The Drivo II is Elite’s successor to its original and very capable Elite Drivo. This second generation trainer is its top of the range, interactive smart trainer and comes with a price tag to match, so I was expecting big things.
Out of the box, assembly simply involves fitting the legs; it’s nothing complicated and even the most workshop-phobic shouldn’t have any problems. Elite does supply the tools in the box to make life easier too.
The Drivo II is a big unit, measuring 76cm long x 79cm wide (with the legs folded out) x 53cm tall. This 79cm-wide footprint is bigger than its main rivals, the Tacx Neo 2 and Wahoo Kickr. The legs do fold away for storage, to make it a more slender 29cm wide, but it’s still bigger than most.
It’s a hefty unit too, weighing 19kg with a flywheel that weighs 6kg. This makes transporting it around more difficult, but this weight does make for a stable unit, and there’s a built-in carry handle.
Elite’s Drivo II. Immediate Media
The Drive II is compatible with 9- to 11-speed Shimano cassettes and, with a switch of freewheels, can be set-up to run Campagnolo cassettes too. As well as this, it will accommodate 130mm, 135mm and 142 x 12mm axles. In short, you can pretty much use whatever bike you have without a problem.
Elite’s original Drivo offered a maximum resistance of 2,200 watts but this has been increased on the Drivo II to a whopping 3,600 watts (at 60kph). This a massive amount of power and, in reality, you will never run out of resistance, nor would any of the monster legged sprinters in the pro peloton.
Plugging in and setting up the Drivo II couldn’t be easier. I tested mine with Zwift and everything just worked immediately. It all connects using ANT+, FE-C and Bluetooth with any kind of app and software, and works with smartphones, tablets and computers whether iOS, Android, MacOS or Windows. The set-up took a few minutes at most and wasn’t complicated.
Elite Drivo II ride
The Drivo II is ready to go as soon as you switch it on and there are no complex or time-consuming calibrations necessary. From the first pedal stroke, the Elite feels rock solid with the weight and wide legs helping no end.
Even out of the saddle and giving it some beans the unit remains firm, delivering an impressive, rock-solid ride. The ride ‘feel’ itself is also impressive and even when riding for a couple of hours it doesn’t feel dead or harsh on the body like some trainers can.
It can be used in two modes, and the first, ‘ERG’, lets you set a specific power level you want to ride at, for example 230 Watts, and the trainer then automatically adjusts the resistance to keep you at that output — useful if you want to put in some good base miles indoors.
It can be used in two modes, and the first, ‘ERG’, lets you set a specific power and ride to it, with the trainer automatically adjusting the resistance to keep you at that output, which means you keep a steady power output throughout your ride. This is good for base miles as well trying to hold a harder set wattage for a certain amount time.
The second mode is ‘Simulation’, which allows you to set an incline, say the average gradient of your favourite climb, and then ride against a resistance profile that reflects it. This a useful tool if you fancy getting in some hill reps, and the Elite can simulate inclines from zero to an extremely challenging 24 per cent.
The Elite reacts quickly to changes in incline, whether it’s climbing or descending, and this is thanks to an electromagnet on the flywheel. Elite told us that that the Drivo II reacts three times faster than its predecessor.
Another thing that impressed was the noise, or lack of it, coming from the Drivo II. It has dropped over 20dB from its predecessor, and I measured it at 65dB using an iPhone app while riding at 200 watts and on a carpeted floor with a rubber mat.
All these updates and the Drivo II’s tech make it a fun and realistic trainer to ride. I tested it with Zwift and know that this trainer will appeal to fans of this platform.
If you’re not taken by the idea of gamifying your training, though, it is possible to sync the Drivo with a Garmin Edge and reproduce rides stored in the device. This allows you to tackle your favourite local rides without opening the front door and relive those fun summer rides in the middle of winter. This function also works with Wahoo’s Elemnt and Bolt head units too.
It’s also a great way of riding routes in a controlled way so you can learn what it feels like to ride at a consistent pace. This is especially good for those who are training for time trials.
Elite Drivo II overall
The Drivo II is an impressive and capable smart trainer that has built on its predecessor; it’s quieter, offers a good ride feel and the important functions work well.
It is a large unit, however, and doesn’t pack down as small as some, and faces stiff competition at this price from the Tacx Neo 2.