Vibration in crank on new Kickr

Continuing the discussion from The more pressure, the more vibration:

I just setup my new Wahoo Kickr. Pretty excited!. However, after two test rides and setting up a new sram 10-speed cassette, my cranks and chain are still vibrating and the ride is definitely not smooth.

I am sure there is no “cobblestone” setting on the Kickr…

With the original cassette it was slightly worse. I used a 1.8 mm spacer ring for the 10 speed but will definitely need help figuring this out.

I tried both the 130 mm and 135 mm setup as my hub width is 132 mm (CX bike). No difference.

The bike is super smooth with the wheel attached outside with the same cassette. All parts (Chain, chain ring, cassette are 2 months old with low mileage and replaced at the same time).

Tonight or tomorrow I will try my Mountain-bike or Fat-bike to see if there is any difference.

I hate to return the Kickr but it feels like if I ride the bike with this kind of vibration it will wear out all my components in a month.

Any advise is welcome.

Where did you get your Kickr? They made quite a few tweaks to the manufacturing process last year and if you got an older one that was sitting on the sales floor for a long time, or from some random on-line dealer, you may have gotten one of the bad ones. Contact Wahoo support, everyone says they have great customer service and will get your setup figured out.

Hard to tell – I had the same concern with my kickr when I got it in Dec. Mine didn’t seem as severe as the way you are describing, but definitely a tiny vibration or ‘feel’ to it that goes up with the power applied. I asked support about it and they said it’s normal. I’ve gotten used to it and don’t notice it much.

That said, I’m fairly certain this ‘feel’/vibration is introduced in the belt or brake – somewhere in the kickr. I don’t think it’s any component, I also don’t think, in my case, it has an impact on component life. However, I’m talking about a very subtle feel that I feel in my feet, not sure how it compares to what you are seeing. If I stop pedaling (or pedaling very lightly), I do not feel it.

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the reply. I got the Kickr at my local bike store (I am a loyal customer and made sure it is Version 4).

That said, last night I tried different bikes and they all have some form of vibration but all much less then my preferred bike that I plan to use on the Kickr.

I also tested the Kickr with and without plugging it in to the power outlet. Not plugged in it is much smoother… once plugged in, the vibration goes up a level. I also noticed that it is worse on certain rings on my cassette (more power = more vibration).

Lastly, I took my bike into the bike shop and asked them if they see anything abnormal as I did notice that this bike makes the most noise out of all of my bikes I own (I normally do all my own bike maintenance as I do not trust anyone working my bike…) They confirmed that everything is smooth and normal so it is not the bike. I also tested the Kickr they have in store and things are somehwat smoother with the bike they had fitted. They did not wanted to test my bike on their Kickr.

With all this I am concluding there is something going on in the Kickr when plugged in.

To be continued…

Thanks Brian,
I can see where you are coming from. By now, I will have to accept some form of vibration and the fact that the Kickr amplifies any pre-existing noise.

Still not fully convinced that what I am experiencing is “normal” and will continue my research.

I have a bike fitting on Saturday for a new bike and will bring this bike to put on some of their Kickr’s (they have fitness training classes on Kickers and I am sure they will let me test one of them).

More to explore.

rgds,
Jeroen

Take your Kickr too, and your bike you want to use on it. Set it up in the store and show them where you are getting noise, then see if it is replicated on one of their Kickr’s.

hi, i had the same issue with Wahoo Kickr 2018/2019 version. I bought it refurbished from their online store. after maybe 3 months i have experienced a really bad vibration, i thought a helicopter is flying over my flat. wahoo customer service replaced it in an instant. got the 2nd one, no vibration but a weird crackling feeling in the cranks and on every turn. returned it and got my 3rd back, they said they’ve done something in the manufacturing to fix that problem and the new replacement came directly from their HQ. i’m now on the 3rd since about 2 months and 600kms in and happy so far. I would just return it, its a wahoo problem in my view and they know it :slight_smile:

Hi Mike,

Good thinking! I will do that. Thanks.

