Heads up: This post is about an older KICKR SNAP edition, check out my latest post about the most current KICKR SNAP trainer here.
Today Wahoo has launched their latest trainer, the Wahoo KICKR SNAP. The KICKR SNAP is essentially a lower-cost version of the original (and enormously popular) Wahoo KICKR, with a few minor tweaks. For those familiar with the wheel-less KICKR, those hardware changes are likely instantly apparent by just looking at the new $850US KICKR SNAP.
Now before we get started – Wahoo doesn’t see the KICKR SNAP as a replacement for the KICKR. Instead, they see it as simply adding a lower cost option in their trainer lineup, one that’s about $350 cheaper than the existing Wahoo KICKR.
So what’s changed? Well, let’s dive into all the technical details. It should be first noted that I’ve had a pre-production KICKR SNAP for quite some time now, and have been riding it through various beta iterations. That said, this isn’t an in-depth review. The software and hardware I have isn’t final, and as is mostly the case these days around here – I’m keeping in-depth reviews for final iterations (hardware/software). No worries, I’ve got a good enough go of things to show you how it all works.
The KICKR SNAP Hardware:
The KICKR SNAP is pretty much every bit as beefy and weighty as the original KICKR. For those not familiar with said original, it’s pretty much built like a tank – and weighs the same as one too. In that case it was just shy of 50 pounds (>22kg). Meanwhile, the KICKR SNAP ate a few less cookies and ended up at 38 pounds (17kg).
While that may sound excessive, it’s actually the extra weight that adds stability, as well as durability in the parts (using metals and such as opposed to plastic). Here’s a quick look at the unboxing of the pre-production unit:
Once you’ve got it all unboxed, you’ll find you basically have just two parts: The trainer, and the power cable.
Seriously, that’s it.
Well, ok, there is the trainer skewer. But just about everyone already has one of those lying around the house anyway. And there’s some paper junk, but nobody reads that.
So that leaves you back with the trainer and the power cord:
The power cord is dual voltage, so you can use it globally. For example the pre-production unit I was sent had a standard US power cord on it. I simply applied a cheap $1 adapter to the end, and boom – it worked perfectly here in Paris. Just like the original KICKR.
Next, the whole thing easily folds up for reasonably simple storage. For example, various readers kept on swinging by the DCR Cave over the last 5-6 weeks, causing me to scurry to fold it up and stash it in the closet. No problems there.
Back to using it though, the unit has a lever on the side that acts as a quick release. It’s functionally similar to the quick release on other trainers, like the Tacx series has had for a while. But the implementation itself is slightly different in that the Wahoo design has a longer handle, versus the Tacx design having a bit more of a paddle.
Here’s how it looks in the closed position:
The KICKR SNAP, like the original KICKR, does require power. It’s here Wahoo has made some improvements to the power cord. While the original KICKR’s power cord was fine, I love the new quick secondary attachment piece on the KICKR SNAP, as it prevents a possible breakage point if you trip over the cable. As the cable will just break away gently as it’s flexible as well.
Next, in order to adjust the tightness on the rear roller (against your rear tire), you’ll use the adjustment knob at the back. It should be rotated two full times after coming in contact with the rear tire.
This is similar to how most other trainers work, but is rather different from the original KICKR in that you leave your rear wheel on the bike. In many ways this comes down to personal preference. For some (like The Girl), she prefers this design, as she hates taking the rear wheel off of her triathlon bike. I mostly fall in the same category (my tri bike is more finicky with the rear drop-out than my road bike).
Whereas others prefer to not have any wheel at all on the trainer, thus reducing wear/tear on tires during the winter months – and in many cases allowing for a slightly more responsive trainer (and in theory, less drift).
When it comes to electronics the KICKR SNAP operates in much the same manner as the original KICKR. It broadcasts on both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart concurrently.
In doing so, it’ll give you all of the following information:
ANT+ Power Meter Broadcast: ANT+ Power, ANT+ Speed
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Broadcast: Bluetooth Smart Power, Bluetooth Smart Speed
Both of those broadcasts can be picked up by many head units on the market. For example, any Garmin device will pickup (receive) the power meter broadcast, enabling you to display and record your power and speed from the KICKR SNAP.
Similarly, some Bluetooth Smart apps and devices can also read the Bluetooth Smart signals. I say ‘some’ because the landscape is still a bit muddled there. On the app side it’s very good, but on the device side it can be less ‘sure’ that it’ll work. But the rule of thumb is that if it worked with the KICKR it’ll work with the KICKR SNAP.
Finally, when it comes to control of the KICKR SNAP you’ve got two basic avenues: The default Wahoo apps, as well as 3rd party apps. These allow you to specify the resistance of the trainer, be it for a set wattage level (i.e. 255w), a set grade (i.e. 5% with a given headwind), or other combinations like ‘levels’.
I dive into the application world a touch bit more later on though.
In order to give you a run-through of the trainer, here’s a not-so-quick video I put together covering the KICKR SNAP:
Ok, with the ‘how it works’ piece out of the way, let’s take a glance at some test data.
A Recent Test Ride:
Since I’ve been iterating through multiple beta cycles, I’m just going to focus on the most recent test ride – one done just this past evening. You’ll likely see additional beta data over the coming weeks in other power meter related posts.
The goal of this specific test was focused on power meter accuracy across a range of scenarios from low/medium wattage to higher wattage sprints, and then at various cadences and gearings. Additionally, I toyed around with a few of the different modes (during the making of the above video as I changed different modes).
During my in-depth review I’ll go deeper into aspects like responsiveness, stabilization of the power (i.e. how long it takes to normalize), etc…
Please do note, again, that this is a pre-production unit with pre-production firmware. Like any beta there have been some bumps in the road as they have resolved bugs, but by going with the most recent ride it’s the closest to final.
For this evening’s ride, the bike was configured with the following:
A) Wahoo KICKR SNAP (trainer)
B) Pioneer Power Meter
C) PowerTap P1 Pedal Power Meter
D) PowerTap G3 Hub
This data was collected on a small fleet of Garmin Edge devices (Edge 510, Edge 810, 2xEdge 1000). It was then consolidated using Golden Cheetah and then ultimately into Microsoft Excel.
Let’s start at a high level, showing the nearly 30-minute ride, with all three plotted:
Now that’s tougher to read, so let’s dive into a clearer section, most notably one of the higher wattage areas, such as this section:
As you can see (and as you saw in the video), all of the power meters tracked quite well through these sections. I had calibrated all power meters (including a spin-down of the KICKR) at the 0-minute marker. And then again, at the 10-minute marker, per Wahoo’s recommendation to calibrate (complete a spin-down) the KICKR SNAP about 10-minutes in. This is fairly consistent with most other trainers on the market. The spin-down process only takes about 15-30 seconds.
Next, I did some semi-high cadence work. First for roughly a minute at 125RPM, and then following that another minute at 150RPM. You’ll see the KICKR wattage stays quite constant.
You see a bit more variance here on power meters, but you see it across the board with all four power streams recording slightly different results. This isn’t too surprising to be honest, since these sorts of high-cadence tests tend to increase the variability within how the data is streamed and recorded (due to different transmission and capture rates). So I’m not super worried there.
Overall, looking at the first graphs though during the more normal portions – things tracked well.
Wahoo claims an accuracy rate of +/- 5% for the KICKR SNAP, compared to +/- 2% for the full KICKR. Wahoo believes they might be able to increase the accuracy a bit more, but are still working to refine that. So for now – they’re sticking to +/- 5%. In my testing, it seems very much within that range.
(For those that wish to download the original files for their own analysis, they are available here.)
In the most simple terms, the Wahoo KICKR SNAP supports everything the original Wahoo KICKR supports. Which in turn means it supports the most applications of any trainer out there. Basically out of the 25 or so trainer control/integration apps out there (by 3rd party developers), the KICKR is supported on all but three of them (the only three competitive trainer companies). Heck, even some other trainer companies support the Wahoo KICKR/KICKR SNAP (for example, BKOOL & CycleOps).
I outlined all of these 3rd party applications this past winter as part of my massive trainer guide, which you can read here. Anything that says it supports the KICKR, will work for the KICKR SNAP. Simple as that.
Now, in addition to that, the Wahoo KICKR also works with their own app for controlling the trainer. It’s actually this app that I use the most in my day to day training when I’m riding the KICKR/SNAP. It allows me to easily set a given wattage level and then iterate through my structured workouts. This app is available on iOS & Android.
Finally, there’s been some progress as of late with the ANT+ Trainer Control Profile (officially called FE-C). For example, TACX recently rolled out support of it. That was co-announced with Zwift, TrainerRoad, Kinomap and others all announcing support. The list has continued to grow in the past three weeks since.
That said, Wahoo hasn’t yet declared adoption of it. Instead, they’ve said they’ll do so once customers ask for it, or if a major bike computer company were to add support for controlling the trainers from their bike computers. Meaning, if Garmin were to add support to control your trainer directly – they’d likely support the standard. As of today, Garmin hasn’t made any moves that direction. And given that the KICKR is natively supported by the rest of the apps out there, there’s no real loss to consumers at this point with Wahoo’s stance.
Update July 1st, 2015: With the announcement of the Garmin Edge 520 now supporting the FE-C directly from the head unit, Wahoo has confirmed that they will indeed roll-out support of FE-C within the KICKR & KICKR SNAP. They are still working through determining a timeline for that, fair enough given the Garmin announcement is only a few hours old.
Product Comparison Charts:
I’ve added the Wahoo KICKR SNAP into the product comparison database, which allows you to compare features against not only the existing Wahoo KICKR, but also any of the other trainers that I’ve reviewed. Most of the trainers you see in the product comparison database are electronically controlled, or have some electronic smarts in them (i.e. broadcasting of speed/power/cadence/etc…).
You can mix and match to make your own trainer comparisons within the product comparison tool, but for the purposes of this post I’ve just selected the Wahoo KICKR (original) and the KICKR SNAP:
|Function/Feature||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
|Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 29th, 2021 @ 8:10 am New Window|
|Price for trainer||$599||$1,199|
|Trainer Type||Wheel-on||Direct Drive (no wheel)|
|Available today (for sale)||Yes||Yes|
|Wired or Wireless data transmission/control||Wireless||Wireless|
|Power cord required||Yes||Yes|
|Includes cassette||N/A||Yes (11 Speed SRAM/Shimano)||Resistance||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
|Can electronically control resistance (i.e. 200w)||Yes||Yes|
|Includes motor to drive speed (simulate downhill)||No||No|
|Maximum wattage capability||1,500w @ 40KPH||2500W @ 30mph|
|Maximum simulated hill incline||10%||15%||Features||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
|Ability to update unit firmware||Yes||Yes|
|Measures/Estimates Left/Right Power||No||No|
|Whole-bike physical gradient simulation||No|
|Can directionally steer trainer (left/right)||No||No|
|Can rock side to side (significantly)||No|
|Can simulate road patterns/shaking (i.e. cobblestones)||No||Accuracy||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
|Includes temperature compensation||Yes||Yes|
|Support rolldown procedure (for wheel based)||Yes||Yes|
|Supported accuracy level||+/- 5%||+/- 3%||Trainer Control||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
|Allows 3rd party trainer control||Yes||Yes|
|Supports ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control Standard)||Yes||Yes|
|Supports Bluetooth Smart FTMS (Trainer Control Standard)||Yes||Yes||Data Broadcast||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
|Transmits power via ANT+||Yes||Yes|
|Transmits power via Bluetooth Smart||Yes||Yes|
|Supports Multiple Concurrent Bluetooth connections||No, just one||No, just one|
|Transmits cadence data||No||No||Purchase||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
|Wiggle||Link||Link||DCRainmaker||Wahoo KICKR SNAP (Original)||Wahoo Fitness KICKR V1/2013|
Remember, you can mix and match trainers as you see fit within the product comparison tool, for example, if you wanted to compare the Tacx Bushido Smart Trainer – which I feel is the one most competitive here, especially given the recent ANT+ Trainer Control standard they adopted a few weeks back.
Summary & Thoughts:
Overall the KICKR SNAP is definitely a welcomed entrant into the smart trainer market. The price point at $350 cheaper than the original KICKR is also interesting, though it does enter a more crowded market segment than a year ago. These days you’ve got the very capable Tacx Bushido Smart and Tacx Vortex Smart Trainers, which have many of the same features as the KICKR SNAP, but at a lower price (especially in Europe).
The main advantage the KICKR SNAP has though (and it’s a HUGE one) is application compatibility. No company is more supported in 3rd party apps today than the Wahoo Trainer. Now that might well change over the coming months as trainer app companies gear up for the fall season and head into Eurobike & Interbike (late August/mid September). In that sense, Wahoo is a touch bit early with the KICKR SNAP compared to when most companies announce trainer products (Eurobike/Interbike).
Speaking of which, Wahoo is looking to start shipping in August, so basically a hair over a month away. At this point, short of some sort of unforeseen manufacturing stumble, I don’t see any show-stoppers to hitting that data software/hardware quality-wise.
Pricing wise, the unit is priced at $850US/€899/£649. (Update July 2020: Price is dropped to $499/€485/£429)
With that – thanks for reading! Feel free to drop any questions below and I’ll try and round up answers.
Found this post useful? Or just wanna save a bundle? Here’s how:
I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased. By joining the Clever Training VIP Program, you will earn 10% points on this item and 10% off (instantly) on thousands of other fitness products and accessories. Points can be used on your very next purchase at Clever Training for anything site-wide. You can read more about the details here. By joining, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $49, you get free 3-day (or less) US shipping as well.
Wahoo KICKR SNAP (2017)
Wahoo CLIMB (Note: Note compatible with pre-2017 KICKR SNAP trainers)
Wahoo KICKR DESK
Wahoo Headwind Fan
For European/Australian/New Zealand readers, you can also pickup the unit via Wiggle at the links below, which helps support the site too! With Wiggle new customers get 10GBP (or equivalent in other currencies) off their first order for anything over 50GBP by using code [Currently Disabled] at check-out after clicking the links belo
Wahoo KICKR SNAP (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
Wahoo CLIMB (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
Wahoo KICKR DESK (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
Wahoo Headwind Fan (EU/UK/AU/NZ – Wiggle)
And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that most folks getting a trainer for the first time might not have already:
|Apple TV 4K (2021 Edition)||Amazon||There's no better bang for your buck in getting Zwift (or FulGaz/etc) on your big screen TV than Apple TV - it's the primary way I Zwift. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, the 4K version has more powerful graphics than the base, worth the extra $30.|
|Basic Trainer Mat||Amazon||This is a super basic trainer mat, which is exactly what you'll see me use. All it does is stop sweat for getting places it shouldn't (it also helps with vibrations too).|
|Elago R1 Apple TV Remote Silicone Case with Strap||Amazon||I use Apple TV for Zwift the vast majority of the time, but also just for watching YouTube/Netflix/etc on the trainer. The Apple TV remote sucks though. This $8 case fixes that, it's a silicone strap that makes it easy to grab, but also has a strap to easily place on the edge of your handlebars. Boom! Note: Not compatible with 2021 Apple TV Edition.|
|Front Wheel Riser Block||Amazon||Here's the thing, some people like front wheel blocks, some don't. I'm one of the ones that do. I like my front wheel to stay put and not aimlessly wiggle around. For $8, this solves that problem. Note some trainers do come with them. Also note, I use a riser block with *every* trainer.|
|Honeywell HT-900 Fan||Amazon||I've got three of these $12 fans floating around the DCR Cave, and I frequently use them on rides. They work just fine. Sure, they're not as powerful as a Wahoo Headwind, but I could literally buy 20 of them for the same price.|
|Indoor Cycle Trainer Desk (RAD/Lifeline/Vinsetto/Conquer/etc...)||Amazon||This desk is both a knock-off of the original KICKR Desk, but yet also better than it. First, it's got wheel locks (so the darn thing stays put), and second, it has two water bottle holders (also useful for putting other things like remotes). I've been using it as my main trainer desk for a long time now and love it. Cheaper is better apparently. Note: Branding varies by country, exact same desk.|
|KOM Cycling Trainer Desk||Amazon||This is by far the best value in trainer desks, at only $59, but with most of the features of the higher end features. It's got multi-tier tablet slots, water bottle holders, non-stick surface, adjustable height and more. I'm loving it!|
|Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617)||Amazon||One of the most popular trainer fans out there, rivaling the Wahoo Headwind fan in strength but at a fraction of the price. It doesn't have smartphone/ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but it does have secondary outlets. I've been using it, and a similiar European version lately with great success (exact EU variant I use is automatically linked at left).|
|Tacx Tablet Bike Mount||Amazon||I've had this for years, and use it in places where I don't have a big screen or desk, but just an iPad or tablet on my road bike bars.|
Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (though, no discount/points). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.
Thanks for reading!
I understand it’s cheaper but don’t Wahoo know that there’s price points? The customers who will pay $850 for a trainer are almost entirely the same who will pay $1100 for a trainer. I don’t see how this adds customers.
Ray, you know more of the actual numbers in sales and prices so maybe you can give a better guess but it seems to me that the price point is more likely $500-600. Once you go over that (for a trainer), you’re likely looking at the same customers.
I am not so sure.
I have a KICKR, and being cheap, I would have opted for this model over the current version. I still want the features, but cheaper is better.
Next statement. I would be trying to workout how much not having to worry about training wheel is worth when it comes to my time, or training tyres, or (and I hope this gets covered in the full review) – Continuous drift and the power differences if the tyre is not the same pressure, or screwed into the same distance as previous. At least I know with the current model that it will be the same (depending on how clean the chain is). Some repeatability is the aim, afterall.
Is that repeatability worth $250? possibly. There is a lot to choose between the two. if the difference was another hundred dollars, then the question would be even harder.
In theory, the rolldown calibration takes care of any initial differences such as tyre wear, pressure or clamping force. Where Ray is talking about there being more drift with the SNAP vs. the original KICKR is that you now have more components (namely a wheel & tyre) to drift with temperature changes over the course of a workout.
(First, a minor correct, I should have had the KICKR price at $1,200 – fixed)
That said, I agree to a degree that $850 is on the steeper side given the Tacx offerings. But I think they’re essentially pulling the ‘Garmin card’ out, in that they know they have a more widely compatible product (in this case, with 3rd party apps) – so today they can charge a premium for it.
A year from now? Probably not. The biggest challenge Tacx has there is that they (Tacx) haven’t opened up any Bluetooth Smart control of the platform to 3rd parties, and the reality is that most tablet/phone based apps are using BT Smart, not ANT+, to control them.
You’re confirming my point. You are a customer of the more expensive Kickr and would instead have chosen the cheaper model. You would lose them some money but not help them gain a new customer. This is still the same price point for a customer like you.
There’s certainly a price point above you too. You probably wouldn’t spend $3000 on a Kickr. But this $850 would not make a person considering a mid-range trainer (typically in the $500 range) spend 70 % more to get this trainer.
I was replying to “CapeHorn” above, but the comments don’t show up nested that way for some reason.
I have to agree with don. I have been lusting after a KICKR for a while, and while the SNAP has everything I want, the savings of $350 doesn’t make me want to jump on it. In fact, it pushes me away from it because when I hit that price point of $850, it becomes less about saving money & more about getting exactly what I want. In this case, I would say that if I’m already willing to pay a premium for a trainer, why get a standard roller trainer with all the negative nuances (i.e. wheel slip) when I can get a KICKR trainer for just $350 more.
Pricing the SNAP at $599 or even $649 would make me jump all over it. But at $849, I may as well keep going up to $1199 & get the top of the line.
To be quite blunt, the more expensive unit is more than I am willing to consider at this point; but I am open to considering the less expensive model, especially since it lets me leave the rear wheel in place.
Let’s just say that my wife has a few pet peeves, including high ticket capital purchase items that she does not personally see the benefit of (my wife is not a triathlete, at least not yet, though I am trying to persuade her) and clutter (the ability of this unit to fold and stow is a definite plus).
As a consequence, Don, I would suggest that it is erroneous to assume that the market for one is also the market for the other. My openness to a sub thousand price tag is drastically greater than my openness to an over a thousand price tag. Essentially, my resistance becomes exponential once it crosses that threshold.
I agree. I have had issues with tire longevity on rear-wheel friction trainers…even when I follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The solution was a second wheel with a trainer specific tire. When you add in this cost, the gap closes further. In addition to that, consistency from workout to workout is a challenge because of varying tire pressure and constant calibration.
The price point needs to be wider to make the Snap a better overall value.
Totally agree with Drew W
Priced at $599 at Performance bike as a Cyber Monday special. In store only for this price. Details below.
link to slickdeals.net
Steven Lengua, appreciate better research and less rumor before posting. If you take the time to go to the Performance Bike website and actually read the Terms & Conditions of the coupon, Wahoo Fitness is among the excluded brands.
If it looks too good to be true, then in most cases it probably will be…
Thanks for the feedback. There are no specific exclusions for Wahoo on the receipt itself and that is what the clerks go by. I wouldn’t have posted it if I hadn’t bought it earlier for myself at this price. My receipt from the store is attached. Hopefully that is enough research for you? Maybe this deal is only for folks who actually find the too good to be true deal, score it and then take the time to share for the benefit of others. I’m more than happy with my purchase at the price mentioned previously, and I hope others can get to the store in time to get it. Happy Holidays.
