Aussie brand JetBlack has just announced its latest WhisperDrive Smart direct drive trainer. It has all the hallmarks of what you’d expect from a wheel off direct drive trainer these days, but the biggest selling point, it's power cord free.
So far, only the Tacx Neo offers a similar cordless design. The WhisperDrive Smart contains an internal battery pack that is charged during use and has a USB port for charging your phone or tablet while you ride. With its internally powered design, Jet Black also says the trainer starts up in less than one pedal stroke, meaning you don't have to slog along to generate enough power to use the thing.
The WhisperDrive Smart features Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ connectivity and will not only connect to any external sensor but interfaces with third-party apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, The Sufferfest, Ful Gaz, Training Peaks, Strava and Kinomap, too.
JetBlack also has its own coaching app that works similarly to TrainerRoad, which can control WhisperDrive Smart.
Claimed to offer up to 1,600 watts at a 12 percent incline in the app-controlled electromagnetic resistance, the WhisperDrive Smart sees a 6.5kg / 17.5lb internal flywheel for a realistic ‘road-like feel’ as well as a claimed 17+ second coast down time.
Should you just be looking to spin out your legs and catch up on Homeland with no particular workout in mind, the WhisperDrive Smart has what JetBlack calls progressive power curve fallback mode, where the trainer will detect the absence of a connection to the brand's own training platform or a third party app and revert to the progressive power curve to replicate a fluid trainer.
The trainer sees a folding frame for convenient storage, but with its hefty freewheel the unit's total claimed weight is 17kg / 45lbs, so it’s not likely to be particularly portable.
Compatible with 9 x 130/135mm (QR and thru-axle) and 12 x 142mm axles (148mm Boost adaptors sold separately), the trainer comes with a SRAM/Shimano 10-/11-speed freehub, with Campagnolo and XD driver bodies available as an aftermarket upgrade.
The trainer is set to retail for AU$1,100 and international pricing is to be confirmed.