• REI

Wahoo Fitness KICKR now (sorta) available for pre-order


**Update: Get the latest information on the 2018 Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer In-Depth Review**

Today, Wahoo Fitness announced pre-orders for the Wahoo KICKR trainer will begin on January 29th at 12PM Eastern.  This is obviously a fair bit behind the planned schedule of pre-orders in November. The first shipment was confirmed loaded onto the boat last Friday afternoon Taiwan-time.  From a timeline standpoint, the boat first motors across the ocean (which is occurring at the moment), then there is customs clearance in LA, then arrival into a distribution center, and then finally, shipment to your house.  It’s that last part that’s actually the quickest (UPS/FedEx/etc…).  Ultimately, they believe they can have units start hitting your house by March 4th.  They are filling and shipping multiple containers, with each one hosting about 200-300 units.


As previously announced way back in early fall, the units were set for $999US.  However, upon today’s announcement the price has now increased to $1,099.  Clearly, this sucks for you and me as the consumer.  From a competitive standpoint however, I’m not sure it dramatically changes the landscape.  It does make the Tacx Bushido slightly more appealing (due to the larger price gap), but, the rest of the competitors right now are generally $100-500 above KICKR still.  Note that some retail outlets (I’ve heard from a handful of you) did start accepting pre-orders.  I’ve talked to both some of these retailers and Wahoo on this and have heard conflicting things.  It would be up to those retail outlets as to how to sort out any price discrepancy.

I recently posted a slew of unboxing photos to this post here, if you’d like to dig into that ahead of time.


(Note: What follows is not meant to be a review, but rather, just to help you decide whether or not you feel a KICKR pre-order makes sense for you)

Since then, I’ve been using it for some of my trainer workouts – getting the lay of the land.  At present, I don’t plan on putting together a full review until a few more 3rd party applications are onboard with functional apps – likely towards the end of February.  Many of those developers all received KICKR units at the conclusion of CES 2013 earlier this month.  I have however tested it with Trainer Road, Kinomap, and the default Wahoo Fitness app along with the Wahoo Fitness Segments (Strava emulator) app.  The Segments app doesn’t have a defined availability date as they are working out things with Strava still.

In my testing, I’ve found accuracy very solid across a few different power meters I’ve been testing lately.  Below is a graph put together, comparing accuracy of the KICKR with that of the Quarq Cinqo crank-based power meter from one of my recent trainer rides.  Note that this particular beta firmware version did not have temperature compensation factored into the ride mid-ride (I did it manually pre-ride).   This data was recorded via ANT+ (on an Edge 510 and Edge 810).  The below is smoothed at 10s.  They are showing measured watts by each power meter, not set-resistance levels.


In the above, I was just doing some simple tests.  Set wattage levels (i.e. 100w) starting with a 5 minute warm-up, and then at 150w in 10w increments up to 250 and back down in 25w steps.  Then I did four 30-second sprints in 1% incline mode.  Following which, simply setting it for 100w as a cool-down for a few minutes.   Obviously, you can see some drift in the last few minutes.  It’s unclear whether that’s the result of the Quarq or KICKR drifting.  In this particular test I didn’t do a post-test temp check on KICKR.  Pre-ride on KICKR I did a roll-down test and offset.  On the Quarq, pre-ride a manual calibration.  The dip you see at roughly 176s was simply the result of me hitting the wrong button and removing resistance accidently.

Again, I wouldn’t overanalyze the above too much – it’s just a beta firmware drop.  Like most beta firmware drops that I get, they usually come fast and frequent (sometimes daily), with iterations quickly to address any outstanding bugs.

Riding-wise (since a lot of folks ask), it…well..feels like a trainer.  No, it doesn’t have the road smoothness of the LeMond Revolution, but it also has more finesse than the CompuTrainer when it comes to load application (i.e. how it feels when changing resistance).

From a parts standpoint, the thing is a beast.  I never had a chance to pick it up physically at previous shows – so it wasn’t until I dragged one across the world did I realize how darn heavy it is.  But that heaviness comes from the materials used and the build.  There simply isn’t plastic in any of the critical wear parts.  It’s built a bit like a rock.


The unit weighed in at 46 pounds (about 21kg).  To put that in perspective, the CompuTrainer weighed in at 22 pounds, and the Tacx Genius at 25 pounds  (as per me weighing them all a moment ago).


Connectivity-wise it’s got both Bluetooth Smart as well as ANT+ in it.  But today, the ANT+ side can only be used to transmit the power to nearby ANT+ devices (such as your Edge 500) – but can’t be used to control the unit.  The ability to control over ANT+ is coming, but it’s not there yet today as the ANT+ device profile for that functionality isn’t finalized yet.  All control happens via BT Smart.


So what are the downsides?  Well, they’re fairly few and far between from what I’ve seen thus far (aside from availability).  But most of them center around the application side.

