AeroSling XPE: bikepacking-friendly suspension trainer
The aeroSling XPE is a new light-weight suspension trainer manufactured by aerobis. While we did bring our aeroSling Elite with us to California, the weight of everything that we intend to carry on our bikes must be taken into consideration. In doing so, even though that device was perfect for the boat, we felt that it was still a little heavy for such an ultralight trip. Since I insist on bringing a suspension trainer with me, having a new light-weight aeroSling XPE in my possession makes me happy!
When aerobis came out with the new aeroSling XPE a few months ago, I was excited. I contacted Elmer, the founder of the company, and shared with him our latest plans, asking if he’d be willing to sponsor me with one of these new suspension trainers. Happily, he agreed, and I had him send it to our daughter’s address in California.
Light enough for our bike trip?
When we arrived here a few weeks ago, we were excited to be with family, and eager to spend some time with them. I was, at the same time, anxious to get my hands on our new aeroSling XPE. When we finally got around to locating the package which had been stored away in a closet, I quickly unpacked it to see how it differed from the original. I was not only happy to feel that the weight of the new product was quite a bit less than that of the original, but also that it still appeared to be made with the same great quality.
How does the aeroSling XPE differ from the aeroSling Elite, and what makes it lightweight?
- Carabiners: While the Elite has 3 carabiners, one at the top and two attaching the handles, the XPE only has one that is located at the top, taking away some of the added weight from these links. The additional carabiners on the Elite can be used to quickly change optional accessories but since I have none, this is not an issue for me.
- Adjustable knot: Both the Elite and the XPE use a special slide-and-grip knot to adjust the length of the suspension trainer’s arms. The Elite has one of these knots on each arm while the XPE only includes it on one. From experience, I feel that it is only necessary to have it on one side since the arms slide through the block (pulley) at the top anyway, equalizing their length. This saves time as well, especially for those who like to switch from one exercise to the next quickly.
- Handles: The handles on the Elite are heavier than the ones on the XPE. Since I haven’t had a lot of time to play with the XPE, I can’t really comment on how well they will hold up over time, but I have to imagine that they will.
- Single-handed mode: Since the Elite has 2 carabiners attaching the handles, clipping one of these onto the other made it easy to switch it into single-handed mode. This, however, had us relying on these clips to hold the handles together while pulling on one. It did not make either Mike or me comfortable doing this so most often we used the method of looping the handles together to switch from two-handed to one-handed mode. Since the XPE does not have these 2 carabiners, we’re pretty much forced to use this same method. Fortunately, I find this easy to do.
- The cord: The cord on the XPE is blue as opposed to the black one on the Elite* that we have. While not any lighter, bright colors are always more fun! 🙂
*It appears that the newer version of the Elite also has blue cord!