Kickr Bike Experience - it broke

Oh, and I decided to buy a ‘backup trainer’, which was an experience too. I ordered an H3 from Amazon, and it came in defective. I dealt with Saris support, and decided to just return it to the affiliated reseller. I stopped at the LBS and they had a brand new H3, so bought it. I didn’t realize I’d actually end up riding that one this weekend. (Talk about luck)

So, should Wahoo include a Core as a backup for purchasers of the Bike? I’m being facetious but I’ve heard of many people that own the Bike also buying ‘backup trainers’.

I just realized my name was ‘Rob_C_Neo_2’. I killed two Neo 2T trainers. Thought the Kickr Bike would be ‘The Trainer’. Irony?

“The wife hates the thing, and admitted to going out ‘shopping’ when I was riding.”

So the operating cost of the Kickr Bike is going to be much greater than anticipated!

I just picked up my Kickr Bike on the weekend and it’s better than expected and worse than expected. Smooth and responsive. I like the shifting and adjustability. Does away with a coupla bikes in the trainer room; the wife’s and mine.

WAY noisier than I expected. Pretty loud constant whine that varies by speed and gear selection. My 2018 Kickr Smart with the trainer bike was quieter. Who thought putting the status display down behind the “headtube” was a good idea? If you have a towel or one of those triangle sweat catcher things (and you should cuz you’re gonna be sweating) so every time you want to look at what gear you’re in you have to move the towels. Not smart…

Hi Rob,
you could try a dumb trainer and a power meter as a back up.
I had two Neo’s give up on me and each time my trusty back up was there…

waiting, willing and best of all … … working ! ! !

Just a thought. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Mark - I may be able to suggest solutions to both of your problems.

  1. do you have a mat under your trainer? The primary role of the mat is to absorb vibrations and reduce the level of noise. I have a Wahoo mat, and I would never say that my Kickr Bike on the mat is noisy. It fact, it is quieter than Headwind fan and way quieter than low end fans of the kind that one gets from the Home Depot. It is noisier than Rowenta fans, though, but those are incredibly quite.
  2. I sweat like a horse, but with three fans (Wahoo Headwind and two Rowenta tower fans) I do not need a towel or a sweat catcher of any kind, and I never see sweat on the trainer or on the mat. Sweat evaporates in the wind from the fans! I only use Adidas headbands which tennis stores sell to prevent sweat from getting into my eyes. In fact, a towel on the frame would be blown away by fans (or would reduce airflow to your body), so that would be a bad idea anyways. Towels belong to spin bike classes.
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Thanks Andrei,

  1. The trainer is on carpet. It’s much noisier than my Kickr V4 and a new Ultegra equipped Scott bike built for the trainer. I really anticipated it being much quieter. I’ll be reaching out to Wahoo shortly.

  2. I don’t sweat much and have three fans going: A Rowenta pedestal fan and two Lasko high velocity centrifugal fans. I don’t run the Laskos unless I’m going very hard and it’s warm out. I’ve been running the triangular CycleOps sweat guard for the entire time I’ve been Zwifting. For the times I get dripping, it works great. Blocks off the display though. I also have a towel to wipe my face. I wear a headband for the extreme events. All that stuff works for me.

A note on the sweat: Most of the shifter failures on the Wahoo Kickr Bikes is attributable to sweat getting into the levers. I’ve used wrist bands but they don’t seem to work well and make my hands sweatier than without them. The towel helps with that.

Hi, just got my replacement bike and boxes to send old bike back together exactly two weeks after my first bike ‘died’ and I paid €1200 deposit.
Have to say I loved getting on the new bike again, it’s such a bike when it works. Old bike took some time to pack away into boxes and I’m left with another heap of cardboard rubbish. Overall I’m very happy with the wahoo support and their dealing with the situation. The bike has it’s flaws and I’m no electrical engineer but when I was packing away the old bike some of the circuitry looks like something you’d see on mass produced children’s toy. I’m trying not to think about it going forward and put the whole episode behind me!
From what I see, all other smart bikes have teething problems so I guess it’s going to be a problem no matter what brand we go for. Good idea above is to buy a backup kickr core as downtime was my main grievance.
I’ll probably get a refund if anything like this happens again, but in the meantime I’m just going to enjoy using it and hope I get my deposit back promptly.

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Hi Andrew,
if it wasn’t all so expensive you’d have to laugh at buying a Kickr Core as a backup.

