Best smart trainer for ice cave

We all have a pain cave, but mine is in an unheated garage in the north of Scotland and is regularly below freezing in winter. I’m using an 11 year old Tacx Sirius dumb trainer at the moment and am fed up with the limited power range, so I’m looking to upgrade to a smart trainer.
I’m concerned about using a smart trainer at temperatures as low as -5c, having heard of issues with calibration, power drift as the trainer warms up etc? I’d prefer not buy an expensive gadget and also have to add 10 minutes to the start of every session to warm up the trainer and do a calibration. I’ve been considering a Kickr Core or the Kickr v5/2020. But might consider another manufacturer if their customer service could match Wahoo’s

1 Like

I understand you ‘Scotties’ are known to be hard men, but we ‘Canucks’ are not spared harsh winters either. My Kickr v5 lives quite contentedly in my uninsulated garage all winter and functions flawlessly. My attire at the beginning of some workouts resembles what I might wear outside (leggings, jacket, hat) but most times some layers are shed before I’m ‘done’. O, a small rad type heater helps. Wahoo is the way!


This is the prize in case you were wondering…


My tacx Flux S stands all winter in a sometimes very cold (but not sub zero) cellar in Sweden no problems so far (second winter) . Thankfully I’ve not needed customer support for it, and apart from teething problems with the Systm app it has worked well. Not sure how much drift there is (I’m guessing little/it doesn’t affect numbers/experience much). Happy suffering!

I had a STAC Zero Halcyon that would fit the bill nicely. Using magnetic induction it worked flawlessly. The wheel weights were a pain, so I bought a spare wheel and cassette to make setups breeze. They were bought by 4iiii.

I only traded it out when I switched to a through axle bike. I could have tried an axle from here, but wasn’t sure it would work and my LBS had a deal on a year old Kickr ($800)

Anyway, I think the Neo uses magnetic induction as well. Maybe someone could chime in on that.

FWIW I ride in my living room at the moment, my pain cave was a fatality of Covid as our grandson needed a place to stay after losing his job and apartment in LA.

I’m curious to know if there is a minimum temperature required to be reached for the Kickr Snap to calibrate correctly? I have had a couple of sessions seem suspiciously easy when I’ve done them in freezing conditions. I always warm up for 10 minutes, but it’s possible that isn’t long enough?

I have a Core and used that through the winter in an unheated garage in Cambridge last year without issue.
It’s not quite as cold down here as up there, but it’s not wildly different.

No issues with calibration or behaviour and my typical ride start was between 5:30-6:30 am depending, so still pretty much in the coldest times it was going to be.

No fan and a radiator :exploding_head: :snowman_with_snow: Canadian cold is on a whole different level. Congratulations on the prize.

I have started wearing tights, a long sleeve baselayer and a hooded fleece during my warm up. Oddly the baselayers seem to help with temperature regulation when I have my fan on, no more frozen numb arms while simultaneously mopping the sweat from my brow at -5c.

1 Like

Sorry to hear about your Grandson’s job loss, hope things work out for him. I’m thankful that apart from being dry my pain cave is not habitable, apart from the clutter my kids can’t bear to part with.

4iii Fliiight is out of stock for shipping to the UK and has minimum operating temperature of 5c in the spec sheet. So a non-starter for me.


Grunter is not big on excuses…ride on!!

I think that’s what long sleeves are for. Glad you’ve discovered them and they’re working for you. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine in my unheated garage. It is below zero C nearly all winter and occasionally down to -20 C out there (Michigan, USA). -5 or -10 is very normal. I have a 1000W floor heater which I turn on and aim at the fluid trainer for about 5 minutes before I go out there. The next 5 minutes, the heater is pointed at me (no chance for it to actually warm up the garage). After that the heater is off and the fan is on! Regarding the trainer, the KKRM has been fine; I have gone through 3 speed sensors over 5-6 years. Perhaps the temperature has been a factor in that but I can’t be sure.

Forgot to mention - yes, when really cold, the machine seems to require a few minutes more warmup before the power measurement will be accurate. Worst case, @ -20C, maybe 15 minutes. Probably 5 minutes is good at 0C in my experience.

I haven’t been able to find any specific info about the temperature ranges for the KICKR range, but I do know that the KICKR v5 and Bike don’t require the spin down calibrations required by KICKRs of old when there were changes in temperature. Also the Powrlink Pedals don’t need temperature calibration and they can be used in freezing conditions outside, so the pedals could also be an option for power monitoring