Kickr Bike, long term reviews?

Anybody have long term reviews greater than a year, with the Kickr Bike out here? Thinking about purchasing one, but am curious about post-warranty service, durability, spare parts, etc. Hoping to ride one 10+ hours a week, for years…

Thanks!

I am curious who the Kickr Bike is for? $3500 gets you a really solid carbon road bike or a good carbon road bike and a Kickr Core. This is meant not to be critical or scathing. I am genuinely curious.

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Dedicated fitness space in a basement. I priced out similar geometry to match my preferred bike, it would cost more, and thst is only for one person. And with two adults, the hassle of swapping doesn’t work for one in particular. I know it is expensive, but the convenience is worth something, but might not be to everyone, or every situation. I created the topic, for long term reviews, not a debate on cost. Hopefully I’ll get some reviews.

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I had a kickr core that I got as a gift. My wife who doesn’t ride bikes was wanting to ride Zwift, but we didn’t want to buy her a bike just for the trainer. I’m a heavy sweater and my trainer bike was about to crumble, and I would never put my outdoor bike on my trainer for that reason.

Ended up selling the core for cash and buying a second hand kickr bike since it fits both of us and I got a much better trainer experience than my frankenbike that was dedicated to the trainer.

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I’ve only had mine for a few months so not much I can say that haven’t already read on DCR. I’m riding about 5-6 hrs/wk and have developed a little creak when pedaling which is the only bad thing I can say about it. I did some cleaning and lubing after my ride today so hopefully that solves it.

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I’d have thought at least one person would have had one of these for more than a year on the TR forum. Any suggestions on a reliable group out there I should ask?

This Kickr Bike group has 5k members - Facebook Groups

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They only trickled out prior to Covid. Once a lot of the world went into lockdown and bike prices started to spike did the dedicated trainer bikes start to make some financial sense. For many in that situation, we’re just now crossing the year mark due to delivery delays back in 2020.

I’ve had mine a little over a year. I’m doing anywhere from 3 hours to 6 or 7 a week. (I live in FL where I can ride outside all year, but doing an actual workout is way easier inside.)

For me, the bike is awesome. I did all the math when I bought it. To get a bike frame that fit me correctly was almost impossible but even if I could get something used to just leave on the trainer it still doesn’t compare to the ease of the Kickr Bike (or any working smart bike). Sure, you could save big money with a frame that isn’t quite right and a wheel on trainer, but with a year at no interest to make payments, it was a no brainer for me.

You just hop on and go. The footprint is a bit smaller so it was easier to get into the space I had available to leave a dedicated bike set up. The ability to have any gearing set up possible is also a huge plus. We don’t have hills here so trying different chainring and cassette combos virtually in Zwift saved me from buying stuff that just wouldn’t make as much difference as I had hoped.

As others have said, the ability to easily change it for different users is great, too.

Overall, it’s worth every penny if you can swing it. Would I skip a vacation to have a smart bike, no. But, if you’ve got the cashflow to allow for this kind of N+1 then it’s a fantastic addition.

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This seems to be a problem for consumers all across the board with expensive smart trainers. If they break out of warranty, you are often screwed. None of these companies offer full spare parts. You might be able to get a new belt or something. Ironically, you can buy full spares for a 5 or 10 year old NordicTrak treadmill.

Wahoo may do better with their bike but they don’t mention it on their website. They only talk about a 1 year warranty. I’m not sure you can count on being able to repair it 3, 5 or 10 years from now. Can you even count on Wahoo to repair it in year 2???

My impression is that all of the current smart bikes are still very much a Gen 1 type product. They seem to mostly work but all have some issues with functionality/reliability/compromised design, that really would only be solved by applying lessons learned from gen 1 to future generations. No first hand experience of my own though.

I’d imagine with the Nordic track example, spares availability is benefitted by them having a lot more units of each model sold and out in the world, sharing of parts between different models, and just them being well established long running companies with the benefits of that.

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Perhaps an exception is the Stages smart bike. Back in 2015 our gym upgraded from Spinner bikes to Stages SC3 stationary bikes (with power meters) and those bikes are built to last. I’d consider the SC3 a gen1, and the Stages smart bike as a gen2 stationary bike. However it is Stages first smart bike. My first experience with Zwift was in the gym on Stages SC3 about 5 years ago. I’m looking at buying a used SC3 for my pain cave.

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Yes and no IMO. IIRC the STAGES founding team was a breakaway group from another fitness equip company (SPINNING or Schwinn Indoor maybe?). So they def had a solid foundation to build on in terms of the indoor fitness equipment side of things. I have an ICG IC7 as my spin bike, but I’d rate the high end STAGES stuff right up there as well.

It’s still a bit first gen to me though because while the bones are solid and long established, the thing that makes a smart bike, a smart bike, is the system and pieces and programming etc that allows for resistance control, erg mode etc and that key part is new in the SB20.

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I had an SB20 for about three months. I wanted to love it so bad, but I found more and more reason to hate it and ultimately told Stages to come get it. I felt like they were trying to make a Zwift controller and not really a smart bike. Their “dream drive” is just dumb. When you put 50 virtual gears in the cassette you’re fully embracing the virtual world and you’ve left the real world. Add to that three on board power meters and couldn’t seem to agree and it was just more than I wanted to deal with.

GP Lama said it best about the Kickr Bike…it just works.

I can’t speak to your overall point/experience, but on the “dream drive” isn’t it an option to simply choose to not use all 50 gear ratios?

Yup, you can program in a regular 2x11 setup or whatever you want. The Dream Drive is user selected and can be easily avoided if desired.

Yes, of course. My point was, that’s where their heads were. They made a game controller, not a bike to simulate your outdoor ride. At the time, you couldn’t set up SRAM, but you could have dream drive. You couldn’t hold steady power in Erg mode, but you could customize you shifting to skip gears in ways not possible with a real drive train specifically to help win Zwift races.

I even said that right to Stages, “it’s like you guys aren’t really sure what you’re trying to build…a replacement for a bike on a trainer or a game controller” and they’re reply was pretty much, “we don’t know what the market wants to we’re experimenting”.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s fine…and for a die hard Zwifter, SB20 could be the game changer bike, but to the point that the SB20 isn’t a gen 1 product, I’d say, when I had one, it was closer to beta than gen 1. :slight_smile: