Wahoo Fitness KICKR Bike Review (2021)
Today I wanted to talk about the Wahoo Fitness KICKR Bike. For years Wahoo has stood out as a leader in cycling trainers. When Wahoo launched the KICKR trainer at Eurobike it was a game-changer and since then they have come out with a host of trainers for cyclists to enjoy.
For those that are wanting the KICKR Bike, you might be in for a bit of a wait. From the start Wahoo didn’t anticipate the demand and as such has had a long delay on new orders. I was told that most people that order today will not see one for a few months.
There are a lot of indoor bikes and trainers out there, and from our perspective, the Wahoo KICKR bike is undoubtedly one of the top contenders. The sleek design and ability to raise and lower a rider from +20 degrees to -10 degrees is undeniably fun.
- Look Great
- Sleeker Profile
- Very Adjustable
- Ability to raise and lower from +20 degrees to -10 degrees is undeniably fun.
- Fun to use
- Multiple crank arm lengths
- Cost – With a Price tag of over $3,500, it isn’t cheap
- A limited supply of test units. Not enough bike stores have these in to try out.
- Will not fit through some doorways. Doorways need to be over 30″ wide.
- Not as stable as some of the competitors such as the Wattbike Adam, Tacx Neo Bike, and Stages Bike.
Note: When the Wahoo KICKR was first released back in 2019, there was significant demand for the bike that it was very hard to get and orders were taking up to 2-3 months to process. Definitely check when you order to see how long it will take to get the bike.
Wahoo made the official launch of the KICKR Bike at this year’s Eurobike and made a huge splash in the cycling world. An indoor trainer that competes with the TACX bike
The KICKR Bike arrived in a rather large bike box that was professionally packaged and wrapped. Inside the box, the bike comes mostly assembled and it is quick to setup.
The only thing required for the initial setup was the following
- Attach 2 leg extenders (Each leg has 2 bolts that need to be screwed in)
- Add the Handlebars (The handlebars initially come pointed down, so you will need to unloosen the front stem bolts and position the bar as needed.)
- Insert the Seatpost (You may also need to adjust the seat angle)
- Add the included pedals or use your own (using a pedal wrench isn’t a bad idea)
- Plugin the shift cables
- Adjust fit (You can use the Wahoo app to help you adjust the bike fit to your own bike setup). See the Bike Fit section below.
- and lastly, plug in the power cord and you are ready to go.
The bike also comes with a user manual.
I was really impress how Wahoo boxed up the bike and the overall packaging. Something companies like Rouge Fitness and many fitness companies could learn from.
Wahoo Fitness KICKR Bike Review
If you are looking for one of the best indoor cycling trainers, the all-new Wahoo Fitness KICKR Bike should be on your list. It comes packed with some of the best technology and functionality to date and incorporates all of Wahoo Fitness indoor trainer expertise. It combines cool features of the KICKR Climb, which I absolutely love and killer settings like the ability to program bike fit, gearing and crank arm adjustment.
Hill Simulation | Elevation Change
What makes the new KICKR Bike unique among most indoor trainers and stationary bikes is its ability to raise and lower based elevation changes.
- Maximum Simulated Grade: 20%
- Minimum Simulated Grade: -15%
If you haven’t ridden a trainer that implements hill simulation, it’s a lot of fun. It makes the whole experience more engaging and realistic. When I first saw the KICKR Climb, I thought it could be a little gimmicky, but as it turns out I absolutely loved the functionality. Riding an indoor trainer without hill simulation functionality is now a bit of a disappointment. You just don’t get that instant feedback that you do something like the KICKR Climb or now the KICKR Bike.
What makes the KICKR Bike climb functionality much different than the KICKR Climb is the actual slope/angle of the bike when climbing or descending.
Instead of raising the front of the bike up and down, the whole bike moves, meaning the rear as well as the front gets angled up or down, which really simulates going up and down a hill. Wahoo achieves this feat by incorporating the riser closer to the center of the bike rather than the front.
You can control the climb functionality manually using the bike’s climb control buttons located on the top of the hood.
NOTE: To disable the Climb functionality, Wahoo includes a deactivate button located on the side of the KICKR bike display.
One of the key features of using the KICKR Bike is the ability to fully adjust bike fit (TRUE FIT). To make it even easier Wahoo created an amazing App that offers guided instructions on how to set-up the KICKR BIKE and personalize the fit to mirror the geometry of your outdoor bike using 3 different options – professional fit, measure my bike, and measure my body.
The Wahoo True Fit App can be used to take a picture of your bike setup and it will calculate and tell you which settings to use for each component. If you have had a professional bike fit, the App can import setup data from Guru, Trek, or RETÜL.
The Wahoo Bike has 6 main points of adjustment including:
- REACH – The horizontal distance from the front tip of the saddle to the center of the handlebars.
- STACK HEIGHT – The vertical distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the handlebar.
- SETBACK – The horizontal distance from the front tip of the saddle to the center of the bottom bracket.
