For 2019, Elite has added to its range a versatile bike rack, a flyweight bottle cage, an interactive roller and an innovative bike bag that’s proving popular with the pros.
Elite Prism Carbon bottle cage
We’ve seen side-entry bottle cages before, but not as high-end as the Prism Carbon.
As the name suggests, it’s made from a flyweight polymer-matrix composite that’s reinforced with carbon fibre and, with a claimed weight of just 30g (ours weighed 29.7g), it’s certainly light.
There are both left- and right-handed models and the patented design — the base where your bottle sits extends to the mid-point of the circumference — adds loads of stability, so it grips very well and your bottle rattles less over rough ground.
Priced at £33 (international pricing TBC), the Prism Carbon looks like the ideal choice for small frames, or mountain or electric bikes with little space to spare.
Elite Monte car rack
This car rack is a new endeavour for Elite, and the Monte is impressive enough to tempt us away from more established makers.
It’s available in two- or three-bike versions, and an extra extension kit means you can add a fourth bike to the three-bike model.
Elite claims the material — a mix of carbon steel, aluminium and glass-reinforced composite — makes the Monte one of the lightest tow-bar mounted carriers on the market, but it can still carry up to 60kg.
The tow-bar fitting has a micro-adjustment function to make it super secure and fitting is relatively fast, with a long handle that you crank down to secure the rack in place. It’s also equipped with a lock to make sure it stays there.
The standard version has two wheels, so you lift one end wheelbarrow-style, but there’s also a Ramp model, which comes with twin trolley wheels at the back and a single trolley wheel at the front for easier movement. The Ramp model also tilts, making it easier to wheel a heavy electric bike onto it.
Fully adjustable wheel clamps with pawl-buckles keep the bikes secure and are tough enough for heavier machines.
The retaining arms can be moved to work with bikes of different shapes, and all have key-locking mechanisms too. Finally, the bike platform can be tilted forward so you still get boot/trunk access for when you’ve packed your bikes but forgotten to load your kit first.
When not in use, the Monte cleverly folds in on itself, and for a full-size rack it takes up minimal space, which you’ll appreciate if you’ve got a packed garage.
Pricing is currently TBC.
Elite Borson bag
If you prefer someone else to transport you and your bike, then the Elite Borson bag has plenty going for it.
Elite wanted the Borson to have the same level of protection as the hard cases it already produces, and it’s been tested by Movistar and other pro teams, who’ve reported positive results.
Priced at £550 / $800 / AU$800, the bag features a reinforced, tub-shaped base with a lightweight aluminium extrusion frame to hold your bike at both front and rear dropouts.
And if your bike does get a serious side-on thwack during transportation, the floating rear axle will move on impact, hopefully protecting it from any damage.
Elite also wanted to make a bag that could fit a mountain, road, time-trial or triathlon bike with minimum effort, so you don’t need to remove the bars, or even lower your seatpost.
Elastic panels in the material stretch to accommodate even the biggest bikes.
The framework comes with all of the various axle standards you might need, as well as twin wheel bags, which can each carry up to two wheels. These are heavily padded and slide into the bag either side of your frame.
Two clamshell-like discs inside the bags strap together with Velcro to go either side of your hubs/rotors for added protection, and there are large, adjustable pads for the ends of your handlebars.
The high-end bike carrying market is pretty crowded, with a myriad of options, but the Borson’s innovative design — and the fact you get all those accessories thrown in — makes it a real contender.
Elite Nero Roller
If virtual training is more your thing, Elite claims its new Nero roller offers a more natural alternative to direct-drive trainers such as its own Drivo II.
It’s taken the best features of its Quick-Motion roller — the parabolic shape and its floating system — and incorporated them into the Nero, so when you get up to sprint on Zwift, movement feels more natural and the bike pulses back and forth when you push it to the max.
Those rollers, which move fore and aft on the floor, do make it feel more ‘real’ than turbo or direct-drive units because the bike is free to move just as it does on the road.
Alongside that natural feel, Elite has added full smart trainer interactivity.
The rollers can’t quite emulate the slope of direct-drive trainers (they go up to a 7 percent gradient, while the previous Arion rollers could do 5 percent), but the resistance change is smooth, and pretty instant, whether you’re using Elite’s own real video, Zwift or any compatible training software.
It’s both ANT+ (FE-C, Power, Speed and Cadence) and Bluetooth (FTMS, Power and Speed and Cadence) enabled, so communication between it and whatever device you choose should be simple.
The max power is 840w at 40km/h or 1,350w at 60km/h. The Nero has a fully adjustable wheelbase and will work with road or mountain bikes, and it’s much quieter than you’d imagine, with not much of a rumble from its twin 2.7kg flywheels.
Priced at £750 / $900 / AU$TBC, the Nero folds up to less than half its unfolded size (36cmx125.5cmx20.4cm), so it’s pretty easy to store and the 19kg weight means it’s not too heavy to shift around either.