Smart trainer worth it?

As black friday approaches I am considering getting a smart trainer. I have been eyeballing the elite suito. Mostly because of its price, specs and it comes ready to use.

My local bikeshop happens to have them. Wondering if anyone has any experience with the suito. I have only used magnetic and fluid trainers.

Are smart trainers worth it? Also how durable are smart trainers?

I have a Wahoo Kickr (with a Climb) and absolutely worth it for me.

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I have had my Suito for a few months and have found it faultless, flawless and folds away neatly too. I’m a bit geeky with stats so calibrate at least every 10 days, only takes 10 mins which you can use as a warm up.

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check dcrainmakers’ review. It seems that it’s a good choice mid-range. I started with a wheel on tacx vortex smart in Europe was really cheap on amazon below 300€ when I got it, I enjoyed it so much, that when I could I jumped to a Tacx Neo. So definitely worth to have a SMART trainer, also because if you feel like using it on “level” mode you can also do that!!! About durability it all depends on too many factors, I’ve had mine for several years now without issues.

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I know a guy that has Vortex. Seems to be enjoying it. I think a smart wheel on trainer seems like a good idea too. I watched DC’s review and its thorough just was looking for personal anecdotes.

Yes. Which one, largely depends on your budget (duh) and intended use.

Do you intend to train indoors much or just occasionally?

Wheel on is fine, but I’d go for a direct drive every time. That may mean a little more hassle, if you only have one bike, but the experience is completely different.

Most are durable, but some of them aren’t worth the money. DCR is a good place to start looking for reviews.

I’ve had nothing but Tacx, but from my first Flow (2010?) to my current Neo 2T, Tacx and the market in general, have come a long way.


100% worth it, you can focus so much better without having to mess with targets and gears


Actually @enricomarino to second a reason why I went to a direct drive is that the wheel on trainers will have a running cost (meaning your tyres), I’d recommend, if you go this way, get yourself a trainer tyre and a wheel and you swap when using it. Which in the end made the case for a direct drive one! Normally less fuss and more reliable, e.g the Neo doesn’t need calibration, and most direct drives are more straightforward to use.


Direct drive trainers also have some running cost - the cassette on the trainer)
Anyway, extra vote for ‘worth it’ from me.


I probably use the trainer about half the time. This year because of the pandemic I have had more time to ride outside, but that is only on the weekends. Normally, most of my indoor riding is on the winter time. Which were I live is about three to four months.

You are correct. I may get a trainer tire if I don’t get a direct drive trainer. At least one is $40!
I hadn’t realized and completely destroyed the tires that came with my bike and just replaced them.

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I managed to destroy several trainer tyres as well and not because they were old/worn out. Heat is a factor as well.

It’s a hassle too, in so far that you always have to find the right pressure, both for the (air in the) tyre as for the roller against it and you’re calibrating every other ride.

If you happen to have a powerful sprint, your tyre will probably slip anyway, which is bad for durability.

I can’t tell you which ones are better, but I had several Tacx tyres and at least one other brand.


Having used a dumb trainer for 2 years and then switching to a direct-drive smart trainer, I can tell you it’s definitely worth it. It opens up a huge world of possibilities for your training, and even more if you love numbers and stats.

I was considering a wheel-on smart trainer, but I would definitely recommend a direct-drive trainer. You don’t have to fiddle with tire pressure and daily trainer calibrations. Makes it much easier to just jump on and ride. And then if you use erg mode you don’t even have to worry about shifting gears which makes it easier to just focus on pedaling and suffering. Early last year my gear covers wore through from all my gear shifting. It wasn’t hard to take it to the bike shop to get them all replaced, but if you’re in lockdown somewhere that could be a massive hassle.

Anyway, totally worth it if you’re going to be doing 50% or more of your riding indoors.

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Again… just for a wee bit of balance…

I’ve used a KK Road Machine for countless years now. Doesn’t need firmware or any kind of updates. Just put the bike (with trainer tyre) in and off we go.

No need for spindown etc or faffing about with calibration.

I have a SS 4iiii PM that gives me accurate numbers to stick to. I am honest with myself and don’t slip under the targets. I find it makes your pedalling style a bit smoother trying to maintain the targets too.

I check tyre pressure weekly and tighten the knob onto the tyre 2 turns everytime.

The trainer will outlast me I reckon. It’s about 6yo already.

Ok, it won’t give you the “full, immersive experience” you hear bandied around, but it still kicks my ass everytime.

:+1:t2: :+1:t2: :+1:t2:


Yes I think wheel on smart trainers seem a bit pointless considering a lot of them are about $500. I have tried the M2 and Snap. They were decent, but didn’t feel anything eye opening.

As for durability seems like the core, flux and suito are solid for their price range and got good reviews. I usually take good care of my stuff. Also, my first trainer was the Aldi trainer and remember people saying it only lasted one ride whereas I have have had it for almost 3 years. It is my wife’s trainer now lol.


I have also considered getting a power meter instead since I will be able to take my numbers outside. The only difference is that my LBS doesn’t sell pms. That option is still on the table though. I think another Sufferlandrian posted his experience with faveros on the same trainer I have and were positive.

I was considering either a smart trainer or a standard PM (Favero or 4iiii). I had the same considerations about being able to use the PM to ride outdoors with. I eventually decided to do the Smart Trainer right now while primarily riding indoors and then saving up to buy a PM later in 6 months after the winter is over. The Smart Trainer allows you to do a few things that just a straight PM on a dumb trainer won’t. Of course, everybody has their own likes and dislikes and what works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. But so far I’m glad I went the Smart Trainer route. And I’m also still looking forward to get either a Favero or 4iiii PM next year to use with my outdoor riding and racing.

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I say it will depend on what I get the best deal on at this point.

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You’re wearing that out on a wheel on trainer too…