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The Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer Review
Looking to upgrade your indoor riding experience? Well, the Wahoo KICKR Power trainer offers you pretty much everything you could ever wish for in a turbo trainer. Unfortunately, the flip side to this is that the cost may leave you with a tear in your eye.
The Wahoo KICKR Power trainer is a heavy (21kg), well built and sturdy unit. This weight helps aid stability when performing hard sprint sessions, but unfortunately, makes transportation awkward, despite the well-placed carry handle. Storage is less of an issue, the legs fold away nicely, leaving a slim shaped Kickr trainer that can be easily tucked away in a cupboard.
Noise wise the KICKR Power trainer isn’t too bad, although, it’s not great either. At low speeds, there’s no issue, but wind it up to 40kph+, and it starts to whine. Other members of my household have commented on this, saying it sounds like an airplane taking off. If noise is a major factor in your purchase, then the Tacx Neo might be a better option.
The ride sensation generated by the Wahoo KICKR Power trainer is just about as close to real life as you’re likely to get on a turbo trainer. A significant factor in this is the ability of the Kickr’s direct drive system to allow the rider to freewheel. The Kickr’s ability to fully simulate virtual terrain, coupled with its excellent real life ride feel, makes use with training apps such as Zwift, a great interactive experience.
One feature of the Wahoo KICKR Power trainer I love is the ability to ride in the ergo setting. Ergo mode comes into play when using training software such as TrainerRoad or Zwift workouts. Ergo mode forces you to ride at a specific power output as set out by your training software. You can’t slack off; it has you on point for the whole training session. The only slight issue with using ergo mode is that if you do ease off during an interval, it’s almost impossible to get going again till a respite period.
Wahoo Fitness also have their own training app for users. It’s actually a top bit of kit, much better than the offerings available from Tacx and Elite. Uploading workouts to 3rd party sites such as Strava and Training Peaks is also an easy process. Despite the quality of the app, online training systems such as Trainerroad and Zwift are where most owners will be heading. These portals are game-changers and the future of indoor training.
The downside to power trainers like the Wahoo KICKR is that they’re totally impractical for taking to a race or event, for warming up. Without a power supply, these turbo trainers are made practically redundant.
For $1199.99, plus heart rate and cadence sensors (Needed if you intend on taking your training seriously), the Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer is, without a doubt, a hefty investment for the average cyclist. However, it’s one that opens up a whole new realm of indoor cycling and training and offers the potential to improve your riding and fitness significantly.
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