Elite Qubo Fluid Trainer Review

I was in search for a new turbo trainer for this winter and ultimately decided on the Elite Qubo Home Trainer. Here’s my review and thoughts on it so far.

elite qubo fluid trainer

Let me first say that this review and my thoughts are in no way affiliated with Elite, nor In Situ. This is my own, personal home trainer and my thoughts about it. Neither Elite nor In Situ paid for or sponsored for the trainer’s purchase or review. I just thought that readers might like some ideas if they themselves are searching for a new bike trainer too.

 

elite qubo fluid trainer installation

Depending on the diameter of the resistance unit you have, you’ll have to mount it differently to the frame. Be sure to read the instructions.

After several years of foregoing the use of a home trainer, preferring instead to venture out on the roads and trails, no matter what the weather, I started to realize that maybe the quality of my workouts was suffering. I held on to the noble notion that it builds character to weather the elements while riding one’s bike. But in honesty, I know that I would often ride easier or shorter than I probably should have been for training purposes, especially if the roads were snowy or icy. With this recent winter being a bit more serious than usual, I decided it was time to get a new stationary trainer. (I had a old Blackburn Trakstand years ago, but it was long since gone).

I also thought about getting a set of rollers, since this was the “gold standard” that so many people seemed to tout, back when I was first getting into cycling. But the trainer vs. rollers debate is a whole different discussion. For the sake of the post, I’ll just say that I chose to go with a trainer for several reasons.

So for me, the choice of a trainer came down to one main factor: was it quiet? My previous Blackburn sounded like a plane was about to take off every time I was on it. That combined with the required fan and the television volume, made for quite the racket! This time out I was going to hopefully change all of that. After googling multiple different variations of “quiet home bike stationary trainer”, I quickly started to notice that the Elite Qubo Fluid Trainer was mentioned often. A few more clicks and a few more comparisons and I had made my mind up. The Elite was the trainer for me.

Here are my thoughts on it from first taking it out of the box, setting it up to its performance.

Set-up: It does require some! Not much, but some. You don’t just pull it out of the box and you’re good to go. A few web reviewers complained that it was not easy to set up. I disagree. It’s not difficult, but it does take several minutes (e.g. 20-30 minutes), including some minor adjustments you might have to make to ensure it’s ready to go for the first use. Pay particular attention to the diameter of resistance unit roller! It comes in two different sizes/diameters and you’ll mount the resistance unit into different holes on the trainer base depending on what resistance unit you purchased. The instructions clearly walk you through this, but take a second to double check before installing. You’ll also have to adjust the side to side position of the resistance unit, so that you rear tire sits in the middle of the drum while in use. Lastly, you’ll play around with trainer’s clamp, to make sure it sufficiently grabs your rear axle, while not being too tight or too loose. You’re also given several plastic feet that can go under the trainer to level it out, if you need it. I didn’t need them.

elite qubo fluid trainer

Resistance unit.

Initial impressions after set up, but before the first use: Set-up was straight-forward, although I definitely needed to follow the instructions. It wasn’t intuitive. When centering the the resistance unit at the rear, I needed to move it all the way over to the left so that my tire was centered on it. That seems strange to me, but it doesn’t affect the performance at all. I’m wondering though if there are any bikes out there that one wouldn’t be able to center because I don’t think of my road bike as being particularly unique, yet I need the extreme left mounting position for it to sit correctly in the trainer.

Build quality: The resistance unit seems of very high quality. The trainer frame itself seems a bit lower quality with parts being made out of high density plastic and not metal. The vertical arms are metal, but the base is plastic. Even so, the trainer feels solid and is very stable when in use.

Performance: In a word, fantastic! Compared to other trainers I’ve used this is just simply great. There are no resistance adjustments on the trainer and there is no remote resistance  control. All of the resistance is automatic from within the trainer itself. This is apparently done by calculating the weight and speed of the rider and adjusting accordingly. If you need more or less resistance, simply change gears, just like on the road. Super simple. The feel while on the trainer is also super smooth, with no slippage. While it does feel a little harder than actually riding on the road, there is more than enough range to spin as a warm up and to push harder gears too. For most of my use of the trainer so far, I haven’t really felt the need to use the big ring. There is more than enough resistance for me in the little chainring and smaller cogs.

elite qubo fluid trainer

Resistance unit. Notice that you shouldn’t apply the bike’s brakes while using. It could damage the unit.

