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Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One



Probably the best budget smart trainer, now available with virtual shifting – if that's what you want...
Excellent power reporting
Great ERG mode performance
Low noise
Low drivetrain wear
You're tied to Zwift (mostly)
Virtual shifting OK rather than great

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One takes over from Zwift's own Hub One trainer as the company's Zwift-specific trainer with virtual gearing and a singlespeed sprocket. And like the Zwift Hub One, it's based on a trainer that we've previously reviewed and very much liked. If you're committed to Zwift, it has a lot going for it. But you will be committed to Zwift, for the most part. Maybe not quite as much as before, though...

Not sure where to start? Read our guide to indoor cycling and everything you need to get started.

> Buy now: Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One for £579.99 from Zwift

What I'm not going to do in this review is re-review the Wahoo Kickr Core trainer, because Jamie has already done a grand job of that. You can read his full review here, but I'll summarise it here for you.

We gave the Kickr Core a Recommends Badge back in 2022, and in terms of bang for your buck it's pretty hard to beat. It's about half the price of Wahoo's top-end Kickr trainer, and at 1,800W max resistance and 16% max simulated grade its stats are lower (the Kickr can manage 2,200W and 22%) but they're plenty for anyone who's not a track sprinter or on a pro contract.

2024 Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One - feet 2.jpg

On top of that the power reporting is very solid: it's accurate, there's no drift and it's quick to respond. The ERG mode is especially worthy of praise; the Kickr is about as good as any trainer we've tried at hitting a power number and staying there – it doesn't overshoot, and it's good at picking up changes in cadence.

2024 Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One - flywheel.jpg

It's quiet, too, and it comes with all the bits you need to fit the vast majority of bikes. The trainer feels sturdy, and the ride feel from the 5.4kg flywheel is very good. It's not as easy to move as some, and there's no lateral movement built in, but for the money it's pretty hard to beat.

Zwiftly does it

Enter the Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One. Mechanically this is the same unit as the one that Jamie reviewed, and the only differences are how you connect it to your bike, and how you use it in Zwift.

One of the downsides of the standard Kickr Core is that you don't get a cassette, so that's either a faff (to take one off a wheel) or a cost (to get a new one – although that's not the case at the moment). Also, if you're planning to use more than one bike on the trainer and they have different drivetrains (11- and 12-speed, say), one cassette won't work with both.

The Kickr Core Zwift One comes with Zwift's Cog, which is a singlespeed sprocket in a plastic spacer that's pre-installed on the freehub body. You slap your bike on, shift the gears so the chainline is straight (somewhere near the middle of the cassette), and then you're good to go, whatever drivetrain your bike runs with.

2024 Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One - cog.jpg

Clearly that means you have one mechanical gear ratio, so all shifting within Zwift is virtual. This is a trainer specifically designed to be used with Zwift (more on that in a bit) and the price includes a year's membership, which at the newer and higher price is a fair chunk of the overall.

> How to get started with Zwift

In the box you also get a Zwift Click shifter, which is a Bluetooth unit that you can fit to your handlebar wherever you want. It has up and down buttons, and these control your gearing in the game.

2024 Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One - click in box.jpg

You get 24 sequential gears which cover a wider range than a standard road bike drivetrain, so you should have ratios to cover whatever Zwift throws at you. You can use the big or little ring at the front, assuming you have two. Zwift actually recommends the small ring but I used the big one; I have my trainer difficulty set to well below the default 30%, and I found that the gear range worked better with the big ring than the little one.

The Zwift Click isn't as tactile as a road bike shifter. It's okay, but its size and generic design – it needs to work in a variety of bar positions – mean that it takes some getting used to. I quite often shifted the wrong way, although to be fair I can't always get that right outdoors either...

My default position for it is on the outside of the right-hand shifter, where the Click is reachable from the hoods and (just about) from the drops too.

2024 Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One - click on bars.jpg

The Zwift Click connects directly to the Zwift app and controls the trainer resistance from there to mimic gears. This is in some ways quite a retrograde step in terms of how trainers work. For the past few years you've been able to use any trainer with any training app – the trainer connects to the app via an ANT+ or Bluetooth protocol and all the talking happens along that channel. With the Zwift Hub One, and now with this trainer, that's not the case. You need Zwift to shift, because the app is controlling that. So if you're riding in Rouvy, or MyWhoosh, or whatever, you'll be stuck in one gear with no option to change.

There are three provisos to this. Firstly, you can pull off the Zwift Cog and stick a standard cassette on, and you have your gears back; it's just a standard HG spline freehub.

Secondly, any training app that uses ERG mode – TrainerRoad, for example – will work fine, because the app is controlling the resistance and that connection will work fine.

Thirdly, you're not completely out of options in terms of virtual gearing outside of Zwift. IndieVelo offers this, and it implements it through the standard trainer connection, so you can have your singlespeed trainer and virtual gears there too. You won't be able to use the Zwift Click to shift, though, you'll need to do it with a keyboard, or through the app interface.

> Buyer’s Guide: Best indoor cycling apps

Does the Zwift Click work? Yes, it does. When I reviewed the Zwift Hub One I reported that the gear change has a certain feel: there's a ramp up in resistance, followed by a drop before it settles to whatever the new gear resistance is. It's the same with the Wahoo unit, which suggests that it's a profile that the app is applying to the change, rather than anything mechanical with the trainer.

Given how easy the Kickr Core finds it to hit a new resistance in ERG mode, there's no particular reason why a gear change – which is just a resistance tweak after all – should fox it. I don't hate the gear change feel or anything, I just think it's trying a bit hard to feel like a mechanical gear change and not really achieving that, when I think it'd be better to just ramp up and down as quickly as possible. A gear change feels like it takes several seconds to normalise, and if you're dropping a load of gears for a sprint it's hard to know where you are. Too many times I've ended up in a gear I either can't push, or spin out on.

2024 Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One - belt.jpg

Is it better than using your gears on your bike? That'll depend, to a certain extent. If you have a nice bike that sits on the trainer in the winter (well protected from sweat, of course!) then the answer is almost certainly no; the feel of a well-maintained drivetrain is much nicer. Some electronic systems (the Tacx Neo Bike, for example) do a great job of mimicking the clunk of mechanical gears, but the Kickr Core isn't in that ballpark. And nor should you expect it to be, for a fraction of the price.

Any bike you like

One thing the Zwift Cog does allow you to do, though, is use more or less whatever bike you like, with more or less the same result. So long as the chain isn't bent, and you've put some oil on it, the shifting experience isn't going to be inferior. I've tried the Kickr Core Zwift One with a posh Lauf Úthald with 12-speed SRAM, and I've also put my £50 8-speed secondhand B'Twin Triban 100 on it, and there's really no discernible difference between the feel of the two most of the time. So you can get a sacrificial bike for buttons, and sweat all over it to your heart's content. And it should last, even then – because the chain is straight and you're not shifting, chain wear will be minimal. That's also a good thing on a posh bike.

2024 Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One - in shed.jpg

Those are benefits to you, and there are pros and cons to getting the Zwift-specific, single-cog trainer over the cassette-equipped one. You'd have to say that for Zwift, it's all pros: you're buying into its ecosystem, and it only has one SKU to stock. And the Zwift Cog – a singlespeed sprocket in between two bits of plastic – is going to be a big saving over buying in a bunch of cassettes. If you're committed to Zwift, or you want to commit to it, then this package is really good value, especially if you have differently specced bikes you swap between on the trainer, or you use something more agricultural on the turbo.

At the moment you can have the geared Wahoo Kickr Core with a cassette and a year's worth of Zwift for the exact same price. For me that's still the pick of the two for most use cases; either way, you're getting probably the best budget smart trainer, so take your pick based on your needs.

> Buy now: Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One for £579.99 from Zwift


Probably the best budget smart trainer, now available with virtual shifting – if that's what you want... test report

Make and model: Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Zwift: "Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One unlocks a world of indoor cycling fun and fitness. With a 1-year Zwift membership code and Zwift Cog pre-installed, it has everything you need to achieve your goals–plus, it's compatible with almost any 8-12-speed bike.

Effortlessly mount Zwift Click on any handlebar for seamless, quiet virtual shifting. Experience smart resistance that perfectly mimics every climb and descent. Take your training to the next level with the built-in power meter.

1-year Zwift membership auto-renews after 12 months at £179.99* unless cancelled."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Zwift lists these details/features:



Smart trainer with Zwift Cog


Virtual shifting on your handlebars


Membership code included



Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One's automatic resistance realistically matches the gradient of the virtual road. You'll glide down hills and feel every climb, delivering an unmatched indoor cycling experience.

Cyclist's realistic ride on Zwift app


Quiet, smooth, and consistent - the virtual gearing of the Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One turns your bike into a smart bike.


Zwift Cog is compatible with almost any 8-12-speed bike, unlocking maximum compatibility and keeping maintenance to a minimum''just jump on and start riding.


Zwift Click controls your virtual gears and attaches seamlessly on any handlebar, putting intuitive virtual shifting at your fingertips.


Your 1-year Zwift membership code will be sent to the email address provided at checkout. Activate it on once you're ready to ride, or forward it if you're gifting Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One to someone else.


The heart of Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One smart trainer is its power meter, which levels up your training with tailored workouts and accurate training data.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's a simple setup that works well. Good power reporting, great ERG mode, low noise, low wear.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The power reporting, ERG mode performance, low noise and low drivetrain wear.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

You're tied to Zwift (mostly), and the virtual shifting is OK rather than great.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

At £579 – including £180 of Zwift membership – it's a good buy. Effectively £400 for what's probably the best budget smart trainer.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? I'd still buy the geared version.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The geared trainer got a 9. This one might work as well or better for you than the cassette version, depending on your needs and your setup. Personally I think the majority of riders would still be better off with the geared trainer, and a big chunk of the benefit here is for Zwift, not necessarily the end consumer.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 189cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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