First, you’ve gotta have a Bluetooth 4.0 capable device to control it without any 3rd party software.  That means an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, or one of the later iPads (3rd/4th gen).  Within the 3rd party world, to control it you’d need either Trainer Road (on a Mac, PC drivers aren’t yet there for the BLE side), or – upcoming Golden Cheetah.  The Golden Cheetah folks are working overtime to get the PC side down as quickly as possible – recognizing the gap there.

Second, there isn’t a handlebar control unit for resistance. You’ve gotta use your phone to control resistance (or, a 3rd party app with a keyboard).  Over the last few weeks I’ve done workouts where things have gotten pretty sweaty.  For the most part, the phone responds to my sweatiness and does what I want (changing resistance), but I’ve definitely had a couple cases where my fingers were just too wet to get valid/accurate responses from the phone.  As noted, if you’ve got an app controlling resistance for you (say a course or workout), it’s a bit of a moot point.  But if you’re just controlling resistance manually you may want to invest in a simple cheap running armband for it, as it tends to ensure sweat doesn’t actually get on the screen itself.

Lastly, as I previously noted around sound decibel levels, it’s on par with other units.  You can see this in the video below I put together.  However, it does have a slightly higher pitched sound.  Very slightly.  It hasn’t been bothersome to either me or The Girl (who’s also used the trainer) – but it might be to some.  We’re still able to watch TV just fine, so I suppose that’s all that matters to me.  You can hear it below and decide for yourself.

Finally, there’s virtually no support on the Android side today.  That will change – no doubt, as an app is already being worked on from Wahoo (I showed screenshots of it mid-way here in this post) – but if you don’t have an iDevice, it’s a bit limiting (unless you’re using a 3rd party app, some of which are free of course).

Make sense?  Good.

You can always check out the trainer comparison table to look at all the features for trainers out there.

And my previous post from August has just about every other technical KICKR question answered on it – so also worth checking out too until a full review is posted.  But I’m always happy to answer questions here too.

Found this review useful? Or just wanna save a bundle? Here’s how:

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take the time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased.  By joining the Clever Training VIP Program, you will earn 10% points on this item and 10% off (instantly) on thousands of other fitness products and accessories.  Points can be used on your very next purchase at Clever Training for anything site-wide.  You can read more about the details here.  By joining, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers.  And, since this item is more than $49, you get free 3-day (or less) US shipping as well.

Wahoo KICKR 2018
Wahoo Headwind Fan

For European/Australian/New Zealand readers, you can also pickup the unit via Wiggle at the links below, which helps support the site too! With Wiggle new customers get 10GBP (or equivalent in other currencies) off their first order for anything over 50GBP by using code [Currently Disabled] at check-out after clicking the links below.

Wahoo KICKR 2018 (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
Wahoo CLIMB (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
Wahoo KICKR DESK (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
Wahoo Headwind Fan (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that most folks getting a trainer for the first time might not have already:

Apple TV 4K 64GB WiFi (2022)There's no better bang for your buck in getting Zwift (or FulGaz/etc) on your big screen TV than Apple TV - it's the primary way I Zwift.
Basic Trainer MatThis is a super basic trainer mat, which is exactly what you'll see me use. All it does is stop sweat for getting places it shouldn't (it also helps with vibrations too).
Elago R1 Apple TV Remote Silicone Case with StrapI use Apple TV for Zwift the vast majority of the time, but also just for watching YouTube/Netflix/etc on the trainer. The Apple TV remote sucks though. This $8 case fixes that, it's a silicone strap that makes it easy to grab, but also has a strap to easily place on the edge of your handlebars. Boom! Note: Not compatible with 2021 Apple TV Edition.
Front Wheel Riser BlockHere's the thing, some people like front wheel blocks, some don't. I'm one of the ones that do. I like my front wheel to stay put and not aimlessly wiggle around. For $8, this solves that problem. Note some trainers do come with them. Also note, I use a riser block with *every* trainer.
Honeywell HT-900 FanI've got three of these $12 fans floating around the DCR Cave, and I frequently use them on rides. They work just fine. Sure, they're not as powerful as a Wahoo Headwind, but I could literally buy 20 of them for the same price.
Indoor Cycle Trainer Desk (RAD/CXWXC/Vinsetto/Conquer/etc...)This desk is both a knock-off of the original KICKR Desk, but yet also better than it. First, it's got wheel locks (so the darn thing stays put), and second, it has two water bottle holders (also useful for putting other things like remotes). I've been using it as my main trainer desk for a long time now and love it. Cheaper is better apparently. Note: Branding varies by country, exact same desk.
KOM Cycling Trainer DeskThis is by far the best value in trainer desks, at only $59, but with most of the features of the higher end features. It's got multi-tier tablet slots, water bottle holders, non-stick surface, adjustable height and more. I'm loving it!
Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617)One of the most popular trainer fans out there, rivaling the Wahoo Headwind fan in strength but at a fraction of the price. It doesn't have smartphone/ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but it does have secondary outlets. I've been using it, and a similiar European version lately with great success (exact EU variant I use is automatically linked at left).
Tacx Tablet Bike MountI've had this for years, and use it in places where I don't have a big screen or desk, but just an iPad or tablet on my road bike bars.

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (though, no discount/points). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.

Thanks for reading and supporting the site!

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  1. Andrew HUSSEY

    The Golden Cheetah link needs to be link to goldencheetah.org as opposed to .com.

  2. Luis

    def not digging the new price…

  3. Eric

    Will this work on Android? I only have a PC and and android smartphone. I’m guessing I can’t use this?

    • Ray Maker

      See above on notes on Android. In short, it’s coming, but not there yet. On the PC front, I’m hearing tonight that they’ll be adding in ANT+ control for that quickly so that the Windows apps can control the resistance (i.e. Trainer Road, Golden Cheetah, etc…).

    • Eric

      Thanks! I preordered from Clever with the 10% discount. Hope the software is out my the time the ship! Or else I need to get an I pad,.. blech

  4. Gert Wuyts

    Hi Ray,

    what were the steps you took in order to get the kickr in Paris ? What was the cost and what about customs ?

    I’m disappointed in the fact that even with all the delay they aren’t capable of delivering internationally.

    Thanks for the info.

    • Ray Maker

      I dragged it on a plane from CES, then via customs, then via the Metro. It made for a long morning. ;)

      Because it’s just a demo unit, I don’t pay any customs, it goes back to them. Otherwise, it would be 19.6% for France (that’s the usual). If you figure the 10% discount via Clever, then you’re effectively looking at a 10% import fee (+ a flat-rate shipping of $30).

      Though, import/VAT taxes vary by countries. I’m only familiar with what the UPS man wants everytime he stops at my door. :)

  5. Tom

    Without the head unit controlling resistance, is it just stuck at a fixed resistance level or does it act like a conventional fluid trainer (ie use a pre-programed curve to simulate resistance at the given speed on a flat and windless course)? Naturally, there isn’t much sense in buying one of these without some way to use the computer controlled resistance – but it seems logical to have some sort of fallback in case you just want to do a free-form ride (or group training session with an instructor where you may not know the program ahead of time).

    • Ray Maker

      At present, if you just unplug it, it provides some resistance – but not enough – perhaps 125-150w worth. I had heard some conversations implying it should follow a standard curve.

      Sames goes if I leave it plugged in, but without any controller.

      Ultimately, you’re going to want something controlling it. See my previous comment regarding the PC side of things.

    • Hi Tom,

      You will need to plug it in for the brake to operate. Once plugged in, it will operate like a standard trainer if you do not have a device connected to control it. It will also broadcast ANT+ Power and speed whenever it is being ridden. Need to work with Ray to see why his isn’t doing that at the moment:(


      Chip from Wahoo

  6. How do you view it in comparison to a Kurt Kinetic (In particular I have the Rock n Roll, still within Amazon’s return window). Debating if I should send it back and save for this instead. I love Trainer Road + it’s video workouts. Let alone future Strava potential and more reliable wattage…

    • Ray Maker

      It depends on what you want to use it for. If you want resistance control, then no, that won’t happen on Rock n Roll. But, if you’re looking for accurate power, then RnR + inRide is spot-on. RnR + TR VP puts you in a ballpark, as you saw in the inRide accuracy tests (without the inRide).

      If you want control over resistance, then KICKR is the better of the two. Of course, there’s other units out there that support TR that aren’t KICKR. For example, the CycleOps Powerbeam is one of them (that’s coming up shortly), and without the head unit, it’s about the same price.

    • That’s what I’m wondering, the RnR was my first trainer but I frankly don’t bounce much side to side so wonder if I’m better with the alternatives (I loved the KICKR since it showed up here back at interbike/teaser site). Not to mention I have to “prop it up” so it dosen’t leave skid marks from the RnR’ing… I admittedly got a great deal $470 for the RnR…

      I like the idea of resistance control as with TR it’ll make it much more friendly (I always have used TR, I don’t just ride it for no reason…). I think long-term the KICKR might be the way to go, not a fan of in-ride, seems like it’s a good solution to something that can be held “properly” for just a bit more.

      Hows the resitence changing? Smooth?? I remember them saying they would be able to adjust it multiple times a second so it should be smooth?

      You should do a mini-review of just the hardware and the theoretical outlook (TR and the potential Segments app are enough to see that) then maybe do an ecosystem review down the line (would be great even for existing users as they could see how all the apps are!)

    • Ray Maker

      The smoothness in power-shifting is probably the part I like the most from a hardware standpoint. No herky-jerky stuff like some trainers.

    • I think that might be a good enough reason for that since I already like the interactivity. Smoothness and solidly built are what all trainers need to strive for (really looks and sounds like kurt level bomb-proof construction).

      Anything on the box/materials mention the warranty? Rather not invest $1099 for one season! Also a tidbit that isn’t on their site anywhere that I can find. I can’t imagine it’d be the same as the HR monitors (as thats if not mistaken a year…)–not at this price-point. Not when competition offeres semi-lifetime to lifetime warranties…

    • Ray Maker

      I’ll scan the warranty papers in the morning and post it up there.

      In short:

      Frame has a ‘lifetime warranty’
      Mechanical components have a ‘1 year warranty’
      Electrical components a ‘1 year warranty’

      Within warranty Wahoo will replace at no cost to customer, but customer is responsible for shipping and ‘applicable labor costs’. Unclear if they mean shipping both ways or not.

      ‘For Damage not covered under the warranty, Wahoo Fitness offers a refurb program for $40 + cost of parts and shipping”

      Again, I’ll scan it in the morning. I need to let it sit in a book overnight…it’s a wee bit crinkled. ;)

    • Smooshed manuals, how cliché! Thanks for putting them up that’ll be awesome for all of us pondering if we will preorder or not!

      Huh seems vague, so it’s a partial lifetime (frame) but not mechanical/elec. I can understand electronics being a year, but looks like this is one of the worse warranties for a trainer (especially the labor notion). Would probably go for a power beam or even… In-Ride. I just can’t see investing in a trainer if they wont even stand behind their resistance unit for more than a year… More so when I really only use it day 2 day in the winter (cant see using much in summer/spring). Odd. I might have to email them on this to find out more. TacX is also only one year (but makes some since, seems more brittle), Kurt is everything lifetime no questions.

      I know they are an awesome company and what they are doing is slicker than slick but end of the day… Hard to judge quality when the company has no back history in this… I might be over-reacting :P Anyways back to plotting what to do between this and the RnR.

    • Ray Maker

      Here are the warranty files.

      There’s two parts to it. First was a small front and back sheet of paper with tiny text. I did the best to scan it, given the crinkles.

      Front: link to sites.google.com
      Back: link to sites.google.com

      The second is the easier to read warranty info, at the end of the ‘manual’. This is more or less in clear and easy to read English and isn’t too legal.

      Big Warranty: link to sites.google.com

  7. Larry

    Clevertraining sent an email with similar information regarding deliveries a couple days ago. They have also raised the price on their website to what is listed above. Hopefully they will still honor the original price (- DCR10BTF) for pre-orders taken when the price was lower.

    I’ve done some looking into Android & Windows support from several vendors and fully believe much will be in place, but not so much on day 1. I’ll outline what I believe is happening, and if anyone has more accurate info, please correct me. I’m guessing Android support will come in two waves, with the first wave being ANT+ control. From what I’ve understood, Wahoo hasn’t released the ANT+ APIs yet, so there isn’t anything for a software vendor to work with right now. Even when it’s released, unless you have one of the Sony phones that has ANT+ built-in, you’ll need to add an ANT+ USB dongle to your phone via a USB On-The-Go cable. This will only work on Android phones that support USB OTG – i.e. your phone can act as a USB host controller. Luckily, very popular phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and some of the Motorola units can do this, but a number of phones just don’t have the host control capability in the hardware (e.g. it’s reported that the new Nexus 4 won’t work). I fully expect the Samsung GS3 will work without rooting. The software stacks for ANT+ & some necessary support programs already exist and can be downloaded from Google Play.

    A number of Android phones produced over the past year (e.g. SGS3) also have Bluetooth Smart hardware built-in. The problem is that Google hasn’t released a software stack yet, but it’s reported to be part of the next major release (Key Lime Pie). Of course the delay between the release of a new code base, which usually shows up on Nexus gear pretty fast, and when your phone vendor and wireless carrier release it can be prolonged.

    To me, the exciting part for Android is the prospect no so much of using a phone or tablet, but using something like the $99 OUYA game console with KICKR. OUYA seems perfect in that it has a fairly powerful processor, Bluetooth Smart, USB host control, a game controller which includes a touchpad for UI interaction and it attaches to a TV or computer monitor via HDMI. Watch real life videos on a big screen rather than a 4″ display on a telephone. You could even buy the OUYA with the money you saved using the DCR10BTF code.

    On Windows, ANT+ is there today. Windows 8 supports BT Smart, but it doesn’t appear Microsoft is going to make that work with older versions of Windows. You can buy Bluetooth 4.0 (which includes Smart) dongles today which have drivers for older versions of Windows, but all of that is no doubt just part of the problem as I’d guess class drivers for various peripherals are also needed. Given that KICKR does ANT+, and a bunch of ANT+ sensors are already available, it’s not clear how compelling it will be to run via Bluetooth Smart on a PC. Conceptually, I believe the Mac is somewhat similar in that Apple has only provided official support for Bluetooth Smart in their latest release (Mountain Lion), but people have found ways of hacking older releases to work when adding a proper USB dongle if the native hardware support isn’t there.

    • Ray Maker

      Hi Larry

      Thanks for the e-mail, and the support!

      RE: Clever

      I’ve talked with them about it. They believe they’ll be able to honor the original price, but that should get sorted out today. I’m in your camp, and so are they. So I think it’ll be good.

      RE: Android:

      I’d generally agree with everything you’ve said in that section. Everything you noted is accurate and spot-on with what I’m hearing.

      Android is messy for all the reasons you outlined.

      RE: OUYA

      This is an interesting area, and one of the core reasons why I really like KICKR – is the ability to do exactly that (I have one on pre-order, OUYA’s). However, I will note that the same problem we see on Android BT will likely impact OUYA as well (lack of BT Smart profiles).

      RE: Windows

      On the Windows front, I think we’ll see that sooner. They were literally getting the API for ANT+ done last night. So I think it’s their goal to have that done in a matter of days, or a week. But not weeks or months.

      The BT Smart side isn’t so much a case of not supporting it in older versions of Windows, as there are BT4 dongles used by other devices (i.e. FitBit) that work and do BT Smart. Of course, as you noted, it’s getting that additional classes supported.

      The one caveat to note is that today Windows RT doesn’t support ANT+ USB sticks. So this means that items such as the Surface RT won’t work if folks did Windows 8 apps. I’m working with folks to try and get those drivers added via WU, but it’s a slow-going road.

      Thanks for the comment, good stuff!

  8. Erdnah

    Does it work with a MTB 15 mm QR thru-axle? Do any of the trainers mentioned above? I know a lot of riders warming up before CC racing…
    Regarding your riding position you might want to check saddle height. It looks as if you are sitting too low.
    Thank you for all your testing and efforts! Really outstanding and a great help for a lot of us!

    • Ray Maker

      I’m not terribly familiar with the QR thru-axles (or mountain biking in general). A couple of things I do know however.

      1) The entire trainer is adjustable for mountain bike sizes, you can see that in some of the unboxing pics where I show the different adjusting arms that you can use to move it up/down.

      2) The unit doesn’t use your rear cassette at all, nor your quick release, everything is swapped out. So it’s just your frame. Again, if I understand a quick look at QR thru-axles correctly, that’s all tied to the rear wheel hub, which is removed.

      As for my saddle height. Indeed, I noticed it post video as well. I forgot to adjust it recently after having taken off the saddle, it looks like it slipped down. I fixed it. :)

    • One of our engineers is a mountain bike nut. He’s worked out a kit for 12mm thru axles, but we can’t quite pull off 15mmm, just not enough room. We will be offering the kit as an accessory, but not sure exactly when it will be ready.


    • Nick

      for a xc bike, a thru-axle rear would be 12mm (12×142). 15QR/ 15 maxle lite are front wheel/sus fork standards

  9. Heya! I know this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.

    Does running a well-established blog like yours take a massive amount work?
    I am completely new to blogging but I do write in
    my journal on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  10. Philip

    Did I understand you correctly that cycle ops is working on some way for trainer road to control the resistance of the powerbeam?

    I thought there was a proprietary ant control between the powerbeam and the joule head unit that no outside companies could use.

    If it is coming I am sticking to my beloved powerbeam



    • Ray Maker


      The CycleOps folks noted that the TR folks have the required information from the CycleOps folks (they keys) to integrate the PowerBeam into TrainerRoad. I knew this from talking to the TR folks too, but always good to hear it confirmed.

      Thus, the ball is in TR’s court. Of course, I know they are swamped, so not sure on their timelines.

  11. Jeremy

    Thanks, Ray. As someone moving to Europe in about two months, I am interested whether the Kickr something I can simply buy a prong adapter for, or does it require a voltage converter?

    • Ray Maker

      Yup, it’s 100-240, so you’re good. I just use it with a cheap $1 prong adapter plugged into the normal Euro outlet. You can (if you wanted), also just replace that last 3′ of cord with a standard PC cord with a Euro plug. That works too.

      Either solution costs about a $1, and nothing more than plugging it in.

  12. David

    Hmm – so they see it’s going to be popular adn increase the price. GUess that’s business – just doesn’t feel “nice” – as I can’t see that their costs to produce will have gone up since announcing initial pricing.

    Also, no actual delivery until March – that’s effectively winter’s end. Think I’ll stick with the existing cyclops fluid trainer and see where the market is next year leading into winter.

    Oh – and what is it with these companies and international delivery. I mean how hard is it really to send something outside the US. As Ray has demonstrated there’s life outside that little part of the world and some of it even like to ride a bike occassionally.

