Wahoo Kickr Core - vibration?

I have just bought a brand new Wahoo Kickr core. I previously a tacx Bushido (wheel on).

The core is much quieter, but there is some vibration, and I’m just not sure if it’s normal.

At low power, the only sound is the drive train, but once power gets above about 180w, there is a vibration felt through the whole bike with each pedal stroke, and a rhythmic deep sound with each pedal stroke. This isn’t related to flywheel speed and isn’t present when freewheeling.

I just wondered what others experience with the Kickr core is like. Is this sound and vibration normal? It’s fairly subtle, but I’m concerned this could develop into something else.

Here’s a link to a video of the sound:

I have tried:

  • a different bike
  • new cassette
  • new chain
  • re-indexing the gears

All of which have made zero difference. I know there were issues with early production units but these seem to have been different to the sound and vibration I am experiencing.

I’m planning on returning it to the store, but I suspect as the issue is pretty subtle they will tell me it’s normal.

Not sure how helpful this is but my ‘18 Kickr is the same. It’s my first direct drive trainer so I just assumed it’s normal? I notice it more when I’m in the small chainring in ERG mode, big ring on Zwift is totally smooth

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I found that certain gears sound better than others on my Core and the sound got quieter after a few weeks of use. I also have to adjust the derailleur inboard a bit compared to riding outside.

Thanks for your experiences. I am going to go back to the store today and will reports back with an update!

I’m having exactly the same experience with my new Kickr Core. I spent ages setting up my corner of the garage and have really been enjoying getting back training properly which is why I haven’t taken it back to the store at this stage.

I’ve done about 10 hours on it so far. I feels like it’s getting less the more I ride but I have been training in erg mode only with no gear changes. It doesn’t bother me that much but I guess we just expect it to all run smoother with no vibration.

Really keen to hear what feedback you get and if any others are having a similar experience.

So, I sent the above video to Wahoo and they replied and said there is a bearing issue and the unit needs replacing.

I went to the store, but they won’t replace it without the supplier having sent me some sort of return code (I am in Australia and there is some third party that appears to be the importer). That should come through in the next few days, and I will get a new one from the store.

For me, the issue is not related to gears - it happens in all gears. It is more related to how much power is being produced. The cutoff seems to be at about 180W and above this the deep sound and vibration get worse as power resistance up. The vibration is not severe - I would say it is similar to riding outside on an old sealed road or a gravel trail, as compared to a nice new smooth road - but it is rhythmic - associated with the power phase of the pedal stroke.

I haven’t been able to hear anything similar on the published videos of the trainer - such as in DC rainmaker’s site, or on Wahoo’s help pages.

At least now I have a nice new and very clean chain and cassette having swapped them out! :laughing:

I’ll keep you updated when I get my new one to see if there is any difference!

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So - a few updates!
I made a more comprehensive video of the sound here at different wattages:

Then - I returned my trainer for a new one. This seems to be basically exactly the same - if anything it is a little worse!

I am a bit skeptical that it was a bearing issue as Wahoo suggested - because I thought this would likely also cause the sound when freewheeling (which it doesn’t).

At least it has fixed a secondary issue - my speed was not being broadcast on the old unit (and so I couldn’t do a spin down calibration) and this one now works seamlessly.

I’ll use it regularly for a few weeks and see it if “wears in”.

I got my new core a couple of days ago and i’m having a similar vibration. It’s subtle at low resistance but reasonably noticable at higher resistance. I feel it in my feet mainly and it does seem to be at the same point when the crank turns every time but it doesn’t feel like the bike. It’s hard to know if this is to be expected or if there is an issue. I’ve read lots of people reporting the same feeling so perhaps its part of direct drive trainers?

Hi, I have the same isue with my wahoo kickr, same noise as it is in videos, also gets louder with more power, but I noticed there is very few of that vibrations in smaler front ring and more in bigger one. I noticed also that if I paddle very consistent and controled I get less vibration and if I adding power inconsistently with every turn than each time I press down I hear vibration such as in your videos.
It really botthers me, becouse I live in appartment and think my neighbours downstairs can hear that and could be pretty anoying.

Hi Ollie, I posted the same video in a large FB group and got a general response from multiple users that this is normal.

Mine seems to be reducing with more use

have you guys got anything further with this issue? im having the same issue and find it really annoying.

Do you have a link to the facebook group?

Hard to say if my vibration is as bad as other’s here. However, I live in a small flat and my girlfriend noted that the vibration she felt/heard when in the next room were all but eliminated when I started using my homemade rocker plate.

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I get a low, throbbing vibration, usually when moving to a higher gear and pushing the watts. Not sure if it’s exactly what’s being described here. It lasts for a few seconds until the cadence/power settles to the new level.

I always assumed it was integral to the Kickr and not a fault as such. Will read this thread with interest,

What chain are you using? I had a similar issue with a few SRAM 1x chains for some reason.
Can you check for side to side play on your rear derailleur where it attaches to the bike?

Ive got shimano 11 speed chain on there thats not super old put it on this year. Ive replaced my bottom bracket, replaced the crank set, and today ive tried moving my cassette over from my bike to the trainer (105 11 speed) again new this year but plenty of miles on it to be worn in.

Im still getting the extact same vibration, mainly at low speeds on the easiest gears so its felt more climbing.

im trying to see if i can return it and maybe change to a tacx neo.

Ive got a Kickr v5 by the way not a core. But still you pay £1000 and expect it to be right.

I suspect you’d have the same problem on the next trainer. Maybe take the bike to the LBS and try it on their demo trainer.

Was the Kickr a refurb?

I dont think so, it shouldnt have been anyways didnt say anything about being a refurb and looks new.

Going to try Borrow a bike off a friend to try and ill see if i can find any bike shops with demo units.

Any demo wheel-on will work. A Saris H3 will work too. Saris has a store locator on their webpage. You can probably see if the local VeloFix dude has a trainer he can grab to help diagnosis the problem at your house.

Hi everyone,

Just got a kickr core and SAME EXACT issue … Hotcamel, did you ever figure out the issue or a fix?

The noise/vibration doesn’t happen when free wheeling. The flywheel rotation seems to be smooth and well balanced. Just seems like it’s coming from the cassette . Tried everything but cant figure it out

I never figured it out.

My replacement one seemed exactly the same.
It’s not as noticeable when in smaller gears (but still same power in ERG mode).

I’ve had my replacement now for over 18 months and it’s never got any worse (or better) and it doesn’t really bother me anymore.