Kickr Core or Kickr 2018?

Yeah, but the Tickr is Wahoo’s HR strap, which had one of the plastic pieces break on me on about my third run with it. Since, I’ve had a waterproof band-aid covering the plastic edge so it doesn’t dig into my chest. So I’ve used a type of sticker to fix a Tickr, and we’ve come full circle.

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Yup, I am aware of the Tickr (I own 2 of them).

I was just using funny terms to describe the current rash of bad units from Wahoo, in line with their goofy naming schemes.

Hey Chad, thanks for this. I used to speak to the Wahoo customer service team regularly up to until about 18 months ago, due to the issues I had with malfunctioning units - I was unlucky - and up to that point their advice was to Spindown before every session. Good to see this has changed, but sadly I didn’t notice and always took my cue from TRd’s: “Spindown Calibration - Perform a quick spindown calibration before riding etc etc” so you’ve saved me a fair bit of time and hassle going forward. So again thanks for that.

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I’m in exactly the same position trying to choose between the two units.

I mostly race MTB marathon, although I train with both the road bike and MTB on the trainer.

The last few seasons I’ve trained with higher cadence, however my MTB climbing suffered really badly as a result and I’m hoping the smart trainer will help address that.

The bigger flywheel and the extra grade is interesting, not sure the extra power comes into it or not.

My question to any of you MTB users- can you take advantage of the extra grade, as often the reviewers only see it from a roadie point of view, whereas 20% + on the trails is pretty normal.

I suspect it’s just a case of not using the granny gear to get the same effect or I’m missing something.

Not sure height is an issue, as Wahoo states the Core will take up to 29" wheel although there is no wheel!

If you are primarily following TR workouts in ERG mode, the slope limit is a non-issue. What matters more is the pure Wattage limit, and the 1800w from the Core is more than enough for all but a select few riders.

The wattage matters as that is how TR sets the resistance in ERG mode, which is the most used function within TR.

  • It is possible to use the Resistance mode (which is essentially a percentage of the trainer’s max resistance).
  • It is possible to use the Standard mode (which is essentially a setting related to percent of grade). This is most applicable if you simply setup a grade to the desired level and pedaled away.

Those two modes aren’t used much by most riders other than the super short intervals that are tough for ERG mode to adjust quickly enough.

All that said, I think the Core is more than enough trainer for 90+% of the cycling public.


I ended up going with the Core and while I only have a couple rides in on it I love it. The ride feel is great, its stable and it has a smaller foot print than my Road Machine which while not much, those couple inches make a huge difference in my training space due to an ill placed door

As for the grade limit, I’ll quit cycling before I ride 20% grades with any regularity so the lower climb limit on the Core is a feature for me, not a negative :wink:

But, one thing i can see after a few Zwift rides is that the smart trainer does not just simulate the climb itself but also ends up simulating the transition from flat or less steep to steep, complete with some need to shift and/or the transition out of the saddle. So, if you would like to have as a regular part of your training going from 0 or 5% to 20%, even if you don’t end up grinding away for a long time at 20%, I could see the higher grade ability on the Kickr could be useful to you.

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I had the original Kickr (still have it but not currently using) and I really like it but determined it’s power readings were off by 10 - 20 watts. A lot of digging revealed this to be an issue with some of the first gen Kickrs and subsequently was addressed. After much study, I ended up replacing it with a Tacx Neo about a year ago and haven’t looked back. It’s been flawless and I really like that it has a little bit of side to side movement. It’s just enough to take the edge off (much less the a KK RocknRoll) and definitely adds to comfort on long trainer rides. The Tacx also matches the power on my Quarq very tightly. It’s quiet and has a great road feel.

That all being said, the current gen Kickr is undoubtedly a great trainer too. Always good to have options.


Yep, spot on Chad. I’m dealing with a clicking/knocking KickR18 at the moment. Been back once under warranty but started again after a few hours of use. Wahoo and LBS have been great about it though and are sending me a replacement that they have tested to ensure no issues.

