JUMP TO:

First look at Wahoo Fitness KICKR ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Trainer with power meter

Today Wahoo Fitness unveiled their latest product – a Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ enabled trainer with an integrated power meter.  The trainer will transmit power (watts) and speed information across both protocols, allowing it to bridge the gap between dedicated devices like your existing GPS units – as well as connect to cell phones like the iPhone 4s.

IMG_7105

The trainer connects directly to your bike via swapping out the rear wheel and in place resting it into the provided cassette.  This is similar to how the LeMond Revolution and a few other units work.  This also means it can attach to just about any bike on the marketplace – from mountain to tri to road to kids.  It’s unclear how or if I could connect that wonky Hydrobike I saw last week though.

A bit of trainer background:

Before we dive into why this is such a big deal, let’s take a step back and talk about trainers in general.  Trainers are typically categorized into three basic categories:

1) Basic trainers which capture no metrics (usually ranging from $89 to $500US)
2) Trainers which capture power metrics, but cannot control specific power resistant levels (usually $500-$1,000, i.e. – LeMond Revolution)
3) Trainers which capture power metrics, and allow you to specify resistance (i.e. 250w) (usually $1,000-$1,600 and higher – i.e. CompuTrainer)

All of the above trainers that fit in categories #2 and #3 have their own software platforms built around them – which means that there’s very little above-board integration going on with different software platforms.  Meaning that when it comes to CompuTrainer integration – you’re really only able to choose CompuTrainer software, or the one other company blessed by them.  Same goes for Tacx – which only allows you to run Tacx software.  As such, we’ve seen trainer software largely stagnant for years now – not really truly keeping up with where it should be technologically.

Due to the either hard blockers (i.e. blocked coding access) or soft blockers (i.e. legal) – many 3rd party companies have struggled to really take advantage of trainers in an integrated way.  It’s always been a hodgepodge at best, and downright sketchy at worst.  If Strava wanted to develop an app that tied into your CompuTrainer or Tacx or LeMond or anything – they were completely out of luck.

Open Platform:

Unlike the rest of the trainers, Wahoo Fitness is opening up the trainer to any developer that wants to develop against it.  This means if TrainingPeaks wants to write an app for it – they can (regardless of whether it’s a Windows/Mac/iPhone/Android application).  Same goes for the popular open source Golden Cheetah platform.  They simply download the development kit and go to town.

They could write apps to allow you to do legit trainer competitions across the country – all at once (most of the platforms today rely on an aspect of honesty on the part of the end-user).  Or they could write an app that allows you to create your own RealCourse-style videos and then re-ride your friends GoPro ride in South Africa.

Applications supporting it today:

As of today, they’ve already got three apps onboard, including their own.  The first up is their in-house application.

Wahoo Fitness default app & Strava integration:

Today at Eurobike, the app that Wahoo Fitness was showing was primarily targeted at developers and to show the configuration options of the trainer.  You can see below some of the settings that developers (and thus by extension – end users) would have access to.

IMG_7053IMG_7056

Additionally, the unit will support firmware updates wirelessly (over the air):

IMG_7055

In addition, Wahoo Fitness has put together a pretty sweet proof of concept app that does Strava ride integration.  The app allows you to pick out any Strava segment, and then any particular riders recorded activity of that segment – and race against it.

To test this out, we dug down into a Strava segment I posted back in June down in Florida.  You do this by simply clicking/zooming on the map or searching by location – similar to how it works on the Strava app itself:

IMG_7065

You can see me up towards the top of the list there.

IMG_7067

After selecting your victim who your racing against, the timer will start and it’ll start to emulate the route itself.  It’ll show you their recorded information (power/cadence/etc) and yours at the same time.

IMG_7068

Here you can see the two side by side:

IMG_7070

Here’s a quick two minute video giving a rundown on how it all works:

Strava integration with KICKR

Now at this time the app does not allow you to store the data back up on Strava – rather only compete against it.  There are tons of pros and cons to allowing a trainer app publish data to Strava, all of which will undoubtedly be discussed for a while by the general internets as well as Strava and Wahoo.

TrainerRoad App:

TrainerRoad had exploded in popularity in the year it’s been on the scene.  Their training platform is completely based around power, allowing you to use either a power meter – or ‘VirtualPower’ with one of the various lower end trainers that support a known power curve.

