Kickr vs Kickr Snap Resistance


I recently got into the world of Zwift and I must say that I am really enjoying it. 

After a lot of research online, and considering my budget, I decided to go with the Wahoo Kickr Snap 2017. I really like how it integrates with Zwift and how the resistance changes.

After buying this I went into a shop and tried the Wahoo Kickr. I felt that on the lightest gear, the resistance was noticeably lighter on the Kickr compared to my Kickr Snap.

I am trying to determine if there is something wrong with my unit or is this a normal difference between the Kickr and Kickr Snap. Unfortunately I don’t have a place around me where I can try another Kickr Snap. Btw I am using the Kickr Snap with a 24 speed hardtail mountain bike with the Continental Hometrainer tire.

If others who have tried both can comment that would be very helpful.


I haven’t tried both the KICKR Snap and the KICKR with Zwift, but one explanation is that the “trainer difficulty” setting in the Zwift software was set to different values for the two units (described here). However, I wouldn’t be surprised if trainers intrinsically have different resistance responses when under Zwift control, even different models from the same company. As described in the link above you can adjust the “feel” of hills using the “trainer difficulty” setting, if you’d like hills to feel harder or easier.

If you’re concerned that one gives an advantage over the other (which I don’t think you are), it might be important to point out that the speed of your rider has everything to do with the watts/kg your putting out, independent of the programmed resistance (that is, you can get more/less resistance by shifting to a harder/easier gear and putting out more/less watts, whether you are going up or down a hill). So there is really no advantage to one feeling easier or harder than another. But if hills are too hard while in the easiest gear, then you should probably reduce the “trainer difficulty” setting. But as I’m sure you already know, 

Thanks for your detailed response. I guess I should have given some more details to start with. I am actually looking at the resistance outside of Zwift with the trainers not connected to any software. But you are absolutely right that even though both trainers are from the same company, their resistance responses might be different. 

If I had a power meter to confirm the accuracy of the power reading coming from the Kickr Snap then I wouldn’t be too concerned about the extra perceived resistance. At this point, I am just trying to figure out if there is anything wrong with my unit.

Btw I have done both the Advanced Spindown and multiple Spindowns.

I also have the snap and am pleased with it.  The dam thing does simulate hills.  I believe you can control resistance settings using the Wahoo fitness ap.  There are tons of youtube videos on the Wahoo Snap.  Google your question and you will find something out there.  You will be pleased with your purchase.  One final thing.  Wheel tension.  The kickr does not require this.  The Snap does.  If our wheel tension is too tight, it will be more difficult.  Too loose, less.  After spin down.  Scroll down and see how many seconds it took.  Ideally, you are looking for something in between 10 and 15 seconds.  More than 15?  Too loose.  Less than 10?  Too tight.  Also.  I believe with nothing controlling the resistance.  It’s just a fluid trainer effect.  Faster your wheel spins, the harder it gets.  

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Have you done the advanced spindown on the Snap? What tyre pressure? It should be 110 - 120 psi.

Yes. I do the advance spin down once in ahwile. I run 110 to 120 psi.

wow, so i looked at the wahoo site to verify the “spin down should take 10-15 seconds” piece, and noticed that mine has been taking 25 seconds. i use kickr snap for both power and resistance.

so i tightened the knob quite a bit over 4 spin downs until i got it to 15.5 seconds using the wahoo app on android.

now all my wattages in zwift are 20-30 watts higher.

were my numbers wrong before? are they wrong now? i’d love for my FTP to be 207 like it says now, but it was 193 before i did this… seems like it matters most for watt/kg and speed; i was riding much faster at this level than i was before i made this change.


detail on 10-15 seconds is in the video on this page:

Try 1 more 1/2 turn to get under 15. If I release the tension on the wheel. I start from scratch. I make sure my 700/25c tire is at 110 psi. I slowing spin tire. As soon as it makes contact. I turn the knob two full turns. Know for my set up this will never be enough. I give it another half turn. I warm it up and make 1/4 adjustments from there. Usually 13 secs after spin down.

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U may have had a little wheel slippage which would slow the roller. Lowering power reading.

I sent my question to Wahoo support and this is the response I got, thought I should share with others.

“The resistance difference you are likely feeling is due to the wheel-on vs direct drive trainer design. Because of the additional roller and wheel contact, you are going to naturally feel more resistance on the Snap. A direct drive trainer like the KICKR will have less resistance built into the system due to the absence of the wheel and roller. By directly connecting your drive train to the fly wheel you will get a better response from the system. It will also remove a built in resistance floor found in on-wheel trainers that occurs due to the minimum amount of power necessary to overcome the resistance found in the roller and wheel.”