As many of you know our HQ is located in southern California where the weather is rarely a deterrent to get out and put in the miles. We have been in desperate need of rainfall and its been hitting us hard this winter. No complaints here just means we have to change up our routines and dust off the trainer. Well, when we say dust off we mean to open the box and test the new Drivo interactive trainer by Elite.
The Drivo is the new pinnacle of the Elite lineup and is packed with nearly everything you could want or need from a trainer. To start it offers super-realistic road feel thanks to the 6-kg internal flywheel. It is also interactive enabling you to download and simulate real road rides (up to 24% grades) and connect with friends via Elite and all major third-party apps, including Zwift. There is a built-in power meter with measurement in watts and ± 1% accuracy.
Elite offers a wide range of trainer and roller styles with the Drivo mounting to your rear dropouts after the wheel is removed. We have always liked trainers that work this way for a few reasons. First, off they are much quieter, and the Drivo is exactly that, with only the sound of the chain interacting with the cassette and rings. Second, they are much safer if being used in the house where kids or pets might be running around. No spinning wheels or external flywheels for curious bystanders to get caught in.
Third, you don’t kill a perfectly good tire or cassette. Yes, lots of people will buy a specific trainer tire but who want to go through that hassle of swapping tires or in some cases purchasing an entire wheel specifically for the trainer. With the Drivo you will need a spare cassette or have to remove the one you have on your bike currently. You don’t need the most expensive and fancy one on the trainer; weight doesn’t matter. We recommend getting a much lower end cassette so you don’t wear out your expensive one in the off-season or when weight won’t make a difference.
Last we like the fact that we don’t need a front tire block. The Drivo is designed, so the rear of the bike sits at almost the same height it would if your wheel was on. This makes for an easier setup and mounting the bike doesn’t mean riding the top tube on your tiptoes. The Drivo is QR and 12mm thru-axle compatible with the supplied adapters. Be careful when moving the Drivo as the metal adapter pieces remove very easily and will fall out if not secured. Our test bike that we are using is QR, so we also picked a spare skewer when we got the cassette, this allows us to leave it all together and not worry about removing and installing parts later while also holding the adapters secure at the same time.
After extensive testing and countless miles, the only thing we would suggest to go along with your Drivo other than the small parts mentioned above would be a large fan and maybe a Zwift Account. We love the simplicity of setup as it connects with both Bluetooth and ANT+. We connected it to our head unit and ran courses that were saved but most of the time opted for the interactive virtual world of Zwift.
Being a smart trainer sets it apart and makes indoor training fun and beneficial. No more stop lights or cars buzzing too close, just quality miles with a realistic feel and resistance. If it weren’t for the music blasting and the full sized laptop in front of us, we would almost forget we were inside. We do plenty of long rides around here but an hour on the Drivo was nearly equivalent to two hours on the open roads with all the stops and half pedaling that is just part of riding outdoors.
If you’re in a time crunch and looking for a quality workout or maybe you’re home with the kids, and can’t get out the Drivo is a great tool to keep your fitness up and in some cases even a chance to push beyond your normal limits without worry of bonking on the road. For days when the weather takes a turn for the worse and the bike is super clean toss it on the Drivo and do your intervals from the comfort of home, but I’m not sure I’d define intervals as comfortable. All-in-all, this is one tool that I recommend to all riders no matter what their skill level or climate. Could also be a great tool for recovering from an injury or building some leg strength before hitting the roads for the first time. The price may seem steep when compared to many of the basic trainers on the market but when you calculate the cost of a power meter, high level of resistance, and quality of the build, its a deal.