Saris H3 Discussion/Issues

Thanks @mcneese.chad! I was a little bit brief but your answer is great as always.

My main gripes with Vortex are:

  • Noise
  • Power floor (in a ramp test I have to shift down to keep up with the power!)

I am lost for what level of noise would be a noticeable improvement over Vortex and how different models compare to each other. I probably don’t need Neo-level of quiet (big fan is not silent, drive train neither) but quieter is better. As I do all of my workouts in erg mode I am inclined to try Cycleops/Saris. I would like to be able to use higher gears but as a climber I do most of the work in lower gears.

I did some price research and this is what I found is available:

  • Neo 2 - 1030 euro
  • Neo 2T - 1300 euro
  • H2 - 810 euro
  • H3 - 1000 euro

Obviously, I’ve read DCR, GPL and Tariq but the noise is better to hear than read :wink:

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  1. At those prices…
  2. Since noise is one of your main concerns…
  3. And my general preference to buy ‘local’ via keeping on the same continent…

I think the Neo 2 is the choice I would make. This assumes you are comfortable at that price, but those 4 options lead to this order in my eyes.

  1. Neo 2 is superior to the H3 for just a small price increase, so that is an easy choice for the 1k euro range, and would be my choice among these three I mention now.

  2. The H2 makes sense if you want the cheapest alternative that meets most of your goals, but is not ‘local’ via my preference.

  3. The Neo 2T doesn’t make sense unless you really want the direct thru axle support and expect to need the greater power of virtual tire slip resistance.

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So if we compare the H3 at $850 new vs the Kickr at $1,200 new, is there any reason to spend $350 more?

  1. Is this US dollars?

  2. If it is USD, this presumes getting the H3 at a discount and the Kickr at full price, is this correct?

    • That is a bit apples and oranges (discount vs full MSRP), but if that is the option at hand…
  • I would take the H3.
    • You need to add a cassette and quick release skewer to the H3 (since the Kickr includes both), so the price of the H3 is likely over $900 when you match it entirely.

    • Assuming you never want to add a Wahoo Climb, the H3 is as good or better than the Kickr in actual performance (noting the cadence and fast flywheel issues at present for the H3), but it will have more noise (based on review reports at least).

I have an H3 on order from OutdoorPlay using their 15% coupon but its delayed so gives me an opportunity to get something else if I choose to. I already have a cassette and a skewer so wouldn’t need to buy that.

I have no interest in the climb, and have been happy with my H2 aside from noise. Don’t need something that’s totally quiet but just a bit put off by the flywheel speed issue. I typically use my internal H2 power meter for indoor rides as opposed to my Stages to control the unit, but that’s because it typically makes the ERG control worse, but maybe that’s not me using powermatch or something. I just find that it doesn’t hold the power quite as flat as the Hammer and doesn’t seem to ramp up or down as quickly

Perhaps I should give using my Stages to control the ERG another try, what should I do as far as powermatch settings?

Got my H3 yesterday people. I will put a very short review on it today or tomm on this thread. Can’t wait!


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I don’t care too much for local but interesting that you prefer Neo 2 than H3 that much! This will help me to actually buy something :wink: Thanks again.

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There’s not really any setting options other than ON / OFF for PowerMatch. About the most important thing, just like regular ERG use, is to be as steady and consistent with your cadence as possible.

Based on comments, PM leads to more “stuff” in the flow and that can lead to more variation when compared to ERG without PM.

It is confusing because we see some people love PM while others loath it. I think it is worth a ride or two to evaluate with your exact hardware and riding habits. Go with whatever works and feels best to you. PM makes sense in general, but if it doesn’t perform well for you (for whatever reason) it is probably best to ditch it.

  1. Neo needs absolutely no calibration. Just nice to hop on and not ever have to second guess calibration.
  2. It is really, much more quiet than my H2 and Kickr17, and I sure noticed the difference when I swapped from the N2 back to the K17 and H2. maybe the H3 will be enough improvement, but the N2 is REALLY QUIET!
  3. Road Feel function in Zwift is fun for me and especially my wife, since she just does free-rides. I love it for my open and Fondo rides on Zwift too.
  4. The downhill drive is similar to Road Feel, in that it makes the immersion more realistic within Zwift.

Those are biggest things I can think of between the two.

Today I did my planned ride which was just beech (Z2).
-The H3 is quiet. I only heard my chain. Even when I did the calibration up to 24mph I never heard the trainer. (Super Stoked)
-Easy to get going out of the box. No firmware update needed and I was up and running 15 minutes later
-the erg mode was nailed. I was hovering between 2 watts over and under the entire ride. Spot on accurate.
-the gradual ramp to different wattages was perfect. Stayed right on the number each time.
-stable as anything else. Has adjustable legs if needed.

Tomm I am doing a SST workout so we will see how it goes for that. I’m stoked about this trainer. If a Kickr or Neo are quieter I just don’t see how. I only heard my chain and it’s not that bad of shape.
For the money this has got to be the one to beat this year and maybe even next.



Any more feedback from your ride(s) thus far?

I just picked up an H3 (was delivered today) and will have some feedback on it after this weekend. Granted I am coming from a Kurt Kinetic wheel-on trainer, so I’m sure I’ll be happy no matter what.


I’m also a long time Road Machine user and interested in moving to the H3 so I’ll be interested to see your thoughts on it! :grinning:


So my feedback is still the same. It performed within a few watts on all my intervals. No power spikes or dropouts anywhere. I am so happy with the purchase. and to top things off outdoor play has 20% off right now with code SPT2. that makes the trainer $799.99

Trainer is so quiet compared to my Road Machine. Noise level is nothing. I want to here a kickr just to compare.


Curious on your thoughts as you use Zwift a fair bit. I do nearly all of my training on the platform and have gotten to be a fairly strong contender in the A category races.

Is spending more for a Neo 2 going to yield any appreciable benefits in performance vs. the Saris H3?

Using the coupon at Outdoor Play the H3 is $799 at the moment and I’m considering finally jumping into the smart trainer world. Currently using a 4iiii PM and old Tacx mag trainer. I outrun my trainer’s 900w resistance regularly in sprints so I know that will be improved regardless of my choice.

Hard call. Both are fantastic trainers. I really like the feel of the real flywheel on the H2 just a bit more. I also like the Neo for the lack of calibration.

I do prefer the H2 for overall bike fit since the Neo seems to have more interference issues. I also think the H2 is best if you want native thru axle support. There can be a lever clearance issue if you have a fixed style they axle. But easy fix with a lever-less or mobile lever design.

If I had to keep just one of my smart trainers, I think it would be the H2.


I don’t use zwift but have used rouvy some with the H3. It adjust pretty quick with the gradient changes. I cant say the Neo 2 is better or worse in this regard but if its better i don’t know how you could really tell. It seems to lag maybe 2-3 seconds in sharp resistance changes and gradual ones are on the money. Power number are incredibly accurate. All my interval workouts on trainer road are within a couple watts up and down. This has been my experience. Others may have different reports. I also went with the H3 because Saris support is second to none in my experience.


I’m heading in this direction too. It seems Tacx support is not that great. Wahoo support is great, but I had problems with the 2018 and won’t be back. I really wanted the 2T, but with the problems and the hackery involved, I don’t think I can justify the cost increase over the H3…even for the Neo 2.

After sales support has quickly bumped up to be my number 1 decision maker, features 2nd.


Thanks for posting that new code, I just emailed them to price-match me because I used the 15% code and they told me that the trainer is on backorder for 2 weeks. Just saved another $50!

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