There’s been many a time that I’ve favoured riding outside in the middle of storm in November in Ireland over riding a turbo trainer. But now, people are choosing to ignore the outdoors in favour of a virtual world of Zwift. People can ride wherever they want, whenever they want. Set it up on the big screen, immerse yourself into the virtual world and cycle with your mates, all in the comfort of your own home! Not bad. Zwift allows you to pick controlled sessions, go for an easy ride, build your base or pick up some intensity.
Now with Zwift and smart turbo trainers popping up everywhere, it can be hard to wrap your head around what’s the right turbo trainer for me? Here we have a guide on all of our smart turbo trainers to make your decision easier for the winter ahead.
A unique frame design where the roller pressure does not need to be set as the rider’s weight presses the tyre onto the roller. The roller unit adjusts resistance per the speed you are going so there’s no need to be messing around with roller resistance. It’s also an extremely quiet turbo, meaning you can get on it for those late night or early morning turbos without waking the house up.
The Wahoo Kickr Snap is the younger brother Wahoo’s top-end smart turbo the Kickr Smart. This turbo will connect with all kinds of virtual training software and has a maximum power output of 1,500W so there’s no shortage of power there. The magnetic resistance on this turbo is easily controlled by a smartphone, tablet or computer.
- Wahoo Kicker Smart
One of the best smart turbo trainers on the market at the moment. Currently being used by a lot of professional teams thanks to its ultra-realistic feel of the ride. The Wahoo Kickr Smart connects to virtually every third part app there is, your smartphone, computer, tablet, Zwift, you name it. Connected apps can control the gradient for a more immersive indoor ride. It’s also been recently upgraded to be as quiet as possible, which suits the early risers or late night KOM hunters.
The kickr Core is a direct-drive unit, which ensures you get the realistic ride quality you want from a smart turbo trainer. The 18kg flywheel can replicate 1,800 watts and a gradient of up to 16 per cent. We reckon you have enough range there for any type of rider. The Kickr Core is compatible with Wahoo’s Kickr Climb gradient simulator. Attach the bike’s fork and it will rise and fall with the changing gradient when using Zwift. This can also be hooked up to Wahoo’s new Headwind smart fan, this automatically adjusts the speed of the fan according to how hard you’re riding. With all of this together, you’re completing the indoor training ‘ecosystem’. This is the one you want for maximum realistic ride feel, sound proof and all the bells and whistles are compatible.
Similar to the Kickr Core, this is Elites flagship direct drive turbo trainer, offering all the key features that every type of rider will need, whether beginner or pro. The Elite Suito Direct is a big choice among professional teams.
An entirely new magnetic drive unit was developed specifically for the Suito with a maximum output of 2,900 watts at 60 KM/H that can replicate inclines up to 15%, the data from it provides a calculated power reading that is accurate to within 2.5%
Overall, we have used all of the machines listed above and tried and tested them with every app. The Wahoo Kickr Core is our winner, it’s the best all-rounder, it’s easy to fold up and tidy away into a small space, it’s the quietest out of all the turbo trainers we’ve tested and it’s also the most realistic in terms of ride feel. It gives us enough in terms of watts and gradient, more than we would ask for from a smart trainer.