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Hi all, Just an update on my Kickr Bike experience (detailed above). After wrangling the refund option out of Wahoo, I was told return boxes would arrive soon. After two more weeks and hearing nothing, I decided to ask Wahoo where these boxes were. Within a day I was sent tracking numbers for labels that had just been created (why it takes 2 weeks to do this, don’t ask me). However, the boxes have not been received by FedEx for 3 days since. Everybody raves about Wahoo support, but I can’t say the same so far. They’re happy to write me back right away, but actually getting the refund for a defective product still seems a long ways off. Will post how the rest goes.

Walter, the noise from mine was so loud and horrible, you couldn’t continue to ride, and it certainly didn’t “work itself” out :frowning:

Scott, Looks like they are overwhelmed by demand and explosive growth of their business …
I hope it will get resolved from you soon.
As I wrote before, I bought mine through REI. Free shipping to the store, 3 months free no questions asked returns to the store, plus 10% member dividend generated by the purchase. I totally love the trainer, though. If you decide to give KICKR Bike another try, this might be a better way to go.

Has anyone had issues with the handle par post staying in place? I too sheared off a skewer trying to get it to hold. Wahoo sent me a new skewer and a bolt mech to “cold reset it” (no instructions on how to do it though) I tried what I thought would work but the skewer would not hold the bars in place. So I resigned myself to the fact that I would need to use the bolt. However, after my ride yesterday that required some out of the saddle riding I noticed the stem by the end of the ride slipped from 5.5 to 2.5. This is with more torque on that bolt than it is spec’d for I’m sure. I like this bike but this is unacceptable. $4000.00 with tax and shipping there should not be these type of issues. As much as I hate to go through the process of getting a new bike I think I will need too. Waiting to here back from wahoo. They have been very good about responding in a timely manner.

Got mine (Kickr Bike A03B) on 12/8/20 and it has been great with smooth shifting (although the handle bar clamp needs to be very tight not to slip). Well today out of the blue, I plugged it in and was clipping in and poof it just lost power with head unit dead and power brick blinking. Same deal as others. unplugging the power brick causes its light to shine solid. Replugging the bike but still no lights on the head unit and brick is blinking again. Damn I was about to do the 5th stage of TDZ. Opened a support ticket but still haven’t heard back.

Yeah, _Troy, that’s why I got an H3. My very first trainer was the H2, it was too noisy as well but it was in a different area of the house. Still the wife complained. I complained! It was really far too noisy.

The H3 is really remarkably quiet. Quiet enough I can’t hear it over the music and fans. All my bikes have power meters of some sort. Never thought I’d be locked in, and actually be needing them. The H3 is interesting because it doesn’t do cadence very well, so my trusty old DuoTrap Trek has come shining through.

Yeah, I’m still trying to sell the refurb Neo I have, but won’t ever sell the H3. Just in case…

Hoping the replacement is 100%.

Ride on!

I took their stem tube out of the clamp, and used their QR to tighten the clamp by closing it, opening it, and turning the nut a quarter turn and then closing it again. I went until it was really hard to close with both hands, It was noticeably tighter. Then I smeared some FiberGrip on it, and dropped it in to my height, and it stayed put. The seat post seems to stay fine, but the stem would slam early in a ride, like within 5 minutes or so fast. I monitored it during a ride, and had to raise it quite a few times.

Try ‘training’ it to be smaller, and use FiberGrip. Worked for me. Can’t hurt, unless the collar breaks. I did get it down in size that it felt like my other bikes, not a snug fit, but very little play in it. I was glad it worked, for sure.

I have a new 30 day old Wahoo Kickr Bike. I am also noticing a significant increase in resistance between 2 gears in the small virtual cog (between 3 and 4). It’s troublesome because these are the 2 gears I seem to climb in… if I change down I have to really push the cadence up by 20-30 rpm to get the same watts. I did the Innsbruckring KOM after-party ZRL race and it was really irritating.

I’ve had my kickr bike since July. It has been great up until now when a slight knocking sound started to happen. After some back and forth emails with Wahoo a replacement is being shipped (the deposit option).
In the meantime the bike was fine to ride apparently. Then this happened:

image

Not a great experience at 285 watts…

Yes, I’m experiencing the same issue. Somehow the gear spacing is a little off for those cogs. Maybe setting up the gearing as Di2 sync with triple chainrings and an 11-25 cassette. I’m going to try a different setup tomorrow…

Holy Toledo! I know a few guys how’ve experienced that failure IRL and ended up with broken collarbones. My BiL had a concussion and got transported to the hospital. Hope you’re doing okay.

