I know people are cautious with posts like this. I hope that folks will hear me out on this, maybe look through my post history and hear what I have to say. I’m not here to name call, badmouth or call upon a pitch fork brigade. I’m here for both advice on what to do and so that others have an account of what can happen.
I began cycling almost two years ago. I started at near 300 pounds. I’m a 6’0 male in his early 30’s. I’m now down to 183. It was very difficult but through diet and exercise I made a lot of progress. The biggest bit of progress I made with cycling was thanks to Zwift. Being able to cycle no matter the weather, in relative comfort and the aspect of it being a game and fitness all in one got me hooked. I joined some groups and really felt a sense of community as well. I did group rides, races, workout plans. I was coming along quite well.
Where I live right now is the worst time to ride outside. I live in Florida and this is the hottest, rainest, stormiest, most humid, hurricaniest time of year. A bad time to ride outside. If there’s one time of year I need my trainer it’s right now. I began Zwifting with a wheel on trainer but after almost a year I finally saved up the money and through advice both here and online I decided to purchase an Elite Direto.
$800 I spent. Like 99% of human beings, especially without a huge bike retailer nearby I bought my trainer online. I bought it from a highly rated online cycling retailer who offered something like a 90 day return policy, but it was assured in the description that the Direto came with a 2 year warranty.
Fast forward 7 months to a bit over a month ago. Right as the Zwift Academy was about to begin, my Direto started acting funny. I could pedal as hard and as fast as I could, in my big chain ring up front and smallest in the back. I could hold what would normally be at least 600 or so watts and no matter what, my trainer was saying it was under 100 watts. It would climb up, but then fall back down and the resistance would begin to fade. It also wasn’t registering climbs or variations in the terrain anymore.
I spent a week trouble shooting with Zwift. They were super nice, prompt, friendly and helpful. Within a week they did everything in their power and guaranteed me it was something with my trainer. To make sure it wasn’t my PC I tried using it on a different platform and still the problem persisted.
I had heard horror stories of Elite’s customer service and literally thought “Okay, that’s one in a thousand but I highly doubt anything like that will happen to me, buying a brand new trainer and taking very good care of it.” Guess what.
The only way I could find and was told to contact them was through E-mail. They are in Italy. I began performing “tests” that they would ask of me that went from making no sense, to being downright difficult. Another big thing to note is the language barrier. You would think they would have at least some one, some where in the company that could type out a message in somewhat understandable English, but it’s as if they don’t quite understand what I say and what they type out to me looks like something thrown together in google translate. I tried to be patient though and give them credit. I love Italian products, I love Italy, I just wanted to believe they were there to help.