IMG_7089

Today the only trainer that supports wattage control with TrainerRoad is the CompuTrainer. But with KICKR, they now have control of the trainer itself – and can change the resistance on the fly there as well.  This means that their workout library is now fully automated.

Of course, that in and of itself isn’t terribly different from what trainer companies have been doing for a decade or more.  What is different is the fact that it isn’t the trainer company themselves controlling that – it’s now a completely third party company, and one doing it above board (most of the CompuTrainer wattage controlling that 3rd party apps do isn’t really kosher with RacerMate Inc., the CompuTrainer maker).

Within TrainerRoad, you can see the pairing to the KICKR – as well as other Bluetooth Low Energy sensors, like the BlueSC and BlueHR.

IMG_7090

Here’s a quick video I shot this morning showing how this all works within the TrainerRoad application:

TrainerRoad Video Integration with KICKR

Kinomap App:

image

Next up is Kinomap.  Kinomap allows you to ride course videos both in a single-player and multiplayer mode.  Additionally (and most importantly), you can go ahead and shoot your own videos with cameras like the GoPro and Contour.  From there you can upload the videos and let you or others ride them.

IMG_7082

In relation to KICKR, you can see the new menu’s allowing you to select the trainer as a training device.  Kinomap (like TrainerRoad) supports mixing and matching of ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart devices.  Meaning that you can have a Bluetooth cadence meter with an ANT+ heart rate strap.

IMG_7080

Kinomap controls the power on the trainer according to the elevation profile within the video.  In order to deal with inaccuracies within the elevation recorded – they do a bit smoothing.  Otherwise the fast sub-second update frequency of the KICKR might result in power control spikes due to incorrect data recorded on the file attached to the video itself.

IMG_7078

Speaking of videos – here’s a quick video showing how this all works:

Kinomap integration with KICKR

KICKR Technical Details:

IMG_7041

Here’s the rundown of the trainer, divided up into a bunch of technical areas.

Bike Connection to Trainer:

The bike connects to a trainer with a 12-27 SRAM/Shimano cassette, which is included in the package.  You can see it below:

IMG_7099

You can swap out the cassette if you’d like, as there’s no issues or internal dependencies in doing so (up to 11 speeds, Shimano). In order to connect the trainer, you’ll need to remove your entire back wheel first, and then attach the trainer just as if you were attaching a wheel.  This can be a bit more cumbersome than a normal trainer which attaches to the wheel at the rubber, depending on your specific bike (for example – on my P3C triathlon bike, this ends up being a bit of a pain with the rear-exit system).

image

Here’s a quick video showing it being removed from the trainer and mounting again:

Adding and removing bike from KICKR

Now traditionally trainers like this (such as the LeMond) have been a wee bit loud.  More like jet-engine loud.  But the Wahoo KICKR was far quieter than the LeMond Revolution – almost completely quiet on the showfloor – the sound of the drive train was louder on all three bikes than the trainer itself.  Interestingly enough, they’re actually sending out a unit to a lab to get tested from a decibel standpoint.

Of course, on a busy Eurobike show floor, it’s difficult to compare actual measurements.  So in order to solve this problem I ordered a deciblemeter the other day, which will allow me to make direct measurements between the LeMond and the KICKR from the comfort of my apartment.  A significant secondary aspect will be how-long until the folks a floor below start screaming about either…

Power Resistance:

The unit has a maximum advertised resistance of 2,000 watts.  The unit was engineered such that a 175 pound rider (at max resistance) would feel as though they were riding up a 15% grade.  Due to the flywheel aspect, the unit really does feel like you’re riding on a road – very similar to how the LeMond Revolution feels like you’re actually ‘coasting’ when you stop pedaling.

Now technically they note that there’s no real limitation on resistance levels or measurement.  Rather, it’s a function of speed.  For example, if you’re going a pedestrian 4MPH the limitation if 600w, but at 8MPH the limitation is 1,200 watts, and at 16MPH, the limitation of 2,400 watts, and so on.  Of course, if you can output that much power.  The curve is linear.

IMG_7051

The electronically controlled change in resistance upon command is instant.  Meaning that if the software removes resistance – it can go from that 15% incline to coasting down a hill instantly.  This is different from most trainers tend to take a few seconds or more to release the resistance – so this is ideal for those doing intervals.

The KICKR updates the power resistance on the trainer electrically every .25 seconds – meaning that if you waver in power – it’ll respond in less than a quarter second and adjust accordingly.

