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InsideRide’s New Wahoo KICKR E-Flex Motion Accessory: Hands-On

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Let’s just get this out of the way up front: I’m officially proposing that InsideRide call this the product the FLOATR.

The Wahoo-specific accessory enables you to essentially float your KICKR and ultimately your entire bike on two small platforms that act akin to a rocker plate, except with more axes of movement and with a smaller footprint. Though, also with only Wahoo KICKR compatibility at this point.

But I suppose we’re just getting ahead of ourselves at this point. See the product is somewhat already officially named the ‘InsideRide KICKR E-Flex System’, and isn’t made at all by Wahoo. Rather, it’s a 3rd party accessory from InsideRide. That company of course is well known in the indoor training space, primarily with their E-Motion smart rollers system that I demo’d last month.

With this new product though they’ve borrowed the floating fork stand that I tested (and liked), and paired it with a small secondary platform not much bigger than a cafeteria tray. That rear platform clamps onto your Wahoo KICKR (any model year, but not the CORE/SNAP), and allows both tilting side to side movement as well as front/back movement.

I’ve got a few workouts in on it now, so let’s give things a quick spin. Note that this is a prototype, and based on some feedback I’ve given them, they’ve already made a few manufacturing changes. But we’ll get to that later.

If you want to just dive right into it – here’s my video to get the quick one-coffee duration overview:

Got all that? Good, let’s dig a bit deeper.

The Hardware:

As noted there are two pieces to this puzzle – and both are critical to making the whole kit work. Without either piece the system won’t work, since the two components (front and back) work together to enable motion. Starting on the back you’ve got the platform that holds the KICKR itself. As noted above it’s roughly the size of a tray table, and technically it reduces the footprint of the KICKR ever so slightly, since you’ll close up the legs while on the platform.

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To get it installed you’ll first twist the KICKR feet until they come out (just like feet on a piece of furniture), then you’ll remove the front plastic cap – it just easily pops off after removing a single screw. Don’t worry, you can re-install all things in under 90 seconds if you decide flexing isn’t for you.

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Next, you’re going to place the KICKR onto the platform. It’s got a specific spot for it, and it’ll self-stabilize as it has a groove there to slide the middle leg into. Then you’ll lock it in place using four wing nuts:

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After which there’s a small pod you’ll shift out of the way that lets the platform start to move and tilt (otherwise mounting the KICKR to the platform would be like wrestling on a slip and slide).

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Here’s the final look/configuration after you’ve simply folded the legs back in like normal:

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With all that set, you’ll shift your attention to the front fork stand. You’ll simply unfold it and screw-in a few additional screws to lock it in place.

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After that you’ll just mount your front fork to it. Like with the floating fork stand that I reviewed on the rollers, this still oddly doesn’t come with a front skewer. So either go out and spend a couple dollars to leave one there, or keep swapping it back and forth to your front wheel. In my case I grabbed a spare one from a drawer.

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After that, simply mount your bike to the KICKR and fork stand just like you normally would. Nothing fancy to do except then get on the bike…but that, that might require a bit of fancy.

Riding it:

If one steps back and evaluates the ways you can crash your bike within your own living room, there’s a rather simplistic scale that has three data points on it:

A) Riding a normal trainer/KICKR: Near-zero chance of coffee table crash unless you do something exceedingly stupid
B) Riding the InsideRide KICKR Flex System: Low but plausible chance of coffee table crash while mounting bike
C) Riding rollers: High and rather likely chance of coffee table crash at some point in your roller career

Now, I’ll say upfront that it sounds like InsideRide is already taking my initial feedback into account and looking at adding a bit more base stability, so it’s less likely to tip. But, getting on the bike you’ll want to lock the front rotational knob, so that it doesn’t rotate. By cutting off the rotation, it’ll then keep the rear of the unit from tilting, which will reduce the tippage factor (as you’ll see in the video):

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Once on the bike you can simply reach-down and unlock that again, it just takes one twist – so it’s super easy. The first thing you’ll notice is that everything is connected. I know that sounds obvious (especially if you watched the video), but when you twist your handlebars (either naturally with each pedal stroke or manually), it’ll in turn twist the frame which then causes the rear of the bike to tilt. Exactly like outside.

