New Saris H3 trainer (Hammer 3) and MP1 Nfinity trainer platform

Hi all,

This just came into my youtube box. GCN video on new H3 and a moving platform for trainers. Looks cool. Wanted to ask others their thoughts?


Edit by Chad McNeese to add:

Saris is grouping all products formerly branded as CycleOps under the single, Saris brand now.

Additionally, looking at the new combined Saris product site:

  • They already have the H3 Direct Drive Smart Trainer listed for $1000 USD (the H2 was $1200 USD). I was able to add it to my cart as a test, so it seems to be available right now.
  • The existing M2 Smart Trainer is listed at $500 USD (formerly $600 USD).
  • The new MP1 Nfinity Trainer Platform is listed at $1200 and has an option to be notified when it becomes available.

Those appear to be good price points for the trainer and are currently less than comparable models from Wahoo. Still notable is that the H3 does not include a cassette or standard quick release skewer (which the Kickr18 does, and makes for some of the price difference. We have yet to see what Wahoo has up it’s sleeve, so this comparison may not be the best one after Eurobike next week.

The MP1 seems expensive to me and I expect it will be tough sell based on initial comments. This may change as they get them out to dealers for test rides. I expect to persuade our shop to get one it (if I don’t get one for myself) and see how it compares.

Edit by killroy123: I told Chad to edit this. This is all me. :smiley:


Added 28 Oct 2019:

5 Likes

@mcneese.chad, they demonstrate Saris’s new rocker plate. Would love to hear your thoughts given your extensive experience prototyping and playing around with such a setup

1 Like

I wish the video had spent a little more time on the fore/aft rocking, that seems pretty wild. Is there another rocker plate that does that?

1 Like

Has sparked an interest in me… I had the design of one on paper, with rocker and forth and aft movement.

Hasn’t got any further due to time.

In comparison its nothing like the engineering shown on this… love the saddle look! Imagine it’ll be around $500 mark, but any less and I would definitely consider purchasing.

1 Like

i’m intrigued, I’ve gotten used to the static feel on the indoor trainer, my wife on the other hand hates the trainer and maybe more movement would make it more tolerable.

as for the H3 seems like another incremental update (some people care about the noise, I don’t), I’m not mourning over still having the gen1 Hammer lol

2 Likes

Swing and a miss ($1200 according to their early access email request):
https://www.cycleops.com/product/mp1

I need to watch the video (still in bed) and will reply with thoughts soon.

3 Likes

Ouch… a big miss!!! Serious investment required there…
Might be time to return to DIY plans, though I’m getting used to the static nature of the bike, I’m sure some give in all directions would be beneficial to longer indoor rides.

1 Like

Good thing I’m a “dentist”

Just kidding, sort of.

Anyway, I’m a little worried that the birch platform will be destroyed by the massive puddles of sweat that form underneath me…

Also, wish it was half the price.

1 Like

I like the idea of leaf springs versus air bags but not at 1200. New H3 sounds promising. Half the price, I also would have jumped on it.

2 Likes

Oh, GCN get all the scoops.

So yeah, their rocker plate. US$1199. DOA. $500 and they’d have something for people to get their rocks off on, if that’s their thing. I’ve ridden their original concept ‘The Thing’, and had a little play on this new one. $1199. Get. Out. Of. Here. GO. SHoooooo… In Australia that’s going to be batshit expensive. The side to side motion was same as rocker plates I’ve used. The front/back is a little strange. My bike doesn’t move like that outside unless I’m running over things I shouldn’t be. It’s not the answer I’m sorry. It’s also why I don’t get the opportunity to review one “yeah, I’m really in the zone of… running over cats or something… wtf is this?”

My H3 review goes up in a few hours. 19mins. If people are short on time: Quieter. Cheaper. Hammer.

20 Likes

Thanks!

Do you know if the H3 is Campy compatible?

The notes I have don’t mention it.
• Compatible with Shimano 8-11 speed cassettes
• XD/XDR freehubs sold separately

2 Likes

Thanks, that was unfortunately the deal breaker for me in the end :frowning: . Hope they make it open like the Neo

Yeah, that plate looks interesting but not 1,200 interesting.

1 Like

Man, I was really excited about that platform but would have had a hard time justifying it at $500. $1200 is totally crazy. What a bummer.

