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Saris unveils H3 smart trainer & MP1 moving platform for indoor riding

New direct drive trainer is super-quiet, says US brand; it is also phasing out the CycleOps name

The Saris Cycling Group is rebranding to include all of its products under the Saris name – including its indoor trainers formerly marketed as CycleOps – and is introducing a new H3 direct drive smart trainer along with an MP1 motion platform that moves both side-to-side and fore/aft when you ride indoors. 

With this in mind, the CycleOps H2 direct drive smart trainer (direct drive meaning that you remove the rear wheel and attach your bike to the trainer via its dropouts) is replaced by the Saris H3 trainer.

Read our review of the CycleOps H2 Smart Trainer 

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The Saris H3 is said to be quieter than the CycleOps H2, a trainer that reviewer Dave praised for its lack of noise. Saris claims that it is 59 decibels at 20mph, compared to the 66 decibels of the previous model (although it doesn't say at what distance those noise levels apply).

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"The H3 features the same reliability and durability as its predecessors," says Saris.

"Each H3 is made from cast and machined aluminium sourced from America’s heartland. Encased inside are components meticulously calibrated to measure power, speed and cadence, as well as a precision-balanced flywheel – all built to handle 2,000 watts and replicate a 20% climbing grade."

Check out 12 of the best smart indoor trainers

Like the H2, the H3 is said to offer power measurement accuracy of +/-2% (Saris doesn't say at what power that level of accuracy applies).

All of the H2's other features carry-over to the H3, including compatibility with Shimano 8-11 speed cassettes (XD/XDR freehubs are sold separately) and with both quick-release (130mm and 135mm) and thru-axle (142mm and 148mm) frames.

The H3 measures 787 x 470 x 495mm when open and 76 x 470 x 495mm when the legs are folded in. It weighs 21.3kg and comes with dual ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth FTMS standards so it works with many other devices and indoor cycling apps, including Zwift, Rouvy and TrainerRoad.

Find out how to get started with Zwift and make your home trainer sessions more fun

The Saris H3 will be available in the UK by early September with an RRP of £849.

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The MP1 Nfinity Trainer Platform is a second interesting new product from Saris that "ushers in a type of riding never seen or felt before", according to the brand. You fix your trainer and your bike in place on the MP1 in order to get both side-to-side and forward/backward movement when you ride, the idea being to simulate outdoor riding.

"Side-to-side movement isn’t new, but it also doesn’t capture the natural movement you experience outdoors," says Saris. 

"The MP1 with Nfinity technology truly moves the way you do because it adds the fore/aft axis to the equation...  The result is an innovative technology combining curves, axes, gravity physics and mechanical ingenuity... [It is] an unparalleled trainer platform that re-imagines the indoor trainer experience altogether."

Kurt Kinetic's Rock and Roll Smart 2 trainer provides side-to-side movement while the SBR ROCKR offers you the chance to ride a trainer aboard a rocker plate.

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The MP1 features a base frame that sits on the floor and a top frame that can move independently. Your trainer and bike are fixed to a wooden platform that is attached to the top frame. This top frame can move forward and back on rollers while a large leaf spring re-centres you following side-to-side movement.

Saris says that as well as offering a more realistic outdoor ride feel, pressure mapping and motion capture technology shows that the MP1 significantly alleviates saddle and foot pressure compared to riding a static trainer. The MP1 is also said to use more muscles than a standard stationary ride.

"From engaging the upper body to get through sticky spots to activating smaller, key muscles to stay balanced, the MP1 is the only way to recruit large and small muscle groups while riding inside," says Saris.

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The MP1 offers up to 6° of side-to-side movement and 24cm of fore/aft travel. Made from steel, aluminium and birch, it's 15cm tall, 160mm long and 90cm wide. Grip tape on the platform is designed to stop you slipping when you get on and off. The adjustable front wheel block is suitable for both road and mountain bikes.

Saris says that the MP1 is compatible with all major brands and models of bike trainers, not just its own, and it has been tested to a combined system weight (rider, bike and trainer) of 350lb/159kg.

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The Saris MP1 will be available in the UK from October with an RRP of £999. 

You'll be able to buy the Saris H3 and MP1 as a bundle for £1,600. This is £248 less than the cost of buying them individually.

Saris will be demonstrating the H3 and MP1 in conjunction with Zwift at The Cycle Show which takes place at NEC Birmingham on 13-15 September 2019. You will be able to put the new products to the test.

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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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