One of the key ingredients to Wahoo’s success is how seamlessly its products integrate with third-party services and apps like Zwift. For bike computers, this integration is expected—uploading a ride recorded with Wahoo’s Elemnt GPS cycling computer to Strava should be easy and immediate. But for Wahoo’s Kickr trainers, the ability to provide an interactive experience and automatic resistance control with Zwift and other trainer programs is a key component in the smart trainers’ success. And Wahoo’s product setup, and third-party integration, can be done through a smartphone, which provides an intuitive and positive user experience.
An Immersive Ride Experience
Wahoo was also one of the first to introduce a wheel-off, or direct-drive, smart trainer, which means the trainer takes the place of the rear wheel. This system is used by the KickrV4 and Kickr Core, and has several advantages. They’re usually the quietest trainers, there’s no tire slip, the interface between bike and trainer is more robust, and it offers higher-resolution resistance changes, and, if the trainer is equipped with a power meter, more accurate power measurement. For these reasons, a direct-drive trainer like the Kickr provides the best experience when paired with interactive programs like Zwift and TrainerRoad. The only drawbacks are that direct-drive is more expensive and, in some cases, requires you to supply your own cassette.
The Kickr Snap is Wahoo’s wheel-on trainer, available at a much lower price than the other two Kickr models, though the Snap still offers automatic resistance control and power measurement. Trainer accessories like Wahoo Headwind (essentially a smart fan) and the Kickr Climb (which takes the place of the front wheel and simulates grade changes) can also amplify your trainer experience by better replicating the feelings of riding outside.