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Hi, I have red this thread about calibrating a kickr every 2 weeks.and after warmed up.

What I am not seeing is if I should use the wahoo app or TR to do this, or does it matter?


Once you do the advanced/factory calibration with the Wahoo app, you can use Wahoo or TR for all your other calibration needs. Both do the same thing. So the TR option is usually the easier option.


So for those of you who have been using both units for a while, what is your feedback specifically on the core? I was going to go for a Kickr18 or a Neo2T but the price and feedback on the CORE specifically seems pretty good

Well, n=1, but my Kickr Core is turning out to be one of the biggest wastes of money I’ve done in a long time.

Days after getting it, I was having some troubles holding steady power in erg in TR. It would randomly drop do about half power, then click back in after a few seconds. Reached out to TR, they showed BT connection trouble. Gave some suggestions about clearing cache, seemed to fix it.

Occasionally, in Zwift, I’d get power drops where I just couldn’t hold power. Not the classic drop to zero, but just… less power.

Then all was fine for about a month and a half (return period, of course.)

So now, here I am, and it’s back with a vengance. To be clear, these problems are occuring over multiple Windows, Mac, Android, and TR connections. Bluetooth and ANT+, bluetooth only, or ANT only (on my desktop.)
Here’s what it looks like in TR:
TR just can’t hold steady. Zwift can’t stop letting power drop. I can’t spin it down because TR constantly says failed. In the Wahoo utility app on Android, I can’t even perform a spindown because the watts and cadence just show dashes, even though also showing 4/5 bars signal. On an iPhone tonight, on the suggestion of Wahoo support, I tried to do a factory spindown. Nope. The process worked fine for the warmup, but then the speed would freeze when I was supposed to increase speed, and eventually just show dashes. When this happened, the trainer locks and I had to power cycle it. Tried that three times to no avail.
Here’s a video:

Then I tried a standard spindown, and boy I wish I hadn’t. Similarly, it sped up, stopped increasing reported speed on the app, froze, and showed dashes, but now the trainer is stuck in a VERY heavy resistance, even after power cycling.

Should have stuck with my Kurt. What a waste.

Edit: seriously, why aren’t there any USB bike trainers? Why are we subjected to this apparently terrible wireless protocol when we could just plug in (for those of us on computers)?

This is what my power in TR looks like when the trainer can’t hold power:

Note the times. It’s not dropping to zero, and it’s not failing for long periods, it just relaxed and grabs again.

If purchased from wahoo directly or even most online you could potentially return outside of policy if there are continual documented issues. Was able to be offered to return and refund 1.5 years later due to several close together failures and poor CS experiences

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Good to know. I hope it doesn’t come to that. I’m just past the return period of where I bought it from (legit place, but not direct) but truthfully I just want it to work more than anything. I should have addressed the issue earlier on. I thought my initial problem was a TR glitch. Then I didn’t really put two and two together when I was having Zwift issues. And now it’s just barely usable. :pensive:

I feel that. Love my Kickr 18 especially with the Climb which is probably the only reason I didn’t return and swap for a Neo 2t

Contact wahoo support


Update: They’re sending me a new unit.

Edit, to be clear, refurb yes. I meant another unit.

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Yes, you’re totally right. Sorry, my phrasing looked like a contradicted you, and I didn’t mean to. I meant, 'I’m getting a new trainer," but yes it’s a refurb :slightly_smiling_face:

Sidenote, how many did you get?!

To revive an old thread, what are people’s thoughts on the current Kickr vs Kickr Core? Worth the extra $300? Bigger flywheel, more watts, Axis feet, adjustability. The adjustability and handle are a big plus for me actually, but still not sure it’s worth the extra dough.

My Direto is officially dead. So I’m in the market.

Edit: Related question: is now a good time to buy? Are we expecting new trainers soon?

I got the Core shortly after I started this thread and I’ve been very happy with it for the 2 1/2 years I’ve had it. I only move it about 3-4 times a year to clean my mat. If I did move it frequently, the handle alone would be worth the extra $300. Picking up and carrying the Core is really awkward.