Upgrading to a smart trainer - advice please!

Hi all,

Having used it with TR for a couple of seasons now, it’s time to move from my trusty CycleOps Fluid 2 to my first Smart trainer.

I can’t see myself using it with anything other than TR and perhaps Zwift. Portability and noise aren’t great concerns because it will be in the garage. I’m on a fairly tight budget which rules out a full price Kickr.

I can get a 25% discount on the 2018 Direto which will bring it to £576. Alternatively I could hang on a month and get the Kickr core for £699 (i’m guessing this won’t be discounted). Or I could even hang fire and pick up a second hand 2017 Kickr, assuming the Core is going increase the turnover of these on eBay.

My main concern with the Direto is the potential lag - especially when doing workouts with short intervals. Any Direto users able to confirm if this genuinely an issue in real life? Is the Kickr any better or worse in this respect?

My head says the Kickr is going to be the superior unit, but is it really worth the extra £125 and month wait?

Cheers for your views.

With Xmas approaching and with all the bike shows (where manufacturers showcase the new lines they will be looking th sell) coming to an end I would suggest there will be some bargains flying around. There certainly was last year. Depending on how long you are willing to wait I would personally decide on what I really want and hold out for that, especially if you still have your old trainer to use. After two years an extra month or two won’t kill. You may even be able to convince others to contribute rather than buying u something for Xmas you don’t want and won’t use. Good luck

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I’ve had a Direto since June and any lag hasn’t been an issue for me in real life workouts. That said this is my first smart trainer so I don’t have anything to compare against. In general I’m very happy with the purchase, ERG mode + TrainerRoad has taken workouts to a new level (I came from a CycleOps Mag trainer).


The Direto is my first ever trainer (smart or traditional).

I love it. I used it last winter and started using it again now.

Any smart trainer will be garbage for short burst sprints. This is not really what the system was designed to do. One trainer will be faster to drive up resistance than another, but none will probably increase the resistance fast enough for a 5 or 10 second burst.

For any ‘normal’ interval however (30 seconds and longer) and ERG mode is great.

I fully endorse the Direto :slight_smile:


Thanks for the tip. Yep - I’ve been pouring over Ray and Shane’s reviews (I used to ride occasionally with Shane many years ago in Melbourne). Great to have such in-depth insights from them.

Watch videos, read reviews, join facebook groups and then, ultimately, buy a Kickr.


I saw the kickr core discounted on wiggle today. 12% off if you have the platinum discount. Works out at £615.


I saw that too - ordered, and waiting patiently!

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I’ve order in vouchers through Evans cycles already! If there was a way to cancel it I’d of done the same!

If you join British Cycling for about £20 pa you get a 10% off at chain Reaction Cycles online which would bring the Kickr Core down to under £650… As good as the 2017 Kickr and quieter too!

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Direto user and reasonably happy with it. I’m using power matching against a power meter and usually see a 10 sec delay on stabilizing an interval, which makes short burst intervals impractical. I’m fairly certain that’s due to the power matching, though, not the trainer.

However, I suggest trying to wait for Ray Maker to drop his annual trainer buyer’s guide at http://dcrainmaker.com. Or look at last year’s. Or the current in-depth on the Kickr Core. Or any of the other trainer reviews, first looks, etc.

I love my Kickr, just sayin’

Agreed here …

i ordered the Kickr CORE annoyingly before it arrived on CRC … so lost out on 10% off


the CORE is epic … crazy quiet too … my small fan is louder

volume does increase if you switch to big ring … but as you’d be using ERG mode … if you stay in easy gear its super quiet …

i was wrestling with spending the extra for kickr but am super happy with decision ,even at full retail price.

good luck!

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Get a TAcx Neo.

Zero noise (except some chain), zero calibration, zero maintenance. Real road feel on Zwift, etc etc etc.

I have been using it for more than a year and second best investment of my cycling life.


I have an older Elite Turbo Muin B+ and while it’s going strong I am interested to see what this new Kinetic one is like with the built-in rocker.

I’ve just got a Bluetooth Cycleops Powersync brand new off of eBay for £200. I love it.

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I have the kitetic rock and roll trainer (the normal version rather than the fully smart power controlled one). I love it. The feel of the kinetic trainers is really good, the resistance is really smooth, and the sideways motion makes is a lot more comfortable (it means that your weight isn’t always kept in the one position on your saddle - it shifts slightly as the bike moves, like it would outside). My only problem with it is that it has a very large footprint - too large for my new flat so I am having to sell mine and go back to using my older, not so good, but importantly smaller trainer.

I got a Hammer over the summer. At the time there wasn’t much between it and the Direto, with them both on offer. For what it’s worth, when I posted on the Facebook group, someone from TrainerRoad recommended the Hammer over the Direto.

It’s my first smart trainer, and it isn’t quiet, but noise wasn’t an issue for me, as the pain cave doesn’t impact on anyone else!

I switched from a Fluid 2 to a Direto a couple of months ago. There is a noticeable lag when going from, for example, recovery to VO2 levels which takes 10-12 seconds, but I personally wouldn’t like it to build all that much quicker than that. Yes, I think it makes it difficult to do 30 on/off Billats (to be honest I haven’t even tried them). I’ve no idea how it compares to a Kickr, but a friend has a Cycleops Magnus and that acts in a similar way to a Direto. The Direto has transformed my training and I’m very happy with it.

I just upgraded to a Kickr Core after a couple years on a CycleOps Fluid 2. I got a 3-5% bump in power and FTP over the Assioma pedals…so I would definitely recommend the Kickr Core! :joy: