Kickr Bike v1 vs. Kickr smart trainer v5

I just saw that the Kickr Bike v1 is on sale for $1999. I’ve been thinking about moving from my current setup (road bike + kickr smart trainer v5) to the Kickr Bike, one of them being that the bike can be used by two people. I find that the advertised improvements between the v1 and v2 bikes are rather small (at least for my needs) so I’m seriously considering going for the v1 bike. However, I think the smart bike v1 was introduced before my current smart trainer (v5) so I’m wondering if there is something that I’ll miss when going from a v5 trainer to a v1 bike. I see that the connectivity is the same but I don’t know if there’s anything under the hood that will be a downgrade when moving from the trainer to the v1 bike.

I suggest checking out the DCRainmaker website. He very recently discussed this very thing and plans on getting a V1 himself based on the sale price and the minor differences between it and the V2.


I’ve never used any other trainer, so can’t comment on V5 Kickr, but I’ve had my V1 KICKR Bike since January of '22. I never wanted a trainer that required putting my bike in it; I can’t get past the torque stresses that puts on a bike, even though I’m a smaller rider than many, and I sure didn’t want the hassle of change-overs. If I want to ride outside, which is 95% of the time, or vice-versa, I don’t want to have to pull the bike off/put it on the trainer. That alone was enough to keep me from ever doing a trainer before this year.
But if I have any response to the recent sale price of the KICKR Bike, it is one of some regret that I didn’t get that deal, but NO REGRET that I got mine when I did. I expect to have it for a very long time, and probably will only use it MORE as time goes by, since I’m near 65yrs now and I’m grateful for the options it provides, even though I WISH I could always ride outside. In reality, my setup is wonderful, in a spacious great room surrounded by 3 walls of windows and a cathedral ceiling, looking out onto our yard and the surrounding woods. It’s hard to complain even a little bit about “having to ride indoors.”
My biggest temptation with this low price is not letting myself think too long about having ANOTHER KICKR Bike just in case a friend wants to come over and ride with me! I would still buy the KICKR Bike before any other indoor bike I’ve considered.


I’ve recently gone from a Kickr Core to the Kickr Bike v1 and I’m more than happy with the change.
It’s smoother in power transitions, it’s quieter and, given you couldn’t get the freehub body for a Kickr needed to put my main outdoor bikes on a wheel-off, the adjustment in the Bike allows me to replicate my outdoor bike perfectly.

I also had a Climb unit with the Core and the one comment I would make is that the climb action is more “subtle” on the Bike than the Kickr+Climb combo, because the bike pivots around the centre. The ultimate bike angle and body position is the same, but you notice the transition less because the front wheel isn’t lifting up or dropping down in front of you.

One thing I would say is that I think the decision really should be about money.
If you can afford to upgrade to the Bike and not “feel” it, then it’s a better experience.
If you’ve already got a recent release Kickr and you have other things to spend money on, then it’s a “nice” upgrade but far from an essential one.


I think the V1 Kicker Bike is a great thing at that price. FWIW: I’ll point out that as a solution to the concerns you mention, it’s fairly common to keep an old bike or find a inexpensive used bike to keep set up and dedicated to the trainer. That’s what I’ve done since starting with smart trainers ~2010. If you already have a good smart trainer, getting a suitable “junker” for it could be a relatively inexpensive solution.

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Show me a photo of a bike that broke whilst being ridden on a trainer and I’ll believe it can be happen.

If you want some reassurance do an online search for videos of “frame pedaling fatigue test”
Almost all bicycles on sale since 2015 have had to pass this test as part of certification to ISO-4210.

For me the real advantage of a Kickr Bike would be footprint, it takes up less floor space than a real bike.

I bought a brand new, budget <£250 road bike to fit on my smart trainer. I could have picked up a secondhand bike for about £200, but I would have to do a £70 mile round trip into the city to pick it up and it would likely have a filthy worn out drivetrain that would cost £££ to replace anyway.


Yes, agree with all of this.
The “trainer fatigue” just isn’t a thing and actually, if Wahoo had released a N3W freehub I’d have considered keeping my Core+Climb and putting an outdoor bike on there.
I didn’t have a “junker” with anything like the proportions of my outdoor bike, so that was a motivator for the Kickr Bike, to be able to properly replicate outdoor in and I really wanted to be able to train in exactly the same positions, so…
I also agree with the “footprint”.

