The Wahoo Fitness KICKR Trainer

Trainer workouts are to fun as:

a. Cavendish is to climbing

b. Cipollini is to restrained

c. Sagan is to slow

In the past we would of accepted any of these answers as correct. It was a general consensus that the trainer would make you strong, but you would sacrifice a bit of your cycling soul with each hour spent on one. That's what so appealing about the Wahoo Fitness KICKR, the thought that you can gain strength over the winter months and actually have fun doing it.

There are several key factors that separate the KICKR from other trainers on the market, and I believe that these fall into two major groups. The first is the hardware and physical design of the trainer. The second is the software the trainer supports.

The Hardware

The first thing that you'll notice about the KICKR Trainer is that it's design allows the bike to be connected to the trainer without your rear wheel attached. This accomplishes several things. It reduces wear and tear on your tires, wheel and hubs, makes attachment much easier and provides a more accurate platform for measuring wattage.

No more squared off tires or compression of your carbon dream bike. The mounting system is simple, secure and just makes sense. In other wattage based trainers, wattage was read from the tire contact point and would have to be adjusted with each ride and even with changes in temperature. There was always a risk of tire slippage during big efforts which could potentially invalidate your power data. None of these are issues with the KICKR.

With a heavy, 12 pound flywheel to provide a realistic road feel the KICKR allows you to ease off the pace a bit, stretch your back and then get back on it without feeling that you have to accelerate from zero. In addition, the KICKR puts out about the same noise as a standard fluid trainer and uses a Gates Carbon Drive belt for engagement rather than a traditional chain. These belts are practically indestructible and won't stretch over time as standard cycling chains do.

  • KICKR Profile
  • KICKR Profile

The Software

The software of the KICKR trainer is what takes it to the next level. Wahoo has opened up the platform and allowed other developers access, so the KICKR integrates with a variety of other software and apps. You can ride STRAVA segments, stages of the Tour with video, or just scehdule an intense interval session. The trainer will match resistance seamlessly without you needing to do anything but ride.

The connections are wireless as well. Supporting ANT+ as well as Bluetooth 4.0 connections the KICKR connects to smartphones, tablets and computers. This allows you to track wattage, speed, distance and more with minimal setup.

Third Party Compatibility

A selection of apps that integrate with the KICKR trainer.

Wahoo Fitness
Trainer Road
Kinomap Trainer
Perfpro Studio
Virtual Training

The Summary

Even if you are the most die hard, Bernard Hinault circa 1980 Liege-Bastogne-Liege type of rider, there are some days when a trainer is the only option. This is that trainer. It can make you faster, won't put undue wear on your bike, and with its open platform, is essentially upgradeable. We have a demo on the floor right now. If you still aren't sold, swing by the shop and spend five minutes on one. The KICKR can help provide focused training and bring an element to indoor training that has always been missing... The fun.