Wahoo Kickr Core vs. Elite Direto XR

Hello Forum

I currently use a Tacx Flow wheel on smart trainer and have been doing so for about a year. Generally works fine but can overheat on long climbs.

As I am using swift more I have decided to upgrade my trainer to a direct drive and after lots of research and considering budget it has come down to the Wahoo Kickr Core or the Elite Direto XR.

There are a few technical differences, most of which for a rider of my standard probably don’t make too much difference. Once you add the cost of the cassette to Kickr Core the prices are very similar.

Any advice from anyone?


Just done much the same: gone from a Tacx wheel on to Wahoo Kickr v5. Okay that means I can’t speak directly to either of your choices but still have some input that I hope help.

  1. Do it. The direct drive is so quiet compared to wheel-on and response to road changes is much faster.

  2. The build quality of the Wahoo is excellent. I have no reason to think the core any different.

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Thanks Mark. Appreciate the perspective

Both good choices- I chose the Direto XR, mainly due to availability at the time, and have been extremely happy with it. The Kickr Core is supposed to be a little quieter, though the drive train and fan are definitely louder than the XR. Likely can’t go wrong with either. My only worry about the Direto is if something were to go wrong, Elite is not a US company. Hopefully that won’t be an issue.

More than a year ago, I had to make the smae decision. I had to choose between the Direto X and the Kickr core. I would advice you to try them, before you buy. There is a difference in loudness and bike feeling. I’ve choosen the Direto X, because it’s more silent and I preferred the feeling from the Elite trainer. But that’s very personal. More silence was a big + for me. Both trainers are great.

When I wanted to purchase my first smart trainer at the heart of lockdown last year several friends recommended the Kickr Core. I checked out the reviews and it did seem the best for my budget but unfortunately it was repeatedly out of stock so I bought the Tacx Flux2 instead. That was great for a couple of months until it developed a very annoying whining sound. Tacx agreed to replace it but told me I had to go back to the retailer first. They, Wiggle, were very good and agreed to take it back but were unable to replace it so gave me a refund instead. Luckily the Kickr Core came back in stock and I was able to purchase what I’d really wanted in the first place.

I’ve had the Core for four months now and been very pleased with it. I’ve recently started taking part in weekly team time trials and it hasn’t let me down, so I am happy to recommend it. Interestingly, two clubmates who’ve just got into Zwift have purchased the Direto for the same reason I originally bought the Tacx;t was the only trainer available

I can’t speak for the Elite but recently got a Kickr Core and I’m very happy with it, if in the UK Balfe’s Bikes has stock a few days after I filled in the ‘notify me’ box on their website.

I came from a Tacx Vortex and while I had no real issues with that, the feel and response of the Core is much better and no more blue crumbs.

I had to reduce my FTP by around 5% in order that my usual training sessions weren’t killing me (I like SST Short) but that wasn’t that unexpected as I had read that the Vortex tends to over-read )despite regular calibration).

I also came from a Tacx Vortex and bought an Elite Direto XR. Having said this I experience an issue with ERG mode and long gears.

Power Measures for Elite Direto XR (first short gears - first two 300W segments, later for the other 300W segments, long gears). So with long gears (small cog in the front, larger one in the back) the power measurements are all over the floor and ERG mode is impossible to use.

Power Measures for a TACX Vortex Smart (only long gears, large cog in the front to small cog in the back)

As you have a Kickr Core, @Nolan_Rogers, can you change the gears in ERG mode without having any (or just a small) effect on your power measurement. So does your power curve rather look like the one in the second diagram?

IMHO go for kickr core. I bought Direto XR last year (due to avability), and last week I changed to CORE + Climb. If you drive zwift a lot you will be amazed by road fill it has much better inertia. Elite direto xr is not bad trainer and on paper have better parameters. One more thing CORE is damm quiet.

in approx 3. years of chatting to people in zwift in group rides/races (440+ events) i’ve heard dozens of stories of people going through multiple kickr warranty replacements because of some sort of internal electrical failure. never heard of a direto failing but i do remember one guy snapping the drive belt in the middle of an innsbruck kom race, though i think the belt is replaceable. i have a direto x and feel like i dodged a bullet, honestly

Friend of mine have direto, after 3y and around 20kkm he had to change belt. He use it mostly on climbs.