Noise Level: So this was my main concern with a new trainer. All I can say is that this trainer is unbelievably quiet. I can’t even really hear it over the sound of the bike chain and pedaling. That’s quiet! As with most trainers, there is still vibration in the floor, but it is not very much. I should also note that I’m also using a trainer specific rear tire to cut down on noise and wear. I didn’t always use to do this in the past, but I’ve heard quite a few comments how this can help with the noise as well. I’ve not tried this same trainer with a normal tire to see if it’s any louder.

Unique notes: The trainer does not come with a front wheel riser, so you’ll either make do with fabricating your own (i.e. the phonebook) or you can buy one from Elite or another manufacturer. I use a thick magazine and it works just fine. It does however come with its own rear quick release skewer to ensure a good fit while your bike is on the trainer.

Summary: I like the Elite Qubo Fluid Trainer very much. Besides a few little quirks with the setup, it performs very well. And in terms of it being quiet, it’s fantastic.

 

 

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Elite Qubo Fluid Trainer Review

  1. I’m thinking myself to get exactly same trainer. However, there is no load switch, so I will use gears on my bike to increase/decrease load. Do you think it will be more natural, than one with 7-10 pos switch?
    Is there enough load for avid cyclist? I’m planing to run interval training, may be sometimes out of the saddle.
    Is out of the saddle ride trainer still stable?
    Thank you

    • Hi Oleg,

      Thanks for your questions. I guess it could be a personal preference, but I like not having a load/resistance switch on the trainer. The trainer seems to increase resistance automatically and changing gears to increase resistance seems very similar to riding on the road. I personally think that there is enough resistance for most people. Even in my easiest gear (39×27) it feels like the equivalent of a 2 to 3 degree hill. I’ve been using the trainer for seated, tempo and threshold intervals and don’t even need to use the big chainring (53) to reach my target heart rate. I find a 39×14 or 39×13 gear sufficient while seated, most of the time.

      I personally don’t tend to stand very much while on a trainer because I’m concerned about the torque it puts on the rear of the bike frame. I tend to focus on higher cadence, sub-threshold to threshold efforts. That said, when I do stand up on this trainer, it feels very stable to me. A gear of 53×14 or 53×15 is more than enough for what I use it for. I save my all out sprint intervals for outside, on the real road.

      So whether or not you will find that there is enough resistance on this trainer, might be just up to you. If you find that you need the maximum load setting on other trainers you’ve used, then maybe this wouldn’t be enough resistance for you. But I would think that for most people, there would be plenty of resistance with this trainer, for most training purposes.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Hi, Jace.
    Thank you for the answer, now I almost made my decision for Qubo fluid. Cheap and reliable option. I don’t think I need to spend more for virtual reality.
    There not so many reviews avalaible for this model. By the way, do you have video, so I could comapre noise level it makes?
    Currently using Tacx Anteres roller, which makes plenty noise, so my neighbours from below asked me to move it to the second floor of my appartment. But from your great review understood that Qubo is quiet enough, though it also depends on the people tolerance.
    Planning my trip to Italy for 3-4 days, for cycling alone. Is it possible to find some routes along adriatic?
    Thank you

  3. Forgot to ask, as some users noticed on similar, but not this one models resistance drops after thainer heats up. Did you notice such effect? What was yours longest training session on Elite Qubo?
    Thank you

    • Hi Oleg,

      No, unfortunately I do not have video of using the trainer. As I mentioned in the review though, I find it pretty quiet compared to any other trainer I’ve used. A large part of the sound problem with neighbors or anyone on a floor below you could also be due to the vibration the trainer or rollers make. You may want to try putting the trainer on a yoga mat, rug or towel to help lessen the transfer of the vibrations through the floor.

      I’ve not noticed any change in resistance from when I start using the unit to when I finish. It seems consistent throughout my workouts. Typically I put in 1 hour on the trainer, but sometimes 1.5 hours. I tend to keep my workouts on the trainer short with intervals.

      As for routes along the Adriatic coast in Italy: you might want to check out Ravenna. It’s a good town to visit, plus there are some good bike routes along the coast as well as into the hills to the west of Ravenna.

