Wahoo KICKR Climb Review 2018
Last year at Interbike we got our first introduction to the Wahoo KICKR Climb, a climbing simulator for the Wahoo KICKR and KICKR Snap (2017 edition) cycling trainers.
Wahoo KICKR Climb Unboxing 2018
Just received the Wahoo KICKR Climb after coming back from Interbike 2018. The Climb and a bunch of other Wahoo products including an ELEMNT, ELEMNT Bolt and Headwind were all waiting for me to check out.
Wahoo KICKR Climb Review 2018
The KICKR Climb is the latest product to hit the KICKR lineup and integrates with the KICKR, KICKR Core and KICKR Snap (2017 edition) cycling trainers. Previous KICKR trainer versions are not engineered to work with the new Climb and as such will not be compatible.
Ascend Up To 20% and Descend Down To -10%
The KICKR Climb works by raising and lowering a bike’s front end while riding in a virtual world like Zwift’s Watopia or manually using the included remote control. Gradient changes are relayed to the KICKR Climb wirelessly through one of the paired KICKR Trainers (KICKR, KICKR Core, KICKR Snap) or through the Climb’s remote control. As the elevation increases, the bike’s front end can raise up to 20% and descents can be lowered to -10%, making for a much more realistic riding experience.
Pairing The KICKR Climb
The Climb communicates directly with a Wahoo KICKR trainer rather than with software or hardware devices. Once both the trainer and Climb have been paired, any software that effects trainer elevation is relayed from the trainer to the Climb. It’s a bit different than connecting most of your other cycling devices, since they can’t connect directly to the Climb itself.
Here is Shane Miller’s 2018 KICKR Climb Review
Wahoo KICKR Climb Features
Wahoo lists the product specifications as follows
- Real-Time Grade Changes
- Up to 20% and descend to -10%
- Wahoo KICKR and KICKR Snap 2017 edition Compatible
- Locked and Unlocked Climbing modes
- Manual Grade Adjustments with Remote Control
- 3rd Party App compatibility (Zwift, Ful Gaz, Virtu Go …)
- Wahoo ELEMNT & ELEMNT Bolt Compatible
- Quick Release and Thru-Axle bike Compatibility
- Retail – $599.00
NOTE: The KICKR Climb was designed to work Exclusively with the 2017 Wahoo KICKR or KICKR Snap and the new 2018 editions of the Wahoo KICKR and KICKR Core. The reason why it couldn’t be backward compatible with older KICKR trainers was due to how the older KICKR’s rear axles were engineered. The Climb requires a pivot point, which couldn’t be accommodated with the older trainers. I been told that then engineer team had tried to come up with a solution, but eventually gave up on the idea.
Wahoo KICKR Climb Locked or Unlocked Mode
The KICKR Climb has two different modes including Locked and Unlocked.
When in unlocked mode, a paired Wahoo KICKR trainer can adjust the ascent or descent based on whatever compatible trainer software is being used. An example might be when you are riding in Zwift and there is an increase in elevation on the map, Zwift would relay the information to the KICKR Trainer to increase the resistance and the KICKR trainer would then relay the information to the Climb to raise the bike up.
If you put the Climb in locked mode, you have to manually raise or lower the bike to simulate hills or descents. Locked mode is convenient if you are not wanting to have outside software dictate elevation changes. Also if you are doing repeat hill workouts, you may want to manually change the change the elevation based on your workout routine or needs.
Putting the KICKR into Locked or Unlocked mode is done through the KICKR Climb Remote Control unit.
Wahoo KICKR Climb Remote Control
The KICKR Climb comes with a detachable handle bar remote controller that allows you to change elevation and lock and unlock the Climb’s elevation controller. There are icons and light indicators that show you if you are in locked or in unlocked mode and switching between the 2 can be accomplished by pressing a button.
Bottom Line – Wahoo Fitness KICKR Climb
To be honest I thought the Climb would be sort of gimmicky, but it is actually rather cool. When riding in virtual worlds like Zwift Utopia, the KICKR Climb feels more stable than having a front wheel on and makes the climbs seem more realistic. I also felt my overall watts were higher during rides using the Climb than not using it. I am not sure if the positioning as you go up and down has something to do with it, but it was noticeable.
For those looking to spice up their indoor workouts, the Climb might be just the ticket. Wahoo’s goal to make climbing more interactive and more realistic is commendable. Let’s face it indoor training at times can be very boring and anything that can alleviate boredom is really welcome.
Will the KICKR Climb make you a better climber? The verdict is still out, but it certainly will make climbing hills more fun, that is if slogging up a hill is fun.
Check out Wahoo Fitness (https://www.wahoofitness.com) for all their great cycling products.