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As you can see, the back of the bike will tilt left and right dependent on the front fork rotation. While it might feel like the front of the bike is tilting – there’s actually no tilting on the front of the bike. It’s purely rotating, which drives the tilting feeling. Look specifically at the flywheel and see how it’s tilted both directions:

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However, both the front and rear do slide forward and backwards. In the case of the front you’ll see more easily that it has a small roller system built into the front frame, coupled with rubber-band like cables that drive the motion.

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Meanwhile, the back has the same bands, it’s just they’re a bit more hidden under your trainer.

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With all the how it works aspects covered, what about the ‘What does it feel like?’. Well, the answer there is mostly quite good. As you’re just pedaling along normally you’ll notice/realize that with each pedal stroke you’ve got a very slight bit of rotation into the handlebars. In some cases perhaps only a millimeter or so, but just enough that it feels a bit like you’re constantly floating, because the bike doesn’t have a locked feeling.

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Meanwhile, when you start to accelerate or sprint, it’ll drive the bike forward slightly on the rolling platform – exactly like their previous products (and also roughly akin in feeling to the Saris MP1 platform). Of course, a split second later you’ll slide slightly backwards – mimicking the lack of acceleration driving you forward. Mentally it works quite well, though obviously outdoors you don’t go backwards after each sprint.

From a tilting standpoint, you don’t think about it. It just happens. The harder you press into the pedals the more it tilts, not due to the direct nature of pressing into the pedals but because you’re actually pressing down into the handlebars when you sprint. Additionally, unlike some rocker plates, you’re not fighting the system. There’s no excess platform weight to combat, because the only weight you’re moving is the KICKR itself and your body.

Again, it’s really best for this particular topic to watch the video – even if you skip about half-way through it to where I’m riding and do a few sprints. Plus, it had three camera angles, including a top-down angle.

Ultimately, I like it quite a bit – it’s far more affordable than higher-end options, or perhaps more practical than building your own. On the flip-side, it’s only compatible with the KICKR. There’s absolutely no way to modify this specific model to fit another trainer model (even the KICKR CORE wouldn’t be compatible). InsideRide would have to come out with additional models for each trainer they want to support (for the back platform portion, the front stays the same). The company says they’re open to that, but first want to see what demand looks like.

Going forward:

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Every so often a smaller company in the space has their breakout moment, or product. Up until this point, InsideRide has mostly been focused on a niche product (smart rollers). But I think this trainer accessory could finally be what gains them some popularity beyond the niche realm of rollers.  After all, no company has sold more smart trainers than Wahoo, and in particular, no single trainer product model has more units in the market than the Wahoo KICKR. And at present, it’s a very static product with no give or sway.

The growing trend over the past 12 or so months has been around motion. We’ve seen it with the numerous homemade rocker plates, the Saris MP1 Platform, the Kinetic R1 trainer, and even Wahoo’s own KICKR CLIMB to go up and down. The challenge with many of these products has been the price points – it’s a bit of feast or famine. You’ve got super expensive options like the MP1 at $1,199 or the KICKR CLIMB at $699. And then you’ve got folks making home-made rocker plates for a few hundred bucks.

In comparison, the ‘assemble in 10 minutes’ InsideRide FLOATR KICKR Flex Motion System is pretty reasonably priced at $399 for a well-built system. I expect that any final version they start shipping will include the few tweaks that I suggested to improve stability and dampen any bunny hopping on sprints. They’ve already sent over some photos of those mechanical tweaks made within a few hours of initial e-mails around those topics.

But ya know what might be the best part of it all? There’s no firmware to update, or electronics to fiddle with. It’s just good ol’ mechanical goodness. No waiting for a future firmware update at an unknown date to fix accuracy issues like seemingly every other trainer product this season. I like it.

With that – thanks for reading!

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71 Comments

  1. Adam

    Think they’ll ever make the CLIMB fit on the FLOATR? (Kidding of course, but someone will want it)

    • It actually wouldn’t surprise me. And in fact, the CLIMB already rotates fairly well by itself. In theory all they’d need to do is discard the top-portion of the floating fork stand, and have a proper base to attach CLIMB too.

      I actually did a bit of CLIMB + prototype CycleOps/Saris MP1 rocker plate without issue.

    • Louis Matherne

      Why can’t you just use the CLIMB with this in place of the FLOATR? The CLIMB allows for some fore and aft movement.

    • Chad McNeese

      The biggest reason is the the Inside Ride Floating Fork Stand strictly controls lean angle. The steering input leads to the lean angle as a byproduct of the head tube angle.

