Wahoo unveils updates to its KICKR smart trainer

American brand's lead product for indoor training gets quieter and an improved ride feel

The one thing that we all hate about turbo training is the sound of a tyre gripping and scratching against the rear wheel of the turbo. And if we hate that, I can only imagine what our partners and roommates think about it. However, it seems that the development of indoor training is taking that into increased consideration, and the first feature Wahoo highlighted while presenting the new KICKR is actually its 14 per cent of noise reduction in terms of decibels compared to its predecessor.

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Wahoo claims the new KICKR is 14 per cent quieter than its predecessor

Wahoo claims that the new KICKR produces 61 dB, compared to the 64 of CycleOp’s Hammer and Elite’s Drivo. If you compare that noise to any other sort of noise, it would sound more or less like a conversation in a restaurant or at the office, or background music. It is not mute, of course, but still less disturbing than a dishwasher (which produces around 70 dB) and a toilet flushing: 75dB.


Wahoo claims also that the ride feel is even more realistic than the old model

Wahoo also claims that the new algorithm used in the KICKR will make the ride feel even more realistic and it will react to accelerations, decelerations and changes of gradients in a more immediate way and simulate gradients of up to 20%. We tested the KICKR few weeks ago when Christopher Froome and Team Sky were using it at the Tour de France, but both the short amount of time (1 hour in total, of which less than 10 minutes on the turbo) and the kind of event (press presentation where KICKR was also paired to Zwift) weren’t ideal to truly perceive KICKR’s new features. However, from a very first look and feel, the KICKR really looked solid (heavy though, as it weighs 47lb/21kg) and sounded quiet.

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The new KICKR was used by Chris Froome at 2016 Tour de France to warm up for stage 18 TT

Moreover, by measuring the force at KICKR’s brakes and combining this data with others like temperature and speed, the company says that the power calculation has improved from the past and now the turbo can crank out up to 2,000 watts. As Mark Cavendish states in Wahoo’s press release: “most people who say that their maximum is 1,600 watts won’t put out 1,600. My maximum is 1,580, and that is a lot. Not many guys will do more than a hundred more than that.”


The new KICKR also features an ergonomic handle to make it easier to transport, it is ANT+ and FE-C compatible, has got rear LEDs that indicated power and connectivity status (it can connect to Zwift, Wahoo Fitness, Android, iOS and Microsoft). Its heavyweight steel construction makes it perfect for daily use, but a bit heavy to carry even with the handle.

The KICKR will be available for purchase from August 31st with a price tag of £949 and it will also include a 11 speed SRAM/Shimano cassette (you’ll need a Campag adapter if you’re riding with the Italian groupset) and Wahoo’s RPM Cadence sensor, a 30-day Zwift membership and a 60-day Strava Premium.