Wahoo Kickr 18: Gearing, Heat, and Wear?

It’s been well established that gearing in ERG mode affects virtual road feel. But how does the Kickr generate resistance (Friction? Magnet? Magic?) and does a slower or faster flywheel increase or decrease wear? I can imagine that it need not create as much resistance and therefore reduce wear if it’s going faster… but maybe not depending on how it creates resistance. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I generally use the smaller chainring and a cog that keeps the chain straight, and the flywheel gets pretty hot after sweet spot or tougher workouts gauged to 250+ FTP. I’ve measured the outside of the flywheel as hot as 150°f (65°c).
I haven’t yet experimented due to the myriad variables I’m too lazy to control or track (workout length, intensity, room temp, gear selection), but will if nobody has already looked into this. What say you internet geniuses?

I was wondering the same thing. I’m fairly new to the Kickr 18 and after a bit of gearing experimentation I settled on the small front ring and the first and second largest on the cassette, on the basis that I get a straight chain-line and these rings get the least wear on the road so I’ll even out the wear.

Whether this is a wise strategy I have no idea!

Also interested in this! Kickr gets really hot after the workouts. Wondering if there’s something we could do to lengthen longevity.

I’ve experienced a burning smell and my kickr core getting extremely hot when doing prolonged ftp type efforts (ftp = 291) in the small 34t ring. I’ve since changed to the big ring and during any intense workouts the kickr generates far less heat and no burning smells.


Okay. I’ve started capturing ambient and flywheel temperatures before and after workouts, as well as gearing used during the workout. I’ll see if I can summarize what I observe when I get to the end of the short power build plan. Watts and time will be captured in normal course, is there anything else I ought to log? It won’t be super exacting science but maybe we’ll learn something.

I dropped Wahoo support an email to see what they say. Not much as it turns out. Their only suggestion was to point a fan at the flywheel if it seems to be getting excessively hot (presumably on high resistance).

I think I’m going to mix it up more in future to try and even things out. 1 week inner / 1 week outer and a combination of cassette cogs.

1 Like

FWIW i’ve done over 1000 rides on my KICK’14 and there have been no ill-effects. I’ve logged well over 2000hrs and the thing has been rock steady.
I’m interested in the definition of “hot”. My unit gets warm but its never been hot to the touch.