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This is my ThinkRider X7 PRO smart trainer review.
I saw this trainer on one of the local online marketplaces and decided to find out more about it because there are not many helpful reviews out there.
When researching ThinkRider trainers, I found GPLama’s review of the X5-Neo. He revealed serious accuracy issues.
So, did ThinkRider’s highest-end smart trainer, X7 PRO, end better?
Based on multiple tests I performed, it did, but…
Continue reading to find out more.
Who Is ThinkRider X7 PRO for?
The ThinkRider X7 PRO is ideal for riders looking for a direct-drive smart trainer that doesn’t exceed the $1000 mark.
It offers all features you expect from a smart trainer, including gradient simulation, connectivity with 3rd party apps, or ERG mode.
Thanks to its up to 5° side-to-side tilt, it’s more comfortable than rigid trainers. It also has a rubber carry handle and foldable legs for easy portability.
ThinkRider X7 PRO Summary
Here is the summary of the main features and the technical specification of the ThinkRider X7 PRO.
- Up to 5° side-to-side tilt
- Highly responsive but inaccurate
- Portable thanks to the foldable legs and carry handle
- Adjustable legs
- USB ANT+ receiver included
- Cassette is not included
- Maximum resistance: 2000W*
- Accuracy: ±2%
- Gradient simulation: 16%*
- Weight: 50.7 lb (23 kg)
- Flywheel: 12.57 lb (5.7 kg)
- Connectivity: ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth
- Power required: Yes
*ThinkRider is often rightly criticized for misleading information. These values are from their thinkrider.eu website. However, manuals and their boxes show different values (2500 W and 20 %), which do not correspond to reality.
Unboxing & Ease of Setup
The package includes:
- The ThinkRIder X7 PRO trainer
- Charging cable
- ANT+ receiver
- Multiple spacers
The setup of the X7 PRO was easy. I only had to unfold the legs, mount the cassette, choose the correct adaptors, and plug it into electricity.
I find the carry handle useful because I don’t have a permanent place for my trainer, and I often need to relocate it.
Additionally, it doesn’t take up too much space with folded legs.
One of the most underrated features of the X7 PRO trainer is the 5° side-to-side tilt. It eases the pressure on intimate parties, making the indoor ride more comfortable.
The effect is not as significant as when using a rocker plate, but it helps. This is because when the saddle is fixed, the side-to-side motion of our pelvis creates friction and discomfort (you can learn more about this phenomenon in my article on the benefits of rocker plates).
I enjoy the tilt, and the indoor rides are significantly more comfortable than on a solid trainer like Saris H3, which doesn’t offer tilt.
But, it takes some time to get used to it, especially when riding out of the saddle.
The X7 PRO reacts quickly to gradient changes in third-party apps. I test this in Wahoo RGT on their punchy Pienza course. It includes descents and steep climbs in quick succession, so it’s perfect for this test. But more about this later.
ThinkRider X7 PRO Accuracy Tests
I also tested its ERG mode, responsivity, and road feel in multiple indoor cycling apps.
NOTE: ThinkRider recommends doing a spindown calibration by following the instructions in their official video. I tried to follow this procedure. However, the app didn’t show any calibration results when I stopped pedaling. This improved with future software updates. But, it still doesn’t work flawlessly.
Test #1: ERG Mode
This ERG mode test is the benchmark test I use for all smart bike trainers. It has a short warm-up, ramp-up, multiple 30×30s high/low power intervals, and cool down.
The following picture shows a pretty accurate power line (the yellow one), so everything seems perfect…
X7 PRO reacted to the power changes about 2 seconds in advance, and the resistance change felt more aggressive than Saris H3.
However, it reduces the resistance ~2 seconds before the interval ends. So, it seems there is some shift.
I also felt the power is not quite right when doing the test. So, I compared X7 PRO power data with other sources that confirmed my assumptions.
Surprisingly, there were no cadence issues.
The dataset is available here.
Test #2: Freeride
I was curious to see my freeride’s power and cadence results on the Pienza course in Wahoo RGT.
It’s a punchy course in Italian Tuscany, so it’s suitable for testing the responsiveness of the trainer.
The freeride felt fine. X7 PRO changed the resistance based on the terrain, and I didn’t notice any issues.
But, when I compared its cadence data with other sources, I noticed one spike and one drop in the beginning.
You can again see the entire dataset.
Test #3: Race
For the last test, I joined a Zwift race.
The X7’s power chart shows a few spikes and drops, and compared to the other two sources, it’s much more volatile.
However, the average power is pretty accurate (+1.08% compared to Assiomas).
The trainer also struggled with cadence, which was delayed by about 4 seconds. But again, the average cadence was accurate.
Here is the link to the dataset.
ThinkRider X7 PRO Alternatives
Here are some of the ThinkRider X7 PRO alternatives worth considering.
- Saris H3 (read my Saris H3 review for more info)
- Elite Direto XR
- Wahoo KICKR Core
ThinkRider X7 PRO FAQ
The road feel of the X7 PRO is fine because it reacts quickly to gradient changes and provides enough resistance.
However, gradients above 12° don’t feel more difficult, so it seems there are some issues simulating them.
I like the 5° side-to-side tilt that improves the riding comfort (I didn’t experience as much discomfort as on Saris H3, for example) and the carry handle for easy portability.
Unfortunately, my testing revealed power accuracy issues. The trainer spikes, so the minimum and maximum power are not accurate. But, surprisingly, the average power is relatively accurate.
The way around this would be to use your power meter as a primary source. But for this price, I think you expect more than that.
Additionally, you may encounter issues with eventual claims due to the lack of distributors’ network and non-native English-speaking customer support.
To wrap it up, I would probably stick with more established alternatives like Saris H3, Wahoo KICKR Core, or Elite Direto XR.
X7 PRO has some potential. But ThinkRider has to fix the accuracy issues.
Also available at thinkrider.eu
The product for this review was kindly provided by the manufacturer. This did not influence my overall verdict or my opinion about the product.