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Wahoo Fitness KICKR Trainer In-Depth Review

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(Updated January 15th, 2016: Overhauled sections include pros/cons, summary, various minor items throughout post).

The Wahoo KICKR is probably the most anticipated trainer to hit the market in quite a while, if not one of the most anticipated sports technology products for endurance athletes to hit the market. But, how does it live up to the promises and fanfare? Well, I’ve spent the last two months using it week in and week out. Every aspect of this trainer I’ve poked at or dove into. Heck, I even took parts of it apart (with wire cutters!).

In doing so, I’ve got a pretty good grasp on how the unit works, as well as all the details inside and out. Because I want to be transparent about my reviews, once my evaluation period with the Wahoo KICKR has elapsed, I send it back to them in the Atlanta. Simple as that. Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular triathlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background (my day job), and thus I try and be as complete as I can. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out. Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

Unboxing:

First, let’s get this thing unboxed. Twice.

Here’s the outer shipping box that the KICKR comes in. If you buy your KICKR via the interwebs, it’ll likely come in this box.

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Inside the heavy-duty cardboard box, you’ll find the KICKR’s inner box.

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Thus, if you buy your KICKR at a local bike shop, you’ll likely find it looking more like this:

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From there you’ll crack open the outer shell and find the protective cardboard inside. Mine held up pretty well given the travelling it did. It first flew from Taipei to Las Vegas via UPS. Then, I dragged it across the Vegas CES show floor to my hotel (no easy feat for those familiar with Vegas). After that, I took it from Vegas to Houston to Paris via commercial airliner (checked luggage). And then finally, I dragged it again through the subways of Paris to my apartment. I’d imagine it should hold up pretty well in a mini-van ride home from the bike shop.

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Below the cardboard is the KICKR, fully packaged up in plastic.

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After removing the KICKR, you’ll find another small box and a manual.

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Inside the small box is the power block. It’s 100-240v, with a replaceable US cable on it. As I’ll discuss later, the power block itself works just fine in Europe.

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Then we’ve got the quick start guide. Though, I highly doubt you’ll need it after this post.

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Below is a plastic clip for disc brakes on mountain bikes, to keep them from potentially becoming engaged while riding the trainer.

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Thus, with all the pieces taken out of the box, here’s what you’ve got. The trainer, the power cord, a small manual and warranty statement, and then the little plastic doohickey.

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All good?

Good.

Let’s take a quick tour of the unit before we dive into it.

First up to note is that you’ll unfold the legs for riding, allowing you to store it in smaller spaces. There’s a handle on the back to pick it up – it says ‘Crank it up’ on it.

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The legs that fold out have these all-metal clips on them. They feel strong and I don’t suspect they’ll break.

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As I’ll discuss in more detail in the next section, the trainer includes a cassette, which is pre-mounted onto the flywheel. It also includes the training skewer.

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Down below, you’ll see a small round knob, along with a blue metal lever. This allows you to control the height of the KICKR. This is of use for different tire sizes, so the rider isn’t so high off the ground (perfect for The Girl with her 650 wheels).

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Finally, note on the backside of the unit, the large flywheel isn’t ‘open’ like some trainers, rather closed. The entire flywheel does rotate though, including where you see those silver arrows (it rotates in that direction).

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With the high level overview complete, lets start getting detailed.

Weight/Size Comparisons:

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When it comes to size, the unit is definitely the heftiest of the bunch…by far. As in, put that kid on a diet and take away the marshmallows! Yes folks, that’s pounds below:

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46 pounds in total (about 21kg)!

To put that in perspective, the CompuTrainer weighed in at 22 pounds, and the Tacx Genius at 25 pounds, and the LeMond Revolution at 34 pounds.

Now, I don’t think the weight is really a bad thing. Yes, beastly, but not bad. It’s stable, and that’s one of my most important trainer aspects. I HATE wobbly trainers. The weight likely comes from the components. The thing is made out of steel for all major components. Which means that it will hopefully last a long time. Where it does pose a slight problem is for those folks that may take trainers with them while travelling. Most airlines have a 50-pound weight limit for checked luggage (without additional fees), and this just sorta barely slides in under that.

When people talk about the CompuTrainer, there’s one thing they always say: “It’s build like a rock”, which is immediately followed by “I’ve had mine for 10 years, and it still keeps on ticking”. I think from a materials standpoint, the KICKR is in the same ballpark. Of course, time will be the true test.

From an electronics standpoint, having Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ in there should make it relatively future proof for a while. You can still connect modern smart-phones with legacy Bluetooth headsets from years ago, and thus I don’t see backwards compatibility being an issue anytime in the next 6-10 years.

Lastly…one final thing to touch on.

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LeMond Revolution Pro this is not. It’s funny, a lot of folks have made observations that the Wahoo KICKR is simply a rip-off of the LeMond Revolution Pro Trainer. To help understand why that isn’t the case, let’s run through the main differences.

A) The LeMond trainer is wind-based, thus wind provides resistance. The Wahoo KICKR is electronic. No wind is used, nor emitted.
B) The LeMond trainer does not have resistance control. The Wahoo KICKR does. In other words, you can’t control the LeMond, you can control the KICKR.
C) The LeMond trainer uses private-ANT to communicate between itself and the PowerPilot head unit. Thus no connecting your ANT+ head unit (i.e. Garmin Edge 500) to the LeMond. The KICKR uses open-ANT+, and provides speed and power (and thus distance).
D) The LeMond does not have Bluetooth Smart (or any Bluetooth in it). The Wahoo KICKR does.
E) The LeMond trainer has no API or development aspects to it for 3rd parties. The Wahoo KICKR does.
F) The LeMond trainer does not have an adjustable height. The Wahoo KICKR does. Same goes for adjustable legs.

The point here isn’t to just be a bulleted list of things the LeMond trainer doesn’t do. Instead, juts to be clear on differences. And certainly, there are things the Wahoo KICKR doesn’t do. For example:

A) The Wahoo KICKR is relatively normal from a loudness standpoint. The LeMond trainer is 100db. Not so quiet.
B) The Wahoo KICKR weighs 46 pounds and eat kittens for breakfast. The LeMond trainer weighs a fraction of that.
C) The Wahoo KICKR has a sorta-mostly-realistic road feel. The LeMond Revolution has a very realistic road feel.

As you can see, the KICKR is no more compatible to the LeMond Revolution Pro than a mountain bike is comparable to a road bike. Yes, they both vaguely look the same from a distance, but that’s about where it ends. If you wanted to add up the things that are similar, it’d look roughly like this:

A) Both trainers use a cassette to attach your bike to them.
B) Both trainers have three legs
C) Both trainers have a big round thing on them.
D) Uhh..both trainers attach bikes to them? Umm, end of list.

The LeMond Revolution was actually based on a Russian Physicist design that Greg LeMond worked with in the 1980’s. He adapted it as part of the Revolution Pro. Again, both trainers have their markets, but it’s important that if you’re comparing the two on looks alone, then you’re likely missing the forest from the trees.

Hardware Setup:

During the next few sections I’m going to walk through using the trainer on a day to day basis, and then after that I’ll dive into some of the 3rd party apps.

Attaching your bicycle to the trainer:

First up, is getting the unit attached to your bicycle. To do so, you’ll be removing your rear wheel. It has no action in this game. Instead, the KICKR comes with a rear cassette that replaces the cassette on your rear wheel. This has both benefits and annoyances. From a benefits side you remove issues around rolling resistance of the wheel itself, as well as wear and tear on the wheel. Trainers are notorious for chewing up wheels (quite literally, leaving fine black dust everywhere). The downside though is that you have to take off your rear wheel and put it back on. Some bikes are easy, and others are a bit of a pain in the butt (such as my P3C). If it were me, I’d probably have preferred not removing my wheel – but that’s just a personal preference.

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Once you’ve got your wheel removed, you’re going to go ahead and place it on the skewer that’s provided with the KICKR. I find it easiest to remove the skewer entirely and then thread the skewer in once your bike is on the cassette.

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After that’s complete, ensure you tighten up the skewer.

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Done, you’re ready to ride.

Now, if you have a smaller bike (or one with a different wheel size), you can also adjust the height of the trainer down along the bottom:

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For example, when The Girl rides her bikes, I’ll sometimes remember to adjust it so that it’s lower to the ground for her.

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If you haven’t yet plugged the trainer in, be sure to do that. The cable that comes with it plugs into a standard American outlet. But, it’s 100-240v, which means it works anywhere in the world with a simple $1-2 adapter. That’s how I use it over here in France.

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In fact, if you want to get all fancy, you can simply change out the actual cable from the power block to the wall. Again, a couple dollars.

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Ok, and the power cable plugs into the trainer at the bottom, under it.

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With that, let’s start using it.

Software Setup:

Wahoo Fitness provides the Wahoo Fitness App on the iPhone/iPad platform, which is their fitness application that connects to the trainer and records data. This is the same application that also works outdoors while cycling or running. And, the same application that connects to both ANT+ devices (with the ANT+ adapter), as well as Bluetooth Smart devices (for compatible devices). The applications records your workout, as well as exports the data to any number of formats (i.e. CSV/TCX/etc…) and services (Training Peaks, Nike+, Garmin Connect, Strava, etc…).

After downloading the free app, you’ll be brought here:

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Next up is pairing to your KICKR trainer. To do this, we’ll dive into the settings. It’s here we can pair any number of devices – from the KICKR to heart rate straps, to speed and cadence sensors. Note that I created a separate ‘profile’ for the trainer. I do this so that I can disable the GPS on it, and then not mess up my running or outdoor cycling settings with GPS on.

At any rate, within settings we’ll have a list of sensors we can pair with:

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We’ll click to add a sensor, and then add a power meter sensor:

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Once we do this, it’ll start searching for the Bluetooth Smart power meter device profile. In the event you happen to have a Stages Power Meter nearby, note that it would pick it up as well – so just be aware of which one you pair to.

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Once that’s done (and it’ll only take a second), you’ll want to pair any other sensors you have. I recommend picking up the Wahoo Blue SC, since at this time the KICKR doesn’t provide cadence information. The Blue SC does, and will then keep everything Bluetooth Smart.

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And finally, pair up a heart rate monitor if you have one:

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Next is a REALLY important item, especially if you have the Blue SC. You’ll want to change the speed data to pull the speed data back to the KICKR. Otherwise it’ll pull from the BlueSC, which won’t have any speed data since you won’t have a magnet flying past the magnet since your wheel is off the bike.

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And, while you’re at it, ensure that the cadence is coming from the combo sensor, and not from the KICKR.

Finally, you’ll want to scroll down in all the data pages that are offered and ensure the KICKR Training Page is enabled:

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There are numerous training pages available to you, below is a quick gallery of them. My only complaint though is that at the end of the day I’d really much rather just customize these myself – like on most devices. Pick and choose them. Sorta like how I can do on the RFLKT. Instead, they are pre-canned and I have to live with whatever I was given, and on the pages they were set. Note when it says ‘Tap to Toggle mode’, it means that you can tap the page to then alternate through variations of that data from Current data (instant), to previous and current laps and averages.

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Ok, with all the data pages out of the way, let’s get into controlling the KICKR.

Resistance Control:

The KICKR has four user accessible control modes. Each one of these modes controls the trainer in slightly different ways. All of these modes are found when you enabled the KICKR control page, and are just sub-sections of that page.

Level Mode:

In this mode, the KICKR has a simplified resistance level bands. From 0 to 9. These are somewhat abstract, and simply levels that Wahoo has effectively christened. Just like your stationary bike at the gym has random levels on it, these are sorta random too. But, if you just want an easy option for remembering what setting you had it on last – this is it. I prefer the other options.

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Resistance Mode:

This mode simply controls the resistance of the brank unit – on a scale from 0 to 100%, with 100% being ‘full stop’. If you’re thinking of incline, that’s later on in a different mode.

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Erg Mode:

Erg mode is without question my favorite, and where I spend the vast majority of my time. It’s simple, and potentially brutal. In this mode you simply specify an exact wattage, and the unit holds it. No messing around here. Input wattage, trainer responds, you hurt. Rinse, repeat. It’s how I do most of my workouts – based on set wattages. You utilize the +/- buttons to increase the digits that make-up the watts. In general, I find the KICKR will adjust it within 1-2 seconds. Enough that it doesn’t stop-you dead if you go from 100w to 400w.

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As you’re riding, the unit will show you the target power (what it’s putting out) above, and then the actual recorded power below.

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Sim Mode:

Last is ‘Sim Mode’ – short for simulation. In this mode, it allows you to simulate different settings based on not only slope and wind speed, but also rolling resistance. First though, you’d define a slope (i.e. hill), and then you’d define the wind speed (i.e. pain).

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Then, you click on the ‘Bike Type’ setting and you can define the exact Coefficient of Rolling Resistance and Drag Coefficient of your setup (primarily your wheels).

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I haven’t played with this particular setting too much – but the potential is pretty impressive. There’s plenty of apps and data sources out there today that allows you to pull in and specify this information. Which would primarily serve to better simulate the impact of your tires (and body drag) – given that the KICKR doesn’t otherwise include any of those forces in its equations.

General Wahoo Fitness App Items:

After you’re done riding, you’ll want to save your workout. Note that you can press pause at any time to stop recording. Also note that incoming calls/texts do not impact the KICKR from recording, it’ll continue to do so in the background. At the end of the workout after you’ve pressed stop, you’ll get this screen:

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Upon saving you’ll get some workout summary details. This includes overall averages, as well as lap averages. I don’t find the lap averages page terribly useful, primarily due to the lack of power information on there.

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From there, if you click the little icon in the upper right corner, it’ll allow you to save it out to various destinations that you’ve pre-configured. In my case, I’ve setup the unit to share to Training Peaks and Garmin Connect. Additionally, I can e-mail the workout files. E-mailing is great because it includes the files in a slew of common formats, that virtually any application on the planet can accept.

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If you haven’t setup sharing ahead of time, fear not, the workout is still saved locally and you can share it later. You can pre-configure these sharing options though with a number of services. Below are the current services.

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With that, you’re data is transmitted off to the service and you’re good to go.

You can see how I often feel that the best application out there for use on the iPhone and flexibility of the data is actually the default Wahoo App. I’m one who just wants the data in the formats I want it in, and care little about putting it in yet another app’s online site. Thus, this allows me to get it to Training Peaks or Garmin Connect (my two main dumping grounds for files), and not worry about it.

Note that the application supports user profile settings such as setting up heart rate zones, power zones, weight, and audio cues as well. You can see some of the zones information in my various screenshots above.

Trainer Feel:

A lot of people ask about ‘feel’ when talking about trainers. I’m a horrible person to ask about that. Perhaps because with the exception of the LeMond Revolution Pro, most trainers for me fall into two categories: Feels fine, or feels sucky. The Wahoo KICKR falls into the ‘feels fine’ category. Admittedly, at the upper end of that. The LeMond revolution is the only trainer that I say ‘Yes, I FEEL that!’.

I train so much in erg-mode, that ‘feel’ isn’t really part of the equation. Rather, providing consistent resistance is of more importance to me. Which isn’t to say I don’t value feel at all. It’s just that I personally don’t rank it high on my list of important items in a trainer. Rather, I prefer accuracy, durability, interoperability, and anything else ending with the letter ‘y’. Touch-feely does not count.

But, others who have ridden KICKR that do rate feel higher, do like the feel more than most trainers…for what it’s worth.

Noise Levels:

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Noise levels across trainers are a funny duck. There are many aspects that impact noise, from cassettes to trainer tires to room flooring (i.e. wood vs carpet), to trainer mats and so on. The most important non-environmental factor across trainers is actually speed. Not wattage. I can keep the wattage at a set amount, and simply vary my speed (via gearing or cadence) to change the volume

I previously had done a sound test back in early January, comparing the KICKR to both the LeMond Revolution as well as the Kinetic Road Machine. In that test I used a few different benchmarks, though keeping the gearing and speed levels the same – resistance was the one variable. I generally went from low speed to high speed and just let it be.

This time, I decided to approach it slightly differently. Instead of focusing as much on a high-end speed, I’d just focus on a very common threshold – 200 watts at 20MPH. I kept my gearing exactly the same across all three units (well, you’ll see I had to gear down one ring on the Kinetic because I was too fast).

I then increased the speed to 30MPH, and then to 50MPH on both the KICKR and the CompuTrainer. The sole purpose of this was merely to make it as loud as possible.

Thus, in effect I’ve given you noise levels at ‘normal’ (20MPH), not-so-normal-but-perhaps-occasional (30MPH), and outright silly (50MPH).

Here’s the new video montage:

And, for those that don’t care about video, here’s the simple table.

Trainer20MPH (200w)30MPH (200w)50MPH (200w)
Wahoo KICKR68.7db83.5db86.1db
RacerMate CompuTrainer69.7db82.4db85.8db
Kinetic Road Machine70.0db82.6dbN/A

I didn’t include the LeMond Revolution Pro this time, because honestly it’s like bringing a bull into a china shop. I’ve well established it’s incredibly loud at every level, well beyond these other trainers. Not even in the same city, let alone ballpark. And just repeating how much louder it is than the other ones seems silly. You can watch my previous video here on it.

Calibration:

The KICKR supports a calibration spin down method, which enables you to account for any resistance in the system, and/or environmental or manufacturing variations. In order to initiate the spin down, from within the Wahoo Fitness app you’ll simply select the little wheel icon from the upper right corner. You can trigger this at any time during a workout (before starting, during, paused), though I’d recommend you pause the workout so you don’t have a random data blob in the middle that doesn’t match the rest of your workout.

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When you do so, you’ll see the button for ‘Calibrate KICKR’ – which will give you instructions to perform the spin down. In short, you’ll be going up to 23MPH, and then coasting until you see a notification (10MPH).

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You can see the system will wait until you’ve reached the correct speed:

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Then, as you coast down from 23MPH to 10MPH, it’ll

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Finally, spin-down complete!

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No specific calibration value is outputted during calibration – just a good to go!

3rd party apps also have access to the calibration API’s. And the API’s for 3rd party apps also provide more detailed feedback on the above calibration method (result feedback). And in fact, they have two options. The first is the roll-down like above. Different apps have implemented that different ways. You’ll see for example in Trainer Road that the upper left corner will say ‘Calib Ready’ when it’s prepared for a calibration:

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The second method that apps have available to them is a zero-offset. This test is done with the unit at a stand-still (no pedaling). Today, to my knowledge no 3rd party apps have yet taken advantage of this functionality – though it is there. You can see this available in a non-public toolset that Wahoo has for testing, which will give identical results for 3rd party apps.

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I’d expect to see this added in an app like Golden Cheetah, which caters to users that may have more desire to tinker. Wahoo believes that the current roll-down method is very accurate, and is their preferred method. In my testing, I’d agree with that assessment. It’s easy and straight-forward.

January 2016 Update Note: In addition to the spin-down type calibration, Wahoo now also offers a physical calibration tool.  This is essentially a weight that’s used to calibrate your KICKR if you believe it’s out of whack.  You can either buy this tool from them, or you can contact their support desk and they’ll loan it to you (though I think there is sometimes a waiting list).

Firmware Updates:

The Wahoo KICKR can receive over the air firmware updates via Bluetooth Smart. When a new firmware update is available, the Wahoo App will notify you of the update, and then redirect you over to the Wahoo Utility app, which performs the actual update:

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The updater will first download the software package from the internet, and then apply the update.

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I find the process usually takes a few minutes to complete. So I often just leave it sitting on the flywheel to update. I figure that gives it the best connectivity to the communications pod a few inches away.

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Once complete it’ll ask you to unplug the KICKR trainer and then reset any KICKR apps that you may have had open. Overall a very painless process that I’ve done numerous times over the last two months.

January 2016 Notes: In addition to the main production Wahoo firmware updates, you can also get Wahoo KICKR beta firmware updates (such as FE-C), which can sometimes add new features ahead of release.  These beta updates may last months.  To access the beta updates, you’ll need the Wahoo Utility app, and then you can follow the steps in this short movie clip to access the beta firmware menu.

Power Accuracy:

I’ve spent a LOT of time riding the KICKR over the past two months. Tons of time. And if there’s nothing else that’s impressive, it’s aspects of the accuracy component. Now, I say ‘aspects’ because there are actually two pieces I look at when I’m talking about resistance controlling trainers. The first is how quickly the unit controls the resistance, and how it responds to your output. Remember, the trainer is designed to hold a given wattage in most circumstances – either directly or indirectly. Meaning it’s holding a specific value such as watts, or it’s holding a grade. You want to ensure that if its holding a wattage, that it can do that even when I dramatically change my output.

Take for example the Tacx Genius. This trainer had a very slow response to my sudden changes in wattage. Sometimes 10-15 seconds if I made a sudden jump, before it would pull the resistance unit back in to what it was set out. The CompuTrainer on the other hand, very quick, it doesn’t let you get out of line.

I found the KICKR more in line with the CompuTrainer. It kept the wattage right on-par, despite any fluctuations on my part. And within 1-2 seconds it would adapt to any major shifts. Significant wattage changes saw roughly the same ramp. I saw slightly more ramp when I was talking major shifts. For example, during a TrainerRoad workout that went from 155w to 465w, it took about 4-5 seconds for it to ramp up. This isn’t really a bad thing per se, as it means you don’t have the brick-wall syndrome (where it feels like you’ve just smacked a brick-wall), and thus it allows your legs to adapt to the change.

The second piece is accuracy against other power meters. Anytime I test against other power meters, there’s an aspect of ‘Who’s right?’. And honestly, I’m not here to answer that. And thankfully, in this case, I don’t really think there’s a reason to try and answer that. To put it into perspective, see below:

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The two Edge 800’s are paired to the Quarq and Stages PM, while the iPhone is controlling the KICKR. The big iPhone number (200w) is wattage set-point. The small iPhone number (199w) is my current instant-power. On the Edge 800’s you see my 10-second power as the upper number (200w and 206w respectively), and the number directly below that is the 30s average (199w and 205w respectively). Cadence is also displayed, based on those units internal power-meter provided cadence sensors.

With the latest KICKR firmware late last week, they’ve resolved any outstanding beta bugs I was seeing, and things are very stable now – from low speed to high speed, as well as coasting. Previous beta drops (again now solved) had some issues with coasting where it didn’t account for it, thus skewing some of my numbers from those workouts for any time I was coasting (which was pretty rarely).

Here’s a workout I completed on the latest firmware, and you can see just how solid it tracked against both the Quarq:

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From a power meter variability standpoint, here’s how things tracked. First, in raw watts. What you see is that post-calibration (at about the 600 marker), things are right on top of each other. Generally within 10w of variability, but often within just a couple watts.

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Now where you see differences is those five spikes – or quick accelerations I did. The reason for the differences isn’t actually dramatic differences in power readings. Instead, it’s just inherent lag between data sets albeit synchronized).

That said, here’s what things look like from a percentage standpoint (I cut it off at 60-80% so you’d get more action on the graph):

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Again, you’ll see the big jumps during the accelerations just due to tracking. If you look at the point after the calibration, things get remarkably stable. This was mostly a 10-minute relatively steady-state effort. Post-accelerations you see a bit more variability. This is partially the result of just the way that the Quarq reports power back having more variability in it – like most all power meters out there today. For fun, I picked a completely random 15-20 second snip (I really just scrolled a bunch and just stopped and copied a chunk of data. What you see there is that the KICKR has much less variability between data points, and thus you’ll see that more stable line.

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You’ll note that all three are within 2.3% of each other. In the above, I went ahead and included the Stages data that I was capturing as well. Just for perspective on data frequency. I have specifically not included it in the other graphs as I’m still working with them on the a follow-up review, and I don’t want this to become another Stages PM review. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’ll definitely post an update to that in the future. But I don’t have a timeframe for doing so.

On the KICKR front, obviously, because of a lack of rear-wheel, I cannot compare it with a PowerTap output – which would otherwise be on the rear wheel.

January 2016 Note: While my experience with the KICKR has been very solid on the accuracy front (on both my initial KICKR this review is based on, as well as the one I later purchased).  However, some folks have seen power accuracy issues.  It appears that early models (i.e. those in the first year), were very solid.  Then somewhere along the way accuracy slipped.  In early 2015, Wahoo added a person dedicated to accuracy testing of KICKR’s, as well as introduced a number of power accuracy improvements.  These appear targeted at later-production KICKR’s that were having accuracy issues.

RFLKT Control:

At present, one cannot control the KICKR trainer using RFLKT. It is coming, but it’s just not there yet today. RFLKT today allows you to view information provided by your iPhone over a Bluetooth channel. Think of it as a remote display. 3rd party applications are being developed by various companies to take advantage of this. Effectively replacing a Garmin on your handlebars. Instead, app makes such as Strava would have connectivity to the RFLKT, and be able to display whatever they pleased on it.

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You can and will however get data fields from KICKR presented to RFLKT. For example, I can pipe the wattage to the unit, and stop and start the training effort from the RFLKT.

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Down the road, I’d like to see everything from being able to control wattage/resistance (basic) to starting a calibration routine. All this is relatively straightforward from a programming standpoint – it’s just a matter of where it stands on Wahoo’s internal development totem pole. And note that this would be controlled by either the Wahoo App, or another application (Wahoo or 3rd party). Meaning that the RFLKT wouldn’t directly control the Wahoo KICKR, but instead would pair to an phone or computer app, which in turn controls both. All of this control is done over Bluetooth Smart, as the current crop of RFLKT units do not have ANT+ within them.

ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart:

The KICKR is unique in that it’s the only trainer on the market today that is fully Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled. The unit contains the necessary hardware for communication to existing ANT+ devices (such as the Garmin Edge 500 or Forerunners), as well as Bluetooth Smart support for phone and tablet based devices.

Bluetooth Smart integration requires the use of a Bluetooth 4.0 device. Which means you have have an iPhone 4s or newer, or a 3rd generation iPad or newer. Additionally, at this stage the only Bluetooth Smart device support for these device profiles is on the Apple platform.

From the ANT+ side, the unit uses the ANT+ Bike Power Meter device profile to broadcast your current power and speed. This means it’s compatible with all current ANT+ power meter head units. For example, the Garmin FR310XT/FR910XT/Edge 500/Edge 510/Edge 705/Edge 800/Edge 810, all CycleOps Joule units and Joule GPS, 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 on an ANT+ enabled device.

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On the Bluetooth Smart side, it uses the standardized Bluetooth Smart Power Meter device profile to broadcast the same power and speed information. This means that it’s compatible with devices that support that device profile. At present, that’s only software apps, and no physical head units. The unit utilizes the same standard as the Kinetic inRide and Stages Power Meter, which are both based upon the agreed and ratified spec for Bluetooth Smart PM’s.

Finally, at this time (as of March 5th), Bluetooth Smart is currently the only way to control the resistance in the KICKR trainer. Meaning, you have to have a compatible Apple device (either phone/tablet/Mac) to control the unit. The next step is ANT+ control, which the Wahoo team is working away on. They expect it’ll be released to developers in the coming weeks (which I’ll talk about in a second).

At this point, support for Bluetooth Smart control on Windows simply isn’t on their radar. Instead, they’d leverage ANT+ support for that. On the Android side, Bluetooth Smart control will be coming, but it’s really in the hands of the handset manufactures right now, more than Wahoo (Wahoo is waiting on them). Samsung will be first, and HTC following that. The good news there is that the ANT+ support with a couple dollar OTG cable should largely get Android folks up and running quickly once the Wahoo ANT+ support is finalized.

Finally of note, is that CycleOps has committed to adding in the ANT+ Resistance Control spec to their trainers as well, as soon as it’s finalized by Wahoo Fitness. This is actually pretty significant, as in doing so it completely opens up their platform to the same level of 3rd party development that Wahoo will have (minus the Bluetooth Smart side for the moment). Further, I think it’ll hopefully pressure other companies to do the same (looking at you Tacx).

January 2016 Update: In 2015 many companies adopted the ANT+ FE-C standard for control of trainers from apps such as Zwift, TrainerRoad, and Kinomap (among many others).  At this time, Wahoo is currently beta testing this for the KICKR & KICKR SNAP, which can be accessed via the beta firmware option (see the end of the Firmware Updates section above to access it.)

3rd Party Apps:

January 2016 Note: It’s really best to just see my trainer app guide (it’s massive), since everything posted below, while generally still correct, is rather outdated.  Whereas my guide is huge and covers some 20 apps!

Perhaps the biggest single reason the KICKR is so different than other trainers is the open nature of it. Thus, I really wanted to dive into what some of the 3rd party apps are doing. Now, this section is a bit unique in that I’m not so much doing a deep-dive review on these apps. More just talking about what they do. Some of these apps are still in development, and some are complete (I’ll note which ones). And realistically, there’s a TON more apps in the pipeline by a lot of folks I’ve talked with. As these companies release apps I’ll add them in here. Sort of a gallery. Well, at least until there’s too many. Many of these companies are waiting for the ANT+ Resistance Control. In talking with Wahoo over the weekend, they hope to have this in developers hands in the next 1-2 weeks. After getting the units into your hands today, that’s their next big-ticket item to knock out.

Once that happens, it really opens the door to all of the PC apps, and apps that don’t have Bluetooth Smart in it. That’s because these apps can use the ANT+ USB adapter, as well as the existing Wahoo Fitness iPhone ANT+ adapter (for pre-iPhone 4s units).

But ultimately, I knew folks really wanted to hear what I had to say – so I wanted to go ahead get the review out the door, even if all the apps weren’t quite finished. As such, a huge thanks to all the developers below who I pestered endlessly to get me pre-release builds to be able to put this all together in time.

3rd Party Apps: Trainer Road:

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TrainerRoad is one of the apps that is fully KICKR ready today (if you have a Mac, pending ANT+ support for Windows). In fact, it’s actually supported KICKR since all the way back in August at Eurobike. TrainerRoad is a subscription based app that’s available on Windows and PC’s (not on iPads/iPhones) that has a massive workout library and guides you through completing workouts with your data being recorded on the computer and then uploaded upon completion to a central web platform.

The first step that you’ll complete is to pair the computer to the KICKR. To do so you’ll simply click the ‘Pair’ button next to Wahoo KICKR, and it’ll find the trainer via Bluetooth Smart. This only takes a few seconds. Additionally, I’ve also paired in a Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Strap as well as Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence sensor. TrainerRoad also lets you use existing ANT+ sensors you may have too. So if you have an ANT+ HR strap or sensor, you can mix and match with KICKR to get all your data.

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TrainerRoad has a massive online workout database, and you can also create your own workouts for it as well. In my case, I just cracked open a quick workout and went to town.

TrainerRoad has the concept of target power – which is the power you should be attaining. In the case of KICKR, the software will automatically control the trainer to be that particular resistance/wattage. So in this case ,you can see that it’s currently set for 403w, and I’m achieving 404w. On the right side, you’ll see my heart rate (156bpm), and my cadence (83RPM). In the middle you’ve got my interval time, and time left in the interval.

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Looking at the graphs, it’ll track that information as I go along throughout the workout.

Additionally, as you can see below, as I complete intervals it’ll automatically spit out summary information for each set. In this case my precision is at a bit of a disadvantage due to the slight ramp rate from 124w to 465w (in this case), thus it’s a bit lower than you’d probably have for a longer interval.

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TrainerRoad has a pretty huge and loyal following, and is currently in their second season in the market.

About the only thing I’d love to see them integrate into this is support for RFLKT – primarily to control the workout resistance as required (and or pause/stop). Today you need access to a keyboard (or, to place your sweaty hands on your laptop/keyboard). This would seem to be a perfect use case for RFLKT.

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The again, most every app I talk about here is a perfect use-case for RFLKT.

Note that TrainerRoad also supports videos like Sufferfest, which are synchronized to both the resistance and the video itself. I demo’d one of these in TrainerRoad as part of my Kinetic inRide Review, so you can check it out there.

3rd Party Apps: Kinomap:

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Next up is Kinomap. Kinomap is different from the likes of TrainerRoad in that Kinomap’s focus is primarily on recreation of outdoor rides. They do this by providing a subscription service that includes unlimited use of a video library. That video library has GPS courses which are synchronized to it, which in turn control the KICKR trainer to feel like outdoors.

You’ll pair the Kinomap application to the KICKR, as well as any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensors you have:

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You can also specify resistance attributes as well as which format to show your speed/distance data in (such as MPH or KPH):

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First up is picking out a course to ride.

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There are courses on road, as well as off-road. Interestingly, because Kinomap can also be used for running and rowing, there are courses on water as well. I’d suggest you use the video filtering options to focus on cycling courses:

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Once you’ve got the video selected you’ll ensure that your sensors are still paired:

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At which point you’ll go ahead and start. Within the main Kinomap screen there are a few different views you can use. The video is pretty much always present, but the bottom half of the screen can be configured differently depending on whether you want to view a map, a dashboard of stats, or an elevation profile.

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Once the video has started, you’ll be shown how far ahead or behind the video you are. As you can see in the above screenshot, you can select how the software reacts when you fall behind. It can stop and wait for you, or it can change the video rate.

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Also of note is that the video can be seperately split out to an external display. You can see some of these options here.

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To do so, you’ll need the little adapter if plugging into an HDMI source (like a TV). But this is ideal if you want to display things on a much bigger screen.

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At the completion of your workout, you can upload your session details to a variety of sites, including Training Peaks.

If you’re most familiar with entertainment based suites like that of the CompuTrainer Real Course videos, or the Tacx videos, you’ll probably find yourself drawn to Kinomap. It’s a bit pricier than the other options, but the all-you-can-eat aspect of it is hugely appealing. The video quality is generally lower than the perfectly image-stabilized videos you’ll find by Tacx, but at the same price you’re not paying $30-$100US for each one.

Also note that you can indeed create your own videos with GPS data and upload them to the Kinomap service.

3rd Party Apps: iMobileIntervals

Next up is iMobileIntervals. This somewhat lesser known app joins the fray at a cheaper $5.99 – one-time purchase price. The app has long interfaced with Wahoo Fitness devices, and in fact was pretty much one of the very first apps to talk to the original Wahoo Fitness ANT+ adapter.

This app can be used to quickly and easy create and execute workouts with predefined interval times. Additionally, you can control the KICKR in a standard ERG mode as well (meaning, just control wattage on the fly). The first step is pairing to the KICKR trainer, which takes about one button press:

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And just like that, you’re ready to begin.

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When you first start out, you can load up previously saved workouts of your own, create a new workout, and pull one from a library of workouts.

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The library can be sorted by category of workouts, as well as other attributes such as username. You can then publically save your workouts as well for others to use.

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I went ahead and created my own workout. You can simply add warm-up and cool-down chunks, and then repeating intervals very quickly and easily.

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As you can see from the timestamps, creating the below workout only took me about 1-2 minutes.

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Once you’re done creating the workout, it’ll be time to complete the workout (it’ll save it for you as well). While executing the workout you can skip to different parts by simply using the music-style controls. This is useful (and unique) in the event you’re short on time and need to move into the next section. You can also specify a wattage offset in the event that you’re just not holding on anymore.

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Last but not least, two items of note. First is that you can define and display TSS/NP/IF information within the app, and that you can pair to other ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors. The app is interestingly enough the only app today to support the Wahoo RFLKT.

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If you aren’t sure which apps you want to use with the KICKR today, the iMobileIntervals certainly is a good way to go – especially if you need an interim solution. Obviously, the graphics on it aren’t exactly the most visually stunning, but the functionality is there and works – which is what most folks are looking for. And for the price, it’s hard to beat.

3rd Party Apps: Golden Cheetah:

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Next up is Golden Cheetah. Golden Cheetah is an opensource software suite primarily focused on cycling that has historically had its roots in the analytics side. A while back they added a training mode which enabled you to connect to and control some trainers (as well as get virtual power from other trainers with known power curves).

The latest beta builds of Golden Cheetah will shortly allow you to connect to and control the Wahoo KICKR. I got to play with some early previews of it, and will give you the quick rundown. At present, this will require a Mac, since ANT+ control isn’t there yet. But as soon as Wahoo releases ANT+ control, then the Golden Cheetah folks will add it in so that Windows users are also good to go.

First up is adding the Wahoo KICKR Trainer:

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It’ll then go off and search for the trainer using the Bluetooth Smart within most recent Mac models. If you have an older Mac, you can simply pickup a $12 Bluetooth Smart USB adapter.

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Once the device is found, you’ll go ahead and give it a name:

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With the trainer added, we can start to control it.

Instead though, I’m going to create a workout. Golden Cheetah has two options here. The first is to pull workouts from the large online (and free) workout database ErgDB. The second is to simply create your own. In my case, I just created a quick demo one, that you can see below.

For this workout, I used predefined wattage steps – though I could have used % of FTP Wattage or gradient as well. Each chunk in the workout has a specific number of minutes assigned to it (which I supplied). As I’m building this, it’ll create a small graph of the workout as well.

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These workouts can be saved locally, or published as well. If you save them locally, you can see how easy they are to edit:

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Finally comes time to load up the workout, or to control the unit in a general resistance mode.

While controlling the unit your data will be displayed up on the top. In my case, my current KICKR power, my current KICKR speed, and distance information as well. Additionally, the app would normally display the assigned power level, and the steps within the workout would be overlaid onto the screen. I was running into a bit of a pre-beta bug, so it wasn’t showing up for me.

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In addition to the raw data, I can also add in media files (such as movies) that can be display alongside my data – to make the trainer ride slightly more bearable. Once the workout has completed, it’s automatically saved into your workout history within Golden Cheetah. And from there you can easily export it out to numerous formats, or straight to services such as TrainingPeaks, Strava, RideWithGPS and more.

For many folks, the free Golden Cheetah may be the best bet if your looking for one-stop shopping around training and analysis all for the unbeatable price of…free.

3rd Party Apps: Strava Segments by Wahoo

Ok, this one isn’t exactly third party. It’s made by Wahoo. It’s just not released yet. And, there’s no specific timetable to release it. But, it’s cool enough that I wanted to give you a brief tour. I’ve previously shown off bits of it back at Eurobike and Interbike. But this time I had a bit more hands-on time with it.

The Segments app allows you to search out and load up any Strava Segment uploaded anywhere in the world. I simply enter in a city name and/or location, and then off I go.

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By doing so, I’ll see the various segments available within that view. I can then zoom around the map (typical pinch/zoom) to look at a given segment. By doing so I’ll pull open the current Leaderboard for that segment, as well as a course profile. You’ll note it also has my best time listed (if I’ve raced that segment). Note that today even if you complete a segment on the KICKR, it’s not uploaded back into Strava. It’s purely separate on your own device.

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I went ahead and I changed focus just down the road a few miles to my old neighborhood.

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From there I found a suitable course that was short for the purposes of this demo:

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The bonus was that it was downhill. 🙂 The second bonus was that my next-door neighbor was on the leaderboard. And thus, I planned to beat him.

You can see prior to me riding the course, if I switch the leaderboard stats over to ‘KICKR Trainer’, it’s empty. Also note that ‘Best time’ is empty too.

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I should probably note that this is an iPad app, and does require an iPad that supports Bluetooth Smart (3rd generation and above).

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The course takes a few seconds to load up, and then it’s ready to go. Once you start pedaling you’ll get 10 seconds. This is fair since in this particular example most riders would be coming from down a hill, versus a dead stop.

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Here you can see me about 12 seconds into this effort. My wattage and current stat information is displayed against the current leader, in real-time. Additionally, it has a small dot showing where he and I are.

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Obviously, had I not run a half-marathon 90 minutes prior, I probably would have had slightly more success in this venture.

But my goal was ultimately accomplished, and I beat my neighbor by 5 seconds. Good enough for me!

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You’ll note that the KICKR Trainer category for this particular segment now has my best time on it. On a day I’m more fresh I’ll come back and take care of this…

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For an unreleased app that was thrown together at the last minute before Eurobike, the functionality is incredibly cool and pretty engrossing. Hopefully Wahoo and Strava can work through any of the remaining items and get it published up to the App Store. Awesome stuff.

My DIY iPad Stand:

In case you’re wondering where that iPad and iPhone stand came from I used throughout the review, it’s actually one I built. I posted about it a while back. The whole thing cost $30 and is quick and easy DIY.

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It allows me to mount not only the iPad onto it, but also the iPhone and various cycling units as I need to.

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The full parts list (only a few parts) is available below as well:

1) Mic Stand – $20
2) Mic Boom – $10

(Note: There are a slew of mic stands out there, I selected this one primarily because it had a heavy round base that wasn’t shaped like a tripod – but was still small. I figured the tripod style ones would be easy to trip over.)

And optional components:

1) iPad mount – $35
2) Generic iPhone mount – $13
3) Wall mount (no mic stand needed) – $4
4) Bar tape – $7
5) Wahoo Fitness iPhone key (review here) – $80
6) Generic/Garmin watch bike mount – $12
7) Cup holder for remote controls that clips on mic stand- $10

(Note: There are a gazillion iPhone bike mounts, the one I selected is kinda bulky, but it gets the job done. You can probably pick something more elegant…but it’ll likely cost ya. Similarly, you can use any bike mount that floats your boat for other phone types.)

Buyer’s Guide:

Each year I release a trainer buyers guide, which outlines all of my recommendations by price category.  Rather than re-type that here, I’d recommend you hit up that post for all the details.  You’ll find it here, full of more detail than you can shake a stick at!

 

Pros and Cons:

With that, here’s the pros and cons, updated as of January 2016 (most other sections of this review haven’t been updated since then, though, largely still apply).

Pros:

– Open platform, others can develop against it (now some 20+ apps that work with it).
– Just works factor (never have to futz around with it)
– Supports both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+
– Noise levels are compatible to other trainers, lower in some cases
– Pricing is about $500 cheaper than CompuTrainer or TACX Neo
– Pretty cool apps already coming out and available for it

Cons:

– Must remove rear wheel from bike
– Pretty darn heavy
– Some functionality does require 3rd party apps that is typically included (i.e. workout creator)
– While extremely rare, wireless interference can be an issue
– Some users have seen accuracy issues on units (this seems limited to a range of older units, though not the oldest, nor the newest)

Summary:

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There’s no question in my mind that the Wahoo KICKR trainer has completely changed the trainer landscape. Partly because of the hardware, but more importantly because of the ability for 3rd party companies to develop software for it. As you’ve seen above, companies and organizations are already doing so (with more than 20 supporting the KICKR as of January 2016) – and at price points significantly lower than the high-priced multi-hundred dollar software suites that the market is currently locked into.

As a platform without 3rd party software, the KICKR is still reasonably strong. Yes, it does lack the massive software suites like that of the Tacx TTS suite. But it also lacks that software price tag of that suite.  I believe the ability for you to ride your trainer with any app you want is far stronger than being locked into a given platform (note that Tacx also now allows 3rd party control too).

While my experience with the KICKR has been generally quite good, there are a handful of users over the past few years that have struggled with power accuracy issues.  Wahoo says they’ve doubled down on testing efforts for these, and it appears that newer units aren’t having the issues that some units as of a year or two ago did (early units didn’t have issues either).  Which, is pretty much the only complaint you’ll find against the Wahoo KICKR (though, certainly a valid one if you’re struggling with accuracy issues).

Lastly, the KICKR does face competition from the TACX NEO trainer as a high-end unit.  The main differences between those two are around sound (the KICKR is far louder), as well as some control pieces using ANT+ FE-C (the KICKR currently has that in beta, NEO is released/production).  Check out my larger trainer recommendations guide though, for how to decide which trainer might be right for you.

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 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 $75, you get free 3-day (or less) US shipping as well.

Wahoo KICKR Trainer
Wahoo KICKR SNAP Trainer (see this post for more info there)

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!

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1,883 Comments

  1. Graham

    Brian,

    Your Garmin will speak to the Kickr via bluetooth and this will display your data.

    Same applies with your iphone 5 once you have the Wahoo Fitness app installed.

    I cannot comment on your macbook as I don’t own one personally.

  2. Neil Boyle

    having a problem setting up the trainer. I have watched videos on adjusting the height but the arm with the flywheel will not move. i believe the nut at the base is the problem and may be too tight but I do not want to touch it as it may be something obvious that I’m missing. Any help would be great.

    • Tom

      … i cannot really believe that it is possible to tighten the main bolt in the center of rotation this hard that you can’t rotate the arm (lever is about 10-15 inches) …

  3. Tom

    unscrew the big silver bolt -> lift the lower arm one inch or so -> with the other hand move the upper arm up or down. see video: link to youtube.com

    • Neil Boyle

      Thanks. That is what I planned to do but no video has shown that this needed to be done. before I do it I just wanted to make sure I have not missed anything obvious that I have missed in the videos. it obviously been overtightened when it was assembled.

  4. wouter

    Dear Rainmaker fans,

    I need your opinion. If i ride the Kickr on the big chainring, especially at a high (100+) cadence, the noise level of the Kickr increases to the extend that it actually hurts my ear and I need to wear earplugs. Alternatively, shifting to the small chainring reduces the sound, but the “feel” is different becomes entirely different: a lot less smooth and choppy (even at low watts of 175). I hope this isn’t ‘normal’… Anyone with similar experience?

    In addition, the power reading is more than 30% off (higher) compared to my Stages power meter. The discrepancy between the two is neither absolute (ie, always 50watts more) nor linear in relative terms (ie, always 30% higher), yet the percentage deviation depends on the wattage produced. This means that translating the watts of the Kickr to the road (with my Stages) is next to impossible without some non-linear mathematical function. Anyone experienced similar issues?