2 Likes

OK, time to cover the new MP1:

Price: $1200… As I hinted in the OP edit, and Shane covered in appropriate Aus fashion :stuck_out_tongue: This product just too expensive. No two ways about it.

  • As a person in the manufacturing industry, and with basic review of their product, I can see potential ways they get to this price. From experience, I know the effort and planning it takes to make a rocker plate into something that “works”. It’s not easy and they have obviously sunk a lot of time and money into this.

  • The completed product is rather complex and I can see the manufacturing costs hidden within each of the sub-components. However, that doesn’t mean it is “marketable” at that price.

  • Pure comparison to what is currently available in the market via trainers and the few rocker plates for sale are not in Saris’ favor.

    • Their own H3 is only $1000 in comparison and is arguably a much more complex piece of equipment. That detail alone is not a great sign.

    • Looking at one competitor from the US, the SBR ROCKR PRO for $500 is much more palatable. It is a more simple design that differs in ways, but still offers plenty in form and function.

  • I’m not totally surprised by the pricing, because this is the same value that was hinted at since the prototype was shown last year. But it is disappointing from my perspective and personal goal of expanding the use of motion for indoor cycling and training.

  • I see them headed against quite a hurdle (many stories high brick wall?) in getting this sold at the current price

Design:

  • Overall it is a beautiful rocker and one that would look great in any training area. Not surprisingly, they have settled on a core design that is quite similar to many full-length rockers we have seen built in the FB RP page. The basic “rocket/space ship” shape is a few steps nicer with the curved shapes.

  • The slotted adjustment rails are super clean The are a different take on what we have seen in other DIY and small production rockers.

  • The use of a leaf spring is not entirely new (there is at least one I have seen, maybe another), but their implementation is interesting. They offer a pre-load knob on each side. This will work for 2 functions.

    • It will be used to set the Initial balance and leveling with a trainer that is most often not balanced on the center of the bike. Previous versions of their rocker had an adjustable position counterweight.

    • Based on testing in our group, a counterweight is gaining acceptance as the preferred method to level the trainer. It can improve the feel when compared to adjusting level with the leveling springs only.

    • The offset spring force is the method I have used most and I will be interested to see how theirs compares to mine. I have done limited experimentation with counterweights, but I think they can improve the balance and make the feel better.

    • The other main function of the spring pre-load adjusters is to set the overall leveling force. The video hints at them having them set pretty stiff compared to what I like. I have no idea where they are set in relation to max and min, so that will be something to play with in testing.

  • I REALLY dislike the idea of locking the front wheel down. A loose riser on the floor with a regular trainer isn’t even something I like. They appear to go even further with a more enclosed wheel support (and even straps in some versions I saw previously, but can’t tell of those are part of the new design.

    • As Shane mentioned, I think the best feel for a rocker is with a more “free” front wheel setup. I have used flat and unrestricted risers for my use the last 4 years and it is good. I have designs to make a self-centering turntable support that might be even better. I just think locking the front kills the feel that is better when riding a rocker out of the saddle. I also feel that it leads to excessive stress on the front wheel and fork when compared to a more loose setup.
  • Their pivot location is under deck and similar to what we see in most vibration mount rocker designs. It’s what most of us have used and ridden and works. But I am working on alternate designs in an effort to get a more realistic feel and motion. I have work planned next month to test my ideas and see if there is any benefit to be had.

  • Fore-Aft motion is something I like. I got my first taste of it by building a set of DIY motion rollers in the image of the InsideRide E-Motion rollers.

    • The F-A on the rollers makes them more natural to ride and very fun. Even near all-out sprinting is possible on the rollers. I spent the better part of a season on my motion rollers. I ended up getting a smart trainer (CycleOps PowerBeam Pro) to gain ERG training, but hated the lack of motion from the moment I got onto it. That is precisely what lead me to build my first rocker plate. I wanted the control of the smart trainer, the freedom of the motion rollers, but the additional support of a trainer. Essentially, I wanted “safe” smart motion rollers. The result was my first rocker plate.

    • At that time I didn’t include fore-aft. I could tell that I was missing the movement, especially during hard sprint efforts. Even with the motion and weight of the rocker, the whole setup moved around more than it should.

