Elite Sterzo Smart feeling more natural without spring

Just wondering if anyone else with an Elite Sterzo Smart (ESS) has had a similar experience, i.e. riding with/without the spring.

About five months after starting to use mine, the centering spring snapped due to apparent metal fatigue. After opening it up, removing the spring remnants and realizing that no simple repair was possible – I couldn’t be bothered with contacting Elite at the time – I found the Sterzo Smart perfectly usable without the spring and was riding with it like that ever since. (The steering centering tool in the Zwift pairing page allows for very easy calibration, so it doesn’t matter if the ESS base isn’t perfectly centered below the bike.)

Fast forward to last week, when I acquired the non-smart version of the Sterzo for virtually nothing. I decided to transfer its identical spring to my old ESS, to get the original sprung feel back again.
Having now ridden with this standard set-up twice since then, I’m surprised to find that I miss the featherlight feel of the spring-less steering that I’ve been used to. The spring introduces a pronounced tension when the bars are turned even a small amount, like when my original ESS was new, which now doesn’t feel at all natural.
I wonder if Elite didn’t design this device with a stiff centering spring principally for the sake of general neatness, rather than for the ride feel. Without the spring and without the rider, the bars are free to turn any which way, which some might find annoying. The spring keeps everything straight all the time. I did notice that when riding without the spring, the bars seem to center themselves naturally and I can even make them steer slightly by leaning left or right on my saddle without my hands on the bars, like one can on a real bike.

Anyway, I’m thinking of removing the spring again if I don’t get used to it soon. I know that there aren’t many people who use the ESS to start with, but have any of you used it regularly without the spring? And did you like it, or not?

The spring is too stiff when seated, but when standing is not stiff enough - so not perfect.

I just couldn’t get used to that stiff sprung feel, so have removed the spring in my ESS. It’s much more comfortable to ride again and on free rides I find myself ‘steering’ naturally without thinking. I recommend this to anyone who’s interested in trying it, especially since it’s 100% reversible. Installing/re-installing the spring isn’t without its challenges, but can be done with some basic tools and some lateral thinking.
The warranty on the unit is void, of course, but I can live with that.