either.

I think the question now is gonna be how big the potential market is for “frames” like this…Zwift and Elite clearly see opportunity here. Will be interesting to watch this develop or if the concept is just the next “smart bike” bust. I’m definitely tempted, but would probably do the Zwift frame, especially if the price point Ray indicates turn out to be accurate.

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Since apparently this is the new trend… I will wait till someone releases a frame that will be a TT bike geometry.

Are you certain that the Square doesn’t already cover that?
I just started skimming the geo info in Ray’s article, but it seems rather capable for range of adjustment.

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true… I actually posted on @dcrainmaker post asking about this!
price seems to be reasonable.

The first step is to measure your TT bike in the same way as shown in their Details sheet:

  • Bottom Bracket is the origin, with all horizontal or vertical dimensions to the references of the Seat Post Rail Clamp Center and Handlebar Center. Using a 4’ level with the bike setup against a wall is easy and quick, so you can get those in about 10 mins.

  • image

Then reference your bike info to the Min/Max range they list and you will know.

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Kickr bikes and now elite square allow you to simulate and replicate the gearing you use outdoor (so chainrings size, cassette number of gears etc.)

Zwift uses a weird system which based on your front chainring gives you a fixed range of x gears. I can’t recall how many but I asked gplama in the zwift thread months ago.

What matters for me though is that Zwift does not allow you to choose gearing ratios as the other systems do.

So how would this work with another trainer.

Would you pair the frame to your computer and have to map those buttons to say, the resistance up and down shortcuts in the app e.g. Trainerroad?

Honestly I do think this is a pretty genius idea although you really are in the realms of “Why didn’t you just buy an extra bike”!

  • Parallel to smart bikes in general, the adjustability aspect between riders is potentially the key feature. May be a non-issue for single riders since they can set & forget, but those sharing setups may benefit here.
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I’m one of those people - my female partner and I share a bike. Adjusting the seatpost height you’d have to do on both a smart bike AND a normal bike (in fact we sometimes use an MTB so we just drop the dropper!). I can’t seem to find an extendy stem, but I just put up with a slightly shorter reach and train on my hoods rather than the flats - whereas she does the opposite.

I can see how this would be an issue if your indoor training was positional - e.g. practicing a TT - but then are you really on an indoor bike?

I get what I’m trying to be sold and I’m almost sold - but I just can’t help but think I could have a bike :joy:.

There’s only so much difference in body sizes that allow that to work–our family has 4 users–5’4", 5’11", 6’2", and 6’8"–changing seatposts alone won’t work.

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Because most bikes cost over 1k and the amount of shit they get while on the trainer will destroy them quick.

The price point is still a bit more that what I would like, but if they start selling at 1k I would say that would be an amazing proposition.