- SADDLE HEIGHT – The distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the horizontal midpoint of the saddle profile.
- STANDOVER HEIGHT – The distance from the top tube of the frame to the ground.
- CRANK LENGTH – The distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the pedal axle.
Here is how I modified the adjustment of the bike.
I started from the front and worked backwards. The stem that comes with the trainer is your typical aluminum stem, nothing too special. There are 4 bolts on the front that can be loosened an tightened allowing you to set the bar angle how you want.
The handlebars can be raised and lowered by opening and closing the first quick release. The 2nd quick release is located on the top tube and can be used to push the front bars closer or further away from the frame. There is a metric ruler / indicator showing you what the current position is relative to the frame.
The 3rd quick release is also located on the top tube and it allows you to move the back portion of the bike, which contains the seat tube, forward and backward. The 4th quick-release controls the seat tube, allowing you to move it up or down, just like you have on a traditional bike.
The Top tube quick releases are turned outward when unlocked and align with the top tube once set. It’s all pretty basic and intuitive.
The cranks have 5 holes and depending on where you put the pedal set the crank length. You can set the pedals from 175mm to 165mm depending on preference. I settled for 172.5, which is a pretty standard setup for a road bike.
Once everything is set, you can raise an lower the overall bike height without messing with the other settings by adjusting the main height adjustment and setting it to the appropriate letter.
All in all I found it was really easy to adjust the bike.
The bike has several levers that allow a user to adjust things like seat post height, seat position (forward/backward along the rails), handlebar height (up/down) and handlebar position (forward/backward). The levers are all quick release, making it easy and fast to switch your fit.
Program Gearing | Ride Your Kit
Imagine your current bike is using a triple chainring or maybe a single front chainring. No problem, the Wahoo Bike can simulate both. Wahoo uses existing industry standards allowing you to customize the bike with your favorite parts, simulating your component’s touchpoints.
This functionality adds so much flexibility to your training and racing simulation. When you train/race on programs like Zwift, you have the ability to experiment using different gear ratios setups to optimize your performance. If you know you’re going to climb steep grades, maybe using a triple chainring setup might be optimal or having a smaller chainring and a larger rear cassette. For time trials may be using a larger front chainring could improve your performance.
Gearing setup isn’t just isolated to the front chainring, you also have options to change the rear cassette and optimize it as well.
Beyond gearing, you also have the ability to virtually set up the type of components you are using including Shimano, SRAM, and Campy. Programmable virtual shifting allows KICKR BIKE to match the gear ratios and functionality of groupsets from leading manufacturers like SRAM, Shimano, and Campagnolo today and possibly others in the future.
Depending on the one selected, The KICKR Bike will mimic the shifting patterns. This helps with muscle memory as you switch between riding the KICKR bike and your outdoor bike with the same components.
There are several programmable buttons located on the bike, allowing for options that go beyond shifting and changing gears. One possible option could be to virtually steer the bike in a Zwift environment or have some type of gaming function like shooting.
NOTE: To make everything work properly you will also need to include your weight so that the trainer can correctly calibrate resistance.
Crank Arm Adjustment
The KICKR Bike allows crank arm adjustment from 165, 167.5, 170, 172.5, and 175. Again Wahoo has provided the option to experiment with different crank arm lengths allowing the rider to find the optimal length.
I typically ride 172.5 or 175 depending on the bike, but I have never really experimented with the different setups, so having that ability is certainly welcome.
|OPTIMIZED FLYWHEEL TECHNOLOGY|
|KICKR BIKE has a unique combination of a 13lb flywheel and |
an enhanced motor that offers unrivaled accuracy, responsiveness, and realism while training indoors.
