Repair, bail or rollers?

I’ve been training on TR for quite a while and had a wheel on trainer that died so i treated myself to a Direto that died and was replaced under warranty by a Dorito X that has just er… died. I’ve tried the noise repair and it’s worse. Kind of puts me off the brand somewhat. I will experiment further but get annoyed with having to fettle stuff - it should just work…

I have some very basic elite rollers in the garage and a power meter (power2max) kicking around.
So should I

  1. Get out the rollers, fit the PM and crack on…
  2. Buy a new direct drive turbo - in which case are there any sub £500 uk based options that are decent?
  3. Something else.

Main concern with 1 is hitting power targets with a simple roller but found I could almost do this by altering tyre pressure… just need to dial it in and experiment. Though being older, heavier and not trained for a while… the power does not need to be too high…

With 2 it is expensive and this time of year cash is in short supply.

3 maybe better rollers with built in float?

What would you do…

1 is not going to cost you anything to try, I do that in the interim and if you dont like it look at getting something else maybe something like the Elite Zumo or a basic non smart trainer and using it with your PM.

TacX Neo2T is available for a great deal right now (at least here in the US). If spending a lot of time on the trainer, I’d probably bite the bullet and upgrade the trainer, and sell some of the stuff I don’t use anymore to help fund it. You might not be as far off in cost as you’d expect.

I saw Saris H 3’s on sale under $500 US.

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I sold my Elite Suito (direct drive) and bought an Elite Quick Motion (dum roller) with magnetic resistance.

I think you can reach FTP intervals with no issues on yours. I do Vo2 max on mine, although mine has 3 levels of resistance, and I’m using level 2 for Vo2.

For me, rollers have been way better trainer tools than a static rigid turbo. There’s movement, it feels like road. You don’t just jump in something and let the equipment do your job (ERG mode). You have to play. There’s mental focus to keep up. My saddle soreness on the static turbo went away with rollers. Plus, you can use it everywhere and store it easily to free space.

I don’t think you’ll be able to do high anaerobic efforts - sprints. Also, you might need a set of cheap/dedicated tyres. I don’t think the wear and tear is too high, but there is. I’m training and feeling my expensive (very very expensive) GP5K going away :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:. So I bought a cheap wheelset and cheap tyres so that I can use them on the rollers and outside for daily training. I will leave the GP5K and carbon wheels for fast group rides or races only.

  1. yes, keep training
  2. You can get a Kickr Core for £449 from online retailers in the UK, many will give you a discount if you sign up to their mailing list. Its £549 if you buy direct from Zwift or Wahoo where you get a years Zwift subsciption bundled in.

Why did they die?

For me you should Repair. Trainers are basically magnets, metal and plastic frame and a circuit board. They should be home fixable if you talk with the manufacturer and get spare parts and guidance…

Yeah, ha, ha. Good joke!

Trainer manufacturers provide little in the way of help or parts after the warranty is up.

How is it that one can buy a $1200 Treadmill and can buy parts for it for a decade+ but we can’t get this in the bicycle industry?

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In the early pandemic, I had a Neo 2T. I blew apart the plastic on the bottom of it, and bought a Kickr Bike because the 2T was about to be in transit for replacement. Then the first Kick died, and I was back on the 2T for a while, etc…

At one point the Kickr was dead, and a 2T was also, so I, in desperation, bought an H2. When everything was working, I sold the H2 for some stupid reason, but eventually things all went sideways, and I had to buy an H3 locally to be able to keep riding. So my recommendation is: If you really really really have to ride, and you have a bike available (or 2 if you don’t have a smart bike) then you really need to have backup. I now have more trainers than normal people should have, all to keep riding. I now have a Neo Smart Bike, a 2T, and the H3. I also bought another bike that I can use on the trainers if the Smart dies and I need my primary roadie.

Buy backups, buy stand-ins, buy options. The H3 was/is a perfect option for when everything else is ‘in transit’, or NOOP. (Although I don’t have multiple generations of trainers like DC and GP do (yet))

(Post pandemic, my amount of riding has gone down, so I could probably survive a couple days without a trainer, but I’m not going to sell any that I currently have, JIC)

Sorry, but it’s crazy to think that I have been beating in the same wheel-on Schwinn Velodyne trainer for the past 34 years, to the point that I worn a 5+ mm divot in the roller. Not only is it bombproof, it’s extremely accurate in ergometer mode (if warmed up and calibrated properly), and provides a greater inertial load than essentially anything else to ever hit the market (although still only one-third of cycling outdoors at the same “speed”).

Bruce Sargeant, wherever you are, take a bow…IMO you hit a home run with your design.

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I would caution against buying another crappy trainer to save money. How many of these POS things must die on you before you ditch that idea?

I’ve had a cycleops hammer (first gen) for the past 6 years and never had any issues.

I’d either buy a name brand one if you can afford it or just go on Facebook marketplace or Craigslist and buy a ‘dumb’ fluid trainer to ride your bike that has a power meter on it. I recently got a used kinetic fluid trainer for $50. Then once you’ve got enough money, but a quality smart trainer.

Zwift Hub One (rebranded Jet Black) and Wahoo Kickr Core are each $600USD. Not sure UK pricing but the Kickr Core is a solid direct-drive trainer.


One of the options you wanted feedback on was repair. My experience with Elite has been positive with my direto I have repaired twice for a fraction of the cost of repair over the last 6 years…

  • If you are into DIY projects, there are plenty examples of how to make your own fore-aft motion base for rollers. I did for mine and the results are great in making rollers much more enjoyable.
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I’m now in the position of having followed their inductions and glued the small metal pulley it seems to be worse. They’ve very kindly offered to fix it for me for arround €400 which includes getting it there and back. But for a little bit more i could get a whole new trainer…
I’m still going to strip it down and see if i can work out what the problem is.

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I remember seeing that video before. Chapeau for building it. I may give that since serious thought when i need to get away getting the family over the festive period… ie go hide in the garage.

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Er, the Direto was supposed to be their top end trainer at the time so not really a “POS thing” - in fact I’m pretty miffed it cost so much in the first place.

Having examined the trainer further it seems to be the bearing on the flywheel that’s causing the noise. So that’s the shop it back to Italy.

This is a bit pants given that it’s such a cheap item part.

So between Chriatmas and New Year the power meter is goibg back on the bike and the rollers are coming out of hibernation… but like me really.

I’ll look at Chad’s video again of how to make a moving sled for the rollers and work out costs for the bits here in the UK.

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