Elite Rampa Review Part 1, The Build

The Elite Rampa Connected to my bike after being set up.
Elite Rampa All Set Up.

I always get excited when a new trainer comes in the mail.  ATR (Athletic Tech Review) dissembles these trainers, and then sees how they perform.  I put the Elite Rampa as a Mid-Range Smart trainer due to price.  That is basically how I rate all of my trainers; they are broken down by price.  I did find some flaws that we will talk about in the Elite Rampa Review and I did find some interesting things that caught my attention in a positive manner.  The Elite Rampa doesn’t use electromagnets, so all the resistance is being created through the use of a motor and 6 very strong magnets.  We will talk about this and more, in the article below.  If you want to skip all the reading, you can watch the video below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.  I like to do other interesting videos on YouTube that I don’t necessarily write about on this website.

Athletic Tech Review is an independent reviewer.  We purchased this trainer for a decent price at AthleteShop.uk.  If you purchase this trainer through the link below, we earn a small commission that keeps us independent.  Thanks for your support.

Purchase Elite Rampa .  It takes about 5 seconds for the page to load, then navigate to Cycling, Trainers, then Elite Rampa Smart B+.

This is a power profile chart of the Elite Rampa smart trainer. Elite gives us the max wattage along with the minimum wattage.
The chart says we should be able to hit 1500 watts.

Market Comparisons

The first thing I like to do, is see how the trainer stacks up to it’s competition.  The chart on the bottom comes straight from my Compare Equipment page.  In there, you can dive into all the tech info and see what our final rating will be when we finish part 3 of our review.

Things To Note

The first thing I would like to note is the advertised max power output of 800 watts.  Elite is a bit funny in that they only advertise max wattage at certain speeds.  When looking at the graph to the top right, you can see this trainer can probably hit 1500 watts.  We will validate that during our Part 3 review when we try to rip the legs off the thing.  The other thing to note is the flywheel size.  The Elite Rampa comes in with the second highest flywheel size at 5 pounds.  This means the road feel should be better with some additional assistance from the 6 magnets we found.

This chart takes a look at the Elite Ramp and how it compares to it's competition. Of note, it has an advertised max wattage of 800 watts, but it can hit 1500 watts most likely. Also, it has the second biggest flywheel of all the mid range trainers.
Looking At All The Competition.

What You Get

Like most trainers, you get a frame, resistance unit, skewer, power cord, and some pieces to put it all together (no wheel block).  I prefer my trainers pre-assembled, but I’m okay doing a bit of work.  The Elite Rampa is one of the harder trainers to put together (for mid range trainers).  I thought the CycleOps Magnus was pushing assembly a bit, but the Elite Rampa is more complicated than the Magnus.  This is primarily due to the accommodation of various wheel sizes.  This trainer can support anything from a 24″ to 29″ tire.

What We Liked

The Sufferlandrian National Flag of Black, White and Red.
If you know me, you know why.

I really am a sucker for the black, white, and red color scheme.  I am a big fan of it (if you know what I mean).  The frame also feels very sturdy and the weight is low for how sturdy it feels.  Total weight comes in at 24 pounds and it feels like it should weigh more.

Our Initial Concerns

We do have some concerns however.  There are two main things we are worried about.  One, the paint is chipping at the weld joints.  You can take a closer look at the image above.  All of the weld joints are bubbling and paint is chipping off.  The second concern is the yellow and green grounding wire that needs to be installed.  This really throws off the whole feel of the trainer.  The grounding wire just looks like an afterthought, so that has me a bit worried about longevity.  My dog will likely chew that wire or I may trip over it.

Design And Style

Next, we look at the design and style of this trainer.  The cycling enthusiast is investing a good chunk of change on these mid range trainers.  We expect them to not only perform well, but look good while doing it.

Design

The Elite Rampa is decently put together.  The assembly took the longest out of all the other mid range trainers.  This was due to the accommodation of wheel sizes down to 24″.  The only other mid range trainer that can support wheel sizes that low is the Bkool trainer.  However, the Bkool trainer is a swing arm design which means you probably lose some performance capabilities.  I saw performance losses due to the swing arm design on the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ during our Part 3 review.  I had no problems with adjusting tension or getting the main trainer unit onto the tire.  However, I am slightly concerned about the amount of tire contact you might get.  We won’t know if it is enough until we do further testing.  I’ll talk about that more in a later post.

