We’ll be the first to admit that indoor training is not our favorite part of the off-season, but it’s certainly better than letting your fitness dwindle and losing your competitive edge by the time spring comes around. Thankfully we’re no longer condemned to mindlessly spinning away on the rollers when the weather outside is bleak, as the new crop of smart trainers does a pretty good job simulating the feel of riding on the road, and they can pair with training apps like Zwift to keep things entertaining for the duration of the workout. We had the chance to check out the Wahoo KICKR Core and have to admit when paired with an app like Zwift is a game changer, especially with their gravel and mountain bike options.
Wahoo Kickr Smart Trainer
Highly accurate and proven beyond any doubt, the KICKR Power is widely considered the benchmark in direct drive trainers. Measuring efforts at a claimed +/- 2% accuracy, it brings your online training to life by realistically replicating the resistance of grades up to 20%. The sturdy construction and ample footprint keep your bike feeling solid under your hardest sprint efforts. Pair it with a KICKR Climb to get an even more realistic online training experience.
TACX NEO 2T SMART TRAINER
The Tacx Neo series has become a benchmark in indoor training largely for its near-silent operation and rock solid feel, and this latest update raises the bar even further. Operating at a claimed +/- 1% accuracy, and capable of withstanding a massive 2,200 watts, this pro level trainer is ideal for the most serious Zwifters. If you’re looking for the best direct drive smart trainer on the market today, this is it.
ELITE DIRETO X INTERACTIVE POWER TRAINER
Although the Direto X is the lowest priced direct drive trainer in our guide, a quick look at the specs reveals the reason why it’s become a bestseller. Measuring efforts at a claimed +/- 1.5% accuracy and offering up to 2,100 watts of resistance, this trainer offers figures comparable to models costing hundreds of dollars more. And with its quiet operation and easy setup, this trainer delivers outstanding value for demanding users.
The Elite Direto X Interactive Power Trainer retails for $899.00
SARIS H3 DIRECT DRIVE SMART TRAINER
As the quietest trainer ever to grace Saris’s H-series, the H3 is an outstanding value for home training. Offering a competitive +/- 2% claimed accuracy reading, and capable of 2,000 watts of resistance, the H3 is competitive with the best options in its class. The major updates over the H2 are focused on reducing noise and vibration, which will help to keep the other members of your household from hearing your interval workouts.
View all rollers and indoor trainers at Competitive Cyclist or Backcountry.com.