    • Trainer noise is pretty much fully a function on speed. The higher the speed, the more noise. As you noticed, if you shift around a bit, you can get lower levels of sound, though it might change the feel a little bit. In most cases though, that feel change is because you were going from one gearing to the next that you got ‘comfortable’ at that previous gearing (in my experience, doing lots of high cadence drills). If you start off in the other gearing, then you won’t notice much (and, wattage is controlled by the KICKR no matter the gearing).

      As for differences to Stages, it’s honestly very difficult to tell. Assuming you’ve correctly calibrated and down a spin-down for the KICKR (at about 10 minutes in or so), then you’d really have to have a different power meter to compare against. It seems a bit unusual to be 30% difference between your left leg (which is what Stages measures), but again, that’s sorta the trick with Stages, you don’t know exactly how it might differ. And for most people, that difference will vary based on cadence/fatigue/etc…

    • wouter

      hi ray,

      Thanks for the suggestions: I’ll try to start off on the low chainring, to see whether it is indeed a habit thing. As for the speed, I’m usually in the 33-38k/h interval. No idea whether this is considered high. I owned a Vortex and a Tacx satori, and no matter what speed or resistance I rode, I never had to wear earplugs, which makes me a bit suspicious. A good winter base is also not worth indefinite hearing impairing 🙂

      I had leg balance tested and the difference between my left/right leg was negligible (1%), I think even the most uneven pedaling cyclist will not attain a 30% difference between both legs 🙂 that would be really huge.

      I contacted Wahoo, since the offset value was was off (1400), even after 20 minute warm up before calibrating. No answer for a week now. I’ve read that in other cases (with similar off-set values and %-deviations with bike power meters), they send out a “calibration kit”, to properly redo the calibration. We’ll see.

    • “that feel change is because you were going from one gearing to the next that you got ‘comfortable’ at that previous gearing”. Not really. That would be valid if human was a machine and pedaling force was equally distributed throughout full 360 degrees. In reality pedaling force developed by human is anything but. It roughly resembles a sine curve. In this case there is a ratio of torque applied at crank and angular acceleration acquired by KICKR’s flywheel. That ratio actually determines “the feel”. At very high gear and high speeds the torque is low and acceleration (changes in flywheel angular speed) is very low throughout the pedal stroke. At low gear it is exactly the opposite. Sure some humans are not very sensitive and can get used to either or not pay attention and some do not like it too much.

    • You won’t get a hearing related issue with the KICKR. Even in my testing at the loudest possible levels I could get it, it still doesn’t hit any OSHA levels for hearing loss. The LeMond Revolution however does actually hit such levels after sustained use at the higher speeds (I believe it was a few hours non-stop). But realistically even there no human could sustain those speeds on that trainer for a few hours (due to the power curve), so it’s a moot point…aside from being annoying.

      On the KICKR, the aspect that’s probably bothering you is the slightly higher pitch that comes from the belt used on it. Most people don’t mind it too much, but it may bother others.

      Finally, if for some reason you haven’t heard back from Wahoo and it’s been that week, I’d try ringing them. I know they were trying to answer back everything within 24 hours, so a week seems pretty long – as if something might have gotten lost.

    • wouter

      thanks a million! really appreciate it.

  5. Murray

    Anyone have any issue with cadence. The Sensors show that they are set up properly but it will not display on the wahoo fitness app. The cadence sensor is a garmin and I do have the ant key. Any thoughts

  6. wouter

    Today, I measured the Dbs (ear level, with an ipad, but it seems fairly accurate) of the Kickr. Pounding 88-89!! Strangly, it produces these ridiculous noise levels only around 38kph (23mph). Got me a nice background wisthle throughout the night.

  7. Brian

    My Wahoo Kickr finally arrived today! But…it is so nice out (only -1) here in Canada with no snow yet so I’ll be riding outside today. People are right it is a beast! I mean i struggled with my tiny cyclists arms getting that sucker out of my truck!

    I am still waiting for my ANT+ garmin stick to arrive but have everything else I think to make it work. I might order a longer usb 2.0 extension cable so I can get the stick close to my laptop. Tonight I’m going to set it up and browse some of the videos on the various real-life sites. I got this Kickr to help me train for mountains since I don’t have any near me….and to relieve the boredom when your stuck inside on those -20 with half a meter of snow out.

    • sebo

      Hi Brian, I’m from Canada as well, got Kicker for the same reasons. For video rides try link to virtualtraining.eu you can even upload those rides to Strava and they will look the same as outdoor rides. Great service. Kinomap is also good.

    • Lowell Taylor

      I am looking for where to buy the KICKR in Canada. Or where Canadians are finding the best deal is.
      I called my local bike shop and they will bring it in for $1800! Yikes.

      Also willing to wait for boxing day sales or in the early new year.

      Any advice on where other Canadians have purchased it would be great. Our dollar is a bit low compared to US now, so it might not be easy to find a good deal on this.

      Advice is appreciated.

    • Brian

      I purchased mine locally from a shop called Champion Cycle for 1195 here is a link link to cbss.ca, you can also find it online here at a place in Toronto, heard good things about this place too. link to labicicletta.com

      Funny enough I did all this planning to get one, got it but have not used it yet. Weather has been OK so far and I’ve discovered a way to use the MUT at dark and do a few hill repeats afterwork in the dark that is safe. I have a feeling snow will come soon and force me inside.

    • Lars

      Hi Lowell

      I live in Lethbridge Alberta and I purchased from link to athleti.ca they are based in Quebec but I had mine within four days of ordering. The service was great and last I saw they still had stock. I would contact them as they were reliable, efficient and fast.

      Cheers

      Lars

    • sebo

      I’m from Toronto got my at link to evocycles.ca give them a call, they are great guys.

  8. Louis Matherne

    I’m having a problem getting my Garmin 800 to sync with my Stages PM when on the KICKR. The KICKR ANT+ seems to be overriding the Stages PM ANT+.

    Is there anyway to make the Garmin take the Stages signal over the KICKR or to turnoff the KICKR ANT+?

    Louis

    • You should setup separate bike profiles on the Edge 800. One for Stages, and one for the KICKR. Then pair them separately. That way you can specify which one to use.

    • Louis Matherne

      Thanks for your reply. I did in fact set up separate profiles but I’ll try again by clearing both the KICKR and Stages from all profiles and reset.

  9. Lars

    Hi Lowell

    I live in Lethbridge Alberta and I purchased from link to athleti.ca they are based in Quebec but I had mine within four days of ordering. The service was great and last I saw they still had stock. I would contact them as they were reliable, efficient and fast.

    Cheers

    Lars

  10. Kevin K

    Massive drama with my KICKR tonight, mid HIIT and the belt snapped!!!
    Anyone else had this happen?I have emailed support but does anyone know if there is a part number and if these belts are of a standard type that can be bought over the counter somewhere here in the UK!!

    Not the best time of year for this to happen!!

  11. John O

    Hi all,

    Bought my KICKR last winter and paired with both Trainer Road and iPhone 4S using the Wahoo Fitness app. Everything worked fine until I started training indoors again a couple of weeks ago. KICKR won’t pair with either now. I know the BT on my phone works so I’m thinking its the trainer. Anyone else out there having the same issue? I have a ticket with Wahoo support but after waiting the usual time they email me with one thing to try each time. Still need help, any advise?

    Oh and thanks for a Great site Ray I’ve learned a lot and gotten some great ideas here keep the Great work!

    Best regards,
    John O

    • Karl watanabe

      I had a similar problem with my 5s after not using my Kickr for a few months. Maybe it was the IOS upgrade. I had to delete the existing Kickr BT device and repair using the app only. I could not pair from the BT setting. Not 100% sure that is what worked as I tried everything I could…including deleting the app from the phone and reinstalling.

    • John O

      Karl,

      Thanks, I should have mentioned that my Trainer Road app is on my Laptop and it won’t pair, and I had this issue before I updated my ios so I think its something to do with my KICKR. Also worth mentioning that I haven’t moved my KICKR from where it’s been set up since last Winter. So I didn’t break it or drop it or get it wet etc.

    • Karl watanabe

      One other thing I did was unpower the Kickr several times. Again I’m not sure when I finally got it to pair.

  12. Colin Harrison

    Have recently purchased a Kickr and started a structured training program. However I’m seeing quite a discrepancy between the power output as reported by the Kickr and the power meter on my bike (ROTOR Power LT). Here are the results of my last couple of 90min low intensity sessions:-

    Kickr:-
    Avg Power 130 W
    Max Power 179 W
    Max Avg Power (20 min) 145 W
    Normalized Power (NP) 133 W

    ROTOR LT :-
    Avg Power 80 W
    Max Power 223 W
    Max Avg Power (20 min) 93 W
    Normalized Power (NP) 84 W

    Kickr:-
    Avg Power 145 W
    Max Power 195 W
    Normalized Power (NP) 147 W

    ROTOR LT:-
    Avg Power 80 W
    Max Power 304 W
    Normalized Power (NP) 86 W

    Any ideas why I have such a drastic difference in power outputs?

    Thanks.

    • wouter

      Same here, large and variable deviations.

      and no.

      Not much help from Wahoo, even after many email to their support. It is getting a bit annoying. Terrible service, given the astronomical price.

    • wouter

      Please do keep me informed if you find a solution!

  13. Bo Falck Hansen

    I have the same problem as several others have described. My kickr shows ~25W more than my Quarq.
    I use trainerroad to control kicker.
    Is there a method to offset the watt in trainerroad – so that the watt values in trainerroad fits with the quarq values?

    Bo

    • wouter

      Hi Bo,

      A question: Does that difference stay constant with respect to power output? Ie, is it always 25watt, regardless of whether you are pussing 150, or 250w?

  14. Blair

    Hi All,

    Have been using my new Kickr for the past couple of weeks for Base 1 training. It works close to perfect if one wants to ride at a steady HR (in my case right now, z2) in Sim mode or steady watts in Erg mode. I use a Powertap hub, so I can’t directly compare values between it and the Kickr as I’m riding, but they feel pretty close to me. When I compare multiple files between Kickr sessions and similar outdoor sessions (imperfect and imprecise, I know) input and output are closely aligned, with the Kickr showing anywhere between 8-18 watts higher for the same input over a two hour block for rides within the same two week period. This is perhaps anecdotal at best given all of the variables (love my French press, etc.) and I’d need a lot more data to make a better comparison, but again, those numbers seem reasonably close to me for what they’re worth. If anything, I think the higher TSS for similar rides is warranted for having to ride in the basement! Haven’t started interval training for the upcoming season yet, so I can’t offer anything concerning the Kickr’s accuracy for harder efforts, but for what I’m doing right now and for what I need, I’m very satisfied. I don’t imagine the numbers will drift further apart as the effort increases.

    In short, I’m really enjoying the trainer, which is no small thing. Thanks, DC and many of the commentators here–this site is an incredible resource.

  15. Brian

    I would like to try out Kinomaps and its says it is for iphone or ipad only which sucks as I wanted to use it on my macbook pro to output to my tv. I have a mini garmin ant+ stick. can i use this dongle from apple to use my ant+ stick with my ipad?
    link to store.apple.com

    also how do I output video from my ipad to the tv?

  16. Alberto

    Hi Ray,

    Because the KIKR has its own cassette, have you ever had problems with gear shifting because the derailleur was “tuned” for your bike’s cassette?
    Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Alberto

    • Q. Jones

      Alberto – I have a road bike dedicated to just using on the trainer and when I put it on the Kickr essentially middle/middle and most gears higher/lower, skipped like crazy. So I took that bike off and put my normal outdoor road bike on the trainer and it’s definitely not tuned perfectly, lots of noise in certain gears but no skipping so I’ve just dealt with it. The shop I bought the Kickr from is close to 3 hrs away and the closest bike shop in general is an hour away. It very well might be the chain and drivetrain on both bikes need to be replaced but I didn’t have an issue with either bike on the road or on my old fluid and mag trainer.

      Regardless, I haven’t regretted for a second buying the Kickr.

    • Karl watanabe

      You should do a minor rear derailleur adjustment for those middle gears. Just a few turns of the screw to line up one gear. That will take care of the noise and probably work for all the gears except maybe the end gears which you really don’t need on a trainer.

    • Jeffrey Miesemer

      I think you are on track by pointing a finger at your current drivetrain. Cassettes (and chainrings) wear more rapidly as chains wear which is why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on chain wear and replace them as needed. What you are describing leads me to believe that the cassette and chain (and most likely chainrings too) on your trainer bike are well worn. I’m assuming you are using the new cassette that comes on the Kickr with the old chain and that could be the issue. If you don’t wan’t to replace the drivetrain on the trainer bike, just swap its worn cassette over to the Kickr.

  17. M

    Is anyone having problems using Wahoo KickR with Bkool ? I am very disappointed with Bkool as I use Wahoo kickR but I am unable to get my rides on the leagues. My rides are appearing in my online Bkool account and my privacy settings are very public so I do not understand what the problem is. I have tried contacting the league administrators and asking them to validate but they do not reply or respond. I am coming to the conclusion that Bkool is discriminating against users of other trainers as almost all the users of Bkool are using Bkool trainers. Either that or the so called open API is probably not really so open.

    • If it controlled the KICKR just fine (which it sounds like it did), and then saved the rides just fine (and it sounds like it did), then I suspect it’s some upstream BKOOL bug on your account itself (and nothing with the KICKR API since that’d be irrelevant at that point). I’d actually look to contact BKOOL Support, as opposed to the league administrators.

  18. M

    The Bkool indoor simulator does control the KICKR fine. In fact I’ve had quite a few emails with BKOOL themselves but they just say I should contact the league administrators. I’ve sent BKOOL another email asking them to look at my account so I’ll see what happens.. Thanks for your response. It is strange though how those using the BKOOL leagues seems to almost all using BKOOL trainers with just one or two (literally just one or two) KICKR’s. Anyway if nobody else is having my frustrations, as you say it’s probably my account that’s the problem.

  19. WB

    Anyone else had issues adjusting the height of the KICKR? After removing the pin I am unable to move the KICKR up or down and am effectively stuck on the one wheel size.

  20. Nick

    Santa left me a KICKR (via the Apple store) under the tree but yesterday, when I finally set everything up and gave it a test ride, I found that I was a newly anointed member of the club that cannot get the speed sensor to read anything above 10mph during spindown….I’ve already dropped a ticket with Wahoo so we’ll see how it goes.

    Btw, if I am using an Edge 810, Vector Pedals, Bike Speed Sensor and Cadence Sensor (the new one so I remove the speed sensor when I take off the rear wheel but the cadence sensor on the crank remains), will I have to select the KICKR’s power meter to get speed data on the 810?

    • Karl watanabe

      Yes if you connect your 810 to the Kickr, you will get speed/distance. You won’t be able to compare power from the Vector vs the Kickr though. I used an extra 500 with my Kickr and my 510 to my Vector for power comparison.

    • Nick

      Heard back from Wahoo already and they think the optical sensor is sitting a fraction of a millimeter too close. We’ll see if the fix works…

  21. Zohar

    just got the Kickr about a week ago. I used trainroad couple of times and I have noticed that when I do the low Watts, the erg mode doesn’t work like I would expect. for example, when it goes to target power of 100W and I cycle in 90 RPM, the actual power is around 120W, so I need to reduce my RPM to 70 in order be in the 100W zone. Only way to work around it is to change gears, which I thought has no meaning when I’m on ERG mode.
    Has anyone experienced similar behavior or do I need to call Wahoo for support?

    Thanks.

    • Tom

      … maybe try the same thing with wahoo fitness app in ergo mode to see whether it is a hardware or software/trainerroad problem. i use virtualtraining and have no problems even at 100 watt or below.

    • Tom

      one additional thought – if using extreme gear ratios (eg 52×10) maybe the kickr can’t go down to 100w@90rpm by design …

    • Istvan

      It’s true, it’s can’t hold low watt values at big gear ratio! I had the same problem.

    • Zohar

      Is there any “recommended” gear ratio for erg training? for example, should I use the small or large chainring?
      I don’t think I used a big ratio when I had this problem, but definitely I felt the difference when I played with the gears.

    • Tom

      … unfortunately wahoo does not provide a precision/rpm/watt zone graph. in erg mode i always use a small-middle gear ratio. again my advice is – try erg mode with wahoo fitness app and look what happens there …

  22. jkoch

    I just ordered a KICKR and I’m a little confused about apps, ANT+ sensors, etc. Can I just use an app like i MobileIntervals to control the KICKR and then use my Garmin 510 to record and save the workout, with an ANT+ sensor or another app to record the training data?

  23. Griffin

    For all of those experiencing and/or concerned about the power discrepancy issue:

    I’m contemplating purchasing this trainer but I am somewhat concerned about the power discrepancy that some find when comparing to other independent power meters. Some report that calibration after 10-15 minutes does the trick, some report that no amount of calibration (even with the Wahoo-provided calibration kit) helps at all. It really seems hit or miss, so I’ve tried to do an extensive review of opinions contained on different online outlets.

    In the process of doing this search, I came across this nugget from 1/10/15 on the Garmin forum:

    LARSSR
    LARSSR is offline Junior Member

    Yesterday I did my first workout with beta firmware on the kickr. This makes it possible to use external power meter (like Vector) in ERG mode. I think it worked like a charm, and my 2×20 min sweetspot workout was really hard yesterday. 2×20 on 295 “vector-watts” were tougher than 2×20 on 320 “kickr-watts”. No more drift on my future workouts!

    The post goes on to provide a link to a Wahoo forum which has some more information:

    link to forums.transitions.org.au

    So, to me as a prospective buyer, this is a promising development. This single issue is my only reservation about this trainer and now it appears that a viable solution is nearly ready for wide release.

    Anybody have more information on this?

    • Nick

      I just set this up last night, and based on one easy Trainerroad workout, it looks very promising. I plan to give it the full test over the weekend. I assumed that this feature was developed just for Ray because the secret code is something to do with loving cup cakes, but I don’t see anything else about it posted here…!

    • Griffin

      I know, I’m surprised there isn’t more discussion about this new firmware beta. I, for one, would love to hear how it goes with your test. What power meter will you be using to control the Kickr?

    • I’ve used a Quarq to control the Kickr this week using TrainerRoad. It’s worked great for me so far. link to thecyclingaddiction.blogspot.com

    • Griffin

      Excellent, thanks for adding your content to this discussion. I look forward to a permanent solution by Wahoo regarding this aspect of the Kickr.

    • Just a note that out of respect to Wahoo I have removed the links on my blog post. Also a note to Wahoo that my post originated from Slowtwitch and Transitions forum. I did not get the beta from a Wahoo technician. It is my hope that this beta will be released soon as I know there are many of us that need the power data to be correct for training. Based on comparison between the Kickr and the Quarq was 14 watts off. I put in a 14 watt offset to my FTP in TrainerRoad trying to align power targets correctly and used the data recorded from the Quarq to the Garmin Edge as my data upload since it is correct. This is important for us that want our data and training to be targeted correctly. Thanks

    • Nick

      I have done 4 workouts now on the Kickr, controlled by Trainerroad, with my Quarq controlling the load. When I download my Quarq data from my Garmin, intervals from 5 minutes up to 25 minutes are within 2-3 watts. 30-second intervals are a bit more challenging for erg mode, but still they are generally within 10 watts which is way better than I was achieving through calibrating the Kickr. I tried the Trainerroad iPhone app and the desktop app (mac) and they both worked great with this setup. I saw a little bit of downward drift towards the end of one of the workouts, so I did a hot spindown on the Kickr at the end of the next ride, and it seems even more consistent since then.

      I have more or less given up on the fantasy of putting my old bike with no powermeter on the Kickr, but having erg mode this accurate is what I really wanted. It seems to be the ultimate setup for consistency, as the erg load is being driven by the same measuring device that I collect my road training and racing data on.

    • Tim B

      Hi Nick!

      I’m confused with your setup. How do you control Kickr power through TrainerRoad with your Quarq power meter?

      I have Garmin Vector and it’s 30 watts lower than Kickr. Although, I’m not too concerned about it nor bothered by it (ok maybe a little), it would be nice to have both power meters give same output readings. A little accuracy would be nice.

      Thanks,
      Tim

    • Nick

      You have to read Jesse’s blog post above to get the full setup, but my understanding is as follows:

      1. Update the firmware on the Kickr to the new beta.
      2. Use the wahooligans app to tell the Kickr about your Quarq/Vector/whatever PM by keying in the ANT+ id it uses to transmit.
      3. Turn on the option to use the external power meter to control the load in erg mode.
      4. Now when Trainerroad (or any other software) is in erg mode, and tells the Kickr to hold say 250W, the Kickr will ‘listen’ for the ANT+ power readings coming from the other PM to decide if it needs to increase or decrease the load to maintain the target wattage.

      So long as you are using erg mode, your Trainerroad and PM readings will be pretty close (ie within 2-3 watts).

      Hope that helps
      Cheers
      Nick

    • Tim B

      Thanks, Nick! I guess I have to wait for the final firmware. The link for the beta firmware is no longer available and the Wahooligans app is not available on the Apple App Store. Very much looking forward to this.

    • Sebastian

      Is there anyway to get Wahooligans app? Did they totally discontinue or updating to new version? Is there a link besides app store to that app?

    • Michael Fennell

      Thanks for posting this! Exactly what I need. I have also found my XX1 Quarq to read ~4% lower (10W give or take) than the Kickr. I compensate by moving my FTP % up a few ticks when building workouts with Virtual Trainer but the nerd in me wants it right. That, and I’m a little embarrassed when my coach shoots me an email about the GREAT workout I just had. 🙂

      In truth, I have no real reason to believe the Quarq is more accurate but since that’s what I use outside I want them to be consistent. I will continue to live in ignorance about the accuracy of my ancient wired PowerTap…

  24. Manuel

    Hello

    Got mine Kickr now for a couple of day, And iam still trying to find the best combination of software.
    Used to the Tacx TTS, First of all i calibrated the kickr with the wahoo utility ! So if i read correctly the calibration value is storaged on the kickr itself ? But does it make an difference when doing this after an 10 min warmup ? or just cold before starting an ride ?
    Also i see some strange spikes while riding doing an 200w interval and the iam getting an spike of 450w encouterd this two time.
    When doing this same interval i did an 250w block an strava tells me i did 88kmh ?? with an average of 40kmh.
    Looks like on the tacx i needed more effort te get this same workout average of 30 and max 40 ?
    Even when iam doing an easy ride for 90 min with total no effort i get an total distance of 70km.

    • If you like their RLV concept then you do not have to look any further then our software and videos. They’re of highest quality and our software works with KICKR. Also there is a big list of KICKR compatible software on Wahoo’s site and “The Winter 2014-2015 Trainer App In-Depth Guide” on this website at link to dcrainmaker.com
      ============================================
      Disclaimer: I work for Veloreality maker of high end cycling trainers, cycling software and videos

  25. Brian

    Just an update…..I’ve been using my Kickr with Bkool for a month now and love it. Winter training (Hi from Canada!) is now enjoyable.