|VIRTUALLY SILENT OPERATION|
|The balanced, belt-driven motor on KICKR BIKE combines years of engineering knowledge to create a virtually silent riding experience.|
|When connected to your smartphone, tablet or computer, KICKR BIKE automatically sets your resistance via your favorite app or software|
|REALISTIC RIDE FEEL|
|The KICKR BIKE flywheel and the enhanced motor is an innovative technology that emulates the power and inertia experienced during outdoor riding. It provides the most realistic ride feel especially when using virtual riding/training platforms like Zwift, The Sufferfest, and TrainerRoad.|
|REAL-TIME PHYSICAL GRADE CHANGES|
|The KICKR BIKE simulates grade changes in real-time by not only providing changes in resistance but also physically raising and lowering the bike to match ascents up to 20% and descents as steep as -15%.|
|+/- 1% POWER ACCURACY|
|Proven power accuracy that provides our most accurate power measurement of +/- 1% and generates up to 2200W of resistance.|
|KICKR BIKE continuously offers accurate power and doesn’t require a calibration procedure.|
|EASY APP SET-UP|
|Our simple and intuitive Wahoo Fitness app offers guided instructions on how to set-up the KICKR BIKE and personalize the fit to mirror the geometry of your outdoor bike using 3 options – professional fit, measure my bike, and measure my body.|
|5 POINTS OF ADJUSTABLE FIT|
|Adjust the fit of the KICKR BIKE with easy access quick-release levers across 5 points – stack, reach, setback, saddle height, and frame height.|
|ADJUSTABLE CRANK ARM|
|KICKR BIKE supports 165, 167.5, 170, 172.5 and 175mm crank lengths|
|PROGRAMMABLE VIRTUAL SHIFTING|
|Customize the KICKR BIKE shifting controls to match shifters from the leading manufacturers – SRAM, Shimano, and Campagnolo|
|Replicate your outdoor bike down to the exact gearing configuration by selecting the number of speeds and cassette tooth count.|
|A combined electromagnetic flywheel and motor allow for quick braking to create a precise feel while shifting and while riding downhill.|
|Customize the KICKR BIKE with your favorite saddle, bars, and pedals to dial in the perfect setup.|
|ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, AND BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY|
|ANT+ and Bluetooth capabilities allow it to connect to both smartphones and GPS devices simultaneously or separately. An ANT+ FE-C connection allows the KICKR BIKE to be controlled from any FE-C enabled device or application.|
|MULTIPLE SIMULTANEOUS BLUETOOTH CONNECTIONS|
|KICKR BIKE supports up to three simultaneous Bluetooth connections for a trouble-free start to your workout|
|MANUAL CONTROL OF GRADE CHANGES|
|The control unit on the KICKR BIKE contains a lock/unlock button, which allows you to turn on and off the physical tilt control of an app while still allowing the app to control the resistance.|
|DIGITAL LED DISPLAY|
|An LED display indicates gear selection and grade percentage, so you can get information with just a quick glance during your ride.|
|PROFESSIONAL GRADE DURABILITY|
|Robust aluminum and steel construction ensures the KICKR BIKE will withstand years of heavy abuse.|
|MEASURES SPEED, DISTANCE, POWER, AND CADENCE|
|Get these vital cycling metrics on your indoor ride on the KICKR BIKE without connecting any extra sensors|
|KICKR HEADWIND COMPATIBLE|
|KICKR HEADWIND brings innovative climate control to your indoor training experience. Pair to your KICKR BIKE and as your speed or heart rate increases, so will the fan speed.|
|ELEMNT BIKE COMPUTER COMPATIBLE|
|Connect the KICKR BIKE to any ELEMNT Bike Computer to relive rides or perform planned workouts.|
|THIRD-PARTY APP COMPATIBILITY|
|Works with popular training apps, including Zwift, The Sufferfest, and TrainerRoad. For more details on which apps are compatible with the KICKR BIKE, download our in-depth KICKR app comparison chart.|
|BONUS FEATURE! FREE TRIALS FROM OUR FAVORITE APP PARTNERS|
|When you register your KICKR in the Wahoo Fitness app, you’ll receive these awesome offers from our partners: 30 Days FREE of Zwift for new members 60 Days FREE of Strava Summit for new Strava members 30 Days FREE of TrainerRoad for new users 30 Days FREE of The Sufferfest Training Center for new Sufferfest members 10% off annual subscription of Fulgaz for new subscribers 30 Days FREE of Rouvy for new premium subscribers|
Wahoo KICKR Bike Specifications
- Shipping Dimensions: 54″ x 14″ x 35″ (1350 x 340 x 880 mm)
- Product Weight: 93 lbs (42 kilograms)
- Drivetrain: Belt Drive
- Resistance Type: Electromagnetic and enhanced motor
- Power Accuracy: +/- 1%
- Wireless Software Updates: Yes, via the Wahoo Fitness app
- Connectivity: ANT+ FEC and Bluetooth
- Device Compatibility: iOS, Android, PC (Mac and Windows)
- User Height Range: 5 feet (152 cm) to 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm)
- Max User Weight: 250lbs
- Power Requirements: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz, 2.5A Max
- Flywheel Weight: 13 lbs plus enhanced motor
- Crank Arm Lengths: 165, 167.5, 170, 172.5, and 175
- Maximum Simulated Grade: 20%
- Minimum Simulated Grade: -15%
- Maximum Power Output: 2200 Watts
- Retail – $3,499.99
The current retail price is $3,499.00
The bike weighs 93lbs or 42.1841 Kilos
The KICKR Bike is claimed to have a +/-1% power accuracy rating.
The Flywheel weighs 13lbs or 5.9 Kilograms.
The maximum rider weight is 250lbs or 113.4 Kilograms.
The bike can simulate incline grades up to 20% and decline simulated grades up to 15%.
For those that want the best of what is out there right now, you will not be disappointed with the KICKR Bike. That said it does come with a few drawbacks. It is more of a permanent solution to indoor training, meaning it isn’t as easy to move (Weighs 93lbs) and it’s about 3-4 times the costs of a typical trainer ($3,499.99).
Negatives aside, there isn’t a more customizable indoor trainer that matches the Wahoo Bike’s functionality. IMO the closest competitor is the TAXC NEO Bike but doesn’t have the climb functionality.