Review: Elite Volare MagForce ElastoGel Turbo Trainer
Elite have long been associated with producing quality turbo trainers at all price points to please every cyclist’s needs, from the super expensive Elite Turbo Muin Fluid trainer to the more affordable Elite Volare, which is a no frills way to train indoors.
The Elite Volare trainer is ideal for any cyclist who wants to train indoors but doesn’t want to break the bank. Elite say they ship them already assembled but some assembly is necessary, such as fitting the turn handle for the QR skewer and adding the mag plate and roller unit to the frame.
This takes mere minutes to do, although some adjustment may be necessary to get your wheel placed in the middle of the roller. Elite allow for lots of adjustment too, giving you the function to move the unit much further left or right than you should ever need to go. Once you have found the ideal place, simply tighten the nuts and you’re away.
The trainer comes with a spare QR skewer which has a round, bulbous end that slots perfectly into the holder. We advise that you fit this skewer as it will make the bike much more stable and you won’t have to worry about the bike slipping once you’re on it.
The trainer comes with rubber end on the contact points where your trainer meets the floor, which can cause rubbing and the squeaking of rubber on hard floor if you train at a higher intesity. The trainer also has a tendency to shift slightly if you do change up into higher intensity training, although this can be solved with a trainer mat or yoga mat to make the unit more stable on hard floors.
The ElastoGel roller is an invention from Elite that provides a more supple surface for your tyre to roll against, increasing adherence between tyre and roller and making it easier to increase intensity or pedalling rhythm without any tyre slip or skipping.
Elite claim that the ElastoGel feature also reduces tyre wear and noise by 20%, which is obvious if you have used other indoor trainers before. The Volare is extremely quiet, even at a high resistance and pedal frequency it stays below talking volume, making it a great trainer to use if you train in group sessions or if you are watching a training video.
Elite’s MagForce resistance unit offers 10% more resistance than the MagSpeed unit and still has the five choices of resistance. This resistance is changed with an ergonomic handle that can attach to your bars, although you may need to get creative with where you put it as the clip is slightly too small for many bar types. We experimented and found it works well on the drops, where it fits nicely and is reachable from a seated and standing position.
The resistance is a great feature and allows you to train at different intensities – great for interval training or simulating hill climbs. Don’t rely on the magnetic resistance completely though, as you can get more varied resistance levels by using your gears. We found it to be most comfortable in both the big ring and small ring at resistance level 3, with 1 being pretty much no resistance and 5 being like pedalling through treacle even in the lowest gear.
The Volare folds away easily into a compact unit that can be placed behind or down the side of things, it is perfect for storage, although the cable to the MagForce unit isn’t very flexible and can be difficult to wrap around the trainer to make it more compact.
The trainer doesn’t come with a riser block or trainer tyre, although many places offer these items as a bundle along with the trainer. A riser block is useful for keeping the bike level as it is a much comfier position to ride in and you don’t feel like you are going downhill; a trainer tyre is ideal if you intend to train indoors a lot as it doesn’t wear as quickly as regular tyres.
See our review of the Elite Gel Riser Block and buy it below, along with a turbo tyre, to get the best out of your turbo sessions.
Remember you never use your rear brake whilst on a trainer, as this will stop your rear tyre but won’t stop the magnetic plate spinning, which will severely wear your tyre.
The Elite Volare MagForce ElastoGel trainer can be bought in the majority of online retailers, we found it cheapest at £89.99 (RRP £174.99) from Chain Reaction.
+ Easy to set up and store
+ Quiet – stays below talking level at high intensities
+ Secure and stable attachment to bike
– Resistance isn’t very varied
– Tendency to move and squeak on hard floors
– MagForce changer unit doesn’t fit many handlebar types
Overall we give the Elite Volare MagForce ElastoGel Turbo Trainer 8/10.