    Climbs are pretty realistic using the Kickr and the videos on Bkool. My times up whiteface in real life are very close to the time up on the trainer. I am impressed so far.

    • Tim B

      I just tried this app today and I must say it is really good. Power from Vector is very close to power from Kickr which is controlled by Bkool. I might switch to this service from Trainer Road.

      How are their training plans and structured tests?

  26. JP

    Has there been any updates about FW update enabling also Polar V800 to read kickr data?

    • None yet, both companies say they’ve been working together on it. On the other hand, they’ve been saying that for the better part of 4-5 months now without any results.

  27. Brian

    Has the Wahoo Kickr been updated to allow for the system to act as a bridge for Ant+/Bluetooth? I have been searching the internet, and have not found a firm answer. I sold my 910XT for a 920XT, and lost my ANT+ stick. I am either going to buy another Garmin Ant+ stick or a Wahoo RPM. Just wanted to check and make sure that the Kickr hasn’t been updated. A previous thread stated they were shooting for mid-2014 for the update.

    Thanks for any help.

  28. Edward

    Just wondering if you can help me in relation to using two different bikes on the same Wahoo trainer. One of my bikes has an 11-speed Campy cassette (12-29) and the other bike has a Shimano Ultegra cassette (11-28).

    Will this cause me problems if I want to use both bikes on the trainer? In particular, will I need to change the cassette on the Trainer depending on the bike I am using.

    At the moment, despite negative feedback, I am still very tempted by the Tacx I-Genius which I can buy for around £600 as compared to the Wahoo which is closer to £1000. I am not too fussed about the open software provided that the Tacx software works …. but therein lies the problem! Will the Tacx software cause me problems???

    I like the look of the VR training on the Tacx and the Real Life Videos. I am looking for something to keep me interested and motivated. My training is pretty basic – I don’t need anything too scientific or detailed. I just want to jump on a trainer for an hour or so – to increase stamina and lose weight. Nothing more than that.

    Any thoughts which would be best for me? And will having 2 different bikes be a problem on the Wahoo? (My understanding is that this will *not* be a problem on the Tacx).

    Would welcome any advice or suggestions!

    Thanks!!

    • Ryan033

      My two cents worth:

      If they both have 11 speed drive trains, then it should not be an issue.

      I like the wahoo as no wear and tear on my wheels or tyres.

    • Michael Fennell

      This doesn’t directly address your question but as a data point that might help someone, I have no issues switching between a Shimano 10-sp road bike and SRAM XX1 11sp mountain bike on my Kickr with the included 10sp cassette. A friend of mine mounted up his SRAM 11sp road bike on it too.

      Obviously, I can’t shift into the smallest cog but it turned out that the alignment was near enough to identical for the first 10 cogs that all three bikes worked fine.

  29. Adam

    I have Wahoo Kickr great piece of kit but I am a techno phobe so would someone be able to give me a simple way to ride courses through my Kickr. Currently I am using Trainerroad

    Aim is to ride Ironman Lanza course through my Kickr is that possible?

    Thanks

    Adam

  30. Tim B

    Ray’s article on his link above is a great way to start.

    I just started using Bkool, free version. I downloaded some courses on RideWithGPS.com and imported it (and the rides/courses I did) to Bkool. It works for me so far.

  31. Blair

    Interested in this conversation about riding previously recorded courses indoors on the Kickr. Tim B, do you use RidewithGPS for smoothing elevation or just for uploading to Bkool?

    I’m mostly interested in pre-riding local race courses to get the GPS file and then being able to train on the course indoors as necessary. Anyone have experience/thoughts on the various options for this specific purpose from the list Ray has provided?

    • Tim B

      Honestly, I don’t use RideWithGPS except to upload my group’s courses to my head unit. And recently when I tried Bkool to see how it feels. So far, I like Bkool than the other apps I’ve tried which are, Virtual Training, Kinomap, Fulgaz.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Have you had a chance to test the beta KICKR fw with support for reading power off an external ANT+ device (Quarq, …)? Having just donned Sufferfest’s Rubber Glove via Trainerroad, it looks like a calibrated (spindown) KICKR is ab. 10% off a known, good Quarq (Quarq tracks a PT G3 wheel within 2%.) TR didn’t deal with the discrepancy well, making the test somewhat wasteful. Had TR controlled the KICKR against the relayed Quarq data, the suffering would have been worth something.

  33. Mellowmiles

    Great posting guys.

    Had the Kickr for 2-3 months now and made the mistake of spinning mostly before the 10min advice. had an astonishing rise inf FTP from 207 april 2014 to 270 in november 2014!! It was a good season but not that good I’ve only been cycling for 18months seriously.
    I then did a spin down (after about 15mins as prescribed) after an 8 week Realrides power programme mated with Trainerroad and then an FTP test and which as expected showed a new FTP drop to 247.

    I’m obviously pretty bummed about this . Partly as no i’m unsure whether my new FTP is the accurate reading or if it indeed even lower. My trainer bike is a shimano and my regular bike is Campag for which i’ve got a PT so i can’t even compare. I’m about to build a new bike (campag again) and based on DCs reviews have been looking at the vectors (actually was looking at the Zone DPMX but quite expensive and based on his review think it is prudent to wait for the second batch).

    I guess my dilema is how much more accuracy i can find (i don’t think the new wahoo app will help folk like me though hope i’m wrong) or whether to just plough on and treat my Outdoor and Indoor training quite differently and keep my indoor training on TR and and Training Peaks and my outdoor rides on Strava i guess.

    any thoughts welcome.

    thanks

    • Rob J

      As others have posted at this point you can’t trust the readings from the Kickr. They are way off readings from other power devices, susceptible to drift etc. If you are doing all your training on the Kickr, then yes you can use that as a baseline to continually monitor against. Your second FTP reading (lower) after the proper spin down is probably the one to go with. Now once you go outside, without any other power source you will not be able to properly gauge your workouts. The proposed app/fix from Wahoo, allowing the Kickr to be controlled by another power device is promising, but we shouldn’t need a $1k device to control another $1k device. I should be able to put a spare bike on the Kickr (w/o pm) and know that I am working out at the same level each time.

      I was hoping that with Ray’s connections and influence in the industry that there would be some additional information here. Wahoo is really dragging their feet on this and if you read the threads on Slowtwitch, the problem is mounting.

    • JRA

      Me and a few buddies are on the fence waiting for Wahoo to fix these issues before we will even commit to a purchase. There are quite a few users whose units that was identified as having issues. What about the “good” ones that cannot be verified as the user does not have a PM to compare to see the drift/high readings of the Kickr?

      It’s really a shame that Wahoo has no made public comments on these issues and pretends they do not exist. At least that is the impression I have.

    • I think the thing to keep in mind is that it’s hard to tell how widespread the issue would be with respect to people having differences. Having a Slowtwitch thread about it it’s necessarily a high bar to reach. The next issue is what percentage of those people don’t actually have an issue but think they do. And then compare all that to number of units shipped.

      For example, on my KICKR, I continue to see solid numbers and alignment with other power meters. I hear from many others that don’t have issues either.

      Just saying that typically only people having issues, post issues.

    • Mihai

      Ray is right on who’s posting what and when.

      I never had an issue with my Kickr since day zero when it has been shipped and I’ve been selfish enough to keep that to myself.

      Well, here’s my take on Kickr: I’m happy to have this intelligent device and let it focus on the workout for me ( in erg mode ) while I’m somewhere else with my mind, e.g. watch a movie on TV or solve some left over issues from office over the phone while pedalling.

      I don’t have a separate powermeter to compare its power data with the Kickr, but I am not sure how much it would help me to know that at the end of a workout the power readings from the Kickr are drifting more% or less%, as I bought the Kickr for the following reasons mainly:
      – have a really nice time while exercising indoors
      – have some degree of accuracy on the effort level from one day to the next one (i.e., with my previous trainer, on which I didn’t remove the real wheel of the bike, even if I did not unmount the bike from the trainer, I could never be sure if I ever got the same tire pressure two days in a row. It was worse when I had to unclamp the bike from the trainer and then clamp it back on, the second time must have gotten a very big resistance difference from the last time).
      – can’t cheat while riding the Kickr in erg mode. If you slow pedalling then you’re doomed. So you have to genuinely suffer for the entire duration of the exercise. If I have a super-accurate power meter (e.g., a crank with intergrated power meter, or some special pedals), I cannot bet that every now and then I will not coast and admire the superb precision of 0% effort indication of that power meter.
      – keep the noise down. Kickr ridden in erg mode allows me to ride the smallest chainring and largest casette cog while having the same effort level as if I had a non-smart trainer and I had to use the largest chainring and smallest cog for sprints.

      Sorry for the long post.

      Mihai

    • Mellowmiles

      Hi there,
      Yes I completely agree that there is always a likelihood of population bias that might try to skew ones impression. I do like the Kickr and what it is trying to do and i don’t think i’ve suggested it a systematically bad product.
      I guess my main concern is with the change power readings which clearly makes it difficult to accurately gauge improvement. and the uncertainty like you pointed out of whether there may or may not be a problem. for instance. when i bought the kickr it said to spin down after 10minss of warming up. by the time i ran into problems a few months later the advice was 15-20mins and at every wide change in temperature (wtf?). my paranoia now means i just spin down after every work out – i hope this itself doesn’t cause problems by over calibration or something
      If any thing the Kickr does seem for the most part consistent and i guess in that the case i can work with this (slightly better than the powercal then…!)

  34. simon20cc

    Have to agree with Rob J comments above.
    I have had my Kickr about 6 weeks.
    I find that for the first 10 mins or so it tracks my P2max quite closely, then as temperature builds runs out to about 25/30 Watts higher [i have my Kickr FTP set 30W higher than my P2max FTP]
    A spin down after 10 mins has no effect, a spin down after 30/35 mins stabilises any drift [otherwise it gradually drifts out to about a 40W discrepancy]
    It seems that it must need a temperature correction to rectify, the only response i have had from Wahoo is to spin down after 20 mins.
    In the meantime i am awaiting the updated firmware to take the power from my P2max, but it is disappointing as i didn’t want to keep it set up on my trainer bike.
    Other than this issue, the Kickr is an excellent trainer particularly in erg mode using sufferfest/virtual training etc

  35. Mellowmiles

    simon20cc are you doing a spindown every ride also?

    • simon20cc

      I use Perfpro and Cycleops Virtual Training, when using perfpro i spin down every ride. On Virtual Training i generally use Race mode, there isn’t a pause function to recallibrate [as far as i’m aware] so don’t spin down.

  36. Chris Watkins

    Great review! Just a quick note about kinomaps from my experience. One can display the feed externally on a TV through an HDMI adapter like you mentioned, but kinomaps also allows the use of AppleTV mirroring from your iPhone, so if you have AppleTV, mirror your phone and it will externally display the same modes as you would have if using an HDMI adapter. Awesome feature.

  37. Great article. Are you able to do an updated version of this with how it works with android.

    I use mine with my android tablet.

    The screens of the app seem to be slightly different. I only get my speed and power output. I cant get the speed and power output on the same screen though. The app doesn’t seem to allow you to customise screens.

    Also I still have a garmin 705 on my bike. Hasn’t died yet so haven’t upgraded. However since my garmin is using garmin cadence and speed sensor the head unit only shows me my heart rate and cadence. I then see my speed on the tablet.

    I don’t want to use the wahoo speed cadence sensor because I don’t want to change the unit over when I then pop the wheel on and ride on the road.

    Is there any way I can get my heart rate and cadence into the app using my garmin devices.
    Else will the wahoo heart rate and cadence sensors work with my garmin.

    I am very unclear about how to progress with this trainer when using android and my existing garmin devices. The information on the net is always talking about apple. Would love to know more details about android integration and use with existing garmin / other cycle computers.

    • Your Garmin needs an ANT+ signal and your Android needs a Bluetooth Smart signal. I purchased the Wahoo Blue SC which transmits both types of signal so my Garmin and my phone can pick up Speed/Cadence (although of course you won’t get speed as the back wheel isn’t on). For heart rate, if I really want both ANT+ and Bluetooth I wear two HR monitors. The standard Garmin HR and the Wahoo HR straps. However, I have only done this to test. To be honest I rarely use Bluetooth Smart. When I’m training with Trainer Road, Bkool or Zwift I run the software on my PC with the big screen and use the ANT stick to get the data from my devices (HR, Cadence and Kickr) to the software.

    • So when the wheel is on the wahoo blue SC pick up me speed and heart rate to my garmin. (with the wheel on) . When I’m on the kickr then it will just transmit cadence.

      I can live with that. I don’t mind using a different Heart rate strap for riding and training. I just don’t want to have to switch the sensor on the bike each time.

      Thanks for the reply.

    • Hi, yes, that’s correct. When you ride outside with the rear wheel on, the Wahoo Blue SC with transmit an ANT+ (as well as Bluetooth to your phone) signal to your Garmin giving you speed and cadence and therefore, distance. When you ride indoors with the wheel off it will transmit Bluetooth to your phone, giving you cadence only. You should be getting speed data from your Kickr. However, getting reliable distance data has proved difficult for me as different software gives hugely varying results. But, as you know, we generally measure cycling performance and improvement using watts rather than speed and distance.

    • Keep in mind that distance/speed data on a trainer in ERG mode will be variable based on the gearing you’re using in any given session.

    • Yesterday my 920xt told me I’d done 38 km in 49 minutes, where as Trainer Road told me I’d done 12km for the same session. In 49 minutes of cycling in the real world I would generally reach about 25km. So I’m not sure what to rely on.

    • I’m not quite sure why you’d be getting different numbers from TR vs the 920XT. They should both be pulling the speed value from the KICKR.

      In any case, with electronic controlled trainers, you really do have to throw speed/distance out the window. This is especially true with TR, which is effectively using ERG mode, as you can use any gearing combination on your bike and it’ll keep your wattage the same. Some gearing combinations will result in a faster speed, some a slower speed. But none will change your work effort.

    • Distance/speed is irrelevant on trainers in Erg mode. To answer your question of “what to rely on” you should be relying on something like I spent XXX Joules in YYY minutes ans I had this TSS and that IF.

    • Miro Lehky

      Don’t both TR and the 920XT have wheel circumference settings? Probably need to check that they are set the same and probably should take the 920XT out of auto mode for the circumference.

  38. Regarding the different distance/speed results, yes I thought the same thing. Speed is coming from the Kickr, so they should be the same, but my watch said I did around 40km/hr and Trainer Road said 14km/hr. Weird.

    Anyway, yes I have just read this which I found useful. I’m sure you’ve seen it before Ray, but others may not have. link to support.trainerroad.com

    I’ll pop in to the cake shop when I’m in Paris for the marathon in April.

  39. would have thought the speed would be working off the wheel size you have entered and thus calculated from that. But thanks for the info. Think I’ll need to purchase one of the Wahoo Blue Sc and HR monitors and at least give it a go.

    Thanks

  40. Phil

    Hi, when using my Kickr connected to my Garmin 500 using ANT+, I got numerous power and speed drops throughout the session, I’ve taken the speed sensor stack out and cleaned it, doesn’t make any difference. Kickr works fine with Bluetooth?

    • I get Power drops too. Not too worried about it and haven’t checked if it’s ok on Bluetooth. Best contact Wahoo Support if it’s really causing problems.

    • Phil

      Having gone through a number of tests recommended by Tyler at Wahoo who has been really helpful, it does seem the speed sensor circuit board is faulty, Tyler confirmed ANT+ and Bluetooth circuits are on the same board, both were not dropping initially, but Bluetooth has been dropping when I use CVT on the Iphone. He is sending me a new top cap that will hopefully solve the problem.

      Overall I’m really happy with the Kickr workouts are great, I’ve had the usual higher watts on the Kickr vs Quarq, FTP on CVT is currently 373 watts which I know is not reflective on the road, but as my FTP is different on the road anyway, no major problems as long as my sessions are consistent which they are. Wahoo been great throughout.

  41. Etienne

    Hi,

    My Kickr has been great for about 10 months but lately I’ve been having issues with the calibration. I’ve used both Wahoo apps and PerfPro to try and calibrate the Kickr but the offset is always 0, before it was around 580-590. It makes the Kickr impossible to use as I can’t turn the pedals as it has so much resistance.

    I’ve read a couple of other people with similar issues but no real solution. I’ve raised it with Wahoo support ticket No. 121850 about 9 days ago but apart from an initial standard response I’ve had no responses since, I’ve updated the ticket numerous times as I’ve tried different things. At the moment the Kickr is a $1400 anchor as it totally unusable and I can’t get any support. Very frustrating.

    I’ve cleaned the sensor and the white/black speed sticker, I’ve tried all apps, etc., etc. Can anyone else suggest anything I can try? If Wahoo support reads these posts maybe they can get back to me ASAP as I need to do my sessions for an upcoming Ironman.

    • I had the same issue. You will need a new top cap I would imagine. Wahoo Support will get back to you, but if you keep updating the ticket it will keep dropping to the bottom of their list (or so I was told). I opened a new ticket referencing the old ticket to try and restart things. Hope that helps.

    • Etienne

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for the reply much appreciated. I did update the ticket a few times over a few days adding additional information in the hope it might help support resolve the problem. Anyway Wahoo support has contacted me and apologized for not responding, they have been great since and have said they will replace my Kickr as it’s faulty.

  42. Nicolas

    Thanks for the extremely helpful and wonderful review of the Kickr. Planning on getting one this week. I saw on Wahoo’s website that they have refurbished units (with the same 1-year warranty as a new one) available as well and contemplating on pulling the trigger. Before I do I would like to hear from you or anybody else if they’ve had any experience with this and if it’s recommended? Also, any way to find out if these refurb models are the earlier version from 2 years ago or more recent models (if there’s such a thing)?

    I will be pairing this up with a Windows 7 PC as I don’t have any smartphones or tablets. What would be the best training app/program option if I mainly want to be able to watch interactive videos from VeloReality or VirtualTraining. I understand I have to sign-up for a paid subscription and that’s fine with me. It’s still cheaper than paying $50 per video while using my current $700 Elite RealAxiom trainer. I looked for an answer to my questions and by reading your above posts for as long as I could and the only recommendation I found for my setup was VirtualTraining. Would you all agree with this? I would appreciate any further input on this from anyone. Thanks

    • Terry

      Just got refurb kickr. Good as new, no marks and works perfectly. Arrived in 4 working days with free shipping. Highly recommend.

  43. Robin

    The most recent app update from Wahoo on iOS states they “have some great new stuff coming this spring.” Is anyone aware of any significant hardware improvements on the cards?

    Very eager to buy a KICKR but don’t want to spend this much on something that may be redundant in a month or two. As always, a great review!

  44. billy

    Does anyone have any history of comparing a watt bike with the wahoo? I like the idea of just getting on and riding as you can on the watt bike. is this pretty easy on the wahoo or is there a bunch of computer set up? Does it take awhile to get things up and running using wahoo, trainer road and sufferfest hookups? I use sufferfest videos and am really intrigued with erg mode with the wahoo! thanks for any help.

    • Assuming you have a bike mounted to the KICKR, there’s nothing more to do than open up the app on your phone. Takes a couple of seconds.

      Same goes for TrainerRoad as well.

    • I must admit, it does take me longer to get going these days. When I had a bog standard turbo trainer, I would get on it, set my Garmin watch to ‘indoor bike’ and start riding. Now I have a Kickr I start by turning the Kickr on at the mains. I then have to turn the computer on. It’s a big old desktop pc so it takes a while to get going. Then I have to decide what session I’m going to do. Will I ride around Zwift Island? Will I do a good old Trainer Road session? Shall I check out some new videos on Bkool? Once I’ve decided on that I then have to load the software and check that all my devices are connected (HRM, Cadence, Power). Then I have to choose exactly which video on Bkool or which session on Trainer Road I’m going to ride. So, you can use 5 minutes doing all that before you actually get to ride. I guess much of that would be the same with the Wattbike though.

    • billy

      thanks! when the kickr is set up with sufferlandria, does it take into consideration your training zones for wattage? do you have to input that to set the resistance or does it just go to a preset resistance in coordination with the video? I did an FTE and now I know my zones for wattage so am wondering if I can program the wahoo to get me into those zones on sufferfest. Sorry, I could just call wahoo but I really appreciate input from this blog! thanks again for any help.

  45. Costas

    Kickr on the best calibration possible, that is 33 to 39 degrees C has a 5% higher difference from reality. Reality is a garmin vector pedal calibrated indoors. To bring the kickr to reality you have to cheat the software and tighten the belt at working temperature such that it agrees with the vector. If you calibrate (spin down) the kickr cold expect about 15% difference higher.

    • Andy G

      I just spoke with Wahoo Support yesterday, regarding this issue. The Kickr vs Vector (or other PMs) readings are a known problem. They admitted that the Kickr seems to be displaying wattage that’s too high, no matter how it’s calibrated. For example, my Kickr power was approx 30-40 watts higher than my vector power at say, 300 watts.

      Wahoo has a firmware update coming mid-March, that should help with this. They also told me that you’ll be able to calibrate your Kickr against another known powermeter, which will help keep things in line.

      They couldn’t give me a hard date for release, though. All they said was ‘mid-march’.

  46. Changren Yong

    Hi Ray. Could bought a Kickr based on your review. My wife and i share the trainer (prior to the Kickr, we were using the Revolution). The wife rides a bike with 650c wheels while mine is the more common 700c. When we are swapping bikes on the Kickr, what process do you recommend we do? I am thinking it goes something like this:

    1. Swap bike (adjust height of Kickr)
    2. Use Wahoo Fitness app to adjust the wheel size
    3. Perform spindown

    So far, i’ve been pretty happy with the Kickr. I started using it with TrainerRoad last week. The power number from the Kickr is comparable to the Stages power meter. However, i have been noticing the speed displayed by the Kickr is way higher for the same amount of effort in outdoor rides. Do the default Kickr settings assume there is no air/rolling resistance?

  47. Robbie

    I’ve been spending more time on my KICKR and have been trying to compare power numbers to those from my Power2Max. In ERG mode, I’ll notice a variation of anywhere from 25-40 watts lower from my Power2Max than what the KICKR is set for target power. Any idea what I can do differently to get them more in-line? I did an FTP test on a KICKR a while back and now I wonder if my outdoor rides are incorrect when I’m shooting for specific zones.

    • Andy G

      I’m in the same boat as you, so I called Wahoo Tech support. There is a firmware update due out mid-March (or so the support person said…), that will address this. You will also be able to calibrate your Kickr against another PM (like my vectors), so that will allow us to have more consistent readings across devices.

      For now, I’m just using the Kickr like always…..once the firmware is released I’ll re-calibrate, compare and do another FTP test.

  48. billy

    Is there any reason to hold off on buying a kickr right now vs later in the fall prior to winter? I use my trainer during every season and also ride outside in every season, so it’s a split that way. Will there be updates in the trainer over the next year? I realize the updates primarily have to do with software, not necessarily the trainer itself. Looks like a great product. Anything else new on the horizon coming out from any competitors? I’d really like to just buy this kickr! Probably will if no one has any news on updates! Does Ray get any help with the web page if we order through wahoo vs someone else? As in Fenix 3/clever training? I realize Wahoo is not sold by clever training.

