Should I change my Peloton for a KICKR Bike? And my TR Story

My TR Story
I am not really a cyclist and don’t own a road bike. 40 y/o w/ two young kids 1.5 y/o and 3.5 y/o. In February 19’ I bought a Peloton bike because I had a hunch cycling would help some chronic hip pain I have been having. It has. I started right away with the Peloton Power Zone training but then also developed knee pain almost right away. After trying to tweak my settings around it, I couldn’t resolve it and stopped riding after a few months of training. In September I got on Trainer Road because I’m interested in structured training as a sailing coach and the knee pain calmed down. I started with MVSSB and an FTP approx. 225 where my output was limited by the knee pain. The workouts were easier than the Peloton ones, and allowed me to stay on the bike and make tweaks. The biggest things that eventually resolved the knee pain were: a) Undoing my shoe velcro b) Switching to a hard saddle c) Doing a bit of hollow body work d) Getting my seat to the mm correct height for me.

Fast forward from September to now and my FTP is 308 and has been consistently rising 3-6% per month. I have done a number of builds since my base plan. I rented a road bike for a week recently because some friends said I should and I enjoyed it, though it was a bit more nerve wracking than the trainer. But the key thing I realized was that I don’t have time to road bike, because I need to do most of my training in the dark before family and work commitments arise.

TR has changed my life and I am more fit than I have ever been. It has been an incredible exercise in discipline, commitment, overcoming adversity and progress/sense of accomplishment. Never would I have thought that the app would have such a positive effect on me. It lives in the top 4 frequent/favorite apps at the bottom of my phone. TR, TP, Safari, E-mail in that order. Thanks to everyone who has put such time and effort into this amazing piece of software.

Peloton vs. Kickr Purchase Help
So then I saw the KICKR Bike online and got excited that I could learn a little more about road cycling indoors (more standing climbs working different muscles groups with the incline?) and maybe get a little bit better bike fit as well since it’s a bit more adjustable. Also, then I got thinking about the fun of Zwift and using it with TR on a bike that would be a bit more dynamic.

I’d be interested in hearing comments on comparing the two… or I suppose anyone with the KICKR who loves it or hates it. My wife rides the Peloton but we ditched the subscription long ago, so the idea was to sell it and maybe someone could use it more how it’s designed like I started out. Use the cash to buy a good portion of the WAHOO BIKE.

My hesitations are as follows:

  1. What if I can’t get it to fit right and I get knee pain again and my training goes backwards? I’m making great FTP gains, maybe it’s a bad idea to switch. For example, say the Q factor is a problem etc.

  2. The Peloton is a sick ride. It’s very, very quiet and easy to adjust, no bullshit really when you use it with Trainer Road (I use assioma pedals on it). I like the feel of the big heavy disc up front and it just feels like you’re riding on a quality piece of gear and it’s enjoyable. I sometimes watch Netflix or Rio Triathlon to inspire me on the recovery weeks. But maybe Zwift etc. would be fun too. I could do that now to test that aspect. But the Wahoo Bike seems a little noisy and whiney in the videos I watched. Maybe it’s no big deal. Feedback?

  3. I live in Mexico so it’s usually not an easy return process for stuff. You are sort of committed and there is no try before you buy at a LBS.

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If you are having any sort of pain, go see someone for a bike fit, even if you’re not getting an actual bike. At the very least you can get measurements and setup your Peloton/Kickr bike so you can ride pain free. That’s the intent of a bike fit, and a good fitter should be able to get you riding pain free.

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We have a Peloton and I use TR and Zwift on road bikes with an occasional Peloton ride. Based on the reviews of the Kickr Bike, it can be easily adjusted. Generally, the in and out of the saddle HITT rides on Peloton are harder on knees than TR or Zwift. I don’t think you appreciate how awesome your FTP gain is and I wouldn’t mess with that success. Structured training is not for everyone and if you like it, I would go for the Kickr Bike in the long run. It’s a slick set up as well. The Peloton does give you a variety of hand positions but I would trade that for ERG mode on smart bikes/trainers and ability to change gears on Zwift.

One issue that has come up with the first gen smart bikes is thigh run in the bar. I think this comes down to anatomy and pedalling style. It’s not an issue on the Peloton or new Stages smart bike.

Great info, thank you. Perhaps I will keep going for now with the Peloton.

The ERG mode is something that I’ve wondered about. Do you do all your trainer rides on Erg mode?

Thanks! I have had a couple pro fits done. Though they did not really help my pain much. It was more the modifications I mentioned in the post that helped… the “bad type” of pain has completely resolved at this point. I do have the measurements from the bike fit I did that I still use today, so that’s good.

If you’ve had a fit recently, I would go back to the fitter and give them feedback about pain you’re experiencing. Most if not all the time, they should be able to provide adjustments to the fit to get you riding again regularly. What good is a fit if you can’t do it pain free?

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I personally use erg mode 90% of the time. I just don’t want to worry about the watts. Maybe I’m a little lazy but I think it makes life easier specially on longer intervals.

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