Elite & Wahoo Reduce List Prices on Trainers

Over the past 7 days, both Elite and Wahoo have reduced prices on a few models of their trainers that directly or indirectly compete with the direct drive based Zwift Hub smart trainer. That trainer was announced one year ago to the day, tomorrow. And during that time period it’s had massive success in terms of both sales but more importantly – driving down the price of smart trainers.

Of course, neither Wahoo nor Elite are strangers to price disruption. If we look back to the CompuTrainer days, it was Wahoo that introduced their first trainer, the original Wahoo KICKR in 2012, undercutting the then gold-standard CompuTrainer by some $400+. Within a few years, CompuTrainer would go out of business.

Meanwhile, Elite has more quietly done much the same. The introduction of their Elite Direto smart trainer line back in 2017 plummeted the price of direct drive smart trainers into the sub-$800 price-point, and since then the series has gotten more and more high-end (from Direto to Direto X, then Direto XR), while largely maintaining the existing price point. And then one can’t forget the Elite Zumo trainer, which is arguably the more foundational basis for doing a sub-$500 direct drive trainer. Elite had been selling that in various markets at those price points pre-COVID.

In any case, these moves appear timed to set a new baseline for the winter trainer season, and basically say “Hey, we’re just as competitive as Zwift”. So, here’s what’s changing.

Wahoo Price Drops:

The Wahoo KICKR CORE goes from $899USD to $599USD – a $300 reduction (and down to 499GBP). This doesn’t come with a cassette, but does have compatibility with Wahoo’s KICKR CLIMB system, if you want to add in gradient simulation. It also has multi-channel Bluetooth (meaning, more than one concurrent Bluetooth connection), which can be useful for some non-Garmin/Wahoo watch compatibility use cases (e.g., watches that don’t support ANT+). The Wahoo KICKR CORE also has a bit higher flywheel weight than the Zwift Hub (12.0LBS/5.44KGS vs 10.3LBS/4.7KG), which generally gives you a bit more inertia and increases road feel.

The Wahoo KICKR CORE has long been the ~$900 price point trainer to beat, albeit Elite has found its groove there in the last year or so. But when the Zwift Hub came out, it was exceptionally hard to justify paying $400 more, merely for Wahoo CLIMB access (especially if you never planned to buy one). Even Wahoo’s own lawsuit against Zwift noted that countless times. Thus, at $599, it’s positioned pretty darn well. Sure, I think if you don’t care about future Wahoo compatibility, then your effective price is closer to $650-$670, since you still need to buy a cassette (whereas the Zwift Hub includes one) – so that will likely remain a factor for some.

Nonetheless, it’s good to see competition here, and price decreases for the consumer are generally a good thing.

Elite Price Drops:

Of course, Elite is also reducing their prices as well. In their cases, their prices were already a fair bit lower – as that was largely Elite’s mantra for many years. Still, just as with Wahoo, the Zwift Hub price undoubtedly hurt sales at a time when trainer companies were trying to recover from the post-COVID indoor training bubble pop.

The Elite Direto XR-T will go from $899USD to $699USD ($200 price drop). Remember, the Elite Direto XR-T has higher specs than both the CORE & Zwift Hub, with upwards of 24% gradient simulation, compared to the 16% of the HUB/CORE. For Euro pricing, it’ll go from 825EUR to 699EUR. And from 829GBP to 599GBP.

Additionally, the Elite Suito-T will also have its price reduced from $699USD to $549USD ($150 price drop). That trainer has more equal specs to the KICKR CORE & Zwift Hub, namely in terms of gradient simulation. The EUR pricing has gone from 660EUR to 549EUR, and GBP from 639GBP to 499GBP.

Note that neither of these trainers include a cassette (which is indicated by the “-T” after the model name, Elite has two versions of each). Thus you’re still looking at adding a cassette to both.

Ultimately, it’s great to see these price drops ahead of the fall season – and I’m certainly looking to doing some comparisons once the dust settles on the typical indoor trainer release period here over the next month or so.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. Todd Tannenbaum

    First! Speaking of the Wahoo lawsuit against Zwift, it was recently settled out of court. Of course I’m curious to know the details, hoping Ray can find out what happened 🙂

  2. Nathan C

    Elite have also rolled out some new features to the Direto XR and Suito. I think they were features on the Justo like the easy start feature in erg mode. I’ve installed the update on my Direto XR and will test out soon.

  3. John Tomac

    Those manufacturers have excess stock. That explains the price reduction.

    • While they might have some (I’m too lazy to look up the freight shipping stuff right now), this is a long-term permanent price reduction. That’s very different than the near-constant sale prices that have been in effect. And even then, Wahoo only once hit that low of a price – which they state was actually an REI deal, and not a Wahoo deal. Otherwise, it was never near there.

  4. paincave-dweller

    Interesting times, so a wahoo kickr core for 600, and my local bike shop offers the tacx neo 2 (not 2t) at 799.
    Honestly can’t decide which one to go for. I was super close to buying the neo 2.

    Any advice for a triatlete who is sick of his tacx bushido slipping and being loud?

    None of my friends have Elite, so it doesn’t register on my radar.

    • dan

      If only someone, somewhere, would gather all these trainers up and do in depth testing of them. Maybe they could be independent and even offer some sort of comparison chart …..

    • That’s a tough call to be honest.

      But, when in doubt between Wahoo & Tacx trainers, the first question you need to answer yourself is: Do you plan to buy (nor or whenever), the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB accessory? If the answer to that is yes, then go Wahoo. If it’s hard no, then go Tacx. If it’s maybe, then probably go Wahoo.

      Spec-wise, the NEO 2 outranks the CORE, no doubt. But practically speaking, you don’t really want to ride at 20% gradient, or higher. Nobody does, really.

