Last week Wahoo announced the Wahoo KICKR MOVE – their latest and greatest smart trainer, with more features to make your ride interactive than ever.
Ed from our Buying Team got hold of one pre-launch to review. Read on to find out more.
I’ve been lucky enough to receive, before release date, a very interesting and exciting new trainer from Wahoo!
The Wahoo KICKR MOVE arrived in a big and reassuringly heavy box. After staggering with it into the back garden I opened the box, completely ignoring the advice which side to open. I was greeted with a trainer with a very familiar overall look and style to it but with a clear difference too.
The Wahoo KICKR MOVE is built around their well-regarded KICKR Trainer but comes with a specific and special ‘Move’ feature.
The workings of the trainer are mounted to a robust sliding mechanism, which is part of the very stable base. This mechanism moves forward and backwards, and when coupled with the integrated Axis feed, gives a dynamic and comfortable feel you just don’t get on a complete fixed unit.
Setting Up the Wahoo KICKR MOVE
The Wahoo KICKR MOVE is fully built in the box, 11 speed cassette attached and QR Skewer installed.
The trainer has the same carry handle as on a KICKR, which is perfectly balanced and makes moving the trainer much easier.
There are 2 blue tabs on each side leg, which you pull up to then move the leg out with a nice ‘click’ when they are locked in place (super compact when tucked in, easily stored under your desk, behind the sofa or in the under stairs cupboard). A blue angled device enables you to lower/raise the resistance unit for different bikes. It’s set up for 700c out the box but can be quickly moved to 650b or 29” MTB as required.
The QR Skewer is long enough to accommodate both 130mm (Rim brake) and 135 (QR disk brake). There is also a bag which contains the axle adaptors for use with thru axles and a handy measuring guide. Remove the QR Skewer (the installed adaptors come out easily) and then put the relevant adaptors in – bolt bike to trainer and you’re good to go.
After about 30 seconds I had the trainer talking to both Wahoo Systm, 3rd party trainer software and a 3rd party cycling GPS unit. And I’m generally terrible with technology.
Using the Wahoo KICKR MOVE
As the key feature of the KICKR MOVE is the forward and backward motion of the trainer on its base, I figured the best way to test this was to do a sprint workout with a proper amount of power out of the saddle.
The development team at Wahoo have researched how you actually move on a bike under power and replicated this in how the trainer reacts; the feel of this trainer really reflects this.
With so many of us racing on Zwift or other software, having a much more engaging and responsive experience makes out the saddle sprints far more appealing. The movement in the trainer flows well with the stresses you’re putting though the system as you pedal. I’ve never felt that power sprints on a fully static trainer does the frame any good where it mounts to the trainer. Having the movement in the trainer here helps spread out the forces applied, helping to protect your pride and joy.
There is a gentle bobbing forward and backwards, left and right as you pedal through the warmup. When a sprint interval comes, I’m out the saddle and instantly you notice what the trainer is all about. There is initially a movement of about 10cm backwards of the trainer absorbing the increase in power, then more extreme bobbing as you pedal through the interval. At the end of the sprint the trainer rocks forward as you get back in the saddle. The sliding motion is spring loaded (not sure how but it must be) and always brings you back to the same centre.
As the trainer rocks forward and back the front wheel does roll slightly with it but at no time do you feel unstable or that you will topple over from the sideways movement – the balance is very good.
You can also lock out the forward/backwards movement if you choose to.
It’s easy to set up, sync and pack away when you don’t need it.
The feel is similar to a rocker plate, but far more responsive and refined. It also doesn’t have the footprint so has the benefit of being compact when not in use.
This trainer is also fully compatible with the Wahoo Kickr Climb and Headwind.
If you’re into indoor racing and sprinting, then this is certainly the trainer for you. If you’re not, well then it’s still the most comfortable trainer out the box on the market.