Direto X offers one of the best Q/P ratio. Victim of its success during lockdown, it has remained unavailable since. We learn today that it will not be re-released but that a new version will be available soon.
During lockdown, Direto X and lighter model Suito were victims of their success. “Out of stock”, “Unavailable without restocking date”: this is what all the online bicycle equipment sales sites display! The Direto X even disappeared from Zwift shop recently (while Suito remains listed despite being unavailable) …
With the release of Direto X, Elite had taken a competitive lead in this trainer segment … Offering performances far beyond its competitors (Tacx Flux 2 and Wahoo Core), it had a place of choice in the premium segment.
Elite could not therefore remain without acting and had to offer again a device in this range. To do so, they had two choices: :
- re-edit the bestseller
- propose a new model
We are fixed today, it will be a new model: the Direto XR!
New Features ?
For the moment, only few information are available … But given the resemblance to the old model, it is more of an evolution than a revolution.
We can expect enhancements on two axes:
- more power
- more responsiveness
But, we are never safe from seeing other additions but their commercial significance is weaker.
The Direto X already announced 18%. XR model will offer 20% and maybe more. This would end up placing it at the top of sales (especially compared to its two direct competitors: the Wahoo Core and the Tacx Flux 2).
This would also significantly reduce the difference with a premium models (like Tacx Neo 2T and the Wahoo Kickr which simulate 25%).
The evolution could also concern the reactivity of the device. Indeed, the resistance of the Direto models is controlled by a small servo-motor which manages the position of the elements of the brake system. Owners of older models are familiar with its characteristic little noise when powering on.
This device had already been improved between the Direto model and Direto X. However, this type of mechanism is slower than competitor devices and has been the subject of (minor) criticisms. So Elite could improve this reactivity with this model.
Regarding accuracy, Elite will probalby not announce a new sensor because its current technology (OTS) already puts it at the top of this segment. But algorithms will be improved to be more reliable (especially at extreme ranges).
A good idea could also be the addition of Power-Meter Link. This feature, available on models without a power sensor (Suito, Tuo, etc.) allows the power information to be used directly from an external sensor such as pedals or cranksets for perfect consistency of the interior / exterior measurement.
Calibration process should not change. As it stands, and barring any major surprises, calibration will remain necessary and I think that we will stay on the current system which is efficient.
Another recurring request is the improvement of the cordless mode. Without speaking of a Tacx Neo type auto-power supply, Elite could offer a more advanced system than the fixed brake of the Direto X.
Last point, the Direto X was already delivered with all axis adapters but without sprocket. With the success of the Suito and its “Plug’n Play” commercial argument, the Direto XR should be marketed with a pre-assembled 11-28 shimano 105 sprocket.
New trainers models are often announced during the Euro-Bike (major European exhibition) and (european) availability is concomitant.
Usually this event takes place in September. But this year, due to COVID19, this show has been delayed to November 24-26, 2020.
Consequently, Elite being dry of any product in this range, the announcement will be imminent and the marketing would begin as soon as possible to avoid precious market share loss …
We can therefore expect to see this device released in August 2020 and early September at the latest!
How Much ?
We can expect the Direto XR to resume the list price of its predecessor € 799 (on UE market) – a fairly competitive price in this segment … Of course, and depending on demand (and context), this price will be likely to evolve. During black Friday, we saw these devices trade at 649 €.
At this price, delivered with a sprocket, competitors may worry !!!
Suivi des versions
- 22 july 2020 : Initial release