Wahoo’s smart range explained – BikeRadar

Indoor training is more popular than ever, thanks to the growing range of ‘smart’ products that make riding at home more enjoyable, interactive and effective, whether you’re a WorldTour pro or a new cyclist.

Wahoo’s range of KICKR indoor training products has expanded significantly over the past few years and now includes three smart trainers, an indoor smart bike and, with the launch of the Wahoo KICKR ROLLR, the company’s first set of rollers.

All are interactive, or ‘smart’, so you can connect to a computer, tablet or smartphone via one of the latest indoor cycling apps, including Wahoo SYSTM, to follow a training plan or compete against other riders, with resistance varying automatically as you ride.

Here’s the lowdown on the different indoor trainer types offered by Wahoo and the range of KICKR trainers and accessories available.

Smart trainer vs rollers vs smart bike

There’s now a range of different interactive training options available to riders, which have pretty much confined the ‘dumb’ turbo to the history books.

Smart trainers changed the indoor cycling market by offering variable resistance as you ride. That takes a lot of the guesswork out of interval training and also allows you to hook the unit up to interactive training environments for structured workouts.

The best smart trainers can also simulate steep gradients, while accurately measuring your power and performance data.

Wahoo’s line-up of KICKR smart trainers includes both wheel-on and direct-drive options, with budget, mid-range and top-end options for a range of budgets.

The flip side of the turbo experience is that there’s a bit of setup to attach the trainer to your bike. It’s also locked in place in the turbo, although accessories such as Wahoo’s KICKR Axis Action Feet and the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB can add more realism to the ride.

Traditional rollers, on the other hand, give you a much more fluid riding experience, because the bike is sitting freely on the rollers.

Learning how to ride on rollers typically requires a certain level of skill and – at least at first – courage. You’re usually pedaling against a fixed level of resistance, but Wahoo’s KICKR ROLLR changes that via a set of interactive smart rollers.

Rollers are great for developing pedaling fluidity, but not necessarily for power delivery and all-out efforts. On the other hand, they’re relatively compact to store, which is useful for riders short on space.

Finally, the latest development in training is sophisticated indoor bikes such as the KICKR BIKE.

Indoor smart bikes give you all the benefits of a turbo, but there’s no setup and your outdoor bike can stay in the garage, ready to ride on the road or trails when you need it.

The best indoor bikes can be set up to emulate the shifting pattern and gearing of your regular bike and, like a smart trainer, can simulate climbs.

An indoor bike is a more expensive option, though, and you’ll need a dedicated space where you can keep it. However, for many riders, it represents the ultimate indoor training solution.

Wahoo KICKR ROLLR

The KICKR ROLLR is the latest addition to Wahoo’s range of smart products.
Wahoo Fitness

The new kid on the KICKR block is the Wahoo KICKR ROLLR.

Wahoo says the KICKR ROLLR is designed for riders who want to train indoors and outdoors, but who do not want the inconvenience of having to remove their rear wheel to ride on a smart trainer.

There’s minimal setup with the KICKR ROLLR; you just place the bike on the trainer, clamp the front wheel in place and you’re ready to go. Pairing the KICKR ROLLR with a power meter, such as Wahoo’s new Speedplay Powrlink Zero pedals, enables the smart connectivity and variable resistance.

The 10.5lb (4.8kg) flywheel and rollers under the rear wheel are designed to provide the realistic ride feel for which rollers are renowned, and to avoid wheel slippage. Wahoo says it’s easy to adjust the KICR ROLLR for bikes with different wheelbases, too.

Wahoo KICKR ROLLR

The front wheel is clamped securely in place, with the rear wheel then resting on a smart roller.
Wahoo Fitness

The rear wheel can move side to side to mimic riding outdoors, but there’s none of the nervousness of a traditional roller setup because the bike’s front wheel is held firmly in place by the tire gripper, which can hold tires up to 2.1 inches across. The rear roller is also more compact than that on a conventional set of rollers.

The KICKR ROLLR takes its power readings from your bike’s power meter, assuming you have one, rather than having in-built power measurement. There’s full ANT + and Bluetooth connectivity.