Yeah, Performance always lists Wahoo as excluded on coupons/deals, but it never actually is (nor has been for years, despite also saying it was for years).
The coupon is live again today, so if anyone is interested go in store to snag this trainer. I wouldn’t pay $849 for it (imho), but for $599 I considered it and got it. The coupon when printed does not list any exclusions and so the clerk didn’t even check. If they give any trouble maybe showing them my receipt would help. I’ve never had any trouble at a PB shop, they’ve always been a stand up store. Good luck fellow cyclists!
Dang, thats a good price. Wish it was an online deal!
Steven, thats a good deal for sure, nice score. I did see that deal but figured after driving to the nearest store (Pasadena which is 90 miles round trip…so gas $), and paying tax (LA County higher than SD) I would have saved not a heck of a lot :/ . No tax onWahoo site (I was told) and free shipping. Almost did it anyways but am doing more research, but leaning towards the Snap. How do you like it??
Haven’t tried it yet =). Soccer season just ended for my kids so I’ve been able to get out and ride in the mornings. Season starts up again after new years so my weekend AM will be busy again, and I ride the trainer in the afternoon. I’m hoping I can simulate California roads and or race courses on the Wahoo. Not sure though. Figure this virtual ride thing is just going to get bigger and bigger. Thought I would jump in at ground level with a decent price.
I am jumping all over now since they are offering the certified refurbished for 579,00 no tax and no shipping cost.
Who? Where? I don’t see anything at Performance Bike site.
Oh–I see. It’s at the Wahoo site.
link to wahoofitness.com
You got it.. now the correct picture
I found a brand new snap on craigslist………$450. Should i go for it?
I have a wheel on Minoura trainer and never get wheel slip. Maybe your adjustment is off.
Hey Ray, knowing it is a pre-production unit, what is your qualitative feedback on the noise level associated with the trainer?
It’s pretty much normal, sounds in line with other tire-based trainers. I’ll figure out a way to record the noise better.
Hey Ray, very cool. Any thoughts on the noise this makes compared to the KICKR and other trainers? I live in an apartment so I need to minimize noise as much as possible. I’m always concerned my CycleOps mag is too loud at around 85 dB at 3ft. Thanks.
It seems comparable. The thing is with trainers is it’s all about two factors:
1) Speed of your wheel
2) Trainer tire
If you equalize those two factors, I’ve shown in past tests that virtually all tire-based trainers operate within the same very narrow dB range.
In the video you hear the sound being pretty awful, but that’s just the microphone. I’ll have to figure out how to more accurately capture it (either in the Cave, or by just temporarily recording it elsewhere).
How about this little piece of equipment? 🙂
link to amazon.com
Right, know that noise level is a common question, and one that is tough to answer in relative terms. True that the tire (tyre for the euros) and speed makes a difference.
What I have noticed is differences of sound levels at given wattage levels over speed of the wheel. 250 watts is very different from 500 watts of effort given the braking force the trainer has to produce to resist the spin – in other words a watts vs. watts measure in lieu of speed.
In general terms, my electric force Tacx “growls” much louder at higher watt levels, whereas the fluid Kurt Kinetics tends to “whirrrr” more linear with increased watts. And as an odd side note, the older rim trainer stays pretty level regardless of the watts, yet of course the braking force in this case is constant.
Wahoo has long promised that their app for controlling the Kickr would be user configurable “soon.” As it stands now, controlling resistance is on a separate data page from heart rate, one of the primary metrics of most/many workouts. Hugely inconvenient. Even without letting users create a custom data page, why not have a static one with resistance control and heart rate? This seems like a no-brainer.
Yeah, the Wahoo app is definitely a let-down when it comes to configurable fields. For me, I just use the app to control the wattage, but I use a Garmin to display the power and watch that.
When can we expect the full Epix review?
Epix is SO BUGGY, that I’d postpone it for at least a month. Just returned one to the store. It’s unusable.
couldn’t agree more. Some of the bugs I dont think can get fixed, its just hardware limitation (slow processor, not enough RAM)
Not getting this one to be honest. The price differential from original kickr isn’t high enough, I think people would go Tacx smart now that Tacx have finally woken up and opened the platform up.
Ray, lot’s of comments about power meter accuracy on the Kickr as it hasn’t got temp compensation. Have Kickr addressed on this one?
Great to read about coming products and great to have neutral reviews before they go on sale. Thanks.
Interested in the accuracy question, too, as there seem to be a lot of KICKRs out there that diverge a lot more than the claimed 2%, even with spin down and taking into account that the power meters they are compared to will often have some diversion too and possible beyond manufacturers specification.
My additional, related question would be whether they support hooking up to an external power meter for more accurate (or at least consistent) resistance control as they did with their firmware update for the KICKR?
My understanding is that same functionality is supported here as well, but I’ll validate.
As for temperature compensation, it does indeed have it (one can actually see it within the screen shots).
According to the comparison tables on Wahoo’s own website, the SNAP does not have 3rd party power meter support.
Ok, that’s interesting. So in theory this should be more accurate than the original Kickr? And presumably that also means Kickr will get that update soonish…
Interesting. I first read BikeRadar’s article on this new trainer, which claimed that “Aside from providing digital wattage information, the Snap functions like a standard trainer where the rider controls the resistance by shifting gears and changing cadence.” That certainly made the MSRP seem way high, but if it has electronic resistance control like the regular KICKR it makes much more sense. Still wouldn’t trade mine for a SNAP though!
Ohh and could you please tell Wahoo to hurry up and release a magnet-less dual-band speed sensor? I really don’t get why they don’t have one on the market already, all that should be required is different firmware for the RPM and a new snap-on mount that fits around a hub. Should be a quick and simple project!
Yeah, BikeRadar is confused.
the price point doesn’t seem competitive at all compared to the Tacx trainers. You can get the bushido in the uk for around £380 and the vortex around £250 – now the Tacx units have ANT FE-C which the major apps support I can’t see the advantage of the £850 snap (not a good name either !)
It doesn’t cost that much though, but Wahoo’s pricing is admittedly a bit strange. While I cannot verify Wahoo’s US pricing (the location selector on their site is broken) it seems MSRP for the regular KICKR is $1099 USD/€1099.99 EUR/£1099.99 GBP, same numbers even though the currencies differ quite a lot with the UK clearly getting the worst deal. The KICKR SNAP however is currently priced at $849 USD/€665.03 EUR/£569.49 GBP, which means the UK price (which includes VAT) is actually lower than the US price (which doesn’t), and European price is lower still! Someone must’ve screwed up their calculations…
It looks like on the US side the KICKR is actually $1,199, not the $1,099 I had.
I had the same problem as you (it kicks be back to the EUR site), so it looks like they raised the US price some while ago.
even at those prices, what do you get over the Tacx Vortex at £250 – apart from bluetooth support (which for me is irrelevant as I’m exclusively ant+) ?
the apps I use (zwift/trainerroad etc) support FE-C so no probs there and there is no way I’m putting out 2000watts so again a non-issue
For your case with Zwift/TrainerRoad, you don’t get much extra (well, it could be argued the SNAP is built stronger, which I’d agree with – whether that really matters is debatable).
But, if you use one of the other ~20 apps that don’t support the FE-C – then the Tacx might be a show-stopper.
Wahoo’s website is showing $1099 for the KICKR (accessed from a computer in the US):
link to wahoofitness.com
$1099.99 – 10 speed
$1199.99 – 11 speed
Since most newer bikes are 11 speed these days, it makes sense to default to that price point.
Can you run a 10 speed cassette on an 11 speed trainer?
I am leapfrogging trainers and bikes and so I want to make sure the trainer is backwards compatible until I get a newer bike?
Yes, though, it’s best to be in Erg mode where you aren’t changing gears. Otherwise, you’ll get certain gearing that won’t really work, but in Erg mode you can just find whatever gearing is silent and change the power as required.
It’s what I do sometimes when testing bikes that run varying configs.
it’s also just a standard cassette, so it’s easy to buy a low-end cassette with the right count. And it’s not like the proper gearing/tooth count matters..
I want a new Kickr, same as the old one, just quieter!
I’d replace mine for just quieter version, I hope they do this with a Kickr 2.
I’ve been looking at the Wahoo Kickr for a while as a means to use Zwift – which looks pretty cool.
But I’ve been between getting a Kickr or getting a Stages power meter and a fluid trainer.
Now there is a cheaper version of the Kickr I’m confused again – I might end up with both – or just as likely, neither.
Currently in the UK the kickr is £900, I wonder how much the Kickr snap is likely to be then?
Replying to my own comment.
It’s list price is £570. Now considering the Kickr list price is £1,100 and you can get it for £900, then I would hope the snap would come in under the £500 mark.
But why would/should the Snap be less than half the price?
Well RRP it’s already going to be about half the price. Kickr is RRP £1,100 and Snap is RRP £570, only £20 off being half price, before you take into account any discount from RRP.
List price has been changed to £650!
So this doesn’t have an actual power meter like the proper Kickr then? Although the readouts in the video seemed accurate enough.
So, basically, the only difference between the KICKR and the SNAP is just that way you put your bike on it (and what comes as consequence, as less drag, more precise power measurement)?
Or is there something else I missed from your review?
Wahoo would argue that the KICKR (original) has a better feel to it – which is indeed true. Now that said, at some point most trainers still feel like a trainer. I’d say though that the KICKR SNAP feels better than the lesser priced Tacx Smart trainers though. And feels perfectly fine to me.
They’d also argue (correctly), that the KICKR original won’t ever have any wheel slip, which is also true. But at the same time, I haven’t seen wheel slip with the SNAP either (but have seen it with numerous other lesser priced trainers). Wheel slip is when you exert significant power to the trainer (such as a steep incline or a sprint), and the wheel ‘slips’, causing a slight jump.
Well, then it look like the perfect choice: same compatibility and width of options as the KICKR, almost same feel, but 350USD less…
Can’t wait to buy it…
Unless they also come out with an improved KICKR vNext
Have you ever tried hard climbing sessions in erg mode? Such as 30-30 sessions. Wouldn’t the increased resistance on the roller + more power to the pedal cause much more tire slippag? So far that seems to be the only thing that would make me want to get the original over the Snap, but then again, its almost $700 cad more…
Technically yes, but not really appreciably for 99% of riders. I do 30/30’s often, and usually in the 500w/100w range. If you’re doing them at something like 1,200w/100w, then yes, there’s far less issues with slippage on a direct drive trainer. But otherwise, nothing of concern.
From reading this review, it looks to me like a fatal blow to Racermate/Computrainer. I have a very old Computrainer which I was considering replacing with a Kickr. However the fact that my Computrainer is still functional and compatible with Zwift made me reluctant to spend the money. The SNAP looks like it will change my mind. It will also mean that I’ll be giving away the Computrainer for pennies at best!
So it has the “erg” mode?? if so, i cannot wait….. #binthebkool
Yes, it does.
Ray, do you know what technology the device used to measure power? Do they have a small LED and a photodetector on the cylinder like the Cycleops PowerBeam Pro? Thanks!
So torn between the Vortex Smart and something more expensive (like the SNAP or Powerbeam / Sync). For me, I feel like I’d keep buying additional power meters over a smart trainer if the price is >> $500-600. As nice as direct drive sounds, I’d love to avoid wheel removal too.
So far I’ve been using a Kurt Road Machine for ~7 years with a PowerTap for most of it. I’d like to avoid swapping wheels between bikes, but also an intrigued by ERG workouts.
When I saw the post pop into my feed I went wishing this would fill my needs. Maybe if someone offers a big discount coupon or eventually some refurbs I’d re-look at it. The KICKR can be found for as low as ~$900-950 at times so maybe I have a hope.
That all being said, I’m resorting to 90% trainer rides lately so maybe the trainer investment is worth it for me.
Also somewhat bummed by the 5% accuracy spec on the SNAP — that seems pretty significant. Is that after a rolldown calibration?
I wouldn’t want to be doing Over-Under Intervals with 5% power accuracy, as that probably blurs the lines between training zones.
I would like to use my Powertap for resistance control, so I would have purchased the Snap rather than the Kickr, but I really like the Kickr’s drivetrain engagement, heavy flywheel and stability.
The Kickr is compatible with more bikes than the Snap? Any tire width restrictions on the Snap?
Not compatible with 142mm hubs? I guess a refurbished Kickr at $950.00 is a better deal right?
I assume this means that there will be no possible price drops on the original KICKR in the near future as the SNAP will be their competitor product to the rest of the trainer market & the KICKR will remain in a class by itself (thus justifying the high price).
Do you anticipate any sort of price drop on the original KICKR, lest the SNAP really cannibalize sales, or do you think Wahoo is holding firm on that front? I’d really like to replace my aging Computrainer with a KICKR, but the price has always been an issue. I was hoping for an eventual drop, not a new product, but it seems those hopes may be dashed.
Ray, have you been testing this one? It’s not on the Tacx website, not in the magazines and nowhere else. Anyone an idea about pricing, specs, availability,…?
link to pedal-pedal.co.uk
Looks like Tacx may have solved the training noise level if the NEO is the real deal.
I don’t have anything at this time there.
More info: Tacx NEO Smart turbo trainer could redefine genre – BikeRadar
…talking about the skewer…
“But the implantation”. I think you mean implementation.
Glad you got something out of this article.
Ray puts in countless, selfless man hours to conduct and type up these in depth reviews without pay. I think he deserves a bit of leeway.
Ray is a big boy and is generally appreciative of any additional proof reading. (note that he’s already corrected the typo) Pretty sure he doesn’t need you to defend his honor.
Hi Ray. Hope you are doing well. Is it fair to assume that the P1 pedals have overtaken the place of vectors on your bikes for the time being. Cheers.
It has, though merely because I can’t put both pedals on at the same time. 🙂 And right now I’m focused on the P1.
That said, I’m loving the P1’s. I don’t foresee going back to Vector after I’m done with the P1 testing (the reason is singular: Installation is un-screw-up-able and non-finicky).
I see this as less of a competitive product to KiCKR’s original trainer and more of a direct competitor to the PowerBeam Pro (list price is $999). So the $850 price seems spot on to me.
I will be interested in your full review to see how it compares to the PowerBeam Pro. The main difference I see between those two products is that the KiCKR supports both Bluetooth and ANT+ while the Powerbeam Pro gives you and either/or option when you purchase.
One thing I have notices on the PowerBeam Pro is that it has a harder time dealing with lower watts. So, for example, if you are a big dude with an FTP over 200, you don’t notice any problems because even your “easy spin” is going to be above 100. But if you are a little peep (like me), with an FTP under 150, then your “easy spin” just doesn’t quite match up. I notice this particularly when using TrainerRoad or Zwift where the ERG mode is on. It would be great if you could review or comment on that piece of the puzzle.
Yeah, I think the biggest (and it’s huge) drawback I see is the PowerBeam Pro’s inability to do dual. It’s just hard for me to recommend it as a single-protocol option these days. With so many apps on BT Smart, yet so much of the population on Garmin head units, it puts one in an awkward spot.
I have the Kickr (now hosting the wife’s bike) and the Kickr Snap, so I can comment on this. Putting the wife on the original Kickr was a good choice for the reason you are concerned about. With the Snap, when I used the Wahoo Fitness App, I couldn’t really get much less than 100 watts on it, no matter what it was set at. In Trainerroad (erg mode where software controls the power), I had some rest intervals at 100 watts and with normal cadence I could only get down to ~110 watts. If I slowed down, then I could get it to drop to 100. After my ride, as a test, I opened another workout and reduced the level way down, and I managed to get down to about 70 Watts.
Based on my experience, I’d say the original Kickr would be a much better choice for you than the Snap.
A separate point regarding cost. If you’re a Campy user, the price difference between the Kickr and the Snap works out to something closer to $500 when you figure in the adapter and another cassette. This is pretty significant and swayed me towards the Snap for the 2nd trainer.
Finally, the Snap is very quiet – in fact seems quieter than the original Kickr to me, though I haven’t had them going simultaneously yet.
Sounds like you are over-gearing the Snap. My wife and son are able to use the snap with less than 50W if need be. You just need to use little ring and big rear cog.
Thanks for the tip – I’ll keep it in mind if the occasion arises.
My KICKR has that same inline-power-connector as the SNAP. Or I misunderstand about what’s different there.
I really like the wheel-off style. I don’t worry about overheating tires, having tire dust, worrying about slippage, etc.
So it has the flexy cable? Interesting, my KICKR just has a hole in it, that I then plug the wall-cable into.
Here’s my KICKR, turtled, to show the power connector. It’s really short, I’m unsure if I prefer this or a “hole”.
link to dropbox.com
Interesting indeed, looks like they added it at some point along the line (my KICKR is from pretty early in the product life, perhaps 3-4 months after initial release).
My KICKR is the same as yours. I’ve used zip ties to prevent anything from easily pulling on the cable connecting into the unit. Even ended up using zip ties to affix the power brick to one of the rear arms. Works great!
What would be an even greater benefit is if the unit would reverse the electric draw and put power back into the grid. If I could reduce my electric bill, that would be another incentive to get on the bike and help payback the cost of the unit.
This should give you some perspective on what you are asking for:
link to youtu.be
I just ordered a KICKR this morning. I sure hope they are not going to come out with a KICKR 2 this year.
Anyone using a v650 to get data from an KICKR? Hoping someday Polar/Wahoo will give us an option to control a trainer from the V650 headunit.
Nicholas, I also have a V650 and am thinking of buying a Kickr Snap. Have you been able to get accurate data on the V650 and Flow website?
Just been back on the KICKR for the first time this Autumn and pleased to see that it now pairs and transmits power data to the V650.
For the extra $350, “spare” your rear tire and get the Kickr. That being said, I love my Kickr.
Can you comment on any difference in “noise” volume and pitch between the two? I briefly had a kickr and while the dB seem similar to Kurt kinetic I found the pitch higher so it seemed louder. Thanks
Could you please post the link (as you said it in the youtube vid) for putting a garmin mount on a smartphone.
Sorry, here ya go: link to blog.trainerroad.com
I’ve been planning on getting a KICKR this winter for basement training (and playing in Zwift). I’ve been holding off buying one assuming that there’s a good chance that there will be a KICKR v2 released at the end of the summer. Does this mean that there definitely won’t be?
I don’t know if there’ll be a v2, the v1 is near-perfect already.
Zwift is neat but for me the killer app is TrainerRoad with Sufferfest.
Yeah, I’ve been using TrainerRoad for 2 years and I love it. Thought it might be an interesting option to mix it up with Zwift.
I’ve been using a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine 2 with Wahoo Blue SC sensors. It’s a good setup and I’m still wondering if it’s worth the money to upgrade to the KICKR. I’m most interested in the controlled resistance so that I don’t have to pay so much attention to following the line in TrainerRoad.
Ben, if you don’t like manually adjusting in Trainerroad, the kickr is for you. I ride Sufferfest workouts right at my pain threshold, and having the “automatic difficulty adjustment” is both incredibly accurate and also allows you to focus on giving everything you’ve got. The only thing it doesn’t do well is Sprint repeats, like 5 or 10 second sprints, as it takes a few seconds to adjust. I can show TR workouts showing that if you want- though email/twitter is probably easier than comments here.
This! I have KK mag trainer for indoor winter rides with trainer road. Have the machine control the resistance for power levels would be great. Just not sure it would be $600 tacx great, $850 new kickr great, or $1200 original kickr great.
Changing a single gear on my trainer has very little effect once you are going. Trying to figure out how to get from 160 watts to 200 watts to 240 watts involves me testing out ahead gear jumps and mag resistance levels.
I don’t really see the use-case for these super expensive trainers with built-in powermeters, because:
1. You need an on-bike power meter anyway for outside
2. You really want that power meter to match your indoor work at high precision
I use Zwift a lot on my dumb trainer + power meter and am 100% satisfied. I do not want the resistance to change based on the course, ESPECIALLY downhills. If I want to change resistance I just…change gears. Let’s me control my training perfectly, which is the biggest advantage of indoor training.
I can see the KICKR, since it offers a better feel and doesn’t wear tires, but not this.
Doesn’t the controlled resistance also allow it to simulate low speed, high power hill climbing? I also have a dumb trainer and the only way to get to high power is to move to a high gear and get the wheel turning fast. Maybe it’s just in my head, but that rear wheel spinning fast is never going to feel like a low speed hill climb.
Yep, it lets you put out X watts, independent of “wheel” or pedal RPM. The watt measurement is essential to make the whole thing work. It’s not just putting you at a given resistance.
I don’t understand why any trainer manufacturers don’t use a spring to push the roller against the wheel. The tension of a heavy guage spring would be constant. Screwing the roller up against the tire… just seems to leave too many variables into the equation.
Likely because in order to get the force-on pressure, the spring might be too strong for some riders to push down onto when attaching their bikes.
I have a twenty-year-old TravelTrac with a spring. A latch holds the roller back as you put the bike on trainer, easy peasy.
Whatever spring tension is ok for 150psi super skinny tires can be way too much for fatter 90psi tires. Not everyone is using standard training tires. Also normal compression spring is not really constant pressure unless it is rather long. So you either have to go for a spring that is too long or use special purpose constant force springs. Either might complicate design and make it more expensive. Just an example. There can of course be other reasons.
Just a minor point unless you are highly space constrained (e.g. New York City apartment)… The original KICKR will take up less room without a rear wheel.
I really looking forward to it … where i find i M missing out is my ability to adjust to differing inclines…since where i ride is mostly flat … so looking for a trainer with ability to work with gps courses
jsut wish one could control SNAP resistance from my quarq not from internal; but then i will jsut learn the difference between the two inthe erg mode i guess
otherwise I was actually looking for a KICKR without the hassle of rear wheel change aka Computertrainer so I AM IN
With the Edge 520 it looks like Wahoo has their incentive to add ANT+ FE-C to the KICKRs?
Perhaps that note in the review about a major cycle computer manufacturer adding support for the protocol was intentional foreshadowing of today’s announcement?
Actually, Wahoo didn’t know till 7:00AM EST this morning about it. But I called them at 7:01AM and we had a chat and they’ve confirmed they plan to support FE-C in the KICKR & KICKR SNAP. They’re just sorting through the exact timelines for that (logical given they only found out a few hours ago).
Minor point, although it may make a different in the comparisons for some people…
From Wahoo’s site it looks like the original KICKR has a 3% accuracy spec.
Yeah, I had asked Wahoo to validate/verify all the information in the tables and they said it’s good. I’ll circle back and ask which number is correct.
Do you think that Wahoo will now add support for the ANT+ FE-C protocol, given that Garmin have announced that the Garmin 520 will be supporting it?
Oops. Sorry, I didn’t read the comments properly and my question has been asked and answered. Feel free to delete mine 🙂
Is the power cord the same kind as the kickr? If one wants to buy a duplicate or second one, what should you look for? Wahoo retailers want $99 for a replacement…which seems like robbery.
Ordered this: http://www.parts-express.com/12-vdc-5a-switching-power-supply-with-25-x-55mm-plug–120-056
Is that an edge 25 with a watch strap I see? If so, could it be a good option for both cycling and running? Thanks for the great review.
Within the video there’s an Epix hanging down in between the other Edge units. Just doing data redundant collection.
Great news that they’ll support FE-C, this is definitely the way to go.
I’d like to think that this will become a de-facto standard within a year.
We just need to see some standardisation emerge for the BTLE side now …….
do you have to have an iPhone or will an iPad work for the connectivity and software?
As a KICKR owner, there is one aspect that no-one has really picked up on here, and that is the ability to share a trainer with the rest of your family and whatever bikes they may be using. As the KICKR is a wheel off design where the cassette must match your bike setup, this can be restrictive. My wife’s and son’s bike is a 9 speed, my daughter has a MTB and wanted to do some spinning over the winter – none of these bikes are compatible with the KICKR and none of them are really up for taking a wheel off. They use a simple Cyclops mag trainer instead. The KICKR is matched up with an old (busted frame) cannondale I have, so its pretty much a dedicated “spin bike setup” just for me. Food for thought……
There is another aspect to the original KICKR which again no-one really comments on. On your road bike, assuming you do decent mileage, your chain wears in tandem with your cassette…kinda….certainly when I then moved my bike to the KICKR it was very noisy and notchety. I ended up moving over the cassette too.
Its for the above two reasons that I think a wheel-on design will suit a very large number of consumers. Wheel off is really for dedicated high mileage athletes.
Lee – good points. A couple notes. my orig KICKR supports a MTB and a Road bike. There is a little adapter that came with it to adjust to the different spacing. You are probably also aware that you don’t need to or want to shift when in ERG mode (the normal mode most people use). The wattage is automatically adjusted to match the workout profile as your cadence changes (I use TrainerRoad and Zwift). So shift to a quiet mid-cassette cog and go. That could make it more compatible with various bikes? I use a single speed setup on my KICKR – a single cog with spacers, and put my old road bike on it. No brakes, no shifters, no cables, no derailleurs. Just a bare bones bike for use on the trainer. With a QR seat post, different riders can adjust sizing and use it.
True Dave, on my wife’s bike though I couldn’t get a quiet cog, the derailleur would need re-indexing onto the kickr cassette else it was always between cogs. It also slipped somethinh rotten in certain cogs, no doubt the difference between a 10sp cassette and 9 or 8 chain.
But in essence I guess the point I was making is that the SNAP is far more attractive to being shared, other than a training skewer change which is a once-only thing, you just bolt up whatever bike you have and you’re off.
Regarding the ERG comment, I agree, 99% of the time I use this. However when doing something like a sufferfest video via trainerroad, there are times where you want to get out of the saddle and would prefer a tonne more resistance, so changing to a higher gear…..but then in ERG mode you tend to over-power, the setup reduces the resistance and its all a bit “horrible” 🙂 And of course there are those times when trainerroad is asking you for crazy watts and you’re simply unable to deliver. You grind to a halt and just lock up if you’re in ERG mode. With a basic resistance mode you can just accept you’re not achieving what was asked and take a breather.
Let’s assume you can get a Bushido Smart for $500, is the SNAP worth $200 more than the Bushido? $300 more? (assuming also that, once released, a partial deal could be found).
I’m having trouble wavering back and forth with pulling the trigger on a Bushido Smart vs waiting.
I generally only use TrainerRoad with an iPad or iPhone. a bummer is that i always need to connect my Wahoo key since i use a Kurt Road Machine and a PowerTap for Power. I’d like to go fully accessory-less on the iPhone (sans-wahoo key) but that won’t happen with the Tacx unless they open up their BTLE.
Such a tough decision… in general I believe the additional app support for the KICKR is not so important to me, but feel, reliability and robustness is important. I just can’t tell if the SNAP has more of enough of those areas to justify both waiting and $200-$300 extra cost!
Regarding kickr and FE-C, are they going to release a firmware update or is it a piece of hardware that must be added, therefore old kickr’s will not have that option?
I called Wahoo on Monday. The snap does not currently have adapters to work with a 142mm thru axle. If disc brakes are in your future for 2016, be warned… this may not work. I also called Tacx and they don’t see any problems with 142 using the required adapters but will not work with Boost axles.
please let us know if the old kickr will need a piece of hardware for FE-C or is this just a firmware update. thanks.
It will be just a firmware update.
Outside of rear wheel v. no rear wheel preference, power accuracy and price this has all the functionality of the the KICKR. I’m looking for something that functions like my old CompuTrainer – you select a course and it changes the resistance as the course changes – and this appears to fit the bill. At half the price of a CompuTrainer, did I miss something (other than “lab accurate” wattage)?
If you could choose between this, the Kickr Snap, and the Tacx Vortex Smart, which would you go for? I’m torn between the two. Unfortunately the snap doesn’t come out for another month but the Tacx is available now. Is there much difference between them? Is it worth waiting for the Snap? Thanks!
Here in the UK, the Vortex Smart can be had for £285. We’re yet to see what the street price is for the KICKR Snap, currently its £650 from Wahoo. But thats a big difference. Perhaps a truer comparison is between the Bushido Smart as its a bit more heavyweight – thats £409 here, still a fair bit cheaper.
The KICKR demanded a high price as it was a solid piece of kit, one of the first (if not the first?) to market with a dual BT/ANT stack and resistance control. They did well to get in first and all of the popular apps supported their product first.
But now the rest are catching up. I think Wahoo might have to rethink their pricing. Tacx are hardly “new, unproven vendor” like perhaps BKool might be considered.
So the main advantage the KICKR SNAP has right now over the Tacx offerings is that all of the iOS (and many Android) apps support the KICKR/SNAP via Bluetooth Smart, whereas there isn’t yet a way for 3rd party apps to control the Tacx series via Bluetooth Smart (only ANT+). This isn’t a big deal for desktop apps or even many Android apps (since you can do ANT+ there), but is a big deal if you want an iOS app that doesn’t have ANT+ (if you or the app doesn’t have ANT+ support/dongle).
Thanks both. Thats useful. I’m really looking to get a setup where I can use trainerroad + Sufferfest OR Zwift and get the feedback from the device.
I’m a bit torn between the vortex and snap (possibly bushido but have seen some bad reviews).
I’m an average cyclist looking to upgrade to a smart trainer and get something a bit more fun/interactive to use indoors. I think I might go for the Vortex but I do like the look of the wahoo stuff.
Thanks again for the responses. Really appreciate it.
Both Zwift and TrainerRoad support ANT+ control of both product lines. So you’re good either way.
I hope you can do a review of the tacx neo. thanks for all your work ken
Yes, it is planned.
Yes, I would also like to see a review of the Tacx neo smart. I am close to buying a Kickr but may hold out for a review of the neo
You’ll see a preview this week, followed by a real review later.
How do you adjust the trainer to accomodate for different sized wheels and for different sized hubs?
The twisty knob at the base allows for changing the height of the roller.
I am looking to upgrade/augment my trainer from the Kinetic inRide to the Wahoo unit.
Couple of questions:
Besides wheel mount and cost and mass, it seems like the snap and original have the same functionality. Any differences I am missing? I was told by a LBS that the snap does not hold wattage specified like the original kicker, is that the case?
The idea of the unit holding the wattage for me is a great improvement over the inride unit as it allows me to concentrate on cadence only. Also the ability to ride segments online anywhere in the world. Any other ‘advantages’ you see over the inride?
Thanks Ray and keep up the great work!!!
Simply put, your LBS is confused – the SNAP holds wattage exactly like the KICKR. Otherwise, you’ve outlined the only differences.
Thanks, Ray! You actually answered my question as well. Functionally, the original KICKR and SNAP seemed identical but I felt I was missing some “gotcha” since there was a $350 price difference.
Thanks again Ray.
Hi Ray, do you have any stats on width and length of the unit? The main reason I’m asking is to determine whether the unit would fit in a suitcase easily. This is for when I travel, I can pack in one case and my bike in the other. Cookie
I just purchased the Kickr SNAP and have been ‘playing’ with it a couple of times; setting up and a quick spin to try the different modes etc…
A few questions to all the Wahoo users:
(I have a Garmin 510 that I use on the road with Vector pedals for power on the road. )
I noticed that when I tried a basic spin using the Wahoo app and then with trainer road later that the cadence is not indicated. I like to train to power and cadence, is their a way to read my cadence from my Garmin 510 set up? (I noticed on Ray’s excellent video review (@6:10) that cadence was not being measured as well.) Should I just run my Garmin 510 / Vector setup in parallel with the Wahoo app or TR software?
When using Trainer Road with preselected workouts: at predetermined power intervals in Erg mode, do I just leave the gear selection alone and not change it? What about cadence? Eg. I imagine that if i am in a certain gear (e.g. 50/17) and the power is 200W and cadence is let’s say 90RPM, that when a HIIT session kicks in at 275W, that in the same gear will my cadence automatically drop as the power ramps up? I’m used to using the Kurt Kinetic and changing gears to up the power and then trying to maintain a certain cadence to hold that power. (Muscular endurance vs neuromuscular training)
Hi Vince…..I assume you get cadence from your vector pedals as well as power. The kickr does not measure cadence. You’re totally relying on how clever the software you plan on using is here…..because you need to link both the kickr and the vector in order to get kickr control as well as both sets of data. In trainerroad this is doable as the kickr is added as a specific device, then you add in “power meter” for your vector. You then change the settings to use the kickr as the authoritative device for power. This only works on TR. The wahoo app on iOS would only let me connect to either a kickr *or* a power meter (stages) but not both together, I was told it was a restriction of the bluetooth stack, however it appears trainerroad on iOS allows you to……
Ideally run in erg mode and then cadence is irrelevant. You will choose a cadence you are comfortable with. So to answer your specific case about an increase of 275W, you can either keep the cadence the same and apply more effort, or spin your legs faster, its up to you. Given you are used to maintaining the same cadence, then do the same on the kickr, obviously the muscular effort required will have to increase to compensate.
Thanks for the reply!
I was told by trainer road to activate the cadence & sensor tab (it will pick up my GSC-10 Garmin cadence sensor) in the device tab….but it didn’t work that one time. Maybe I need to try it again…
Otherwise I will just run the Garmin 510, side-by-side, with TR/Kickr and read the cadence off the garmin unit.
Just starting out in cycling and looking for a trainer so I can utilise TrainerRoad and other online resources.
What’s the consensus between Wahoo Kickr Snap, TACX Vortex Smart and now Bkool (now they have announced Ant+ control)??
The Kickr Snap is a little more pricey here in Aus (and hard to source) over the TACX Vortex smart and the BKOOL models.
I have a Garmin 520 hence the Ant+ control being a big feature.
Hi, first and most important thanks for the reviews. I did however have a question not mention on your analysis, can either a KICKR or a SNAP smart trainer communicate with the Tacx software (version 3 hopefully) or 4 but I will have to buy it. To follow both RLV and or Strava downloaded segments or routes?
I may have missed this- so apologies if it’s already been answered…but what is it like to ride? I have a 17 year old cateye cyclosimulator that’s a joy to ride…feels better than just about all of the modern turbos I have tried. What’s the Snap like to actually spend time on? Forget the maths…what’s the feel like?
For this of you who were saying why wouldn’t you go Tacx- I had a Bushido for 4 days- worst experience ever. Spent more time configuring it than riding it. Even when it was working…a day later it decided not to work. It went back. V poor.
I am new to this site and apologize ahead of time if I am violating any protocols. I am in the market for a trainer and am torn between the Cycle Ops Power Beam and the Wahoo Kickr Snap. I’ve considered the Tacx iGenius but after reading the various reviews, have decided against it.
I’m an amateur cyclist. I ride 2-4 times per week, typically anywhere from 12 – 30 miles per ride, and I also spin at my local gym.
Any and all guidance appreciated.
Sometimes stuff just sits. As for me I’d get the Snap. I have a regular Kickr and have been quite satisfied. CS at Wahoo is first rate and the unit itself has been reliable. Wahoo apps function well. I don’t know why the sand would be any different.
Tacx has had software problems in the past so I am a bit scared of them.
Of course my opinion is just that and not fact.
Question regarding variability of power measurements. On my “normal” Tracx Comp fluid trainer I get what seems like huge perceived variability with the resistance depending on exactly how tight I turn the roller adjustment knob. (using TrainerRoad’s virtual power and what I just ‘feel’). Even a quarter of a turn makes a difference. Same thing seems to apply to tire pressure, but that’s easier to keep consistent. I’ve been thinking of getting the Kickr or a power meter instead of the Kickr Snap for to eliminate these issues. Is my reasoning sound or I’m I just doing something wrong?
Your reasoning seems close, but I believe an ERG based trainer should be able to calibrate the effect of the “knob tightness” and tire pressure with a rolldown test and thus eliminate the variation by adjusting it out with the electronic brake unit.
Hopefully someone with more experience than me will chime in, but that is my understanding.
Still, of course, a direct drive trainer can clearly even further eliminate any concerns in this area… but at the cost of removing the wheel with each mounting and removal from the trainer.
Thanks as always for the great review. After much debate, I am now the proud owner of a SNAP, my first trainer.
My question, that I can’t seem to find an easy answer to, is what is the best way, either through the Wahoo app or a 3rd party to get my coach-prescribed workouts (from TP) done on the SNAP? On my first try the best I could figure out was manually changing the target in erg mode as I go. I looked at Trainer Road, but that seems to be for pre packaged workouts.
Would welcome any/all experienced riders input.
Any of the Wahoo KICKR apps will work on the KICKR Snap, so I’d start there. TrainerRoad does allow you to create workouts using a workout creator. I’m not sure if there are any that allow you to download from Training Peaks.
You may want to try poking through some on the list here: link to dcrainmaker.com
Thanks. This helps. I think I’ll give Trainer Road a try, didn’t realize it allows you to create workouts (didn’t find that on their site).
Yeah, I didn’t think there would be anything that would allow a download from Training Peaks, since that’s essentially just text. But if someone figures that out, I’ll pay for it!
Appreciate the apps review – thanks for all of this.
if you are lucky owner of Garmin Edge 520 you can do it without any apps/PC/tablet. Just create your workouts in Garmin Connect, upload to Edge 520, connect Snap to Edge 520 via ANT+ FE-C (‘smart trainer’) and you are ready to suffer 😉
Ray….looks like your max wattage numbers are off for the Snap.
link to wahoofitness.com
according to Wahoo’s site, the max wattage is 1100 watts.
Unless I am reading this wrong…check it out.
Is there still an in-depth review on its way for this trainer?
Is there a minimum wattage that the kickr snap supports in erg mode? Depending on gearing, mine bottoms out in 80-100 range unless I shift into 34/25 which is fairly ridiculous.
I have found the same thing – not a great choice if your workouts frequently run in the sub-100 watt range. The original Kickr is better.
Have the same. I can only keep the ERG mode working when using a very small gear. Above 100W everything seems to work properly.
Have there been any vibration issues with these? Mine appears to have an out of balance flywheel.
I just got a KICKR with an out of balance flywheel as well. Wahoo tech support sent me a return label and will send me a new, tested, trainer. If you haven’t already, it’s worth sending them an email about the problem.
I have just received a firmware update (2.0.27). Is there any way to find out what it is for?
I am looking into getting the snap as my road bike is a nine speed and the changing of the cassette on the original kickr is just mindboggling to me.
So I have a ton of garmin stuff…. the 920xt heart rate speed/cadence sensors for the bike. My question Is will the snap or the apps pick up the data from my garmin accessories or will I have to get different accessories when I run training programs.
I am trying not to have a bunch of different things that I need to control….I just want to hook up the bike and go
I have just bought a Snap for the wife as she has a 9sp. And also, whilst my son has a 10sp, his indexing doesn’t line up with the cassette on my kickr and re-indexing is a bit beyond him.
The snap doesn’t “pick up sensors”. You run apps, whether its on a PC, Mac or Phone/Tablet. So then it depends on whether your sensors are ANT+, Bluetooth, or both.
OK, so having spent the last month fighting with the (numerous) issues on the Tacx Neo, I finally gave in and returned it to my LBS. I figured that for a second trainer (I have a “normal” KICKR myself), a wheel-on design would probably suit the wife and son better, even if a little noisier.
So, the KICKR Snap turned up yesterday. Unboxing is the simplest thing ever, there’s nothing to do really, just plug in and go. As I’m used to Wahoo stuff I went straight to the utility and upgraded the firmware to latest. I then stuck my bike on, did a spindown test and a quick check on ride quality and reported power.
Seriously. What is it with the bike industry right now that no-one is capable of making a product that actually works ??
After a spindown calibration I set the wahoo app to ERG mode at 150W. I then settled into a nice 90-95 cadence. My first thought was “This is NOT 150W”. So I fired up my Stages app and as suspected, I was doing around 220W.
What followed was the usual desperation of a guy trying to make the product work as advertised, checking everything over. Its the same bike as I’ve used on a number of indoor trainers – the stages PM was spot on to the Tacx Neo and about 10W-15W different up from my KICKR (which has been “blessed” with power inaccuracy from day 1). I am using a brand new rear wheel with a Continental HomeTrainer II tyre (what I use on the rollers). I checked the Conti website and had the tyre at 110psi (Wahoo just say to use the mfr recommended pressure).
No amount of spindowns and fiddling changes the fact that the power readings are miles off.
I tried using TrainerRoad. No matter whether I use the KICKR Snap for power + control, or the KICKR Snap for control and StagesPM for power, the resistance changes are painfully slow.
See below. 3 Runs
Run1 : Just using the KICKR Snap with no fancy options, StagesPM disabled, no smoothing. What you can expect if you just own a KICKR Snap. As you can see, power fluctates a fair bit on the flat line, and when power changes, the resistance goes up quickly far too much and you end up riding a brick wall. See the 3rd increase in power, the target was 195W, I actually put 260W through it before it backed down.
Run2 : Gave up on any kind of power reading from the Snap, so used the Snap to control resistance but taking power from the StagesPM. I did not apply any smoothing as this makes resistance changes slow. Marginally better, but the same problem exists – the resistance is put up too hard immediately and takes a few seconds to back down.
Run3 : I chucked the Snap into the corner and rode the damn thing on my normal KICKR. Ah, bliss 🙂
As per usual with any cycling technology purchase, I have now opened a support ticket with Wahoo although I suspect this Snap will be returned to Wiggle.
Interestingly I thought the Snap made the same whine noise as the KICKR – mine does not. Apart from a “normal” sound of tyre on trainer and high speed whirring from the flywheel/shaft, there’s no whine.
As an existing wahoo user, I know about the secret swipe so figured I’d check for beta firmware.
The GA release is 2.0.23. I updated to latest beta 2.0.28.
Certainly a TONNE better. Probably this is what Wahoo Support will advise anyway.
Just a casual general reminder – beta software is beta. It’s not finished. It may be fine, or it may inadvertently kill your pet goldfish.
True, but I hate that Goldfish.
