I’ve just signed up for Sufferfest having previously used it about eight years ago and tried TrainerRoad and Zwift since then.
My current setup is a Wahoo Kickr Snap, the bike is my winter flat bar bike with 1x11 gearing running an XD compatible 10-42 cassette. The bike has Garmin Rally pedals which I can switch between the bike on the trainer and my other road bikes.
The Kickr Core is available again after stocks dried up during the lockdown in the UK. Is there much benefit in moving to the direct drive trainer? It may work better for me as it means I can easily switch between the flat bar bike or my road bike being on the trainer and not having to mess about with switching tyres or having spare wheels.
Is it worth using the Garmin pedals for power rather than the Wahoo if I go for the direct drive trainer?
@Grm Welcome to the forum! I switched to the Kickr Core from the CycleOps Fluid 2 which was wheel on but no ERG. I would definitely recommend it but I also didn’t have any ERG so it was a bigger change for me.
You are correct that the flexibility is there to switch bikes. I have my MTB on the trainer currently but most of the off-season my road bike was there. Note that you will need to either buy a spare cassette or use the cassette that is currently on your bike. Also the free hub that came on my Kickr Core was compatible with Shimano cassettes which worked for my road bike but when I switched to my MTB I needed a SRAM XD which I bought from Wahoo’s website. Installing and removing the cassette and free hub is fairly easy as long as you have the right tools - basically a chain whip, a free hub removal tool and the right sized wrench. So keep in mind that all adds to the cost of the switch.
If you search Kickr Core and Kickr Snap in the forum you will find a few other similar threads. A lot of riders enjoy their Snap and don’t mind the spin down calibration phase and use it as a warmup and some I believe have two sets of wheels so they don’t have to take off the trainer tire when doing an outdoor ride. The Core will definitely be quieter but depending on how loud your fan is that may not matter.
Also check out DC Rainmaker’s review:
DC Rainmaker Kickr Core
Is a wheel off trainer a good move? I spent years on a dumb trainer as I’d invested in a PM, so didn’t think I needed a smarter trainer. I was wrong, I can honestly say it’s a much more enjoyable and engaging experience in Suf when you can properly immerse yourself in the videos as you only have to focus on cadence and being aware of upcoming changes. Before I spent all my effort tracking Watts and balancing Watts cadence and gears.
Also, if you get a core, use the power on that, you then keep pedals on other bikes so quicker to ride in our outside without switching kit around.
Great advice, same goes for @JSampson.
I found the same with the smart trainer on TrainerRoad, it’s nice being able to just zone out and pedal. My previous experience on Sufferfest back in 2014/15 involved a dumb trainer and was always difficult to pace myself for efforts.
Thankfully I’ve got spare cassettes for the XD driver which I can put on the trainer. A bonus is that I’ve found a shop which has stock of the trainer, is local and will give me a 10% discount on it. The discount will happily pay for the XD driver for the trainer.
Is this true? I’m assuming you mean wheel noise, as the flywheel/weight mechanism is basically the same between the different Wahoo trainers.
I can’t say I hear much of any noise from my Snap, what with my fan running and all.
Yes because you don’t have wheel friction noise on the Core.
@CPT_A Yes as the Kickr Core doesn’t have a tire spinning the trainer - but it may not matter depending on how loud your fan or fans are and also how clean you keep your drivetrain. I have been using noise canceling headphones lately for the SUF videos. It really helps - especially with the dialogue from some of the Inspiration vids.
First try at a Sufferfest session today since way back when…
The Kickr Snap is much better than riding it with my old dumb trainer and it seems to respond much better to power changes than other training apps I’ve used. Seems to work better using the trainer for power readings rather than the Garmin pedals.
The new trainer is on order and should be here in a couple of days so I’m looking forward to getting it up and running now!
That’s almost as exciting as new bike day! Enjoy!
Good call on the noise cancellers, will try that.
With the inspiration vid it should be easy enough that I don’t get too sweaty with them