Direct-drive trainers offer one of the quietest and realistic indoor cycling experiences. The direct-drive Elite Suito sits in the middle of Elite’s smart trainer lineup, just below the slightly more expensive Direto XR and the wheel-on Tuo. Compared to the top-level Direto XR, the Suito has a more accessible retail price with slightly less accuracy (i.e. 1.5% vs 2.5% for the Suito) and lacks the Direto XR’s pedal analysis feature.This review features the latest version of the Elite Suito, the Elite Suito-T which carries a $849.99 retail price. Unlike the Suito, the Suito-T does not include a Shimano 105 cassette with the trainer. Otherwise, the Suito-T has the same impressive 15% slope simulation and 1900W of resistance. The direct-drive trainer also includes multiple adapters in the box and optional adapters to cover most bikes on the market.
The Elite Suito-T Smart Direct Drive trainer combines an industrial design with 15% slope simulation and 1900W of resistance.
|Rating||9.0 / 10|
|Likes||+ Industrial design|
+ Narrow form factor is easy to store
+ Realistic ride feel and 15% gradient simulation
|Dislikes||– Cassette is not included|
– Can be difficult to fold the legs due to tab placement
– Weight of trainer might be hard for smaller cyclists to carry or move
|Where to Buy (US)||Elite|
The Suito-T ships in an Elite branded large cardboard box. Extensive plastic wrapping and cardboard holders keep the Suito-T secured in the box and can withstand rough handling by shipping companies. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Suito-T Trainer
- Power cord (with adapters for different outlets)
- Instruction manual
- QR 5×130-135 / Thru-axle 12×142 adapter
- QR Skewer
- Basic plastic wheel block
Aside from installing a cassette and the proper axle adapter, the trainer is fully assembled right out of the box and ready to use. Note, Elite also includes a 1-year free code for Elite’s My E-Training app and 30 day Zwift code with the trainer. Also, you’ll need to download the Elite Upgrado app to update the trainer to latest firmware software.
FIT AND FINISH
Visually, the Elite Suito-T has an industrial design with exposed hardware and stamped metal covers. While it’s not as exciting to look at compared to some competitors like the Tacx Neo, the more functional design results in a compact form factor. The Suito-T isn’t much wider than the axle and cassette, as the two stabilizer legs fold inward. It has a tall yet narrow profile and can easily be stored in a closet or on its side underneath a bed or shelves. The exterior is a mix of matte black plastic and metal covers with Elite branding printed on the sides in white. Elite has opted for a three leg design with two stabilizer legs that pivot outward to about 45°. We found the legs to be difficult to unlock and fold, as you have to pull a tab to unlock the legs and then pull them inward.
The 3.5kg (7.7lbs) flywheel is partially exposed on the front of the trainer with a belt that routes underneath the external panels. Behind the flywheel you’ll find the large plastic handle that can be used to move the trainer around. At around 30lbs, the Suito-T isn’t particularly light, so some people might have trouble moving it around. The handle has an ergonomic design and feels comfortable to hold. There are three LED lights on the side of the Suito-T that indicate whether the trainer has power or is connected to any devices. Using Zwift, the Suito-T connects within a few seconds and has the familiar spin down calibration feature. Note, you will need to download the separate Elite Upgrado app to update the firmware of the trainer. The trainer is also compatible with the Elite Rizer and Sterzo Smart steering block if you want a more immersive experience.
Thanks to the direct drive design you don’t need a separate trainer wheel or trainer tire with the Suito-T. Instead you remove your rear wheel and slide the bike over the skewer. In additional to the ease of use, the Suito-T offers impressive noise and vibration dampening. It’s significantly quieter than traditional wheel-on trainers which can vibrate and hum due to the tire contact. While the Suito-T isn’t silent, it has a hum that becomes louder at higher speed, there are no harsh vibrations or tire noise. We used the Suito-T with Zwift and found the integration was seamless as we were able to start riding in under a minute using the power reading and built-in cadence sensor. With up to 15% slope simulation you’ll be able to feel all the iconic climbs, especially if you increase the trainer resistance in Zwift (note, the default is set to 50%).
The Suito-T responds relatively quickly to gradient changes, especially over rolling terrain and provides an immersive experience. While it isn’t a perfect simulation of outdoor riding, the 3.5kg (7.7lb) flywheel on the Suito-T gives it a realistic feel. Our only complaint is that some of the gradient changes could be a bit harsh and would go from easy to hard so you’ll need to watch the course and adjust your cadence in advance – similar to riding outdoors. As a mid-level smart direct trainer, the Elite Suito-T lacks some high-end trainer features such as downhill freewheeling or cobblestone simulation and instead focuses on basics such as slope simulation and accuracy which should satisfy most cyclists. Note, you can user the Suito-T with the Elite Rizer or the Elite Sterzo as we did to make it feel more immersive.
Overall, we found the Elite Suito-T Smart Direct Drive to be a well designed and fun trainer to ride. Its function-over-form industrial design results in a compact footprint that’s easy to store. The two stabilizer legs keep the trainer stable even on high-effort sprints and help reduce noise. As a direct drive design, the Suito-T is significantly quieter than wheel-on trainers and only emits a hum at higher speeds. Although you need to buy your own cassette with the Suito-T, Elite includes all the popular adapters to work with QR / thru-axle spacing and ships fully assembled. While it’s not a substitute for outdoor riding, we enjoyed the road-like feel and responsiveness of the Suito-T on Zwift. The main issue we found was that the legs can be difficult to fold (i.e. we wish the unlock mechanism was relocated to the end of the leg for more leverage) and that the ~30lb weight of the trainer might be difficult for some to carry. That said, if you’re looking for a quiet and compact direct drive trainer that is relatively affordable, then the Elite Suito-T is a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Elite. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.