Anyhow, the GA firmware simply does not work, period. So its Beta or bust.
Subjectively, Kickr Snap much louder than regular Kickr? For those of us in the USA who already own iphone/ipads, whatcha think about Kickr Snap vs Bushido Smart?
KICKR Snap near-silent. At least mine is.
With one ride done, it seems quieter than the original Kickr.
I also noticed a significant lag in changing the applied resistance at transitions between intervals (maybe 1-2 seconds). Never noticed this on the original Kickr. Slightly annoying when running short intervals, but not a killer. The lag is the same at each end of the interval, so you get the prescribed length of effort, just a little out of sync with what trainerroad thinks it is doing.
You on the 2.0.28 firmware ? I found the speed of change (ANT+ / PC / TrainerRoad) to be very fast indeed, faster perhaps than a regular KICKR.
I was running it with an iPad, so via Bluetooth. I’ll try it out with my Macbook and see if that isn’t better.
I don’t know which firmware it has, but it did update before the first use (in the last few days).
I’m a little confused on the Ant+ FC-E protocol. I just purchased a Snap and have a Garmin 520. My understanding is that the Garmin would recognize this as an indoor trainer with “control”. It only picks it up as another power meter and I get power data on the Garmin but I don’t see where the 520 to Snap communication and control are. Did I miss something? Also, after the initial plug in, the firmware was successfully updated.
So – there’s been updated apps and time has passed. Did some spindown tests last night and a half hour ride on Zwift – I compared what Zwift recorded from the KICKR Snap vs what my stages power meter recorded onto my Garmin. Gotta say, within 5W-10W or so which is well within my acceptable tolerance for a wheel on trainer.
Today I did a trainerroad/sufferfest video to see what speed/accuracy the resistance changes are. Well me !!! if anything, a little FASTER than my normal KICKR. A fantastically smooth and well controlled power delivery workout.
Hopefully I haven’t just stumbled on a spindown test which has resulted in stars aligning for one day only, but if this is how the trainer is from here on in, I would thoroughly recommend it. Also makes no noise other than drivetrain clatter and a little bit of trainer tyre “whoosh whoosh”.
Here’s a comparison of the workout I did on my original KICKR and then the Snap. You could almost say “Snap!” 🙂
Seems like I have somewhat of a similar problem. I exchanged a newly purchased Powersync for the Kickr SNAP based on Ray’s recent reviews. Power readings are way off even after multiple spindowns. At recovery, power seems within 10 watts but when I amp up the Snap is anywhere from 20-40 W lower than my Powertap Wheel. So I did a similar Traineroad workout with power readings coming from the Powertap and Traineroad controlling the Snap. Terrible…..when I was supposed to go into low cadence of about 70 I was at my target power in the lowest gear with cadence of 48. Then when I was supposed to spin at 90 I was in the 50-28 combo at 95 with no gears left to upshift into. Curious if you had a fix with the beta firmware. The unit updated immediately after I connected it at first startup.
Well, on the last 2 workouts I’ve done, it seems to be very good indeed. The differences
a) The unit has had a reasonable amount of riding done; before it was “out of the box”
b) The app has been updated and I chose to do an advanced spindown
c) My lad rode it for half an hour (got it up to temp?) and I did an advanced spindown followed by a normal spindown.
d) 2.0.28 beta firmware
The guys at Wahoo told me that once you’re onto the beta firmware and have done a unit warm up with advanced spin down, that should be it; as far as they are concerned it should now be working. The advanced spindown is something you only need do once apparently as its more to do with setting the resistance levels inside the unit ie a hard calibration. The spindown you should do every time you change the bike or once in a while (esp if temperatures are changing).
I’m going to stick my bike on it today, do a 5 minute unit warm up, then an advanced spindown, normal spindown, then do a sufferfest video. I’ll compare the trainerroad power data to my stagesPM which I’ll record on my garmin. Fingers crossed 🙂
Not good news.
This evening I jumped on the Snap, did a 5 minute spin to just warm it up (no spindown) and was pleasantly surprised to see the power figures were quite reasonable. However given I had just put a bike on it and I wanted it to be as fair a test as possible, I did an advanced spindown followed by a normal spindown. Straight away I could feel the resistance had upped without even looking at numbers.
Ouch. Snap reports 100W, the Stages powermeter (and my legs!!) reported 200W.
Another advanced spindown. Same
Final try, advanced spindown with normal spindown. Same.
I recall that on the 10th when I did the advanced spindown the trainer set the brake level to 0.8. Today it set it to 1.0 for all 3 advanced spindowns. This is clearly the difference.
So right now it would appear to be a complete bit of luck that I ended up with an advanced spindown reducing the resistance and me getting a decent workout to follow it.
After 20 minutes of faffing around I gave up on the Snap and did my workout on my normal kickr.
It simply should not be this hard ! without a separate power meter to try and “calibrate” this thing you’d never have any idea how accurate the figures were. I think I’ll return it and get a Tacx Vortex instead.
So I just pulled out 2 Garmins, paired 1 to the Powertap and the 2nd to the Snap. Assuming the Powertap is the Benchmark, the SNAP readings were 20W higher at <100W. When above that the the SNAP often lagged.
2 very serous accuracy issues. I was able to hold a 3s power on the Powertap within a 10W range after I spun up and held a steady cadence. The SNAP was fluctuating significantly. And what seems like a big accuracy issue and not so much calibration….when I stopped spinning, the 3 second power on the Powertap zeroed within about 4 seconds. The SNAP was at 15-30, actually made have rose slightly from 24 to 29 and took about 10 seconds or more to get a zero reading.
I just got an email back from Wahoo support about the advanced spindown which I will try. If that doesn't do it, its going back. Accuracy is not 5% and responsiveness of the power readings seems terrible.
Just picked up a SNAP myself and did a short warm-up, spindown and check on a stead state ~170 W or so interval. Mine also seemed to be nearly 40 W low at this value — note my PT hub (G3) was showing the 170W and the SNAP was much lower.
I’m going to work with it a bit (longer warm up, perhaps play with load tightness?), but wondering from anyone, or Ray, has your SNAP “just worked” or does it take a little finesse in getting things right? Rays youtube walkthrough looks promising — is it generally that easy for everyone else?
I’ve also reached out to Wahoo for tips and tricks to get things rolling smooth ASAP — as much as I do enjoy experimenting to learn the best practice, in this case I’d rather just hop on and ride. Maybe an Advanced Calibration will fix me (once I learn what this is)?
FWIW, running latest release FW, but haven’t checked specific tire pressure or exact number of knob turns when mounting didn’t think either mattered much with a spindown test in place for calibration).
To be continued…
Essentially, if you happen to “chance” upon an accurate “Advanced Spindown”, then the unit works pretty well and the reported power figures are reasonable.
However I have found it to be complete hit and miss what “brake strength” the advanced spindown results in. On my trainer a figure of 1.79 I got the other day was close, the unit was over-reading slightly. I normally get a figure of 1.0 which renders the trainer impossible to use as it takes a 200W effort to get it reporting 100W.
Wahoo’s support consists of “latest firmware, do advanced spindowns” and thats it. Pretty clear their support guys have got nothing else to offer. Whether Wahoo genuinely believe that the 2.0.28 firmware and an advanced spindown is 100% successful, or whether they know its hit and miss and currently can do nothing about it – who knows.
Yikes…had pretty much decided on the SNAP during REI’s sale, but these posts give me pause. I’m a newb to all this and wary about getting into a mess.
If I understand correctly, without a separate, known-to-be-accurate device like a power meter, you just don’t know if this device is anywhere near being accurate?
What about the big-brother Kickr? Same problem.
I was hoping to get into this piecemeal, using a smart trainer to also be my power-meter until I get a separate power meter for outdoor rides. Any other way (other than a standalone power meter) to check accuracy?
I have had a similar experience with Wahoo support. Latest firmware, advance spindown, yada, yada…. I have yet to test this out after the advance spindown but Lee leads me to believe its just luck at this point.
Very frustrating to spend 30 minutes climbing a simulated 8% hill and discover your mean power output was 140W. I exchanged a PowerSync because it required a 10 minute spindown with their software for calibration prior to every ride but the numbers were spot on. I thought this would be simpler but now I have to remount my Powertap wheel to assure correct calibration.
I did a ~35 minute ride with several spindowns and an advanced spindown last night. I didn’t change wheel tightness during any of this, but recorded my results.
-I had a simultaneous recording of my PT and the SNAP going for comparison’s sake.
-I ran the SNAP in erg mode, generally at various settings… 100, 120, 140, 160, 260, 360. Maybe I tried a few other settings in there.
-At a few settings the SNAP itself was happy being 10W under it’s setting (that’s SNAP setting to SNAP reported power) — note that at all settings mine seems roughly 30W low. Spindown didn’t seem to affect me much, but I can say it made some small differences.
My advanced spindown showed a brake power of 1.33, I think.
What is this “advanced spin down” you speak of? I can find no information about it – just the normal spin down calibration.
In the Wahoo fitness app, go to sensors and click on your Snap, then…..
A quick follow-up. Wahoo support didn’t offer a lot for me, but asked me to ensure my tire pressure was 110 psi and I had 2 full knob turns after the tire contacted the load unit (and do an advanced spindown at the end of a longer workout).
I think I was likely closer to 1 turn before, 80-90 psi and not “fully” warmed up, so I figured I would give it a go.
This time everything looked better. After the spindown tests and advanced spindown I’d say the SNAP matched my PT within 1-2% or so (see picture).
I’m hoping I wasn’t just lucky, so I will hold full judgement until I get a few more rides in.
Wish I had the same success Tim:
I followed your calibration procedure including tire pressure, etc. Then did a erg type workout with PT wheel holding the wattage at 140, 170, 200 and 220 The PT was actually read lower by 19 21, 16 and 13W. So I did another advanced spindown, this time assuming that I might get a better and more stable reading after 30 minutes of riding. Same time intervals with PT anywhere from 11 to 21 Watts lower or at least thats what Golden Cheetah said. Of course I didn’t consider the possibility that the PT is the source of the error.
Just to add to the discount, the REI coupon code is 20%, and activejunky currently doing 6% on REI purchases so that makes it 26% off which is an insane deal for this. I just got a Tacx Neo and might get a Kickr Snap as a backup in case my Neo does what we all know it might do, or let my girlfriend use it
Can I use the same 12×142 adapter for the regular Kickr on the Kicr SNAP? Or, is the SNAP incompatible with 12×142?
Also, how wide a tire can the SNAP handle? Any issues with standard cyclocross width tires around 38cc?
I had a problem running Trainerroad with my KickrSNAP this morning. I was trying to do one of my favorite workouts, Keeler Needle (a workout that ramps from ~100 watts to ~320 watts over a period of 2 minutes), and when I hit this steep ramp, the resistance stopped ramping. If I paused the workout the resistance would come up to where it should be at that point, but it would not rise over the rest of the ramp.
I have a guess about the problem here. I noticed that when I ride another workout with intervals, that it takes 1-2 seconds for the trainer’s resistance to catch up with what Trainerroad calls for when there’s a sudden jump called for in power. There’s the same 1-2 second delay on the down side of the interval as well. Additionally, the SNAP works OK with the first, slower, ramp in Keeler Needle – but has this problem with the second steeper ramp. I ran it three times (I’m a slow learner, I guess) from my Macbook Pro and iPad mini2 – same problem.
So, my guess is that the Kickr SNAP does not (cannot?) respond quickly enough to the steep ramps in the Keeler Needle workout and it just stops updating resistance. Pausing the workout allows it to catch up, but that sort of defeats the point of the ramps.
Each of the power drops shown on the second ramp was me pausing the workout.
I also own the original Kickr and never had this problem.
I notified trainerroad and wahoo of this problem – we’ll see what happens.
My firmware shows as 2.0.28.
I wonder if this ramp is similar to a problem I saw in ERG mode when just using the wahoo app…
I was tapping the adjust buttons quickly (i.e. double tap the century up to go from 160 to 360). The app reflected my changed (to 360) but the KICKR jumped from being stable at 160 to 260 and stayed there. It’s as if it missed the second command… or somehow quick command changes cause it confusion.
I also saw it in the 10s digit. Several times I tried to jump 20 watts and noticed it stable at the intermediate setting. In order to correct it I cycled away from the desired setting and back to get it refreshed.
With the attached picture it was stable like this until I made another change in setting.
Got this reply from Wahoo this morning:
Sorry you are having this issue with the KICKR Snap! Does the same problem occur in the Wahoo Fitness app? There is a delay in the resistance change based on how the Snap is designed so the 1-2 second delay is normal for the Snap. You will also want to pair the Snap with the Wahoo Fitness app to make sure you are on the latest firmware and to do a spindown calibration each ride after the Snap has been warmed up for 10 minutes. Please let us know if you get any other questions.
So – sounds like this is an intrinsic property of the SNAP, and will remain so unless they change it through firmware.
With four rides so far, I’d have to say that I’m happy overall with the SNAP. It gives me the same power-based workout I was getting with the KICKR (now my wife’s). It is also significantly quieter than the original KICKR. I did not have to buy a Campy adapter to use it, so it was quite a bit cheaper than another KICKR. Although I am disappointed that one of my favorite workouts won’t work, there are plenty of others to choose from.
I don’t know if this makes sense to me. It should still keep trying to catch up, even if at a few seconds latency. By your description it seems like it just stopped changing resistance… that still seems wrong.
Have you tried via both control methods (BT and ANT) separately? I still wonder if there is some odd problem or incompatibility with the updating the setting at some higher rate (perhaps only over one of the two channels?).
If I have a chance I will try your workout on TR sometime.
Check out my reply #168 above. The Snap changed resistance just the same as a regular KICKR, in fact I thought it was a wee bit faster. Thats using TrainerRoad on a PC over ANT+ (I generally don’t use bluetooth anywhere unless it can be helped)
I believe I tried it every which way, but I know ANT+ was giving me some troubles with my Macbook, so I’m not absolutely sure. I know it didn’t matter whether it was iPad or Macbook, but maybe I’ll give it one more go with ANT+, just to be absolutely sure.
I can confirm also seeing weird control on ramps (at least via BT). It seems like it randomly gets a setting through (and responds very quickly when it does). This seems like a bug to me.
p,s, Sorry for making your comments a forum DC 🙂
Any having an issue with with the roller itself. When I spin it, it is not even.
The result is that when I ride and the wheel spins, there’s a bump that you feel (and hear)
Hooked up to the SNAP via ANT+. Transitions were definitely faster (pretty much instantaneous) than they were with bluetooth. But the problem with ramps remains —basically the same as before.
Thanks for the great information on your site.
FYI for all – the Snap is on sale now (11/28/2015) on the Wahoo site as well as others (performancebike.com) for $699. Looks like either an unannounced Black Friday deal, or Wahoo realized the price point was a little high… will be interesting to see what the price does in the next 6 months.
With the sale price of $699 for the next few days, I really have to wonder if the Kickr Snap would be worth saving the $500 difference over the original Kickr (plus the cost of needing a 10 speed cassette) for my long term goal to use to improve my Ironman ride times and then apply that savings to a power meter.
Seems like that could make a lot of sense for you.
For me, I think Wahoo hit a price point at $699 that makes me consider the Kickr Snap over something like the Tacx Vortex. Seems like the Snap has a little better build quality, so it might be worth the extra $.
Anyone having an issue with with the roller itself on the Snap. When I spin it, it is not even.
The result is that when I ride and the wheel spins, there’s a bump that you feel (and hear)
uau, it’s something new 🙂 do you have a video recording of this issue? would be interesting to see…
I have that, but I’m sure my problem is with my wheel and not the roller on the trainer – it goes in sync with wheel revolutions. I think the wheel I use on the trainer is a bit out of round. It’s only noticeable at low speeds anyway. I don’t really notice it during a workout.
So now that you have tested all smart trainers, which one do you recommend?
You must have a favourite…
Thus far I have not had much luck getting reliable numbers from the SNAP. Despite prolonged warm ups, advanced spin downs, etc the power numbers are unusable. I did a Traineroad 2 X 8 min FTP test and also recorded the data from a Powertap hub. The first time the PT/SNAP power was 211/252. For the second 8 minutes they were even farther apart at 201/260. I have done several FTP tests in the past and the SNAP numbers are not me. On advanced spin down, I keep getting brake numbers of about 1.4. ….. I’m wondering if this in the normal range. Lastly, if I stop pedaling, I see the 3 second power on my PT zero in 3-5 seconds, not uncommon for it to take over 20 seconds on the SNAP. I’m inclined to keep working at this, perhaps based on wishful thinking that Wahoo will eventually get it right or perhaps I just have a bad unit. Clearly, not within the published 5% range.
I’ve been using mine on and off now for about 10 days and feel roughly the same. I had initially ~20% error, after being more consistent with my wheel tightness I am closer. I did post the one workout where I ended nearly spot on… but since then my rides are generally between 5-10% error. At times close to 5%, maybe within it, but just off.
My advanced spindown is consistently 1.32 or so. (I think I saw 1.30, 1.33 and twice 1.32) so at least that’s consistent?
Seeing how drastic accuracy was affected by normal spindown time, I am wondering what a “good range” of spindown times are.
My initial ~1 turn spindown was > 20-22 seconds I believe. This showed PT power well above the SNAP power.
With ~2 turns yesterday I noted a spindown closer to 15 seconds if I recall correctly. Here the PT was 5-10% below the SNAP.
I see in Ray’s review a screen capture with a spindown < 10 seconds… Maybe there is a sweetspot for spindown results and we haven't found it? 🙂 I wish there was a better indication if the SNAP actually thought it was within spec (based on spindown results?). I think the Tacx trainers show a sort of red/green bar graph to show load unit tightness and reflect likelihood of a good calibration.
I'm going to continue to work it for now, but am glad I bought from REI in case it takes me all winter to get frustrated.
Well, I’ve thought of trying to “outsmart” the spindown calibration by softly applying the brakes to try and get a lower number than 1.4 but its totally hit and miss to try and figure out the sweet spot. Bottom line, the accuracy of the unit is far outside of the claimed 5%
I’d double-check with Wahoo on spindown times. Earlier in the beta I had issues with accuracy, and we determined it was too long of spin-down times (I don’t have a ‘do not exceed’ number). So we simply increased PSI and tightened press-on force.
Partial apologies to Wahoo. I went to use the trainer yesterday and the rear tire was flatted. Quite possible it was leaking during my last spin. However, I did another advanced spindown after changing the tube and I got similar inflated SNAP power numbers.
What happened next was kind of interesting. I did a regular spindown at the end of a 60 minute ride, got a time of 11+ seconds. I then rode for a about a minute at 80W, 120W, 150 and 180 and the numbers were definitely within 5%. We’ll see what happens next.
Bottom line…..If you are using the SNAP to train and dependent on the output, I’m not convinced at present that the numbers are reliable. In my experience, you will undertrain and not reproduce your outdoor effort or come away with grossly inflated FTP from the SNAP. On the other hand, if you are just using it to play or stay within a reasonable fitness level indoors, it may be OK as long as you make somewhat of an adjustment for the numbers you see.
This trainer for sale at Performance Bike in store only for $599. Today only 11/30. Details on link below.
link to slickdeals.net
Wow. So, I am new to all of this and I just want to “play” Zwift with my friend. Preferably I’d like to have the dynamic change of resistance depending on the change of terrain in-game, so that’s how I started looking at these KICKR trainers.
After reading these comments, though, I have no idea what to think here. This is either amazing or terrible. Seems that it is quick to setup but a nightmare to calibrate. Perhaps I’m just diving in too deep given my cycling experience and current goals.
From what I’ve read, the calibration “spin down” steps are a requirement for any trainer that has a power meter and it has nothing to do with the “automatic resistance” feature. Am I right with this? It kind of sounds like a pain in the neck.
It also sounds like several folks are getting bad results from the calibration on this trainer, but it’s unclear to me if this is a common issue with smart trainers or if it’s specific to this model.
Lastly, my understanding is that these reported inaccuracies are not an issue with the $1200+ flagship KICKR model, but in exchange you get to pay a heftier price and have the inconvenience of removing your rear wheel every time. The flagship would also much less portable, which is an issue for me.
Sorry for busting in here with stupid newb questions, but it’s all a bit overwhelming.
A few of the comments above about things not working perfectly are from me. I wouldn’t let this dissuade you. The issues that I have had are really quite minor. It worked great on Zwift. It really is also amazingly quiet – definitely quieter than the original Kickr. The vast majority of the time it works just fine on Trainerroad. For my use, I have only a couple minor quibbles, but overall I am quite happy with it. Controlling it with Ant+ definitely makes for rapid changes in resistance (not really an issue for Zwift anyway, I think).
As far as power accuracy, I can’t address that. But for my needs (keeping winter training interesting and challenging) it’s not an issue. Clearly, the accuracy is important for some, but not a big deal for me. If my workouts are too easy or too hard, I’ll just change my FTP – problem solved.
To each his own I suppose… Personally if I am buying a smart trainer I want to know it’s accurate — assuming such a product exists. As of now I am wondering if I should have gone the vortex smart routes instead…
I did buy from REI though and thus have some return flexibility.
