Wahoo KICKR Core - a new quality of self-inflicted pain

3 months ago by Sebastian

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Cycling in Winter is difficult, but you can make it even harder by moving it to home. I’ve been doing that for years, but I finally decided to ditch the noisy rollers and pull a trigger on life quality changing purchase.

Don’t get me wrong, rollers had their advantages. They are great to improve your balance and bike control. After all, you have to learn to ride a non-moving bicycle on 40cm wide rolling pins. But it’s also very hard and unforgiving and if you want to do any interval training it’s gonna be noisy and very dangerous if you push yourself to your limits.

I’ve later replaced the front wheel with a special stand, but then you loose all the benefits of rollers, while keeping all the noise. That just didn’t make sense anymore.

Easy choices…

I’ve chosen the no-nonsense approach and didn’t even browse that much. Went straight to my trusted Wahoo website to see what they’ve got. KICKR Core had all the must-have features and no extra price-winding specials, so it was just a matter of finding the best offer. No surprises, I’ve found the cheapest one on the Pole’s favourite orange e-commerce platform. The product was at my doorstep the next day.

The arrival…

The box was heavy as hell. The trainer weights hefty 18 kilograms and it’s mostly the steel base to make it more stable. The assembly was as easy as putting in place 4 screws for the legs and plug it in. It was then just a matter of selecting appropriate hub caps for my road bicycle and put the cassette on the KICKR hub.

Compared to the rollers, it takes far less space and it will be so much easier to store it off-season and it’s also easier to deploy.

The experience…

In my previous setup, there was no resistance control, so if I wanted to go harder I had to pedal faster and use my gears to control my ride. It was counter-intuitive, because when I wanted to climb faster I had to use „sprinting” gears to output more power. I also had to run lower tire pressure not to spin out which made it even more noisy.

Wahoo KICKR Core can do both Bluetooth and ANT+ it connects without any issues to my PC and iPad. It will then provide several data points, such as power and cadence to the virtual ride applications. It is also a smart trainer, which means it’s resistance can be controlled by the app. It can simulate up to 16% gradients, which is more than enough for me and up to 1800W which I will never reach. It’s now real life-like experience and I can now use climbing gears for climbing.

So, It can simulate the route, but it also has an industry standard ERG mode. It can keep you on set power and makes organising an interval training a breeze. But that’s not the best thing.

The real party trick is the noise. Or lack of it. KICKR Core is virtually silent and the only noise I get is the bicycle’s drivetrain. There’s even no need for extra padding on the floor. The difference is so big my dear wife didn’t even notice I was cycling and I bet my neighbours can appreciate it as well.

The struggle goes on…

It’s still sweaty, it’s still difficult. I find it extra hard to motivate myself for an indoor workout, but at least with Wahoo KICKR Core it’s less uncomfortable. The noise is gone, which is an improvement that cannot be overstated and the life-like resistance experience is something I can surely appreciate. It just kinda feels like I’ve made a wrong choice in the first place by even buying rollers. Using KICKR Core is very satisfying and despite my hatred to indoor cycling, money well spent.


2023-12-09 12:26:23

Sebastian :coffefied: --- I’ve enabled ActivityPub plugin on my wordpress… So now replies to this post will also show up as comments on the blog! @sebastian

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