At the end of last year, Zwift released the Hub One smart trainer featuring a 'Zwift Cog' single sprocket that replaces a standard cassette, with virtual shifting via a wireless shifter that mounts to your handlebar. Now, in a new collaboration with Wahoo, Zwift brings virtual shifting to the Wahoo Kickr Core, introducing the Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One. It looks like the Zwift Hub One, it works like the Zwift Hub One... but at the same time Zwift has quietly announced that the Hub One is discontinued. We've got our hands on one already, so keep reading to find out our first ride impressions after we run you through the spiel.
A few months ago, we reviewed the Zwift Hub One turbo trainer that does away with your drivetrain shifting and instead, gives you a wide range of virtual gears. Now, this virtual shifting technology has been brought to Wahoo's Kickr Core, releasing the Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One smart trainer. It seems the once-warring cycling tech giants have now fully put any ill-feeling to one side...
The Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One uses the same pre-installed single sprocket design, with the same Zwift Click shifter. Rather than your chain moving across a cassette, it always runs on the Zwift Cog and you can still shift, but now virtually. The resistance is altered by the Hub One internally when you hit the wireless Zwift Click shifter mounted to your handlebar.
The Zwift Cog allows the trainer to work with most 8-12 speed bikes, Zwift says, with access to a total of 24 virtual gears.
Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One is available now and the standard Wahoo Kickr Core, which comes with a choice of 8-speed to 12-speed cassettes, remains in the range. Each is priced at £549 and includes a year's Zwift membership.
If you already have a Wahoo Kickr Core, you can now upgrade to virtual shifting using Zwift Play which costs £99.
We’ve had the Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One in for review here at road.cc, and here's what Dave has had to say about it so far:
"A few months ago I wrote a review of the Zwift Hub One which was pretty positive, although not as positive as the review for the geared version of the same trainer, which has now been discontinued.
Physically the Wahoo Kickr Core Zwift One is a very similar unit, promising similar performance. And so, unsurprisingly, it's good. The ride feel is nice, it's quiet and uncomplicated, it's super easy to fit nearly any bike to it, and it promises to wear your chain a bit less. If I was blindfolded I dare say I'd not be able to tell the difference between the two. They're the same price as well.
Well, if you're committed to training indoors one of the big benefits of this system is that it'll work with any bike and the experience will be more or less the same. So you don't need to subject your posh bike's headset to a slow death by a thousand drips of sweat: you can stick any old gate on the single-speed Kickr and so long as it fits you properly and the chain isn't bent the shifting experience will be comparable.
That's the benefit to you, but the more this trend continues the more I think of press-fit bottom brackets. That was an innovation born of the cycling industry trying to make life easier for itself, not from any rider benefit, and one that's slowly being ushered out the door as bike brands move back to threaded BBs which are better in almost every way.
The single cog on trainers like this is a boon for trainer manufacturers who just have to stock one size that fits all. Perfect, and it works pretty well too. Pretty well, though. Not as well as a nice bike running a well-adjusted drivetrain across a proper cassette. Not nearly that well. If you're already doing it that way: don't change.
So what's going on with the Zwift Hub One then? Well, this new Wahoo trainer has been released on the same day that Zwift announced quietly on its site that the Hub One is discontinued. You can still buy one, but they're not making any more. What's the reason for this? It can only be money, really: Zwift has been dialling back its hardware offering for a while now. The real-life Tron bike never made it to production, and the move from the Classic Hub one to the singlespeed version was touted as a user benefit but could also be read as a cost-saving measure, dialling back the legwork that goes into shipping each trainer by removing all the cassette options. With Wahoo now the hardware manufacturer, Zwift doesn't have much of a hardware line to maintain: just the Play controllers, really.
It's not been an easy two years for Zwift, with big redundancies in May 2022 (when they canned the Tron bike), March 2023 and this week. Most players in the indoor training sphere have suffered since the end of the pandemic when we were all allowed to go outside again, and Zwift isn't immune to that. Maybe the company is just trying to be more realistic about how big the indoor cycling sphere can grow. It doesn't feel like Zwift is in any immediate danger, but life comes at you fast; given the option of a trainer that'll work with any platform, and a trainer that's tied to one, I think I know what I'd be spending my money on."
Check back soon for an upcoming video and feature comparing the Zwift Hub One, the new Kickr Core Zwift One, and the Van Rysel D500 turbo trainers.
Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.
Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…