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The Wahoo Kickr Bike & Kickr Shift - everything you need to know

Kickr Bike from Wahoo is an indoor training bike range. There are two models to choose from: Kickr Bike Shift and Kickr Bike V2.

Wahoo Kickr Bike V1

Launched in September 2020 at Eurobike, cycling's biggest cycling trade event, the Wahoo Kickr Bike garnered plenty of attention. There were a few foibles highlighted by early magazine reviews of demo units, and Wahoo spent the winter months ironing out any issues with the technology and launched the Kickr Bike V1 in March 2021. It was an instant hit and received rave reviews. Kickr Bike V1 is now discontinued.

Kickr Bike V2
Kickr Bike Shift
Price
£3499.99
£2699.99
Wifi
Yes
Yes
Power output
2500w
2200w
Accuracy
+/-1%
+/-1%
Climb / Tilt
Yes
No
Resistance
Motor-driven electromagnetic drivetrai
Non-motorised electromagnetic design
Fit & Setup
Five points of adjustment
Five points of adjustment
Crank arm options
165, 167.5, 170, 172.5, and 175
165, 167.5, 170, 172.5, and 175
Integrated wheels
Yes
No
Charging point for devices
Yes
No
Bottle Cage
Yes
Yes
Gear display screen
Yes
No
Unit weight
42kgs
40kgs

Kickr Bike V2

Wahoo updated the Kickr Bike, launching version two in the summer of 2023. The indoor training specialists added Wi-Fi connectivity to the bike, designed to provide greater data transfer speed and stability. Wahoo set out to trick you into thinking you’re riding outdoors rather than on one of the best indoor bikes.

Kickr Bike Shift

The little sister to Kickr Bike V2, Shift has a slimmed down range of features but plenty of realism and adjustability. Shift has the same five-point custom fit, Wi-Fi connectivity, power measurement and virtually silent operation as the Kickr Bike V2.

Wifi Connectivity

Unlike its competitors, including Peloton, Wattbike, and a traditional set of rollers, the bike connects with all the major training apps. Wattbike and Peloton have an integrated screen, displaying proprietary software, whilst Kickr Bike does not. The bike sends all your data to any screen you link it to, be it Zwift on your Apple TV or TrainerRoad on your laptop. Both Kickr Bike V2 and Kickr Bike Shift have the same powerful Wi-Fi connectivity, so there’s no need for wires all over the place!

What’s the difference between Kickr Bike V2 and Kickr Bike Shift?

There are three key differences in ride feel: Kickr Bike V2 has an integrated tilt, V2 resistance is controlled by an electromagnetic motor, and the power output is higher.

Climb/tilt mode: The Kickr Bike V2 simulates climbing a hill in real time by not only providing changes in resistance, but also physically raising and lowering the smart bike to match ascents up to 20% and descents as steep as -15%. The Kickr Bike Shift will adjust the resistance to the gradient of the climb and, as you descend, the electronic brake eases to also simulate descending, but the physical unit doesn’t move.

Wahoo Kickr Bike has a tilt to mimic climbing

Power output: If you are a powerful rider or your focus is sprints, the Kickr Bike V2 will allow you to generate 2500w of power, whereas the Kickr Bike Shift is limited to 2200w. Both values are still huge power outputs and provide more resistance than Wahoo’s best-selling direct drive trainer, the Kickr Core.

Resistance method: The resistance of the Kickr Bike V2 is controlled by two methods and this creates a very realistic ride feel as noted by top review sites, DC Rainmaker and BikeRadar, who said “there’s an assured smoothness to the pedal stroke and resistance application.” Rather than a motor-driven electromagnetic drivetrain, the Kickr Bike Shift uses a brake and belt drivetrain system, called the ‘Eddy Current Brake’. This is a non-motorised electromagnetic design, meaning that virtual downhills can’t be simulated as smoothly and sudden gradient changes may not feel as authentic as the real world.

Gear display: The Kickr Bike V2 shows riders real-time gear and gradient information on a display on the top tube, whereas the Kickr Bike Shift does not have a display.

Integrated device charging: The Kickr Bike V2 has a USB 3.0 charging port, which means you can charge your phone, tablet, or whatever external device you may be using to run indoor training software like Zwift. The Kickr Bike Shift does not offer that so you’ll need to have a cable running across your home to charge your devices as you ride.

 

How easy is Kickr Bike to setup?

The Wahoo Kickr Bikes are easy to set up despite the weight as it can be supported on its frame while attaching the three large legs. Both bikes only require a 5mm hex key. If your home floor is not dead level, the feet are adjustable so you won’t have any kind of annoying wobble when you ride.

The only remaining thing needed is a pedal wrench or hex key to fit pedals at your desired crank length. The crank length options are 165mm to 175mm in 2.5mm increments, making it possible to replicate your outdoor bike or get an even better fit.

You can also fit your own saddle if you prefer a certain shape, cut out or brand.

You can then set the reach, stem length, and handlebar width to mimic your bike. There are three ways to do this:

Use your existing bike

Using the Wahoo app and viewing your outdoor bike through your phone’s camera, pulling key geometric areas into focus to produce measurements;

Input data from a professional fit

If you’ve had a professional bike fit done, you simply input your figures into the app, which feeds back the comparable values for the Kickr Bike;

Body measurements

If you don’t have a comparable bike, enter your height, inseam and style of riding and the app will make recommendations.

What makes Wahoo Kickr Bike better than competitors?

A zero-calibration software algorithm means no calibration is required for the device between uses.

The adjustability range of Kickr Bike and Kickr Bike Shift is almost unrivalled. For example, with a Wattbike Atom you’re set with a 170mm crank, while the Tacx Neo Bike Smart Trainer has three crank-length options (170, 172.5 and 175mm). Wahoo gives riders five options. This gives you the ability to mimic not only your road bike but MTB and gravel bikes, which may have shorter cranks.

Compared to a turbo trainer. It is virtually silent, the Kickr Bike & Kickr Shift create almost no noise because you don’t have your bike chain moving across your gears.

It’s also the only trainer on the market with Wi-Fi connectivity, which means no wires all over the place and no loss in data recording when you're in the middle of a session or race!

The Kickr Bike and Kickr Bike Shift also come with an odometer to measure total mileage. It sounds unusual but it helps gauge when you need to service the machine.

Who is the Kickr Bike for?

If you want to step up your indoor training, the Kickr Bike is a great option if you have space at home. They’re arguably more convenient, house-friendly, and could save your outdoor bike from extra wear.

Instead of dragging your cruddy bike through the house, re-calibrating resistance, relocating sensors and removing the rear wheel, you just hop on the Kickr Bike and ride at a moment's notice, and other members of your household can adjust to their stored profile and do the same. That's Wahoo's aim: streamline your training and get the best out of the time you have.

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