    • I ended up making a test mule with my rocker plate mounted on top of the motion sled from my rollers. It worked great and got me the full range of motion I had always wanted. Notably, it is a bit awkward at first, but I think it improves the experience once you get past that initial phase.

That’s what I can think of right now and at the end of my lunch. This is likely already more than most people want to read about the MP1, but I can and will add more if there is interest.

8 Likes

As I noted on DCR, it seems like a solid evolutionary upgrade from the H2, but nothing too radical or upgrade-worthy for existing Hammer/H2 owners. After the KICKR ’18 disaster (3 failures), I moved to a Cycleops H2 a few months ago, which I’ve been overall pretty happy with. Certainly not worth it to upgrade to an H3 for a few less decibels and a slightly higher bit of accuracy, but if I was in the market for a smart trainer, I’d put the H3 at the top of my list.

The one annoyance I have with my H2 is when using a thru axle, the body of the H2 gets in the way of the TA handle when tightening the frame to the trainer, so you need to use a TA that tightens with a hex wrench. Unfortunately, it looks like they have not fixed or changed this in the H3. Minor annoyance, but unacceptable considering that more and more bikes are using TAs now.

As for the rocker plate, it certainly looks awesome, but not $1200 awesome. I figured with third-party plates going for $300-500, this would be in the $500-700 range, but no such luck. I’m not on Zwift enough to justify (a) the expense and (b) the bulkiness of trying to store such an item. Do rocker plates add to the experience? Sure. Are they going to make you a better cyclist? Probably not. Thus, not worth it for most. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a price drop in the coming months, but even $1000 is pushing the limit for most of us.

Edited to add that it looks like the H2 is discontinued, as all of the links on Cycleops/Saris are 404s now, and there’s no H2 reference anywhere on the Saris site. I believe the original Hammer was available for a few hundred less than the H2 last year, but doesn’t look like they’re continuing production of the H2 this year.

Also, I’m not sure why the name changed to Saris. I realize these two companies merged in 2017 or 2018, but Cycleops is more of a household name in the cycling world.

4 Likes

Just a slightly off tangent question. Not sure about the H2, but I know the OG Hammer’s firmware hasn’t been updated in forever, not that I’m complaining about it, I think they resolved the major issues. Are all the units on the same firmware? Was just curious if there are any firmware improvements that could still be done with the original hammer.

1 Like

The H2 firmware wasn’t updated for a long time either. It was just updated for the first time since its release a few weeks ago, and historically has had the same firmware schedule as the original Hammer. Perhaps this update from July also applies to the Hammer?

2 Likes

They just released an update that mostly solved the peak power in sprints issue (noted to still exist a bit, but is much better in Shane’s review this morning). Yes, you should update your Hammer, because I believe you will gain the benefit of all the recent changes.

Here is the their FW info page, and the related release date. There are some massive gaps in release, but that’s still better than what I’ve seen from Elite (essentially nothing…)

31.058, released July 18, 2019

  • Improves conditions for sustained high power, such as temperature protection.
  • Added a rolling resistance range limit for some training apps.

31.042, released January 31, 2018

  • Fixed power dropouts on hills in Zwift.
  • Fixed a bug that caused some users to see power variation during acceleration.
  • Fixed Hammer overtemp bug, Hammer will now prevent coil overtemp circumstances.
  • Increased the responsiveness for the Hammer when the grade changes while riding a route.
  • Smoothed power due to kinetic energy for better power reporting in ERG mode.

31.036, released September 19, 2017

  • Added cadence measurement for both Hammer and Magnus.
  • Fixed issue where Zwift would sometimes stop on a transition to an uphill.

31.032, released June 21, 2017

  • Improved trainer rolldown calibration.

31.031, released February 1, 2017

  • Smoothed power output while in Target Power Mode.
  • Rolling Resistance compensation is reset during a Calibration.
  • Trainer will request Calibration using ANT FE-C when it is required.
  • LED colors have changed to provide more clear feedback to the rider.
  • Improved recovery from error conditions.
  • Adjusted rolling resistance compensation.
2 Likes

Thanks guys, I hadn’t even checked in a long time, usually I was prompted by a comment on DCR’s Hammer review.

1 Like