    • Ray Maker

      It’s not so much the delivery aspect that’s tricky, it’s the servicing aspect. I just got off the phone a second ago with the Wahoo guys talking about the international side of it. The challenge for them is that if something goes wrong on their products today, like a HR strap – it’s easiest just to send you a new one. But with a trainer, they’d want to get that back to them. Obviously, asking someone to ship a trainer internationally across oceans back to them is a bit much (both cost and logistics), so it’s a question of how they solve that piece. They’re coming over for ISPO (link to ispo.com) in two weeks and are hoping to nail that out then.

    • David

      Thanks for the comment re the international challenge. Hadn’t thought of the warranty aspect (but stil seriously frustrating that the whole international thing lags so far behind even if I now understand (presumably just one of) the reasons.


  13. Jürgen

    Leider kann ich in meiner Wohnung unmöglich mit einem Rollentrainer fahren – nach spätestens 10 Minuten stehen die Nachbarn vor meiner Tür Schlange :-( Bisher haben alle ausprobierten Trainer ein dröhnen produziert welches selbst zwei Etagen unter mir noch zu hören und spüren ist . Wie verhält sich der KICKR Trainer . Die Lautstärke scheint ja erträglich zu sein , mich würde interessieren ob das Gerät auch diese Vibrationen erzeugt . Vielen Dank

  14. Jonny


    Regarding the sweat and not being able to use the phone as well, try one of these:
    link to jerseybin.com

    Works great. Use them for brevets an inclement weather.

  15. I’m definitely interested in the KICKR but by March I’m not spending a lot of time on the trainer. I will probably wait till fall to order one, hopefully the software has caught up by then too.

  16. The sound tests are great!

    On the power issue, it appears temperature compensation may well solve the inaccuracy. If they pre-calibrate, they’ll probably run a given power for a long time and set the wattage for a given resistive setting. This allows the temperature to reach steady-state. In the ride, as you ramp up power, the temperature of the unit is still trying to catch up: it is lagging steady-state. It’s under-estimating power, presumably because the resistance is higher at lower temperature. Then you start decreasing power. The temperature is still lower than steady-state, so it continues underestimating, but then eventually the power decreases to match the temperature. Now it’s accurate again. But you continue to decrease power and now the temperature is hotter than steady-state for the given power. You then do some brief sprints and the temperature of the unit is again cooler than steady-state, so power is underestimated. You then ride at low power and now it’s too hot, so power is over-estimated.

    It appears in your environment the unit takes a considerable time (for example at least a half-hour) to reach steady-state temperature. So real-time temperature compensation is essentially a must for accurate power, if this analysis is correct.

  17. CurtisH

    Just ordered mine through Clever. The way I figure it – with the DC discount its the same price I figured on paying.

    What I’m really hoping for on the app side is something that will take the elevation profile of races I am training for and control the resistance accordingly allowing me to virtually train on the course. Allowing google maps waypoints/route while controlling the resistance would be great too. Does anyone have an idea of this type of functionality at this point?

    • Ray Maker

      Thanks Curtis, I appreciate the support!

      On the app side, for that particular item, the answer is ‘mostly there’. Looking at the options:

      Wahoo Segments app: Would allow you to ride known Wahoo Segments, which could include races (for example, there’s a Florida Sprint Triathlon Race that I have ranking on). But the app doesn’t allow you to pick a random course.

      Kinomap: This does to a degree, but more to videos. I’d have to look and see if I can just randomly import a GPX/course file. I’ll poke around tonight.

      PerfPro: I’ve gotta check with them as well.

      I put demo videos in the first KICKR post here: link to dcrainmaker.com – This covers the Strava and Kinomap ones. But I’ll probably shoot updated demos at some point in the next week or so (working on CycleOps stuff for this weekend).

    • Greg Hamm

      I’ve had some emails with Drew (PerfPro Studio) and he is working with getting resistance controls in the software. He’s hoping to get it done by March or roughly the release of the Kickr. You should be able to upload a course file in PerfPro studio and ride that course (similar to what you can do with Computrainer) with all the resistance controls taking place. I would think that Drew is wanting to the similar thing with the Kickr. Hope this helps :)

  18. CurtisH

    Great! Thanks Ray and Greg.

  19. Mariano Kamp

    Hey Ray.

    I am wondering about the noise level too. However not so much for myself, but more for the neighbour downstairs.

    I think it’s the vibrations that they hear not the sound per se. Any idea regarding this?

    I have my bike on a Tacx Booster, which was supposed to be relatively quiet, and this sits on 3cm thick yoga mat and in between wooden planks to distribute the weight. So far that is a bit better but still an issue for the neighbours.

    Wouldn’t the KICKR and the Le Mond be better in that respect, because there is less mass moving?

    • Ray Maker

      Next time I’m back home, I may try and figure out how to tackle that piece from a sound test. Will need to enlist The Girl’s help!

  20. Vincent Huard

    How easy is it to change the cassette?

    I will be sharing it with my girlfriend and her bike is an 8 speed while mine is 10 speed.


  21. Bear

    Thank you for the great reviews. Stumbled on the Kickr when reading your CT review. Just wondering if CT would be a better option if all I have is a PC? If I was starting with no other equipment/tech other than my bike and PC what else would I need to get the most out of Kickr? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Hi,

      I am lucky enough to have a Kickr to get the GoldenCheetah integration working (which is done for BTLE).

      I am a long term user of Computrainers.

      I have only had the opportunity to ride the Kickr for the last couple of weeks but it beats the CT hands down on nearly every aspect.

      Its quieter, better made, nicer to ride, nicer to look at and open. Calibration / warmup issues are gone and it works with stack loads of software already and that can only get better (the CT works with a few products admittedly, but mostly because I reverse engineered their protocol they have shared NOTHING. Unlike Wahoo who are actively sharing everything. They totally rock).

      The lack of a headunit is entirely taken away by using an iDevice. And the new Wahoo RFLKT will make an awesome headunit and 2nd display (on the mac anyway).

      My CT will be going on ebay.

    • Bear

      Thanks for your input Mark. Makes me a bit more confident in leaning to the Kickr as my purchase. Time to start looking at what else I need to make the full use of it since I had been making do with a Kurt Kinetic and a basic HR monitor with some Spinervals DVDs.

  22. Brian

    Weird questions here, but I have a unique use case. How wide is the unit with the arms fully extended? With the arms fully closed? Do the support arms “lock in place” at either the closed position or the open position? Is the base stable if you open the arms just half way? I have, on occasion, taken my KK out to sea on my submarine and the location where I can use it is narrow enough that I can’t open the arms all the way.


    • Jake

      They let you bring your bike with you on the submarine? That is crazy. I think they should give you a free Kickr since it is so quiet, on a submarine that kind of thing is a matter of national security ;)

    • Ray Maker

      I get back Wednesday, and will give it a quick measure then. It’s possible that Mark, Reid, Murray or someone else with one may be able to chime in before then. Sorry!

    • it is 73 cm from foot to foot, but the legs would probably fit underneath stuff, the block including the fly wheel, cassette etc is about 25cm.

    • Brian

      @ Mark: Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, the legs probably won’t fit under stuff. Usually, the equipment goes floor to ceiling to make use of all the available space.

      @ Ray: Mark’s specs are good enough for what I need. Can you answer the stability question if the legs are not fully extended?

      @ Jake: You can take the bike on the submarine if it is “your” submarine. Sometimes it is good to be the king!

    • Ray Maker

      Hmm, on stability, I’d have to try it out. I’ll be back home Wednesday and can put together a short video clip or so at differing leg widths and stability with a bike/person on it. Sound good?

    • Brian

      Wednesday sounds awesome! Thanks Ray!

  23. Greg

    Thanks for responding to my comment on your Computrainer In-depth review page. Now, based on your comments, I’m here, and I’d like to ask a few questions about the Kickr. Because I ride for fun and fitness and don’t compete, back in 2005 I purchased a Tacx Fortius so that I could ride indoors during the winter while viewing real life videos and virtual reality to ease the boredom. Due to hardware and software issues, I’m dumping the Fortius and am looking at the Kickr as a replacement trainer. In your opinion, once the apps have been developed for the PC (if at all) will the Kickr afford the same type of entertainment value (I.e. video and virtual reality) while riding the trainer that Tacx currently brings to the market? I am not a tech geek-the most modern tech I use is a Timex GPS run trainer for running (and creating cycling GPS maps) and a Polar S720i on my bikes. I don’t really want to have to buy an iPad or iPhone to utilize the functionality of the Kickr, but if I have to spend the money and invest the time to become knowledgable about the newer tech devices, I guess I’ll have to bow before the tech gods and do the deed. I would like to know what you think about the Kickr as a replacement for the Fortius/Imagic or any trainer that uses virtual reality/video imagery. Thanks in advance,

    • Ray Maker

      Hi Greg-

      I think it will. We see today that Kinomap already does the real video side. And I think we’ll see someone pop-out with a Google Earth variant, as well as some basic sort of racing variant (like the CompuTrainer 3D courses). I suspect we’ll see things in full swing by the fall.

      In between now and then I bet we’ll see a launch set of about 5-7 apps (by end of February). And then about 1-2 apps per month, with most apps focusing on hitting the fall season.

    • Hauke Hildebrandt

      For your interest, I am currently looking into developing a virtual racing game for the Wahoo Kickr. It will feature multi-player (online) races in a virtual 3D environment that is based on real-world height and road data. Due to the still limited capabilities of mobile devices I will first target PCs and Macs, and later see if I can realize sufficient performance and acceptable graphics on an iPhone or Android (actually I’ll probably target the Ouya console first).

      Currently, the APIs (programming libraries) to do that are not fully available (e.g. the current ANT+ APIs don’t support controlling a power device) but as far as I know that is in the making.

      This is quite a big effort for a lonesome indie developer like myself, so it’s definitely gonna be fall at the earliest…

  24. Hannes

    Thanks for the review, could you please post the dimensions of the box? Thanks!