That yellow and green grounding wire just kills the look of this trainer.  You can see what I mean in the pictures below.  It stands out as a hazard to me.  I’m pretty sure my dog is going to chew that cable up or my kids/myself might snag a foot on it.  The grounding wire seems like an afterthought.  That bothers me.

Lastly, it would great if we had the option to put on a larger flywheel similar to what Kurt Kinetic does.  The Kurt Kinetic Pro Flywheel is a behemoth at 12 pounds.  You can attach it to your KK trainer and get a whopping total of 18 Pounds of flywheel to keep that inertia (road feel) going.  I would love to see that option with the Rampa.  There is plenty of room down there for more flywheel.

Style

I am looking at my Elite Rampa across my desk at this moment.  If it wasn’t for the chipping paint at the weld joints and the off colored grounding wire, it wold get a 5 out of 5 for Style.  I feel bad that we might be dinging them for a few things.  Overall, it is sexy color scheme that is well put together.

Looking Under The Hood

Here is the fun part for me, taking this trainer body apart.  I had suspicions that we were not going to be looking at electromagnets.  The Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ was a motor and magnet design and looking at the Elite Rampa power cord, I was thinking there was a motor again.

Resistance Unit

Take a look at all the pictures below.  The unit was well put together.  I had total of 10 screws and bolts to take off before I could actually crack the Rampa Smart unit open.  Basically we have two plates that hold the magnets against a circular metal plate.  There is room for four magnets, but the Rampa only has 3 installed.  I’m betting 4 magnets in the original design might have been too much resistance on the baseline power curve.  The control unit is fairly small and you have one  connection on the outside to plug in a power cord.  The design is simple, and sometimes simple gets it done very well.

The only thing I do not like so far about these Elite Trainers and their control boards; this weird other connection they have.  I think this is used to program the trainer.  I really don’t know and I need to start asking Elite about it.  However, it is too similar to the plug sitting right next to it.  I worry about accidentally frying the control board when plugging in my power.  I wish that piece was further apart or not accessible to the consumer.

Supporting Products

Elite has some decent supporting products.  You get a free 12 month membership to the Elite My E-Training App when you buy a trainer from them.  You also get 1 month free access to Zwift whether you have an account or not.  The strong element of the Elite Training App is the Real Videos.  They have a decent library of video footage that takes you all around the world.  Their training interface and some other things seem to be a bit outdated.  I really don’t know how much more money these trainer companies will invest within their own training Apps with the likes of Zwift and The Sufferfest Training Centre really expanding in the marketplace.

Summary

Overall, I’m excited to test the performance of this trainer.  I can’t lie about the next part of my review, it is going to be a bit painful.  Anyone who has tried to adjust their virtual power base map with an Elite Trainer knows what I am talking about.  The re-maping process can be extensive due to the App not wanting to flash the trainer all the time.  In part 2 we will cover my experiences with the virtual power curve built into this trainer.  We will also look at how accurate that power curve is for my setup and what, if any, changes need to be made to the P1, P2, and P3 settings.

I would love to spend a lot of time looking at how different tire types affect power output with these wheel on trainers during this process.  My time on part two, really depends on how well the Elite App works for me.  There is also a Windows App that can flash the Elite Rampa and it works a little bit better.  I do want to start with their app though.  I just didn’t have much luck with the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+.  You can take a look at my calibration process by clicking on that link.  I hope to have this complete in a week or so. Until then, post any questions, comments, or experiences you have with the Elite Rampa down below.

Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson

Aaron served in the military for 20 years. Multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired from the military after 20 years of service to take care of our three small children in 2013 as a Stay At Home Dad.

athletictechreview has 55 posts and counting.See all posts by athletictechreview

2 thoughts on “Elite Rampa Review Part 1, The Build

  • June 22, 2017 at 10:37 am
    Permalink

    Hi

    Excellent reviews on the rampa , particularly part2 calibration. I am considering getting a rampa but am holding off until part 3 “the ride”. Hope it wont be too long off ?

    Reply
    • June 22, 2017 at 12:12 pm
      Permalink

      Hi David! Thanks for waiting. I’ve been super busy with my regular job, the kids and summer break. I’m going to try and get to the Rampa here in the next few weeks.

      Reply

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