Thanks Mark - twisted my back when the crank snapped, but otherwise ok :wink:

Cheers

Hamish

I have had a kickr bike since early January. I have experienced the following issues, which anyone considering buying a Wahoo Kickr bike should be made aware of.

  1. Gears sticking - shifters unresponsive… sometimes rectified by switching the bike off at the mains and switching back on again. This ruins races. This doesn’t affect you if you use the bike in ERG mode on workouts - unless it switches to a free ride option in between.

Wahoo response:
"Please remove the shifter cables from the head control unit (HCU) and clean the male leads with rubbing alcohol (if available) or a clean cloth. Once the leads are dry, replace them in the HCU and test to see if you shifting has improved.
The most common issue to cause shifting errors are as follows:

  • The male lead of the shifter cable had become bent due to bumping the leads or pulling up on the handle bars.
  • Sweat has dripped down to the leads and caused corrosion
  • Possible damage to the female shifter ports on the bottom side of the HCU where the shifters plug in.
    If you are continuing to experience shifting difficulty, please respond with a photo of the male leads to the shifter cables and the underside of the HCU. Our hardware team will review, then provide diagnosis and feedback on our next steps towards resolution."

I did what they suggested and after a shifter freeze last night. I sent photos off and am awaiting the result… there is no evidence of the common issues.

  1. Almost mashed the head of one of the four hex bolts whilst securing the support legs. Lesson… if you’re tightening a bolt and it just feels too hard - don’t keep going. I could have mashed the head and not been able to get it back out :frowning:

Wahoo response:
Dispatched replacement immediately. received an empty jiffy bag with a hole in it. Then dispatched another replacement bolt x2 taped to cardboard.

  1. There is significant ‘play’ in the bike unit… a noticeable unnerving movement (forward and backwards) on the climb actuator - apparently this is “normal”. I thought the legs weren’t secure when I first noticed it. When you throw your weight forward or backwards it feels like it’s rocking.

Wahoo response:
“Regarding the fore / aft play that you’re experiencing: for the Bike to be able to simulate grade changes while you’re riding, there is a linear actuator built into the unit. Due to the functionality of the linear actuator, you may feel a slight bit of forward and backward play in the Bike. This is normal and indeed necessary for the Bike to respond to grade change commands from the Wahoo app or any third party app.”

So I guess it’s a just an annoying feature and normal :frowning:

  1. Significant bogging down when shifting between 3rd and 4th gear on the small ring - requires much greater effort or faster cadence 30 rpm when you change down - means you can’t get comfortable on a climb (it feels like there is a gear missing in the middle).

I haven’t raised this issue with Wahoo but reading posts here I might investigate switching gearing setups

  1. Oddly i used to be able to push 870 watts for 15 secs… now I am down 100 watts on top sprint power in races. I did used to have a first gen Tacx flux direct drive so it could have been over reading. However, since I’ve had the bike I did a ramp test and I got a increase in FTP. So I don’t think it’s me.

  2. I had issues with the head tube not securing the handlebars - When they say it should leave an imprint in your palms - they should have said ‘be prepared to break your wrist’ trying to apply enough pressure to engage the head tube… anyway, I managed to sort it. All this means is that it’s not as adjustable as it was made out to be. I wouldn’t want my 15 year-old messing around with it and my 12 year old wouldn’t be able to adjust it. So when anyone else wants to use it - you’ll have to do it for them.

Noticing some of the comments regarding grease… In any headtube or seat tube scenario grease is your friend… you should never have two metal surfaces in contact without it. You get more wear and the potential for creaking.

  1. The noise is passable and acceptable. The whine varies in tone depending upon the speed and effort you are putting in.

  2. The gear shift display will be hidden under the sweat towel you’ll have draped over the bars.

  3. After you’ve stopped peddling the power stays on for about 3 seconds - so you can’t get into super tuck quickly. It takes a while for it to hit zero. This is an issue if you race on line. This lag can be annoying. I will trawl through websites and youtube videos to see if there are any ways to prevent this.

I have had no power issues with the PSU. The kickr unit works fine. But I do switch the bike off between uses.

It sounds like a lot of people have been having similar issues, but the shifter one is the killer issue for me. I cannot use the bike for what I wanted to use it for (Zwift racing)… it’s just too unreliable.