  25. Just gone to order on Clever Training (need international shipping, not too concerned on the warranty side of things, its going to be a well built product, right?) and they’re sold out there until March. Was waiting on a work bonus, should’ve just got in as soon as I could. Ah well, its still summer here (Sydney). Roll on March.

  26. Anne

    Is it possible to use ErgVideos with the Kickr?

    • Ray Maker

      Hi Anne-

      That would depend on whether or not ErgVideos made an app to support the KICKR. I’m sure they are looking at it, but I don’t know if they’ve made any decisions.

  27. Anne

    Thanks much for the reply and what it would take.

  28. Rich


    Can you adjust the zero offset manually so that your crank based power meter and the KICKR are approximately the same (e.g. manual calibration)? I use a Quarq and when I am doing workouts I want the set power to approximate my Quarq because when I go outside I will only be using the Quarq.


    • Ray Maker

      You can do zero offsets within the KICKR (at least, today, within the little beta utility app, unclear if that will be made public).

      However, keep in mind that zero offsets vary from PM vendor to vendor. Meaning, if I put in the same value from my Quarq into the PowerTap, or my PowerTap into my Stages, etc… – it’ll be all dorked up (way bad).

      What you want to ensure is that the zero offsets are consistent within each unit type.

  29. globecanvas

    I came across something interesting today:

    link to app.strava.com

    This is a virtual trainer ride. We can tell because (1) there was a foot of snow on the ground that day and (2) the cyclist titled it “virtual trainer.” I don’t know the cyclist, I came across the ride because she beat a couple of my KOMs.

    What is interesting is that the trainer apparently fed not only power, speed, and cadence data to the Strava iphone app (via Bluetooth or an ANT+ dongle), but also GPS track data. That means there may be literally no way to distinguish a virtual trainer ride from an actual ride, based only on the data sets.

    If so, this will certainly knock Strava for a loop!

  30. Oliver

    have you ever had the chance to sit on a airstreeem trainer? If not, give it a try…
    the biggest pro is the noise… very good hardware precise and accurate power levels. “unfortunatly” very crappy software. i use it with a powermeter crank Ant+ and univet software. so i am not dependent to use the airstreeem Head Unit to connect via USB to software… http://www.univetsystem.com

  31. KT

    Kickrs will be shipping out next week. Any update if the ANT+ controlled power will be available by then?

  32. KT

    Ray and W Murray,

    Just confirming that an ipod touch 5th gen w/ ANT+ key will work for an initial setup (while waiting for ANT+ PC control)? That is, you can use BT smart (to control Kickr) and ANT+ (for cadence/power data back to ipod) at the same time. Thanks, guys.

  33. Clint


    Thanks for the great pre-review. If you have time Is there anyway you could post the decibel level of a computrainer? I know that another gentlemen said it was quieter, but I like to get as many opinions as possible. Even if you don’t do the official test, if you could even just let me know what you think. Thanks for all the great info you provide.

  34. Saw this trainer yesterday at the Toronto Bike Show at the CNE. Got to ride on it. Very smooth. Very solid feeling. I am on his list to get one when they come in as long as my research says its right to pull the trigger on the purchase. I want virtual reality indoor cycling on a big screen. I find it hard to believe my iPhone 5 will provide that, so I think it will have to be Windows. All info I can find seems vague at best. Where might I find some info? Is there anyone working on something that might hit the streets near the time the Kickr does? Is there a wahoo forum?



    • Ray Maker

      I have my in-depth review publishing tomorrow (Tuesday). I think that’ll answer everything. Including a preview/look at every 3rd party software suite available for the KICKR today.

  35. Jan

    Hi Ray, just letting you know, that the DCR10BTF doesnt work at checkout at pre order…

    • Ray Maker

      That’s odd, let me check real quick. I know it was working earlier today.

      Btw, units came in today, so any orders made today get shipped out tomorrow…

    • Ray Maker

      Hi Jan-

      I just tested the link, and then added the coupon code and it took the 10% off (shown further down). I assume when you typed in the code, you put the last digit as a ‘zero’, right?

      Thanks for the support!

    • Jan

      Well done Ray, must say, saving 100 USD means free shipping to Europe! So my pre-ordered is now free for someone else…thx.

      ..ps. check our best triathlete link to petrvabrousek.eu – I do not know anyone who has finished so many races in top 10 over the period of one year..

  36. Scott

    Any idea on when the Multiplayer software will be out? I am trying to decide weather to purchase this or a Tacx Genius Multiplayer trainer. Any info would be great!

  37. Kristof


    I have some issues with the calibration. When I start even when I did a calibration, let’s say yesterday and I did not move it, the next day I alwyas have issues.

    When I start I notice that the power is really fluctuating. It cannot hold it.

    After 10min I can do a successful calibration but sometimes It still comes back.

    Any idea what I have to do?