    Great web page, again! Love this info.

  49. Phil

    I’ve had the Kickr for around 3 months now and all in all it has been working fine apart from a few minor probs which I’ll explain, I’ve had the usual power higher by around 4-5% than my Quarq Riken but I’ve adjusted the FTP on CVT to manage it and it delivers consistent ergo sessions. I’ve had a couple of minor issues with the belt being too tight, which Tyler from Wahoo has guided me through the process, works fines, spin downs consistent. One area which has given my most grief is speed and power drop started first on my Garmin 500 then has started occurring on my Iphone 5c on CVT so impacting both ANT+ and Bluetooth, again Tyler from Wahoo has been really helpful, to diagnose the problem which seems to be a faulty speed sensor which they are replacing, seemingly the ANT+ and Bluetooth are on the same circuit board, at first it was ANT+ only cutting out now it’s both. Just done a session this morning and ANT+ had cut out 15 times, Bluetooth once, will see when I get the new sensor if this rectifies the fault. Any else had similar probs? Phil

    • Phil

      New top cap delivered and installed, but doesn’t seem to connect to the Kickr? It connects via the Wahoo Utility App, and I’ve done the spindown, works fine. Trying to connect it to the Wahoo Fitness or CVT apps it won’t connect, I’ve tried reinstalling the kickr sensor and even both app’s it doesn’t connect and Ive left it 5 mins. When I put my old speed cap on works first time? Any ideas that I can try, can only assume the new cap is faulty but would assume the guys at Wahoo would have tested it.

  50. Mohammed Zaki

    Dear all,

    I am thinking seriously to buy one as well as it integrates very well with everything in the market. Zwift, trainerroad and other apps.

    Does anyone has a concern related to being stiff while riding? Will it beat me after 1.5 hours riding on it.

    Thank you

    Mohammad Zaki.

  51. Jesse

    Just a note that PerfPRO now has a public beta available on their download web page that has power meter control over the Kickr option. I’ve seen two reports with both using SRM power meters controlling the Kickr and their attached training data reflecting the SRM in control of the Kickr in ERG mode. Disclaimer: I use TrainerRoad and have not personally tried this. So far the Wahooligan beta (removed from public access) app has been working well for me allowing my Quarq ELSA to control Kickr ERG.

  52. marc steingrand

    Hello can anyone help on the spec for the power block
    what is going in and what is going out XX v and YY Amp??

    I lost can not find my power block and need to buy one Urgently

  53. Carlton

    Thought I’d share that a new feature is out in beta form. The latest KICKR update allows power matching via an ANT+ power meter. It fixes the problem of KICKR watts not matching the Power Meter watts when controlled in ERG mode. (For example, my KICKR supposed to be creating 200 watts resistance, but my Power2Max reads 160 watts, and the gap remains no matter what I do to zero, spin-down, etc. Trainer Road always shows a large gap between intended power and measured power. Precision scores of 2% on every interval.)

    The Wahoo Fitness iOS v5.5.0 app was released on March 9, but the KICKR public firmware is not out yet. Both are needed to enable this feature. However, you can load the beta firmware now and get it working while we wait for the public firmware release. Here are the general steps:
    -Use iOS Wahoo Utility, select KICKR
    -Use the “secret swipe” to display the beta firmware (quickly swipe from lightening bolt icon to happy face icon, quickly lift finger, then quickly swipe from happy face icon to lightening bolt icon. Swipe instruction video: link to ppst.co )
    -Select and load firmware version 1.3.26
    -After firmware update completes, Unplug and replug power to the KICKR

    -Next go to the Wahoo Fitness App
    -Select sensors, KICKR
    -Enable “Control with ANT+ Power Meter” option
    -Enter the ANT+ id of your power meter (printed on the power meter, or get it via ANT+ dongle using the Trainer Road Devices screen.)

    KICKR will now read the ANT+ Power Meter and use it to measure power output (instead of the frequently flawed internal resistance calculation that can be 20-40 watts off on some KICKRs.) This blog post has some more details: link to thecyclingaddiction.blogspot.com

    Hope this helps everyone with KICKRs that inaccurately calculate power (like mine. . .)

    • Tim B

      I tried this today. My vector is now reading 10-20 watts over Kickr on TrainerRoad with NP of 12 watts over. I think this better that getting under wattage readings.

    • Marc Steingrand

      Question what app are you using I used Kinomap on my iPad and I am getting very low power numbers meaning power tap is about 180 and Kinomap about 100
      Sounds to much difference for me

    • Changren Yong

      I installed the same beta firmware for Kickr and have been testing it without enabling “Control with ANT+ Power Meter” option. So far i have done two tests: a 30-minute and a 60-minute TrainerRoad workouts. In both cases, the average power differences between the Kickr and Stages power meter were only 3W and 1W.

  54. JRA

    What about all those who don’t have a PM? This is not a “fix” as it just masks the issue.

    • Plus as others have said, we shouldn’t have to spend £800 on a PM to mask problems on the previous £800 purchase.

    • Sebo

      Are you serious? If you do not have power meter you do not have an issue, go with power given by Kickr. If you do not get it, first read about principles of training with power. This is fix for those with power meters.
      Get a power meter then complain, but once you have it and understand it you will not complain 🙂

    • Sebo

      If you do not have power meter but have Kickr you should ask yourself why do you even bother with power numbers, is it fetish or makes you look cool on Sunday group rides 🙂
      I have impression this forum is full of people without slightest idea what training with power is. read this book: link to velopress.com and I will guarantee you will have no more issues

    • Let’s keep things friendly…

    • Want to chill out a little? It’s not a fix just for people with power metres at all. It’s a fix for what is commonly being reported that the Kickr is not always giving readings which match other power metres. So it’s as though my Garmin 920xt is telling me I’m running at 6 minutes per mile when in fact I’m running at 7 minutes per mile.

    • Christian

      I have a powermeter, so I care. Unfortunately my powermeter is a Powertap. Am I supposed to get a new powermeter to get accurate numbers from my Kickr?

      Having said that, my numbers don’t seem that far off. At least I tend to move my CP curve up whenever I ride outside, so that’s a good sign that it’s not way overreporting the power.

    • Blair

      Same, Christian. The numbers for my Powertap and Kickr are pretty close.

  55. Changren Yong

    No one answered so i’m going to ask again.

    My wife and i share a Wahoo Kickr. The wife rides a bike with 650c wheels while mine is the more common 700c. When we are swapping bikes on the Kickr, is there a recommended procedure? For example, is it necessary to perform the following?

    1. Swap bike (adjust height of Kickr)
    2. Use Wahoo Fitness app to adjust the wheel size
    3. Perform spindown

    • Karl watanabe

      You have no choice except to change the height. I do when I used my bike with the 650 wheels.

      I don’t remember using an app to change wheel size. Then again, I only ride in err mode and speed means nothing when riding by power.

      I doubt spindown is needed when switching bikes.

    • Fwiw, The Girl uses a 650 wheelset as well, though, we don’t bother changing the height. It’s a bit more tricky for her to get up onto the bike, but she manages. So in our case, no changes.

    • Carlton

      The only reason to change the trainer height is to keep the bike level. So either get a riser for the bike with 650 wheels, or leave the height 700 and have the 650 at a slightly downhill angle, or leave height at 650 and have a slightly uphill angle on the 700 bike.

      There is no reason to do a spindown when swapping bikes. It should be trainer-specific and not bike specific. You can verify by looking at the numbers.

      The only reason to change the wheel size in the Wahoo app is to get slightly more realistic speed calculated/broadcasted by the KICKR. But power is more important that estimated speed, so probably not work the effort to change that either.

    • Changren Yong

      Thank you for the responses!

  56. billy

    What kind of a cadence or speed sensor do I need with this? I would assume I need to upgrade my 15 year old cat eye which is not blue tooth, etc. The wahoo sensor gets bad reviews on Amazon. I am just looking for a sensor to use on my old road bike that will be permanently attached to the Wahoo. Not sure I have an adequate understanding of what I need to use the Wahoo ‘out of the box’ in that respect. thank you!

  57. billy

    Also, if I will have the Garmin Fenix 3 does that factor into this equation? could I put a Garmin speed sensor on the bike? I did review the RFLKT info above, but again, I have limited understanding of this stuff. Not a dinosaur yet, but trying to learn…

    • Carlton Bale

      Billy, assuming you are using Trainer Road or similar. . . your best bet is to get:
      -ANT+ Bluetooth dongle (Suunto Movestick Mini is best, Garmin USB ANT Stick for Garmin Fitness Devices is second best, search Amazon)
      -Garmin ANT+ heart rate monitor
      -Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence sensor

      This will allow speed, cadence, heart rate for both your Garmin and your computer (but not for your iPhone or other Bluetooth device.) You can still control your trainer from your phone over bluetooth, but not view/record the other sensors.

    • Mellowmiles

      another option is the footpod which gives you just cadence but easy to move between bikes and also useful for running cadence (if you’re into that). I’m not sure speed adds too much to indoor training.
      mine is the wahoo one but also have a garmin footpod and both are fine

    • Ron Gurney

      Carlton – Have to disagree. Think that the ANTUSB-M is much betterr than the Suunto. Less signal drops.

  58. I can’t understand why anyone would want to use a phone or even a tablet to ride the Kickr. If you’re on Kinomap or Zwift or Bkool you want a nice big TV screen or computer monitor to look at surely?!!! Even if you’re using Trainer Road you watch a film or tv or something and have the graphics in Horizontal mode at the bottom. So, unless for some reason you absolutely have to use bluetooth, why not stick that ANT+ stick in your computer and use ANT+ HR and Cadence equipment? Very happy to hear arguments to the contrary.

    • Simplicity – affordability – portability —

      Not to say that any one solution is better than the others, but here’s what I think our iMobileIntervals app has going for it:

      $6, no subscription cost, free website for workout content management
      Use for trainer OR outdoor activity (bike/run/row/ski…)
      RFLKT+ support to connect your ANT+ sensors through the handlebar unit
      Display on TV: There are both AppleTV and Chromecast integrations. With Chromecast, you can watch YouTube video on any TV with HDMI, with workout data and progress overlays.

      That’s just a few features that address your comment.

    • Lots of reasons. For me, I just use the table or phone to control it. It’s nearby on a stand and I don’t have to use a clunky keyboard. Plus, then I can fully dedicate the TV screen to it.

    • I see. I don’t tend to alter anything once I’ve started. I just sit in erg mode and let Trainer Road or whatever software I’m using control the Kickr. Occasionally if I’m on Zwift, I might grab the keyboard and change camera angle or freak people out by waving at them as I pass shouting, “see ya later suckers!!’ on text type….Then they catch me up.

  59. Kefalas Konstantinos

    Carlton reply 1616 finally some truth. Where is your reply on this DC rainmaker? Now i have to buy another power meter. Plus or minus 2% kickr is very acurate….

    • I’m not sure I need to reply to every comment. There was some discussion on the update months ago already, both here and on other posts around the site.

      If you’re having issues, as always if you haven’t already, I recommend you start with the company’s support.

    • Carlton Bale

      Ray, I realize that you received one of the more accurate KICKRs, so you can’t specifically identify power accuracy discrepancies. However, I think readers would find it useful to note that others have reported some noticeable mis-matches and that Wahoo is releasing functionality to address this. It’s also worth mentioning that manually changing the spindown time can also address power mis-matches.

    • Andy G

      Hey Carlton…I’ve got the new Kickr firmware which allows the unit to match a 3rd part power meter. But what’s the ‘manually changing the spindown’ solution you are referring to? I’m curious.

      Care to elaborate? I’ve got my Kickr to Vector power within 10-15 watts (usually) but I’m always interested in any possible solution that might help get my readings even more consistent.

      Thx!

    • I had planned to include a section (might be a full post) on the update once it goes out. Just didn’t exactly think it would take this long from initial beta till release.

    • Jesse

      PerfPro now has power meter control built into the software (Kickr firmware update is not necessary) for public release download and TrainerRoad also plans to build it into the software as well. If you want to include those into the post.

      I did a trial run with the PerfPro download last night and it worked well.

    • Carlton

      Andy, here’s the elaboration on my previous comment about “extending spindown” to compensate for discrepancies between the power meter and the KICKR. Let me preface this by saying this is based on my own observations, engineering background, foggy memory, and conjecture. . . not official feedback from Wahoo. . .

      The spindown test works by spinning the flywheel and letting it coast down from about 22 miles/hour to about 10 miles/per. This is done with the trainer at a light internal resistance setting. The calibration works by measuring how many seconds the electrical resistance within the KICKR takes to slow the flywheel down by absorbing the energy from the spinning flywheel. The test will give a value of something like “Time= 21.0 seconds, Offset = 810″, Temperature=68 degrees.”

      So if the spindown time were instead 25 seconds, this means that the KICKR is absorbing less power than average, and the test would compensate by increasing the offset to absorb more power. . .to get to the target power level. And if the spindown time were instead 17 seconds, this means the KIRCKR is absorbing more power than average, and the offset would decrease to absorb less power. . . to get to the target power target level.

      Unfortunately, I haven’t identified a way to manually enter Offset values, though I’m sure it’s possible. But what you can do instead, if your KICKR is showing less power than it should be, is to “influence” the spindown by gently pedaling a little bit during the test. I don’t have the exact equation, but it’s just simple line plot (y=mx+b). So for example, if a KICKR is off by 40 watts, then to target a spindown time that is 2-3 seconds longer. (That’s not the exact number, but you should be able to closer power match pretty quickly with a little trial and error.)

    • I know the KICKR can take a manual offset from their internal apps. But it’d be interesting to know if it can take it from an app using the Wahoo API’s. Some of the KICKR app developers would probably know. If so, then someone could even write a simple single app to just set the offset….

    • Andy G

      Very interesting…what you are explaining makes sense to me. My problem is that the Kickr seems to be higher than my Vectors by 15-20 watts (all the time). I’ve tried to eliminate any Vector issues by making sure they are torqued to the proper spec, calibrated, proper gap with washers, firmware updated, etc…and no matter what the Kickr wattage seems to always be higher. I’ve got a 4iiii Precision coming in the next few weeks, so it’ll be interesting to compare. Maybe I’m just being to OCD about it, but for the amount of money i spent on the Kickr, it I just want to ensure it’s accurate.

      I can see how playing around with spindown values via pedaling would change the offset, but i need to lower my Kickr values, not raise them. I’m not sure how I would shorten the spin down time to adjust things (if I follow your logic correctly).

      It sounds like an app that can adjust the manual offset would be the way to go, for sure.

      I’ve been on the phone with Wahoo support about the issue and they want me to send the unit back to them to have it checked out….so I’m thankful that they are willing to help me solve my problem. I just have to wait a few weeks to send it in, as I’m in the middle of a training block now and really need my Kickr for a few more weeks.

    • Christian

      Andy – I think you actually do want to make your spindown longer.

      Think of it this way: if the spindown is longer, the Kickr thinks there is less resistance to overcome than there really is. This means that after calibration it would report a lower power number for a given speed. It thinks you’re not pushing against as much resistance as you really are.

    • Carlton

      Andy, to shorten the spindown, press something against the flywheel during the test.

    • Andy G

      Christian/Carlton….thanks for the info. I don’t know why I didn’t think about just dragging my shoe on the flywheel during spindown, duh. I’ll give the ‘few extra pedal strokes during spindown’ a try this weekend and see how it affects my calibration.

    • Jeff

      It’s my opinion that every kickr should come with a calibration kit. My Vectors always showed lower power by 12 watts or so, until I got the calibration kit from Wahoo. They charged me $100 and refunded it upon my return to them. Now my wattage is only off by 0 – 2 watts. I don’t think these units come calibrated well from the factory.

  60. Marc steingrand

    Hello I have question
    When indonthe spinn Down it ales a long time and I have to go to the highest strongest gear and need a cadence of about 110 to go at 22 mph I don’t think this is normal any suggestion

  61. Todd

    Has anyone found a way to get KICKR customer support from Wahoo that is faster than their Zendesk web form?

    It seems to take at least a day for them to respond to each email while troubleshooting a problem that I’m guessing could take less than an hour to fix if it got their full attention.

    I’m on day three with my current problem request.

    • Andy G

      Todd,

      I have always called their support number directly. I always get someone on the phone in 5 mins or less. I’ve never tried their email support.

      Maybe give them a call and see if you get quicker resolution?

    • Todd

      What is their support phone number?

  62. Andy G

    You can find it in the upper right corner of the site. Click on the ? icon.

    877-978-1112

  63. Zac Stover

    Trying to verify that the Kickr will work with a Specialized Diverge. The Comp Carbon model I’m looking at has a thru axle system, but includes a QR adapter. Everyone I’ve spoken with at Specialized and Wahoo says they *think* it will work, but I’d really like to have confirmation before placing an order.

  64. David Ware

    Just purchased and started using the Kickr. Was riding my bike on a Computrainer. Have a Quarq on the bike. Had Quarq recalibrated with Tuneup. Changed the calibration from ~-650 to -125. Previously when I rode the CT would register about 15W less than the Quarq. Last night did the first ride with the new set up and Kickr is reading about 15W higher than the Quarq. Not sure which, if anything, is correct. Short of a new test is there any way to try to recalibrate so things match. Otherwise, all of my old data (years worth) is now useless…

    • That’s a tough one, so many variables it’d be really hard to know which is which.

      That said, the new KICKR firmware (still beta I think) would allow you to skew towards whichever number you believe is most correct.

    • GPB

      When I select a segment and push crank it – countdown supposed to start and states ” warm up …. ” . PROBLEM is no matter how long I ” warm up ” the segment never starts.

      Any tips ?

  65. Can I use it together with a Suunto Ambit 3 watch?
    If so, which would be the pro and cons of it? I’d see as pro, that I can store all my data in one platform, while as con is that I’d not be able to connect it to other devices (via BLE you can connect only device) so I’d not have the benefit of using all other apps.
    Thx
    Simone

  66. Tony Carr

    Avoid buying if in the UK as there is NO support, only from the US and a small fulfillment centre in mainland Europe.

    I purchased my KICKR end of last year and set it up as per DC Ranimaker (thank you 🙂 ) and had it running sweet, full 21″ screen connected to PC with Ant dongle and used Trainerroad and videos – winter training took on a whole new meaning.

    However, over four weeks ago my KICKR just stopped working, in that I couldn’t pick it up with my iPhone or PC.
    After emailing back and forth for over a week asking me if the sensor was connected and the light on the power brick was on they said they would need to RTB it. After further delays I’m still sat with a very expensive piece of junk on my garage bench. They’ve now stopped responding alltogether and I’m left considering legal action to get a refund.

    I believe that had I been in the states then this would have been handled a lot easier.

    UK buyers beware!!

  67. Changren Yong

    Anyone else having the need to adjust the rear derailleur each time you put the bike on the Kickr, and also after removing from the Kickr to put the wheel back on? My bike has a 11-speed Shimano Ultegra cassette and the Kickr also has the exact same cassette (the Kickr had a 10-speed cassette from factory but i removed the spacer and swapped it out for a 11-speed). I measured the distance from the end of the hub to the first sprocket on the Kickr and compared that with my Zipp 202 rear wheel. It’s about 3 mm on the Kickr but only 1 mm on the wheel. This explains why i have to adjust the RD because if i don’t do that, the chain would be quite noisy and may skip occasionally.

    • Louis

      I have a similar experience but I haven’t measured how much it is out. I’ve largely ignored it as it seems to only be a problem on the largest cog. I’m thinking of inserting a thin spacer to see if that makes a difference. There is no way I’m going to adjust my derailleur when putting it on the KICKR even though I have a DI2, which is pretty easy.

  68. John Hess

    Kickr experience: I bought mine in early April, had been using PowerTap on the trainer before that. My setup is basic, Garmin monitor, HR strap and cadence sensor, indoor workouts are mostly TrainerRoad/Sufferfest or Zwift. Like many who have commented, my Kickr power readings seemed higher than with the PowerTap, impossible to say by how much. But when I did a 20 minute FTP workout that I had created in TrainerRoad, an interesting thing happened. I modeled it on Sufferfest Rubberglove but increased the power target every 5 minutes instead of keeping it flat the way it is in TrainerRoad. At the start of the 20 minute interval, Kickr switched to standard mode from erg; this was my first time riding standard. My power target was 235 and it seemed harder than 235 in erg. At 5 minutes the kickr switched on its own to erg, target 245 which was clearly easier than 235 in standard. I switched it back to standard myself for the last 10 minutes. It seemed that not only was there a disparity between Kickr and PowerTap wattage but between erg and standard in Kickr.
    I wrote Kickr about this and it very quickly gave me a link to a beta firmware upgrade that has eliminated the disparity between erg and standard and, I think, has made Kickr wattage readings similar to PowerTap. I still use the PowerTap outdoors so of course there’s no direct comparison but 250 watts, for example, seems to feel the same on both.
    Love the Kickr and my mileage totals look great riding in erg and the 11 cog at 95 rpm! Wahoo service has been outstanding.

  69. Stephen Lanigan

    Hi Guys, you are probably all over this, but just found out that Wahoo Utility and Wahoo Fitiness apps are now available for Android.

  70. Nick D

    Thanks for the great Reviews – I don’t know how you do it – with work and home life!.

    My question was, is the KICKR still the best value Trainer to get ? I figure your Review was 2 years ago now. Any update or anything better on the market ?

    Thanks again
    Nick (in Paris too)

  71. Brent

    Have you installed the new firmware with the power algorithm update? If so, have you noticed a change in the perceived exertion to power reading? Tested it against your Quarq or Stages post firmware update?

    Thanks,
    Brent

    • Not yet, mostly because I just haven’t spent enough time at home…and indoors…lately to do so.

      However, been watching the Slowtwitch thread on it, and things seem to be positive.

  72. Michael Skjoldborg

    After the update there’s a difference of just 2 watt between the kickr and the power2max. Before it was between 20-25 watt.

    Kind regards, Michael

  73. Charls

    Wow, what an informative journey reading through all of the posts, beginning to end! I had owned a Kickr years ago, sold it off after being underwhelmed, but truly, I think it was more User Error and unwillingness to tweak and fiddle to get my setup to work. Anyway, I just bought a new Kickr, and I’m looking to get the most out of it this time.

    Despite all the information above, and reading Ray’s legacy and newer Posts around both the Kickr, recommended Trainers and Trainer Apps, I still find myself a little foggy on what I need at this point. Hopefully I can get some direction from the group?

    I currently have the Kickr, a Garmin Fenix3 with HRM heart rate chest strap, 2004 Specialized Robaix Pro on the Kickr, Stages Power Meter. Planning to use TrainerRoad or something similar, as well as latest iPad Air. Lastly, Big screenTV with AppleTV. BTW, none of this is set up yet do to work travel; looking to do it this weekend.

    My confusion is when I read about dongles, separate cadence devices such as the Garmin or Wahoo devices, etc. I’d assuming I don’t need anything else if I have the Stages PM provide cadence (and “aligned” wattage info, based on the recent posts about 3rd party alignment for Kickr being possible) to the Kickr. Is that the case? Also, I assume that the Kickr will get HR from my Garmin HR monitor. Also assuming that I can AirPlay TrainerRoad from the iPad to the big screen?

    Almost think I’m overthinking this, but any feedback would be helpful as I go deal with setup this weekend. Thanks in advance!

    • Andy G

      You’ve got a ton of options since you have all that gear =)

      The really big decision on how you set things up will probably be based on if you want to use ANT+ or Bluetooth for everything. The Kickr will do both…but if you have an ANT+ HR strap, and want to use your iPad with the Wahoo App or TrainerRoad(for example), that will be a problem…since the iPad can only do Bluetooth. Unless you have a dongle.

      Here’s how I have my equipment setup and maybe this will help you decide how to do yours:

      Road bike attached to the Kickr. (note, I have Vectors on my bike, but for simplicity sake it doesn’t matter. you can incorporate your own bikes PM later)
      Laptop with TrainerRoad running nearby.
      Road bike has a Garmin cadence sensor (yes, my Vectors also report cadence).
      Laptop is connected to the TV via HDMI.
      Laptop has a USB ANT+ stick, so that TrainerRoad can detect my Kickr, My HR Monitor, cadence sensor,etc. All using ANT+

      Once you setup TrainerRoad to see all your devices, then you just fire up a workout and do your thing. TR controls the Kickr in ERG mode and you’re good to go. TR will display your HR, you cadence and power all on the screen. You don’t even need to use your Fenix3 or any other device if you don’t want to. TR will record it all. Then if you want, you can always export the TrainerRoad file and import it into GarminConnect, TrainingPeaks, etc.

      If you want to use your Fenix3 and TrainerRoad (I assume it can see a power meter…I’ve never used one. I have a 510), you can just turn it on and pair it with your Kickr as a power source. At that point your TrainerRoad display should match your Fenix3. They are both showing the same power, HR, cadence, etc.

      At this point, if you want to add your own power meter into the mix, you have some options. You can leave TrainerRoad paired with your Kickr…and you can pair your Fenix3 with your Stages PM. As you work out, you’ll get a good comparison of the Kickr power vs the Stages power. They should be close, but sometimes they are off. This is a pretty hot topic and lots has already been written about it =)

      If your Kickr power and Stages power are off considerably, the latest Wahoo IOS app and Kickr firmware allows you to pair the Kickr to your Stages PM. Then the Kickr will basically adjust it’s resistance based off of what your Stages is reading.

      So, given all that info….hopefully it gets you started =) If you wanted to replace my laptop scenario with your iPad, you would just want to make sure you connect everything via Bluetooth instead of ANT+, then just fire up TrainerRoad on the iPad and start your workout. I’m guessing you could AirPlay it up to your TV at this point, also.

      I would just start out simple…maybe get the Kickr working with the Wahoo app first. Then maybe add in TrainerRoad second, etc. That way you aren’t dealing with too many options to start…plus it makes troubleshooting difficult. Keep it simple, then add stuff as you get things working.

      Good luck!

  74. Charles W.

    Andy G., thank you SO MUCH! Love this community. As I read your post, I think the thing that comes across is that there truly are so many viable options to make this work. A good thing for sure, but can be a head scratcher at points, at least when getting started.

    If I’m reading things right, it seems like I’m good with not needing any additional equipment, unless I do decide to go with a laptop setup for TrainerRoad (then needing the USB Ant+ stick); otherwise the iPad is fine. Also good to know that the Fenix 3 isn’t necessary for anything. I do indeed use GC mainly as a data dump, with Strava & TrainingPeaks as the true data analysis systems, so being able to get things there without the Fenix 3 in the mix is good to know. Reading through the “hot topic” of being able to sync my Stages with the Kickr is good; I think I’ll end up there, but it’s valuable to read your thoughts that it may not be necessary. Maybe I got a “good” unit that is closely aligned? Nice to have the options to review, so thanks for the clear direction on that.

    I will follow your advice and start simple, and “embrace the beauty” of being able to tinker, rather being intimidated by it, which was the case the last time I owned a Kickr. Thanks again!

    • Andy G

      Charles,

      You’re welcome.I figured I should pass along all the stuff that I’ve learned so far. Once you start setting things up, i’m sure you’ll get up to speed pretty quickly.

      Once you have your Kickr displaying its power on either it Wahoo App or TrainerRoad….and your Fenix showing your Stages power, you’ll know pretty quick if you have some sort of offset. For example, if I put my road bike (with Vectors) on my Kickr and compare data, the Vectors are pretty much spot on. They are within 5 watts or so usually of the Kickr power.

      However, if I put my mountain bike in the Kickr (which has a Stages PM), the Stages PM reports about 20 watts lower than what the Kickr says most of the time. I’m not sure why…and I’m trying to figure it out. Maybe it’s has to do with on the bike position? The fact that it’s a full suspension which I can lock out? Or maybe it’s just because the Vectors and the Stages report power at different points. Who knows….its sort of annoying knowing that one PM reads less than the other. If I want TR and my Stages to match, I can use the pairing feature to make my Kickr follow the power output from my Stages. It’s almost like I have to maintain two separate FTP values….one for my MTB and one for my road bike.

      I’d be interested to hear how your Stages PM matches up with the Kickr power once you get things all setup. Hopefully they are close and you don’t have my problem =)

  75. Matt

    I’m new to the Wahoo Kickr and may have missed a related comment in the ginormous thread above, but I’m wondering how easy it is to setup multiple Kickrs (several riders) onto a single map/route? Basically I want the ability to do a virtual ride with my friends. How would I go about doing this? It this inherent and straight forward? Is there a particular app that would be better for this? Thanks.

    • mika

      hi Matt,

      try kinomapTrainer app for this. you can even use your own ride. Go to KINOMAP.COM for further information

      sport regards

      Mika

    • NoLegs

      You can do this in Bkool with no limit to how far, how high or how long you want. You can create your very own knee busting death ride. >:)

  76. It is automatic in our application. All riders that are on the same route are able to see each other. We use very high quality real life videos to represent the routes. Alternatively you can go with Zwift, BKool, TourDeGiro etc

  77. Edoardo Luppi

    Hi!
    I just received my new Kickr. I changed the cassette to 11 speed, but I think I did not lock it up very good.
    The wheel spin when tightening it, so it’s not easy. How did you guys manage to do it properly at 40nm?

    Also, for you DC, I feel vibrations when pushing on the pedals or at low wattage (100-150w). Do you think it’s normal?

    • No, I don’t have anything at those lower wattages (which I often use in between intervals).

    • Edoardo Luppi

      I’ll keep you updated. I mean vibrations at the crank.

    • Mihai Tintea

      I also sense vibrations (at the pedals because that is the relevant point of contact between my body and the Kickr; I do not sense anything at the saddle or handlebar) when I am on small chainring/large cog. It feels like I would have some problems with the hub — kinda like ball bearing issues — but I don’t know anything about how the Kickr is internally built (does it have a Shimano-like ball bearing hub ? Does it have builtin, non-serviceable bearings hub ?) so I think somebody from Wahoo Fitness Support may have a suggestion for us.

      Regards
      Mihai

    • Edoardo Luppi

      Mihai, you described exaclty what I feel.
      It seems like the bike bb is ruined, but it is not!
      Can we get in tuch in some way, so we see if we can solve the problem?

      Better would be that someone from Wahoo could reply here!

    • Hi Edoardo-

      While Wahoo does occasionally come on and answer questions, it’s really best (and easiest) to open a support ticket with them. That’ll ensure you get resolution.

      Cheers.

    • Edoardo Luppi

      Already opened since 4 days. No real resolution… “If you feel something unusual contact the store and change it”. Yes, ok, but so I need to wait other 3 – 4 weeks.

    • Gotchya.

      Is it on all gearings? i.e. perhaps cross-chain?

    • Mihai Tintea

      I opened myself a new ticket, I’ll post here the relevant updates.

    • KICKR connects directly to the bike’s frame. It is a very stiff and resonating system and you do not have cushioning/dampening of various little drivetrain vibrations by bike’s tire. So any little rattling (during cross chain for example) might get amplified comparatively to when riding on tire. Being inside with less ambient noise/distration I think does not help either.

      When testing KICKR I for example have something that fills like small vibration when riding under load on smallest 11T cog. I just ignore it.

      Of course you might have genuine problem but then as DC said you’d be better off talking directly to Wahoo.

    • Edoardo Luppi

      On every gear. But the fastest the flywheel spin the smallest is the amount. (or at least they are covered by other vibrations)
      I use ERG mode so never have cross chain.

    • Edoardo Luppi

      Mihai, did you check if your skewer is bent?

    • Edoardo Luppi

      But do you feel anything on the other cogs (17-18t ecc..) under load?

    • Mihai

      Starting from your observation about the skewer, I opened and re-closed it but this time with less strength (initially I followed the recommendation that the skewer’s lever should leave an imprint in the palm of my hand when tightening so I guess I might over-tightened it)

      I’ll try do draw here, please do not laugh (too hard)

      Initially:

      skewer handle (start tightening when opened at 70 degrees)
      +——————+——

      skewer handle (closed)
      +——————+
      |

      Now:

      skewer handle (start tightening when opened at 45 degrees)
      +——————+
      \

      skewer handle (closed, as before)
      +——————+
      |

      Now, when the tightening starts at 45 degrees, the bearings don’t seem to make noise any more when pedaling under load, so maybe I might not have an issue at all. I’ll tell this also to the Wahoo support person, see what he thinks.

      About the cogs when the noise was heard and “bumps” were felt while pedaling: I only felt the problem when pedaling on large cogs and medium-high resistance (simulation of climbs). I did not feel anything on smaller cogs and large chainring.
      I am always using erg mode.

      Regards
      Mihai

    • Edoardo Luppi

      Mihai do not worry, you’re doing the best you can.
      But I have to say it’s difficult to understand!

  78. Mihai

    I tried to show that in the past I was tightening the skewer when the lever was 20 degrees below horizontal (hard tightening force needed) but now I am tightening when the lever is 45 degrees below horizontal (less tightening force needed)
    WHen tightening less, the “bumps” don’t feel any more when pedaling.

    I am not afraid to tighten less the skewer because I never stand out of saddle anyway when using the KIckr, as I fear damaging the bike frame. So, tightening less seems to help me bury my head in the sand for the moment, as I am not keen at all for shipping this 20+ Kg iron monser back to Wahoo Fitness (or to the Internet retailer from where I purchased it, whatever the warranty procedure may be). If I’ll get unlucky to actually have a problem with the Kickr’s bearings and get the Kickr unridable at some moment, then I’ll ship it, but until then, I try do get the most out of it.

    I also noticed that I cannot use the largest cog of the casette while on Kickr because the rear deraillerur’s cage touches the Kickr’s plastic case and the whole thing vibrates louder than a tractor. I don’t want to touch the rear derailleur’s limit screw, so I prefer not to use the largest cog at all.

    Regards
    Mihai

    • Edoardo Luppi

      I’ll try that, thank you! I bought it from Wiggle.
      In any case, if there will be news, I’ll keep you updated.

    • Speedy

      Same here on the 1st cog being out of use due to rear der cage pressing against the KICKR. Starts to do it on the 2nd cog but for sure no 1st cog can be use.

  79. Miro Lehky

    So i just got a set of Vector 2’s and like many other posts here found that my Kickr reads about ~25-30 watts higher then the Vectors. I certainly understand that this is no big deal if my FTP was tested on the Kickr and then i train against that number on the Kickr.

    What I am curious is how folks are then comparing outdoor rides to the Kickr numbers. The only thing I can think it to do a seperate FTP testing using the Vectors.

    Has anyone recieved any outlook from Wahoo on addressing this issues (and yes I have calibrated at temperature and use the Wahoo calibration kit).

    Regards

    • Karl watanabe

      I’m one of the lucky ones and my Kickr is just 5 to 10 watts lower than my Vectors. I only ride in ERG mode and my workouts are based on my perceived effort on the Kickr so I don’t care that the PM’s don’t match. However, I did discover I can get a much closer match if I ride in the lowest gear possible (small chainring, big rear gear) as then the Kickr is rotating at it’s lowest rate and must not generate as much heat.

      I discovered this while doing different cadence drills and the power was almost an exact match when I rode at 80 rpm and lower at 100 rpm. Also there was less power drift at the lower RPM so I figured the Kickr wasn’t heating up as much. So then I changed gears and now I get nearly an exact power match.

      I never ride in any mode other than ERG mode so you might want to give that a try.

    • Miro Lehky

      “I’m one of the lucky ones and my Kickr is just 5 to 10 watts lower than my Vectors.”

      In my case the Kickr is reading ~25-30 watts higher then the Vectors.

    • You can use Wahoo’s new firmware update to basically sync the trainer to your power meter, thus minimizing differences.

    • Karl watanabe

      I don’t like the new FW as it has some strange variations +/- 20 watts that make it difficult. I went back to the old FW and typical +/- 5 watts with a few spikes +/- 10 watts that I can live with. Besides, I don’t always ride my bike with the Vector. My typical trainer bike doesn’t have a PM.

    • Miro Lehky

      Can you elaborate on that? I have firmware 1.3.26 along with the latest versions of the Wahoo App and Trainerroad. I cannot find this feature anywhere.

      Thanks

  80. Christian

    One thing I’m surprised I haven’t seen mentioned is the issue of the flywheel momentum.

    It seems like the KICKR calculates power with a simple speed x resistance formula, ignoring acceleration or deceleration. This means that under conditions of changing “wheel” speed the power can be off by significant amounts (> 100 watts). This is particularly obvious in simulation software such as Zwift. When hitting increased resistance at the bottom of the hill, you get a huge boost as the flywheel provides extra power. Conversely you have to put in extra power over the crest of the hill as you accelerate. I’ve verified this against a Quarq power meter that I borrowed.

    It seems to me that the firmware should be able to compensate for this by just calculating the difference in flywheel energy from one sample to the next (e.g., by looking it up against wheel speed in a table) and then adding or subtracting to the reported power as necessary.

    I’ve reported this to Wahoo, but they don’t seem to be taking it very seriously, which I find a shame. Given the number of posts I’ve seen of people buying a KICKR specifically for Zwift, I would have thought they would want to support this user base more completely.

    I still like my KICKR a lot, but it could be close to perfect if this issue were fixed. I too have a KICKR that seems to be relatively accurate relative to a crank-based power meter, so I don’t have the over-reporting issue others have.

  81. CDB

    The answer is likely in this post somewhere (call me lazy!) but will the Kickr enable me to ride full courses? I know of the ability to ride segments but if I wanted to ride a course (e.g. IM course) or a training ride from my coach based in a different location can I do that?

    Thanks for the help

  82. Jeff McDonald

    First- dcrainmaker is a Review-God. I don’t spontaneously gush forth, but these reviews are incredibly detailed and helpful.

    Second- I have decided on the Wahoo KickR. I was thinking about the Computrainer, but the more I looked into it, the more the Computrainer seems like the guy who was cool in high school, but now is fat, single, and hasn’t cut his mullet. I tried to find the real skinny on Computrainer, and its hard- the hyper guy with lots of hair gel who shills the Computrainer just dismisses the “We-Who” with zero comment. Theres the long list of champions, like Andy Potts etc, but that may not be applicable to an old, slow dude like me.

    The above thread is such a behemoth, these questions have probably been answered, so I apologize.

    1- Now that the apps have matured a bit, which ones offer the best video rides? Which is best for creating my own simulation of a race.

    2- does anyone know if one of the app makers has the New Zealand IM video or sim?

    3- If I have a 11 gear cassette on my TT bike, but want to but a lot of trainer miles on a used bike that has a 10 gear cassette, do I just suck it up and get both? (I assume the answer is yes)

    4- I have Garmin cadence and HRM sensors Is there any feature on the Wahoo products that make them superior and worth using instead of the things I already have.

    5- any other ‘gotta haves” that have arrived.

    Thanks

    • Marc

      Hello
      I do have the kickr as well and had the computertrainer before

      1. I use trainerroad no video but excellent training apap, the other I use is Kinomap which has God video
      Actually i have not found any app to have a full I’m as you had on computertrainer even the videos I had on CT doesn’t work
      DC do you have any suggestion ?
      2. No idea
      3 . I use two different cassets as inhale two bikes but I but less expensive ones for the kickr
      4 I changed my sensors to the wahoo sensors which have BT and ANT+ but if you have a dongle for ant+ in you of the Garmin sensor works great.
      4 I heard about a program named Zwift looks great but does not work on my laptop 🙁

  83. Annette Watkinson

    Could anyone please tell me if the Wahoo Kickr is comparable with a road bike with disc brakes, as i understand the forks at the back are wider than on a rim braked road bike

    • Changren Yong

      If you have a quick-release skewer for the rear wheel, it should work. For some thru-axle bikes, Wahoo sells an adapter.

  84. Dan

    Ray, any initial thoughts on the Tacx NEO Smart trainer? Looking forward to a review. I had a kickr briefly but couldn’t get over the 40+watt difference to my powermeter that fluctuated wildly during a 90 minute ride.

    • No thoughts yet. Mostly because I was under the understanding the release/announcement date was Eurobike…not sure what went wrong there with only one outlet announcing and nothing on Tacx site.

  85. Andrew (UK)

    So I read all the review (thanks DC!) and most of the comments. Spent time working out whether this would work with my 11-speed Di2. Got excited about hooking such a trainer up to various systems to help train with.

    Then discovered that it’s not compatible with 10mm Thru Bolts that are used to fix my rear wheel. 🙁

    I assume that this is something that will have to be fixed in the future, perhaps with a different design of the trainer because all Road bikes are moving this way and most MTB’s have already gone. For now though it looks like the KICKR and my bike are never going to be friends and my dreams of riding around Zwift island are on hold.

  86. Niklas

    Hi,
    I am thinking about buying a kickr soon. Is it possible to use the 10speed version kickr even if I normally have a 11 ring version on my bike? I have a di2 so would it be possible to just adjust the di2 settings?

    Thanks
    Niklas

    • Robin

      You can easily switch the cassette on the Kickr out with an 11-speed cassette (cassette+chain whip+locking tool and you’re good to go), or buy the 11-speed version to begin with.

      As Ray has stated repeatedly of late, though, don’t buy a trainer until Interbike and Eurobike in September! I’m holding out until mid-Sept in the hope that Wahoo or Tacx release something shiny.

  87. David

    I switched out the cassette for an 11 speed one and have averages 3-5 days per week for the last two years. Kickr has worked amazingly well. Not quite sure how wahoo could improve on the current model as I can’t think of any missing features. Software options are great.

  88. Ayn Bayani

    Wahoo needs to create a page with: a.) Large ERG Box on top, where the user can adjust watts (up/down) and b:) Series of displays below showing HR, Cadence, Speed, Time. This simple change will make tremendous improvement in the wahoo app. I hope they can make this happen ASAP!!!!

  89. Annette

    Does anyone know if the power supply adapter is 12V on the Kickr?
    I received my new kickr today, to find they had helpfully put in 2 IEC connectors instead of the power supply adapter so currently it’s unusable.

    • Timiji

      Hi Annette,

      I had a long email exchange with Wahoo support about this just a few weeks ago. Indeed, 12V DC, 5A will do. If you have the tip/cable to plug into the Kickr, you’re good to go. Otherwise, it’s a traditional IBM tip – 2.5 x 5.5 mm.

      They even sent me this link:
      link to amazon.com

    • Annette

      Thanks I managed to contact the customer services and they are sending me a power cable. I was a little concerned about using a generic one as I’m in the UK and I’m no electrician, plus most of the tips here are 2.1mm

  90. Allan

    I bought one in July and it quit in August. It seems to be the power supply. They are supposed to have sent me a new one, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

    • Allan

      Update: It arrived, and was FedExed to me. I was off the trainer for 5 days (including a weekend), but I really can’t fault Wahoo’s customer service.

  91. Tom

    kickr firmware 1.3.32

    today when opening wahoo utility (first time since several months) it asked me to update kickr firmware from 1.2.2 to 1.3.32 – i did it. but now i searched this site and via google and didn’t find much about this release.

    was it a mistake from me to upgrade? is the new firmware better? should i go back to the old one?

    regards
    tom

  92. Brent lacy

    Hey guys …reach me personally via 5702908280 if you need any such hack solutions…serious inquires only please !

  93. Serge

    Hey Ray,

    I am kind of on the edge of buying the trainer, but given that it comes to around 1900 CAD (including shipping to Canada, taxes and the mat) I have to ask: Is it really worth it over the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine if I am primarily going to use it with TrainerRoad?

    I LOVE the idea that TrainerRoad will set the power and all I have to worry about is to keep spinning instead of staring at the green bar trying to match the power, but is this the only benefit?

  94. Cameron

    To all Kickr Users – what has the response time been for changes during short, sharp HIIT Interval sessions?

    Is this response time acceptable to you?

    How well does the Wahoo supplied calibration hardware/tool perform?

    Cameron

  95. Drew W

    As we head into the holiday season, I’m seriously looking at a KICKR, but with it not being sold on Clever Training, Amazon, or at REI, trying to bargain shop is near impossible. I’m not trying to be a cheapskate, but if I can save a buck on a $1200 trainer, it would be nice.

    Any advice on who carries them other than Wahoo and my LBS?

    • Andy S

      As long as it remains in high demand, discounts are tough. I lucked out two years ago next month when Wahoo had its annual sale (can’t remember the discount…maybe 15%?) which it extended to all of its dealers, which included performancebike.com. By coincidence, PB.com was offering an additional discount (again, can’t remember, but it was a certain % off any one item that was supposed to exclude premium items like Zipp and Kickr but it went through for me). Plus at checkout I bought one of PB’s premium memberships, which paid for itself and my HR strap and cadence sensor. I remember the final price at checkout was approx $700. I passed this info to a friend last winter and he snagged a decent discount as well, although I didn’t ask him the $. Anyway, a long story leading to my suggestion that you keep an eye on both Wahoo and PB.com over the next couple of months to see what shakes out during the end-of-season/early winter sales.

    • Frank Martinez

      I just picked up the Wahoo Kickr 11-speed @ link to eriksbikeshop.com with an (unheard of) 5% discount, free shipping and no sales taxes.

  96. Joe

    Very close to ordering a KICKR but can’t quite pull the trigger until I know that it will definitely be compatible with ANT+ FE-C, as I’m keen to be able to control the resistance with my edge 520.

    Does anyone have any news as to if and when this is being released?

    Thanks!

