Wahoo Kickr Overheating

(Pablo Lanzagorta) #1


Has anyone experienced some sort of cooldown emergency stop from your wahoo kickr’s?

I was about to hit 90 minutes on my workout, riding up the mountain in Watopia, 2 km left to reach the pass and all of a sudden my Kickr stopped generating resistance. Checked BT connections and everything was fine.

I touched the flywheel and it was of course really hot, after leaving it alone for a while for it to cool down I performed a spindown with the utility app and controlled the resistance and it was working. But my concern is whether I should be expecting this often from the Kickr. Thinking of buying a fan to put it next to the flywheel.

Appreciate your comments.



(Jason K) #2

I heard from our dev team that Wahoo is looking into this, and we’ve forwarded a bug report through our internal channels. You may want to contact their support team directly for more information.

(Matthew Noll) #3

A very similar thing happened to me a few days ago on the descent from Mount Watopia. A few minutes after completing the descent my resistance went out. I noticed the fly wheel was very hot. This was my first time ascending the mountain, this never happened on the Flat Loop or Hilly Loop. Then today the resistance doesn’t seem right, it seems weaker than it should be.

(. Bath Salts (84Kg) (EV) C) #4

is the fly wheel moving fast or slow, is it making a funny sound?

(Graham Beard TeamODZ) #5

It happens to me if I leave the garage door open and the sun shines on the Kickr. Now I just keep a fan trained on it 

(A Horvai) #6

Been fighting this/these (see below) problems for at least a year now on a Gen2 KICKR.  Though I haven’t solved my problems, I have been posting the info below whenever I read similar posts in case it helps someone else.

After hours of troubleshooting, using various aps to read/control the KICKR, reading power on-the-bike powermeters instead of the KICKR, here is where things stand, by no means are these the final answers and they may be unique to my KICKR.  I have replaced the PC board once under warranty but Wahoo is sure my problem is signal interference, which, if you read the details, is highly unlikely.


  1. The KICKR is sensitive to light shining onto the photosensor.  The photosensor is what determines flywheel speed and, consequently, watts so it’s important not to give it any interference.  A garage door opening during a bright sunny day will produce this problem fairly reliably, though not universally.   Positioning your setup so the flywheel is not bathed in sunlight intermittently should help. Others have put a piece of tape on the plastic shield covering the electronics and folded it in such a way that it covers the flywheel slightly.

  2. The KICKR has a thermosensor that through some algorithm alters the wattage it reports to compensate for temperature. Once your flywheel is up to speed, mostof those watts you’re generating go to heat.  If you do a spindown using the Wahoo iphone Ap, you can see the internal temperature.  

a) My KICKR drifts to report higher watts than an external SRM after about an hour of FTP-ish level pedaling.  It’s most noticeable with longer intervals than short VO2/anaerobic ones. The problem seems to also be getting more common.

b) Mine also appears to reach a “braking point” when resistance just goes through the floor, and any pedaling produces unbelievably high watts. This is similar to that described in the post above.  Even trying to hold just 100W, the KICKR will read close to 200W (over either ANT+ on a PC running TrainerRoad or BT on an iphone running TrainerRoad or the Wahoo Ap)  If I do a spindown during one of these “braking point” events, I’ll get crazy temperature readings, like -350 Farenheit!   Eventually, presumably as the unit cools, resistance will return back to relatively normal levels.


My conclusions are that the light sensitivity can be dealt with with some judicious positioning of the KICKR.  The temperature problem may be a design flaw, or just a bad unit in my case.  I will try a dedicated fan on the KICKR and am still in touch with Wahoo customer support since the problem doesn’t seem to affect all users.

(Jim Crumpler) #7

A Horvai - I’ve got the problem described by your 2b on a Gen1 KICKR.  After about one hour of climbing, the resistance drops and the displayed power goes to 2,000W with easy pedalling.  It seems different to a ANT+ drop (which fails to display any data)… In this case all data is being received by the PC.  At this point, the KICKR is so hot that it “crank it up” stickers went soft and started peeling off the side…  If I wait a while it seems to work again.  Interestingly, Strava shows the RPM dropping to zero at the same second that the power goes through the roof.

I logged a case with Wahoo support… So far they have said that KICKers cannot overheat and it must be another problem.  Case continuing.

Your temperature value there looks like a signed overflow error - I wonder if that’s tripping up the algorithm that’s doing the temp/power adjustment?

I’ll try some temp measurements and also some ANT+ packet sniffing to see what else I can find…

I tried a fan on the kickr, which seemed to fix the problem (but then I overheat!) - more tests required.



(A Horvai) #8

Sorry to hear my problem was not isolated. My unit felt warm when having trouble but the rare times I felt the drum after use when it didn’t malfunction it felt warm too.

In the end I bought a new PC board from wahoo. This was the third board as the first one was replaced under warranty when it had a similar problem. I since then purchased a Tacx Neo and a friend is borrowing the KICKR who has reported no problems. My current conclusion is that the thermosensor fails on these boards. My time is very limited to train, meaning I dont want to spend 30’ troubleshooting when I only have an hour total. So I moved on from the KICKR.

(Jim Crumpler) #9

I have some time to troubleshoot… I’ll see what I can find.

(Barry Deane) #10

I am having the same issues with my 2017 Kickr (Gen 3 I believe). Did either of you solve the issue?

(Graham Beard TeamODZ) #11

My problem was caused by direct sunlight getting the Kickr too hot. I  now keep a small fan on it and problem solved

(Jim Crumpler) #12

I ended up with cases with both Zwift and Wahoo… Both were quite helpful, but the problem was never really found, other than Wahoo recommending the controller circuitry be replaced.  So we did that - I reckon it improved a bit, but not completely.

The electronics I replaced were in the top cap, which is a long way from the source of the heat.  I’m not convinced that was the entire problem yet.

I now run a separate fan directly onto the Kickr, but it’s also difficult to generate the conditions for the test. I haven’t done many really hard Alp climbing sessions this winter, and I’m not as fit over winter, so I can’t generate as much power.  I’ll find out again in summer (when I’m fitter and when it’s hotter).


(A Horvai) #13

I too had a fan on the KICKR in the summer months.  Eventually, I ended up putting a new circuit board (this would be the second replacement board) in my KICKR.  While waiting for that part, I bought a TACX Neo and lent the KICKR to a teammate who reports no problems over the past ~6 months.  Possibly the third PC board did the trick? 

In all honesty, my KICKR had multiple issues including light sensitivity, a thermistor problem and/or overheating.  I was never able to troubleshoot in a very scientific manner and got tired of wasting my limited training time messing around with the device.  So far the Neo has been faultless, but there are threads reporting problems with it too, albeit different ones.  My conclusion is that the components in these devices, as expensive as they are, are not aerospace grade and a smart trainer has a combination of fast moving parts, heat and electronics that don’t always play nicely together.

(Mike Kilbride) #14

I had the same on-going problems as Horvai, too which I can add relatively frequent belts snapping.  It was a good trainer but I too switched to a Tacx Neo.  That was over a year ago now, I really punish my trainers but so far the Tacx has stood up to the challenge.  I was not overly impressed with Wahoo customer services.  The over-heating seems to be known issue but they just seemed to be in denial. Like Horvai has said they might be expensive but with what they are put through by some, including me, perhaps 18 months to two years is all we can get out of them.