      If you remove that and use a Climb only, the E-Flex will lean all the way to one side and stay there. That’s because there is no leveling spring on the rear section of the E-Flex design. They are using the front stand for all lean and leveling control.

      The Climb works fine with a regular rocker plate that includes it’s own leveling springs. There is an element of handlebar force input that matters, but the leveling springs in a rocker are there to help the process.

      It is theoretically possible to add leveling springs to the E-Flex rear, that would then allow use of a regular wheel or the Climb, but it’s not a quick swap that works easily.

    • Joshua G

      Will you be doing any rocker plate reviews/comparisons in the near team? Thanks!

    • Dave

      Would you be reviewing the MP1? Would love some thoughts on whether it works well with the CLIMB. Thanks!

    • RE: MP1-

      As soon as it arrives, though, I don’t have a timeline on that. I have used the previous prototype though with the CLIMB without issues.

      RE: Other rocker things

      I think I’ll review things as it makes sense – likely in the larger ecosystem. So things like the MP1 makes a bit more sense as it’s globally available/etc. With the Kinetic R1, if they ever fix all the accuracy issues it’s sitting downstairs ready to be reviewed – so again, I think that makes sense as it’s a bit of a unique value prop.

      If I see other things that are ‘wow’ or otherwise unique and at the commercial shipping level, then probably. Versus if it’s more of a run of a hobbyist thing, likely less so. No hard and fast rules.

    • Jorge

      I would love to see the floater for the Climb. I really like this product and certainly bias due to owning a Kickr. However, I won’t consider buying one unless they offer the option for the Climb. I own a Climb and don’t see myself replacing the Climb with the floater. If it’s a floater Climb, totally different story. Thanks Ray!

    • JCGMD

      When can we expect to see a review Saris MP1, or an update to your previous posts on its precursor? I’m curious, and now it seems that it’s Climb compatible. Too early to comment on FlOATR vs MP1?

  2. Ihsan

    Interesting product from InRide.

    I think the only problem with homemade rocker plates is the lack of front to back movement. In my mind that is the one thing that makes most rocker plates feel “missing something”.

    • Chad McNeese

      Several people have made ricker plates that include fore-aft movement. I made a test version and it works well with the other ricker movement

      Some units use linear bearings that give large movement like the Inside Ride design. Others use rubber vibration mounts that give a more minimal movement, but it is an improvement over no fore-aft motion.

      Mine was simply mounting my rocker on my fore-aft motion platform that I built for my motion rollers. Essentially a copy of the Inside Ride motion rollers.

      I am testing 2 versions of a simple addition to rocker plates to add fore-aft with minimal parts.

      In all cases, the additional fore-aft motion is welcomed and adds to overall comfort on the trainer.

    • Ihsan

      I’ve never bothered with a platform for the rollers as I thought I would benefit more from the supposed pedaling balance help the rollers are supposed to give, but I agree that having a little bit of “give” on the trainers definitely makes sessions go a bit smoother.

      I made the simplest rocker plate for the trainer, but in the end, I couldn’t shake that unnatural feeling I had from them and given up.

    • Chad McNeese

      The beauty of the fore-aft motion platform on rollers is that you can still work on that spin. You just watch the fore-aft motion with respect to your input. The more visible motion points to room for improvement.

      You can work on the spin and still change your stroke in positive ways, even with the motion. Then you also get the overall improvement in comfort and feel on the rollers. I see fixed rollers as lacking and there is effectively no reason not to include the motion, other than potential cost. But from a function perspective, fore-aft motion on rollers is a win-win to me.

  3. Chris Koboldt

    Very interested as a KICKR owner and former Kinetic Rock n Roll rider. Looks like the best of both worlds.

    • mpulsiv

      @Ray
      Based on the video, it exhibits a lot of movement compared to Kinetic Rock n Roll. I’m afraid that the flex is significant, especially when you lean. Another way to describe it is twitchy handling. Kinetic Rock n Roll appear to be far more stable.

  4. Edward

    What did they tell you about expected shipping dates and US availability?

  5. Gary Carollo

    Will it work with a thru axle?

  6. Ryan

    Just for info for any European readers:
    I got an email back from inside ride at the end of last week saying they aren’t sure if they will have European distribution for this season….they have added my name to the list and will get back to me with a shipping cost once they have finalised the package size.

    Ray – maybe if you get any more inside info from them on this you could let us know.

    Fingers crossed shipping is not too expensive as I would really love one of these for the dark months ahead using Trainerroad!

  7. Howie

    Comparing feel of this Kicker + E-Flex Motion vs InsideRide E-Motion SmartPower Rollers with Floating Fork, which would you say is more realistic, which feels nicer to you (understanding that you’re not a roller kinda guy), which is more stable (if the overlean issue is fixed)?

  8. Bryan Alsdorf

    I have an OG Kickr (that I actually won from you, thanks!), is this compatible with it or only current KICKRs?

    • Chad McNeese

      This works with every version of Kickr (see below for clarity).

      This includes the original Kickr 2014 (with the black, low-mounted handle) and every one with the gray high-mounted handle (2016, 2017, 2018 models).

      It does NOT work for any of the Kickr Core or Kickr Snap trainers.

    • Bryan Alsdorf

      Thank you! I think I’m gonna have to buy this.

  9. Joel

    What is the possibility of InsideRide releasing this for other trainers?

    • Chad McNeese

      As Ray mentions (in the post and/or vid?), Inside Ride are waiting to see the reception to this first version. They picked the Kickr since it is the most common model. It also lends itself to this minimal design well with the collapsible legs.

      If this sells well, it could be an opening for more models.

      It would be a minor design update to alter the center mount beam to fit a Kickr Core with the horizontal legs removed. They can use the remaining mounting holes (4 total) and the curved plates as the mount attachment. I see that as a relatively easy design change for them, and a good choice for a fairly common trainer.

      Moving to the next most likely based on potential number of customers, the Neo is possible. But it will require a very different trainer base (wider and possibly taller) to fit the Neo since it folds very differently.

    • Dolan Halbrook

      I wonder if removing the legs (wings) from a NEO would make things any simpler to create a mount.

    • Chad McNeese

      That may be possible, but it’s a fair bit more work than the simple remove of the side leveling feet and front foot from the Kickr.

      I haven’t looked closely at my Neo 2 to see how you disassembly the wings. Might be easy, but with the locking aspect, it could be more complex.

    • Luke

      If someone with more design chops than I have wanted to figure out how to mount the Kickr Core on this and then link out to a PDF I would buy one. Just saying…

  10. Marius P.

    Will it work with a first gen Kickr?

    • Chad McNeese

      Repeat from my reply above:

      This works with every version of Kickr (see below for clarity).

      This includes the original Kickr 2014 (with the black, low-mounted handle) and every one with the gray high-mounted handle (2016, 2017, 2018 models).

      It does NOT work for any of the Kickr Core or Kickr Snap trainers.

  11. Tom in MN

    “unlock some rocker plates” typo: unlike

    Have you tried different bikes to see if it feels noticeably different? The coupling of fork rotation to rear tilt depends on the bike geometry and so different bikes might feel different.

  12. Dolan Halbrook

    Neo support would be awesome. Also, if you’re willing to spend Neo money, it seems reasonable that you’re willing to spend a bit more for a rocker setup…

    • Chad McNeese

      There are several “regular” rocker plates for sale from smaller builders in the US and EU. Some are rear-only designs and others are full-length versions. They range from $300-$500 USD.

      Then there is the pending MP1 from Saris, but it is playing in the wrong sandbox with their $1200 USD price.

      I am hoping that products like the Flex end up with real demand that leads to more options at a wider range of prices.

  13. Mike Mauel

    I love my Kickr CORE. Please please make an adapter/option for the CORE too!

    • Chad McNeese

      I am recommending that people email Inside Ride directly with requests like this. I think it is good for them to hear directly from potential buyers.

      I speculate that a Core version is a relatively easy design revision from the Kickr one. If so, it might not take a lot of interest before they take it on and make one. I am hopeful for you and others to get them to make it happen.

      info@insideride.com

  14. Bogdan

    axis’s = axes 🙂

  15. I am a little concerned about torsional forces put on the fork. Forks are not necessarily designed to be twisted while being put thru a lateral motion. I wonder if there was a failure, would the OEM cover anything under warranty? Just a theoretical question to throw out there.

    • Brett

      You could argue the exact same thing about the rear triangle being clamped on trainers. This point seems to have been vigorously argued in the past on various forums about whether this would cause carbon frames to fail and whether frame manufacturers would warrant such failures.

