Yes, Wahoo already offers one of the best stationary bicycles in the market. For those who prefer the feel of their own bike, though, a trainer that hooks up to your own bicycle will probably still work a whole lot better. That’s why the outfit is bringing a new version of the Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer.
The fifth generation of the outfit’s bike trainer, the device brings most of the same elements that made it the training equipment of choice for World Tour teams like INEOS and BORA-Hansgrohe. This time around, though, they reinforced it with some of the innovations found on their stationary bike, creating a trainer that facilitates a more natural riding feel, a more refined performance, and a more dynamic experience even when you’re spending the next hour riding inside your bedroom.
The Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer is a direct-drive bike trainer that doesn’t really change much of its highly-acclaimed predecessor from 2018. Instead, it merely evolves on the outgoing model, adding a selection of improvements to keep it competitive at the top of the category. Chief among the changes are the new AXIS feet that allow the whole thing to tilt five degrees to each side, so you can simulate riding at high speeds on the open road, where the bike sways side-to-side as you switch your weight from one side to another. According to the outfit, this allows the trainer to respond more naturally both to the rider’s tempo and changes in the rider’s physical position.
Both left and right feet of the base has been replaced with those AXIS units, so the whole thing should be able to move in united motion. Even better, you can adjust the stiffness of the feet to one of three settings, allowing you to tune it to fit your personal riding style.
The Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer also removes the manual calibration process required to record your performance data in previous iterations. Instead, the equipment performs the calibration all on its own, allowing you to save valuable time while ensuring everything is calibrated correctly, with no chance of the manual errors that can happen with its predecessors. Because of the auto-calibration, Wahoo claims it can record power measurement more accurately. Granted, they only estimate a 1 percent improvement, but that’s still a significant upgrade for those who want the most precise performance numbers.
Most of the other elements, pretty much, reprise what made the 2018 version of the bike trainer so good. That includes a 16-pound flywheel that generates up to 2200W of resistance, complete with a belt motor drivetrain that provides virtually-silent riding experience, so you can exercise at home without annoying everyone else that lives there. Other features include app-adjustable resistance, resistance simulation up to 20 percent inclines and 10 percent declines, adjustable height based on your bike’s wheel size (with clearance to accommodate disc brakes, too), wireless connectivity (Bluetooth, ANT+, ANT+ FE-C), and support for a variety of training apps, including Zwift, Sufferfest, and Trainer Road.
The Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer is available now, priced at $1,199.99.