Due to the ability to provide resistance – the unit will require being plugged in.  But the charge is minimal enough that a 12V cigarette lighter will work (so you can do workouts near your car ahead of a race).  They area also considering adding a battery pack if there’s demand for it.

Power Measurement:

The unit does not require a calibration procedure to measure power.  The trainer includes an internal thermocouple to self calibrate the strain gauge based on temperature variations.

From an accuracy standpoint, they are going with an advertised measurement of within +/- 2%.  However, they are trying to get it down to being lab quality power measurement and believe they can get it within 1 or 2 watts at most normal wattage ranges (which they defined as 200-400 watts).  The unit technically measures across 4,000 points, allowing accuracy within .5 watts.  However, today the various protocols only broadcast to the nearest full watt (1w).

Obviously as we get closer to final release, we’ll get more clarifications from them on this.  The Wahoo team has said they will look to try and work with an independent body for doing some power measurement tests.

Today, the unit will broadcast once per second.  However, the unit can stream data across at 64 times per second, should an application want to burst higher.  Given it’s not battery strained – there’s no power concerns there.

Data Broadcasting and Control:

The biggie here aside from open API’s is the fact that it’ll be broadcasting on both ANT+ and BTLE.  It can dual-broadcast on both protocols at once, since there are no battery concerns or chip issues here.  Here’s the technical details on both:

ANT+ Broadcast:

The unit will use the ANT+ Bike Power Meter device profile, as well as the Bike Speed device profile to broadcast your current power and speed.  This means it’ll be compatible with all current ANT+ power meter head units.  For example, the Garmin FR310XT/FR910XT/Edge 500/Edge 705/Edge 800, all CycleOps Joule units, Timex Global Trainer, Magellan Switch, and countless other apps).

It will not at this time broadcast cadence though, so you’ll need to add an ANT+ cadence meter into the mix in order to get that.  It’s something I’ve talked with them about adding (cadence to KICKR) – and they are looking into it, but not yet sure they’ll be able to deliver there.  The issue is that due to the larger flywheel it’s harder to guess/estimate cadence compared to trainers with a smaller flywheel.

IMG_7073

From a trainer control over ANT+ compatibility with other devices standpoint, the unit will require that the ANT+ power meter device profile be updated to add a trainer control protocol. This is in progress.  Obviously, if such an extension of the ANT+ device profile were added, it would then have to be added to the firmware of any ANT+ device that supports it – which may take a while.

Note however that even though the protocol may not yet be in place for trainer control publically, Wahoo is able to deliver that privately to any of the 130+ apps that use the Wahoo Fitness iPhone key and/or API.  Meaning that any of the apps (like Kinomap) could use ANT+ today via the key and communications between the two.  Wahoo is committed though to getting the final public version updated/implemented as soon as ANT+ completes it.

The unit will not use the existing Fitness Equipment device profile that allows a handful of lower-end Garmin devices to receive power data (such as the FR60/FR70).  Instead, only devices that support the ANT+ power meter would work.

Bluetooth Low Energy Broadcast:

Initially, the unit will broadcast on BTLE (Bluetooth Smart) using a private protocol, as the Bluetooth 4.0 power protocol is not yet released.  In other words, since the standards are yet ratified in this area – it won’t be the final power protocol.  However, since Wahoo Fitness is one of the key members of the group that ratifies these protocols – there’s little doubt the two won’t look almost identical down the road.

Even if they are different, the KICKR does support firmware updates via the phone app.

In order to access the Bluetooth Smart data stream, you will need to have a Bluetooth Smart compatible device – which means a device that supports Bluetooth 4.0.  Today the biggest phone on the block that supports this is the iPhone 4s.  There are more and more handsets and devices (like all new Macs) that support BTLE (Bluetooth Smart) coming on the market each day – so I don’t expect this to be a big long term blocker.

If you don’t have a phone that supports Bluetooth low energy (for example, iPhone 4, not 4s), you’d need the Wahoo Fitness key.  Additionally, Mac’s that have Bluetooth Smart are also supported, and for those Macs without Bluetooth Smart (older macs), they can pickup the IOGear Bluetooth Low Energy USB adapter.  This adapter does not yet include Windows drivers, but Wahoo is working on that too.

Summary:

At present I think the KICKR trainer will really shake up the trainer industry, especially in the realm of interoperability.  Their goal is to have the unit available by the holidays – at a price that is ‘competitive’ with the market place – and available internationally.  They were hesitant to talk specific pricing until they can finalize discussions with dealers, etc. – however it was clear that they were NOT talking CompuTrainer level pricing ($1,600) – but rather something significantly lower.

With that – as always, feel free to drop questions below and I’d be happy to try and get answers.

Retweet 52 Like 161 Google +1 28

78 Comments

  1. No reason someone couldn't write a bridge (like ctAnt+) to let the existing Computrainer software work with this

    Reply
  2. Hi Ray, did they have any information about champag cassettes?

    Reply
    • Kjell-Tore replied

      Campa10 and Shimano10 are mostly compatible.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for the report Ray. That sounds like a very promising unit. Let's hope that it will be priced at Tacx Bushido levels to make it really interesting.

    Reply
  4. Thanks D.C. for the report regarding what seems to be a great addition to the trainer market. One question- weigh?

    Reply
  5. David Waller

    Thanks Ray. This feels like it will bring power to the masses! I will certainly be seriously considering this when the time comes, having avoided investing in power meters due to cost. The versatility and usability of this will make it amazing value for the money (if the price point is indeed where they are hinting).

    Reply
  6. David (London)

    Now that sounds very interesting. If it's priced in the range you've "heard" and available for the holdiays then this will very likely be my Christmas present to me.

    Nice.

    Reply
  7. Yep, same for me - I live in cold and wet Scotland, so this looks like a serious option for me too. Great first look, well worth the read. Many thanks.

    Reply
  8. Andre

    Looking forward to this. Will this be reviewed in time for your trainer comparison? I had basically made up my mind on a powerbeam pro for winter training but this may replace it pending in depth review/comparison

    Reply
  9. i agree with others here. Great review. Potentially v exciting (and motivating) product. Hopefully it fills/exploits the gaps of the other trainers out there. Third party software will drive the entire experience I'm sure. I've been wanting a VR resitance trainer, with power function, motivating training programs (and "gimmicks" like a "ghost" to chase) for ages. I also was going to go for the cycleops powerbeam

    Reply
  10. What's the iPad bike holder that they're using? Thanks for this review Ray!

    Reply
  11. This is really encouraging and competition in this market is healthy but I think RacerMate (makers of the computrainer) aren't really hostile to third party development. They just don't actively facilitate it. I'm one of many voices on their forum who have encouraged them to publish the interface specs so that third party development can flourish. They are a hardware company who doesn't "get" open platforms and software, but clearly Wahoo does. Hopefully this spurs RacerMate and Taxc to open up a bit.

    Reply
  12. I've got a CompuTrainer right now, and while I love many things about the setup the small drive wheel is a PITA to deal with and the mounting process is archaic enough compared to CycleOps et al that I just leave my road bike on it 24/7. If this comes in closer to the $800 level and ErgVideo will support it, my CT is going on Craigslist - seriously. Even the new Racermate One is such a poorly designed piece of work that the idea of being able to just write up my own controls relatively easily (plus the fact that I probably won't have to) excites me.

    For that matter, it would be relatively trivial to write an adapter layer using the Golden Cheetah code so that this just appeared as a CompuTrainer to apps like ErgVideo. Hmm...

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    Ray, the coolest thing in any of those photos was the Bridgestone E-fork on the front of that mountain bike.

    I know you're not into dirt, but something that shiny and complex should have caught your attention!

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    Ray,

    great review as always - thanks for this!

    At first sight the unit resembles very much the LeMond Revolution. I own a LeMond and the feel of the ride is second to none (IMO), havng owned all kind of Tacx and Elite Trainers. I would think that the KICKR will ride just as smooth.

    HOWEVER, one rather big issue with the LeMond is the "jet-fighter-take-off" noise level which makes it a challenge to use without seriously jeopardizing the relationship with spouse and neighbours. How is the noise level of the KICKR?

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

    Tom

    Reply
  15. @anonymous:
    I pegged it as an AMP Research F4 front fork - we still have a B4/F3 and B4/F4 in the garage. I hadn't touched my AMP in about six years but now my kid is nearly tall enough to ride my bikes, so I set it up for him.

    Ray, we need more pictures of that fork (or just a what-is-it statement).

    Reply
  16. I stand by my comment on the Tacx Bushido review: link to dcrainmaker.com

    This type of thing is *ripe* for Gamification.

    Oh well, if only I could program. Or draw. Or ...stuff.

    Reply
  17. Very exciting product. Ray, do you know if any of the iPhone/iPad apps are built-in AirPlay compatible? With this, you can put the video up on your big TV screen using Apple TV. Looks like that may be going on in one of your photos.

    I also look forward to your decibel test. I have a Lemond Revolution, and as you point out, it is LOUD! If the KICKR turns out to be quieter, that's a huge plus.

    Reply
  18. Thanks a lot for the report, Ray.
    This is definitely what I was looking for!! I hope to have soon more precise info on price and availability!!

    Reply
  19. Excellent report. Big fan of Wahoo's BT4 sensors and apps. I may be putting my Tacx Fortius VR trainer on eBay.

    Reply
  20. TnA

    Ray, what's the inertia of the flywheel on the KICKR? In other words, what mass rider does it "represent"?

    Reply
  21. Ray, this trainer looks awesome but I am a little confused on the software portion of the trainer. Do you need a ipad/iphone to run the trainer if you don't have TrainerRoad? I just want to run stuff on my Windows PC. Cycleops upcoming VirtualTraining software looks cool, any idea on how it will compare with what Wahoo will provide.

    Reply
  22. Hi Ray,

    I've started developing support in GC. I'm also separating it out from the main GC code to create an open source 'trainer' program.

    This was mostly to simplify the config/startup and to allow for a different approach to the UI.

    One thing you didn't mention was the resistance unit -- I believe it is a magnetic resistance unit akin to the velotron, and thus mega accurate and also quiet? can you confirm?

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    Tom,

    Here is what Ray says about noise:

    Now traditionally trainers like this (such as the LeMond) have been a wee bit loud. More like jet-engine loud. But the Wahoo KICKR was far than the LeMond Revolution – almost completely quiet on the showfloor – the sound of the drive train was louder on all three bikes than the trainer itself.

    Reply
  24. Thanks all for the comments!

    Hi Plodski-
    RE: Champag cassettes

    I'll clarify tomorrow, but they were fairly specific when we talked this morning about being Shimano cassettes.

    Brett-
    RE: Weight

    Funny, I left my little hanging weight at home but almost brought it with me. I'll find out in the morning. They will be moving the handle location you see a bit - since this prototype makes it a bit harder to pickup due to the flywheel right next to it.

    Hi Andre-
    RE: Included in trainer comparison

    Yup, absolutely going to be included. My current plan is as follows:

    LeMond Revolution (next)
    Tacx Genius (with new v4.2 software coming out in two weeks)
    TrainerRoad on Kurt Kinetic
    Wahoo KICKR

    They just got these prototypes in time for the show, and they want a few more weeks before sending me over one to work out current beta bugs. Other trainers on the radar include a new Kurt trainer (talking to them tomorrow) as well as the updated CycleOps software once that's released (also talking tomorrow).

    Hi Fabiano-
    RE: iPad holder

    I believe offhand it's the one I used in the below post (since I got that idea from Kinomap, who also got the idea from them). But I'll double-check.

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Anon/Theo
    RE: The mountain bike

    Funny story about that bike, actually, it's a long story. There were tons of folks taking photos of that bike, which has a fairly long history. Once I get a few more reviews done tonight I'll post some photos of the bike in a little gallery above and some backstory. It's actually kinda cool (even for a triathlete like me).

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Noise

    As noted above, it's really super-quiet. Scary quiet. I was trying to find a quieter time in the hall to take a video of it - but the hall is so loud that you just can't tell how quiet it is (good thing I suppose). In all three bikes, the drivechain sounds were louder than the trainer itself. Kinda crazy.

    Hi Wanye-
    RE: Gamification

    Oh yeah, it's coming...no doubt!

    Hi Mark-
    RE: Airplay apps

    Yup, you did notice correctly - the TrainerRoad guys were using Airplay on AppleTV's (from their Mac no less). So it depends on the given app - but they support it.

    Hi TnA-
    RE: Inertia of flywheel

    It's designed to represent a 175 pound rider.

    Hi Bugsy-
    RE: Software

    Without TrainerRoad, as it stands right this second - yes, you would need an iPad/iPod. But, as Mark right below notes - they're working on an update for Golden Cheetah already to do this. So knowing how fast they develop, they'll likely easily beat the trainer to market - and they support Windows/Mac.

    Hi Mark-
    RE: Resistance unit

    Hi checked with Mike (Wahoo), and the answer was 'kinda'. He said that it's a six pole magnetic brake which is electronically controlled. It doesn't replicate a magnetic resistance curve (which islinear) because they've factored in wind resistance (which is exponential) in the software.

    Thanks all!

    And the videos are uploading...it's just incredibly slow unfortunately. I've got three videos:

    1) TrainerRoad Demo
    2) Kinomap demo
    3) Removing trainer demo
    4) Sound of trainer video (bonus!)

    And, if folks are interested I can go back tomorrow and shoot a Strava demo...

    Thanks all!

    Reply
  25. On Airplay, the app doesn't need to support it any longer on most devices. With the iPad/iPhone, and now even OSX Mountain Lion, you can Airplay your entire screen pretty easily.

    One thing not yet noted that I noticed is that this device should let you put a 29" tired mountain bike in it. This is something a Computrainer can NOT do, which I found out the hard way after taking my CT all the way to Leadville with me for the 3.5 weeks I was there before the race (to acclimate and pre-ride). If this comes in at the right price point, given everything Ray has said to date, my CT will be going to Craigslist as well and replaced with the KICKR. This is looking like a no-brainer, in fact, if they're even CLOSE.

    Reply
  26. Anonymous

    I really, really like the idea of an open technology platform.

    I like the Tacx hardware but
    The Tacx TTS software is crap, and programming the trainer workouts through the Bushido head unit is painful.

    The only thing I don't like about the KICKR is that it isn't compatible with fixed gear bikes. So I would not be able to use my track bike on it (which I can do with my Bushido).

    Reply
  27. Thanks again Ray, and yes please re your Strava demo offer :-)

    One other thing - whats this unit like for standing on the pedals to simulate climbing/sprinting efforts?

    And I agree with Donnie - on iPad and iPhone in iOS 5 you can mirror your screen to AirPlay TV - it works a treat and you can display any app you want, easily.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  28. Another thing I'm wondering is about the inertia setting - to some of us 175lbs is very high - I'm over 40lbs lighter than that :-) Does that translate to my feeling its equivalent to much more or much less than a 15 % gradient. I'm just not sure about how the physics will work on that - can anyone help me out?

    Reply
  29. For AirPlay, Donnie Barnes and AlanW are referring to AirPlay Mirroring, which works, but is not as effective as built-in support for AirPlay in apps. Built-in support has numerous advantages, including being able to put video up on the Apple TV screen while leaving controls on the iOS app (for example, see the soon-to-be-terminated YouTube app). This would work well for trainer apps. Other advantages of built-in AirPlay support include bandwidth and graphics processor requirements.

    Reply
  30. Anonymous

    No Campy? Shouldn't be hard to come up with a Campy cassette mount. I'd be very interested if they do that. Shimano only - I guess I'd have to wait for something else.

    Reply
  31. I'm not an Apple guy, and I don't want go take the pc out to the garage. Is there an option with my android phone?

    Reply
  32. There's nothing stopping anyone from developing Android apps using Bluetooth Smart - it's just that in talking with the Wahoo guys, the BLE landscape on Android phones today is a mess, thus why there are virtually no apps that support it. Not because they don't want too - they really do.

    Reply
  33. Just a basic question for me. How does the KICKR communicate the speed to a Garmin 800? I understand that the cadence sensor would work, but the speed sensor is on the actual back-wheel, which is removed in this case.

    Also, what kind of info would be available for GarminConnect (e.g. distance?)?

    Reply
  34. what will the ongoing cost be for KICKR? do you have to pay for any of the apps/segments and/or monthly $ for any of the functionality? thanks

    Reply
  35. Ash

    Excellent post Ray. Thank you. My only concern with the Kickr is how long it will take to be available on the UK side of the pond. Is it too large/heavy to consider brining back in hand luggage?

    Reply
  36. Hi Roberto-
    RE: KICKR and Edge 800

    Yes, it would transmit power and speed to teh Edge 800. Additionally (and this wasn't quite confirmed last time I checked), they would also transmit cadence info - but that was still being finalized.

    Lara-
    RE: KICKR

    $999. And no monthly cost for apps, most are either free, or a couple dollars. The exception that I know about is Trainer Road, which has a ~$10 a month cost for their desktop app (they don't have a mobile app).

    Hi Ash-
    RE: Available elsewhere

    I think they were looking to dual-launch for international countries.

    As for bringing in hand-luggage (on a plane), it would be too big to fit in the overhead bit. But, easily checkable below the typical 50 pound limit.

    Thanks all!

    Reply
  37. Ray

    Ray - Any word on release date? I see the price ($999) and I see that they are working with someone on a Campy adapter (from SlowTwitch), but I don't find anything about release date. Do you have your beta version yet? Thanks a ton!
    -Ray

    Reply
  38. Release date is still planned for Jan 1st, or perhaps just a tiny bit ahead of that. They'll be opening up pre-orders once the units begin their trek from Asia to the US on a ship. They expect that would be 30 days ahead of availability. That puts things roughly in the late November timeframe.

    I do not yet have a unit (KICKR) here yet, though I do now have the Kinetic inRide, which is something the same (Wahoo) team worked on that leverages much of the same technology.

    They were waiting for the next test run (not yet the final run) to drop-ship one to me. Likely/hopefully soon.

    Reply
    • Vincent Huard replied

      November went by...

      Do you think they are still thinking in hitting Jan 1st?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Not January 1st. Mostly due to the 30 day ship requirement from Asia to the US. It's possible it could go slightly faster, but not much more. I suspect about 1-2 weeks beyond that. But I'll probably know more by the end of this week.

      Reply
  39. ricardo

    Could you give me advice on ant ipad device and a software which can monitor cycling heart rate, speed, cadence, GPS, and a device holder for bike, thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The default Wahoo App is actually your best bet for recording data (very high fidelity there - probably one of the best out there). As for a holder, on the iPad side on the bike that's a bit tougher. I've seen a few at trade shows, but they are mostly for staying in a static area - not moving around. :(

      Reply
  40. Lars Thier

    Do you know when it comes to Europe (Denmark) and maybe something about pricing in Europe? Thanks.

    Reply
  41. Dwight

    Why are Kickr and KK inRide only compatible with bluetooth mobile phone apps or an iPad? A flip phone and laptop have been adequate for me until now. I would think that a laptop screen or monitor would be more desireable than a small screen or is everyone going to connect to a flat screen tv? Am I going to have to purchase an iPad or Smartphone to be able to use a Kickr?

    What Trainerroad courses/training plans control the resistance on Kickr? I would not think that it would be all of them. Wasn't Trainerroad designed to work with basic trainers and would have to be updated to work with products like Kickr?

    Sounds like I am going to have to take more of an interest in keeping up with technology than I have been or are they going to idiot-proof this stuff with detailed instructions and descriptions. This has not been my experience historically so I am somewhat pessimistic. A virtual trainer is attractive but if I am going to have to learn a lot of new stuff will probably just keep it simple with Trainerroad and my existing KK Road Machine.

    Reply
  42. Hugh Mason

    Any rumblings??????? January is almost here.

    Reply
    • Steve Fitz replied

      I'll second Hugh's request for any info/shipping updates on the Kickr. The Wahoo Facebook page has no helpful info but maybe they have spoken to you about it. Any info you can share? Thanks, Steve

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Sorry guys, I don't have anything new I can share at the moment. Soon!

      Reply
  43. Dave

    Sounds pretty cool. Looks like resistance is more in line with (my) reality than the Lemond Revolution. When it comes out, I'll definitely consider switching from the Lemond.

    Reply
  44. Al

    I still can't figure out what electronic device you MUST have to use the KICKR. Does it have to be an Apple product, or can a Windows laptop suffice?

    Reply
    • ekutter replied

      It's an open architecture so any device that supports BT 4.0 or Ant+ will be "able" to connect to it. It is up to third party software developers to actually write the programs that connect and make it interesting. Bottom line is there will be (probably already is) software for iPhones, iPads, Android, Windows PC's, Mac's. The coolest piece is that you don't need an archaic head unit like Tacx and Computrainer. Just go connect straight to your phone or computer.

      Reply
  45. Al

    Would it be possible to get an iPhone 4s used to connect without having a cell plan? I must admit (obviously) I am a bit behind in my technology understanding.

    Reply
  46. KI

    Is it possible to use the Kinomap and Strava apps simultaneously? In other words, could I (1) simultaneously record the IMLT bike course using my Garmin 500 (for Strava) and a Contour+2 camera (for Kinomap), upload the Garmin 500 data and the Counter+2 data to Strava and Kinomap, respectively, and (3) train on the Kinomap video with up to four of my friends while each of us simultaneously races a target on the corresponding Strava segment?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I'm not sure I 100% what your setup is, but let me clarify what's possible and not possible.