      As to whether such failures have actually occurred in the real world…? I’ve never heard/seen anywhere where someone has said their rear triangle failed because they were rocking it back and forth in a trainer.

      TL;DR Almost certainly a non-issue

  16. Louis Matherne

    Seems to me it is leaning the wrong way when you turn the handle bar in the video. Might be different when you are on it. I have my KickR and CLIMB on rocker plate and when I turn the handlebar, it leans me into the turn.

    • Chad McNeese

      Yes, the bike leans TOWARDS the bottom foot in his videos… and is “wrong”.

      Correct timing is that at the bottom of the stroke, the bike leans AWAY from that foot.

      This (just like any rocker plate) is largely due to too much force on the down stroke that is not countered with input force at the handlebars. The issue here, as with any rocker plate, is the rider actually taking control of the bike via the handlebars.

      Largely passive riding and allowing the feet to cause the lean is the real problem here. When you actually have the rocker or Flex, you need to control the bars via push/pull to counteract the forces at the pedals.

      In this case (just like outside) you need to pull the bar in/up on the side with the foot going down. It can be seen in standing and sprinting videos. A good one is the slow motion video from TrainerRoad’s 101 Sprinting, by watching Pete from various angle. That is the “right” way to ride on a rocker and outside.

      The reason this timing can happen “wrong” inside on a rocker or the Flex, is that there is a direct prevention to falling over. When you are outside, if you rode the same way as done by some rocker users, you’d fall all the way over. We naturally balance the forces between the handlebars and pedals to keep upright.

      Riding one of these “right”, requires appropriate forces applied to the handlebars.

    • Everything Chad outlines is correct.

      However, I’m firmly in the camp that if I have to manually ‘correct’ how I ride on a motion platform indoors, than ultimately it’s not correctly mimicking what I do outdoors. That doesn’t mean the platform is bad, it’s just factually changing the dynamics of the situation.

      As I’ve alluded to a few times before, this is why I think the value of these is far higher for subtle continuous movement, than that of sprints. But I don’t think we should be re-learning how to ride a bike on a rocker plate merely to satisfy the look of said situation.

    • Leroy people

      I’m sorry but I have the rollers with a floating fork and what you are saying is dead wrong.They DO respond to rocking forces exactly as your bike outside. The only reason you have an issue riding these (or even climbing aboard without drama) is because you don’t make any effort to apply your outdoor skills. You’re riding them like a rigid trainer and that’s what’s wrong here. You aren’t pulling up on the handlebar as you do outside. Lighten up and ride them like a real bike, it feels great.

    • Again, if I have to re-learn how to ride a bike indoors, then it’s not ‘natural’. Also again, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong per se, but that’s just a factual reality.

      The fact is the weights and restrictions are different in this setup compared to on a road, and my body has to react differently accordingly. There’s a 50lbs ‘thing’ (the KICKR) attached to the back of my bike – that doesn’t exist out on the road, and that’s weight that indirectly my body has to deal with.

      I agree with you that it feels great (I said that as such). But I think in general when the rocker crowd starts saying things like “you need to learn to re-ride your bike”, then you’re going to instantly lose and turn people off.

    • Chad McNeese

      Yes, it’s all very complex, because we aim to replace the complex effects generated from forward rolling on a surface with “simple” devices, so there is likely to be a difference in actual riding.

      I hate that it’s the case, and I am still trying to find a design that gets around the issue, but even the best rocker is not a direct transfer of riding skill and motion. And I suspect that may well be the case forever, but I keep looking for improvements to reduce the differences if possible.

      Right now, I think “close counts” and what we have gets us notable improvements over a rigid setup, despite the differences between riding “right” or “wrong”.

      I was a formerly over-critical rocker supporter that pointed out the timing issues with regularity in the past. But that was me placing my emphasis on others, which is not right.

      Now, I do my best to leave those thoughts out and only discuss them when requested. The reality is that what we have is so much better than rigid that it is more than acceptable to overlook the lack of perfection in the designs for most people.

      But crazy people like me and hopefully other manufacturers will continue to refine and maybe reinvent motion for trainers to bridge that gap and make the experience even better.

    • Louis Matherne

      Ray,

      I think you are blowing the “re-learning” of this way out of proportion. I very quickly got to where I needed to be so my bike moved the same side-to-side on the rocker as on the road. And I don’t think it is contrived. If you want to maximize power on the road, you need to be pulling up on the handlebar corresponding to the down stroke. Works very much the same in or outside and I think it has improved my power transfer out of the saddle when on the road.

