The all-new (but familiar-looking) Saris H4 smart trainer is priced lower than the previous model, but boosts overall resistance and adds modern drivetrain compatibility.
The H3, which originally cost $1,099, stays in line, receiving a significant price drop to $799. It’s an excellent trainer, read our review here, and now a damn good deal. But it reached 2000 watts with an accuracy of +/-2% and a simulated tilt of 20º.
The new Saris H4 boosts those numbers to 2300 watts, 25% maximum simulated incline and +/-1% accuracy. It keeps the same 20-pound flywheel but also claims to improve its cadence measurement. Compared to the recently updated Wahoo KICKR, the H4 outputs larger numbers everywhere with the same claimed accuracy, and costs $300 less at $999…but doesn’t include a cartridge.
However, it’s now compatible with 12-speed drivetrains and all modern thru-axle standards (and quick releases), so you can mount your new bike on it with one caveat: the maximum cassette sprocket size varies from 32 to 36 teeth. cog, depending on what powertrain you are using.
Most 12 speed groupsets can use up to a 36 tooth cassette. However, if you are using a Shimano 12-speed mountain bike derailleur, you must limit the cassette to a 32-tooth maximum sprocket. That’s because the derailleur cage on Shimano’s latest SLX, XT and XTR parts is quite long and could hit the trainer’s leg if tilted down to accommodate larger cogs.
Its direct drive system is quiet and features internal power, speed and cadence sensors. It connects via ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth FTMS to work with virtually any training platform (Zwift, The Sufferfest, Training Peaks, etc.). And it’s made in the USA!