      • Hi, Grace, thank you trip advices, I still have 3 month before I go there, but it always nice to plan in advance.
        Regarding Elite trainer, as I understood load rise with a speed, so is there a chance to do a climbs when I set to biggest gear, i.e. I turn pedals slowly, but load will be sufficient to immitate th climb out of saddle?

        • Hi Oleg,

          When I say that load increases with speed, I mean that the trainer seems to simulate what happens on the road (i.e. the faster you go, the more effort is required). But in a big gear, even going slow will still have plenty of resistance. Hopefully that makes sense.

          • Hi, Jace
            Thank you for the explanation.
            Have you tried to simulate climb out of the saddle (or can you try it sometime, please) on the big gear, to see if you have feeling of climbing. I know it is just a trainer, however would be nice to ork on the climbs during long winter/rainy days.
            Thanks

          • Hi Oleg,

            Yes, I’ve stood out of the saddle in the largest gear, 53×12, and found that there is a lot of resistance, but there is not as much resistance as I’ve had with other trainers that have resistance settings. I had another trainer that if I put it in the maximum resistance setting AND the largest gear, that I could barely turn over the pedals at all. It was extremely difficult. I could put almost all of my weight on the pedals and the gear would barely turn. That is not the case with the Elite Qubo Fluid Trainer. Perhaps this is because the trainer uses the weight of the rider to figure out the resistance. Or perhaps it just doesn’t have that resistance capability. But I’m ok with it not having that extreme resistance, because I never used it anyway.

            I would equate the resistance in the Elite Qubo Fluid Trainer as being around an 8-10 percent incline if you’re in your hardest gear and standing. If you’re seated, it feels even more challenging. But as I said, my other trainer made it feel like I was cycling up a 25+ percent hill, which I guess is fine too, but I never used it like that. Again, I prefer to do mostly seated workouts on the trainer. For me, standing on a trainer never feels like the road anyway: the bike isn’t tilted uphill and the bike cannot sway naturally side to side.

            If you’re looking for a really high resistance trainer, maybe the Elite Qubo Fluid is not the trainer for you. Maybe a magnetic trainer with adjustable resistance settings would be more suited for your standing workouts?

            Good luck in your decision!

  4. Hi,

    First, I found your review to be most helpful. I am considering purchasing the Eilte Qubo Fluid Trainer, but I have one question. Is it safe to use my carbon TT road bike? I cannot find anything on this matter.

    Thank you

    • Hi Henry,

      Glad you found the review helpful. I can understand your concern about potential damage caused by putting a carbon bike on a trainer. If you google it, you’ll see a lot of other people are concerned too, but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer. Some people will insist that you should never use a carbon bike on a trainer and others will claim that’s just nonsense. Of course if you ever watch pros warming up on trainers nowadays, you’ll note that they just about all of them ride carbon bikes. Some bike manufacturers may suggest not to use their carbon bikes on a trainer, so you may want to see if your TT bike manufacturer says anything about it under their warranty. Or perhaps contact them directly. As for Elite: the Elite Qubo manual that comes with the trainer doesn’t seem to say anything about not using carbon fiber, but you may want to contact them to double check.

      Personally, I choose to err on the side of caution and use an older, metal framed bike in the trainer for regular workout sessions. But I also don’t tend to stand out of the saddle very often either while on the trainer, so that might also minimize the force put on the rear of the frame.

      There is at least one stationary company that I’m aware of that says their trainers will absolutely not hurt carbon frames: Kurt Kinetic. They answer this question specifically in their FAQs. I’m not sure how much of that is marketing and how much isn’t, but you may want to consider them as well as Elite.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hi, Jace.
    Thank you very much for such extended description of the trainer, I appreciate how much efforts you put answering my comments and questions.
    Now I almost clear made my decision for Elite Fluid, seems that 8-10% incline will be fine and as you said- oit of the saddle doesn not give you road feeling, because as the bike doesn not roll from side to side. Hopefully Elite Fluid fill fit my needs.
    Regards

  6. After using Qubo Fluid for 3 weeks I can say that I like it. Can not compare to other cyclo trainers as used only roller before. However with this one I can follow my training plan created using Polar Personal Trainer.
    Assembling was tricky because of heavy “motor” you have to keep with one hand and insert bolt with other. Managed to brake out one bolt when assembling, but glued it back with epoxy glue.
    Also noticed that rear wheel starts to shake just before it stops after at stop turning pedals, it may be because of tyre slipping against the unit. Frame looks stable enough however makes creaking noise when I stand out of saddle or just put more power on pedals.
    Load seems sufficient for any type of training: i.e. spinning, intervals, uphills, though when there was one warmer day I took my old MTB bike outside and when I sat back on road bike fixed on Qubo trainer, I had feeling, that it turns too easy. But, as I said before, following training plan, I have to keep in certain heart rate zone, so never used maximum load.

    • Hi Oleg,

      Thanks for the additional notes about the Qubo Fluid Trainer. I’m sure other readers will appreciate your experience with the trainer.

      With regards to the tire slipping: are you using a trainer specific tire or are you using a normal road tire? That could make a difference.

  7. I instelled Continental Hometrainer tire, not sure if it has wear against roller unit or my weight (73kg) is not heavy enough to keep rear wheel tight to roller unit.
    I understant that cracking sound is coming when bicycle is rolling from side to side from frame joints, and frame will not break in any case, but with this sound I’m little bit scared.

  8. Hi Jace

    Just wondered if you know how to work out what size Diameter the roller is? I have purchased the Elite Qubo wireless but cant find anywhere in the info to tell me what size the roller is????

    Rather baffled but dont want to put it together incorrectly

    Many thanks Emily

    (ps sorry about the earlier message – I was typing but it wasn’t showing in the box)

  9. Uhhhhhhh Hi Jace, I am new at this type of training and have just ordered my elite Qubo turbo trainer. How do I improve my fitness using the trainer? Is there a guide on the net which shows a programme one can follow?
    Your posts were very informative and useful.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Rajesh,

      There are many different workouts that you can do on an indoor trainer. In general though, you may want to keep your workouts focused on specific training goals and mix it up to keep it interesting. Riding on an indoor trainer can get a bit boring if you do it every day for long periods.

      Try a google search for indoor bike trainer workouts and you’ll get plenty of examples of things to try. To get you started, check out:

      Bicycling Magazine’s Avoid Indoor Trainer Boredom
      Active.com’s 2 Workouts for the Indoor Trainer

      It can also help to at a minimum listen to music or watch TV while you’re on the trainer. It helps the time pass a little more quickly. Once you really get into riding on the indoor trainer, you may want to consider a video series, such as The Sufferfest training series, which are considered to be very challenging workouts.

      • Thanks jace for the advice. I have recorded several go the Giro and tour of California rides and plan to see them as I pedal on the trainer.

  10. Hi Jace, while setting up the trainer, the red handle does a full lock to get the bike stable. The instructions talk about 55-65 degrees only? Am I doing something wrong? I have put in the replacement skewer that was included in the package.

    Regards

    Rajesh

    • Hi Rajesh,

      It doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong. I believe that the 55-65 degrees that you mention is when the handle encounters resistance to close. To fully stabilize the trainer the handle must be fully closed as you mention. In other words, the 55-65 degrees is the range that the trainer handle should be in when it starts to engage. More or less would mean that the handle is either too tight or too loose.

  11. Greetings from Ukraine. Thank You for a great review. It determines my final choise. This is very quiet trainer. I ride it directly in my flat. Вut resistance unit is quite hot after 15 minutes, so i use small fan to cool it. Resistanse is predictable and enough for everyone. I absolutely happy with this trainer. This is ultimate quiet trainer for living room use.

  12. H
    Hi Jace. thank you for such a good review of the qubo elite trainer, which I have now bought, on the strength of your review. So far I am very happy with it. I found it easy-ish to set up, although the difference between 55 and 65 degrees not easy to be confident of, and it is very quiet when in use. My only concern is the movement around the rear wheel when I’m pedalling. The movement of the rear wheel on the resistance unit is probably about 1cm to the side of its normal position and I can see the arms moving as I cycle. I have not stood up in the pedals because I feel that would put too much pressure on the fixing arms. Is this normal?

    • Hi Alison,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad the review has helped you.

      I’m not sure if the movement that you’re seeing is normal in all cases. I can say that for the trainer that I’ve used, I do see the wheel move side to side occasionally, with no apparent problems. Every trainer that I’ve used has had a little bit of side to side movement, especially when I stand. You might want to double check that everything is connected probably and if you’re still concerned about the safety of it, contact Elite directly.

      I hope that helps.

      Jace

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