Cycleops H2 vs Saris H3

Have an H2 now, have an opportunity to sell it to a friend and get a new H3 for an extra $200. One thing i know is improved is noise which is definitely a bonus for me since it will help keep the noise levels down for when my wife is studying in the evenings or sleeping in some mornings.

Is anything else changed between the units? Is response to terrain changes in Zwift for instance any better? Is reliability improved? I did not find many actual differences.

@dcrainmaker claims it is pretty quiet (not as quiet as some others), but both him and @GPLama were discussing on the last Fit File Podcast how amazing it is for Erg Mode.

Sounds like if you could get a new trainer for $200 and you’ve got $200 to spend might be a sweet deal.

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i’m wondering if they ever fixed the power issues and the cadence issues?

The power spike in sprints is resolved via the latest firmware update (that works on all H1 & H2 models as well).

The cadence issue is not resolved, and features as the main negative in Ray’s H3 review. Honestly, if you care about cadence more than the oddity, you are better served by adding a regular cadence sensor to your setup (which is largely true for any of the “pulse” sensing cadence trainers, and that is what I do).

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I’m just looking to remove a hoop to jump through, for Zwift on AppleTV.

I would be fine if they would just package up rebroadcasting ANT+ data on BT. I can pair my power meter to it and also an option to use direct trainer power match, independent of cadence, instead of bouncing it through 3rd party software.

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Ah, yes. ATV and a power meter in the mix makes it more complicated for sure.

Also, the other power issue I was wondering about, @GPLama referenced power robbery and @tariqhali reported flywheel speed issues. The latter is manageable though, even though I do use the big ring always, but I’m not entirely sure about GPLama’s reported issue.

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Ah, that one too. No, I don’t think that issue is resolved either.

What exactly do these Power Robbery and flywheel speed issues mean practically speaking? I typically do my ERG workouts in 36x17 because I find resistance changes happen quicker with slower flywheel movement.

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36x17 you shouldn’t have a problem. However, if you switch to a bigger gear and run the flywheel at 20+mph which doesn’t take much to get there with its massive flywheel, then it will start to over report power by 5-10%. They told me they are working on a fix but no idea when that will happen. This is to me a bigger issue than over shooting on sprints because, I don’t know about you, but I don’t sprint all day long but do ride 53 ring all day.
I know this isn’t TR related but It can also be an issue during descents as well.

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The power robbery is reported by GPLama, and it is in this link (https://youtu.be/JDLivsE65qM?t=724).

It might not be a big issue for you. GPLama reports it in sim mode, so think Zwift racing. It’s not really a big issue for me as well, but I do use it from time to time. More so in the offseason.

Both of those sound like issues that can be tweaked with downloadable updates, hell if they were able to remedy overheating via firmware updates then I don’t see why they couldn’t change the calibration of power relative to flywheel speed to get rid of that 5-10% gap.

It depends how often they update and how serious they are about addressing it.

What is curious to me is that the firmware applies H1 to H3, which leads me to believe it’s basically the same trainer with a different drive belt and a price reduction. I’m not able to find out for sure, though, but I highly suspect that it’s more similar than dissimilar, on the internals.

That is correct, AFAIK and what I have gathered from Ray and Shane in their reviews. The H3 trainer is only minimally changed overall. There may be some cooling related changes to the H3 too, but that could be part of the new drive system.

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Tariqhali I watched your video and understand the issue now, definitely annoying but I hope it can be patched. I did notice that during high flywheel speeds with my H2 if I stop pedaling completely and am coasting down a hill in zwift it will still report 30w or so of power and very slowly will taper down as the flywheel slows.

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I use the H2 and to resolve the cadence issue I just use an ANT+ cadence sensor on my garmin V3 I don’t use the power from the V3 I use the power on the trainer. But this works out for me.

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I upgraded a couple of weeks back from a Kickr SNAP to an H3, the H3 is a beast of a unit, it’s big and heavy.
Unfortunately, I’ve now had two H3’s and both had issues. Both had a noise whilst sprinting, like something had come loose inside. After the second unit had the same fault I gave up on them and was offered a Kickr for only a few £’s more.

The Kickr is so quiet, a great deal quieter than either of the H3’s were (even without the sprinting noise!).
Also, the cadence works spot on, the H3 varied quite a bit.

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There must be some changes because H3 is supposed to be quieter than H2. I don’t have either and believe that even H2 would be improvement over my Tacx Vortex but if I am going to upgrade I want it to be quiet. Featurewise even the Vortex would be fine (except power floors and erg overshooting).

  • Yes, they changed the belt drive system to make it quieter. I’ve mentioned that specifically in other threads (and effectively did so here with my ‘That is correct’ acknowledgement to the ‘different drive belt’ via my reply). It is a real change, but one that is maybe minor?.. since it is not considered “silent” and the H3 is still louder than the Kickr18 and Neo series.

  • The overall point is that the changes to the H1/H2/H3 have been relatively minor and incremental. It still lacks in some feature comparisons when matched to the Kickr and Neo, and I feel that Saris admits that indirectly with the fact that they reduced the price from the original $1200 USD to the current $1000 USD.

  • The Vortex is an ‘OK’ trainer at best in my view. It is particularly loud compared to the Kickr Snap and Saris M2 which are in the same basic price range and feature set. The Vortex limits you mention are not present in the other trainers either.

  • All that is to say that even the H2 would be an improvement for noise in most cases. The H2 is particularly quite when you use ERG in lower gearing (34x17 is what I like) and the strength of the trainer eliminates and floors/ceiling so there is no need to shift to hit high or low power targets.

  • It does develop the typical whine in higher gearing, so that may matter if you prefer a faster flywheel speed.

  • I have not used an H3 yet, so can’t compare sound level, but it is supposed to be noticeably more quite than the H2, but not silent like the Kickr/Neo.

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Happy with my H3 so far. I’m using a Stages PM (left side) for my power source (with Powermatch) and cadence. It’s my first smart trainer so I can’t compare it to others. ERG mode is very responsive, even when riding in the big chainring, which I prefer.

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