  17. Jeremy

    Does the front fork mount rotate enough to enable steering on Zwift (when it goes live)?

    • I think it does based on me trying the feature at Eurobike. Supposedly they’re set to launch that soon though.

    • Todd

      Would steering on Zwift require a different set up/sensors? In other words, will this set up be obsolete as soon as Zwift steering is released?

    • Jeremy

      Zwift steering will use your phone/tablet as the sensor, so as long as it’s attached to your handlebars, and your handlebars can rotate, you should be good to go. I was concerned that perhaps this fork mount wouldn’t offer enough rotation for Zwift to sense it, but it sounds like it should be OK.

    • Chad McNeese

      Considering that the apparent function is at least part of the Companion app via mobile device mounted to the bars, I see this as working fine.

      We have seen steering and heard comments that leaning may also work for steering the game, so I think that would work just fine on the E-Flex (and anything using the Floating Fork Stand).

      I doubt it will be “obsolete” in that sense if those assumptions above are correct.

  18. usr

    Re “FLOATR“:

    Are you sure that the actual name it should be given isn’t “HeyChipPlzBuyUsKThxBye”?

  19. William Porter

    Really… again?!? (looks like it just clipped the pedal and missed your frame thankfully 😉

    Thanks for all the great work you do – you definitely have the #1 site there is for cycling/running technology.

  20. kurt congdon

    This looks great, I think I may have to pick one up. Thank you for the review!

  21. Guy Ward

    I personally am looking forward to next year’s SUVR, which will allow you to be hit by a Range Rover while on the turbo.

  22. Chris N.

    Does this fork stand support thru axles?

  23. Eli

    Does this just impact comfort or is there some aspect of improving your smoothness on the bike like rollers?

    • Leroy people

      if it’s anything like their floating fork for the rollers, you’re getting smoothness feedback from the forward motion and there’s an essence of steer-balance that taps into your outdoor skills just enough to make it interesting.

  24. Nick

    If they had made one for the Kickr Core, I’d have ordered it already.

  25. Greg Smith

    I had a rock n roll trainer for a couple years and loved the rocking motion.

    I just got a full plate rocker that works great with my kickr and climb and is a bit superior to the rock n roll since it doesn’t bounce. This plate just rocks side to side very subtle like riding outdoors and it doesn’t bounce. It really makes higher cadence efforts feel more natural. The climb was migrating ever so slowly to the side during rides so they sent me some anchors that keep it in place.

    link to gravi-trainer.com

  26. Ryan

    On a side note – as i’m not confident this will become available in Europe for the winter season, has anyone bought or made a front fork holder to use in place of the front wheel?

    I want to use the wheels on the bike for another build, so getting a fork holder (until the FLOATR becomes available!) seems the best way forward.

    Looking around, the only thing I can see is something like the Delta Bike Hitch Pro which would then need mounted to a stable base – has anyone fashioned anything that is stable and easy enough to build with my limited DIY skills?

    I cannot see any off the shelf front fork stands out there at all.

  27. Eric

    Any info on when this will be available for purchase? The website still says it will be available late september…

  28. Audun

    This might be a somewhat dumb question, but what is the fork stand for? The front wheel isn’t tied to anything, it moves both sideways and back and forth…and doesn’t even the KICKR Climb also move? I mean, I understand the fork stand on a roller where the back wheel is free, but when the front wheel is free, why swap it with a fork stand that moves??? Seems totally unneccesary to me…seems a simple solution to rise the front wheel or Climb a couple of inches would be enough.

    • Chad McNeese

      Unlike some other rocker places, the E-Flex has no “leveling springs”. The front fork stand for the E-Flex is what controls the lean angle. With out the stand (or the addition of leveling springs, the bike would lean over until it hit the hard stops of the rear section. And there would be no real way to re-level the bike.

      The connection of the fork at the dropouts, to the clamp on the stand, is what keeps the bike from just falling over. The fork clamp rotates in a flat turn (relative to the floor). This combined with the head tube angle of the bike (around 73*) leads to a leaning of the bike frame when the handle bars (and fork via the stem connection) rotate left or right.

      So, lean control relies entirely on the fork stand. If you use a Wahoo Climb with the E-Flex rear, the whole thing will lean to one side and have no way back upright.