Hoping they get things worked out, I want to love the thing!
Just picked up a Snap too and I’m also a newb. If I’m using Zwift do I still need to do a “spin down” calibration every time I ride?
We’ve just bought a KICKR Snap but have an issue with it reading about 25% down on quoted power. Not therefore attempted erg mode and don’t want to try it on Zwift. Does seem to respond to wahoo app. Done six spin downs which seem fine. Two training rides done using wahoo levels within app. Mailed wahoo 24 hours ago but not yet heard back. Would you have any suggestions please before we return it?
How long is your spin down time? And have you tried giving the press-on knob another rotation or two?
spin down times are fast, though we’ve not timed it but its completed & i’ve closed the app well before the wheel stops. the press on knob is tight. Its got an elite tyre which isn’t the best, we had to really crank down a KK on that but it still slipped. a further issue is there is no advanced spin down available on Android so we can’t attempt that. its a real pity as its a nice, solid unit, very quite, high inertia but as it stands at the moment we may well be going back to the KK.
Ray- can you reconfirm FE-C support is coming for the snap, and maybe a rough “when”?
Wahoo support has told me essentially they have no idea when and alluded it could be never.
Any more use of the SNAP for you? I’m still seeing high variability in accuracy.
It’s already in the beta I believe (I know it is for the main KICKR).
Does the Wahoo Utility typically show all FW available (including closed / password protected betas)? It looks as if the latest I see there is the public release of 2.0.28.
Support claims KICKR has FE-C but SNAP is in limbo. Quoted from them —
“we don’t have a solid plan for the Snap as of yet. It is a working feature for the KICKR but they have not determined the if or when of bringing that to the Snap.”
You have to do the “secret swipe” in the app to list all available firmware.
Just had a look for the kickr:
1.3.32 is the current firmware
1.3.26 adds SRM control
1.3.23 added test patterns for korean RF certs
1.4.34 ANT+ FE-C Beta
1.4.35 Speed Test
1.4.36 ANT+ Speed Sensor Fix
Whereas on the Snap 188.8.131.52 is the current, and latest firmware available.
Given that the Snap is marketed as all the benefits of a KICKR, but wheel-on, I would be surprised if they don’t add FE-C. Or maybe that would be deliberate to try and maintain the original KICKR as the premium fully-featured model.
Isn’t it irrelevant though ? Given that the majority of apps out there support KICKR (and Snap) resistance control through Wahoo’s private-but-open-source ANT protocols, why would you want FE-C ?
Only app I can think of that I own is TTS4 – after all Tacx are hardly likely to go to the trouble of implementing a custom bit of code so Tacx software works well with a non-Tacx trainer, but if Taxc TTS4 speaks FE-C (I thought it did already, but spotted the comment below)……
Thanks, I knew of the way to see the firmware versions in the app, and also only saw the latest general release as newest.
I agree that given the support wahoo already has for their own ANT protocol, the need is a little less, but everyone using the same protocol still has some merit. If every other trainer went FE-C, then I could see new apps eventually killing off Wahoo’s special protocol if it means merely dropping SNAP support.
Similarly I have an Edge 520 (maybe future Edge devices) and would like the option to “play back” a past ride from the device without finagling files around and dropping them into various other training apps.
> why would you want FE-C ?
Tacx TTS4 (FE-C implemented in 4.17 as I’ve read in changes) and Edge 520, as Tim has already said.
For me it is actual too. I own TTS4 and like some its features. I ordered Snap and would like to use it in TTS4 instead of Vortex Smart.
Hope Wahoo will add FE-C to Snap too.
Hey mate, have you ever tried to get the kickr to work with tacx tts4? Is that even possible?
It will soon. TTS4 is getting FE-C support (I believe it got a partial update in the last few days, if not mostly supporting it). Then, Wahoo will also need to push out their FE-C update from beta to prod. I’d be surprised if everything isn’t set by end of year.
Odd, because when I had my first Neo, some 2 months ago now, it showed up in TTS4 as an FE-C trainer…….
I use my KICKR just fine with TTS4. Its just that there is no automatic resistance control. So you need to use cadence and gears to increase power.
what TTS version do you use? is it possible there to connect Kickr not as Power Source (Ant+ standard power profile) but as a smart trainer (FE-C)?
Can you recommend a TTS4 workout app/software for Kickr Snap? I like the TTS4 overview of speed, power, cadense, heartrate on screen while in progress.
exactly for workout mode i would recommend TrainerRoad, Zwift or VirtualTraining, not TTS4.
TTS4 is rather good for virtual reality rides, Tacx films and GPS (*.gpx courses) rides.
i successfully connected my Snap (fw 2.0.29 with beta ANT+ FE-C support) to TTS4.
I have been using the SNAP regularly with a Powertap hub. I’ve been using TrainerRoad which has a nice “Powermatch” feature where TR reads power from Powertap but controls resistance on the SNAP. I’ve tried all different tweaks (advance spindown, regular spindown at beginning of ride, regular spindown at end of ride followed by no calibration the next ride). Over the course of 5 rides comparing the data files, the SNAP varies anywhere from 13-18W higher with the exception of a hard 2 X 8 minute FTP test where is was a whopping 28W higher. Even if I assume that Powertap was off by 3% (3% higher) it still was off by >10% and not within the reported 5%. I sent my .tcx files to Wahoo to see if they can make sense of this. I purchased mine from Performance and they also have a liberal return period.
Have had a Snap for about two weeks now . . .It was wildly inaccurate when compared to my PowerTap wheel and riding with TrainerRoad. Since I’m an Android user, I had no access to the ‘Advanced Spindown’ feature.
I was able to borrow a friends Ipad over the weekend and perform an advanced spindown. The power now much more closely tracks the PowerTap and when riding in TrainerRoad the control of the trainer is much more smooth.
I contacted Wahoo Fitness regarding support for an Advanced spindown in Android and power meter control of the Snap. Their response: Don’t know when/if advanced spindown will come to Android. And “At this time we have no plan for third party power meter support on the KICKR Snap as that is one of the defining features that sets the KICKR apart from the Snap”
So it seems that they have plans to differentiate the KICKR from the Snap in more ways than wheel on/off . . .
The Snap may be going back to REI if ANT+ FeC doesn’t come to it and a future firmware doesn’t improve the accuracy.
Hello DC. Rainmaker,
Wahoo claims the feature Flywheel Weight 10,5 lbs or 4,75 kg. and inertia 140 verus 12,5 lbs on the wahoo kickr.
Since you have ridden on all three trainers.
How do you REVIEW / experience and compare the flywheel inertia feeling on the Wahoo kickr snap compared to the TACX genius or Tacx neo virtual flywheel ?
Not an unimportant feature imo since the flywheel inertia effect largely determines a realistic road feel experience or not .
Second question: do you miss the abcense ability of a steering left/right device accessoiry on the wahoo kickr wich can be usefull in Virtual Worlds like the popular Zwift ?
Thanks for your publication.
> Wahoo kickr snap compared to the TACX genius or Tacx neo virtual flywheel ?
look at this comment: link to dcrainmaker.com
> do you miss the abcense ability of a steering left/right device accessoiry on the wahoo kickr wich can be usefull in Virtual Worlds like the popular Zwift ?
in my opinion steering in virtual worlds like Zwift or TTS4 is absolutely useless. yes, it could be fun for some sessions, like a new toy. After that it’s useless.
Yes I have read your trainer recommendations 2015 multiple times.
Mostly emphasis on a lot of technical information and specifications
But it is still no answer to the big question about imo the most important feature of riding on a trainer:
“How do you REVIEW / experience and compare the flywheel inertia road feeling on the Wahoo kickr snap compared to the TACX genius or Tacx neo virtual flywheel ?”
Maybe you can give a little response on this subject please in stead of pasting your link again ?
i’m not Ray 🙂
i’m just regular reader here, like you.
here in comments people share their experience and thoughts. link i gave you – it’s an opinion of one of the readers here who tried both Snap and Genius.
personally i have not tried Snap yet so i can’t answer your question. i ordered my Snap recently, it is in the shipment process now. when it come i will share my experience. I tried Vortex Smart so it will be possible for me to compare these two trainers.
i suppose Vortex and Genius are close in how they feel during ride, how realistic (or not) it is.
about the feel of Neo’s virtual flywheel – here link to dcrainmaker.com in comments section some guys mentioned this topic. in general as i remember most of them like how it feels, they call it ‘realistic’ and ‘natural’. few complains only about low watts/low speed feeling – a bit unnatural when you feel those magnets inside of Neo.
OK I’m looking forward for new cycling experiences with the wahoo kickr snap in the future here. Especially regarding road feel.
Maybe it’s a bit critical comment in the end. But after further reading I realized the product comparison chart contains some errors at maximum wattage capability on both the kickr and the kickr snap review from DC here above.
As you can see in the picture attached. According to link to eu.wahoofitness.com
the maximum wattage capability for kickr are not 2000 watt but 1550 Watts / 15″ %
And for the kick snap even less : 1100 watt / 10,3″ % @ 20 mph. Maybe DC Rainmaker can update this error with the correct maximum kickr (snap) wattages.
For instance the maximum incline on Belgium classic race and rlv video “Tilf Bastogne Tilf”, or “Amstel Gold Race” in the Netherlands, or “MTB Ardennes” rlv are all 20-22%, percentages wich the kick probably cannot reproduce.
Also the maximum slope on the famous & popular col “Alpe d’huez” from the Tour The France of 13% the kickr snap cannot simulate unfortunately.
Reason for me to most likely choose for an other trainer with more maximum wattage capability like the tacx genius with 1500 watt / 20% slope or the tacx neo with the most 2000 watt or 20% incline for the intense rlv intervalls I mentioned.
Also the benefit that these tacx trainers do allow an hardware ant+ fe-c acccessoiry to input left / right steering into virtual worlds like zwift wich is not the case in kickr that cannot steer to the left / right unfortunately will be more important as the popularity of riding in online virtual words is increasing imo.
Maybe Wahoo will add this ant+ steering feature or upgrade their maxumim resistance capability in the future to keep up with the competition.
I’ve asked Wahoo for clarification on why there are differences between what was previously noted versus what is now shown. I believe it’s to do with the speed differences. I just sent over another reminder just in case.
As for steering, no, Zwift doesn’t support it. In fact, nobody does except the own Tacx TTS suite. It’s also not FE-C, since FE-C doesn’t have any method to implement that.
> Reason for me to most likely choose for an other trainer with more maximum wattage capability
> like the tacx genius with 1500 watt / 20% slope or the tacx neo with the most 2000 watt or 20% incline for > the intense rlv intervalls I mentioned.
please note – many owners of Tacx Genius say that when they try to ride something steeper than 10% their rear wheel starts to slip rather intensively. and the feel is highly unnatural. so for really steep climbs you really need direct drive trainer – Kickr, Neo or RTM B+.
> Also the benefit that these tacx trainers do allow an hardware ant+ fe-c acccessoiry to input left / right steering into virtual worlds like zwift
incorrect. two times 🙂
1. this Tacx’s steering accessory theoretically can be used with any trainer. it’s just separate device from the TTS4 point of view. you can use it in TTS4 with, say, Kickr (ant+ fe-c for Kickr is already in beta).
2. there is no steering in zwift. i have not heard that they have any plans to add it. in my opinion zwift does not need steering at all. how it works now is already absolutely enough.
OK I didn’t realize zwift doesn’t support steering yet. I supposed they did when watching online swift race video’s because to me it looked like the rider avatar sometimes were choosing better aerodynamic positions behind the riders in front of him and seem to be changing a lot from one side to another side of the road. But thanks to your reply I know understand in swift this steering is done automatically and not manual.
I know in TTS4 Virtual Rides the steering option do can be used fi with regard to the wind direction (headwind or side wind) to choose a better aerodynamic position behind a rider in front of you from where the software will calculate the less amount of drag by decreasing a few watts of the resistance applying less (virtual air) resistance than the rider without the shelter of other riders in front of the pack just as it would be like in the real world riding outside.
Last in my previous post I also assumed the maximum resistance on the neo was 2.000 watt but after more reading including your review I understand on the Neo this is even more : 2.200 watts or 25% slope for 10 seconds periods.
would be interesting to know if anybody can output at least 2000 watts 🙂
afaik Cavendish’s output when he was sprinting in the final stage of TDF was ~1400-1500 watts 🙂
Re V. MAx power output @ V
OK thanks for the statistic. Then Mark Cavendish can produce 400 watt more power than the maximum 1100watt power resistance the pickr snap wich this review topic is about.
It should be said that 1500 watt max is also because Mark is a relative small & light weight rider only 69 kg and his sprint at 1500 watts is after an endurance race of +/- 200km on the road before the sprint.
That’s 22 watt / kg.
Former elite-sprinter and kiloracer, German Sören Lausberg, was tested with 2.600 watt about 6 seconds (bodyweight 100kg). (100 watts more than the neo direct drive can peak). So 26 watt / kg is possible for a short sprinting intervalls like in velodome tracks .
On a trainer heavy riders like German Lausberg above 100kg with a large amount of fast twitch muscle fibers also have an advantage in producing higher maximum absolute powerpeaks like 2.000 Watt over lighter riders. Because on the indoor stationary trainer they don’t have to counter gravity.
Re V. MAx power output @ V
OK thanks for the statistic. Then Mark Cavendish still can produce 400 watt more poWer than the maximum 1100 watt power resistance the wahoo Kickr snap can wich this review topic is about.
It should be said that 1500 watt max is also because Mark is a relative small & light weight rider only 69 kg and his sprint at 1500 watts is after an endurance race of +/- 200km on the road before the sprint.
That’s 22 watt / kg.
Former elite-sprinter and kiloracer, German Sören Lausberg, was tested with 2.600 watt about 6 seconds (bodyweight 100kg). (100 watts more than the neo direct drive can peak). So 26 watt / kg is possible for a short sprinting intervalls like in velodome tracks 🙂
On a trainer heavy riders like German Lausberg above 100kg with a large amount of fast twitch muscle fibers also have an advantage in producing higher maximum absolute powerpeaks like 2.000 Watt over lighter riders. Because on the indoor stationary trainer they don’t have to counter gravity.
Should look something like this. Picture attached 😉
Have a nice weeked.
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:
My understanding is they’re updating their site (if not already) with these numbers.
My current trainer, a Travel Trac, has a lever that allows the roller to snap into contact with the tire. I’ve never had any tire slippage with it. I’m looking to upgrade to the Snap, but I’m wondering if wheel slippage will be a problem.
I bought the Tacx Vortex about a month ago and kept having problems with power being to low compared to my C1 Chainring. The difference was around 50+/- when I was around 220 watts on some intervals in trainerroad. Hard to sustain 270+/- wattage for very long when I’m suppose to be at 220. Anyways, the tacx died on me last week, meaning the light would flicker when I plugged it in the went out. Never came back on, and no Tacx support at all! So I sent it back!
Seems like the Kickr Snap is having the same power issues as the Vortex, am I wrong here? I’m thinking of buying the Snap, but I’m on the fence because of the issues with it I’m reading in here. Also, who has the best prices on the Snap? If I were to buy it. Thanks!
> Also, who has the best prices on the Snap? If I were to buy it.
it depends on country you live in. if you are not in EU, then the best price i saw is 588eu.
link to dcrainmaker.com
official Wahoo shop price is $699.99, with free shipping to some countries: link to wahoofitness.com
“Let’s Celebrate! Get 10% Off with Code TEAMSKY10”.
link to wahoofitness.com
so current price is $629.99. Cool!
Sounds like the problem I’ve experienced with my Vortex Smart.
No lights and truly awful Tacx support.
I’ve bought a Snap, not sure I’ve done the right thing now after reading this thread.
> No lights and truly awful Tacx support.
have you tried to update its firmware (Tacx Utility) once again? sometimes it helps, it looks like sometimes they have problems with their storage (flash memory i guess), fresh update of fw fixes this (not always).
> I’ve bought a Snap, not sure I’ve done the right thing now after reading this thread.
when you buy something complex and expensive it is always a reasonable step not only to read some reviews from different places but ALSO comments of real owners 🙂 comments from people are always useful, you get pieces of information you never get from reviews 🙂
As for Snap, i ordered mine and do not worry since accuracy issues look like software problem which can be fixed via firmware update. I wrote a comment in Wahoo’s store. Maybe they will consider our opinion here (i gave them this URL to read:) ).
The Vortex was dead, no power so not communicating with anything.
I’m looking forward to receiving the Snap and as you say, things can be resolved through firmware updates.
i sympathize with you in your Vortex problem 🙁
anyway all other current wheel based smart trainers in my opinion are worse than Snap. so here we just choose less evil as it often occurs 🙂
i consider Snap as ‘temporary cheap smart trainer with acceptable quality/features’ until direct drive trainers will become less expensive and will have less issues (i’m waiting for something like quiet Kickr2 or reliable Neo2 or whatever else).
> As for Snap, i ordered mine and do not worry since accuracy issues look like software problem which can be fixed via firmware update. I wrote a comment in Wahoo’s store. Maybe they will consider our opinion here (i gave them this URL to read:) )
v — please keep us updated on this. I haven’t purchased yet and won’t unless/until I know this major inaccuracy has been addressed.
Do remember that Wahoo’s claim is only an accuracy rating of 5% on the SNAP.
some guys here faced with ~20% inaccuracy so problem definitely exists.
Yeah, that’s definitely way off then for that individual.
And, not to say that some aren’t actually seeing issues. But I’d caution that generally speaking when I look at trainer inaccuracy issues – most times folks aren’t properly completing roll-down/calibration (at the right time, usually 10-15mins in), and aren’t also doing the same on their power meters either. That’s especially important if going from colder outsides to inside.
I for one was facing 20%+/- trainer inaccuracy issues (more on the + side) and guarantee I was calibrating according to what you just mentioned. Especially doing a TR workout, I would calibrate the trainer and C1 Chainring right off the get go (just because), then after the warm-up in the workout I would recalibrate both as usual. Some of the workouts I would recalibrate both 20-30 min. in with the same result. And still had the inaccuracies, but then the Vortex Died. Would never come back on.
I can deal with 5%+/-, but not 20% and horrible tech support!
Just out of curiosity – on the SNAP, did you try (significantly) tightening the press-on twister?
I’d settle for 5%. When comparing to my Powertap hub, the numbers are higher by about 10-15%, sometimes 20%. Even if I assume the Powertap has a 3% accuracy range (and its off in the opposite direction) the accuracy only approaches 10%. I’ve just resolved myself to using Trainerroad’s Powermatch feature which seems to work very well. I decided to stick with the SNAP since the build is very solid, much more so than the Cyclops Powersync and Tacx, also wishful thinking that eventually Wahoo will get this right.
My issues were with the Vortex. Thinking of getting the Snap after I read a few more things on here (more than likely I will get the Snap, because everyone raves about the Kickr).
It seems like the Vortex has big issues with just working let alone being accurate.
I’m sure Wahoo will sort things out as all this seems in it’s infancy at the moment.
Ray, have you personally seen any significant power inaccuracy with your Snap? Something bigger than +/-5%.
I don’t have the Snap yet, but had a trainer before that worked in the same way and the wheel often slipped. It was a pain to adjust.
Joel said: > I’ve just resolved myself to using Trainerroad’s Powermatch feature which seems to work very well.
At the risk of moving this thread a little off-topic, and as a newb trying to align all this information in order to purchase the right equipment, I’d like to know more about this feature. Is it something exclusive to the TrainerRoad app? And how does it work–does it take it’s power readings from a bike-mounted power meter rather than the smart trainer?
Which begs the question (for me) of the relationship/interaction between bike-mounted power meters and the power functions of smart trainers and/or apps. It seems that bike-mounted power meters are the standard by which trainer accuracy is measured? And new power meters are judged by other, more established power meters.
I am going to purchase a power meter soon–probably a Stages at this point since it seems be a) well-priced b) simple to install (tired of trying to figure out whether various other PM’s will “fit” my bike. So how does that affect my decision on a trainer that will interact with TrainerRoad and Zwift–which are the two apps I KNOW I want to use at this point–there may be others.
Ray–this is where something like the “DCR Forums” might be something valuable (or not!). I know I’m having a hard time finding these kind of basic topics discussed on other internet sources. But I understand that the focus on particular products and reviews gets a bit diluted when the topic gets more generalized. Oh well, being a newb sucks, but it just takes a lot of gathering data piecemeal to form some kind of coherent understanding.
This link might help you with that question Stephen.
link to support.trainerroad.com
Mine is still often outside of the stated 5% error after spindown. I have done several advanced spindown calibrations at the end of 60 minute+ workouts.
If I notice my intervals being off significantly during a workout I will re-spindown during recovery time (so easily after 10-15 minutes).
My bike stays in my basement on the trainer all of the time, no significant temperature changes and every zero-ing I do of my G3 hub is within a count or two of 510. I hope my G3 is reading right.
What is challenging for me is the inconsistency. I’ve tried to set my tire PSI to 115 each ride and specifically turn my knob 2 turns after touching the tire. One ride I checked the spindown results for 1 turn to 3 turns in roughly half-turn increments. The results seemed almost random.
