Wahoo responds to Zipp's warranty threat: ‘Kickr Rollr causes no structural or cosmetic impact even under extreme test conditions’
US fitness brand publishes report from independent testing lab following a statement from Zipp that use of its wheels with the Kickr Rollr would void warranty
The Wahoo Kickr Rollr, launched earlier this year, is designed to be an an alternative to a smart turbo trainer. It swaps between riders and bikes, eliminating compatibility issues and making the experience of using rollers instead of a turbo trainer much more accessible.
To do this, the front wheel is clamped to an A-frame while the rear is free to skim over the surface of the roller.
However, concerns were raised about the effect of the clamping forces on the front wheel, with Zipp publishing a statement confirming that ”Zipp wheels are not intended to be used on trainers that attach to the front rim or tire of the bike while the rear of the bike remains unsecured."
The brand added: "Any damage caused by such use will not be covered under Zipp’s warranty policy.”
At the time, we asked Dov Tate of UK wheel brand Parcours for a second opinion and he said: "At present, we would not recommend using our wheels with this type of trainer as we have not yet been able to test the impact of the static lateral loading that appears to be caused by using the bike with the wheel still stationary.
"Riders should note that beyond just the wheel, we would need to test and investigate the impact of wheel, fork and axle combinations before certifying it as safe for use."
Wahoo has now responded, saying it conducted rigorous testing by an independent accredited testing laboratory.
The brand explains the testing in more detail: “ACT Lab, an ISO/IEC 17025 laboratory, was appointed for the testing. ACT Lab conducts consumer product safety and compliance testing with a specialty in testing bikes and accessories, helmets, e-mobility products, and other sporting goods.
“The innovative Kickr Rollr went through vigorous fatigue tests to simulate the highest degree of reasonable use. The testing measured the impact on the front wheel of a bike with a Ridley Noah Fast frame, Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc groupset, Zipp 454 NSW front wheel, and Vittoria Rubino tire mounted on and using the Rollr with modified racing loads on the handlebars and crank/bottom bracket.
“A test rig was programmed to simulate torque levels through the crank/bottom bracket and handlebars in real riding conditions. These fatigue tests were equivalent to three times the fatigue cycles required for bicycles under the globally recognized ISO 4210 safety requirements standard.
“The test concluded that there was no structural or cosmetic impact to the frame, wheels or tires resulting from the Kickr Rollr use even under these extreme test conditions.”
Wahoo also supplied a full report of the test, test protocol and test fixture details.
The US brand sums up: “The ACT Lab tests demonstrate Wahoo’s ongoing commitment to improving Wahoo’s products through extensive scientific testing."
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Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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