Newbie collecting gear with new Kickr. Advice please

Hi, new guy here. Decided to get a better situation for my indoor trainer as I will need to actually put some bike time in over the winter time, when I normally just ski and sometimes do a little Nordic skiing as I live in a ski resort area.

So I got I have wahoo kickr and put my old road bike on it. Outside I mostly mountain bike and ride my gravel bike and have mostly Garmin gear such as an old Fenix 3Hr and now an Edge 1040 and InReach as I ride by myself a lot in areas without cell coverage.

I have the Kickr set up and it seems to be working. And I have signed up for Wahoo Systm. I may get some additional coaching over the winter time using TrainingPeaks. I understand that I will be able to upload the workouts into systm.

I think the main thing I need still is a heart rate strap as my old Garmin one doesn’t seem to work with Systm (old HRM3, ANT+ Only) and I’m thinking I will get the Polar Verity Sense yes I would like to move away from a chest wrap anyway.

Does that seem like it will work with the wahoo Systm? I am pretty sure it will work fine with the Garmin stuff outside.

Any other hints as I get started?

Hi, and welcome!

It seems like you’ve got yourself sorted quite nicely.

Make sure you get a fan too, it gets rather sweaty at times.

Heart rate monitor will work if your computer has the connection ability to connect to it. I.e. if it’s got Bluetooth, it will work. I’ve used all sort of cheap eBay units that work well.

Happy suffering!


@sunvalleylaw Welcome! Note that workouts programmed in TrainingPeaks don’t import into SYSTM (yet?) but you can ride them on RGT by emailing them to All completed rides from both SYSTM and RGT can be uploaded to TrainingPeaks when they are finished.

If you pick a training plan in SYSTM it won’t replicate in TrainingPeaks but there are some workarounds using some older plans currently on TrainingPeaks that are similar to the ones offered now:

TrainingPeaks: Sufferfest Plans

I ended up creating a library on TrainingPeaks so I can just swap in and out workouts based on the plan and based on schedule changes.

I hope that helps!


My 12 year old Garmin HR strap still works fine, but since it’s only ANT+, I need to use a ANT+ dongle with my PC in order to use it with SYSTM, Zwift, etc… For indoor training, I used to connect everything via ANT+, but for some reason only in SYSTM, the smart trainer responds quicker with BT than ANT+. This isn’t the case in Zwift or Trainerroad. So, in SYSTM, HR and cadence connect via ANT+ and the trainer is BT.

In my experience, a separate cadence sensor works better and more reliably than using the trainer for cadence as the trainer can only rely on sensing power pulse to determine cadence. When spinning, particularly at high cadence, there often aren’t distinct regular power pulses for the trainer to sense.

Many like to have floor mat under the trainer and bike. I use a relatively inexpensive door entry mat from the hardware store. These are plastic rubber with a short looped pile and are impervious to sweat, spills, or any lubes. I use a 60x36" mat that goes for ~$25.

Def need a fan. For a long time I used an inexpensive three speed box fan that worked great when aimed properly. Now I have two smaller turbo type fans.

Then there’s some kind of desk. I use an ancient Manhasset music stand, which is a bit wobbly but works OK. There are purpose built trainer desks, which can be expensive but there’s one on Amazon for ~$130 that it very good.

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Thanks all! I appreciate the thoughts. I have a big box fan upstairs I will haul downstairs for now, and may look for something smaller but as effective. Will look at the turbo fans. Definitely also need some kind of desk.

I had been using either my iPhone or iPad for Zwift, and have not really done much with Systm yet other than explore, but did the same there. So ANT+ did not work for me. The HRM3 HR sensor does connect of course to my Edge, but that does not seem to be a way to connect to the Zwift and Systm apps. I guess I could consider using my MacBook Pro instead if that is better. Either way, I definitely need some sort of desk. I do have a Manhasset music stand I could use for now. But would be a little worried if I had my laptop on it. In years past, I tried to do Zwift and training on my wife’s Schwinn bow flex type bike But was frustrated with how it didn’t work well with Zwift, not knowing about the Wahoo system yet. But I could just put my iPad or phone on the little stand the Schwinn/Bowflex bike had.