Allow me to shame myself with how messy this area of my training den is, but I’d had my very young niece and nephew over and they’d got everything everywhere (the piano is “spare”, this isn’t the real music area anymore and, no, I don’t have my training music come out of those speakers (no, not the beige fronted ones, the other ones))

Old bike on Kickr Core + Climb

Kickr Bike in the same location, IMO massively tidier (especially once I’d done the post-kids tidy up and cleared the cables)


Love the shower curtain for holy water protection, even if it does have a bit of a serial killer vibe🤪.

Why aren’t you using those speakers? I’ve a 150w PA amp and speakers blaring out the tunes in my garage, I don’t know how people can wear headphones or earbuds with sweat running off their heads?:person_shrugging:t3:

Forget the speakers, turn the Marshalls to 11!

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Fair enough. I’ll accept that the risks to the bike frame from trainer stresses, as long as the bike is properly installed, is apparently not a huge deal.
The risk of damage from sweat is certainly real, (and just as much to a trainer BIKE like the KICKR Bike and others) and I’ve seen firsthand the damage to a friend’s KICKR Bike that’s about 2 years old now. Screws at the front end are corroded already. That’s partly avoidable with good care, wiping things down, cleaning, regreasing periodically, etc, and it’s a bigger problem for some than others, depending on how much you actually pour off your body as you ride, how effective your fan is, whether or not you have your setup in a damp space, etc. (Garages and basements can be pretty bad environments as far as moisture goes.)
I’m still convinced that I never want my wheeled bike to be my indoor bike, though. Just doesn’t compute to my way of thinking. Wheels just aren’t part of the equation functionally, so I just want my indoor machine to mimic the fit and feel of my outdoor bike as much as is reasonably possible. Thus the TILT feature of the KICKR Bike is invaluable to me. Thankful that various saddles and pedals can be used also.
I would LOVE being able to use the exact same shifters and bars as on my outdoor bike on the KICKR Bike too, but in the current configuration, that will require some changes, and I can live with the current setup as long as it continues to work properly.
Clearly, money is a factor in this decision, but frankly, the price of the KICKR Bike v1 is SO low right now, it’s almost hard to believe.
requires you to put potentially a lot of wear and tear on most of your bike components,
requires either having a spare bike dedicated for trainer use, or else lost time changing the bike out every time you switch from indoors/outdoors,
has the aforementioned larger footprint vs the KICKR Bike,
and involves the (greasy/oily/waxy -your choice-) chainring, cassette, and chain.

I know I must sound like a Wahoo sales guy, and I know the KICKR Bike isn’t perfect, but if the price when I bought mine in January 2022 was as low as it is now, I wouldn’t have had to debate with myself very long at all.

I bought a Kickr Bike v1 back in August during a previous sale about £350 more than the current sale. Upgrade from a Kickr Core and haven’t regretted it for a minute.

The bike is super solid, love the climb feature, even quieter than the core and even less maintenance. The smaller footprint is brilliant and gives me back some space in the pain cave.

It was on my wish list for a long time but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money so started saving for it figuring I’d see how I felt when I had the money together. Then the reduced price brought it within reach. Very pleased with it.

I also bought a headwind fan at the same time which is the bit that felt ridiculously extravagant to me but am now very glad to have bought it.

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Just pulled the trigger on one myself as the faff of setting up my outside bike on my Kickr V4 has prevented me from any sort of indoor training for too long. I’m currently recovering from COVID and hoping this’ll make easy 100-150W spins way quicker to hop on for.

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I finally pulled the trigger on the v1 kickr bike. Arrived on Wednesday, set it up yesterday and replaced the saddle and pedals. I did my first workout today (ian boswell’s creemee ride) and it was really fun with all the changes in incline (took a while to get used to the downhills though). I also felt the power changes in erg mode smoother than with the kickr v5. I haven’t tried sim mode yet.

One question though. Should I keep the box for possible returns if something breaks down? It’s quite bulky and I don’t have much space in my garage aka pain cave

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I binned my box - hoping Wahoo would sort me out if something dies in future :slight_smile:

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