Saris H3 or Elite Direto XR-T?

Hi, i have the option of the saris H3 or Elite Direto XR-T for more or less the same price as each other. I’ve gone through lots of reviews and generally, the H3 seems more highly thought of by reviewers. Noise level and ERG mode are top of my list, which again both point towards the H3…

Can’t compare them personally, but…

If you are in the US, you can get a “scratch and dent” H3 for $699 direct. Great deal, might sway you. (I have two of them, one was this scratch & dent that was, to my eyes, brand new and the other I won at a local charity auction for around the same price)

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I am uk based. Shouldve mentioned that.

I’ve had my H3 for a couple years now, use it several times per week. No problems, good experience. ERG is very nice/smooth/stable when in the small chainring. H3 power reading tracks my bike’s power meter very closely (like within 1 or 2%) even though I only bother to calibrate the H3 once every 3 months or so. Note that if you ever think you’ll want an Elite RIZER to simulate hill inclines, get the Direto, but the H3 is very nice for ERG and it’s stability and heavy flywheel is nice for race sprints as well.

Thanks Todd, i hadn’t considered the add-ons. Not something I’m thinking about at the moment but i take you point.

Of the two: Saris H3.

I’m going to steer you in another direction though: Kickr V5 or any Tacx NEO (1, 2, 2SE, 2T). Reason: those are the ONLY trainers that never need calibration, ever.

Thanks Otto, I’m at the upper end of my budget with the H3/XR-T and if money was no object i would go for the kickr, but it’s a couple of hundred more on top again. Also, I’m a bigger/heavier rider at 190cm, 125kg, and have been told the H3 is the sturdiest.

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Although kickr core is within budget?

Re: calibration, the H3’s (at least my two H3’s) are really quite stable in my experience. I calibrate them every few weeks but the numbers don’t ever change meaningfully. This after a “burn-in” period of a few rides. I’m sure if I was moving them around or had a room with different humidity/temperature changes it might be different.

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I have had a couple of issues with the H3:

  1. The connector to the machine is a POS. I had one go bad and bought an aftermarket power supply on Amazon. The right angle connector also did not work so bad all around. Second H3 the power connector and right angle connector are holding up. But I am careful.
  2. I have overheated the unit. I am larger, 100+ kg, and had the trainer setting all the way to 100% and was grinding up the tower road at 50 rpm and 250 watts in a 90F garage…trainer was not happy halfway up. I have since kept the slider in the 50-70% range depending on ride profile.

Otherwise…I hardly calibrate…usually with large temp swings as I do ride in the garage. Or when it gets way off from my P1s…when I can be bothered to do it…I do not race.

i have never heard of a direto having electrical problems but the erg mode is god awful on the x, i dont know if they improved it for the xrt. i don’t use erg mode so i don’t mind. it’s not particularly loud unless you are at 1000w+… at sub FTP wattages the drivetrain is probably making more noise.

dunno anything about the saris. people seem to like them. kickr cores are not very accurate and are prone to electrical failures