Indoor bike trainer companies have been trying to create an indoor training environment to simulate the outdoors for decades. We’ve had smart trainers and indoor training applications that try to bring the outdoor riding experience indoor with virtual worlds, grouping rides, racing, and structured training.
Bitelli, a Korean company, took it a step further and developed an arcade like smart bike trainer and a software that is different than any other trainer I’ve seen.
I didn’t have a chance to personally see the trainer or use it as of yet but had the opportunity to discuss some of the details with the company.
The Bitelli comes in two different models: the Bitelli Lux and Bitelli Classic.
The Bitelli Classic as you see in the photo below looks more like your classic rollers with some interesting features. The Classic comes with a resistance unit, safety grip to hold on to, an optional fork mount, and can tilt by up to 20% to simulate riding hills.
The Bitelli Classic comes with an optional fork mount and all the straps to hold your bike in place are also optional and you can ride it like a regular roller if you want.
The Bitelli Lux version is their high-end model. This unit comes with some really cool features that can make riding indoor very entertaining.
The trainer is raised off the floor by few inches and is supported by four legs that can title up and down by up to 20%. So when you are going up a hill, the trainer will tilt up by up to 20% and adjust the resistance to match the slope. When you are going down a hill, the trainer will title downward by up to 20% and speed up to match the slope as well.
The Lux also comes with four fans, two front blowers, and two in the rear. The fans adjust automatically depending on your speed.
The Lux trainer has the classic rollers for the back wheel with resistance unit attached. However, the front wheel sits on a treadmill like belt instead of drums for a more natural riding feel and easier to balance on.
Both the Lux and Classic come with safety wires that attach to the skewer provided to hold your bike in place and prevent it from falling off the trainer as you see in the photo below.
Bitelli developed their own interactive cycling software to work with the trainer. The software, only available for Windows, will simulate courses and you will see a video of where you are riding. Only limited courses are available in their library at this point. You can also import a GPX file to create your own course. You will see a map of where you are riding and elevation profile.
You can use the Bitelli’s software as a single rider for a free ride, or create a structured workout. The software also supports multi riders, but they all have to be connected to the same network.
The trainer is currently not ANT+ FE-C compatible, however, they are working on an update that will make it Smart Bluetooth compatible and ANT+FE-C compatible as well.
As far as compatibility with other software such as Zwift or TrainerRoad for example, they are currently working to make it compatible with Zwift according to Bitelli which seem to be their first priority. As for other indoor training applications, once the Bitelli is ANT+ FEC and Smart Bluetooth compatible, then I assume you would see more compatibility with other applications as the trainer become more popular.
AVAILABILITY & PRICE
The trainer is made in Korea and currently available to purchase there. They are working on expanding to other countries in Europe and eventually the U.S. market. I am not sure when this will happen and they didn’t have an answer for me. All I currently know is the trainer will soon be available in Brazil.
As far as pricing, I only have information on the Korean version which sells for $2,600 USD for the classic model and up to $9,000 USD for the Lux option depending on options.
The Bitelli is indeed a very interesting indoor trainer. I haven’t seen it in person yet but I am sure I will have my hands on one in the near future. It’s geared toward people who want to ride rollers but not comfortable with the idea of rollers. The Bitelli is in its early stages at this point and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. Compatibility with other software such as Zwift is critical for any company’s success in my opinion at this point and without it, they are basically limiting themselves to a small niche in an already niche market.
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