Kikr Core Smart Power Trainer
In crummy weather, staying committed and riding bikes year round, even if that’s in our pain cave, is what separates the enthusiast from a dedicated cyclist. Thankfully, with the new crop of smart trainers, riding indoors isn't as monotonous and boring as it once was and is actually quite fun. While we wouldn't pass up a ride outside if given the chance, the KICKR CORE Smart Power Trainer from Wahoo Fitness offers a very viable alternative and its one that will certainly keep us motivated to ride during the cold, dreary, winter months.
The KICKR CORE is the latest smart trainer from Wahoo and just like its other trainers, it delivers a realistic ride with +/- 2% power accuracy and a quiet indoor riding experience by using its refined flywheel technology and advanced algorithms of its other trainers along with feedback from its sponsored teams and athletes. Its constructed with impressive durability in mind thanks to its robust steel frame which ensures the KICKR CORE stays in place while dishing out the watts and stands up to years of heavy use and travel. Furthermore, it works with a multitude of apps including Zwift and Trainer Road which can automatically adjust the resistance while simulating a ride.
Compared to the standard KICKR, the CORE is a little more compact and it doesn't come with a cassette as standard. That’s fine with us as our bike already has a cassette we can pull off and save some money and its smaller stature and lighter weight makes it easier to travel with or set up at races. The only other point worth mentioning is the flywheel is 4 pounds lighter on the CORE so its maximum simulated grade is 16% versus 20% and maximum power output is rated at 1800 watts instead of 2200 watts. Nevertheless, it's electromagnetic resistance still very much emulates the power and inertia experienced during outdoor riding for a more realistic feel.
Otherwise, the CORE is very much the same as its brethren including its KICKER CLIMB compatibility. CLIMB is an indoor grade simulator that, once your fork is attached, is raised and lowered in conjunction with the route on the app and increased or decrease resistance, to better simulate a climb or descent. It also works with the KICKR HEADWIND, a sensor-controlled fan that increases fan speed as your speed or heart rate increases. There are also 4 manual speed settings should you want to set your own ideal cooling airflow.
The unit is thru-axle compatible so your quick-release road bike, disc cross bike, and Boost spaced mountain bike are all compatible. Once you get up and running, LED lights provide visual confirmation that the KICKR CORE is powered, connected, and transmitting via Bluetooth or ANT+. Its ANT+ and Bluetooth capabilities allow for wireless updates and the ability to connect to smartphones, bike computers, and powermeter simultaneously or separately while an ANT+ FE-C connection allows the KICKR CORE to be controlled from any FE-C enabled device or application. This allows you to keep track of speed, distance, and power for a more structured and effective indoor training experience.