Today Wahoo Fitness announced the Wahoo Kickr Climb which brings real time gradient changes to your indoor training (and especially Zwift workouts). The Kickr Climb will only work with Wahoo’s Kickr or Kickr Snap smart trainers and will be in stores in the Autumn/Fall of 2017.
In another example of how Zwift is changing the indoor cycling world, it’s now going to be possible to use a Kickr Climb to move your bikes angle to match the gradient of your climb on the virtual cycling platform. Wahoo say the climb will mimic climbs of up to 20% steepness and descents of up to 10% and that this new device will help make climbing on Zwift more realistic (just wait for the VR version to use with it too!)
Wahoo say that using a Kickr Climb will enable us riders to adjust our position on virtual climbs to more realistically mimic real world conditions. This should help you engage your climbing muscles more as you would in the real world to hopefully become a better climber when you’re in the great outdoors dodging texting drivers!
If you’ve looked at buying a Smart trainer over the last year or so, one of the key selling points of the leading models from Wahoo, Tacx, Elite or others is the percentage gradient they can simulate with the resistance. For example Wahoo rate their Kickr as being able to mimic up to 20% climbs and their Kickr Snap is able to get to 12%.
With the Wahoo Kickr Climb you can now have your bike move to mimic up to a 20% gradient to match the resistance on your trainer. The Kickr Climb will cost you £450 (or USD600) plus you need your Kickr trainer of choice to get this new effects.
It does look like a bit of a gimmick – but probably quite a fun one. I have to say I’d love to give one a try, I think it could be quite entertaining. One catch is that the Wahoo Kickr Climb is only compatible with 2017 models of the Kickr and Kickr Snap as they have been updated to allow the bike to to tilt in use. As I understand it, Wahoo are looking at how they can retro fit the tilt to older smart trainers but for now, you need a brand new one. This is likely to be the key reason as to why the Climb only works with Wahoo trainers. They’re now designed to allow the tilt needed – competitors products may not have this ability which could cause real problems with a mix and match. My understanding is that the Kickr Climb takes it’s instructions for the Kickr trainer it’s paired with so you couldn’t use say a Tacx or Elite trainer with it even if it tilted.
New devices like the Wahoo Kickr Climb are only driving up the cost of the full Zwift experience as you now need a Smart trainer, a moderately powerful computer (or iPad), as big a screen as you can justify and perhaps a Kickr Climb (if you’re a Wahoo trainer owner), plus dedicated space for it all. If you have to dismantle your indoor training kit each time, this is not going to help!
You don’t need to just use it with Zwift though. Wahoo say the Kickr Climb also comes with a remote control you can put on your handlebars and adjust gradient as you ride. You can also use it with the Element and Element Bolt to relive climbs and ascents for recent rides. This could make for a great training tool as well? Out of the box, the Kickr Climb is also compatible with Trainerroad but I’m not aware of gradients in those workouts right now.
The Wahoo Kickr Climb is compatible with quick release front wheels as well as 12x100mm, 15x100mm & 15x110mm through axles.
If you’ve not yet taken the plunge on a Smart Trainer and if you like the look of this, it might make sense to push Wahoo to the top of your list?
I have to say I’m intrigued. Good on Wahoo for releasing it and I imagine the other brands will be working on similar things.
Find out more at Wahoo http://uk.wahoofitness.com/
You can see it in action here with DCRainmaker: