Trainer decision time

After persevering for the last 18mths with a fluid trainer and assioma pedals for power, I’m delving into smart trainer territory. Having borrowed a mates JetBlack Volt, I’m sold!

Decision time though - I’ve narrowed it down (I think) to a choice between the Saris H3 or a Kickr Core. My heart says the Saris, but I think the Core gets more consistently positive reviews and the Wahoo link might help with best use on the app. Anyone tried both and can comment?

Also, are there any trainers in the above bracket (mid range?), that auto-calibrate without needing an occasional spin-down? I know the full-fat Kickr auto-calibrates, but it’s an extra £300… Would be very appealing if any trainers in the Core/H3 range had similar functionality?

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I ride a Tacx Flux. I only really need to do a spin down calibration if I move it or if there’s a massive temperature change. Not sure if that’s helpful.
If the jet-black is the only DD smart trainer you’ve tried then it will feel amazing after a basic fluid trainer, any smart trainer would. Always good to try more if you can. Bonus of the Core is it will be compatible if you ever want to get a Climb?



I used the Hammer/H3 for years without issue. Direct drive is great.

I recently switched to the kickr bike and it’s amazing. Minimal maintenance, fast set up (I’m lazy and got tired of taking the bike on/off), and the ride is insane. Lots of money but worth it if you can swing it.




I have a Core which has been great. One of my cycling buddies tried pretty much every trainer out there (including more expensive ones) and decided that the Core was as good as any, but better value than the top tier ones.

I tell my Core to get its power from my power meter, and haven’t needed to do spindowns (I believe I’ve successfully done one spindown in 18 months); I dual record on SUF/Systm and my Garmin Edge and the power readings always agree. I think you’d be able to do the same with your Assiomas.

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Thanks, I think the core is where I’m going to end up. Interested about how you manage to use the assiomas to be the power source, isn’t that feature ‘power match’ which Suf/Systm isn’t supporting? Or have I misunderstood?

Power match isn’t supported in SYSTM but you can configure the Core to receive the power from an external power meter in the (other) Wahoo app.

+1 for the Core. I’ve had mine since early 2020 as covid hit and lockdown loomed. It has been faultless to a T (I hope I’m not tempting fate here…).

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Ah, I see, just read up on that. I think that’s the clincher for the core then. All that’s stopped me in getting a smart trainer before is being reluctant to have two sources of power that don’t quite align. If the core can read from my assiomas and still respond quickly in erg mode, that’s perfect :+1:

This is the same topic I’ve mulling over the past weeks since I’ve spotted some good price reductions on the H3 (currently £649 with Sigma Sport in the UK). I’ve been using a Kinetic Road Machine (purchased Jan 2014) with Assioma pedals (Dec 2019)

I’ve been comparing the H3 to the full-fat Kickr, so the £350 saving for the H3 is very attractive to me (seems discounts on the Kickr are very rare).

DCRainmaker rates the H3 as being very good for TrainerRoad or ERG workouts is also a plus for Sufferfest sessions (sprint sessions like Violator excluded obviously).

On the flip-side, if you’re living in a TrainerRoad world (or any other ERG mode app), there’s no better trainer than this for nailing ERG workouts best I see at this point. Those trainers simply don’t perform as well as the H3 does in ERG mode.

I do wonder if going from dumb trainer with a PM to a smart trainer is worth the money if you’re not a Zwifter. I’d say I’ve become quite good at “finessing” my effort to try to hold power targets. The immediate improvement would be low cadence sessions like GOAT. Even in big/little, I can’t hit threshold power or higher but keep the low RPM. Hitting the power target means my cadence is 5 to 10 rpm over target.


Re the value of a smart trainer when I have a PM and a dumb trainer… I must admit this is very much a ‘want’ purchase as opposed to a ‘need’, but having tried a friend’s smart trainer, it does make a big difference. Plus the more experience rides on the app there are, the more I’m missing with a dumb trainer. Norway on the dumb trainer was more of an excercise in concentrating on hitting the constantly changing targets than paying attention to the ‘experience’. The clincher for me was doing Team Scream on my mate’s smart trainer. So much more immersive without having to worry about what power change I need to hit next!

Kickr Core on order and should arrive Friday! :+1:


I’ve been trying to decide on a new trainer too. For me it was between neo 2T and Kickr. Settled on the kickr, mainly due to the excellent support I’ve always had from Wahoo.

Everybody is different, of course, and I see this written a lot about Norway (and, now, possibly about the other Pro rides) but I strongly disagree.

I rode Norway when it debuted in TOS on my dumb trainer w/power meter and I thought it was fantastic - the gear changing and hitting targets made the experience even more immersive, for me.

There’s no doubting the positive effect of a smart trainer on your training but I’d always recommend doing any of the workouts in level mode or on a dumb trainer to get that “changing gear and hitting targets” feeling.

This ability is mentioned in There is no Try, I believe.

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