The Elite Super Crono Elastogel is one of the cheaper bike trainers available in the Elite range. For those of us who don't have the good luck to live somehere with perpetual sunshine a bike trainer is an excellent way to maintain fitness levels during the winter season.
The trainer uses a magnetic wheel and a roller, with the weight of the rider pushing the bike onto the 'elastogel' roller. I have found there to always be sufficient friction between the tyre and roller, even using over worn slick tyres.
Note: the support for the front wheel, often sold separately, is a crucial part of the equipment since it maintains the bike in the horizontal position and also provides better friction resistance to the front wheel.
The Elite Super Crono in use
The Elite super Crono offers 8 levels of resistance to riders, changed by a lever that is fixed to the handlebars, with the levels available covering all reasonable ranges of effort and levels 6-8 being very strenuous! A cable runs between the lever and the bike trainer itself.
It only took about 30 minutes to get used to using the trainer, since when I have had hours of trouble free riding.
I have owned the Elite Super Crono for about two months and used it quite extensively and found it to be very efficient, and able to realistically reproduce riding conditions on the road under most circumstances. Both strenuous exertions and easier riding at high cadence are enjoyable.
The one situation where I suspect a more expensive model would improve on the trainer is when standing up on the bike, and recreating the effort of cycling up a steel hill in an easy gear can not always be recreated easily - it works well by choosing a 'hard' level and straining up the hill but this isn't my preferred method of hill climbing on a bike!
This trainer is also quite noisy (although it is said to be one of the quietest available so perhaps i have realistic expectations), but sits very firmly on the floor with no perceptible rocking or wobbling during use.
This was quite straightforward (I am using a Specialized Allez Elite on the trainer bike) although it was necessary to substitute the quick release mechanism supplied with the trainer bike for the existing one. Total time taken including changing the quick release mechanism was only about 10 minutes (it would have been less if I had read the instructons more carefully first!)
Make sure the front wheel support is well aligned under the front wheel to provide maximum support or you will find there is a slight 'rocking' motion at each push on the pedals which is a bit unnatural.
Why spend more?
I couln't afford to spend more on a bike trainer and was a bit concerned about buying a relatively cheap model. These concerns were unfounded.
Although more expensive models would perhaps offer a better hill climbing experience, more flexibility in the levels of difficulty available, more computerised functions and even integration with DVDs of real hill climbs in the most expensive models, the Elite Super Crono Elastogel performs the basic bike trainer functions very well and I am happy to recommend it.