So what exactly is this thing? The Elite RIZER adds extra spice to your indoor cycling training by simulating some of the hills you would experience in some indoor cycling training platforms like SWIFT.
Buy On Amazon: Elite RIZER Climbing Steering for Indoor Cycling
When you start to go up a steep hill, it’s not only the resistance that changes on your smart trainer but so does the actual position of your bike, which simulates what it would be like in real life. This is both for uphill and downhills, where it can seem to go up to a 20% uphill and down to a negative 10% downhill, but that’s not the only trick that the riser has up its sleeve. The riser also integrates the steering functionality initially found in Elite Sterzo, where you can steer within specific errors and events in some cycling apps, so the riser isn’t just about being a gradient simulator; it adds a lot of interactivities to your indoor cycling experience.
So, first things first, you will have to have a compatible smart bike trainer to use the riser. The main thing here is that these trainers allow the bike to rotate on the rear axle. Suppose you try to use the riser with a trainer that doesn’t allow for this movement. You could damage your frame, but the other thing with these trainers is that they actually transmit a special aunt plus signal that the riser uses to simulate the gradient, so the riser doesn’t connect to the indoor cycling training platform you’re using, like Zwift. Instead, it connects directly to the trainer itself.
Now, you may be wondering if the Elite RIZER works with non Elite branded trainers, and that’s a yes, but the compatibility may not be quite perfect. The trainer has to have the rear axle that rotates. That is the number one thing you have to make sure of, but with the other non Elite branded trainers, the riser will monitor the speed and power coming off the signal to calculate the slope. Now, they aren’t officially supporting any third-party trainers, but I guess this will change in the future, so stay tuned for further updates, and I’ll probably post an update when that comes around.
This thing is not as small as you can tell from the size of the box, and you could easily have a keg of beer inside in the top of the box. There’s a small box with the international adapters, the manuals, and the axle adapters. And then there’s another box inside that has a relatively large power brick. And there’s pretty much no way you’ll mix this adapter up with anything else lying around. And then, finally, there’s the riser itself in all its glory.
That enormous power brick international power, cables manuals, and axle adapters can use a regular quick-release front axle. It’s nice to see that it does come with a quick release, but there are also adapters for 12 by 115 by 100 and 15 by 110 front axles, and they’re labeled quite nicely. This Elite RIZER is not light by any means, and it should be built with some heft to it since it needs to be stable. And what’s nice is that Elite provides an excellent handle on the front side of the unit to carry it around or position. All four feet are adjustable to accommodate floors that may be slightly off on each foot. It also has a rubber ring on the bottom to keep it from shifting around.
At the bottom of the unit, you’ll notice that it’s built on the two bars that allow the unit to move forward and backward while still having a nice stable platform. And then another thing I’ll quickly point out is that the fork support swivels from side to side and rotates, which allows for the steering functionality that I was talking about earlier. There’s even one more trick with the support that I’ll tell you.
Once the bike is mounted to set it up, it’s pretty simple where you first want to choose the appropriate adapters for your bike, and I like the fact that these adapters have a tiny rubber O-ring inside, which keeps these adapters in place. So, if you move the riser around, the likelihood of these adapters falling out is pretty slim, and at this point, all you do is plug it in, and it doesn’t have an automatic centering and calibration procedure. Next, you probably already have your bike in place on your trainer, and all you do is remove your front wheel and then slide the riser into place and secure it with whatever type of front axle release you have to pair it with your trainer. You long-press the lock icon on the top of the riser for about 3 seconds, and then the LED starts flashing until it finds the compatible trainer, which is indicated by the correct lead on the bottom of the Elite RIZER, then turns to a solid green. If there’s no light or if the light is blinking green, the riser is still waiting to pair to a trainer, and that’s it for pairing.
So for simulation mode, you want to make sure that the lead on top of the riser is on. It uses the gradient data being sent from the trainer, which is controlled by whatever app you’re using, like Zwift, and it automatically changes the grade based on whatever’s in the app. Then for how the riser reacts or gradient changes in Zwift on slower transitions. It transitioned smoothly and got quicker changes that do a pretty good job, like the section coming up to the volcano climb. There are some rollers, and you can see that the grade displayed in Zwift matches the quality on the riser that you can see in the riser smartphone app. There are only a handful of places in Zwift where there are some rapid transitions with the rolling hills where it couldn’t quite keep up, but I think there was only once or twice that I even noticed that. Overall, it does an outstanding job of replicating what you see on the screen for the hills and matching the gradient displayed in the app.
But let’s say you don’t want to have it automatically simulate the gradient in Zwift, or let’s say you’re not even using a cycling training platform that supports that gradient simulation. So that’s where you can manually adjust the grade using the controls on the top of the unit. So, when you’re in simulation mode, the top LED’s lit up, and they take it out of simulation mode. You just simply press the lock icon, and the LED turns off, and then using the up and down controls is as simple as just pressing the button, of course, where each button press moves the riser by 1%.