You can buy the KICKR ROLLR on its own or bundled with a single-sided Speedplay Powrlink Zero power meter to unluck the full smart connectivity. You can also use it in speed-only mode without a linked power meter.

Wahoo KICKR ROLLR full specs

  • Price: £ 699.99 / $ 799.99 / € 799.99 / AU $ 1,199.95
  • Price with POWRLINK pedals: £ 1,199.99 / $ 1,399.99 / € 1,399.99 / AU $ 2,049.95
  • Trainer type: Smart rollers
  • Resistance type: Electromagnetic
  • Resistance: 1,500 watts
  • Accuracy: +/- 1 per cent when paired with POWRLINK pedals
  • Max gradient simulation: 10 per cent
  • Flywheel weight: 10.5lb / 4.8kg
  • Metrics: Speed, distance; power and cadence when paired with power meter
  • Calibration: Automatic with POWRLINK pedals

Wahoo KICKR SNAP

Wahoo KICKR SNAP

The KICKR SNAP is Wahoo’s wheel-on smart trainer.
Wahoo Fitness

The Wahoo KICKR SNAP is the company’s wheel-on smart trainer.

As a wheel-on trainer, you can hook up your bike quickly and simply, with a range of adapters available for different rear-axle standards.

It also comes with a front-wheel riser to level out your bike, while the stable base is designed to keep your bike firmly planted.

Like the KICKR ROLLR, the SNAP has a 10.5lb flywheel for a realistic ride feel. There’s Bluetooth and ANT + connectivity to hook the unit up to training apps, including the Wahoo SYSTM platform, and the KICKR SNAP can simulate gradients of up to 12 per cent.

There’s up to 1,500 watts of resistance and the in-built power meter will measure your power output with a claimed accuracy of +/- 3 per cent, according to Wahoo.

You can also link the KICKR SNAP up with the KICKR CLIMB and KICKR HEADWIND accessories to add to the realism.

Wahoo KICKR SNAP full specs

  • Price: £ 499.99 / $ 499.99 / € 549.99 / AU $ 749.95
  • Trainer type: Wheel-on smart trainer
  • Resistance type: Electromagnetic
  • Resistance: 1,500 watts
  • Accuracy: +/- 3 per cent
  • Max gradient simulation: 12 per cent
  • Flywheel weight: 10.5lb / 4.8kg
  • Metrics: Speed, distance, power
  • Calibration: Requires spindown

Wahoo KICKR CORE

Wahoo KICKR CORE

The KICKR CORE is the most affordable direct-drive smart trainer in the range.
Wahoo Fitness

Wahoo’s most affordable direct-drive smart trainer, the Wahoo KICKR CORE, has a 12lb flywheel for a realistic ride feel, with a belt drive to keep the noise down.

The electromagnetic resistance unit can provide up to 1,800 watts of resistance and the KICKR CORE can simulate climbs of up to 16 per cent. Accuracy of the built-in power measurement is said to be +/- 2 per cent.

Like Wahoo’s other trainers, the KICKR CORE is compatible with a wide range of disc and rim brake rear-axle standards and will support simultaneous connections over Bluetooth and ANT +.

Wahoo KICKR CORE full specs

  • Price: £ 699.99 / $ 899.99 / € 799.99 / AU $ 1,249.95
  • Trainer type: Direct-drive smart trainer
  • Resistance type: Electromagnetic
  • Resistance: 1,800 watts
  • Accuracy: +/- 2 per cent
  • Max gradient simulation: 16 per cent
  • Flywheel weight: 12lb / 5.4kg
  • Metrics: Speed, distance, power, cadence
  • Calibration: Requires spindown

Wahoo KICKR

Wahoo KICKR smart trainer

The fifth-generation KICKR is Wahoo’s flagship smart trainer.

The Wahoo KICKR is the US brand’s original premium direct-drive smart turbo trainer, now in its fifth generation.

It’s built to handle all your training, however hard you ride. There’s a wide, stable base, now with Wahoo’s KICKR AXIS Action Feet, which gives you up to 5 degrees of tunable side-to-side movement for a more realistic ride feel, both in the saddle and out of it.

