Saris H3 Smart Trainer - First Ride Review

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The Saris H3 Smart Trainer has arrived in store, and we thought what better way to test it out than in an early morning Zwift race!

The H3 is the third edition of the original CycleOps Hammer Smart Trainer, and the main difference from it’s predecessors is that the unit is now even quieter so that it doesn’t cause much disturbance to anyone else in the house whilst in use. Set up is also very easy, with no assembly required out of the box other than folding the arms out from their stored position. The H3 doesn't come with a cassette, so this will need adding to finalise the set up. Connecting to Zwift was also super easy, although the one thing to note is that calibrating the H3 using Zwift’s spin down procedure didn’t work as intended. This is a known issue, but can be easily resolved by adding the Rouvy app for free and calibrating the trainer there instead.

The H3 has the same heavy flywheel as the H2, and this gives an incredibly smooth ride feel which is very realistic. On Zwift, the H3 responds to gradient changes very accurately, so that what you see on the screen is replicated perfectly by what you feel from the trainer. In a Zwift race situation this really allows you to have a good feel for the speed of the race and ensure that you are well positioned at all times, and when it comes to sprints and hard out-of-the-saddle efforts the H3 is outstanding. It is such a solid unit with the weight of the machine at over 20kg, and this makes it very stable and able to comfortably handle big watts. Saris claims that the H3 can handle 2000 watts and replicate 20% gradients, so it should be more than enough for most people.

Overall, the Saris H3 Smart Trainer is a superb piece of equipment to enable anyone to get the most out of Zwift, as well as all other 3rd party trainer apps. The RRP has also been reduced vs the H2, dropping from £1,000.00 to £849.99 for the H3. This makes it very good value vs it’s competitors in the direct drive turbo trainer market.

The Saris H3 is permanently set up on one of our Zwift stations in the shop, so feel free to pop in and try it out anytime.