    • Audun

      So basically, they could have just added some springs to the rear plate and wouldn’t need the fork stand at all? So why not just buy a rear rocker plate instead then? Any advantages to this setup?

    • Chad McNeese

      The concept with the E-Flex and Floating Fork Stand is that you have a different input for the leaning action.

      With a “normal rocker plate”, steering has no impact on the lean angle. Rocking action drives from the feet and hands primarily via downward and upward forces. It uses the leveling springs and the rider forces to lean and return.

      The E-Flex has no springs, and relies on the geometry between the head tube of the bike and the flat turn of the “hub” that is in the fork stand. It leads to a different direction of input from the rider to cause the lean.

      You have to turn / steer / push-pull the handle bars, that then directly leads to lean angle. In theory, this is more akin to how we rock the bike outside. If you watch yourself and hand input on a typical climb at 60-70 rpm, you will notice a subtle left right steering of the handle bars, that is timed along with the leaning action.

      It results in a very subtle “snaking” as the front tire tracks a smooth parabola left and right. This is a combined input of steering and leaning and is the goal of the Floating Fork Stand.

      I say this as a bystander (not an Inside Ride rep), and my exact take on this could be off the mark a bit. But I have studied rocking motion, rocker plates and the IR design to have a decent guess as to the function and reasons behind them.

  29. Guy

    Given the price and your video review (many thanks for that) I’d buy this in a heartbeat. Fingers crossed demand will mean they produce a Kickr Core version.

  30. dizpark

    The following are just my musings after watching the video and thinking about the design.

    In Ray’s video, it appears that the bike leans on the side of the downward pedal stroke, which is not how it works on the road AFAIK. It appears from the video (but it is very short one) that this is the way how this setup works ‘naturally’- without additional conscious input from the rider. And my further guess is that to have the ‘correct’ rocking action, one has to learn to compensate correctly with handlebars – turn the handlebars to the same side as the downward pedal stroke.

    The other thing I wonder is – doesn’t this overly stress the forks’ dropouts? Since there are no springs on the back of the rocker, it seems to me that all the force that is applied to return the bike to middle position is exerted on the front fork drop-outs. Again, I am no mechanic or engineer, and I could be totally off-the-mark here.

    • Leroy people

      Dizpark, you got it pretty much right. I have the E-motion with the Flex fork, which works the same way. You do need to apply a slight force to tip the bike away from the downward pedal. Technically the bars turn a bit, but they mainly move side to side, so you don’t notice the small steering angle. You are mostly tipping the bike by pulling on the bars the way you do outside. To me, that’s why it feels so natural.
      Now, your other comment about stress on the dropouts…there’s no extra stress because the springs don’t hold you up, You balance the bike and keep it neutral by subtle steering input. The only way you can stress the dropouts is to flop the bike to the stops and deliberately try to tip over, something that’s not done during normal riding.

  31. Axel

    If my smart trainer was a Kickr, I’d get this. Since it isn’t, I’m glad I have the InsideRide E-motion rollers as well. Really good experiences with that company.
    Still, fully agree with the last point. Anything not requiring firmware updates is a blessing.

    Great review, thanks!

  32. I simply cannot express how much I love this product. I live in Portland and was able to get my own E-Flex this past week. I have 6 rides on it so far. I’m an avid TrainerRoad user and spend about 10 hours each week on the trainer. I ride outdoors on the weekend. I can always tell on the group ride who rides the trainer but doesn’t ride outside enough to develop solid bike-handling skills. Not only does the E-Flex aide in comfort for those longer endurance rides, it helps me not be lazy, sitting “on” the trainer. I have some experience riding rollers, but they are not my cup of tea. I appreciate their handling benefits, but they just aren’t for me. I like my ERG trainer and the ability to lose myself in whatever race/show/movie I’m watching (not a good idea on rollers IME). The E-Flex is like the best of both worlds. It allows me to engage more of my upper body and core when training like riding rollers, while still watching shows without worrying that I may crash in the living room. After a week of training, it has not been my experience that I am relearning anything. I find it very natural to get on, off and ride. I never use the steering lockout and honestly don’t know why it is there. I’ve had ZERO problems getting on and off I simply throw my leg over the top tube so I’m standing over the bike, clip in my left foot and then begin riding and clip in my right foot as I would outdoors. I love this thing. The movement is subtle but natural. If you’ve got questions, fire away. I’ll do my best to answer them