Kickr Core maybe it’s me...?

I just got a Kickr Core after much hesitation since my Road Machine has been flawless but really wanted to experience Erg mode so here I am. Just for reference I’ve been training for 11 months on the Road Machine matched with a Pioneer LH crank PM. I usually target a few watts over my target and got pretty good at hitting my intervals just a touch high. So today I use the Core for the first time and boy it didn’t go well. Looking for feedback from other users.

First out of the box when I initiated calibration in the Wahoo app this thing had real heavy resistance and had a loud squealing/vibrating like a belt was slipping, I stopped checked everything like 3 times and decided to just pedal through it and finish calibration to see if that helped. After doing this and some ramp ups eventually the noise got better and after a while went away. But I did notice what looked like paint chips flaking off the wheel that spins so I’m wondering if it was rubbing until eventually the excess paint blew off? Who knows…

Then I compared it to my Pioneer power readings and the Core was constantly lower by 30 watts so I recalibrated a bunch more before starting today’s ride. It never got better. Every interval came in 20-30 watts lower than my Pioneer power matched in TR. I was using the lap button on my Garmin reading only the Kickr for the comparison. It hit me I did all my calibration without warming it up for 10 minutes so at the end of my ride I did a advanced calibration. I’ll test it tomorrow to see if that helped.

Last issue is most likely me. I was really disappointed watching my watts jump 10-15 watts low then 10-15 watts high or hanging out like 3 watts under the prescribed wattage. Then finishing the interval 3 or 4 watts lower than prescribed. So the last interval I went into resistance mode and nailed it. It almost felt easier with me in control. That’s a little frustrating to think I get a better workout in resistance mode. Maybe I just need to get use to it because I was probably overreacting and that creates a back and forth battle. Thoughts?
If you took the time to read this thank you. Lol

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Not sure if it’s applicable but you should take a read of the below.

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The noise might be a manufacturing issue with early production units.

I’ve found that the Kickr’s optical power meter loses accuracy quickly, when compared to crank based power meter. I need to do 10-15 minutes and then a spin down for the Kickr to match my Stages power meter. Yesterday I called Wahoo support, and the tech I spoke with agreed that if I want more power accuracy then a spin down on every ride is recommended. The official recommendation is something like every two weeks.

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Thank you I will check it out. I forgot to mention the burnt rubber smell I got initially which makes me wonder if the belt was to tight from factory. I’m finding others reporting low power numbers too

Mine came straight off the FedEx truck yesterday but have not checked serial number. I will warm it up before calibration tomorrow and test again.

If I use power match does the Kickr calibration matter? I’m unclear on that

It seems like the early Kickr 18 models had some issues which have now been addressed but it might be that yours is one of the early ones. I think there’s a way of checking, which is detailed in that thread.

Ultimately, no, you don’t NEED to calibrate.

PowerMatch just reads the difference and adjusts as needed.

A calibration may get the values closer together, and that is said to improve results in some cases.

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  • Model with the serial number starting 011839 or higher, should be fixed .
  • Model with the serial number starting 011838 or lower, may have the problem .
    • The manufacturing problem leading to the noise apparently took place BEFORE that date code.

To break down the serial number method:

  • 01 18 39 (spaces added for clarity)
    • 01 (not sure on this value),
    • 18 (I am guessing 18 meaning 2018 for the year ),
    • 39 (the 39th week of the year)
    • remaining numbers are most likely the actual “serialization” that tracks each individual unit.


Ultimately, no, you don’t NEED to calibrate.

PowerMatch just reads the difference and adjusts as needed.

A calibration may get the values closer together, and that is said to improve results in some cases.

That’s interesting I did not know that. And I did come across the serial number list and will check that tonight. Thanks for that info also

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Just one more question. I have searched around and notice some use Wahoo’s App for power match and some use TR’s. I even saw one person uses both together. Does it truly matter? If I use the Wahoo App and set it to power match then close the app down I’m assuming it stores that selection in the Core’s memory so I don’t need to mess with the app all the time. I power off my surge protector after my rides so the Kickr is essentially unplugged overnight.

Kickr is all over the place, yesterday it was 6-10 watts higher than Stages LR on 90 minute Fletcher endurance workout (power difference vs duration):

Ignoring 1 sec to 5 second duration (outlier), this looks well behaved where Kickr power meter is roughly 8 watts higher for the entire workout.

Last Monday the Kickr was 10-14 watts lower than Stages LR on an abridged 40 minute Eclipse sweet spot workout. But that was first workout after installing new pedals and Stages LR.

Ignoring the short 1-5 second outliers, last Tuesday the Kickr was 13 watts lower to 6 watts higher on 80 minute Glassy Tempo workout (power difference vs duration):

Again ignore the outliers between 1-5 seconds. In this case the Kickr power meter drifted more than I hoped.

If I warm up the Kickr for 10-15 minutes, and then do a spin down, the Kickr is within 3 watts of Stages LR.

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I think if we to bring,say, car engine power, there are two distinct power measures: power at flywheel and power at wheels. They don’t match, will never do due to train losses. Kickr measures at the wheel and crank or pedal PM is at the flywheel. Would you agree? One needs to agree on the reference power point and work off that… My opinion.

I have Kickr Snap, there are ways to match power that trainer reads and power pedals via tyre pressure, roller pressure against tyre, etc + calibration, which I successfully did, but in case of a direct drive, what do you do?

I do agree there is definitely power loss at the wheel whether a car, motorcycle or bicycle. But there are trainers that measure at the wheel and seem to be better at obtaining a more accurate reading (or one that matches crank and pedal meters). I’m not claiming every Core reads low, I have found others that seem to think it does. I have also read reviews that say it’s pretty accurate. I will report back after a proper calibration and hope the initial noises never come back.

I had the same issue with ERG mode and am still adjusting to it. I have to keep reminding myself to pedal smoothly during intervals to keep the power on target. If you very your cadence a little during erg mode, it will tend to try to adjust the resistance for you which may result in you having more or less resistance causing you to be off the target power. Resistance allows you to adjust quicker (IMO) to being off target.

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sure, which is why I’m not concerned when Kickr is consistently higher or lower. But when it varies from -13 W to +6 W, that doesn’t seem right.

I’m going to keep dual recording. So far my key learning is to pause every TR workout after 10-15 minutes and zero reset the Kickr.


I definitely need to work on that and I will.

So even with power match you calibrate mid ride? That’s kinda a bummer if that’s our best option

Also to add to power match via TR or Wahoo, I noticed that via Wahoo it seemed to respond quicker. Generally this sort of setup is called negative feedback that can lead to oscillation problems due to time delay between readings and resistance adjustments. None of Wahoo trainers, I think, have real PM, numbers are calculated using different inputs.

However, this could be me only, I prefer the feel when power source is Wahoo and there is no power matching. For some odd reason when power source were pedals, my stroke degraded from being rather round and smooth to square pedal mashing…

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I’ve been using Kickr’s “control with ANT+” which is Wahoo’s version of power match. After talking with Wahoo support yesterday, they more or less said “beta” and so next week I’ll disable and turn on TR power match for another round of testing.

Wahoo uses optical sensor to estimate power. It does not use a strain gauge like on crank arm, spider, or pedal based power meters.


You don’t need to calibrate if you’re using PowerMatch unless you’re separately recording the kickr data and trying to do something with it - otherwise there is no value

I use Trainer Road’s power match and have very few issues with chasing the power. Have never tried Wahoo’s for comparison though

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