Never Ride Outside Again! Zwift Introduces Futureworks Steering, Supported By Elite Trainers

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No jokes about roadies not being able to steer anyway, eh?

It’s been a fun week or so for indoor cycling fans. Today, we’ve seen dual announcements from Zwift and Elite to say that both companies are now incorporating steering into online workouts. Zwift steering is already in use on its off road trail in Watopia, but you had to use a companion app on a smartphone that worked out if you were steering. Now, thanks to Elite’s new Sterzo Smart wheel holder plate thing, that is now wirelessly built into the system. But no, it goes deeper than that – with Zwift Futureworks steering, road riders can now steer around other riders, pick better lines and tuck into other riders’ drafts better – as well as taking on the offroad challenges of Zwift. 

We can’t help noticing that there’s no option for ‘Not OK’

Elite Sterzo Smart

The Elite Sterzo Smart is a powered, self-centring wheel carrier that replaces the normal front wheel stand you might use on a turbo trainer. It can sense if and how much you are steering, and convey that back to your turbo trainer/Zwift ecosystem using either Bluetooth or ANT+. 

Zwift specifically states that you can’t use it to crash into other riders… LOLs

We’d already seen the non-smart version of the Sterzo at Madison’s iceBike* show this February (when there were still shows) but this one relied on the phone’s accelerometer to pass on the info. The Sterzo Smart is a neater solution all round and it allows us mountain bikers to nip off road on Zwift, where steering does actually convey benefits to the riding experience. It’ll take tyres up to 56mm, so you can stick your still muddy off roader straight on. 

It had better be raining out there, m’kay?

While we’re talking about Elite, it had issues this spring with everyone in the world suddenly buying all the trainers in the shops, while Italian production had to shut down thanks to C-youknowwho. Thankfully now, the factory is back online now and Elite has just launched the Direto XR, a smart turbo that comes with an 11speed cassette already mounted and mounting solutions for 135/142mm bike dropouts, with optional Boost (and we presume road bolt-thru) axle systems too. It’ll work with 9/10/11 and 12 speed Shimano and SRAM with the right cassette. The Direto XR offers accuracy down to 1.5% and it offers resistance that will mimic hills up to 24% grade in steepness. 

elite direto
Can’t argue with pretty industrial design though.

And if you buy an Elite Direto XR, you get a month’s Zwift free, so you just need a Sterzo Smart and you can try Zwift steering for yourself. And, while you may complain that it’s not really indoor training season yet, going off the weather here for the last month, we’re not so sure. 

Wait, where are the ladders, the spiders, bikes on hooks and the washing machine? What kind of ‘home Zwift studio’ is this?

Prices? The Elite Direto XR is £824.99, the Elite Sterzo Smart is £74.99. 

For more details on Elite, see freewheel.co.uk and for more on Zwift, head over to zwift.com

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Comments (7)

    So the bloke in pic 4 is indoors, on a FS MTB wearing lycra and roadie socks AND he’s compteting in a road event?
    Forget “It had better be raining..”, I think he needs a note from his mum letting him off games for the day.
    At least he’s got 4 water bottles.

    Do you do the ride then get on Zoom to chat to your mates and have a beer! FFS! Get out and socialise with people, I know its hard at the moment, but we don’t want to become a nation of people who do everything indoors. Amongst many other things that way lies a very large pit of mental health issues 🙁

    ermmm… How about: “Hell no!!!”.

    Sad times coming, if people are encouraged to stay indoors for such a great activity like cycling is…

    Cheers!
    I.

    Think I’d rather buy myself a new coat and go outside.

    (Now what’s the recommendation for a new coat ? I like the look of the Showers Pass IMBA)

    Yawn……wake me up when it can connect to this:
    http://descendersgame.com/

    Meh to the indoor naysayers. Don’t knock it until you try it. If you stuck in a city and working from home then getting out and onto trails is impossible during the week.
    Zwifting gets me 3 to 4 rides during the week.
    Come the weekend I can be smashing repeats and socializing at Chicksands without having to gasp for air breathing through my bum because my fitness has not gone down the pan.
    As for winter this year. Bring on that axle deep mud bath and endless bike washing. Won’t be affecting me, no sir. I will be sweating my way through Watopia dry and clean.
    I will concede that the elite marketing pictures are smooth yuppie rubbish. My study/office/pain cave is a jumble of bikes, bibs and kit that make students look tidy.
    Function over form.

    Yeah, tried it once. Almost died of boredom…
    Can’t stand any indoors forms of exercising.

    My parents were forcing me and my brother back home every evening rain or shine. Just don’t understand all this indoors rubbish…

    Cheers!
    I.

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