      Setting that aside, each have more minor pros and cons. Wahoo has multichannel Bluetooth, Tacx doesn’t. Tacx has road simulation and forward drive (e.g. going downhills), Wahoo doesn’t in CORE.

      Realistically, either is a solid trainer. Tacx has better specs on paper, but in practice I’m not really sure the extra $200 is worth it ride-wise.

    • Yanick

      I remember that at one point the tacx neo 2 had some sort of limitations when sprinting that you could experience slippage and that the neo 2t fixed that.

      Is it still a possibility or are the new tacx neo 2 fix?

    • Dave Theodore

      I’m in a pickle on what to trainer to purchase..I don’t plan on buying the climber…but I’m undecided between the KICKR core and the Elite direto XR?
      I would really value your advice on which one?

  5. Yoeri

    Also, the Wahoo Rival is now available for 130 dollar/euro/pounds. See link to the5krunner.com

    • Yeah, it’s a good day in some lights, and kinda meh in others. In a vacuum, it’s admittedly hard to see anything else in the market that’s even close to competitive at $130.

      But I’d counter-argue with, is that the features you want in a watch, regardless of the price point. It’s tough. On one hand, incredible deal. But it’s sorta like those Black Friday deals where you’re like “That’s amazing, but do I really need that slow cooker?”

  6. Marco

    So whatever happened to the Saris H4? Got my H3 after some big discounts from the H4 announcement. But seems the sale of Saris caused a stop to production?

    • David B.

      Since Saris was bought out by a company with little to no experience in the trainer market, it’s unlikely that an H4 will ever materialize.

    • I’d agree with David. Or at least, anytime soon. I literally haven’t heard from them since the day the old guard left. I know a few people were planning on sticking around, but most of the engineering staff left, unfortunately.

      That said, I have gotten plenty of generic marketing e-mails since then (just normal consumer mailing list), including today. I’m eager to see them succeed and launch something cool/competitive, but, I feel like that ship is slowly passing.

  7. DaveC

    Small typo
    intertie instead of inertia?

  8. At that price I may get a spare Kickr Core as mine has gone bazillion km. I doubt Wahoo will swap out again as they have before…

  9. Kevin

    Hi! I am on the precipice of buying my first smart trainer. I am pretty settled on the Zwift Hub for all the reasons well-stated in your reviews (cassette included, market-beating specs for price) but these new price drops and the fact the Hub has been out for a year are giving me pause. Do you think the entry/mid-level smart trainer options will be meaningfully different come October 1st? November 1st? Just don’t want to pull the trigger only to miss out on some inevitable deal or new product launch. Thank you!

  10. Jerome

    Also worth noting that Decathlon recently released 2 home trainers in the European market, including the d500 at a 450e price point. Ray do you plan to review these?

  11. Stuart

    I notice that Kinetic seems to have quietly dropped the R1. Any news on an R2, or are they abandoning their efforts in that space?

    Not that I’m likely to make a move; the Kickr Core I have is working quite nicely, and I don’t see any particular reason to get a new trainer any time soon. I’m just morbidly curious.

    • Chad McNeese

      Kinetic got bought out by Magene and seems to be dropping the majority of the original Kinetic trainers in favor of Kinetic badged versions of their own Magene trainers. They did a pretty hard push on FB at least when the transition happened a long time ago. But I have not seen much in the recent months. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of “old style” Kinetic trainers unless Magene decides to make a push up market, which seems unlikely to me.

    • Stuart

      Ah, that makes sense. A pity; Kinetic’s attempt at the R1 was a fair departure from the typical smart trainer, and I would have liked to see them continue evolving that design – having something with a genuine differentiator from the rest of the market (rather than marketing fluff) was nice, and it’s a shame to see that disappear.

      Thank you.

  12. WoyJ

    Actual market prices for today in Europe (PL)
    Direto: approx 600€
    Suito: approx 490€

    And i expect to further drop even more as the trainers season will begin.

  13. Alex

    Terrible customer service. Our kicker broke after about 50 miles. Contacted Wahoo sent a video of the problem and have heard nothing back.

  14. Robb Fort

    I too am looking for advice on a new trainer. I’ve decided to get an Elite Rizer (don’t judge). I’ve got a Tacx Flux S w 4K Zwift miles. It’s my understanding that my trainer is not compatible with the Rizer. So I’ll sell my Tacx and buy what? Thanks to all for your input!

    • Tyler

      Check back here tomorrow (Sept 12th). Wahoo is teasing a new release that appears to be a KICKR with rocker-type motion and I’m hoping Ray will have a review ready to drop post-embargo.

      link to instagram.com

    • Paul S.

      Let’s hope so, but Ray may be a little busy tomorrow. September 12 at 10 PDT is Apple’s big event. I’m not sure whether they’ve laid out what they’re talking about, but typically it’s the new iPhone and new Apple Watch (along with iOS and WatchOS) announcement.

    • Chad McNeese

      Sure, but if he had an advance unit for a planned release upon a dropped embargo, he may already have the review article & video all set for automatic release. Not saying he has one, but it’s not like he has to necessarily be sitting around and waiting to hit the “publish” button.

    • TKe

      Seems to be available already now on EU Wahoo store.
      Kickr move smart trainer, price 1599,99€ (shocked emoji here)

  15. Jeff

    is the direto XR a better buy now with these updates than the core considering with these price drops? looks like directo has more features but core has better build quality? tnx.

  16. REI has the kickr core back on sale for $479.99! Sale ends November 20th.

    • Gerry

      Oh yes, and it seems on amazon.com as well! Nice find. I wonder if they want to clear out inventory because they are going to introduce a new version of this trainer soon? Or it’s just a start of season/black friday sale?