I’d say I am generally within about 10%, often _close_ to 5% and sometimes right on. Once I had good accuracy on the higher end (~270W) and very poor accuracy on the low end (~120W). The mental barrier now is that I don’t trust the trainer without a separate power meter to check it.
Not to say this is the cause, but something seems weird in that I can spindown several times in a row and the time the app reports can vary significantly (without significant time for additional warmup or environmental changes between tries). I think I have seen a 14s change to 18s. I try to be consistent with “slowly” ramping my speed up to the target and coasting as soon as it tells me to…
I am hopeful improved calibration can be done with software changes on Wahoo’s end.
I haven’t bothered updating this thread for a while as I’ve nothing new to say really.
But you hammer it home – “can’t be trusted without a power meter”. And also, you will probably agree with me, that we’re spending almost as much time doing spindowns and faffing as we are riding 😉
Mine was for my wife and son who don’t need accuracy, they just need a decent ride with correct or overestimated power for Zwift. So it achieves that. had I have bought it for myself it would have been returned.
Ditto. If numbers are important, need a separate power meter.
Power accuracy isn’t overly important to the guy who only has power on his indoor trainer. Whatever his FTP, if he trains to that figure and measures increases in it, then he’s doing well.
The guy who wants to train to a specific FTP target *and* apply that training and pacing in the outdoor world with a power meter has a tougher time. For him, he needs consistency between his various power sources.
In some ways, if you have a power meter on your bike and you use the same bike indoors with powermatch, this is the best way as you are keeping the power meter a constant.
My experience has been that powermatching leads to a sub-standard experience in trainerroad – it introduces delay into the resistance matching. Or to put it another perhaps more accurate way – the resistance control seems quicker and smoother when using my KICKR on its own, cmpared to a KICKR and powermeter.
I use stages on all my bikes apart from my newest – a TT bike – where I decided to go for a pioneer dual leg setup. I’m starting to see a noticeable imbalance between R and L legs, so I’m wondering how much of the difference between stages and KICKR is
a) difference because they are just different products, measuring power in a slightly different way / point on the bike
b) difference due to single leg measurement on the stages
c) difference due to inaccuracy of either device
as you say, for a new guy coming along its all an information overload.
Got my Snap today.
First impression was it was heavy and very well made with quality materials.
As for using it, I couldn’t get it to work with my Vectors and it struggled with TrainerRoad, couldn’t follow the designated power and had a big delay with step ups in wattage.
When the Vortex was working it worked perfectly on TrainerRoad, the Snap seems to have a lot of work to do to make it usable.
I’m not sure if this is a Wahoo or TrainerRoad problem.
have you updated Snap’s firmware to the latest available version via Wahoo app?
Yes, first thing I did, then did a ten minute warm up before spin down.
Spindown wouldn’t work a few times, just hanging on waiting for wheel to stop.
Did two full turns of the knob to engage wheel.
I’m on Android so no access to this advanced spindown which may help.
I’m suspecting that this ERG stuff is way too much in it’s infancy and is full of glitches to be sorted in future firmware updates.
Anyway, amazing build quality, very poor interaction with Trainerroad.
sad to hear that 🙁
by the way, what exactly version of firmware do you have now?
have you tried it in Zwift?
I’ve not tried it in Zwift as my laptop isn’t up to spec, I’ve only used TrainerRoad.
I need to find someone with an iPhone to do an advanced spindown.
Try tightening the wheel more, and re-doing spin-downs.
Snap works absolutely fine with TrainerRoad on a PC over ANT+. Haven’t tried it on iOS using bluetooth. I suspect your issue here is just incompatibility between trainerroad, android and whatever protocol you are using, as opposed to a fundamental flaw in erg mode.
Maybe I need to close the Android app and Garmin Edge 510 off when on Trainerroad? And just let it communicate between just the PC and Kickr Snap?
I definitely would ensure you’ve only got one app trying to control/touch the SNAP at once.
That said, there’s zero issues with the Edge 510 listening in on it – you can double-down on that as much as you’d like, since it can’t ‘control’ the SNAP, only listen.
Thanks for that, I suspected that the 510 could only listen.
I’ll try again tonight with the Wahoo app switched off, although it was only reporting speed, power etc and not a workout.
Is there a reason why spindown wouldn’t complete? I was wondering if the app needed a cellular signal to communicate with Wahoo to compare?
I now need to find someone with an iPhone to do the advanced spindown.
I had some problems with using TrainerRoad’s windows _beta_ and getting the SNAP to spindown properly. I also seemed to have problems controlling (it was heavily delayed) it well with ANT+ with the beta. I believe it was a TR beta problem — they may or may not have fixed it yet.
With TR’s non-beta app I didn’t have any problems with spindown and general control via ANT+ (despite possibly being a little off for accuracy).
Also to re-iterate Ray’s comment, I also saw weird behavior once when I had multiple apps running. In my case I tried to use my iPhone and the Wahoo App to do a spindown during my TR session (since I was having problems with TR doing spindown). Having both running was not a happy situation for the trainer 🙂
That’s very helpful, thanks. I was running trainerroad and the Wahoo app during spindown, and on Beta.0
Does anyone know if the trainerroad spindown is needed as well as the Wahoo one?
So basically, do both spindowns but with the other app switched off? Correct?
with Vortex before each TR session i do spindown calibration in Tacx TTS4, it’s enough.
in case of Snap i would guess that spindown made in Wahoo’s app before TR session is enough. After 10-15min of your TR session probably it makes sense to run one more spindown, in TR this time. if you are not lazy 🙂
These things sure are finicky to get to work, maybe I should just try and ride my bike more ???
if the weather around you is ok for you 🙂
and one more big plus of trainers – they can give good concentrated workout when you do not have enough time for good (or any) outdoor ride.
The weather’s awful, hence the trainer need, plus it’s a bit addictive!
exactly, addictive 🙂 especially zwift. there is even term for that – “zwift effect” – when you almost always ride faster and longer than you planned before you started your session 🙂 goodbye those “light recovery rides 😉
by the way, right now i’ve done my another zwift ride. have seen Santa there! merrily flying above the sunny sky! 🙂
Does Zwift record power differently to TrainerRoad?
I’ve just done a ride with TrainerRoad, Garmin Vectors unpaired but showing on Edge 510.
There seems to be something way out with the power, at 110 watts both Snap and Edge showing the same. TrainerRoad on 150w, Edge on 200w, TrainerRoad on 200w, Edge showing over 300w. The TrainerRoad power curve is way way off. It’s set on ERG and use power meter as data source(which would be the Snap).
Although the SNAP is beautifully built, it doesn’t work with TrainerRoad for me so thinking of sending it back.
your Snap is connected to TR in ERG mode and your Vector is connected to your Edge as a PowerMeter, correct?
what do you mean saying “TrainerRoad power curve”? this term usually is used only in context of Virtual Power.
i still don’t understand in which mode you connected Snap to TR – ERG mode (Wahoo’s analogue of ANT+ FE-C) or Power Source (usual ANT+ Power profile).
I mean that under 100 watts the Snap will under report but once over it’ll start accumulating until it’s showing 300 watts instead of 200w.
Small differences i can accept but once it’s past a certain wattage then there has to be something wrong, either on my part or software.
I connected it under the Kickr tab, wouldn’t connect in the Ant fec tab as I don’t think it’s enabled.
Could it be that it’s for the full blown Kickr and not the Snap, which would explain the power difference?
> Could it be that it’s for the full blown Kickr and not the Snap, which would explain the power difference?
afaik this tab is used for both full Kickr and Snap.
you use BT4 connection to TR or ANT+? PC or Mac? Stable or beta of TR?
I think you’ve nailed it!
TrainerRoad tech says my rides are logging as the full blown Kickr which would explain the huge power differences. It was on the stable TR PC app.
I’ll try on the Beta tonight see if that’s better.
I’m trying to buy a BT4 dongle, the one that works with TR is a bit rare and difficult to find! Unless there’s another word for it?
OK, stop a minute. TrainerRoad doesn’t care whether its snap or “full” kickr. It logs the power as reported by the trainer.
Do not use trainerroad on a PC with the bluetooth dongle. its terrible. Its not a true bluetooth dongle like others instead its a usb device that has an API that allows software to make calls out via BTand poll devices. Very slow and nowhere near as good as ANT+
TrainerRoad beta for PC is now the recommended version by TR, unless you have a couple of specific trainers they say to avoid.
Hmm, just when I thought I’d cracked it, although TR tech did seem to think there two different profiles.
I’ll try it on Beta tonight, see what happens…
I’ve recently gone from a KK Rock and Roll with Pro flywheel to the Kickr Snap.
Tire slipping on the KK was common unless the roller friction was tightened very tight; Using the identical tire/wheel on the Snap I’ve had ZERO slipping yet (based on 7 hours riding).
Using a Schwalbe One tubeless 25mm inflated to 105 lbs.
I’m not sure why but the Snap roller seems to grip better — maybe the diameter is a bit larger so the contact patch is bigger?
> maybe the diameter is a bit larger so the contact patch is bigger?
yes it can be the cause. also maybe Wahoo uses different material (different metal) to produce roller.
Hey JoeL, your comment was a year ago but I’m hoping you can help as you referenced using a Snap with TrainerRoad and their powermatch feature. I’m coming from a dumb trainer and no power meter to a power meter (Power2Max) and looking to buy a Kickr Snap if it works the way I think it will.
When using powermatch in TrainerRoad with a power meter and the Snap, am I correct in assuming that there isn’t any reason to be concerned with the accuracy of the Snap’s power readings in comparison to my power meter readings since powermatch is going to give precedence to my power meter readings anyway? Or does the the accuracy of the Snap also apply when attempting to match the numbers from the power meter via powermatch?
I personally don’t mind if the Snap reads a lot differently than my power meter so long as my resistance in Erg mode is correct using powermatch with my Power2Max meter.
Also, when using powermatch, is a spin-down necessary at all since the power meter is “running the show” so to speak? Or is a spin-down before the workout and another 10 minutes in still necessary to keep the Snap in line with the power meter and powermatch?
Thanks so much for any help.
I have been disappointed with the Trainerroad Snap combo with Powermatch and a Powertap hub. There is a terrible lag in the adjustment of the resistance, so that on many occasions the resistance keeps dropping down and I find myself spinning at a ridiculous rate or upshifting until I run out of gears. On other occasions, it will significantly increase and I need to stand and mash. Also, the erg mode doesn’t hold you at a power resistance that looks like a straight line as if you just used the Snap alone.
Last night, I was doing a TR workout with Powermatch on. I became so frustrated repeatedly spinning up above 95rpm (target said >85) and had to keep upshifting. I finally just unplugged the Snap, and shifted manually.
If all you want to do is TR and have a powermeter, I would stick to a high quality dumb trainer. It is not as automated as it seems. In addition, as many others have noted on this site, when compared to a stand alone power meter, the Snap’s numbers are usually well off and in my experience inflated well beyond 5%.
The Trainerroad support staff were responsive, Wahoo totally useless (repeatedly just going through the normal latest firmware, tire inflation and calibration procedure and offering little else).
So I’m confused (which is easily done) … why would you want to use powermatch with a Kickr Snap? Is that not just adding an unnecessary layer of complexity to the system? I use the Snap with TR and it works fantastic. Do you want to use powermatch because your PT reading does not match the Snap?
Thanks for clarifying,
I use Powermatch with my Quarq or C1 Chainrings. I want the numbers I’m training with to match up indoors and out. If I’m going to record the Quarq/C1 numbers with TrainerRoad, I might as well try getting the Snap to match those numbers when I’m using Erg mode. In my experience, the Powermatch works well with TrainerRoad unless the interval is less than about 1 minute (using the Snap in the small chainring).
If you’re shifting while in erg mode, then you’re going to be throwing off the Snap.
I never recommend using Powermatch, for all the reasons you have listed. Instead, there is much more merit in spending time with your powermeter and experimenting with calibrations (when cold or hot), tyre pressures and clamp tension, in order to make your trainer as accurate as possible, then just use the trainer in ERG mode.
Lastly, use your trainer power as nothing more than “indoor power” and train to that in TR. When you do your FTP tests, record the 20 minute effort on your Garmin from your power meter and that should better represent your “outdoor power”.
The reason Wahoo staff appear “useless” is that fundamentally there is nothing they can do. The product is what it is.
I have managed to get my Snap to agree within 1% of my power meter at 200W to 250W which is the most commonly used range for me. I don’t care one bit my power meter says 80W when my Snap says 100W during recovery intervals because those intervals just aren’t important.
bear in mind that indoor power will never be the same as outdoor power. On an indoor FTP test or hard workout you can bury yourself in such a way that riding a bike (staying upright, observing traffic, etc) wouldn’t be possible. Cooling is vastly different indoors to outdoors. Whilst the numbers will be close, they will never be the same.
Just get your FTP numbers from your Snap and train on those. Training is training, gains are gains. Whatever you increase indoors will translate to outdoors.
That makes complete sense to me.
Stephen, Rob and Joe L:
These comments are tough to navigate. Anyone want to email me at email@example.com to start a direct conversation about it?
I’m also confused as to why anyone would be shifting in Erg mode or why the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the Snap would matter when using a power meter with PowerMatch. Unless I’m understanding this wrong, when using a power meter + smart trainer + TrainerRoad PowerMatch in Erg mode you could basically leave your bike in a 34T/23 gear combo and never shift. Let’s say your target power was 150w on a rest interval and you had an 8 minute interval at 250w coming up. Your cadence is at 95rpm. Power meter reads 150w, communicates that to TrainerRoad, and via PowerMatch the trainer gets the signal for a set amount of resistance (it either reads 150w as well and therefore does not compensate at all or it reads high or low and compensates accordingly, so that if the trainer reads 190w while your power meter reads 150w then TrainerRoad knows via PowerMatch that any time your goal is 150w then it’ll need to tell the trainer to dial in 190w of resistance since the trainer power reads high–or vice versa if the trainer reads low). Then your 250w interval comes up and you maintain your 95rpm cadence in the same gear, and nothing changes except for the resistance of the trainer which ramps up until your power meter is reading 250w at 95rpm.
I just don’t understand–in Erg mode specifically while using PowerMatch and a stand alone power meter like a Stages or Power2Max–why anyone would be shifting or why the accuracy of the trainer would matter at all so long as your actual power meter is accurate and TrainerRoad is making the proper compensation via PowerMatch.
I’ve got some 2.5-3 hr endurance rides at 150-185w with various power changes throughout. I could see a whole host of problems if using only the power from the Snap or trying to get the Snap and a different power meter to match exactly, but it seems like in Erg mode with power match I could just spin at 95rpm the whole 3 hours in a single gear and let all the resistance changes be handled be the communication between the power meter, TrainerRoad and the trainer.
Do I have faulty logic in here somewhere?
PowerMatch is simply creating an offset between your power meter and your trainer. Let’s say it thinks that offset is 20w on 220w. Meaning, your trainer shows 200w, while your power meter shows 220w. So TrainerRoad then knows there’s a 20w offset at that point.
So how does accuracy play into things? Well, if you have the KICKR SNAP, which is stated at +/-5%, that means by itself it has 10w of swing at 200w. That accuracy could (and will) typically fluctuate based on speed, cadence, and warming up of the trainer.
Thus with PowerMatch on a trainer +/-5%, the trainer could actually be at 190w or 210w, while your power meter is at 220w. The program attempts to compensate for these swings, by following power offsets. But that can lead to wonkiness (the exact wonkiness that people describe here).
The ideal case of using Power Match is simply to have your outside and inside numbers identical. So on a higher end KICKR, that might only be a few watts, but that’s because the accuracy is higher. Whereas on the SNAP, the accuracy is much lower – so more variance.
I think you’re either overthinking this or don’t understand powermatch because you’re off on a tangent and obfuscating things for what Rob/ Josh G asked….
Not using powermatch, the Snap will use its internal “powermeter” which has a published accuracy of + / – 5% assuming you do the spindown correctly, tire pressure, etc. Not following those can obviously make it further off.
However, if you use powermatch in TrainerRoad, then the Snap will adjust the power to match your powermeter’s reading. TrainerRoad will not only be recording the power from your powermeter in the workout results, but it will also be looking at those numbers to determine if it needs to adjust the trainer resistance. At 250 watts, the Snap and Quarq have about a 15 watt range of readings where both are in spec. That could translate into going way too hard or too easy.
Neither is related to indoor vs. outdoor power or associated with a reading on a Garmin.
Not using powermatch just introduces more variability into doing indoor workouts. I have fewer things to puzzle over if I’m at least reading from the same device every workout. Is my power low today because of cooling? Fatigue? Boredom? Tire pressure? Bad spindown calibration? A difference in the Snap to my Powermeter’s readings? Using powermatch eliminates at least three of those.
Ray, that answers a large part of my question–does the +/- 5% variance apply when using PowerMatch, and you’ve just said that it does. That alone at higher FTPs may be reason enough to go for the wheel-off Kickr. An extra 3% of variance above or below target power on a workout like over/unders is fairly substantial.
The guys on the TrainerRoad podcast have said they all train with wheel-off Kickrs and all use PowerMatch in Erg mode for all the advantages that Erg mode offers and so that their indoor numbers match their outdoor numbers. I’m looking for the same.
The issue I have is that with my gearing combo and current trainer (1Up) I’m in a cross chaining “black hole” around 16-19mph no matter what, which is exactly where I’m at around 200-270w @ 90-100rpm on my trainer, which is were I need to work for a large portion of my workouts with a 250-300w FTP throughout a season. I want to get away from shifting and watching my power numbers so closely in order to focus on form and pushing through (and for zone-out entertainment purposes on those long and boring multi-hour endurance trainer sessions) and I want my indoor power figures to match for outdoor rides. Am I wrong in thinking my best solution is an Erg trainer with PowerMatch? If I’m correct in thinking that, would you still say the wheel-off Kickr is still my best option and the Snap would not be a suitable budget-friendly replacement? And if I’m incorrect in thinking that, what would you say is my best solution–to just use any smart trainer, record my data from my power meter separately and then manually calculate the difference after the fact?
Nope, no overthinking, no lack of understanding 🙂
I was making the point that powermatch introduces massive over/under-shoots on a good many trainers that I’ve used, so frankly, I would rather not use it. In my opinion, the negatives it causes outweight the benefit of the “better accuracy”.
The reason I mentioned indoor vs outdoor is that you simply don’t need your indoor trainer to be accurate. You just need it to be consistent with itself. Problems with accuracy only arise when you try and take a figure obtained from one device and use it on another. Who cares if TR and Snap give you an FTP of 270 vs one of say 250 on your power meter? When you train indoors on TR everything will be based on that 270 on the Snap so a 85% effort is still an 85% effort. When you want to go elsewhere with your power, you retest using the equipment you’ll be using.
Anyhow, my other point stands. When I took my SNap and bike on holiday (3.5 hours a day, some holiday eh!) my Snap was within 5 to 10W of my stages across the 180 to 300W range, so it is possible to spend some time getting them to agree, and then you simply have another reason to turn off powermatch.
Not that I’m glad I’m the only one experiencing problems with the Vortex, But I’m Glad I’m not the only one! If support was better I might have kept it, but it sucks with no response, so you know what they can do. Hopefully they resolve the issue with the Snap because that will probably be my next try.
Normally Tacx support (firstname.lastname@example.org) will response in 2 working days. But I agree sometimes they’re so busy it will take more time to get an personal e-mail response done.
I would say I’ve been waiting more than 9-10 business days, if they had a phone number it would have probably been solved. But, I’m guessing here, they don’t have one because they have no clue as to what they are doing. Doesn’t much matter now, as I sent it back, never to do business with them again. Just how it goes!
I’m now looking forward to a Wahho Kickr Snap in the near future. Just going to wait and see how things go here first, and possibly order one.
Purchased the Kickr Snap. After two days and chatting with Wahoo, I found out that the Advance Calibration can only be done using an Iphone. The Android App is not yet updated with the Advance Calibration. I have Samsung phones. Had to borrow someones Iphone to perform the calibration.
Prior to performing the calibration the Snap would not get above 330 watts because the unit would apply the brake and stop me.
Wahoo should inform people of such Android handicaps.
@Chris said: >Purchased the Kickr Snap. After two days and chatting with Wahoo, I found out that the Advance Calibration can only be done using an Iphone. The Android App is not yet updated with the Advance Calibration. I have Samsung phones. Had to borrow someones Iphone to perform the calibration.
Prior to performing the calibration the Snap would not get above 330 watts because the unit would apply the brake and stop me.
Wahoo should inform people of such Android handicaps.
Another gotcha….yikes. I wonder why IOS gets all the love? Demographics that most people with $$ for bike gadgets use iPhones?
I’ve just been using the app on a borrowed iPhone, couldn’t find the Advanced Spindown anywhere?
How’s it working after the spindown, ok with TR?
Did a workout on the Kickr Snap tonight and found out a few things.
I used TrainerRoad and had to stop mid way as the power I had to produce to make 180 watts was well over 300 watts through the pedals. It also took about 30 seconds to recognise steps in power ups.
I used the Wahoo Utility app after to compare with the Garmin Edge 510. There are two device profiles on the Wahoo app, an Ant plus profile and a Bluetooth profile.
The Kickr’s Ant plus power display on the Wahoo app tracked very accurately which pleasantly surprised me.
The Kickr’s Bluetooth power display also tracked but was slower to update and not as accurate.
So this maybe suggests it’s a TrainerRoad problem?
are you absolutely sure that some training controlling apps are not running in background of your phone/tablet/etc while you are in TR session?
do you use PC or MAC version of TR?
Snap is connected via ANT+ or BT4?
yes it could be TR problem. but many guys say their Snap works just fine with TR (PC version) via ANT+.
also i could suggest that latest fw available from Android version of Wahoo’s app is not the same that is available via ios version of this app. could you tell us what fw version do you have? if you have something older than *.2.0.28 then it can be the cause of your problems in TR.
I’m running latest firmware 2.0.28 on the Snap and there are no background apps running.
I’ve been in contact with TR tech a few times and they’re saying that the Snap is wrongly being identified as the Kickr.
They’ve looked at my rides and have passed the matter on to a senior tech support person.
link to forums.garmin.com
it seems it’s technically possible to install Snap’s fw into usual Kickr. Perhaps it is possible in other direction too…
So after a month, I think I’ve figured out the quirks of the SNAP. Power readings have been a little more on recently, closer to 5%.
One benefit is that I have a Powertap wheel that allows me to test the accuracy of the SNAP. The last several rides I have monitored the power readings during my 10 minute warmup and I will generally do this at several levels from 80-200W. Readings have been close and consequently I haven’t done a spindown for the last 3 rides. I don’t think any non drivetrain trainer will ever react as quickly as a direct drive trainer. On short bursts there is a significant lag in the ramping up on the SNAP numbers compared to the Powertap wheel and numbers are much lower. If the interval is 2 minutes or longer, the numbers will start to align after about 60 seconds or so. Kind of similar on short recoveries….just takes the SNAP longer to catch up.
Hey DC, I am totally confused. I thought at the very least my Garmin 520 will be able to read the power data from the Snap. I am having trouble connected with Garmin to my Trainer. I started a chat with Wahoo. The are telling me that the snap will not broadcast power and speed to the 520. Attached the chat with Wahoo. I thought ANT + FC is only to control the trainer. Did I miss something?
Merci et Joyeux Noel.
Have you tried to search for the SNAP as a Power Meter (via Sensors pool)? I also believe it should work… I just haven’t tried yet because of my powertap.
Tim. followed your solution and it worked. THX for the feedback.
I really liked your test when you ramped up power and checked for consistency crossed power meters. I noticed the lag the readout of the KICKR SNAP was when in ERG mode. Do you get the same with the KICKR?
To bypass this problem I’m wondering: If I ran Trainer Road on a Mac with an ANT+ dongle, could I control the KICKR SNAP by using the power readout of my ANT+ PowerTap power meter?
Basically I would set up TR to control the trainer via BTLE and to read power from the ANT+ PowerTap via the dongle. How well do you think TR would work if I wired it up that way? In particular, how fast would it respond?
My goal here is to try to bypass the sluggishness and potential readout offset of the built-in power meter of the trainer to rely instead on my PowerTap. Would that work?
> If I ran Trainer Road on a Mac with an ANT+ dongle, could I control the KICKR SNAP
> by using the power readout of my ANT+ PowerTap power meter?
it seems it will not work. take a look here: link to dcrainmaker.com
I couldn’t get my Snap to work off another power meter in ERG mode. It seems so dependant on your cadence being so regular and any deviation causes a lag which causes the power to drop or rise accordingly, or you’d get huge spikes of power The power was way off as well with the Snap reporting 200 watts but needing 300 actual watts to produce.
The best I could get the Snap to work was without another power meter, and in ERG mode. The power was way off though and despite many spindown combinations it wouldn’t get better, with at least a 25 to 30 watt over reporting.
I sent mine back as it’s not the finished product with so many glitches, a big shame as it’s beautifully made and a class above the Vortex Smart.
I am in the same boat. I bought my Snap on Cyber Monday and I’m very disappointed with it. I think the design is awesome and the mounting mechanism is the best! But the huge surges of electronic braking which throws the power reading way off is not manageable at all. My knees were hurting because I was trying to keep up with the power but couldn’t deal with it. I had the unit replaced by Wahoo already and the power on the unit they sent me was even worst. I want to say I like the product cuz I like Wahoo but very disappointed in the Snap. 🙁
After reading Ray’s post and subsequent comments, I am left wondering how suitable the Kickr Snap would be for training for long distance, especially Ironman distance, bike training rides. Is there anyone here who has used this successfully for similarly long training rides with good (or bad) results?
Can the wahoo kickr snap easily fold into a suitcase for traveling on an airline? If yes, what is the dimensions when fully collapsed.
Roughly 4 ft by 3.5 ft. But honestly the Snap is built like a Tank. It weighs close to 65 lb by itself.
So I guess it’s best not to travel with. Is the Tacx Bushido better or as good as this?
> Is the Tacx Bushido better or as good as this?
No. Tacx Bushido is much worse than Snap. And it is known to be unreliable (see youtube or Tacx forums).
if travel factor is important to you maybe it makes sense to look at Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+.
> It weighs close to 65 lb by itself.
incorrect. the weight of my unit which i received some days ago is 21-22kg.
I received my Snap. Have used Vortex for 2 months before, almost everyday. Here are some my notes.
– build quality of Snap is superb. It is built like a tank, only quality heavy metal materials. It feels absolutely reliable and is expected to live for ages. Locking mechanism is the best I’ve seen, really beautiful, simple, smart and elegant.
– noise level is extremely low. Snap is quiet, close to silent, especially in ERG mode when speed is not high. MUCH quieter than Vortex (which is like a jet engine) and original Kickr. There are no any high tone ‘wwwzzzzz’ sounds which are inherent in original Kickr.
– road feel is really close to natural. It is smooth and silken. There are no any ‘gaps’ during pedal stroke like it is in Vortex on some resistance levels/cadences/speeds. Start from zero speed and all accelerations are close to natural too. Overall I enjoy it.
– Zwift hills are more natural now, 8-10% are pretty close to real outdoor 8-10%. I mean how hard you feel them.
– Snap does not broadcast speed and cadence via ANT+, only power. Tested on fw 2.0.29 (beta with ANT+ FE-C).
Now some unpleasant things… I have already opened two tickets in Wahoo support.
My brand new Snap out of the box has a problem with its roller.
Roller wobbles slightly. It causes pulsation feeling on my wheel
during my ride, also it causes vibration and annoying sound.
My wheel is true, I checked, tire (new Tacx blue trainer tire 622x23mm, 110psi) is even too.
I recorded video demonstrating this problem.
I see two holes in the roller. What are they for? Maybe for calibration
of the roller position? I see allen bolts inside of them.
Answer of support:
> I am sorry you are having this issue. Unfortunately we have seen this issue before
> and the only remedy is to exchange the KICKR Snap. If you would like to proceed,
> please advise.
I’m a bit shocked. Waited my Snap 3 weeks to arrive, not ready to be without trainer for another 4-8 weeks. I asked them to send me only new resistance unit without frame (to reduce shipping costs) before I will send them mine faulty unit. Will see what they say.
Power accuracy. It is AWFUL. I do not have real power meter to compare Snap’s data with but subjectively (my heart rate at known effort, sprint times in Zwift, lap times in Zwift) error is 25-35%. Maybe 40% sometimes. My best 30 days sprint result in Zwift Richmond course with Vortex (calibrated via spindown in TTS4) was 13.9sec, the same effort with Snap gives me 17sec, it is HUGE difference. Richmond lap time with the same effort is 3-4 minutes slower. So with Snap I became much slower in Zwift, almost uncompetitive. The worse thing is on descends. Snap shows really low watts whatever your real power is. Yes I did advanced spindown before each session, result was 1.49 and 1.50. I tried both fw versions, 2.0.28 and 2.0.29, same results.
Here is the text of my ticket:
Snap is connected to Zwift as a smart trainer.
Also it is connected as a power meter only to my Garmin Edge 520.
From time to time when i ride in Zwift with steady effort and cadence
I see short power drops. In these moments (0% grade in Zwift) I do not
feel any change in resistance, just broadcasted power number is dropped
significantly (50-60Wt or even to zero) for some seconds. Both Zwift
and Garmin Edge 520 see and record this.
I attached some files from Zwift and my Garmin Edge 520 demonstrating
this problem. On graphs you will see those power ‘spikes’ (drops) when
my cadence and speed is absolutely steady.
I’m sure there is no any interference in my place. In exactly the
same place I ride in Zwift with my Vortex Smart (the same ant+
transmitter is used) and there is no power drops at all, i have not
seen even one during all my previous ~50-60 Vortex’s sessions.
The problem takes place in both fw 2.0.28 and 2.0.29.
Advanced spindown is done before each session, result is 1.50 or 1.49.
Preload knob – one full turn after tyre contact. No any slip. Tyre is
Tacx blue 622x23mm 110psi.
This unstable power data from Snap significantly decreases my results
in Zwift, it makes me much slower. And it is not good at all 🙁
On the other hand the same efforts on Vortex give me absolutely stable
sessions. Problems started when I changed Vortex to Snap 🙁
One more interesting note. I have 1×11 transmission, 46t*11-28t. With Vortex it is absolutely enough. For Snap it is not enough for flats and sprints, at 46×11 during full power sprint cadence is pretty high. So I thought I should run Wahoo app, go to resistance mode or slope mode, set there some high value and exit the app. Maybe Snap will save that setting as a “default”. After that go to Zwift. Will test this idea during my next Zwift session.
So now I have double feelings about Snap. On the one hand it is really quality product which I would love to love and enjoy to ride on, on the other hand it is definitely unfinished and beta. I do not want to be beta tester, I just want to ride, to find the trainer which just works. Please show me such! 🙂 So now I conclude that Vortex with all its cons is better device for me. Never thought I will say this 🙂 Hope Wahoo will fix power accuracy problems if they are in their software.
Maybe nowadays it is better to use something like Elite Turbo Muin plus real power meter. You get quiet direct drive fluid trainer with real flywheel and good road feel and without any ‘power issues’ we get here with so called ‘smart trainers’. Most of them now do not deserve to be called ‘smart’.
Thanks for reading such long comment 😉
Hope it helps.
Wahoo answered to my second issue (power drops & power inaccuracy):
> We have had a few units with this issue. The data looks good but the signal is being dropped for a brief time.
so it seems i was unlucky to get twice-faulty unit – with unbalanced roller AND with power drops. hope they will send me new one for exchange.
their additional answer about unbalanced roller:
> Those holes on the roller and the allen bolts you see do allow for adjustment,
> but we have not found the perfect tolerance to adjust these particular Snap’s
> with the unbalanced rollers. If you would like to try and adjust it, please feel free.
> If you cannot get it balanced, please let me know and we will proceed with the replacement.
Performed some tests.
Beginning of the session, 2 full turns of the preload knob, usual spindown. Result – 11sec, temp 19C.
10min of warm up, after that advanced spindown, result – 1.49, temp 26.8C. Immediately after that usual spindown, result – 14.2sec, temp – 26.2C. Some more usual spindowns, just to verify time is stable. And it is stable, 14sec +/- 0.5sec.
2.5 turns of preload knob, usual spindown, result – 12.8sec, temp 26.2C. One more usual spindown, result – 13.0sec, temp 26.2C.
Back to 2 turns of preload knob, some more usual spindowns, just to verify. Still stable result – 14sec +/- 0.5sec, temp 26C +/- 0.5C.
Go to Zwift and ride 45 min session. Right after that – usual spindown, result – 14.6sec, temp 29.9C.
Notes – still feel big error in power, maybe less than before. Subjectively – 10-15-20%. Still my transmission (46t * 11-28t) is not enough for flat sections and descends, cadence too high. With Vortex it is absolutely enough. Still see some occasional power drops, maybe not so often as before.
2 full turns definitely increase tyre wearing, it looks too tight. I do not have any slippage with 1 full turn, so I guess I will use 1-1.5 full turns since results are pretty the same with 2 full turns.
After this Zwift session I run Wahoo app (Android version), started workout, went to Level mode and set there 5 (0 was by default, 10 is maximum). Felt it worked (became harder to pedal), stopped workout, exited from the app. Snap remembered Level setting as I expected. I started Zwift once again and rode short 10km session hoping now my transmission will be enough for flat sections. I was wrong – absolutely the same feeling as in previous session. It’s a pity.
Maybe I just have faulty unit…
Would really want to try direct drive models. Elite Turbo Muin [Smart B+] would be interesting to start with…
V – Did you have a go with the hex keys. Mine arrived today and is slightly off center. Pain really, what was the outcome ?
i tried to use those 3mm allen bolts but unsuccessfully, they are too tight, i can’t move them out even a bit.
> but we have not found the perfect tolerance to adjust these particular Snap’s
> with the unbalanced rollers. If you would like to try and adjust it, please feel free.
> If you cannot get it balanced, please let me know and we will proceed with the replacement.
so i my case – only replacement 🙁
So you ended up with Kickr Snap #3 ? Was that one any good?
sorry i do not understand what you mean saying ‘ #3’. i tried only one Snap (personally purchased), it is with unbalanced roller and should be replaced. I wait when Wahoo will send me new one or at least new resistance unit.
Sorry, I was confused, let us know what happens.
> Maybe I just have faulty unit…
> Wahoo keeps silence about my case, already two days 🙁
> They said my unit should be exchanged – and silence after that.
Not good news. Wahoo support wrote me saying they will not send me a replacement. They say they do not ship to my country of living. It is untrue – a year ago they already sent me a replacement for Tickr X. Here is my experience with Tickr X link to dcrainmaker.com
The second Tickr X i received was exactly like previous, with a lag you can’t live with. It is a crap.
Snap is my second Wahoo product, and i’m totally unhappy with it too. How unit with such bugs (highly unbalanced roller, power drops, power inaccuracy) could even pass their ‘quality control’ and become available for purchase??? Why should *I* pay for their error?
They “suggest reaching out to the company (Bike24.com) you originally purchased it through”.
it is not easy for me and will take a lot of time (4-8 weeks). i guess i lost my money (588eu + 40eu shipping) and my time. i think i’m going to gift this unit to cycling sport school where children can live with such bugs, it’s better than to throw away this useless for me unit.
i will never buy any Wahoo product again.
p.s. if your country is not in their ‘white list’ think TWICE before purchasing their trainers.
a bit sad new year beginning…
V, when you said:
“From time to time when i ride in Zwift with steady effort and cadence
I see short power drops. In these moments (0% grade in Zwift) I do not
feel any change in resistance, just broadcasted power number is dropped
significantly (50-60Wt or even to zero) for some seconds. Both Zwift
and Garmin Edge 520 see and record this.”
I have a snap and I notice this too. When you say steady effort and cadence, is it above 200w and cadence is 90+? I can hold under ~200w and high cadence without any drops, but once my power and cadence go up around there, I get those drops too.
> When you say steady effort and cadence, is it above 200w and cadence is 90+?
correct. my usual tempo in Zwift’s flats is 230-280W with cadence 90-100.
actually it seems you are right – i’ve seen significantly less these power drops when my power was 150-200W.
please note i’m sure it is not Zwift’s problem or my ANT+ receiver or any kind of interference. Edge 520 data confirms this.
Thanks for the reply!
So you see the same drops on the edge 520? Not looking good for the Kickr Snap then. 🙁
I noticed that there is now a 2.0.31 firmware available. I will try this out tonight. It says it has “ANT+ FE-C control” so maybe there are some improvements.
> So you see the same drops on the edge 520?
yes I do. Edge 520 and Zwift see these drops simultaneously. when i opened ticket in Wahoo support i sent them both records, from Zwift and from Edge 520.
They said: “We have had a few units with this issue. The data looks good but the signal is being dropped for a brief time.” And they recommended to replace my Snap.
> I noticed that there is now a 2.0.31
interesting. please tell us what you will see. thanks!
Will do! I’ll likely try out the new firmware tomorrow my time. Will reply back here.
That’s a shame that they want to replace the unit… like you, I don’t really feel like going weeks without my Snap.
for fw 2.0.29 (installed in my Snap) it is said “(BETA) ANT+ FE-C support”
for fw 2.0.31 it is said “(BETA) ANT+ FE-C control”
i tried several times to install 2.0.31 into my Snap via Android Wahoo app. Unsuccessfully.
“Faild to flash”.
have you managed to install it into your Snap?
I was able to install 2.0.31 successfully, however it made no difference in my power drops. I’ve contacted Wahoo support asking for them to send me a new unit, will see what they say.
I see on the sticker of my unit where the serial # is, it has a model #. Mine says WF110, not sure if they have different revisions here. What is your model? Perhaps this problem is common to our models.
> I was able to install 2.0.31 successfully
from ios or android?
> I’ve contacted Wahoo support asking for them to send me a new unit, will see what they say.
ok. please keep us posted too about your case.
> Mine says WF110, not sure if they have different revisions here. What is your model?
i have the same, WF110.
I was able to install with Android, using the Wahoo Utility app.
So far they have replied saying it is not a known issue, perhaps my issue is a little different?
I will be borrowing my friends Edge 500 to see if the kickr snap is dropping power or for some reason Zwift is the problem here. Will keep this thread updated!
Update: it seems it was just an interference problem with my ANT+ signal. I did a ride on Zwift with ANT+, had a Garmin edge 500 paired via ANT+, and had the Wahoo Fitness App paired via Bluetooth. When in +200w and +100rpm, Zwift and the edge would experience drops, while the Wahoo Fitness App would not. I advise anyone else experiencing these problems to use the Wahoo Fitness App as a definitive test to ensure that ANT+ is not the problem.
> while the Wahoo Fitness App would not.
it’s possible they do some kind of smoothing in their app.
> and had the Wahoo Fitness App paired via Bluetooth.
have you tested Wahoo App connected via ANT+?
> it’s possible they do some kind of smoothing in their app.
I asked their support and they said they did not do any smoothing (and it was easy to see, the edge 500 was showing the same value as the app, as well as the data on Zwift)
> have you tested Wahoo App connected via ANT+?
Unfortunately I cannot, I do not have a way to do that on my phone.
What they did say though is that the data from the power meter is being sent to both the ant+ and the bluetooth sensors simultaneously, so if there was a problem collecting the power, we should see it via bluetooth too.
I noticed that it was very noisy over the ANT+ signal where I was, the edge 500 would drop power (it was further away from the Snap) while the data on Zwift via ANT+ would not.
For now I am content with these findings.
> so if there was a problem collecting the power, we should see it via bluetooth too.
it is reasonable advise, i will check it with my unit too.
have you used zwift (via ant+) and wahoo app (via bt4) simultaneously? if so what app was the ‘main’ one, i mean who was controlling (changing resistance) your Snap during your test?
just a thought: if you see power drops via ANT+ and do not see them via BT4 – it does not mean the cause is only noise/interference. other possible cause – ANT+ electronics in your particular unit may be defective.
> have you used zwift (via ant+) and wahoo app (via bt4) simultaneously? if so what app was the ‘main’ one, i mean who was controlling (changing resistance) your Snap during your test?
I did this test last night, on one of the screens of the Wahoo App (connected via Bluetooth), it is just a display (i.e. it does not allow you to change any resistance/ERG mode etc) so basically it was acting as a display only device. It was the screen with power data on it.
I used Zwift via ANT+ and a workout, and I let Zwift control the ERG mode.
Let me know what data you see via bluetooth!
Make sure you “start” the workout on the Wahoo App, so it records the data to a file.
I exported the file as TCX format (the default didn’t show me power I think, and then emailed it to myself. I then exported the Zwift file (.FIT) and used the program “Golden Cheetah” to compare the power graphs of the two.
> just a thought: if you see power drops via ANT+ and do not see them via BT4 – it does not mean the cause is only noise/interference. other possible cause – ANT+ electronics in your particular unit may be defective.
That’s true- but I was particularly lucky on my test as I was also using a Garmin Edge 500 to test power output via ANT+.
I noticed that it would drop the power data quite frequently, but Zwift (also via ANT+) would not. And when I saw that Zwift had dropped power, I noticed that the Garmin Edge showed the power. Basically, the drops were not at the same time, so that rules out a bad sensor in my opinion.
If you don’t have a PM you can’t know your heart rate at known effort because you just don’t know your “known” effort. Anyway, heart rate is an improper tool for power estimation.
I assume that the power readings of the Snap are more accurate than those of the Vortex.
My recommendation: face the truth.
I had also issues with power drops and now seems to be resolved after I got a 6ft usb extension and placed the ANT+ dongle closer to the trainer in the other and, I can’t no longer get spindown completed anymore…it never completes after reaching the speed and coming back down to 10mph.
I emailed customer service but seems that they are pretty busy.
What are your thoughts on this vs the Bkool Pro. I know I can use them both with the Bkool simulator so just wondering which you think is the better turbo. I have heard a few bad stories about Bkool aftersales when products break.
Ray, thank you for the incredible reviews. After much debate between the KIKR and SNAP I am on the verge of purchasing a SNAP (three bikes, three drive trains, and looks much more convenient then removing the rear wheel). However, in conversation with customer support at Wahoo Fitness, they said they have no plans to roll out FE-C support for SNAP, only for the original KICKR. They also stated it was not a technology issue, but rather a marketing decision. This is counter to your July update so I thought I would point it out.
It feels like a short sighted decision on the part of Wahoo, as I could envision a world where as Garmin Connect becomes a more enabled platform, users would want to create a structured workout on Garmin Connect, download it to a Garmin head unit which could then control the trainer.
So glad I exchanged mine for a Kickr!
The Snap is such a lovely machine but let down by so many bugs!
> they said they have no plans to roll out FE-C support for SNAP
shame on them! really stupid move… Garmin 520/1000 owners will not be happy… TTS4 owners too…
by the way, now i use Snap’s fw 2.0.29 where it is said “ANT+ FE-C beta”.
I don’t think that statement is accurate. As noted, it’s already in beta.
The most recent statement when I asked about it (FE-C on Wahoo products), last week, was that they were basically waiting for the holiday period to cool down before releasing to public, since they didn’t want an influx of support calls (which happens after every firmware update for every company).
I’ve got meetings with them this week at CES, so I’ll triple-check (and find out more about folks having accuracy issues on SNAP).
Ray said: >>I’ve got meetings with them this week at CES, so I’ll triple-check (and find out more about folks having accuracy issues on SNAP).<>Power accuracy. It is AWFUL. I do not have real power meter to compare Snap’s data with but subjectively (my heart rate at known effort, sprint times in Zwift, lap times in Zwift) error is 25-35%. Maybe 40% sometimes.<<
v–thanks for your detailed write-up on your experience with the SNAP. It's definitely on the "wait-and-see" list now.
Ray–thanks! It's great to have an influential voice in the end-users' corner. When I spoke with a Wahoo tech he dismissed reports of inaccuracy as "internet" mythology. Of course it might be a few units, or a batch or something. My suspicion is that a very high percentage of buyers are either those who have nothing to compare it to or those who don't really have any interest in accurate power, nor any way to check for accurate power–or some combination of those two groups. I'll be watching for what you find out. In the meantime the Tacx Vortex is now going for $296 USD + ~$20 shipping. At that price I may just take a chance and get my feet wet with that. Which is the trainer you recommended in the mid-price range to start with! 😉
Also–I kind of get that some (rbsmith in particular) don't care about power, but it seems to me that it's absolutely necessary to get some kind of stable and reasonably accurate system if you want to build a training plan around FTP zones! And one benefit of having two sources (power meter AND trainer) is you'll get notice of any wild discrepancy. v, and other experienced cyclists have the benefit of a pretty good seat-of-the-pants power meter which will also reveal any big outnesses.
Keep up the good reporting!
FWIW, I bopped over to Wahoo and chatted with customer support.
RE: accurate power-reporting:
“We have released a new advanced spindown calibration (currently available for iOS, the Android version will be out in the next week or two) and we’ve seen very accurate power data after doing this. I think most people aren’t doing this initial spindown to set the unit up.”
Of course, v reported doing the advanced spin down without any improvement in the perceived power.
I’m glad to hear they are working on an Android app….especially since it sounds like that is required at this point.
> the Android version will be out in the next week or two
good news, thanks! it means i will give back borrowed iPad soon 🙂
> v reported doing the advanced spin down without any improvement in the perceived power.
correct. my next try – tighter setting of the preload knob (2 full turns after tyre contact). will try it soon, have caught cold now 🙁
OK, given your response I went back to customer support at Wahoo and received a different answer — one in line with yours.
My original question had asked for clarification about what was meant by the lack of 3rd Party Power Meter Support on the SNAP (the KICKR will support). This time the response was simply that the Wahoo App will not be able to display power meter data from another PM when being used to control the trainer… something that I believe has been discussed earlier in this chat. This is a non issue for me.
I still am confused by the comment I got regarding the marketing vs. hardware capability response when I probed, but did not really want to waste the time going down that rabbit hole.
I apologize for any confusion this might have caused and wanted to correct it ASAP.
> In the meantime the Tacx Vortex is now going for $296 USD + ~$20 shipping.
> At that price I may just take a chance and get my feet wet with that.
> Which is the trainer you recommended in the mid-price range to start with!
when it will arrive do not forget to share your thoughts with us 😉
> Also–I kind of get that some (rbsmith in particular) don’t care about power,
> but it seems to me that it’s absolutely necessary to get some kind of stable
> and reasonably accurate system if you want to build a training plan around FTP zones!
absolutely correct. error should be reasonable or less. but more important as we already discussed – self consistency between sessions and repeatable (with good accuracy) results.
Andrew Garcia said: >>I still am confused by the comment I got regarding the marketing vs. hardware capability response when I probed, but did not really want to waste the time going down that rabbit hole.
I apologize for any confusion this might have caused and wanted to correct it ASAP.<<
Sounds like you just hit a rep who might not have fully understood the issue, and/or your question. I think your clarifying post is good though–it helps with the credibility of the public on this blog and (hopefully) getting the correct info to the customer support staff.
For the record:
I never said that I “don’t care about power”. What I said was that, for me, consistency in trainer performance is more important than matching power graphs between trainer and power meter.
IMHO at least 50% of the complaints about differences between trainer power readings and bike power readings are probably caused by failure to calibrate the devices, conflicts with the environment or other RF/Bluetooth devices, software settings, etc.
I’m not saying that every smart trainer lives up to its’ advertising hype — clearly this category of trainer is in its infancy and there are still a lot of bugs to be squashed (the same can be said for Zwift!).
Many thanks for keeping an ear to the ground on this issue and forwarding our concerns to Wahoo. If it means anything to them, I had planned on returning the unit to Performance at the end of the indoor cycling season if it seemed that no efforts were being made to address the power accuracy concerns or the FE-C protocol wasn’t being implemented. Mechanically, the unit seems so solid and far superior to my previously owned Powersync at a similar price (which I returned after your recent trainer recommendations were published). Seems worth the $20 for adfree content also!
I want to comment on everyone’s complaints about the Kickr Snap accuracy. I have 8 Snaps at our shop at first I was like WTF power is way way off. I did an advanced spindown after a really good 15min warm up. I get numbers around 1.3 for brake strength on our trainers but they can vary. After the advanced spindown i did a normal spin down. The trainers are now within 1 watt between 180-340watts of my quarq. 400w on the snap was reading 390w on the quarq i didn’t try higher than that but thats within 5% claimed error. These numbers were based of the average watts for 2 min 30 sec.
When i use one myself i do spindowns until the spindown time normalizes it takes about 10 min. They really do need a 10 min warm up.
Also depending on the tire i’ve seen spindown times from 8 sec to 17 seconds, this makes zero difference with the accuracy. There is no ideal spindown time window.
Wahoo is working on having advanced spindowns done from the factory but it hasn’t happened yet. Find a friend with an idevice. Android advanced spindown support is coming soon. It’s a great trainer, its super solid and super quiet.
I’ve seen more drift on the normal kickr than the snap.
The snap is quieter.
The snaps watt floor really is like 100W if you can’t do 100W in your sleep get a normal Kickr it will let you ride at 20w. ERG mode on a Snap will barely even work under 140W with a normal tire. I got it to work at 80W with a vittoria open corsa.
Scott, thank you for such useful info!
could you please make more exact couple of moments?
– what tyre (622×23 or other) and psi do you use?
– how tight (how many full turns after tyre contacts roller) your preload knob is?
after my advanced spindowns i always get 1.49 or 1.50. will try to set preload knob tighter.
An advanced spindown of 1.5 is just fine it varies trainer to trainer. Also tire and knob turns should not matter at all. I do 2 turns it seems to be the least amount of turns in which the tire will not slip. I’ve used 700c x 22-28c’s @ 80-110psi, and noticed no differences other than standard spindown time depending on how well the tire rolls.
It’s incredibly important you do these spindowns after 10min of riding.
I just got another snap from wahoo that they did the adv spindown on which came out to 1.6 something. I’m going to test that against a quarq later today and see how it compares or if i need to do another adv spindown.
> When i use one myself i do spindowns until the spindown time normalizes
> it takes about 10 min. They really do need a 10 min warm up.
> It’s incredibly important you do these spindowns after 10min of riding.
so algorithm for everyday usage is:
– start your session, ride 10 minutes without any calibration
– run advanced spindown, right after that run usual spindown
– enjoy accurate power data
if so it prolongs every session, ~15 additional minutes. Not super good but not critical too, can live with it.
From the discussions I’ve had with Wahoo, the advanced spindown “should be” (ahem) a one-time procedure or certainly “every few weeks”. It is designed to bring the unit in line with what wahoo believe the power curve should be (so essentially to take into account manufacturing differences/tolerances, temperature).
The “normal” spindown is designed to calibrate the unit against the current tyre/pressure.
By my reckoning this should mean that normal spindown is only required when you change your bike, or enough time passes to affect pressure/tyre (1 week?).
Certainly if soneone was selling a trainer which required a 15 minute session before it can be used “in anger” I think sales would be pretty poor 😉
I never got anywhere with Wahoo regarding the power accuracy. As far as they are concerned, provided you have the right firmware, “it does what it does”. As can be seen from other “power users” in this thread, it would appear it does what it does quite poorly in comparison to a true power meter.
Whilst its built like a brick and has an excellent ride quality, it only just caters for my wife and son who want to use zwift and swap bikes easily. It is still overpriced for what is not a true power meter. I would not tolerate its inaccuracy for my training and would have sent it back for refund.
I’ve no idea of what is required to accurately measure power, but if wahoo had put that into the Snap, effectively making it a “Wheel on KICKR” it would be great. Opportunity lost I think. Having said that, my KICKR isn’t exactly a glowing success story when it comes to power accuracy either. I thought the Neo was the saviour to our first world problems but gave up after 3 of those. Why can no-one make something which does as advertised eh ??!! 🙂
You only do an advanced spindown one time. But a normal spindown should be done 10 min into your ride which you should just be warming up anyway so perfect #’s don’t matter. Tire temp can change the rolling resistance a lot, and it needs to be warmed up.
This is my ride today. Black is snap. Pink is quarq.
Adv spindown done a week ago
Did 10 min of non recorded warm up, then did a spindown and started my ride. Quarq was zeroed after the spindown.
> You only do an advanced spindown one time.
yes, today i did it once, after 10 min warm up.
> But a normal spindown should be done 10 min into your ride which you should just be warming up anyway so perfect #’s don’t matter.
yes i did normal spindown AFTER 10min of warm up. Actually i did some normal spindowns, just for test purposes.
Encouraging posts from Scott. Any way you could borrow a power meter to check and see if you can duplicate his results? Not easy, I know.
The Vortex Smart’s are on backorder at bike-discount.de, so I’m going to wait this out until they show up again. Maybe it will all be settled/fixed by then.
And Scott–THANKS for posting your results!
> Any way you could borrow a power meter to check and see if you can duplicate his results? Not easy, I know.
it is not possible for me, i have no friends with real power meters. PMs still are very expensive toys.
I have duplicated these results on more than 1 trainer too. After a interval of at least 1 min i’m normally within 5W of my quarq for the average of the interval. Most of the time it’s actually between 1-3W.
Some of you need to remember that any of these ERG type trainers are going to hold average watts and you will not see the peaks and dips you see from your power meter.
But if you do your spindown tests correctly you should be seeing at least 5%+- of average wattage over X minutes compared to a power meter.
I should also mention if you try to test this do not use a left only power meter. You can look at the #’s and totally cheat them by pedaling less hard or more hard with that leg to make the #’s match. If you test with a stages etc etc put your power meter recording computer in your pocket or face down.
I thought I would chime in again after a bit more usage.
My SNAP was initially all over the map, even after I was more careful with knob turns and did several warmed up advanced spindowns (with similar 1.30ish results) and made sure to spindown after 15 minutes of use. I seemed to see anywhere between 7% (common) to 20% (more rare) errors over my intervals for average power compared to my PowerTap.
I am now seeing better results. I would say I am still being careful with tire pressure and 2 knob turns, but I am somehow now noting between 2-7% error, with the normal error being close to 4% and thus within spec.
I am happy about this, but also perplexed as to what has changed.
At times I do see more error in the low end (100-150W) than I do in the medium side (280-300W). For example yesterday I rode with close to 2% error @ 290W, but then when recovering at 180W I was nearly 10% off… both in the same direction.
While no doubt there are edge cases where units are bad or issues as Wahoo noted, I’m wondering more and more if folks simply aren’t tightening enough (or doing warm-up time).
Given proper warm-up is common on almost all wheel-on trainers, it’s really a null difference.
Scott, thanks for the clear and rational posts, very helpful. Have you tried the snap with Trainer Road, people talk about a problem where the resistance builds up so that you can’t pedal ?
Any experience with Zwift also. I have one ordered & it arrives today 🙂
The posted graph the black line was actually from trainer road. The pink is a Quarq with an Elemnt as a headunit. I sent them to garmin connect then copied the power graphs out and over layed them in photoshop.
I have seen this “lock up” happen using perf pro in our trainer studio. When i see it there is a rest interval where the rider slows down to like 8mph or less then a harder interval kicks in. The brake hits so hard they cant turn the pedals anymore. I’d advise people to get back to a normal speed before an interval kicks in.
This also happens on any other electronic trainer. If you can stomp the pedals at 600w for 3 seconds to spin the trainer back up it’s a non issue.
Other case it could be a bad trainer.
One thing that could maybe help is a firmware update to release the brake when speed is like <8mph when in ERG mode.
Used one with zwift it seemed to work just fine.
RE your comment:
>>But if you do your spindown tests correctly you should be seeing at least 5%+- of average wattage over X minutes compared to a power meter.
I should also mention if you try to test this do not use a left only power meter. You can look at the #’s and totally cheat them by pedaling less hard or more hard with that leg to make the #’s match. If you test with a stages etc etc put your power meter recording computer in your pocket or face down.<<
I'm thinking very seriously about getting a Stages (left-only) PM. Your comment is just meant as a warning about fooling yourself (sub-consciously???) by watching the power while checking. There's not any inherent problem with getting a Stages (or other left-only meter) to match the SNAP? (Sorry if I'm being a bit dense–new field for me.)
So Scott, have any of your 8 had problems with the rollers? Have you or anyone tried adjusting the little hex bolts.
So the little hex screws undo and the roller slips round on a shaft. Having had a little play things seem properly centered. Going to have a proper go over the weekend and try it wit my powertap. Initial tests with Zwift and TrainerRoad seem great, nice and fast to adjust power in ERG mode, better than the Vortex and Qubo (total failure poss didgy unit) that I have previously tried.
Ray, your thoughts on the power reading comment of the recent bike radar review below?
link to bikeradar.com
interesting article, thanks!
> On the first test unit we had, the power numbers kept dropping out
> every few seconds, regardless of software used. We’d see a reading
> for a few seconds, then 0, then a reading, then 0, etc.
> Wahoo exchanged the unit and the replacement did not have this issue.
i see the same on my unit. power inaccuracy – too.
It doesn’t surprise me.
I’d be interested in knowing what their roll-down was. I’d also note that comparing against Stages isn’t super-accurate, though the comparison against SRM is more valid.
It does point to the lack of an advanced spin down to me…
This is kinda good in a way, it reinforces exactly what I’ve been saying to friends when asked for a recommendation. If all you want is power indoors to train to, the snap aint a bad trainer at all, very well built. But if you have other power meters, the snap is a sure fire way of pulling your hair out with its inaccuracy.
Kickr Snap with a decent strain gauge v2 please !
in the bottom of the article page there are some comments. author says he DID advanced spindown. also he did regular spindowns. also he did warm up. how many full turns of preload knob he did after tyre contacts roller – it is the question. however in my experience 1 turn or 1.5 turn or 2 turns – does not make big difference.
Fwiw – on the Snap spindowns, I did talk Wahoo about it at CES, they said the single biggest thing is ensuring you’ve got 2 full turns after the wheel touches.
no problems with the rollers yet.
What I mean is since a left only PM doubles your left leg power you can “raise or lower” your power number on your power recording computer. The power trainer like the snap will hold say 300w, it does not care if you pedal with 2 legs 1 leg or your arms, it’s holding 300w. If you pedal 300w with your left leg a stages will say 600w. So if you are comparing power with stages vs snap and you pedaled with your left leg it would say 600w vs 300w. Obviously not correct.
So the reason I say put the computer in your pocket is, if you are data testing the trainer you subconsciously want the #’s to match. And you can actually control this matching by varying left leg power.
You can not do this on a quarq, powertap or srm, as any cheat you try to do on 1 leg will be countered by the other as they all read drivetrain watts.
Yes, that clears it up…thanks!
The latest on this in the comments at the bottom…link to bikeradar.com
Short version: My experience is that with 100-150psi I need 3 turns of the knob after tire contact to get good performance.
Longer story: based on the setup instructions, I got terrible performance from the Snap. It would claim I was at 130W when I was actually closer to 230W. Not 5-10% off, but wayyy off. I had been tightening the knob conservatively, thinking that a tighter roller would produce more resistance and make the problem worse… but in practice it’s the opposite. You need to tighten quite a bit to get the right setup.
Customer support told me that the spindown time should be between 9 and 15 seconds; I had been getting 25 seconds before, got 16-ish with 2 full turns and 12.2 with 3 full turns.
I don’t have a power meter to check the result, but I can now ride above 200W and get reasonable looking numbers, which was virtually impossible with the knob looser.
I suggested to Wahoo that they need to update the setup instructions ‘cos this was not obvious to a newb. 🙂
i’m a bit curious how long your tyre will be alive with 3 full turns, especially if it is usual non-trainer-specific tyre 🙂 i have new tacx blue tyre 23mm, when riding with 2 full turns (100-110psi) i see the wear is significantly faster compared to riding with 1-1.5 turns. i don’t even mention my usual conti 4 season 28mm, snap eats it very fast, and it is much louder with it.
Direct drive trainers are our happiness 🙂 When they will become issues free (at least almost).
Just for fun, this morning I took a close look at the Schwalbe One 25mm tubeless tire I’m running on my Snap. As noted before, I run 110psi and two turns on the roller tension.
The tire pictured has 630 Zwift miles on it. The mold flashing from manufacture isn’t even complete worn off yet.
As well, there is virtually no tire dust around the trainer and no deposit on the roller, whatsoever.
IMHO trainer-specific tires are a waste of money.
1. “100-150 psi” is a very large range! What tire do you know of that is recommended for 150 psi inflation?! Perhaps you meant 115 psi?
2. The purpose of tightening the roller tension is, solely, to prevent the tire slipping when power is applied. Additional tightening after this ‘non-slip’ point is reached has NO effect on power readings — now can it?!
3. I’ve logged 600+ Zwift miles on my Snap. I’m not particularly strong but Zwift has given me the 1200 watt (and all lower) achievement thingies and I have no trouble producing indicated 200 watts for 5 minutes. 1 1/2 – 2 turns of roller tension is all I use.
It is certainly possible that you can make your tire slip unless you use 3 full turns of roller tension however IMO that is probably because of the tire and pressure you use, not because of any problem with Snap.
While some of it is to prevent slippage, most trainers do have a minimum level of pressure required to get accurate results. So one could be in a slip-less state, but still not enough pressure to get accurate power results. Same on the CompuTrainer for example.
I accept that you’re the guru in these matters BUT I question whether this: “one could be in a slip-less state, but still not enough pressure to get accurate power results” is correct?
I’m not familiar with CompuTrainer. But AFAIK the Snap is getting power readings simply by measuring roller/flywheel speed — there’s no strain gauge involved. So, once you’re ‘slip-less’, there’s no benefit in being tighter on the roller — it (being tighter) isn’t going to increase rotation speed.
I may be all wet on this — if you can enlighten me, I will freely admit it!
And to think one step further: tightening beyond the ‘no-slip’ point would actually reduce rotation speed for a given input, wouldn’t it? The effective diameter of the wheel would be reduced by the increased inflection of the tire on the roller.
My understanding is that once you get below a certain rolling resistance level (be it SNAP, CT, Tacx or otherwise), you get to a point where it’s beyond the specifications for measuring the rate of change. Sorta like when something is too laggy. I’ll try and get a clearer technical answer from the Wahoo folk on why less is worse (as compared to my muddy version).
That’s why in general some people over-tighten across many models (CT being a prime example), since it usually works out still (minus downsides like tire wear).
“you get to a point where it’s beyond the specifications for measuring the rate of change” Huh?!
If my assumption about the way the Snap (and most other wheel-on trainers) works i.e. it’s simply measuring rotation of the roller/flywheel and converting that to power numbers via algorithm (there’s no “real” strain gauge) then the only function of roller tension is to eliminate slippage — the only thing being measured is roller speed.
Would be great if you can clarify this with Wahoo….if there’s no tire slippage then “too laggy” doesn’t really mean anything.