The KICKR has Wahoo’s heaviest flywheel at 16lb / 7.3kg, to improve ride quality. The electromagnetic resistance unit can provide up to 2,200 watts of resistance, while the calibration-free power meter is accurate to a claimed +/- 1 per cent.

The unit can simulate gradients of up to 20 per cent and, like Wahoo’s other trainers, you can link the KICKR up to the KICKR CLIMB to raise / lower the front of your bike for an even more realistic ride quality when climbing or descending in an interactive training app. There’s also the KICKR HEADWIND fan for airflow that varies with your ride speed.

The KICKR comes ready to roll with an 11-28t cassette and adapters for quick release and thru-axle rear spacing.

Wahoo KICKR full specs

  • Price: £ 999.99 / $ 1,199.99 / € 1,199.99 / AU $ 1,699.95
  • Trainer type: Direct-drive smart trainer
  • Resistance type: Electromagnetic
  • Resistance: 2,200 watts
  • Accuracy: +/- 1 per cent
  • Max gradient simulation: 20 per cent
  • Flywheel weight: 16lb / 7.3kg
  • Metrics: Speed, distance, power, cadence
  • Calibration: Automatic

Wahoo KICKR BIKE

Wahoo KICKR BIKE

The KICKR BIKE is Wahoo’s take on the standalone smart bike.
Wahoo Fitness

The Wahoo KICKR BIKE takes all of the key features of the brand’s smart trainer range and packages them into a standalone indoor bike.

Uniquely, it pivots on its support to mimic climbs up to 20 per cent in gradient and descents down to 15 per cent, with a 13lb flywheel and an enhanced motor to simulate outdoor riding.

There’s up to 2,200 watts of electromagnetic resistance and claimed power accuracy of +/- 1 per cent.

Wahoo KICKR BIKE

You can customize the KICKR BIKE to mirror your own bike’s shifting style.
Wahoo Fitness

Other features include the option to adjust crank length and saddle height, to mimic your regular riding position, and the ability to swap in your own preferred saddle and bars.

The shifters on the KICKR BIKE can also be set up to mirror your bike’s gear ratios and shifting style, whether it’s Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo.

Wahoo KICKR BIKE full specs

  • Price: £ 2,999.99 / $ 3,499.99 / € 3,499.99 / AU $ 5,999.95
  • Trainer type: Smart bike
  • Resistance type: Electromagnetic and enhanced motor
  • Resistance: 2,200 watts
  • Accuracy: +/- 1 per cent
  • Maximum gradient simulation: +20 per cent, -15 per cent
  • Flywheel weight: 13lb plus enhanced motor
  • Metrics: Speed, distance, power, cadence, gradient

Wahoo’s indoor training accessories

Wahoo offers a range of indoor training accessories that you can link up wirelessly to make for a more realistic riding experience.

You can also pair Wahoo’s indoor trainers with the company’s ELEMNT bike computers or ELEMNT Rival smartwatch, ride on its Speedplay pedals and follow the workout content in the SYSTM training app.

Wahoo KICKR CLIMB

Wahoo KICKR CLIMB

The KICKR CLIMB can simulate hills up to 20 per cent and descents down to minus 10 per cent.
Wahoo Fitness

Plugging into all of Wahoo’s smart turbo trainers, the KICKR CLIMB hooks into the front-wheel dropouts of your bike.

It then raises or lowers your bike frame as you follow a workout or interactive course, reflecting the gradients in the app you’re using. The CLIMB can simulate uphills up to 20 per cent and downhill slopes to minus 10 per cent.

That means you get a more natural ride experience and engage the different muscles you use for climbing, descending and riding on the flat.

Wahoo KICKR HEADWIND

Wahoo KICKR HEADWIND smart fan

The KICKR HEADWIND is designed specifically for indoor training.
Wahoo Fitness

Any indoor riding can become hot work, so a powerful fan is an essential addition to your setup.

The KICKR HEADWIND does more than a standard fan, though, with an airflow pattern that mimics riding in the great outdoors and is focused on cooling your core.

It links up via Bluetooth with your KICKR trainer or TICKR heart rate monitor, and varies the airflow depending on how hard or fast you’re riding.

There are also four manual speed settings, with a maximum airflow of more than 30mph.

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