Kickr Bike Poor Performance

Looking for help on setting up a Kickr Bike for use with Trainer Road.

I just did my first ride and the performance was less than stellar compared to my old set up.

Previous setup - Tack Vortext Trainer - Powertap pedals w/ power match

New setup - Kickr Bike - Powertap pedals w/ power match

My issues:
FIrst, ergo mode seemed erratic compared to the vortex, especially at lower power targets. ( around 100 watts) it would fluctuate dramatically for 30+seocnds at a time 130w then 80w then 120w.

Second, after sprints the power would essentially go to zero for 30 seconds or so, it help 650w fine, but then instantly in the recovery, it would go down to 20w or so for 30 seconds before coming back up to around the recovery value.

Next, I switched to resistance mode for the cool down and it simply didn’t function. “shifting” changed residence for a second or two but then it would ease and settle right back to previous levels.

I know this is likely user error and setup related so I am hoping someone could steer me.

I have a KICKR snap and after the ususal (setup, calibration,etc) everything works as expected.

One thing I did notice was that I had to switch a gear (or two) for lower poer targets even in erg mode. Keeping the cadence stable it usually only takes a few seconds to get to the required target.

The other thing I did (in erg mode) was to stop pedaling alltogether and restart.

I don’t use resistance mode as even low power during cooldown can be done by shifting a gear

BTW, all of this was only ever needed in lower power <60w

  • Have you checked if you are on the most recent firmware version for the Kickr bike? If not, I would update that as your first step
  • Did you zero offset / calibrate both the Kickr bike and the Powertap pedals?
  • How are you connecting (i.e., BLE or Ant+) to the Kickr bike and Powertap pedals?
  • For each device (i.e., Kickr bike, Powertap pedals) are you only connected once? That is, either via BLE or via Ant+, but not both protocols to a single device
  • Try switch protocols. That is, if you are connected to your Kickr bike via BLE, try switch to using Ant+. Or vice versa. Same with the Powertap pedals

When all else fails, try disconnecting the Kickr bike from power, wait ~30 seconds, and then plug it back in. And see if that fixes things.

Also reach out to TR support and see if they can see anything weird on their side, like the connection to the Kickr bike dropping out.

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Out of curiosity, with 1% accuracy on the Kickr Bike, why use powermatch? It seems like an unneeded complication, that won’t add value. I have a kickr bike on order, and was going to compare the offset between my PM pedals and the bike, and then leave the PM pedals on my real bike (the one that rolls outside) once I understand the difference, if any.

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This just doesn’t work with the Kickr Bike. I tried to troubleshoot with support but got nowhere. I think it’s one of those TR says is Wahoo. Wahoo says its TR. I’m not holding my breath it’ll ever get fixed.

As for the power match issues, I just use internal power and that’s fine. I’ve put power meter pedals on once just to confirm the bike and my pedals are close enough and that’s as far as I ever cared.

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I think this is the same issue that DCR touched on in their (2 year old) review:

“While the actual power is accurate, the KICKR Bike is not correctly hitting the right target outputs – usually by 50-75w high, but as high as 125w.”

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I don’t think so. It feels pretty accurate in ERG mode. It’s just resistance that doesn’t work right.

*edit to add: I think a software update fixed the original problem.

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I’ve had a couple of KICKR Bikes. The first once was 3 - 8% higher than my Vector 3 pedals. The second one is 1 to 3% higher.

I would definitely test with both devices several times (endurance effort, climbing effort, etc.) and see how they differ.

One thing to keep in mind is that both power meters (the bike and the pedals) have a margin of accuracy and if they are both off in different directions then you could be looking at a bigger difference than you might expect.

On Kickr Bikes, there is no resistance mode.


How are TR users doing resistance type efforts with Kickr Bikes? :thinking: