Today, Wahoo has announced a refresh of their flagship direct drive KICKR turbo trainer and the second generation of the KICKR BIKE.
There is not a great deal to announce here, both devices are identical to the previous generation, but they now have WiFi.
The KICKR V5, which was launched two years ago, introduced the new compressing AXIS feet system, which provides some motion transfer, zero-calibration, and improved accuracy of +/- 1% (from +/- 2%). This turbo trainer also introduced the KICKR Direct Connect wired option. The KICKR Direct Connect accessory then costs £80, and it wasn’t until March this year that Zwift rolled out functionality for it.
I much prefer Ethernet over WiFi, but WiFi is much more convenient, and you don’t have to fork out £80 on an accessory.
While this upgrade is incremental at best, it is something that could swing me to buy either the KICKR v6 or KICKR BIKE v2 if I were on the lookout to buy a new trainer.
In the past, I always had issues with Bluetooth connectivity and instead used Ant+, but in recent months, I have found that Ant+ connectivity with my Tacx NEO Bike drops out for a fraction of a second intermittently. Bluetooth has been working better.
With a direct WiFi connection, this problem could be eliminated and is also beneficial for anyone using things like the Apple TV, which has limited Bluetooth connections.
Wahoo is also claiming that these will deliver you on-screen stats over 65% faster than before, making workouts more seamless and eRacing more precise. I can’t say I have ever thought I would like my stats to be delivered fractionally of seconds faster.
They also advertise real-time troubleshooting over WiFi. My Tacx NEO Bike has stopped reporting cadence and shows an error; Garmin requires me to send the whole thing back for replacement, so having improved troubleshooting is something that would be very appealing to me.