Elite has been the first cycling manufacturer to make a smart bike roller trainer. The Arion Digital Smart B+ is an interactive roller trainer with automatic resistance adjustment.
With a high power output and electronically managed magnetic resistance these cycling rollers offer a more realistic feel because you have to achieve and maintain balance, just as you would while cycling outside.
The extra concentration needed makes your experience more thrilling. Adding smart features to rollers makes them even more lovable and though riding inside will never be the same as riding outside, using smart rollers comes really close.
The Elite Arion smart rollers allow trainer apps like Zwift to control your resistance depending on the virtual terrain you have chosen. This means you can actually feel yourself going uphill from your living room. The rollers, as you will notice, are wide and parabolic so you can move freely without flying off the trainer. The unit is not noisy and folds for storage. The Arion might be one of the best things to ever happen to cyclists, yet.
Read my review of the nine best wheel-on smart bicycle trainers of 2018.
If you have doubts about this set of rollers, it is okay. That is understandable considering the fact that it is the first of its kind. How does it work? How efficient is it? Does it accurately measure power? What apps and bikes can be used with it? Is it even worth the price? These, among many others, might be the questions running through your mind. You obviously need the answers, in clear details, before you commit your money and place your fitness on the Arion Smart. This review sets to help you make an informed judgment; one that you will not regret.
Read on to have all your questions answered.
Quick Summary Of The Features And Specifications
- Features ANT+, Bluetooth Smart protocol; interacts with devices, software, and apps
- Power output is high: 400watts @ 35km/h
- Resistance is controlled by apps depending on the virtual road
- Integrated step for safe mounting and dismounting
- Comes fully assembled
- Lightweight and foldable
- Maximum slope: 5%
- Compatible with road and MTB bikes, the front roller is adjustable
- Large parabolic rollers for enhanced handling control
- Compatible with common cycling apps like TrainerRoad, Zwift, Real Software and Kinomap Trainer
- Measures speed, power, and cadence
Closer Look At The Features and Specifications
The rollers on this piece of equipment are parabolic. In the middle, they are 85mm in diameter while the sides are 100mm in diameter. This feature helps you remain balanced on the rollers even through lateral movement. Those who are familiar with rollers know what could happen if you ride off the drums; otherwise, just look for “bike roller fail” videos on YouTube. With the Elite Arion rollers, you can be sure you will never end up like those poor cyclists.
The frame is made of lightweight resin. Despite its weight, it is super durable and can withstand your toughest workout sessions without going down in pieces. The durability of any training unit is something you should never compromise unless you are never going to use it for working out. Always go for something that supports your weight even during hard routines. The rollers are made from reinforced PVC and are super smooth.
The Arion smart rollers feature ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart transmissions which allow you to wirelessly connect to smartphones and computers. The ANT+ FE-C protocol is not private and you can use it with third-party software. This protocol allows complete interaction with the unit to read power, cadence, and speed.
The Elite Digital B+ Rollers come pre-assembled. If working with your hands has never really been your thing you can relax. No handiwork is required. Your only job is unfolding the rollers and starting your workout. The fact that it folds 1800 makes it easy to store and transport. It looks very neat when folded. There is an integrated step to help you mount and dismount your bike easily and safely.
The unit comes with a one-year free subscription to My E-Training app. It is available for both Android and iOS (smartphones and tablets). The app displays and even manages your cadence, power, speed, heart rate, distance and time data. You are free to download and use the numerous RealVideos and My RealVideo races available on the platform.
The Arion Digital Smart B+ is compatible with road and MTB bikes. The front roller is adjustable to 10 different positions to accommodate your bicycle’s wheelbase.
The Elite Arion Digital does not produce a lot of noise as you ride—not too high that you will want to throw it away. The bearings are fully sealed to ensure that. However, you need to understand that it is almost impossible to have a noiseless workout with any indoor training unit, so riders go for the quietest equipment that they can find and afford.
The power accuracy of these rollers is decent. Like most smart trainers, you are required to perform a calibration before you begin for more accurate numbers. Nevertheless, it is advisable for you to use a power meter if you have one because performing the calibration wrong or not calibrating at all will result in inaccuracy.
Why You Should Buy The Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ Rollers
It is super light and folds in half. Rollers and trainers are primarily for riding indoors. But that does not mean that you will never have to transport it; maybe to warm up for a race or anywhere else.
Even if you never have to transport it, you are definitely not a fan of very heavy rollers. Everyone wants something that can be convenient if the need arises. It folds flat and neatly making storage an easy task.
It has 16 levels of electromagnetic resistance. The resistance is app-controlled. Whatever virtual terrain you decide to ride on, you will experience every inch of it as if you were really there. This is one of the biggest advantages of smart trainers and rollers—getting to feel the outdoor road from indoors. If you are using a “dumb” trainer or rollers, the Elite Arion should be the next gift you are buying yourself.
It features ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart transmissions. This allows it to connect to devices and communicate with apps. The benefits that come with trainer apps are numerous. Among them is the ability to ride and compete with “friends” and access to online coaches who will push you to attain all your workout goals, and then some.
The frame is made of resin and the rollers of reinforced PVC. The Elite Arion promises to serve you and hold together regardless of how thorough your workout sessions are. Its lightweight may make you doubt the quality but Elite have decided that you can have it all—a featherweight unit that is ultra durable and sturdy.
The power measurement accuracy of the Elite Arion is questionable. Even after performing a calibration, you might notice it reading low at high power and high at low power, sometimes by up to 40% which is a bit of a disappointment. On the bright side, most people prefer power meters anyway. They are more accurate and it wouldn’t hurt to invest in one.
The noise level is a little higher than that of the average smart trainer. All indoor cycling trainers produce a certain level of noise. When it comes to fluid and smart trainers, the noise level can only be too high based on individual preferences. Therefore, unless you hear the noise produces by the Elite Arion yourself, do not be too quick to dismiss it.
What Users Are Saying
This being a unique product, it would be interesting to see what users have to say—is it a miss or a hit?
Riders describe the Elite Arion as a “game changer”. Setting it up is simple and nobody is complaining about that. Training has been a lot of fun for most of them and one particular user has even said that he finds these rollers better than direct drive trainers.
The ride is smooth with great resistance. The Arion’s frame has proven to be very sturdy and reliable. The parabolic rollers have not gone unnoticed and cyclists love that they act as a “warning” before you veer off the unit while cycling.
Apparently, the cadence is calculated and not measured and on some occasions, it might be a little off.
All in all the users love being able to enjoy the goodness of rollers (being focused and working the core) while experiencing the smart world.
Elite never disappoint and they were definitely not going to start with such a huge product. The Elite Arion Digital Smart is a sturdy unit that offers great resistance to help you stay fit when being outdoors is impossible. You can get your favorite app, find friends to race against or get a coach to help you with your fitness goals. You can barely find anything negative enough to be a deal breaker about this set of rollers.