Wahoo Kickr for a weak rider

(Allen Monroe) #1

All, I am a 235lb novice rider with a just tested FTP of only 184.  I currently ride on a Kurt Kinetic trainer + stages power meter.  I had had an ACL tear and reconstruction so my right leg is much weaker than my left, and I’m very out of shape.  So I’m very slow, but getting faster!


I love Zwift.  Unlike group rides I feel no pressure to ‘keep up’ or that I’m slowing people down who want to ride.  Cost is not an issue, and I’m considering a Wahoo Kickr but here is my concern:


At my weight and low power output (235lbs and ~140 watts if I’m just cruising) going up the big hills in zwift is VERY SLOW (3-4 kph).  


FINALLY MY QUESTION: If I had the Wahoo Kickr, would the extremely steep hills have so much resistance that I simply wouldn’t be able to turn the pedals and make it up the hill?  Would I be ruining the Zwift experience that I love on the Kurt Kinetic because I’m not at a level of fitness to appreciate it yet?


What would you recommend?

(Pete GameCock WBR (D)) #2

Everybody starts somewhere. It doesn’t matter where you start, just where you finish. I can’t speak for the Kickr but I have a Tacx Vortex Smart and you will be fine in the hills. I would do the FTP builder plan. It is based on your FTP and will seem easy. You will sweat, loose weight, gain fitness and strength. Ride On

(Dave Musselwhite (M70/ZBR/TeamZF/PACK/RO) #3

Hi Allen,

Your “specs” are similar to mine.  My wieght is around 235, and currently my FTP is approximately 190+, in addition I am 68!

I use Wahoo Kickr when working out on Zwift and I can honestly say you won’t have any problems on the hills on Watopia or Richmond.

Ride on!





(Stef Levolger) #4

My girlfriend cycles occasionally on my Neo. She’s not an avid cyclist, with an FTP of just 125. She gets up the hills on both Watopia and Richmond. There should be no reason for you not to be able to on the Kickr.

(j m. (mgcc)) #5

@Allen the Kickr will be fine and you can adjust the amount of slope in Zwift’s settings to make the hills easier.  The default is 50% and is controlled via a slider.  the Kickr makes Zwift very cool.  The workout modes in ERG are also going to be very helpful in training.



(Josh Lewis) #6

As j.m. said, you can adjust the trainer resistance.  (You’ll only see the option with a smart trainer like the kickr, so you won’t see it with your current set up).  Get the kickr, it’ll make the experience that much more enjoyable!

(Zach Graves) #7

@Allen - I’m currently pre-op torn ACL/PCL/meniscus and working on getting back strength in my leg. I’ve had the Kickr for about 3-4 weeks by now and I’m constantly getting faster and stronger. When I started I couldn’t get out of the saddle and pedal, at all, now I can.

(Mark Hewitt) #8

If you can ride a bike in real life you can ride it on Zwift. And 184W isn’t to be sniffed at either.

(Lukasz M) #9

@Allen: I’m 217W FTP, 209 pounds, out of shape (plus heart arrhythmia) and on Kickr:

Hills in both Watopia and Richmond aren’t a problem for me so they won’t be for you, choose the easiest gear and ride on, nothing to be worried about :) 

(DB Smith (65+)) #10
  1. FTP “only 184”?!

  2. As noted by several others, you can adjust the hills and/or your FTP to ease the Zwift difficulty (but I doubt you’ll need to).

  3. You should have a look at the Kickr Snap before reflexively buying a Kickr. The Snap is MUCH MUCH quieter and, IMO, has better ‘road feel’ than the Kickr – almost as good as your KK. There are no derailleur clearance issues with Snap (you leave your own rear wheel on). If you’re in the USA and you shop around, you can find the Snap for $680 or less. IMO there’s NO reason to buy a Kickr – the Kickr Snap is excellent.