Tech & Wearables

Elite Drivo II trainer

Elite's Drivo II smart trainer offers accurate power measurement and stout construction for workouts and virtual trainer sessions.

Weight

40 pounds (advertised)

Price

$1,200

Brand

Elite


Meet the Italian Beast. The Drivo II packs a punch with its features, including a claimed accuracy of +/-0.5%. A 13-pound flywheel does the heavy lifting, and wide, swing-out legs with adjustable feet are on stability duty. Want to climb all the way up to 24%? The Drivo is one of the only trainers with that capability. And you can push it all the way to its 2,300-watt maximum power output — or at least you can try. It’s thru-axle compatible, and ANT+ FE-C capable, so it works with just about all of your favorite programs. This is a heavy hitter.

Let’s start with power. Does that +/-0.5% accuracy matter? That depends on your indoor training setup. If you’re using a power meter on your bike, it’s best to simply pair your power meter to your virtual training program like Zwift, since that’s what you use outside anyway. That way your power numbers should be consistent and you should know what numbers to expect on-screen.

But if you don’t have a power meter and you’re relying on the trainer’s built-in power numbers, that accuracy number matters a bit more, especially if you know what your FTP is, or what your power numbers outdoors typically look like. If you’re doing a lot of workouts, for example, you’ll want the trainer’s wattage numbers to come close to what you’re used to outdoors. But if you don’t know what your FTP is, or what your typical power numbers look like, this probably doesn’t matter much to you. In other words, if you’re after accuracy, sure, the Drivo II blows away the competition.

Gradation transitions in virtual environments feel exceptionally smooth on the Drivo II. It did feel like pedaling was much easier at the same watts per kilo when compared to other trainers like Wahoo’s Kickr, but there are several factors that might cause such a sensation, such as the freshness of the rider’s legs. Ultimately, this wasn’t bothersome, but it did take some adjustment when jumping from one trainer to another.

Wahoo warns against using the Kickr Climb with non-Wahoo trainers because the dropouts of your bicycle can get damaged. We did not notice any problems after several rides, but you may not want to risk it. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

Physically, this is a very large unit. It requires some assembly out of the box, too. And its footprint is easily the largest of all the trainers we’ve tested. Hypothetically, that should be good for stability, but bad for storage. In practice, stability was just average, but it was indeed tricky to store. You can level out the legs using the adjustable feet. It’s simple enough to do, but it takes some time. And the way the front legs swing down into place allows for some unwanted movement. Overall it’s stable enough, but not best in class.

While Elite claims “you won’t hear any noise while pedaling, just you and your bike chain,” it was immediately clear that claim was overblown. It’s certainly quieter than just about any trainer on the market two years ago, but when compared to the likes of Wahoo’s Kickr or CycleOps’s H2, the Drivo II is noticeably louder. So if you’re after the quietest trainer on the market, this isn’t it. That’s not to say it’s exceptionally loud, but you can certainly find a quieter unit.

The Drivo II clearly values stout construction and exceptional accuracy. It’s the best choice for riders who want their power numbers outdoors to match the power numbers indoors. So if you’re on a specific training plan and use workouts in Zwift or other programs frequently, the Drivo II is undoubtedly the unit for you. But if you’re short on space or want the quietest unit out there, you’ll find what you’re looking for elsewhere. Still, Elite has a powerhouse on its hands with the Drivo II, and the data nerds among us will love it.