A few weeks ago I posted a review on the Elite Sterzo Smart steering block – the device which allows Zwifters to steer in-game. While the actual steering experience has been quite good, the review noted some issues with the Sterzo hardware – namely, the possibility of battery corrosion and bearing rust due to sweat.
As noted in that review, Elite’s crack tech team were on the case before I published my post! And they’ve just sent me a list of improvements implemented to alleviate these issues.
Elite has taken several measures to better isolate the Sterzo Smart from sweat:
- Raising it off the ground: they’ve raised the bottom feet by 5 mm, so “regardless the floor type or mat, the bottom part of the Sterzo Smart remains above the ground avoiding the risk of it coming into contact with eventual sweat scattered on the floor/mat.”
- Isolating the battery compartment: A strip of closed-cell insulating material is now being applied under the battery cover. This creates a barrier that prevents sweat from rising from the lid (by capillarity) and reaching the batteries and/or battery contacts.
- Different material for the bearings: Elite has changed the materials used in the bearings under the moving wheel cradle support (presumably to a rust-proof material).
According to Elite, “the above measures have all been implemented two weeks ago and there is a very limited number of units on the market that are pre-modified.”
#2: Battery Insertion
This was the most minor of niggles, but the Sterzo’s battery cover is fastened with a screw (due to EU regulations, I believe). This made it just a bit of a pain to get set up, because you had to track down a screwdriver.
Batteries are now pre-installed, with a sticker added stating “3 AAA batteries pre-installed”. For the units already shipped, here is a “how-to” video that shows the insertion of the batteries with the help of the compartment cover.
While some may question the extent of Elite’s initial field testing of these units, their response to “Sterzogate” has been quite rapid and thorough.
When “first-version” products hit the real world, it’s almost inevitable that unforeseen issues will arise. How a business responds to those issues (both in terms of support existing customers and updating the hardware for future users) says a lot about the company. I’d say Elite handled this one well – bravissimo!
If you should encounter rust issues with your Sterzo Smart, you can request a replacement unit by reaching out to their support team at support.elite-it.com.