Steering using Elite Sterzo Smart

Finished Tarmac SL7 Stage 2 group ride. In a large group ride, it’s virtually impossible to move to the middle of the pack and draft if you are outside the group. I find my self consistently trying to steer towards the middle to find draft without success. If I find a spot in the middle of the large peloton, it is best to stop steering and stay in the middle, which makes steering less fun. As for forward movement, you can still advance without hindrance. If I am with fewer people I find it easier to navigate and useful. One last thing, I really miss “close the gap” message.

If you disable steering, are you then able to drift through other people?

How feasible is it to only enable steering when you want to make a deliberate move, and leave it disabled when riding in a large group?

I assume you would need to go into the pairing screen to disable it, which puts on the brakes… bye bye group!

Ah, I thought you could just toggle it from the main UI. But I think I was recalling something about it automatically disabling itself if you don’t actually steer for a while.

In which case, it could be toggled on or off using the Companion app, I expect, since there’s already automatic code to turn it off.

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There’s a new steering menu on the Zwift Companion app. I am not sure what it does but I’ll try it next time.

Exactly my experience. In a group ride, it seems virtually impossible to sit in the group, without first dropping to the back and then getting back in. In small groups, I can be ‘OK’ according to the screen - i.e. on someone’s wheel - and yet I have to put out excessive watts without getting dropped. I’m testing this unit for the Titaniumgeek YouTube channel and whilst it’s greta fun, it does require a lot more thinking than normal The speed tests are also interesting…

Same response as others. Worked well with a smaller group, but can see the difficulty finding a sweet spot in the middle of a larger group ride. Rode 65km last night in France. I liked steering into and out of the corners and avoiding the sticky draft of some Zwifters when necessary.

Kept my mind working while the body suffered some. Overall impression is positive.

Think about if you were in a real life group…you would have the same problem in a big group trying to move to the middle, wouldn’t you?


If everyone has steering, finding the middle of the pack will be much more tactical. Do you keep a good draft position, or go for the inside line? I can’t wait to see how ‘all steering’ races play out.


I had a go last night. I wanted to use it on my 9:30pm ride, and I only had about 5 minutes to get sorted, so it turned out to be a little panicked! :smiley:

First problem: I needed to find a small screwdriver for the battery compartment. FFS, why, Elite? Why?! A clip would do. It’s going to be flat on the ground, not like the batteries are going to fall out.

Anyway, found the screwdriver, put the batteries in. Wasn’t too fiddly, despite some commentary about them keep popping out.

Put it on the floor in place of my Tacx riser. LED was blinking. Cool.

Here we go!

Started Zwift. No steering wheel icon.


Checked my Bluetooth dongle was in. It was. Checked in “Add devices”, and the Sterzo showed up.

So Bluetooth and the Sterzo were fine. But Zwift steadfastly refused to see it.

A bit more WTF about why was my Bluetooth icon greyed out in Zwift. Eventually I worked out that there’s a “Settings” cog in the top right. I’ve never used it before, but on clicking it up came a box where I could select between Bluetooth on the PC and Bluetooth via the Companion.

Companion was selected.

Nnng! OK, selected the other option and Lo! My Sterzo was detected.

Let’s go! I made the start of the event with a minute or so to spare, and we were off to the races. Well, the group ride.

Steering itself wasn’t immediately what I expected. The Sterzo has a dead zone, and the self-centring mechanism actually takes a fair bit of force to overcome. Not loads, but more than I expected.

The steering wasn’t as sensitive as I’d expected either. I had to turn the wheel quite a long way before my avatar started moving. It’s not a natural steering motion; and there’s no need to steer back the other way. Let go and you’ll tend towards going forwards pretty quickly.

As noted, it’s more of a case of selecting your “lane”. Think TCR, rather than Scalextric.

(For those of you not as old as me, TCR was a slotless racing car system from the 70s, where you could change lane as there were no slots)

Once you’re “in lane” there’s no need to steer any more. You’ll follow the road; yet despite this, on sharp bends in particular I found myself wanting to steer around them. It was a little weird, really. Since I could steer, I felt like I should steer.

In practice, I think it just takes a bit of adjusting to. I started being able to be a bit less severe in my veering around - but not as smoothly as I wanted to. It’s not like steering a real bike, of course.

Anyway, I played around, and tried taking some shorter lines. As others have noted, this does work. But the downside to taking the shorter line is often times being out of the draft. That has pros as well, but it’s not a big enough advantage to get far away from a larger pack. Not without an effort anyway, in my experience. So this isn’t an “I win” button. It might be an “I don’t lose” button, but in itself it’s not such a huge advantage that no one else should even bother.

