- Wahoo’s new KICKR ROLLR takes the traditional roller trainer – and makes it smarter.
- For some riders, rollers are preferable to smart training bikes – which can be too bulky, to move outside or take on vacation.
- And Wahoo has some clever new power metering pedals, too, matching the KICKR ROLLR.
Indoor training hardware is evolving apace, incentivized by remarkable advances in virtual riding apps and platforms.
Although the latest smart trainers can deliver a very natural pedal-stroke feel, they remain large items to store and move about your living room. Or home office.
Many riders prefer the feel of their road bike running on rollers, for indoor training. Unlike turbo-trainers, where the rear wheel is either removed or elevated, rollers are much less hassle to configure and allow lateral wheel movement.
Not really for mountain bikes - unless you run very narrow tyres
Wahoo’s latest product evolution is the KICKR ROLLR. It combines rollers' traditional convenience with smart digitization and industrial design.
The quick-release wheelbase clamp will make it a lot less burdensome to swap between bikes – for different riders – on a shared indoor training schedule.
Designed for road and gravel bikes, with a 2.1” front tyre width limit, the KICKR ROLLR communicates with other digital training devices via Bluetooth and ANT+ signalling.
About twice the weight of your bike
Providing the magnetic resistance to make you work for your virtual kilometres is a 4.5kg flywheel. Wahoo claims the KICKR ROLLR can provide up to 1500-watts of resistance and simulate riding up 10% gradients. With a non-slip coating on the rollers, the risk of side-slippage during intense pedal inputs, should be minimal.
It’s not light, though, at 22.6kg. And prices at R15 999. But moderately fit riders should be capable of moving the KICKR ROLLR outside to train on a patio in fair weather.
Patio portability is one of the KICKR ROLLR’s notable benefits over a much heavier smart bike trainer. This is especially true for local riders, who benefit from living in a benign climate and have access to large properties. You can even take it with you on vacation or that long weekend – although it doesn’t come with a tailored carry case.
There is a smart pedal deal, too
If you desire the ultimate in data harvesting and training accuracy, Wahoo’s new power-meter enabled pedals are just the thing.
Using the proven Speedplay design, these POWRLINK ZERO pedals feature single- or double-sided power-metering. However, they aren’t cheap at R8999 for the single-sided POWRLINK ZEROs and R13 999 for the double-sided smart pedals.
Wahoo ALSO offers a bundle option, combining the KICKR ROLLR and single-sided POWRLINK ZERO pedals, for R23 999.