But one interesting thing I found is that the movement only happens after you release the button. So, if you just single press and let go, it moves. But if you try to hold down the button, nothing will happen until you release it. I would like to have it so I could hold down the button to make bigger changes in gradient, but that’s just how it is, at least at this point where I have to repeatedly press the button to make a larger changes kind of minor, but just something I wanted to mention. The controls on top of the riser are somewhat accessible, being right at the top of the unit, but you still have to reach in front of your bars to access them. What’s great is that there’s also a dedicated smartphone app that connects to the riser where you can perform all the same functions and allows you to customize some more settings so you can switch between simulation mode and manual mode.
You can increase or decrease the grade by 1%, just like on the top of the riser itself. It also displays the current slope, but there are some additional settings you can access, like the difficulty setting, which can change how the riser will react with grade changes. So, if you prefer to have a lot less physical change in grade from what is being displayed on the app, you can do that, and you can also go the other way around where there’s more grade than what the app is sending over. You can also reset the flat or zero level of the riser if, for some reason, that’s off, and you can also set up different profiles so you can set the minimum and maximum grade for a particular writer here.
So, let’s say that somebody doesn’t necessarily want the riser to go up to 20%. Which is very high, and you can also set it so it doesn’t go down to a negative 10%. So, you can select the maximum and minimum based on the rider’s comfort and then for the rest of the profile settings. Those are generally used when the riser isn’t paired with an Elite trainer sending over the gradient data. So when the riser is paired with a trainer that’s just sending over the speed and power data, the RIZER can utilize the profile data to more accurately replicate the grade based on the user’s bike, wheelbase weight, and rider weight. With the profiles, you can also switch between them on the riser itself by pressing both the up and down arrow keys at the same time and the profile. Numbers are indicated by the number of times the lead on the top link. So, if it’s profile #3, it blinks three times. If it’s profile #2, it will blink two times.
And there’s also the safety mode toggle, so safety mode will set the grade back to zero or flat if you stop pedaling for about 5 seconds. So, suppose you don’t prefer this. In that case, you can disable safety mode, which will just keep it in place when you stop pedaling. Speaking of safety, you may be wondering how the riser works, as in what is making it go up and down. It uses a gigantic bolt or screw which actuates the movement versus a belt-driven system, which means there’s pretty much no risk of this thing ever snapping or anything like that. And the riser also has an integrated steering mechanism that replicates some of the functionality you can find on the Elite Sterzo.
So the steering functionality works just like the Elite Sterzo where you can steer with incompatible cycling training platforms like Zwift, which provides even more interactivity. And it uses an elastic system inside, which will automatically center your bar. So there’s a little bit of resistance there, just like if you’re writing a bike outside. There’s a slight difference between this steering functionality versus the gradient simulation. So, the steering functionality will connect to the app itself, like Zwift, where the gradient simulation will link to their trainer; what’s great about the Elite RIZER is that you can use both. You can use either one if you’d like, or you don’t have to use either one, even if you don’t use the steering aspect within the game.
I really liked the Elite Sterzo because it took the edge off of riding inside, where it just provided a little bit of giving to the handlebars, so it wasn’t like I was riding in a static position the entire time. I really like that about the Elite RIZER, but there’s even one more thing I want to toss in here, so along with the steering functionality, you’ll also notice a small amount of lateral movement in the fork sport. Not a ton, but just a few millimeters that again helps take the edge off. And as the stability, this thing is super solid, so I had no issues at all, even on hard sprints. There’s no wobbling going on when you’re standing up. It’s super stable, and the auto-centering of the steering keeps the handlebars in place quite well.
So when we put all these things together, the gradient simulations, the steering functionality, and that subtle lateral movement. The riser isn’t just a gradient simulator in my mind. It makes my indoor writing experience much more comfortable and enjoyable because I’m not stuck in a static position when I’m riding. It provides the stimulation of the gradient and changes the steering functionality. Suppose you want to use that and the comfort provided by the steering and that lateral movement. So, the riser is a great all-in-one accessory to elevate the indoor cycling experience.
So, I left pricing until last because some of these figures will change over time. So right now, worldwide shipping costs are astronomical, definitely affecting many different industries. So, if you’re in the EU, the riser will cost €799. That figure shouldn’t change, but it will likely change over time for the rest of the world. So, for the US, when the riser is available later this year, it will cost $1099, which is kind of steep, but they have their hands tied with that for comparison.
Anyhow, that’s everything new with the elite riser gradient simulator. If you found the information in this review, don’t be shy about hitting that like button down below.