Kickr and XDR support

The good news is my Tarmac is compatible with Kickr, unlike my 2015 Trek Domane that required a special adapter back in late 2017 (funny how history repeated itself with later Trek/Wahoo models).

The bad news is that Wahoo support just informed me that my Kickr 17 is not compatible with XDR / 12 speed cassette. Wahoo’s XDR support starts with Kickr 18 and later.

Along with InsideRide eMotion my indoor trainer setup is officially $1500 useless waste of space. Maybe I should donate it to the Smithsonian Museum?

Any workarounds that don’t involve a Shimano equipped bike, or buying another trainer?

I’m officially boycotting Wahoo. Insert NSFW finger gestures here.

Same thing happened to me. Had the original Kickr and then over time I ended up refreshing my entire stable of bikes with bikes with SRAM 12 speed. Once the last bike with Shimano was sold I was out of luck.

Ended up buying a new Kickr which sucked at the time, but now every bike I own is easily compatible with it which I have to admit is nice.

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Our philosophy is to buy quality and use it till it drops dead. I bought Kickr 17 because of quality, it was top selling trainer, and Wahoo’s reputation for support. You would think that would count for something. Probably should have returned it when the “improved 142x12 compatibility!” marketing blurb turned out to be false.

We bring recycling home after visiting daughter in Reno. How can they not recycle :recycle:??? I’m probably going to find a way to make it work with this cheapo Giant Escape someone gave me for free. Maybe I’ll sell the trainer setup if it fetches top dollar. And take my business elsewhere.

Seriously I will not spend another dime on Wahoo stuff. I was half interested in a Wahoo Smart Bike until this, even looked at DCRainmaker review a couple days ago and was astonished to read the comments section and see the issues people are having.

In MTB, you can find many options of HG body cassettes for 12s Eagle MTB use that just has an 11t vs the 10t that comes with and XD body cassette.

The solution that does not exist right now AFAIK, is an HG body cassette made to match the SRAM Road AXS Flat Top chain design. It would have to have an 11t instead of 10t as the only real sacrifice. The real problem here seem to be the totally unique chain, cog and chainring design that SRAM chose to apply.

Until or unless someone comes out with that HG / Flat Top compatible cassette, I don’t see a solution short of changing trainers.

This is the response from Wahoo:

“The XDR driver on our website is only for the Core, 2018, and v5 versions of the KICKR, as these models use the same style of axle. The 2017 uses a different axle style and unfortunately is not comatible with the XDR driver.”

and asking for clarification, and hoping for a plan B so to speak, they said:

“The 2017 edition KICKR will not work with SRAM 12 speed road groups.”

When I bought the Kickr in October 2017 it was my understanding that Wahoo was the leading supplier of smart direct-drive trainers. That isn’t an assurance of long-term support, but it was my key deciding factor over Tacx Neo.

Which turned out to be a bad call, because Tacx has XDR Body for all Neos.

After thinking about it overnight, I’m going to fire Wahoo as my trainer supplier and sell my setup while it can fetch top dollar.

I guess I don’t fault Wahoo for not predicting the issues related to SRAM Road AXS 12s 2 years prior (2017 Kickr design/release vs 2019 debut of Road AXS 12s). Sure, MTB Eagle 12s was around from about 2016, and Wahoo may have missed a beat by not directly supporting XD at that time. But considering the way design cycles work, it’s entirely possible they didn’t even have an opportunity to really handle that prior to K17 release.

Fortunately, the market solved that with HG cassettes for MTB Eagle. I can only hope that cassette makers will fill that gap in a similar way to deal with wheels and other trainers that have a similar limitation with Road AXS 12s. But who knows if the demand is there for that to justify development?

I agree, it’s a bummer that Wahoo changed axle designs with K18+, and chose not to make an XD/R freehub for the K17, but like elsewhere on the forum, makers have to cut the support cord at some point.

Sorry I do fault them for dropping support, as they were the market leader in smart trainers, and had a stellar reputation for support.

The XDR body is a simple mechanical component, therefore this comes across as either planned obsolesce or disregard for customers. Maybe Wahoo is cutting loses on Kickr support because of the money they lost rolling out the trouble prone 2018 model release (all the issues and exchanges and what not).

This is clearly not the type of support policies I expected, given Wahoo’s support reputation and market share.

The pre-2018 Kickrs have not self-destructed or started falling apart, so Wahoo understands there would be some demand for XDR support. They sold a lot of pre-2018 Kickrs after all.

Wahoo’s call of course, and my call to fire them as a supplier of my trainers for failing to live up to a reasonable expectation that they provide XDR bodies instead of telling customers to pound sand and buy a new trainer.

For example if I had purchased a Tacx NEO in 2017, not only could I buy support for XDR, I could buy support for the new Shimano 12-speed micro spline:

Thats the type of support I expect from a market leader. And its not unreasonable to expect that from Wahoo.

That is all great. But it’s worth noting the some real issues that Tacx has with their Neo line.

  • Plenty of examples where despite having axle and freehub options, actual frame clearance issues lead to incompatibility or hack solutions.
    • Specifically, many tri/tt bikes can’t clear the chainstays at the forward angle of the trainer.
    • More than a few are finding disc brake/mount clearance issues on the left side. Some can be “fixed” with an additional spacer (commonly supplied by Tacx/Garmin) that spread the frame a bit wider than actual axle spec.
    • Others simply won’t fit. To that end, I expect the eventual release of whatever new Neo is next, will have a revised design that corrects at least some of these know problems (thereby “obsoleting” the older models in a certain way).

As good as the Neo is (and I love my Neo 2), it is far from wart free.

  • And all that is without diving down into the many unit failures we have seen with the 2T unit that are far from rare.
  • Then there is the fact that the OG and N2 don’t have native thru axle support. You must use an adapter setup that is cumbersome at best. It also doesn’t work for every bike model with T-A. So those older models have legacy issues not entirely unlike your one here.

Nothing is in this space is perfect at this time. Each model and maker falls short in one area or another.


OP - just from my quick read of your posts in this thread, it seems like you are taking this incompatibility issue with your bike and trainer as some sort of personal offense directed at you by Wahoo…

Not personal, however without XDR support my working trainer is now useless. The other vendor I considered at the time of original purchase is actually doing a better job of ongoing bike/trainer support and compatibility, at least for my bikes. And the bike market is still hot, so time to sell for top dollar and move on.

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None of that helps, or has any bearing on Wahoos decision to not offer XDR for pre-2018 Kickr. I still have a working trainer that cannot be used, and am forced to make some decisions.

And I understand bike/trainer issues. Out of the box my 2017 Kickr wasn’t compatible with 2015 Domane (clearance issues due to posts for post mounted disc brakes). I scrapped the paint on the rear dropout trying to mount/ride it the first time, and had genuine concerns that it damage to the frame (thankfully not). Waited a month for Wahoo to machine a new adapter (the original one had a ‘collar’ to was too wide).

  • OK? I just shared information that could prove useful if you got a different bike in the future, that doesn’t fit the same way as your current one. You could end up with a similar trainer/bike incompatibility dilemma down the line.
  • Maybe you already knew all that, so sorry for repeating known info. But I thought sharing info could be beneficial if you didn’t know it.

Because of compatibility and other considerations I’m honestly looking at going this route:

My best 40/20s and 5-min vo2 intervals were done on that bike, in the gym with Zwift on my iPhone.

Also going to call the gym directly and see if they used ones for less $$.

Yeah, that is a great way to sidestep compatibility issues altogether. Just a change in resistance control which is just a matter of practice and getting used to it compared to shifting. They seem to build one of the best spinners in the biz, so durability and longevity seem a no-brainer.

Zwifting 40/20s in the gym on Stages SC3, about a month before buying the Kickr. The SC3 has a “3-speed lever” plus a resistance knob, so 40/20s are a simple matter of switching between gear 1 and gear 3.

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Wow, I didn’t know they had the 3s lever setup, that sounds super handy.

One final thought on the K17 limitation, the only other solution I could envision is removing the current HG freehub body and inspecting it. See if you, a local bike shop, or someone with good knowledge of freehubs might be able to identify the actual design/supplier of that freehub. I am betting Wahoo used a standard one from someone like Novatech or another major builder.

If you could identify it, MAYBE there would be an option to buy a direct replacement from that original maker for the XD/R freehub body. BUT… that all assumes they used a commonly available model that could be a direct swap. If it was that easy, it seems Wahoo would offer the option (more $$ for them) vs saying you are stuck. So I have no idea if there is any pot-o-gold at the end of that journey, but short of a new cassette, that’s the only other angle I can see for fixing the K17.

It’s got me wondering and I might have to pull it all apart out of curiosity at some point to see.

Too much work. Easier to cut my loses and sell Kickr/InsideRide during this market bubble.

@mcneese.chad here is another one on the SC3, it was a ‘pulling intervals’ workout from Xert that I re-created in Zwift:

Checkout that IF :muscle: Gotta say the Stages SC3 was pretty darn good for doing structured workouts!

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