Recommend direct drive trainer

My statement was based on DCs explanations on the matter. Guess that’s all I can add.

Sure, and it was months ago, while we continue to see failures. I love DCR’s stuff, but the reality as of now is different than the promise that Wahoo made back then.

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Couldn’t it be that it is due to old batches still out there?

I’ve personally seen 4 Wahoo Kickrs fail in less than a year, 2 of these units had been post “fix” and identify as 2019 models.

I’ve got a Tacx Neo 2T as a replacement and it’s been pretty awesome. Smoother and quieter than the Kickr ever was, and I never have to calibrate. The downhill simulation is maybe a bit silly but cool to have. My only complaint is the bike sits a bit higher and comes with a riser for the front wheel.

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Afraid not. Many of those failures have been on replacement units shipped directly from Wahoo.

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I get the vibe that all 3 main brands have had their growing pains (Kickr, H3, Tacx Neo). I guess if I was going to give advise I would buy locally where they have a great return program/support if you get a dud. Like REI or something like, I would even pay more for that protection than having to lug trainers to the post office, wait to get a new one in the mail, or trying to do some garage fix.

I have an original hammer purchased directly from Saris and other than snapping the cord (dumb location) its been good, but when I upgrade in the future I will purchase differently.

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FWIW…I’ve had a Kickr for about 15 months. It’s been replaced 3 times already…

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Just for some context, I have the cheapest wheel on dumb fluid trainer going that probably weighs around 8kg. I assume anything that is wheel off would be a big improvement.

Going on my third Core in 16 months now. Wahoo upgrading me to a Kickr, to their credit… but still…

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For what it’s worth, you can also experience the Neo letting you down.

Hmmmm. Maybe they’ll upgrade me to the kickr bike the next time mine breaks :crossed_fingers:

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Yup, and the H3 as well:

Point being that each and every brand and model can have problems. I only pointed to the Kickr issue because it was specifically mentioned as fixed, and I feel that is not accurate.

Sadly, I see the 3rd gen of smart trainers as the worst batch. I lucked into the 2nd gen on the Neo, Hammer and Kickr (actually 3rd really as a '17), and have not seen the issues that the newer models are showing.

I can’t recommend any current trainer with a strong asterisk that we have seen more issues with these than prior years. I am hoping that the next round will address these issues, but not at all confident considering that many of these issues here are still happening despite claims from the makers that things are better.

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I can recommend a now dead trainer. The Stac Halcyon. No issues in 12 months of ownership…
But man…it is ugly and no DD. :man_shrugging:

I agree… seems like overall reliability and quality are trending in the wrong direction. Not sure exactly why that is but typically you’d expect by the 3rd -4th generation of a product they’d have things figured out. My 2016 Kickr has been rock solid and I would’t let it go for any price given the current state of the high end trainer market.

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Same. I’ve seen close friends have issues with the new Wahoo and Tacx products. I’m amazed that it’s been this long and the problems continue, even for new buyers. It’s absolutely not an “old stock issue”. This is a market dying for someone who cares about quality control to step in and dominate.

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Well, these latest gen models all made very notable changes from their prior designs (that were generally solid for reliability):

  • Tacx Neo 2T swapped to much larger magnets in the resistance unit, to address the “wheel slip” issue that exists at low rpm, high torque loads. Those happen in sharp sprints or steep climbs and were noted in a number of reviews as well as users.

    • The 2T largely solved that slip issue (with some still claiming slip apparently) but lead to some early issues with power reporting and ERG response (too fast). Much of it seems to be addressed in firmware.
  • Wahoo Kickr 18 and Core swapped belt and pulley design to a ribbed (vs cogged) that was aimed at being more quiet.

    • They got super quite (in line with the Neo, that was their goal), but they ended up with a large number of bearing and shaft related issues, failures and noises. They claim to have it fixed, but we still see more failures on “new” or replacement units than I would expect if they were actually resolved.
  • Saris H3 did a similar change to their pulley and belts to address noise.

    • It worked, like the Kickr, but they have belt slip issues and some with noise.

So, in all the main cases, there were real design and function changes that were “new” to each maker and is more understandable for seeing issues (vs the existing designs that were “stable”). We can only hope they learn from these mistakes to make the next steps better and reliable to the level we’d all like to see, and they offered in prior models.

  • Totally agree and it’s the reason my Neo 2, H2, and K17 are staying right where they are with no plan to replace them until 6 months after the next steps are in hands of users and seen to be any better for reliability.
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I’ve got an elite zumo… It was only £330…you get what you pay for.

It’s actually fine but wouldn’t trust the power numbers from it, especially anything vo2max and above, if it wasn’t power-matched to my faveros.

I have a Kickr 17 - no issues at all, not noisy, not quiet… simply absolutely fine

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My Kickr 17 direct drive is also a keeper

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Purchased Tacx neo 2t at the start of the year and thoroughly impressed. No issues so far. Pretty quiet, easy to assemble, works seamlessly with zwift previous and Trainer road now. Recommended.

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