  97. Nicholas Eckermann

    Ray,

    I am having trouble finding info about using the Wahoo Kickr in the cold? I am in the midwest and would like to use it in my garage this winter. It is not heated and it will start out very cold. Is this going to cause premature failure of the kickr? I know I will have to warm it up and do a spin down to get accurate power.

    I was just wondering if there is an recommend temp range it can be started at?

    Thanks

    • No issues at all per se, but I’d recommend doing the calibration about 10-15 mins in. I’ve used mine in some non-heated spaces without issues – and I know they’re also used by the Tour teams outside, which in the spring months can be quite cold.

    • Liam Woods

      Slightly different to your situation where I presume you are riding in the garage with no heat too. I live in upstate New York and like you have a garage that goes un-heated most of the time, with the exception that I turn on an electric heater to bring the temp up to around 45F before riding (it gets to about 20F inside the garage on the coldest winter days). I contacted Wahoo directly and they informed me that leaving the Kickr in the cold garage and then warming up the garage will have the potential to cause condensate to form and possibly damage the internal electronics. The solution of course, is to have the Kickr in the house and only take it into the garage when it has reached training temp in there. Kind of defeats the object of having the bike permanently set up and ready to go, but is preferable to a ruined unit until I can get permanent heating to the garage through the day. I’m not fond of riding at 20F in the garage!

  98. JC

    I’m really in two minds on what to do. Have a Tacx Fortius which I bought in 2009 and had less amounts of issues with software which cost me much training time. Thankfully, it’s been performing solidly the last 18 months. I use my power2max power meter for power and cadence data via ANT+ to Trainer Road or Zwift, but I’ve reached the point where I want ergomode. And I like the idea of a direct drive trainer, so will decide to purchase in the next few days either a Tacx Neo or a Wahoo Kickr (not finding that in stock in many places though).

    Based in Dublin, Ireland and so will order internationally. I’m tempted to opt for the Neo as I like the idea of being able to use it unplugged before races/time-trials, and the lower noise level. And while I know the errors reported here may give a disproportionately high impression of the real issue rate, it is naturally a concern to see these issues. Delivery and return costs would be significant for me sending it back for repair from Ireland – if I had assurance from Tacx I would not be left out of pocket if I had to send it back, I would probably opt for the Neo, but not sure if that assurance will be possible to obtain.

    Last concern would be ergo mode with Trainer Road – I plan to use it for several short duration high intensity intervals on Trainer Road, and if there’s a lag issue which won’t be solved within a matter of weeks, that would swing it towards a Kickr for me….looks like German etailers would be the option in that case at this point in time.

    • Mihai Tintea

      JC, I overall advice for the Kickr. The Kickr manufacturing errors have been ironed out for a while now, while the Neo is still young in the market. If you can wait one year or more then go for the Neo (I believe that for any product which has good potential it takes at least one year for the errors to be solved – e.g., smartpones, operating systems, smart trainers etc). Otherwise go for the Kickr, as you can ride it right now with a very low risk of having an issue.

      Before buying anything important for me, I always spend a little while searching online for forums/support websites/etc to see as many points of view as possible from as many customers as possible, and also to see what is the general behaviour of the product support team. The newer in the market the product is, the more important this search is.

  99. Sebo

    JC there is no isues with Wahoo and lag, I have 2 Kickrs one for me and one for my daughter, they have no lag. Wahoo will always be better because it is open system, where TACX is trying to produce both software and hardware…

  100. Graham Berks

    Is there a better time to perform a spin down ?

    i.e. before a session, the end or after 5 mins etc ?

    Does it make any difference ?

    Thanks

  101. JC

    Thanks for the advice. Much as I like the idea of being able to use the Neo with no plug at races and the quietness, I’d have the niggling doubt about problems in my mind. And by all accounts, the Kickr does a great job and does it consistently and without issue. So I’ve ordered one and am looking forward to its arrival.

    Just so I don’t lose any time when it arrives, in terms of setup, it comes with an 11-speed cassette so I just leave that or swap it for a 10-speed with a spacer added (Shimano-type lockring tool)? Anything else other than that – should I expect to have to reindex the rear derailleur?

    Can you use an adaptor plugged into a cigarette socket on a car to power the Kickr at races? Will probably just bring my rollers instead, but good to know.

    • Mihai Tintea

      Mine came with a 10-spd Tiagra casette and a spacer ring. You can of course use the Shimano tool to swap your preferred casette. Also minor reindexing of the rear deraillerur can be expected but I actually appreciate I have to do that because I like to keep a very close eye on my deraillerur adjustments.

      As for powering the trainer with the car’s battery, I haven’t seen yet a cigarette socket direct adapter that provide the same characteristics as the adapter shipped with the trainer, but of course you may always use a wall socket adaper for the cigarette socket. Just make sure you match correctly the electrical characteristics of the socket adapter to the trainer’s adapter.

      Also I remember that the support team at the manufacturer’s website was especially careful to provide prompt and useful answers any time I registered support tickets (and all my tickets were how-to questions, not trouble tickets, as I didn’t — and still don’t — have any issue with the trainer)

  102. Darren

    2 questions if anyone could help me out

    1) Does the trainer give you meters ascent when you finish the ride , im interested in the trainer as i live somewhere flat and want to do the raid pyrnees next year (11,000m) so would like to gauge my weekly ascent

    2) I read somewhere yesterday that you dont need a front wheel block , is that true ?

    • Mihai Tintea

      Hi

      1) The ascent is dependent on the app you use. The trainer does not provide that info.

      2) Please share some details about where you’ve read.

    • Darren

      I cant find the site I was on , but in the demo video here they dont have front wheel stands

      link to sigmasport.co.uk

      Can you suggest an app that measures ascent ? Would be interesting to tie it into the climbing sufferfests like ISLAGIATT

    • Mihai Tintea

      You can do workouts without a front wheel stand but you can rise the front wheel with any house object at hand if you want to imitate the position that you would have in a real hill climb.

      About ascent measurement: the Kickr trainer can be dynamically “told” to simulate variable X% ascents. Based on this principle, there are apps which can simulate climbs from real life. E.g., Wahoo Strava Segments, Kinomap, Cycleops Virtual Training, to name just I few I’ve played with. The climbs from real life can be ridden in these apps by importing them as gpx files in the app or by referencing them by their ID in the respective website (e.g., segment ID in Strava). If you ride indoors that virtual climb then you can say you climbed those XYZ meters.

  103. Cam

    Hi! The coupon is no working, it says: “15FALLMEM: Your cart doesn’t contain at least 1 qualifying coupon item.”
    Are you sure, the KICKR is included in the Sale?

  104. Zaki

    Call them, I trust you will get it done. It is a really good site. I bought mine from them before.

  105. Dec Rafferty

    Any known problems with the Kickr using ERG mode via TrainerRoad?

    When running though the Workouts, its not controlling the resistance accordingly (I was spinning a 132 cadence at 170W this morning!) . Was in 50/15 gearing and chain was as straight as I can get it.

    Calibration/Spindown test looks fine. Only potential issue I notice after spindown is there is a value of 117w (see attached .jpg) This has been as low as 60w and usually comes back at 80w

    Connecting via Ant+ and getting the same problem on Windows 10 and iPad.

    When adjusting the W’s in the Wahoo App running Erg mode, the Kickr reacts fine.

  106. David Olson

    Just for the REI shoppers. Indeed saved $240 on the Kickr with the member’s discount (could probably join now and get it), but there is tax in all states where there is a physical store, which is about 40 of the 50 states. They say $35 shipping fee is waived if you do store pick up but then you can’t select that option at check out. Called and was again told no (bizarre explanation about warehouse-to-store vs store-to-store possibility without knowing which store I intended to use), but after asking a technical question, she came back on and send she could order for me and ship to my store.
    So total cost $1045 (but not including parking and Battery Tunnel toll!). Wanted to like and buy the Neo, but at $600+ difference (plus any shipping and tax), it was hard to not go with the Kickr.

    Thanks Ray and everyone on these comments sections for guiding the way!

  107. tfann27

    I went through your link and ordered from REI the KICKR and have a Garmin 920XT and Android phone. I do not own a cadence device and was wondering from your opinion should I buy to get cadence on the KICKR? Great advice.

  108. Tom Lokar

    the KICKR obviously comes w/ Power built in, however i have two bikes one w/ SRM Campy Super Record cranks and one w/o. How does an SRM Powe rmeter work w/ the KICKR (note: i use a Garmin 510 or 910XT)? If you have described above pls direct me to that section. Thx, T

  109. Jeremy Martin

    hi. 2 things
    can I use the cassette it comes with if all my bikes have campag 11 speed?
    am I being a bit dim(highly likely) or do you have to have an apple product as a control unit??!
    great reviews
    Cheers

    • If your bike is an 11 speed, don’t put it on the 10 speed cassette that came with your Kickr. Unless of course you ordered the Kickr 11 speed cassette option…..which I’m guessing you didn’t. No need for an Apple product to control the Kickr. You’ll be best off with an ANT+ stick to pair it using your laptop with something like Zwift, Kinomap, Bkool, Trainer Road or similar. Zwift is the current blue-eyed boy of the indoor trainer world.

    • Jeremy Martin

      havent ordered it yet.was just interested if i could use the 11 speed cassette it comes with for campag equiped bike ?? or would i have to buy the campag freewheel ?

  110. Pascal Kolkman

    As you can see in the picture attached. According to link eu.wahoofitness.com
    the maximum wattage capability for kickr is not 2000 watt but 1550 Watts / 15″ .
    And for the kickr snap even less : 1100 watt / 10,3″ % @ 20 mph.
    Maybe the difference in mentioned maximum wattage varying from 2000watt earlier to 1550watt now can be explained by parameter actual speed measured during the maximum resistance. Or by differences in peak power and continious nominal maximal power. We shall see
    DC Rainmaker already reacted to my post about this in his other kick snap review: an confirmed to have asked for an explanation about this kickr specification at wahoo ?

    • Here you go. I got clarification from Wahoo on max power numbers for both KICKR and KICKR SNAP. These were both based on test results done this week with their testing rig:

      KICKR:
      325W @5mph
      1000W @10mph
      1600W @20mph
      2000W @25mph
      2500W @30mph

      Snap:
      250W @5mph
      700W @10mph
      1500W @20mph
      1800W @25mph
      2200W @30mph

      My understanding is they’re updating their site (if not already) with these numbers.

  111. Dan

    Hi All,

    just wondering if anyone have any news about the FE-C support for Kickr (Announced for November 2015). Maybe Wahoo releasing their ELEMNT Bike computer is now less willing to give the same features to the competition implementing FE-C which allow Garmin 520 to control the Kickr?

    Thanks for any update.

    • Changren Yong

      The beta firmware with support for FE-C has been released for over a month.

    • Dan

      Thanks Changren, any idea on where to download it or on when it will be promoted to Official release? 🙂

    • Changren Yong

      No clue when it will be officially released. Use the instructions described in this thread to install the beta firmware. On the iOS platform, you will need the Wahoo Utility app.

      link to forums.garmin.com

    • Jerry

      To get FE-C beta for Kickr

      1. Open the Wahoo Fitness app.
      2. Click the sensors icon on the bottom left side of the app.
      3. Click On the device if it is saved, find a new sensor if it is not saved.
      4. Click on the Wahoo device when it appears and wait for it to connect.
      5. Click the grey device icon with the Bluetooth emblem in it 5 times to bring you to the firmware update screen.
      6. Click on the firmware 1.4.39 and enter the password “internalbeta”.
      7. Once complete, go back to the sensors page,save sensor to the proper profiles.

      That’s going to get you FE-C on the KICKR

  112. Kevin Craig

    I keep having problems with the brake locking up. First time, it was the optical speed sensor after about 3.5 months. Replaced but it appears to have failed again after another 10 months. I keep getting an offset value of 0 after a spindown (was getting 1500ish before). Hoping their customer service has gotten better as it took me many days to reach someone back in Feb. The kicker (pun intended) is that my wife’s is now having the same problem (locking up that is; spindown “works” on hers although it yields a value over 4100 and the mag brake locks up 30-90 seconds into a workout). It’s great when it works, but seems to have a weekend/holiday detector for breakdowns.

    • Kevin Craig

      An Update: Wahoo was very responsive and replaced both Kickr’s even though mine was a few months out of warranty. Both arrived in a timely fashion have been working great.

      As an aside reading the issues with power readings, in my case, it feels like 300 watts on the Kickr is harder than 300 watts outside with a Stages PM. My trainer bike doesn’t have a PM and I haven’t taken the time/trouble to mount my outside bike on the Kickr so haven’t done a direct comparison. If there’s a difference though, I don’t think it’s much in my case. Has the “beta” firmware now become the “real” firmware, and if so, where in the software can I “calibrate” my Kickr to my Stages?

  113. Hristofor

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know whether wahoo are working on some improvement on the kickr in order to be as silent as the Neo?

    Thanks.

    • I don’t think there’s anything Wahoo can do from a noise standpoint on the existing design, since the noise largely comes from the belt system.

      I’m sure though that if we fast forward to next fall, it’d surprise me if Wahoo wasn’t looking at a new trainer design to minimize noise. Tacx with the NEO pretty much showed there’s vast interest in that type of unit.

    • Marcus Durant

      I reduced the noise of mine by simply changing the belt.

    • Bill Stanley

      Hi Marcus,
      I would like to reduce the noise of my Kickr- some questions:
      Did you use the same belt as supplied by Wahoo or did you find an alternative that is quieter?
      How much was the belt and where did you get it?
      Was it easy to change and do you think the setup of the belt (tensioning/alignmeny) will affect the noise?
      Sorry for all the questions but the noise is making it difficult to use as I live in an apartment!
      Cheers, Bill

    • I sourced a new belt (tried a couple of different types / profiles, and this is the best), have a look in this folder for the difference it made (sound files and spectrograms).
      I’ll warn you, its not silent, but it is significantly less irritating in the higher pitch regions.

      Also to answer your other questions, the tighter the tension you have set, the louder it gets. This is true of any belt & changing that will also alter your power reading from the internal meter, not a problem if your using a power meter but something to note if your relying on the kickr’s inbuilt power reading.

      I gave this info to Wahoo by the way, not sure they were that interested.

      The belt is a specifically a 5M 850 – 15 Optibelt Omega. Do not bother with any other make or brand. This is a direct replacement HTD pulley belt (so HTD tooth profile as per stock belt) but it has a small air release profile channel in the tooth.

      DO NOT get an RPP profile belt, it will not mesh correctly and will scream like a banshi. (tried one out of interest)

      Easy to change, remove cover (2 tiny phillips and 3 hex cap heads) slacken belt tension-er screw (same size allen key as cover screws, the one that is accessible when the cover is on) and rotate and remove stock belt, install new belt using reverse process (wrap around the big one, then around the tension-er bearings, then ease onto the 18T whilst slowly rotating the flywheel).

      I just tension new belt so that play is removed, the tighter you tension, the louder it / any belt will get. I guess you should calibrate your kickr if you rely on its internal pm, I don’t so don’t bother. also, i’m android user so cant anyway.

      I got mine from here link to georgelodge.co.uk in the UK, but obviously available world wide

      cost about £8 or so

      let me know if you have problems accessing the files on google drive or have any other Q’s

      Cheers.

      Marcus
      inquisitive design engineer

    • Bill Stanley

      Hi Marcus,

      Thanks for the info – I’m currently living in Vienna, but fortunately Optibelt have an office a couple of km away.
      Many thanks – I’ll give it a try. Best Regards, Bill

    • Marcus Durant

      No problem, let me know how you get on, be nice to get someone elses viewpoint.
      Cheers.

  114. Kevin Craig

    Update: Wahoo really stepped up and is taking care of the problems with our Kickrs. Excellent customer service!

  115. Kevin K

    Did anyone swap out the shimano free hub for a campy and wants to sell the shimano one with both spacers. I am having issues with my free hub and am finding it difficult to find anywhere in the UK where I can get my KICKR a much needed service in particular the top pulley and free hub bearings

  116. Ged Hulme

    Hi …I have wahoo fitness installed on my ipad AIR, I am trying to connect my garmin heart rate monitor and the cadence sensor (garmin also) they transmit on the ant + frequency. I am using the apple lightning connector with the garmin ant + receiver however the wahoo application is not reading my heart rate nor cadence. Can you help?
    Many thanks,
    Ged

  117. Neil Boyle

    Hi was doing a trainer road workout today and power was being displayed. I stopped as my towel was out of reach and when I. Restarted trainerroad was no longer communicating with the kickr. I tried to disconnect and reconnect but it never displayed the power again. I tried a number of devices and even the wahoo fitness app but power wad not being displayed. Anybody know what the problem could ne ss it looks like it has something to do with the kickr.

  118. Bill S

    Hi what a great blog – just received my Kickr yesterday and trying to work out best set up. I have an Edge 1000 so have HR and Cadence sensors ( speed stays on back wheel!!) from Garmin (Ant+ I presume). I also received cadence sensor with the Kickr – wasn’t expecting that. Does the Wahoo “combo” sensor do speed and power?
    I have a recent MacBook Pro (with Windows bootcamp), older iPhone 4 and a Ipad Air. Currently use GarminConnect and Strava to record rides.
    Quite fancy the TrainerRoad but also like the idea of HD videos and the competitive rides as boredom is a big problem for me on indoor trainers (also have some Tacx older rollers – but no resistance controls).
    Assume I’ll need the dongle for the Garmin sensors and the lightning connector adapter for the ipad . Is it best to use the Wahoo fitness app first and then work through the free trials? Any ideas on best setup.

    Thanks, Bill S

    • Bill S

      Oops, should have said elite parabolic rollers!!

    • Stephen Lanigan

      Hi Bill,
      I struggled for awhile with my Kickr using the bluetooth function until it completely failed as it wouldn’t allow communication with my android phone. I have an Edge 1000 also and use it now with no issues whatsoever. I bought a Wahoo HRM and cadence pod, together with the Kickr which provides the power and speed, and my Edge 1000 picks it all up.
      Never been happier with it now.
      I record all trainer rides through Garmin Connect, Map my Ride and Strava form the Edge 1000, and my trainer sessions are DVD’s with CTS or Spinervals, to ensure I get the most out of the sessions.

    • You should really try http://zwift.com

      It’s a virtual world where you can ride with or against other riders all over the world in real time. You can take part in races or just ride round the island. You get workout mode, too like on Trainer Road. Well worth trying out with the free trial.

      There are lots of others like Kinomap, Bkool and Fulgaz, but for my money Zwift is the best/most enjoyable.

    • Neil

      Bill if you use the Wahoo Sensor you’ll be able to use your Mac and iPad via Bluetooth but not the phone (BT 4.0 came on models 4S and later). Also it will transmit to your Garmin via ant+. Stick the Wahoo on your bike and you are good to go with all apps that support the kickr, Trainerroad is fantastic for structured training pal, I recommend you listen to their Podcasts too.

      Enjoy your Kickr pal you’ve made a sound investment.

    • Bill S

      Thanks Stephen, I saw the CTS videos were available via Strava Premium – are they interactive – i.e. control your kicks power or do you just follow them as you are training by changing power etc yourself via the app?

    • Stephen Lanigan

      Hi Bill,
      Didn’t realise the CTS DVD’s were available through Strava Premium.
      I just follow them off the DVD and adjust the gears to suit the cadence and HR required to achieve my power output.
      I must admit the Kickr is certainly different to the other trainers I have used, it feels a bit tougher than my previous models, seem to be working a lot harder!

  119. Sean

    I’m really trying to love this thing… Been on a total of 6 rides so far. Why so low considering I’ve owned if for almost 2 months? Well anytime I use something more difficult than say 50/16 or go over 230 watts I get crippling knee pain. Seriously, it’s that bad. Seems to be restricted to my patella ligament. Sometimes I can barely walk after a 30 minute session.
    I’m using my road bike which I got set up at a professional bike fitter and with which I’ve spent 1000’s of pain free km’s on. Very confused as to what might be causing this? Anyone have any experience like this and if so how did you solve it?

    • Bill Stanley

      Hi Sean,
      Sorry to hear you’re having problems. A lot of people report that trainer sessions are more intense than ‘real’ biking. I suffered with cramp at first and realised I was aiming for a power level that was unrealistic (I don’t have a power meter on my road bike), so I went back to my normal reference – heartbeat and cadence. Maybe this would be useful for you. if your bike setup is good on the road then it shouldn’t change on the trainer. Ive had a few problems with chain skipping and chain noise (partly solved with a new chain). I always seem to try too hard on the trainer – maybe the is the problem? Hope things improve for you.

  120. Karim

    Hi
    Looking for help deciding between a Wahoo Kickr and a Cycleops Powerbeam Pro Ant+ trainer (which i can get the kit and the trainer with the Joule GPS at a great price–sub $600 new). It is not clear to me what the differences are besides the direct drive train…and benefits of one over the other—can you use all the 3rd party software and do both machines adjust to the course elevation–uphill/downhill thru resistance?

    Ideally i want be able to gain functionality with Zwift, Sufferfest and training road….are they both fully compatible and is there any functionality or feel lost?

    Is the Joule GPS redundant if I have a garmin 510? insight would be greatly appreciated?

    new to the training world so i apologize if my questions are off….Thanks.

  121. Scott H

    Recently got an iOS device and trying to access the firmware update for BETA firmware for the Kickr from the Wahoo Utility app, the old video link within the post doesn’t work any longer. Can someone please explain how to access it. Searched on google quite a bit but posts seem to link to the same video that no longer exists.

    Thanks

  122. walter

    Dear Sir,

    i have purchased a Wahoo Kickr Snap last week. the reason of picking Snap because of its convenience that i don’t have to remove the rear wheel and will be good for my two bikes with Shimano and Campagnolo groupsets. but i am going to return the Snap because the accuracy of power output. I don’t explain more here as you have mentioned this issue in your Snap review. notwithstanding that i did the spindown properly, the power output is out of the range anyway.

    so i am going to give Wahoo another try. plan to go for the Kickr, but i wanna ask a question before making my second purchase on Wahoo. What is the default (minimum) resistance? i found this is important because the minimum resistance of the Snap is significantly higher than my CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer. I used to do interval training. i can’t relax and spin my legs after the hard session because of it high minimum resistance. but of course i can shift the gear to the easiest one, but there is a significant different in term of default resistance compare with my two other fluid trainers. I worry if the Kickr has the same issue.

    your advice will be very much appreciated.

  123. michael

    my kickr locks up.

    tried he spin down plenty of times and nothing. I can pedal 3-5 seconds than it locks.

    any ideas?

    thanks,
    mike

    • Kevin C

      Most likely, the speed sensor (the top cap) has failed. Contact Wahoo and they’ll send you a new one. It’s a fairly common problem.

  124. Austin

    I cannot get the REI code above to work… Is it still working for the Wahoo Kickr? Do I need to be a member?

  125. Luka P

    Hi Ray,

    Got a quick question for you on the Kickr. I’ve been training on an Elite Qubo Power Fluid the past 2 seasons, but only this winter did I really kick up the indoor training kilometers (1,500 kms between January-March 2016). With this increase in training volume, I’ve had a particularly odd knee pain under my kneecap (physio and doc have excluded ITB and other common knee issues). This pain doesn’t occur outdoors when I ride, but almost exclusively on the trainer. My thoughts are that this is probably due to my weight (220lbs, 6’5″) and the flimsy-ish nature of the Qubo frame assembly (half plastic, half metal). I’ve notice that the Qubo makes me move around far more laterally than anything outdoors.

    In short, is the Kickr a good choice for a big heavy guy like me? I think that the weight of the unit, plus the arms/levelling abilities of the legs might resolve some of the stability/movement issues I’ve been observing with the Qubo. As you noted, you HATE wobbly trainers!

    Thanks in advance!

    • Marcus Durant

      Never ridden your trainer, but the Kickr is rock solid. I cant imagine how any trainer with the exception of a “complete bike setup” like Wattbike could be any more stable.
      Previously I was using an Elite Novo Force which is a similar oldskool setup to your’s, I always used to feel as though I was tipped to one side slightly and constantly trying to correct my tilt.
      Those days are gone.

      Hope this helps.

  126. Feroz Khan

    Hi Im trying to update the firmware on my kickr to the beta version and its asking for a password can anyone help with this

  127. I have had a Kickr for six months and it has never worked right. It seems to work for 1 or 2 days at a time, and then something breaks which requires me to wait for a new part from Wahoo. I even sent the unit back to them for repair. After almost a month they sent it back, it worked for two days and then broke again. $1,200 and six months I have not gotten any training it. Total waste of money.

  128. Krypt0n1te

    Hi guys, just a very quick and simple question if I may…

    I have a KMC X11 11spd chain on my Mountain Bike, will that be compatible with the 11spd cassette that ships with the Kickr?

    Thanks in advance!

  129. Marcus Durant

    Its a sram cassette so should be fine.

  130. Billyd

    Does anyone know which beta works on Golden Cheetah with Kickr? I’ve been trying to find a PC based app similar to TrainerRoad that is either free or has a some upfront fee. I find that TrainerRoad was great for Sufferfest videos and other movies, etc, but also great for just dialing a set wattage for going on the trainer for 60 – 90 minutes. Just don’t feel like paying USD10 / month for it though with summer coming up.

    The current Sufferfest is good with access to all the videos, but they don’t offer a set wattage program.

    Hoping that Golden Cheetah or something similar can help!

    thx

    • Have you tried Kinomap trainer ? there is a free version to download giving you access to a set a free videos. A subscription at $5.99/month is required to get access to all existing content (hundreds of videos). There is commitment on duration so you can just subscribe for the winter time. If you are on iOS, the subscription gives you free access to 2 others apps : Skuga (to train on your Strava activities) and Intervals (for structured workout).

  131. Rui Fernandes

    Anyone had issues with Kickr support? Kickr belt just broke and I’m waiting for a replacement for more than 4 weeks. They were quick to send it, but they use the “normal” shipping services (10 days) and didn’t had the proper mechanism to overcome custom issues (the belt was sent from US).

    • Jonthan Gordon

      You bet!

      My kickr suddenly started locking up Thursday of last week and the spin down offset went to 0. After 3 call I finally got through to Matt who, after doing some checking told me that I needed to replace my top cap. He cheerfully told me that he’d send me a replacement that I would have on Saturday and would send me shipping and tracking information.

      It never happened.

      They seemed VERY disorganized.

      He also told me that I would need an iphone to be able to re calibrate it. Of course, I have an android phone. No joy.

      Now, after several more email. FB messenger messages and finally a phone call to them, they say they are overnighting it to me. I asked them to send me an iphone too so that I can actually get my Kickr back on line, but no help there.

      I really can’t believe that they can’t get either an Android or a Windows app to do this!!!

    • Marcus Durant

      I agree 100%.
      Android support really does SUCK with this product. Wahoo’s indifference to android and windows users is really quite appalling.

  132. Alex Barnes

    I’ve just bought a KICKR and will be using it exclusively with TrainerRoad and a P2M with Power Match to drive the resistance. I’m trying to understand whether the Wahoo fitness app has any role to play in this setup. Does the KICKR store any values internally? Or does TR simply pair to both devices and orchestrate the resistance changes?

    Simply put do I need to tell the KICKR about my PM using their app or is TR all I need?

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Marcus Durant

      I use it the same way but with a quark PM. trianerroad handles it all, never touch the wahoo apps for anything other than updating firmware.

    • Alex Barnes

      Thank you for the clarification. I suspected that this was the case however there is so much information in this thread it was hard to work it out!

  133. Eric

    I’m surprised this doesn’t get addressed more often. I’ve owned a wahoo for over a year and the biggest, by far, challenge I’ve had with it is that the only interface it accepts is touchscreen. By the time I’m 30 minutes into a hard segment, I’m dripping sweat and my fingers are so full of it nothing on a touchscreen works anymore. I wish wahoo would release an alternative interface to the touchscreen (something like the bushido controller, or computerized controller) with buttons. They almost did this with the reflkt+ but it won’t allow you to control power or resistance. This would be a huge value-add feature. Or alternately, please make a non-touchscreen surface in addition to the original. Help guys who sweat during their workouts!

  134. Fede Fiori

    Hi, last days i have some problems to
    find the kickr by bluethoot. My app in the samsung s7 (wahoo fitness and wahoo utility) and my pc can find it only by ant +.
    Can this happen because i put a wifi router in the area? I can do something to check if is a kickr problem that need a repair? I ask whaoo but not a answer again.
    Thanks

    • Triple-check that an app isn’t ‘holding open’ the Bluetooth connection to the KICKR. With Bluetooth, only a single device/app can connect at once. So try turning your phone to airplane mode and then closing all the apps. Then unplug your KICKR for a few seconds. Then disable airplane mode and open just the Wahoo utility app and try again.

  135. Daniel HERNANDEZ

    Hey DC,

    Thanks for your reviews, always a pleasure to go through them and make a properly informed decision before buying. In this case I followed your advice and got myself a brand new kickr.

    However, I do have a question in relation to speed (and therefore distance) recorded during a training.

    In the past I was using a Kinetic Rock and Roll with Garmin Vector pedals and GSC10 Speed/Cadence sensor. In my view, your speed/distance is a solid measurement based based on your wheel circumference and number of turns (Assuming your extra watts are on the flat, this clearly does not show a good approximation of climbs as the higher gears do generate more turns).
    Now, with the Kickr what I see is that I get much less speed for the same Watts. What is your view on this? You may argue it is irrelevant as long as you get the Watt;Minutes effort, but when doing a training as indicated by my coach based on distance, well the difference can be up to 33% more time (20 vs. 30kph)

    What is your view on speed/distance accuracy in the Kickr then? Was I wrong with the past configuration and got a free ride on distance or is the Kickr’s measurement equally misleading?

    Thanks again,

    D

    • On a trainer like the KICKR, speed is 100% a function of gearing. So you could be in a different gearing and result in a dramatically different speed. Especially so in ERG mode.

      So when on a trainer, I wouldn’t use speed as a measurement for training purposes.

  136. Em

    I have one of the first KICKRs in production (e.g. speed cap is push, not hex bolt to clamp/remove).

    It has a 10p cassette and i wanted to install an 11sp. I am capable of swapping cassettes so tried to do so, however the cassette and free hub all came off as one item.
    Is that by design on the original KICKR?
    If so, in order to install an 11p cassette does this mean I need to buy a new free hub body? Seems annoyingly pricey to do so, when I assumed it would have a normal shimano free hub that would allow to swap cassettes.

    Thanks

  137. Fabio

    HI Ray,

    some bikers in a forum reported that something’s gone wrong with a firmware update (not the last one). It seem that the power curve of the kickr’s powermeter has changed its inclination !!
    they report that they have the same power reading between kickr and bike powermeter (power2max or vectors) only in the range of 150-160w. when the effort raise the kickr ‘lose’ watts “exponentially” !.

    i try to explain this with an example

    At 150W same output from bike power meter (vectors, p2max,etc) and kickr
    At 200W reported from bike PM kickr reports 190w (-10w)
    a 250W reported from bike PM kickr reports 225w (-25w)
    a 300W reported from bike PM kickr reports 260w (-40w)

    So it’s not a matter of something like a costant offset (that would not be a problem) but it’s a difference that increase when the effort becomes harder and in this way the power meter on kickr’s software is useless

    Is this the same issue that some readers have reported to you? have you noticed something similar in your kickr?

    Thank you Ray

    • In almost every case I’ve seen about KICKR power issues, it’s actually usually the KICKR overreporting power, not under.

      I haven’t actually heard too much in terms of complaints with latest firmware (in fact, the opposite). However, I assume that you’ve done a roll-down, perhaps even the advanced roll-down. If not – definitely do that.

      Also – double-check that the sensor just didn’t get bonked somehow. Finally, any chance you have elliptical chainrings on your bike, and any chance that your cadence is variable at those wattage intensities (i.e. 90RPM at 200w, but 110RPM at 300w)?

    • Fabio

      Hi Ray, thanks for the answer. That power readings in my post are not from me but from some folks thar are testing kickr in the last few years. My intention is to buy this trainer this autumn.

      I know they are going to install the last firmware during these days and see what happen. The strange thing is the issue occured only with the second-last firmware, before the update power reading were ok at about any wattage/cadence (ok becuase the offset was always the same at 150 or 400w at about any cadence.

      from my side i found out from your post that maybe i’ll have a problem : i hace rotor elliptical chainrings !!!!
      i have always used that with my lemond revolution with powerbox (no power meter on the bike unfortunatelly). do you think my wattbox readings could be wrong do due the rotor chainrings even with the lemond?

      thank for your support….as always

    • Yeah, without having data files/details, it’d be hard to know what’s going on. But they would really want to do a roll-down after a firmware update.

      Elliptical chainrings won’t impact the trainers readings, but it will produce inaccurate results for both the Power2Max and Vector.

    • Karl Watanabe

      From what I read on the Vector forum, it depends on how elliptical the ring is to have much affect on the power reading. I have the Rotor with elliptical rings and I borrowed my friends wheel with a Powertap. Over a 20 mile ride I got a consistent 6 watts higher using my Vector 1. That matches your rides when using a pedal base PM vs wheel PM. On my Kickr, the same Vector was also 5 to 6 watts higher than my Kickr (early model that seemed to have better power measurements like yours).

      I don’t update my Kickr FW because I don’t like the changes in ERG mode as I was getting big variations in power. I was able to go back to an old FW and I like it much better. I just use my iPhone or iPad to control the Kickr so don’t need the newer FW.

    • Fabio

      what is scaring me is that if i buy a new kickr i do not have a powermeter on the bike that allows me to understand if kickr power readings are consistent.

      is not a problem if it report 20/40/100 watt more/less than a real measure (if a real measure exist !), it’s a problem if the difference keep on changin. the repeatability of the data is the most important thing.

      if the difference is in the firmware i suppose that every guy (ray included 🙂 ) that has update it and has a power meter on the bike too, has noticed this odds.

    • Chris Anderson

      I am having this same problem that you describe. I have Vectors and a Stages and they tie out to each other….but my KICKR (the New KICKR) is reading low comparatively (and not linearly) when I crank up the power…almost exactly as you describe it above. I’m a veteran with this stuff as I’ve had a KICKR since they came out. I’ve always been able to troubleshoot the problems, but I’m at a loss right now and it’s really frustrating.

      Were you able to solve you issue?

    • Raj Nanduri

      The Power variation is huge for me on my outdoor rides and when i am training indoors, about 40 to 50 watts. To eliminate the conflict of data from sensors while training indoors, i use my iPhone(with Wahoo app) and paired it with the New Kickr and for cadence i use the Wahoo cadence sensor. Not using the Stages at all for indoor rides.
      This does not solve the huge variation in power numbers while training indoors and outdoors for me. Wahoo support sent me a link link to home.trainingpeaks.com
      and after reading this i feel that the reasons explained are applicable for me. Let me know if this helps, also please perform a advanced Spindown on your trainer too by following the instructions below.
      Open the Wahoo Fitness app > select saved sensors > KICKR > perform spin down > tap on spin down instructions 5 times > select perform advanced spin down > follow steps to complete advanced spin down. Going forward, you will only need to complete the basic spin down (bi-weekly).
      Let me know if this has helped and also let me know from your end if you were able to address the variation in the power numbers.

    • We make Lynx trainer that addresses every point mentioned in that article including ability for trainer to surge back and forth and rear wheel move sideways when balancing your pedaling efforts as it happens in real life.

  138. babyboomer

    I have found a Wahoo Kickr at an online site for $1079! I’m very much tempted to take the plunge! I’ve been interested in the Kickr, the Neo and now the Hammer, but in terms of features, I really don’t see a lot of difference between them. As far as I know, this is the first time I’ve seen any of them offered at a discount. If I’m going to take the plunge, I don’t mind patronizing DC RAINMAKER’s partners, but the price would have to be comparable.

    • Babyboomer

      Okay, it looks like $1079 is a fairly common discounted price. I guess the variables that will distinguish retailers will be tax and shipping.

  139. Raoul

    Does anyone know the difference between 2015 and 2016 models?

  140. Marc steingrand

    Hey what is the latest firmware

    I am thinking to change my kicker to the Neo any comments or thoughts ?

  141. Simon N

    I’ve had my Kickr for about 2 years, i’ve generally used it in erg mode and workouts using Perfpro, so i’ve generally had the bike set up on the small chainring and midway across the cassette [not changing gear]. I’ve just recently started using Zwift, i am generally now on the large chainring and using the full range of the cassette, what i am finding is that i get what can best be described as a ‘grinding’ feel/noise when i have to put down higher power levels, mainly midday across the cassette to the small cog. Does anyone else experience this? Don’t know if it is an issue with my Kickr or if this is normal? Thanks

    • Andy

      Not expert enough to really answer your question, other than I do get some grinding on the sprocket at either end of the cassette, so I tend to stay in the middle ranges. Hope someone with more knowledge chimes in. But if I could ask a different question, how do you like Zwift? Am trying to decide between Zwift and Kinomap for my wife, who wants something to take the boredom off her trainer sessions (I’m perfectly happy with the Wahoo app controls and a recent cycling race on the TV).

    • SimonN

      I would guess that what you are getting is a bit of chain rub on the front mech from cross chaining, this is how mine feels [except i’m not cross chaining], i’m wondering if it could be bearings in the freehub.
      Regarding Zwift, i used it some while ago when it was being trialled, only one course and i basically found it boring. Now there are a lot more courses to make it more interesting, but the main thing is i’ve started doing the races on it which make for a really hard workout session, as you push yourself harder than you would on a normal workout. I think that just riding around i would eventually get bored again.

    • Hi,
      Hard for me at Kinomap to speak about Zwift as both apps have a very different approach. Kinomap is probably less gaming oriented but gives you access to an amazing existing content, with new videos every day. You can travel the world doing indoor cycling based on real life video rather than virtual reality. The app is free to download, giving you access to a set of free videos for testing. A $5 (or €) subscription gives you access to the entire eligible content ($59/year in fact). Enjoy.

    • Kevin K

      Is the large pulley a little wobbly, On mine the nut on the end of the free hub came a little loose and the spacer inside the freehub wore down causing big problems.
      Contacted Wahoo they sent me a spacer kit and sorted everything right out.

  142. Troy

    Marked down to $899 US on wahoo website

  143. livio

    I I am looking for a used wahoo Kickr.
    Is it compatible with TacxTrainerSoftware4?

  144. livio

    thank you very much
    another question:
    I already have the TacxTrainerSoftware4 Advanced.
    can i use the following Tacx equipment to control the kickr by TTS4?
    T2022 Handlebar control
    T2028 USB ANT+ antenne

    thank you

    • You can use the USB stick, but not the Handlebar controller. Well, I guess technically the handlebar controller will still work with TTS, but it doesn’t have any impact on the KICKR directly.

  145. livio

    Ok, handlebar controller will still work with TTS4,
    but then the TTS4 transmitting at kickr imput variations, by usb, It is so?
    T2022 —-> TTS4 —-> Kickr

  146. I see a Trek Speed concept on your wall (video)

    Does the Wahoo Kickr 2 and/or Tacx Neo work with the bike?

    I have an old Cervelo Soloist Carbon 10 speed Shimano dura ace and a Trek Speed Concept (2nd gen) with 11 speed dura ace Di2. Not sure if they both work on those trainers. I have an old Computrainer, but thinking of a new one.

    Thanks – Joe

  147. Raj Nanduri

    I am using a Garmin 1000, stages power meter and Kickr16 smart trainer and having issues with the power readings. Lot of dead readings, the rpm drops to zero and so does the power correspondingly.
    In the Garmin 1000 i have the 1sec recording option enabled. Please help

    • I’d separate your issues into two categories:

      A) Those related to Stages and the Edge 1000
      B) Those related to the KICKR and the Edge 1000

      It doesn’t sound like the KICKR is really involved in this issue to be honest, but rather stages. I say that because if you’re getting drops to zero on cadence, that’s coming from the Stages not the KICKR. My guess is that your Edge 1000 is also thus showing power from the Stages too.

      If you had configured the KICKR to use your Stages as a power control source, then your situation would have doubled down the pain (not your fault, just explaining things).

      At which point you’re now just troubleshooting a standard Stages to Garmin connectivity issue. The first step there is to ensure your Stages power meter is up to date, as an April firmware update made significant inroads into the common Stages connectivity issues.

  148. Bill S

    I’ve had my Kickr for over a year now and the biggest problem for me is the noise. I see the latest Kickr is now a lot quieter. Can any of the parts be backfitted to the “old” Kickr as an upgrade i.e belt/pulleys, new gearing etc. – as this would really help me to be able to use it more. Any ideas welcomed (I did investigate replacement belts some time ago to help reduce the noise)

    • Mihai Tintea

      Hi

      Kickr noise seems to be closely tied to the drive belt mechanism and the drive belt teeth profile. Tried once to put more grease in the freehub but that only temporarily affected the coasting noise and anyway I don’t think it’s advisable to do that again.

      Please can you share your findings about Kickr replacement drive belts ? (leaving out the spare parts at Wahoo Fitness’ website, due to their rip-off prices).

      Thanks and regards,
      Mihai

  149. Dale Sides

    Are there any apps that will let you virtually ride a Strava or Garmin Connect route you have never been on?

    • Dale Sides

      Are there any apps that will let you virtually ride a Strava or Garmin Connect route you have never been on? Is it possible to do this via Elemnt or Garmin 520 maybe?

  150. Brian Bailey

    Long time reader and I am finally looking to buy a power meter but think everyone who owns a kickr needs my 2 cents on these things. I am also doing some googling and was curious if you could answer two questions for me.

    First my Kickr, I’ve owned it now for 2 years…in Canada in my insulated but not heated garage which gets hot in the summer and at freezing in the winter, the wahoo kickr has held up amazing. We get a ton of condensation due to snow from our cars and this thing is stable.

    OK….I was curious does the kickr measure left and right leg power independently? I ask because I am finally going to get a power meter for my outside bike and was looking at a few options and and figured I could cheap out with a left leg only if my indoor kickr does both legs…then i’ll know if I am left or right dominate.

    Second is I found a 2015 FSA SRM power meter crankset onsale for cheap! Would this work with my Di2 Shimano Ultegra system?

  151. Jason

    I bought an original Kickr over the holidays when they were on clearance. I’m curious about accuracy and consistency with my Powertap C1.

    When I do TrainerRoad workouts, I consistently get overall power readings from the Kickr that are about 10 watts higher than my C1. I’ve compared data files regularly and seem to have most of my variance at lower wattages. When I’m in an interval, the tracking is pretty good, in recovery periods my C1 reports lower readings.

    On Zwift there seems to be an even wider gap, usually about 20 watts. I can’t find consistent patterns in the data there.

    Is this situation unusual? I do a spin-down weekly and perform a zero offset every ride. Without a third power meter it will be impossible to do a true analysis of which device is most accurate, but I’m curious to hear others’ experiences.

    • Niels Thijssen

      @Jason: on February 3th, 2017 Wahoo release a new firmware (v1.5.63) which improved responsiveness and powermeasurement. I’ve installed it yesterday, and did an Advanced Spindown calibration. Need to check if the difference between my Garmin Vector 2S and the Kicker (Gen 1) is changing.
      A normal spindown I’m doing about once a month.

    • deven

      I’m interested in your results with the last firmware.
      When I changed from 1.4.46 to 1.5.63, 400w feels like +/- 320w
      On Zwift, its terrible. pushing normal 250w (with 1.4.46) = 300-320w with 1.5.63. Al advance calibration done 3x
      strange…

    • Neil

      What’s Zwift? 🙂

  152. Bill

    I’m considering getting a kickr from REI I have a Edge 510. Is it possible to connect the kickr to an iPad or mac using bluetooth for running Sufferfest and simultaneously record the workout with the Edge 510 so I can import it to Garmin connect?

  153. Blair

    Yes. You can connect to your IPad via BT and to your head unit via Ant+.

  154. Louis Matherne

    Wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue with their KICKR.

    I have one of the original KICKRs. I’ve not added up my mileage on it but I’d say it is fairly light relatively speaking. I’d rather be out on the road. It has been trouble free but at the beginning when I had to send it in to replace the optic sensor. Since then, no problem until a few weeks ago when it would no longer freewheel. Turns out there is an inner spacer between the freehub and the ratchet engagement part.

    In my case, it turns out that this inner spacer has “mushroomed” not allowing the freehub to coast. I contacted Wahoo about this and they want to charge me $7.00 plus shipping for this spacer.

    To be clear, the cost is a non-issue for me, but I consider this a product failure or design flaw. This is not a consumable part. It should simply just work. In dealing with other vendors in our industry, I have found them much more accommodating on these out of warranty issues.

    I understand that if I overtighten the nut that holds this together I could cause the mushrooming but I never touched this part. I do tighten the skewer pretty tight because I don’t want the bike to come off the KICKR and the nut should absorb the pressure in any case.

    So paint me annoyed with Wahoo on this and everyone should be cautious about putting too much pressure on this inner spacer.

    Louis

  155. Trail

    One can find some original Kickrs for sale as second hand. Opinion on buying second hand original kicker? Pricing? Have seen them at around 500$ compared to for example a new kicker snap at the same price, a new Direto at 800 or a new “new” Kickr at 1200.

    Thanks

  156. Debbie

    Could someone tell me the outer and inner diameters of the plug? Have the input and output info but want to make sure the plug fits to buy a generic power source.

    • Mihai Tintea

      The power supply for the KICKR has a universal AC input (100-240v and 50/60hz)
      with a DC output of 12V, 5A.
      The barrel connector size that plugs into the KICKR is 5.5mm x 2.5mm.

  157. Karl L

    How does the original kickr compare to the kickr Snap noise wise?