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.


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I’m a huge Etap fan anyway, and loved the original wireless groupset, but the first ride on the new Force AXS groupset blew me away. You still have the amazingly intuitive way of shifting (right shifter for up a gear and left shifter for down a gear just like a DSG gearbox!) and clean look to the bike, but the addition of an extra gear and the change of gear ratios is a game-changer. The move to 12-speed, including a 10t smallest sprocket, means that the range of gears at your disposal is outstanding. I’ve gone for the 10-33 cassette with the 46/33 chainset - perfect for trips abroad to the mountains, but also giving a higher top end than a 50/34 chainset and an 11t smallest sprocket on an 11-speed cassette. It really gives you the best of everything, and also enables you to spend more time centrally on the cassette for improved drivetrain efficiency.

I haven’t explored the customisation options through the AXS phone app yet, but that ability to tailor the setup to my own taste is appealing. With all the same functions as the top of the range Red Etap AXS groupset, the only slight penalty is around 200g of additional weight. However, with a price tag much closer to Shimano Ultegra Di2, SRAM Force Etap AXS should definitely be a strong consideration if you are considering an upgrade to an electronic groupset.



The REILLY Gradient is an unprecedented engineering achievement. Combining a Hydro-formed REILLY AXIS 3AL-2.5V titanium tube set with hugely flexible geometry, Mark Reilly/Damon Fisher designed an all in one package of pure indulgence.

Mark designed the Gradient to be very progressive with an ultra-secure disc 12 x 142mm rear thru axle and a stunning but subtle REILLY AXIS multi-facet Hydro-Formed titanium tube set, just like the favourite steel tube set Columbus Spirit HSS

It doesn’t stop there. Clearances for 700c 44mm tyres with guards, and 650b 47/50c without guards, flat mount disc and thru axle. The new REILLY AXIS tube set is incredibly stiff but wonderfully comfortable making it ideal for fast gravel riding. The Gradient also represents great value for a high quality titanium frame at only £1,599.

Road, Gravel, Audax, Tour, Cyclo Cross, this bike has it all! Come and see our demo bike in store, or give us a call to arrange a test ride on 01473 828129.

Avio Powersense Power Meter


Avio’s Powersense power meter is available for a fitted cost of only £249. It provides accurate and reliable power readings, and is fitted to your existing left hand crank by us at the shop. If you want to train as effectively as possible, a power meter is the gold standard, and Avio’s Powersense is the most cost-effective solution on the market. Give us a call on 01473 828129 now to book in for a power meter installation.

Chapeau! Club Jersey Pro


Completely new for 2019, the Club Pro features aero sleeves for an even faster version of the popular Club jersey. It is lightweight, comfortable, quick to dry, bullet fast and stylish.

The rear of the Club Pro Jersey has the essential three pockets and a zip-up security pocket for your keys and coins. There's also a full gripper to hold the Pro securely in place.

There are several colour options and 3 different designs, and as with all Chapeau! garments, they are covered by their 2 year no-quibble guarantee. £89.99.