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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

Wahoo KICKR Climb Review 2018

The KICKR Climb is the latest product to hit the KICKR lineup and integrates with both the KICKR 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.

Note: I heard the expected shipping date has been moved back to June 2018.  I am guessing this had to do with making sure the unit didn’t have a choppy feel when moving up/down.  Also I am sure unit production had to be tweaked based on updates which would cause a delay.

Wahoo KICKR Climb 2018

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 Zwift’s interface or through Climb’s  remote control.  As the elevation increases, the bike’s front end is raised up to 20% and descents can be lowered to -10%, making for a much more realistic riding experience.

The Climb communicates directly with a Wahoo KICKR trainer rather than with software or other 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

  • 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

The KICKR Climb was designed to work Exclusively with the 2017 editions of the Wahoo KICKR and KICKR Snap.  The reason why it couldn’t be backward compatible with older KICKR trainers was due to how the older KICKRs 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.

KICKR Climb Remote Control

Bottom Line – Wahoo Fitness KICKR Climb

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.

Wahoo KICKR Smart Electric Trainer Review

Tacx NEO vs Wahoo KICKR Trainer (2018 Comparison)

2018 Tips For Riding Indoors

 

 

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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