Elite has launched the £350 Volana direct drive turbo trainer, a more affordable version of its top-end Muin.
We’ve seen more direct drive trainers hit the market in recent years, but prices for most of the current offerings are up in the £999 bracket. So this new Elite Volano looks exceptionally good value.
Direct drive means simply that your bike connects directly to the trainer, rather than the rear wheel turning a roller. The benefits of such a system include no wearing down of your bicycle tyre, reduced noise and more stability. Initial setup is straightforward though a fraction slower. Direct drive trainers typically offer a smoother and more realistic road feel, due to the larger freewheel.
The Volano features a Fluid drive unit which the company reckons provides a realistic road feel. It has a maximum resistance of 1200 watts, which should be plenty for most cyclists unless your name is Sir Chris Hoy. The resistance isn’t adjustable, the resistance simply ramps up the harder you pedal.
It is compatible with Shimano and SRAM 1, 10 and 11-speed cassettes, and can be adapted for Campagnolo. Elite has ensured the Volano is compatible with all current rear axle widths, including 130, 135 and 142x12mm. You do have to supply your own cassette, so that has to be factored into the cost.
An optional Misuro B+ Bluetooth and ANT+ sensor (£60) can be plugged into the bottom of the casing to provide speed and cadence data with a compatible device or smart phone.
More at www.madison.co.uk
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.