Updated Wahoo KICKR Trainer and KICKR Bike get WIFI updates & faster on-screen stats

For many of us, it’s time to start thinking of setting up the trainer. For others, the trainer rides never stop, and indoor racing is the target. No matter what your “trainer life” looks like, there are things we all want; quicker trainer response, no more dropped signals, and timely updates before you ride. It seems that Wahoo has been listening to the feedback of the e-sports race community and updated its Wahoo KICKR Bike and KICKR Smart Trainer for the next frontier of eRacing.

Wahoo KICKR studio shot on bike

Photo credit: Wahoo

What’s new? Wahoo KICKR Trainer and KICKR Bike

If you look at the products, you would be hard-pressed to notice the difference, but if you look closely, some will stick out. You’ll notice that the ANT+ logo on both devices now has a WiFi symbol, but there’s more than meets the eye.

Wahoo KICKR new vs old

New vs old Wahoo KICKR V5 (right) and new V6 Photos: Jordan Villella

Wahoo WiFi

The updated Wahoo KICKR (Bike and Trainer) features WiFi connectivity. The WiFi will enable a seamless and connected user experience across the Wahoo ecosystem (Wahoo X and RGT). Wahoo says switching to WiFi delivers on-screen stats over 65% faster than before, making workouts and eRacing more precise!

Wahoo KICKR long trainer

The KICKR still has Bluetooth and ANT+, the same as the previous models. For those racing, this means less signal drop during races and less interference without dropping. Having WiFi enables quick firmware updates while you’re not training — as long as the trainer is plugged in. Plus, it removes the need to pair the trainer (or bike) to your Apple TV/Computer, freeing up additional space for accessories.

Wahoo KICKR wifi

ERG easy ramp

Did you ever have to step off the trainer mid-interval only to get back on and have to put out what seems like 1000w to get back on pace? Those days are over with the addition of the ERG easy ramp on the new Wahoo KICKR and KICK Bike. The new update will pace you back over 10 seconds, gradually ramping up power/pace.

Wahoo KICKR side profile

Odometer

An odometer may sound odd to have on a trainer, but when you think of the resale market and the overall life of the trainer, it makes sense. The odometer will give the user accurate service intervals if needed and keep an eye on the drive train (cassette) installed. Think of it as a way to keep your trainer in top condition and get the best product knowledge if you’re buying used.

New KICKR Bike with rider jpeg

Direct connection and 2500w max — Wahoo KICKR Bike only

For those who love the KICKR Bike ride, the super customizable, ultra bike is getting some updates that the KICKR smart trainer isn’t. The KICKR Bike receives all the updates above but adds in Direct Connection. A direct connection means you can attach the KICKR Bike directly to your router for constant, no-drop virtual riding or racing. Another addition to the KICKR Bike is a max wattage of 2500 watts for those climbing the Alp de Zwift in the big ring.

Wahoo KICKR side profile

Key features — KICKR V6 Smart Trainer

  • WiFi Connectivity
  • ERG Easy Ramp
  • Odometer
  • KICKR Ride Feel
  • KICKR AXIS Feet
  • Auto Calibration & Updates
  • 2200 Watts of Resistance
  • Climb Compatible
  • Wahoo X – Train Without Limits
  • Rear wheel size: 24”, 650C, 700C Mtb: 24”, 26”, 650B, 29”
  • Cassette (Included: 11-Spd 11-28T, compatible with SRAM, Shimano, and Campagnolo
  • Price: $1,300

New KICKR Bike full setup

Key features — KICKR Bike 2.0

  • WiFi Connectivity
  • ERG Easy Ramp
  • Odometer
  • Direct Connect
  • Industry Leading 2500 Watts of Resistance
  • KICKR Ride Feel•Integrated Climb (20% Incline/-15% Decline)
  • TruFit Adjustability
  • Virtual Shifting
  • Auto Calibration & Updates
  • Wahoo Ecosystem Compatibility
  • Wahoo X – Train Without Limits
  • Price: $4,000

Wahoo KICKR depth

First impressions — Wahoo KICKR V6

When the box arrived with the new Wahoo KICKR V6, I expected a new design, maybe a new color — nope. That’s a good thing, I guess; I train on a Wahoo KICKR V5 and was curious what, if anything, they could update.

At first, I didn’t see much difference in the aesthetics of the trainer. There isn’t much difference between the V5 and V6 side to side, but I noticed them as I started getting ready to ride. First, the setup is super easy, like the previous model. All you need to do is get it level and in a position to engage the KICKR AXIS Feet correctly.

Wahoo KICKR feet

Next, find the right end caps for your bike. The KICKR V6 has options for all bikes as far as spacing is concerned. I noticed the slight redesign of the endcaps. The new ones allow for an easy freehub change (to the SRAM XDR), and the cap fits slightly more securely than the past version. The previous version could fall out while moving the trainer without a bike installed, and the new ones stay in place.

Wahoo KICKR end caps

New end caps on the right sit deeper in the trainer’s axle body. The end cap for the drive side is more secure than the previous generation.

After swapping the KCIKR V5 for the V6, I started pairing via the Wahoo App, connecting the trainer to my WiFi network. The KICKR then updated itself quickly. I paired it with my KICKR Climb, and then I hit the roads of Wahoo RGT.

Wahoo KICKR end cap compatability

I frequently train on RGT, so I figured I would immediately notice any updates. Everything felt standard; everything felt right on — no messing around. I noticed the hills and descents seemed to engage faster on the trainer and the climbing unit, but that could have been in ride excitement.

Wahoo KICKR crank it up

As for the ERG easy ramp, this feature is very noticeable. I was pulled away from the trainer ride for a request, and when I remounted the bike, I instinctively went to grind into pace. The new ERG easy pace took me from 60w back to 220w over the 10 seconds, but in a gentle way that I didn’t notice. The cadence was freeform with the wattage increase, something that I find is absent from other trainers on the market.

Wahoo KICKR wheel sizes

Lasting impressions

After many miles on the Wahoo KICKR V6 smart trainer, I can say it’s an improvement on an already excellent design. It still needs to go through a proper couple of months of indoor training, but if it’s anything like the V5, I’m sure it will respond accordingly.

Wahoo KICKR cassette

The $1,299 price is on the higher end for a smart trainer, considering more pricing around $500-$1000 right now. In my opinion, what separates the Wahoo KICKR is the amount of relentless riding and hammering that the design can take. I’ll be excited to report back on the KICKR V6 after months of hard Zwifting.

Price and Avaiblbily — Wahoo KICKR V6 and KICKR BIke

The new KICKR Smart Trainer and KICKR BIKE are now available for $1,299.99 and $3,999.99, respectively. For more information on both products, visit www.wahoofitness.com.

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Cheese
Cheese
19 days ago

*Axle

$1300? Oof.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
19 days ago

This is slightly off topic and not a knock on smart trainers, this trainer, or indoor training as a whole but the lede image kind of emphasizes how great riding a bicycle outside is. You need all that stuff to try and simulate it and I’m sure as good at it is it still isn’t as enjoyable as riding your bike outside.

Asger
Asger
18 days ago

What happened to steering? Why isn’t this implemented “naturally”?

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
17 days ago
Reply to  Asger

You had good experiences with Zwift steering? I used the Elite Sterzo and found it pretty unrealistic as bicycles turn via countersteering induced lean angle at most speeds above walking pace.