My wife correctly insisted that I have a mat for sweat, and I have an old yoga mat down temporary right now and and inexpensive Amazon type exercise mat coming in the same dimensions that the Wahoo one is.

I have not tried RGT yet and will check that out. I had not participated in Sufferfest before, and will look at that. I have enjoyed GCN, and GMBN.

I learned that in Systm, you can’t really just hit “Ride” and just ride around like you do in Zwift, but instead it has workouts, and that you may choose a plan. I will need to decide what is best for me. I just finished a short version of Rebecca’s Private Idaho where I live in Idaho, and want to upgrade my cycling endurance further than the typical two or three hour efforts to something where I can do at least the 56 mile gravel ride which would probably be about a 4 1/2 or four hour effort for me if I am trained decently. So I was considering joining the RPI basecamp winter training, which uses Training Peaks, (and has group rides in Zwift) in addition with my Alpine ski work. I am a professional instructor/coach and spend a lot of time on the mountain which is great for strength but not so much for cardio.

Another option would be to come up with a plan within Wahoo Systm that matches with my somewhat divergent training needs, and just skip the RPI Basecamp. But was thinking some coaching more toward longer endurance might not be bad. Especially as I am turning 60 next month.

I made a couple edits to my original post to correct typos and the forum system hid my original post temporarily because it thought it might be spam or something. Supposedly the original post will show back up soon. In the meantime, basically I am new to the group, just got a Wahoo Kickr, and have other various gear such as a Garmin Edge and some sensors, and am interested in how best to use Wahoo Systm for my winter training. (It is back ip now)

Thanks all for the help so far!

I will definitely need to explore and learn how to make that connection between Systm, Training Peaks, and RGT work, especially if I am going to go ahead and get the coaching I want to this winter season. The issue there will be if I have enough time to put into cycling in addition to all my on mountain stuff.

@sunvalleylaw Definitely reach out if you need more help.

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@Saddlesaur I have a cadence sensor (Garmin) so will go ahead and use it also. Easy to move to my outdoor bike when I want to. Or, if I get tired of that, they are cheap(ish) and I will just get another one.

Honestly, I have not run a cadence sensor in years, as I have a pretty good idea at least if I am in the lower 80’s, higher 80’s or 90’s, generally. But as I was getting going with this, and upgrading my outdoor cycling tech also, figured I would measure all that again and make sure my sense is accurate.

Many (most) SYSTM workouts include cadence targets, so having cadence is very useful. I also find it very helpful in doing the HM and FF tests. e.g. for the 20mm FF interval, I’ll set the gear and level so that I hit the target power at ~90, rpm, then try to hold 93-95 rpm for the duration and beat the target.

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Yeah, I saw that in my first workout. I did the “Getting Away With It.” The cadence was wildly off at times using only the Kickr. I was running out of time on my day and did not get the cadence sensor put on before I climbed on my bike.

The Wahoo workout was fun! And motivating! I have to play with the settings. the ERG resistance does not seem hard enough for what I was seeing. RPM inaccurate. Will add cadence sensor. I have not done an FTP test nor Wahoo version, nor entered any FTP data anywhere, and maybe i need to do that to get the resistance set up better.

I did some Zwifting yesterday on the Kickr, with my FTP estimated from the Schwinn bike at 190, and there was a lot more resistance at times. Zwift upped the FTP estimate to 200 after the Kickr ride in Watopia. But I have not done a specific FTP test there (nor anywhere) yet. Was going to do an outdoor one via Training Peaks for my Rebecca’s Private Idaho training and coaching, but got Covid so those plans were set aside.

Will get one done in the next week or two here. Or the Full Monty here I guess.

Overview of basic set up for now. May get moved to a spare bedroom.

View from the bike with Wahoo Systm workout pulled up and music stand deployed with the iPad. And box fan and air purifier as we have fires, and poor air quality right now.


Ha! Same Manhasset music stand I use.

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thank you for the idea! Works just fine with my iPad. And I think the iPad will be sufficient. mirroring to a TV as shown or to a computer monitor if I set up an extra bedroom for winter time.