Wahoo has introduced two new devices designed to improve indoor riding: the Kickr Move smart turbo trainer, which it says offers “the closest real-world, smart trainer ride-feel” thanks to the addition of fore/aft movement, and the Kickr Bike Shift that’s a lot cheaper than the brand’s existing smart bike.
The Kickr Move comes in above the current Kickr at the top of Wahoo's indoor trainer lineup while the Kickr Bike Shift smart bike enters below the existing Kickr Bike. Got all that Kickr range orientation? Cool, let's get into some details...
Wahoo says that the Kickr Move indoor trainer offers a realistic outdoor feel thanks to the addition of 8in (23cm) of fore-aft movement to the trainer body. Essentially, it makes it act a little bit like a trainer on a rocker plate, although we'll come back to that comparison in a mo.
“This delivers an entirely new dimension of ride-feel,” says Wahoo. “This built-in dual-axis movement creates a sensation remarkably similar to that of cycling outdoors. The result is a more engaging, more comfortable and more realistic riding experience than ever before. The Kickr Move gives athletes the comfort, motivation and enjoyment to get the most out of their indoor rides and workouts.”
How does it work?
Think of it this way: the Wahoo Kickr Move is essentially an existing Wahoo Kickr smart trainer – the under-the-bonnet parts are all the same – but it sits on wheels within a fixed, curved track. As you alter your power, get in/out of the saddle, or readjust your position, the trainer is designed to move forward and backward with you.
“The track is curved to allow gravity to control the amount of movement,” says Wahoo. “Small adjustments in the saddle will result in little movement, whereas getting out of the saddle for a sprint will create much more movement.”
It acts a little bit like a rocker plate – check out our review of the LifeLine Rocker Plate, for example – but, as you’d expect, Wahoo believes that the performance is better.
“There are two key advantages,” says Wahoo's Tyler Harris. “The first is getting on and off. A rocker plate is usually a big platform that you put your trainer on in order to mount the bike. You first have to step onto that platform, and they’re always pivoting.
“In that situation, you’d have the whole platform lean when you step on, and then you have to rebalance yourself before mounting the bike. Doing that with road cleats and slippery surfaces is not always the best, especially if you have been sweating on a rocker plate for an hour. Mounting and dismounting is a little bit tricky.
“By incorporating the movement into the base, it keeps the bike flat on the ground, so it's just like mounting on a Kickr 6 [the sixth incarnation of Wahoo's Kickr; the current version] or any of our other trainers.
“The second advantage is the realism effect. When you lift the trainer up off the ground [on a rocker plate], you're moving the pivot point higher and it creates that inverse effect. On a rocker plate, you're pushing down on the bars when outdoors you're actually pulling up. Lowering the pivot point [with a Kickr Move] creates a more realistic effect.”
Wahoo says that when it was developing the gravity track system, it was also able to incorporate an extra bit of side-to-side movement, while a lockout switch allows you to disengage the fore/aft movement. This makes it easier to mount bikes and move the trainer around, as well as allowing you to tailor the device to your taste. If you don't want the fore and aft movement on a particular ride for any ride, you just push – or tap with your toe – the very large switch and lock it out.
Wahoo claims a maximum power of 2,200 watts for the Kickr Move, and the ability to simulate a 20% gradient. The claimed level of accuracy is +/-1%. All of these figures are exactly the same as for the existing Wahoo Kickr smart trainer – nothing has changed on that front, you just get the additional fore/aft movement.
“All the goodness of the Kickr carries over to the Kickr Move in addition to the fore and aft movement,” says Tyler Harris. “Auto calibration, connectivity... all that carries over from the Kickr V6 as well. So Wi-Fi, Direct Connect, Bluetooth... And it's obviously compatible with the rest of the Wahoo ecosystem as well.
“And then some of the new features from the Kickr V6 carry over, like ERG Easy Ramp. If you're not familiar with this, traditionally, if you've been doing interval workout and you've had to pause to grab your water bottle or your towel, when you jump back on to resume, a lot of times it would ramp you up over a second right back into that interval.
“It can be just too difficult to get there quickly, so now we ramp you up over about a 10 second period, allowing you to ease back in and resume your workout.
“Then there's Kickr Race Mode which is a Wi-Fi and network-based feature. When you're doing a race on Zwift or RGT, we are now pushing your wattage up to about 10 times a second to the game versus the traditional one time per second. That gets you a more responsive avatar. So if someone goes on the attack, you're able to match that attack much quicker versus the traditional one second delay that you would have in the system.”
Wahoo provides an 11-speed cassette with the Kickr Move because its data from the past couple of months says that 60-65% of Kickr users are using 11-speed bikes on their trainers. That'll change sooner or later as more people switch to 12-speed.
Whereas the existing Wahoo Kickr is priced at £1,099.99, the new Wahoo Kickr Move is £1,399.99 – so you're paying £200 for that movement. That compares with £224.99 for the LifeLine Rocker Plate that we reviewed on road.cc a couple of years ago.
Wahoo has also produced a hardware add-on to make the Kickr Move compatible with existing models of Kickr Climb, the brand’s indoor gradient simulator.
“Fitted to the base of the Kickr Climb, the Kickr Climb Base Adaptor (£44.99) follows the exact same arc as the Kickr Move, so the pair move together in perfect unison,” says Wahoo.
The Base Adaptor (£44.99) allows the Kickr Climb to rotate and pivot with the Kickr Move's fore/aft movement.
At the same time, Wahoo is introducing a new indoor smart bike called the Kickr Bike Shift. The existing Kickr Bike is priced at £3,499.99 while the Kickr Bike Shift is £2,699.99 – so well over 20% less.
“Looking to create an indoor smart bike with a lower price point, Kickr Bike Shift offers the unmatched ride feel of Kickr Bike and retains key features such as Reality Shift, True Fit, Real Ride Feel and, of course, Wi-Fi,” says Wahoo.
Click on the names to find out more about each of those. Reality Shift, for example, allows you to match the Kickr Move’s gear ratios to those of your outdoor bike. This means you can have the same number of speeds and the same size sprockets indoors and out.
Wahoo’s Scott Yarosh says, “Back in 2019, we released the first Kickr Bike which was a great success, and over the past four years, we've learned a lot about indoor smart bikes.
“Costs have gone up a lot with raw materials and shipping logistics, so we developed the Kickr Bike Shift, and we're able to bring the cost down and also retain a lot of the great features from Kickr Bike along with some small improvements.
“The big change is with the brake design. With the Kickr Bike, a motor drives the flywheel forward. The Kickr Bike Shift has more of an electromagnetic resistance. It uses a higher-speed flywheel and we have a virtual simulated inertia. This allows us to control changes extremely quickly. It's super smooth and super quiet.”
The Kickr Bike Shift has a similar five-way fit system to the original Kickr Bike with adjustable standover height, saddle setback and height, stack and reach.
“We updated some of the levers and the quick releases, making them a little bit easier to use,” says Scott Yarosh.
“Kickr Bike Shift has the same great connectivity as Kickr V6 and Kickr Move, with built-in Wi-Fi, Direct Connect, Bluetooth and ANT+. It also offers Easy Ramp just like Kickr V6 and Kickr Move to get you back into those intervals if you have to stop.”
Like the Kickr Move, Wahoo says the Kickr Bike Shift offers up to 2,200 watts of power and +/-1% accuracy. That compares with 2,500 watts for the existing Kickr Bike.
“The max simulated grade is 20% uphill, 15% downhill,” says Scott Yarosh. “The big difference here is that Kickr Bike Shift does not have the motorised physical tilt the Kickr Bike has, and removing that was one of those other things allow us to bring down the cost.”
Wahoo says that the brand’s packaging is now more sustainable than previously, and you get a QR code with your purchase that’ll take you to a digital guide that’s delivered through videos, so there’s no need to leaf through an instruction booklet.
“For the Kickr Bike and Kickr Bike Shift this will be a detailed setup and fit video to help dial in the smart bike’s dimensions,” says Wahoo. “For the Kickr Core, Kickr and Kickr Move there will be a customised setup experience based on the user’s unique bike specifications, with all the required tools, accessories and spacers outlined.”
Tyler Harris says, “We've developed a whole new out-of- box experience which is integrated into the packaging. You scan the QR code to get started and it takes you from the unboxing all the way through getting your bike aboard and getting you into your first ride. We asked you a few questions along the way like: Are you using 11-speed? Are you 12-speed? Do you have thru axles? Do you have disc brakes?
“That helps tailor the video experience to your exact needs so that you're not seeing unnecessary steps along the way. What we've found over the past few years is that a lot of people just prefer video. They go to YouTube and see someone unboxing and setting it up if they get stuck. We now give that kind of YouTube type experience in a web-based digital out-of-box experience. It just makes it a seamless journey for getting set-up and riding.”
We have both the Kickr Move and the Kickr Bike Shift in for review here at road.cc and can confirm that setting them up is really simple if you follow the videos. In fact, setting up the Kickr Bike Shift is so easy that you probably won't even need to watch the vid – you'd be hard-pressed to get it wrong – but don't tell Wahoo we suggested that.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.