Kickr Core or Kickr 2018?

I’m finally going to step up to a smart trainer and have narrowed in on Kickr. My questions for the group - is there going to be a noticeable difference in ride feel between the Kickr Core and the heavier flywheel on the Kickr 2018? And, if so, is it significant enough to justify paying $300 more for it?

(I don’t need a cassette or the higher max power and grade of the 2018 Kickr so the only difference relevant to me I am seeing is the flywheel weight - if I am wrong about that, let me know!)

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One other thing to keep in mind is the KICKR 2018 comes with an 11 speed cassette while the KICKR Core doesn’t. I think the KICKR Core is the better deal and likely the one I’d pick when it comes time to switch to a direct drive trainer.

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I have the KICKR2017… for the money, I’d go with the CORE in a heart beat as the flywheel is half a pound less than my 2017 model and I assure your its awesome!

That and the ‘slient’ operation… meaningless to me!

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Other than the inclusion of the cassette and the heavier flywheel, the Kickr also has adjustable feet. So if you’re using it on an uneven surface, or need it to be somewhat mobile, that might be something to consider. For me personally I just don’t like the look of the Core and that’s why I’d pay the extra money for the Kickr.

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In case you haven’t read DCrainmaker’s review:

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Sadly I doubt that many people (other than the big reviewers) have ridden the Kickr 18 AND the Core.

What I can offer is the general comparison on “road feel” based on a Hammer (20 lbs flywheel) and Kickr 17 (12 lbs flywheel). There is a better overall inertia and coasting feel on the Hammer because of the flywheel size. It’s real and noticeable.

I have spent most of my time recently on the Kickr, and am not necessarily missing anything compared to the Hammer. But I am planning an upgrade to the Kickr 18 (once they fix the clicking problems present on the first run of production units). I like the extra inertia feel for Zwift. But it matters much less for training because I use low gearing and inertia in ERG for TR workouts.

I just treated myself with the Kickr Core. It’s a great toy. Casette and tools came in below 50€.

My reasoning was that the price difference with the Kickr can better be invested in other bike gear.


@STP Shane Miller does a good job at reporting on ride feel, here is his review in case you haven’t seen it:


I was in exactly the same position and really struggling to decide between buying the CORE or 2018 Kickr for my 1st smart trainer.

I eventually went for the CORE and have nothing but good things to say.

i was worried about my floor being uneven but it has been absolutely fine. that being said i’m not a big power rider. but seeing as rocker plates are increasing popular i thought any instability wouldn’t be too detrimental!

My eventual rationale was that everyone seemed to love all previous models of the kickr and seeing as the CORE was essentially the 2017 kickr but cheaper and quieter, it was a no brainer.

The main things for me on getting it are : so easy to set up and use // ERG mode is awesome // super quiet // feels great.

Hope that helps.


I also was looking at the regular and CORE. I settled on CORE because $300 gets you a cassette, a little more power, a little more grade %, heavier flywheel, adjustable legs, and cadence. So if you do not have an ANT+ cadence sensor that will be missing from your rides. I have a cateye that is not ANT+ so I can check it while I am in the session but cant look back at it later. I am probably going to get an ANT+ sensor at some point just to be complete.

I haven’t ridden the regular version and have only used CORE in EGR mode for TR. I really like CORE and given the chance to choose again I would go CORE and save the money for other cycling things.

If you have any questions about the CORE let me know.

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In Europe the price gap between the two units is 400€!
The Kickr 2018 seems to be more accurate in power readings but patches will soon fix the core.
For me, using powermatch, that doesn’t really matter.
Someone said: instead of the Kickr you can buy the core + climb…
I am really wondering what Wahoo thinks, why you should get the Kickr and not the Core…

I agree with @rockrabbit below. My 2017 Kickr does an excellent job (is awesome, even!) and the noise is not an issue. I ride in the garage with blasting music and Netflix, so noise is a non-issue.

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I assume you mean you settled on the full Kickr 2018?

No I have a CORE. I structured that sentence wrong. $300 gets you those things but I didn’t see how they were worth it for me.


I’ve had the core for about a week and it’s really good Very quiet. loudest part is my drive train. Except… I gave it a bit of a nudge today and 1/2 the stickers on the flywheel blew off… Made a huge WHIRRING noise like something had broken… but no… just the stickers flying off the fly wheel… LOL

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tickers appear to be a new issue mentioned by others too.

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tickrs or stickers?

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yup snap! stickers do come off!

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I am using a Minoura basic trainer with a Quarg PM as my source of power and cadence information for TR.

If I use the Core trainer, I do not need the PM on my bike anymore. Is that correct?

That’s correct, I have the Kickr Core as well.

I use an ANT+ dongle with my macbook, the ANT+ dongle picks up the power from the core, cadance from a Garmin cadance sensor and my heart rate from my Garmin forerunner 235.

But I believe you can run your PM meter alongside the Core powermeter and see if there are any differences in how the power is captured.

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