Trainer long term reliability

So I have a feeling my trainer is going to bite the dust soon (2016 Kickr). Preemptively looking at new ones as given the age, cost of shipping etc. fixing this one when it goes is probably not what I am going to do. I’ve gotten 4 years or so out of this one, which I guess as electronic items these days goes isn’t too bad. It does feel a bit weird to be considering another kickr when this one will (presumably) just have quit on me. I’ve seen the ‘anyone with a 2018 kickr…’ thread and know that no product is perfect. Anyone have any feel if one brand or another has better long term reliability? It seems as though with trainers you either get a ‘good one’ or you don’t. For example, I’ve never had problems with mine until recently, but clearly some people’s don’t work out of the box or shortly thereafter.

1 Like

My KK (fluid) road machine is going on 10 years… But that doesn’t seem like its something you’ll be purchasing. KK doesn’t even sell new fluid units anymore, but when I feel the need to upgrade or replace it, I’ll have no problem buying one of their new units.

1 Like
  • Yes, they still sell the original fluid units, Rock & Roll as well as the rigid.

I stand corrected… I only saw the refurbished ones the first time I looked.

1 Like

I second the KK fluids. I have a Road Trainer as my indoor training unit that I’ve also owned for 10 years. The mechanism did seize up around year 6, but they replaced the whole thing under lifetime warranty, so I’m guessing I probably have at least another 5-10 years in the unit. I live near the sea, and everything tends to rust, but the KK although it has surface rusting now on the legs, the fluid unit is fine. I’ve never had an electronic unit so I don’t know what I’m missing, but on sheer longevity, I don’t think these units can be beat.


Why do you think it is on its way out?
I have over 1000 rides on mine and likely well over 1,700hrs. No signs of issues to date.

I had the same question. What’s wrong with your current Kickr? I’m on the original model as well and just like the person above I’ve got 1000+ rides and it’s cruising along just fine.

Given all the issues with trainers on the market these days I’m going to hang on to mine as long as possible.

1 Like

I haven’t seen anyone complain about the tacx neo line. Mine has certainly been great (2 years now).

Just don’t join the Facebook neo group then!! There are plenty of compliants on there, but you are going to get that for any trainer … my Neo has been good so far but only about 3 weeks of use, I had multiple Diretos and 2 X H3 … all of which has some issue or other.


+1 on Kickr longevity, mine is approaching 4 years old and maybe 1000 hours of use, no issues at all. No cheap plastic parts to wear out or break, and the electronics still seem to be fine. Given how rock solid the construction of the body is, if the OP is having electronics issues it could well be worth getting it serviced rather than replacing. From what I understand the current Kickr Core is basically the original Kickr but a bit quieter, in which case parts may be fairly easily available.

1 Like

The simplest answer is - no one knows.

The 2016 kickr you have is the earliest released smart trainer at that level in the modern ecosystem - so the most data anyone has is for those models. Everything else has been released more recently and most aren’t showing any signs of aging yet

At best you might be able to eliminate a few models based on known bad data - but as far as I’m aware none of the serious options have major life concerns. Happy to be corrected on that though

Wasnt the 2014 KICKR the first version, that was then updated in 2016?

Apologies for hijacking the thread but I just don’t get dropping £1000 on a trainer when a £60 dumb trainer suffices if you use your gears and have slight variations in your cadence, is it just convinience or am I missing something?

1 Like

I got mine in 2015 so I’m on the first genereation model. As I said it’s still going strong and I wouldn’t trade it for anything on the market right now.

Sure, it’s louder then the new models, but my cave is in the garage and I train with headphones so I don’t even notice it. Other then that I can’t see what is so much better about any of the newer models.

Same with me.
FWIW i had to replace my optical sensor like 3 months in because i was using a power bar and somehow they think turning that on and off fried it. Was a quick replacement part through my LBS delivered in 48hrs from Wahoo. Their tech support was great, so if the OP is having issues I would strongly encourage them to reach out through LBS to Wahoo, or Wahoo directly if dont have good luck with bike shop

I have an H1 Hammer and it has ~10,000 miles long on it per Strava with the only issue being a noisy belt that is fixed with belt-dressing. They connecting hardware on the case is too tight and will require bolt-extraction when that time comes and I’m not looking forward to it. Zero problems otherwise, would buy again.

Not my place to tell you how to spend your money, but for me that $1,000 I spent 5 years ago is the best cycling investment I have ever made.

We had just had our 2nd kid and between work and family life I could rarely find the time to get in a legit outside ride. I had messed around with Trainer Road and Zwift on my dumb trainer, but it wasn’t until I got the Kickr that indoor training became actually fun and motivating.

I’d pretty much be a couch potato without mine.


Not a complete list, but some common advantages to higher end trainers.

  • Wheel-off trainers avoid wheel slip, often have larger flywheels that give a better top end feel, can be very quiet (but not always). Ditching the need to maintain tire pressure at the rear is also nice (I even made a dummy front wheel that needs no air for convenience).
  • Smart controlled trainers can offer ERG mode training that some people really like. There are often options to change flywheel inertia for preferred training and feel. It also works for interactive control of apps like Zwift, Rouvy and others.

Probably more out there. But those came to mind at first.

I have a 25 year old Minoura Mag trainer and a three year old Tacx Vortex Smart. If I had a $1000 Kickr I’d certainly investigate repairing it if it broke down before rushing out to replace it!

I can watch movies or play video games during z2 workouts and still hit my power targets.