Wahoo Fitness Kickr Rollr Review: A Smarter, Safer Bike Trainer

My most vivid reminiscence of a curler coach is of the night time a biking pal used his in a showdown to see who amongst us had the very best steadiness after a margarita or two. The contest was a superb instance of how rapidly a curler, which requires technical ability from the rider to steadiness their bike on the fore and aft rotating drums, can grow to be a weapon of mass destruction when mentioned rider loses their steadiness, falls off, and takes out, say, treasured household heirlooms. Luckily, nobody was significantly injured.

So I used to be excited to see the brand new Wahoo Fitness Kickr Rollr, a curler coach designed to scale back the chances of flying off. This newest launch from the maker of endurance coaching gear combines a curler—the place front and back wheels float freely, requiring that expert balancing act to remain upright—with a sensible coach, which retains the bike firmly clamped in place. A common good coach requires you to take away your again wheel and fix your bike to a drivetrain with an adjustable flywheel that allows you to change the quantity of pedaling resistance. The Kickr Rollr as a substitute allows you to go away each wheels in your bike. It holds the entrance wheel regular, and you employ an app to regulate the quantity of resistance from the flywheel.

Photograph: Wahoo Fitness

The mission of this new machine is to present cyclists extra freedom of motion than a fixed-rear-wheel coach. This design makes coaching indoors simpler on the physique and higher mimics an out of doors journey, whereas additionally including the technological perks Wahoo has constructed into its Kickr bike coach—particularly, the corporate’s flywheel that controls the quantity of pedal resistance—and the connectivity to varied software program platforms {that a} conventional curler coach doesn’t provide. Added bonus: In releasing the rear wheel, Wahoo additionally freed riders from the trouble of eradicating it throughout setup and twiddling with extra cassettes or hub-and-axle adapter kits.

That’s rather a lot to vow in a coach, so I used to be curious to see the way it measured up with different fixed-wheel choices on the market, like Garmin’s Tacx New 2T and the Wahoo Kickr, each of that are premium units. What’s instantly obvious is that the brand new Rollr lacks an inner energy meter to measure your output and feed it into an app, the place it may be logged and analyzed. In order to pair it with exterior apps like Zwift or TrainerRoad, the rider should set up their very own energy meter, which often resides within the bike’s cranks or pedals. Another choice is to buy one from Wahoo—the corporate sells its PowerLink Zero Single-Side Power Pedals in a bundle with the coach for a further $600. (I used this pedal set for my testing.) In any case, you may join your energy meter utilizing ANT+FE-C, Bluetooth, or Direct Connect.

One of essentially the most spectacular elements of this coach—which weighs 50 kilos together with its 10.5-pound flywheel—is how rapidly it goes collectively. Take it out of the field, join just a few items, roll a street or gravel bike (something with a tire width of as much as 2.1 inches) into the entrance grooves, and safe the highest of the entrance tire into the A-frame utilizing a tightening wheel. Fastening the bike like this positions the again tire over the rollers. I used to be arrange in lower than 10 minutes.

Plug within the coach, then let the Wahoo mobile app stroll you thru the connection settings, which incorporates calibrating the good pedals (in case you’re utilizing them). The app additionally guides you to show off extra exterior energy meters in case you occur to have a couple of. This manner, the Rollr will all the time default to the identical energy meter throughout your periods. Lastly, you’re guided to attach the Rollr to your biking coaching app of selection. In my case, the app was Zwift, which linked seamlessly to a Windows pc, however required just a few tries by means of my iPhone13 and my companion’s Android Zwift app.

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