Hi Peter,
Thanks, that is probably my next course of action but I want to exclude the possibility that it is my bike.
rgds,
Jeroen

I got the Wahoo Kickr to work smoothly!

I returned the original Kickr and went to another store. I told them I would not leave the store/buy the Kickr without it working smoothly with my bike.

4 Cassette’s later, we got it to work. Even though my whole bike setup is SRAM, the cassette that was the smoothest is a pre-owned $250 Shimano cassette…

Concluding it was not the Wahoo Kickr but the cassette.

A friend of mine has the same issue and working the issue as we speak. My advice: Buy a Wahoo Kickr in a store you trust with high level’s of service and make it work in the store until you are satisfied.

Thanks for all the advice. I can now go all out on Zwift with the Kickr

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Hi Jeroen,
I am glad you have found a fix and seem happy with your solution but having read the troubles that you have had, and your latest fix, I am still inclined to think that you have not really found a proper solution to your problem.

I am thinking that in the future you will have to purchase another cassette at some point. A new cassette is easy to find a pre-owned Shimano which may or may not work with your trainer would I think be much harder. This replacement maybe needed sooner as your current one is already pre-owned.

I say this as others have obviously experienced a similar problem and I don’t think if you have bought a “brand new product” you should need to source a special illusive “pre-owned cassette”.
My trainer has had at least 3 different cassettes on it no problem.

I apologise if I seem negative, I don’t mean to. I really do think that manufacturer’s should be able to give us a product that is 100% tested and works as the user expects, especially at the high prices they ask.
All the best. “Ride On”

Agree – I’m happy Jeroen found a workable solution, and I guess nothing further needs to be done. But, in the interest of troubleshooting, I would think this points more to a problem with either the cassette, derailleur alignment/adjustment, chain or chain wear as the cause.

On my kickr, I replaced the stock cassette with the same model on my bike because I found, in my case, I didn’t need to do any derailleur adjustments. Much easier to go from trainer/road in this case. Even though I’d think an 11 speed cassette is an 11 speed cassette, there was enough of a difference that I really had to tweak the indexing.

Also, because the smoothest cassette is a used one (not sure if the others tried were new/used), that might point to chain wear/stretch as a possible issue. Perhaps the derailleur alignment was slightly off, which may have contributed to chain noise.

Probably not worth messing with now, however, if someone else is experiencing something similar, I might start with taking the cassette off the bike and putting it on the kickr. In any event, glad it’s resolved and thank you for posting the follow up!

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I cannot agree more and it is a very valid point. First, the cassette that comes with the Kickr is probably the lowest quality out there, I would probably have replaced it anyway. Second, it is a pricey product and you expect it to work with an identical cassette as on the bike with some minor derailleur adjustments if everything works fine on the bike. That still bugs me as I do not have a root cause…

Just to clarify, all cassettes we tried are brand new cassettes except for the last one which was slightly worn.

I had the best bike mechanic I know and his apprentice look at the bike + kickr. The chain and chain-rings as well as the cassette on the bike are all brand new and smooth as butter.

I will be getting a new road bike in about two weeks - 11 speed vs the 10 speed. I am planning on bringing the Kickr to the store when picking up the new bike and will have them match a cassette that works with the new bike…

I will report back if this is successful or not.

In the meantime, one of my friends has a similar issue with just 1 or 2 rings on his cassette. Never gave it much thought until we connected last week.He just shifted to another ring as he was mainly in ERG mode on his Kickr. Once you start doing rides it will get annoying very quickly.

Would be interested if there others out there experiencing the same issues?

rgds,
Jeroen

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Hi Jeroen,
it is an interesting/annoying problem. All the best with the new bike both on and off the trainer, and I look forward to the update, as and when you can.
Cheers and “Ride On”

Some good and valid points Brian. I had a Mech hanger work its self slightly loose once, that fooled me for a while.