The Wahoo KICKR offers all the data you could ever need from your turbo trainer, but at a price which may have your eyes watering.
Wahoo kickr has received a decent update from its predecessor working on the same direct-drive principle that that the Kickr is known for. Updates such as weight, firmware upgrades and overall size should all add up to a better overall product. To be fair the Wahoo was already a great turbo.
As with most turbo’s it weights a hell of a lot and I would say with the new Kickr it still weighs too much. At just over 21kg it doesn’t make it easy to transport, however, it does at least fold into a narrow package to slot into a space in the cupboard and it even fits into the small boot of a Mini. The handle has been moved to help with transportation of the turbo, a simple but great update. Admittedly, weight will help how to turbo copes with the efforts you put into the unit, which is stable, though I have experienced the odd jump from the rear when doing sprint efforts.
Video – Buyer’s guide to turbo trainers
Set up is as easy as plug and play, you can calibrate via the Wahoo app or a Garmin unit and without adjusting anything you can do any session with out it getting too complicated. It’ll give you realistic road resistance, so pretty hard to hold 30mph for example.
Via the app you can adjust the ergo setting, which is great for sessions where you want to sit a certain wattage. The previous problem was that if you did stop pedalling the system would be nigh on impossible to get going again. It adjusts now so you can manageably get back to up the wattage without needing to do a standing start effort.
Zwift, for example, is essentially a cycling computer game, and Kinomap lets you follow routes up icon mountain passes. The Kickr can also simulate virtual descents too, and allows you to freewheel.
Apps like Zwift complicated my own personal training plans, but they do offer an attractive alternative to cycling in a British winter. You don’t need to use to virtual reality apps like to justify the KICKR though. It is a great piece of kit that is ideal for any structured indoor workout.
It still isn’t great for sprint efforts though and I’ve experienced a lot of watt reading drop outs during quick snappy sessions. Something like 20/40’s it gets confused and I often saw the reading at 0. Thankfully this doesn’t change the resistance and the speed reads constantly but it rather annoying.
As with any turbo, noise should be factored in. The KICKR is towards the quieter end of the turbo scale, but when going full speed (~50kph) things can start to get pretty noisy. The Tacx Neo is much quieter by comparison.
Connection via Bluetooth or Ant+ is easy and you can do both at the same time. External apps like Zwift work extremely well to, though I’m yet to explore many more to see how it compares but being open source it can connect to pretty much anything. At £999, you’ll have to be seriously into your numbers and training to get the most out of such an outlay.
Visit the Wahoo website for more details.
Although the Kickr is a huge improvement over the original, it hasn’t quite hit the mark. Maybe with the latest firmware upgrade it’ll sort some more of the niggles the Wahoo has. The Wahoo KICKR is a feature-packed turbo that will give you all the data you'll ever need in your indoor training. However the price is eye-wateringly high and can only really be justified by those who take their indoor training very seriously.