Speaking of the draft, I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I felt like if I was riding up behind someone, I couldn’t get past them without deliberate steering around them. There was no riding through them, but not even any edging around them even when doing more power. I only tested that a few times, so it’s not a categorical statement; but we do know that you can’t deliberate cut through people, so it would make some sense.

Again on the subject of the draft, it takes a lot more attention to get back into it if you do steer out of the bunch. Normally, Zwift does a good job of putting you “in the bunch”; when you have steering enabled, nah. You’re on your own, pal. So it’s easy to find yourself stuck out in the wind if you’re not paying attention.

I guess when more people have them there will be more people in different parts of the road, so maybe finding some draft will be easier.

And if you decide that actually you’d rather have a guided ride, I think that means going to the pairing screen to disable it. I tried not steering for a while to see if it would disable, but it didn’t; maybe I didn’t leave it long enough. And even if it had, one inadvertent jolt of the Sterzo and it would probably engage all over again.

One final note; the first time I got out of the saddle and put in a dig, my front wheel slewed to the right. Or maybe the left. Either way, it was disconcerting and I sat down abruptly. I guess I just need to ease into it more gently, or hold the bars tighter. Or less tightly. Or just get used to it, but it felt like an out of saddle sprint might be an interesting experience.

I’ve only done that one ride, and overall I liked it. Not least because I could veer around the road going “Look at me! All steery and stuff! Hahaha! Wheeeeee!”

What I would like to see:

  • from Elite:
    a way of adjusting the strength of the self-centre mechanism
  • from Zwift:
    a way to adjust the sensitivity in-game
    a toggle to turn steering on or off mid ride (Companion app for example - maybe it’s already there, I haven’t looked)
    more freedom in steering; not just “pick a lane”, but something more like the free steering in “Grand Theft Bike”

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

That #1 car on the TCR box - looks a bit like James Hunt perhaps. :thinking: :joy:

@Daren: I agree with all those observations.

The battery compartment doesn’t open when you push in the two tabs – okay, there’s also one screw to remove. On ours, because of the upward pressure from the contacts at the ends of the compartment, the three batteries popped out several times before I managed to hold them down while getting the cover popped back in (where the tabs are necessary). No big deal, but no other device I’ve had using AAA or AA batteries was any trouble to close.

And then, the Sterzo was on, Zwift was on, the PC’s Bluetooth was on, but no Sterzo appeared on the steering screen. In the minute I had before the ride started, my guess was that Sterzo pairing wasn’t available by PC Bluetooth. (We use ANT+ for all sensors.) In fact, while the ANT+ icon was on in the pairing screen display, the Bluetooth icon was dimmed. I turned on Bluetooth on the iPhone, and was able to pair the Sterzo to Zwift PC through Zwift Companion. So your info on the Settings cog in the top right, which neither you nor I have used before, is helpful. I don’t use ZC to pair sensors; I don’t even have the iPhone’s Bluetooth switched on customarily. I do have the PC Bluetooth on, to use Bluetooth headphones. So it was unexpected that there’s a non-obvious place to tell the Zwift pairing screen whether to pay attention to the PC Bluetooth, and odder still that it was defaulted to ignore PC Bluetooth.

I wasn’t riding in a blob, so I don’t have the experience yet of riding in a big pack. But I would have expected that steering would be fully analog, rather than being a way to move you from one bike lane to the next. Maybe more refinement will come as steering on the road gets a lot more use.

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zwift kan mijn elite sterzo smart helemaal niet vinden!?
wi kan mij helpen?

mvrgr Ron de Groot

Ron, what device are you using? Apple TV, Tablet? … ?


Hi Stephan,

I am using a PC with widows 10, the first time a had a connection it connect on my mobiel so it’s not broke, a have ANT+ en a bluetooth dongle, but Zwift can not vind Sterzo???

Greetings Ron

Ron, I’m not a windows user, you can also try to connect to your sterzo by the companion app.
Maybe this will work?


Thanks Stephan,

All ready try that it doesn’t work eather.

Verzonden vanaf mijn Samsung Galaxy-smartphone.

-------- Oorspronkelijk bericht --------

In real life it would be a lot easier as gaps appear - you could squeeze in after a short time and at least join into the outside of the pack. I tried my first race tonight with it and its pretty much impossible. Once things started to break up into smaller groups I was able to take advantage and have some fun - peel off and join the back of a group, take quicker lines through the corners and break away etc - enjoyed it :slight_smile:

One thing I noticed is at a certain steering angle on the trainer my toes were hitting the tyre!

I remember well the TCR race circuit. Wanted one, but my parents never bought because of the money needed. :frowning_face: