Wahoo has today announced two revamped products, an updated version of its fllagship direct drive trainer the Kickr, now on its sixth generation, and an update to the Kickr Bike.
The general concept of each product stays the same, with the Kickr designed as a top-of-the-range direct drive smart turbo trainer compatible with a large number of bikes, while the Kickr Bike is an all-in-one indoor training solution with five points of adjustment to suit a range of riders.
Wahoo says that using WiFi, rather than Bluetooth or ANT+, provides significant increases in data transfer speed and stability which will not only help to solve most drop-out issues, but also deliver on-screen stats over 65% faster than before.
This promises to make "workouts more seamless and eRacing more precise", claims Wahoo. The addition of WiFi also means that the trainers are capable of automatic firmware updates and can benefit from real-time troubleshooting by Wahoo’s customer support team.
The ERG Easy Ramp feature "Smooths the transition back to large wattage intervals from a stop allowing you to pick your cadence back up." This feature has the potential to solve one of the main drawbacks of ERG mode training sessions, and we've already been putting the new Kickr through its paces to see if this lives up to the hype.
A built-in odometer identifies the exact amount of use, helping you keep track of progress by knowing how much virtual 'distance' you’ve achieved on your trainer. We imagine that this data could also be used to track service intervals; for example, belt changes and will be particularly useful for riders who use the trainers as standalone devices rather than tracking time/distance on third-party apps.
The Kickr celebrates its 10th birthday this year and is now in its sixth iteration. The new model has seen a £100 increase in RRP when compared to the fifth generation released in August 2020, but does get all three of the major updates listed above.
Many of the other major stats stay the same, keeping the Kickr competitive in terms of maximum resistance (2,200 watts), maximum gradient simulation (20%) and accuracy (+/-1%).
Unlike on the cheaper Kickr Core, a cassette is included in the price (11-speed 11-28T) and like before the trainer is compatible with all the major groupset providers. The Kickr accommodates bikes with 24", 650C/B, 700C, 26" and 29" wheels via the familiar sliding system, and allows for five degrees of lateral side-to-side movement which claims to make the ride feel more realistic and reduce fatigue.
The original Kickr Bike hit the market at the end of 2019, designed to be one bit of kit for all indoor training needs. The second generation has seen a price increase from £3199.99 to £3499.99 making it an even more sizeable investment and some evolutionary changes.
> Review: Wahoo Kickr Bike
Like the latest generations of Kickr trainers, the Kickr Bike has a power reading accuracy of +/-1% and uses a belt drive. The trainer is capable of simulating gradients of +20% and -15%, and the maximum power output has been upped from 2,200 watts on the first generation to 2,500 watts. Sadly not many of us will be troubling that figure!
Wahoo has also added "Direct Connect" technology to the Kickr Bike, which allows a wired connection between bike and internet router to further reduce the chances of wireless drop-outs.
All the features that we saw on the first generation are still present, such as virtual shifting, steering buttons, TruFit five-way adjustability and compatibility with the rest of the Wahoo indoor training ecosystem.
These two launches follow the launch of Wahoo’s first streaming service, Wahoo X, and the acquisition of RGT cycling in April 2022. Wahoo says this is another step forwards in "creating a more connected ecosystem across indoor and outdoor training, giving athletes the tools they need to be successful in tracking toward their goals."
Mike Saturnia, CEO at Wahoo added: “We are creating the most innovative connected fitness ecosystem on the market, and these new Wi-Fi enabled products play a key role.”
We've already managed to get our grubby hands on the new Kickr and have been clocking up the virtual miles, so be sure to check back soon for our full review...
For more information on both products head to wahoo's website.
Are you tempted by Wahoo's latest products, or were you hoping the latest releases would have even more features? Let us know in the comments section below...
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...