ELITE Direto XR Trainer – Getting ready for indoor riding
by Larisa Chinces, Dep. Executive Editor
by Larisa Chinces, Dep. Executive Editor
It’s now October and the weather has turned cold. The rain is here more often, and soon it will snow. There is already snow in the mountains, and so I am starting to sweat more indoors from now on. Training outdoors is no longer a nice experience. Thankfully I have my Elite trainers to look after my cycling training. This period of time in which we live now is quite difficult. Here in Romania more and more people get infected with the Covid19 virus and restrictions get more severe week by week. It’s difficult to train in the gym or to go to public places when so many cases of infected people rise.
A trainer is a must have, especially in these crazy times. But what’s always better than a trainer? Yes, that’s right – a smart direct-drive trainer, meaning that it is one of the quietest home trainer on the market! Bad weather can be so unappealing, but with the Elite Direto XR indoor interactive trainer will help you build regular sessions, increasing the volume of your training, building a higher level of fitness and pace, even on late evenings after work where there isn’t much light left.
The Elite Direto XR is their top of the range interactive trainer. It is compatible for a number of well-known apps and indoor cycling programs, such as Zwift, Trainer Road and RGT. Of course, you can also use it with the excellent ‘Elite My E-Training’ app. This has access to maps and routes that you can create yourself and videos to ride to, as well as performance tests, so that you can see how you’re developing. It also simulates slopes up to 24%, meaning that I can ride climbs in mountains all over the world, without leaving home.
As an athlete who competes, I’d definitely recommend taking time to work out and improve your performance. Using this trainer lets you focus on technique, and what’s more important your cadence and pedal stroke. It is said that every pedal stroke you make requires 0.5% less energy, and you make 1000’s of pedal strokes within a ride. So that’s definitely going to add up.
Without having to manage your bike in traffic, on various terrain and other riders, the trainer provides the optimal and a safe environment to work on your pedal stroke and retaining proper posture. You can add a mirror in your set up, for self-guided feedback, so you can correct your posture if needed. This means form over force, and every interval can be achieved while retaining proper posture being very important for athletes to remain in form when fatigue builds up in a race, and establishing a great habit of riding well, despite fatigue, will carry across the race. In the end, practice makes it perfect, right?
I do lots of gym and fitness training too, and so I need to create a balance. Having that balanced training approach means that my body gets worked all over and at all levels. Cycling is a part of this, and the technical aspects of the Elite Direto XR mean that it gives me realism to experience that the indoor training is as real as training outside.
Setting up the Direto XR is easy peasy lemon sqeezy! It comes pre-fitted with an 11 speed cassette, so you just need to remove your own rear wheel and attach the frame. The unit is heavy, but slim and easy to store. Pull each leg out to the side and tighten them at the plastic handled lock nut so they will stay put. There are hex nuts at the each of each leg, and if the leg becomes loose, just tighten these. It has rubber feet at the end of each leg, which you can adjust to keep the unit stable on all surfaces. There are a variety of axle options for your wheel, with adaptors: Elite provide the following options, Quick-release, 130 x 5 – 135 x 5, and 142 x 12 are all included and 148 x 12 or 135 x 10-135 x 12 require optional accessory adapters. Choose the right one for your own bike and attach the frame and then attach the accompanying power cable to the back of the unit.
With the unit switched on and your computer or iPad ready, download and open up the Elite ‘My E-Training’ app. The app is really easy and intuitive and you can easily set it up for your trainer. Simply go to ‘settings, trainer’ and then configure your trainer, making sure that you have Bluetooth switched on on the computer. Viola, you’re ready to roll! “
Time to start cycling. Personally, I really like using the mapping programme where I can create my own routes. It’s also a good way to get used to the trainer. Set a map course on the ‘My E-Training’ that you are familiar with and that you know. The programme will tell you when to start cycling and you’ll soon feel the interactivity of the Direto XR, and you’ll also be able to see yourself moving, as the programme follows you. You can also have the profile visible, showing you where the uphillsand descents are.
Because the trainer is so well built too, and because of its stability, you can also stand up when the pedalling is tough and really push yourself. Hopefully, by riding a few familiar routes, you’ll soon get used to using the Elite Direto XR and understanding it.
The secret of improving performance and fitness is to train constantly and regulary. You can have the best training plan, the best kit and the best ambitions, but you must be consistent in order to achieve your goals. Anything which helps this to happen will be an asset, and training on an indoor bike can save a lot of missed sessions due to bad weather of other external factors. The advantage is time effectiveness, accuracy and regular training sessions with clear measurable feedback.
Now that you’re used to the trainer and what it can do, why not download one of the Elite videos, or one of the other free videos and ride them interactively. Imagine riding the Stelvio or Alpe D’Huez on the screen and feeling the pain in your legs, and the success as you conquer them. Indoor cycling can also be done in a group like outside but on your own it allows you to be more focused on the session, meaning that it’s more efficient than having to wait for everyone to catch back up.
Also, think about doing a FTP or a Training Test, using the Elite ‘My E-Training’ app. This will show you how you’re improving.”
As I’ve shown within this article, I truly do recommend the Direto XR interactive trainer with all my cyclist heart! It’s a handy and awesome tool in your performance arsenal. Using the benefits of the trainer, then applying those to the riding outside is your optimal performance aim, to fit its role into your overall training and development, and your race preparation. It definitely beats the bad weather, lack of light and those times when you can’t get out for a ride 😉
Next time, I’ll write more about the interactivity and the other aspects of indoor training with Elite – but for now, I’m going outdoors to catch the best of the weather, because indoor training is simply about making the outdoors more accessible and more fun 🙂