      1) For Bluetooth Smart based apps (the Wahoo Segments app, which is the Strava re-riding app), it's a one to one pairing. So the KICKR can only pair to one of them at a time. That's a Bluetooth Smart limitation unfortunately.

      2) For ANT+ based data, you can do a many to many pairing. So the Edge 500 can record from the KICKR, Kinomap could record from the KICKR (but it wouldn't be in controlling mode anymore, or it could, but just no other Bluetooth Smart controlling apps).

      3) None of those apps will be outputting the elevation data via ANT+ however, so, it's just power/speed/HR/cadence via ANT+.

      Make sense?

      Reply
  47. phil

    Wow, you tech geeks have me totally lost.

    Reply
  48. Larry

    Noticed that KICKR is up for pre-order on clevertraining.com. They list 2/7/2013 as the expected delivery date.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Well spotted... ;) And of course, discount applies...

      Reply
  49. Dave S

    clevertraining.com is now updated to March 15, 2013...

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, there was a very...very...very small number of units available coming in earlier via plane. Those be gone now. All boat orders.

      Reply
  50. Jacques Caron

    More of a question than a comment!
    Is it possible to use this trainer with a laptop computer with Windows 7?
    What would be the typical set-up and required hardware/software?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It will, just not quite yet today. They need to sort out the Bluetooth Smart driver side on Windows, and then you'll be good to go with apps like Trainer Road and Golden Cheetah.

      In the meantime, they're adding in ANT+ Resistance Control so that those Windows Apps can control it with a standard ANT+ USB stick.

      Btw, for other folks, I've posted more details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
  51. Anne

    Any chance of ErgVideos working with the KICKR?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That would come down to the ErgVideo folks creating an app that works with the KICKR. Obviously, I think that'd be in their best interest, and I'm sure it's something they're looking at.

      Reply
  52. Trey Powell

    Absoluly thrilled to find this product! As a VERY disappointed Computrainer owner it is great to see a product that is up to date and user friendly. I am putting my Computrainer up for sale ASAP! Only one question, will my coach be able to send me workouts for the Kickr in the same way as the Computrainer?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Very close, but not quite there today. You could do it with TrainerRoad and the KICKR though - that would definitely work. Or, with iMobile Intervals.

      Check out my full in-depth review for details on that.

      Reply
  53. sean

    I have a wahoo kickr and am using the app but the power curves are way off in terms of speed. For example it is saying you need something like 450 watts on a tri bike to go 40kmh (Cda of 0.4 or so!!). Clearly this is ridiculous. Have emailed Wahoo and no reply to date. Any thoughts?

    Reply
  54. Ryan

    I'm thinking about buying a Wahoo Kickr but just a couple questions:
    1) I like that the CompuTrainer goes to a PC so that I can use a larger TV as a second monitor for video races and general display. Is this possible with the Kickr?

    2) What's the best option if I want to do a video simulation of an Ironman or Half-Ironman race? Is a seperate application/membership best for this? If so, which one?

    Thanks
    Ryan from Chicago

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      1) Yes, you can use the iPad with an adapter that will connect via HDMI. It's what I do. Adapter costs about $30 from Apple.

      2) Kinomap is the best option for that scenario.

      Reply
  55. marc steingrand

    hello ray one more question to your great reviews..

    does the kinomap work as well with the computrainer? is the any integration ? as like trainerroad?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, CompuTrainer doesn't work with Kinomap. I don't anticipate any plans there, since Kinomap is a iOS product, and there's no method to connect iOS to CompuTrainer (USB/Serial port).

      Reply
  56. Randolph

    Thanks for all the great info on trainers but I have a very basic question. I currently have my tri bike on a simple trainer. I have a powertap so I have access to watts, cadence, and hr when I ride. Would the wahoo add much more than just variable resistance and the ability to ride to various routes? In other words, what exactly am I getting for the money.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      You're gaining the ability to control the resistance to an exact wattage, or to recreate a course outside (i.e. a given route, such as a race route).

      Reply
  57. evdv

    Hi,
    What is the best option Computrainer o this Wahoo KIKR?
    I will buy one and I'm in doubt about what to buy.

    I use a kurt kinetic with powertap + trainerroad to do my intervals. I would like to use some ergvideos to 'ride' the alpes mountais and some other real courses.

    Reply

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>