Using Kickr BIke as a 'dumb' spin bike

So I got in on the V1 Bike deal It will be replacing my Kickr V4 and Climb. Now I know what to expect for my own Zwift usage. But part of the reason I upgraded is for the wife. She has no interest in Zwift or any other smart bike usage. She wants to watch BeachBody/Bodi cycling videos and use it as a dumb spin bike.
There is no knob on the bike to adjust resistance but is there any manual way to do this? Or do I have to use the phone or Garmin computer set in trainer mode.
It’s imperative that it is simple to adjust resistance like the buttons for the climb%.


From what I know, “resistance” mode is not available on the Kickr Bike. She can ride in level mode (which is basically what any dumb trainer would do) where pedalling faster increases resistance. That mode can be set from the Wahoo Fitness App. I dont know what the default is when you plug it in if it’s not connected to any app.

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Yeah. Whatever you do, fix Level and shift to change resistance, or fix gear and change Level to change resistance, it’s gonna be somewhat different than a spin bike in that resistance will increase with cadence whereas on a spin bike resistance is essentially constant with cadence. Using Level or shifting to change resistance is pretty easy, and the variation in resistance with cadence may be acceptable.

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Thanks, Thats really is a kick in the nuts. My whole argument was that we don’t have to buy a peloton bike when I can use one Wahoo bike. I can do my Zwifting and she can simply use it as dumb trainer for her videos. That requires an easy way to adjust resistance. I knew it didn’t have a knob but I just assumed that I could adjust resistance in some ‘easy’ manor. Hopefully one of the other modes will work well enough. Otherwise it her it will be a waste of money. My fault for assuming I guess.

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It is pretty “easy” to adjust resistance by setting up a good gear ratio and using level mode. I actually can’t think of a way that would be easier than that. Pedal fast=more resistance, pedal slower=less resistance.

And, just like a regular bike, if you want to pedal fast with less resistance you just shift into an easier gear.

imho, it’s easier to adjust resistance that way than it would be using “resistance” mode like you can on the non-bike Kickr where you’d have to use the app and tap up/down to adjust resistance up and down.

Honestly, I’m green with envy for the purchase.

Quick question, if you’re keeping the old Kickr couldn’t you just set her up on that? That way there’s no need to adjust handlebars, seat height, fore/aft etc. Or was the Kickr Bike purchase contingent on selling the old setup?

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The Level mode is much different than a spin bike where resistance is not connected to cadence. In fact during spin classes often they not connected. So a simple resistance up down is all that’s needed or wanted. She has no desire for any and I mean ANY smart technology. She wanted a dumb Peleton bike. We only have room for one bike setup and I have been a Kickr/Zwift user for 6 years. I thought the bike could be a ‘dumb’ trainer. I would think Wahoo would want to appeal to mixed usage scenarios like this. It would allow them to get into a very large market for people who don’t use smart platforms but have spouses that do

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yeh, I get it. In the thread on the Headwind, I shared that my wife is very much tech averse as well. When I think of a “dumb” trainer I think of my first trainer which was a Kurt Kinetic road machine a bomb proof fluid trainer. What you are referring to is more like an old school exercise bike or the spin bikes at gyms or the Peloton bike where resistance is controlled by a dial/knob. But we don’t need to argue about that.

The point is, the Kickr Bike doesnt offer that option and even the non-bike Kickrs in resistance mode required the use of an app if you wanted to change resistance up or down, hence, tech so I dont think your wife would have liked that either.

Changing gears is pretty non-techy as it’s done with the hands. You could set it up for her with SRAM gearing where right click is to a harder gear, and left click is an easier gear. Besides a dial, I can’t think of anything much easier than that.

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That is the crux of the problem with respect to most instructor led spin workouts. They’re based on resistance being independent of cadence. They’ll do a bunch of big cadence changes with a constant resistance, change resistance up/down, etc… So, following the intent of the spin instructor would get tricky on a bike where resistance changes with cadence.

It would certainly be possible for a smart trainer company to create a spin bike mode, but IDK of any who have.

The non-bike Kickrs have a resistance mode. It’s the Kickr Bike that doesn’t. But, to change resistance in resistance mode, you need to have the WF app open then you can increase resistance up/down.

This is what really surprised me. Not having resistance mode. I figured worst case i just have my wife use my garmin edge in trainer mode or the wahoo app.
Maybe its due to the different tech than the regular kickr. Not sure why the bike doesn’t even have resistance mode .

Interesting. So resistance is independent of trainer RPM, or can you jack it up/down but it still depends on rpm?

In a dumb trainer it is necessarily a function of RPM due to the mechanisms used to creates resistance (fluid, wind, mag…). Just about all spin bikes use a friction pad on the flywheel, which is largely independent of rpm.

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Yep. Resistance in resistance mode is like a spin bike and independent of rpm

Me neither. It may be like you said as a result of a different mechanism for creating resistance but I’m no botanist :wink:

Kinda cool that it has that resistance (spin bike) mode. Back in the day, I would fairly regularly do spin classes at gyms in the winter after work, so am familiar, but having that capability isn’t something I’m personally looking for.

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I’m not familiar with the Beachbody/BODi stuff, but as others have said and you already know, spin bikes are a different animal.
That said, I would play around with the KICKR Bike and see what you can figure out that MIGHT be acceptable to her.

I still think LEVEL mode has good potential to provide a lot of options IF she will learn how to shift the gears. (As Glen said, play with whatever gear shifting setup you want it to mimic.) You’ll almost surely want Level 0 unless she is already “strong.” (That’s a loaded statement to some.)

Using YOUR Garmin Edge in Indoor Bike mode is likely to be a problem unless she is as strong as you. The FTP setting will likely overpower her immediately and she won’t even be able to get the cranks turning more than a few seconds. Voice of experience. :frowning:

And the fact that there isn’t ANY decent screen showing gears (the biggest MISS on the KICKR Bike, IMO) means she WILL have to LEARN how gears work, but that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker if you help her acclimate to it.

One POSSIBLE option with Wahoo SYSTM software, which I have come to really like more and more, (never done or want to do Zwift), is to use the option to change i.e. REDUCE the FTP setting to a much lower range. So let’s say your FTP is so far out of reach for her to use, maybe reducing the percentage to 30-40% of yours might make it workable, and then using Level Mode would let HER shift gears to achieve whatever resistance or cadence she wants.
I guess that may only work if she is even willing to try out some of the workouts, but if she were willing to give it a shot, she MIGHT just find them pretty cool alternatives… maybe, maybe not.
My bias would be to suggest some On Location rides that have great scenery and a laid back tone… But she might prefer some upbeat music driven types more, and there are a LOT of options there too.

I’m assuming she would already have to use some technology to use the BeachBody videos or whatever? Laptop, maybe? (I use a laptop on the KICKR Table to run the SYSTM App on Windows, and sometimes just watch my own outdoor rides recorded on GoPro videos and control the KICKR Bike with my Edge to follow those same routes I made the video as I rode. Pretty cool, actually.)

I would get to know your KICKR Bike’s various options, play with whatever connected device options you have, and see if there’s something that can still make the KICKR achieve something close to what she needs to still use it with what she’s used to, though it would have to be a little different approach. Wish I could suggest a specific method, but… you might need to be the guy to figure it out.
Hope you can come up with something that can engage and draw her into using the KICKR Bike too! It really is a great indoor bike!

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Inspired by the above suggested, could you create an RGT route for her that is the same every time, then get her to ride that in level mode controlling difficulty with gears?