Elite Direto XR-T smart trainer review

Not as refined as other top end turbos – but significantly cheaper, with reliable power readings

Elite direto x-tr turbo side on
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Direto XR-T has a lot going for it – a fair bit cheaper than other high end turbos, it still delivers quick changes to the resistance on virtual gradients and feels good for sprinting and hard efforts. It’s let down by the erg mode, which feels a bit unrefined and quite a slog at times. For those interested in eRacing, the Direto XR-T takes a very long time for the watts to drop to zero in order to ‘super tuck’. At full price, it’s not really cheap enough to justify these idiosyncrasies, but when on sale – as it often is – the performance is very good for the price.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Good for sprints and hard efforts

  • +

    Quick response to changes in virtual gradients

  • +

    Reasonable power accuracy

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    It can feel a bit of a struggle not to let your cadence drop in erg mode

  • -

    It takes a very long time for the watts to drop to zero, allowing you to ‘super tuck’ in Zwift races

  • -

    Manuel calibration

  • -

  • -

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

First, it helps to get a handle on Elite’s interactive smart trainer hierarchy. The direct drive models start with the Zumo for around £500. Next up is the Suito – which comes with an 11 speed cassette already installed – while the Suito-T, differs only in that it doesn’t come with a cassette.

All the way up the hierarchy, there’s a continual increase in the maximum resistance, maximum simulated gradient and the power accuracy, culminating in the Direto XR (which comes with an 11 speed cassette) and the Direto XR-T which, like the Suito-T, comes without a cassette. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite Direto XR-T246w
Shimano Dura-Ace power cranks247w
Garmin Vector 3 power pedals242w
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Row 0 - Cell 0 Effort 1Effort 2Effort 3Effort 4Effort 5
Elite Direto XR-T390w389w379w381w384w
Shimano Dura-Ace power cranks392w391w379w379w370w
Garmin Vector 3 power pedals385w383w373w369w374w
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 1 sec5 sec
Elite Direto XR-T1,149w1,089w
Shimano Dura-Ace power cranks1,135w1.084w
Garmin Vector 3 power pedals1,178w1,091w

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