Wahoo Kickr feels odd

Hi. I just got the newest Kickr with wifi and it feels like it’s underreading. 310/320W feels like 360/370W. I know this because I can push 320W for much longer outside. Of course, it’s harder to push inside than outside, but it can’t be such a big difference.

Calibrated my Dura Ace power meter, and now the Kickr is reading 10-20W higher (was reading the same as dura ace before).

Another weird thing is that I can feel resistance increasing when I increase cadence - sounds like ERG mode (but it’s off). For example, on cog X and 100rpm i generate 180-190W, with the same cog X and 115rpm I generate 290W.

Does anyone know what’s wrong?

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I dunno about the first part but the second part sounds right. Unless I am misreading what you are saying.

When NOT in ERG mode, an increase in cadence on the same gear SHOULD result in an increase in power. That is by design. Generally, with ERG mode ON, any increase in cadence might (very temporarily) result in an increase in power but it should be only be a second or two before it settles in to the set power.

Just to be clear. In ERG mode, at a setting of 200 watts, the power should stay at 200 watts whether your cadence is 70rpm or 100rpm.

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Yes, I know that if cadence increases, then power increases too. However, the increase shouldn’t be that dramatic. From 100rpm to 115rpm the power should increase roughly to 220/230W, and not 290W.

What Level are you using where you get that increase? Have you tried different levels to see which feels best for your purposes?

The power increase is at least in part, afaik, dependent on which level mode you are in with the power increasing significantly faster as the levels increase (or decrease, I can never remember).

What kind of trainer were you using prior to the Kickr?

Also, sorry, forgot my manners, WELCOME to the forums @Alex121 !!

It happens on all cogs (can’t use anything past the 6th/7th cog as it becomes ridiculous, 12th cog would be something like 1000W at 95rpm).

I have everything off on Zwift, so ERG mode is off, sensitivity is off, gradient is off, etc. Therefore, I don’t see what else can be wrong.

I was using an Elite Drivo before, and it worked perfectly. I could use all of the cassette!

I can literally now use 1 cog to do all of the workout as power increases rapidly when cadence is increased by a bit.

Thank you for the welcome note!

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It’s a great community here, you’ll be happy you checked in (fwiw, you can never leave…well…you can never leave Sufferlandria, but that’s another topic).

When I talk about level mode I am talking about the Kickr itself (not the gear you are in). There are 9 levels from 1-9 that the Kickr uses and each has it’s own power graph where intensity ramps up at different rates:

Check these out and let me know if it helps.

In the SYSTM app, you can change the Level mode from the app, or from a keyboard shortcut if you use a laptop (top numbers 1-9 for the different levels and the ` key to return to ERG. Outside the SYSTM app you can make these changes from the Wahoo Fitness App (I think).

Ahh I see. Yes, it’s on level 1. I was talking about a similar thing in settings on Zwift (they’re also off).

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so try the different levels then and see how that changes the feel for you.

Still not sure what to tell you about the power differences though. Except, my 2 cents, as hard as it might be, try to ignore your outdoor numbers when training indoors. Search the forum and you’ll find a boatload of stuff on the topic and there’s some great articles from the Coaches/SUF Scientists on this as well as a Knowledge podcast.
Check this out:

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What you are seeing is expected in Level/Slope mode. If you want steady power, you have to be in ERG mode and let the program adjust power. There’s been a huge amount of discussion on this here.

FWIW: Trainers have what are called power curves. As flywheel rpm increases, so does the resistance. In dumb trainers, this is intrinsic to their resistance mechanism, be it fluid, air, magnetic… And, to various degrees, this emulates what happens when riding outside. If resistance was constant, power would be proportional to flywheel rpm. However, since resistance increases with rpm, power increases much faster than rpm. Smart trainers are programmed to do similar when not in ERG mode. But, since they’re programmable/controllable, how fast the resistance increases with RPM can be controlled by changing the Level.

Thanks. Will check out that post.

I played with the levels before and it gets even more ridiculous.

Yes, I know that for steady power I need ERG mode. The problem I’m having is that the the Kickr feels like it’s underreading a lot.

I’ve done another session and 250/260w for 10 minutes feel almost like 320w for 10 minutes on the road. Those 320w on the road have been tested on dura ace and srm powermeters

I see. The problem I’m having is that I’m on level 1 (easiest level), and the Kickr is underreading - please see my previous reply to another person.

Also, I would understand that an increase in rpm would result in a decent increase in W, but an increase in rpm with my kickr results in a dramatic increase in W. - I never had this problem with my Elite Drivo.

Can you put your bike with the power meter on the trainer and run the workout with the kickr power and use your head unit/phone etc to view the power from the bike power meter at the same time

Yes, that’s what I have right now. Originally, both the dura ace and Kickr were showing a similar power. after calibration of the dura ace powermeter, Kickr is showing 10-20w more than dura ace.

This makes zero sense, especially with my previous statement about holding 320w with the dura ace.

The kickr still feels like it’s underreading.

I understand that it’s harder to train indoors than outdoors, but it’s impossible for the difference to be that big (i.e. 250/260w indoors feels almost like 320w outdoors).

I don’t have a kickr but there’s a level zero according to the chart someone linked to.

Yes, sorry, I’m using level 0. I also noticed that the Kickr suddenly drops most of the resistance whenever I switch from level to resistance to erg to sim (literally when I press each option).

Like you, these things drive me bonkers but I do have a few more thoughts…

that’s probably expected behaviour too I imagine, while the Kickr takes the new command and figures out what its next task is.

I’m still not 100% certain of what the issue is here tbh. Some of the things you’ve said sound like normal and expected things that might just take some getting used to. Eg. Spinning at 95 RPM in the 12th cog would take 1000W. That sounds normal to me. But that’s just me.

The power differential between the Kickr and the Durace PM might be a bigger problem (I hope that by now you’ve submitted a ticket directly to Support at https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/en-us/requests/new , if not you ought to do that. That said, measurement differences may be accounted for in part because of where/how the measurements are taken though I’m not sure that those differences would account for the measurement discrepancy you’re seeing.

Probably done this too but have you made sure your FW for the PM is the most current? Have you done the same for the Kickr? (should be version 5.0.12 from 17 October, 2022.

I know you said you calibrated the PM, and since then have seen wide differences in measurements. Have you tried calibrating it one more time?

Also, are the differences in power measurement within the tolerances outlined in the support website?

Additionally, KICKR power accuracy tolerances combine with your other power meter’s tolerance. This means that if your KICKR is rated to report +/- 2% accuracy and your power meter is rated to report +/- 3%, your total combined accuracy tolerance will be +/- 5% at any given time.

Then going further down the troubleshooting steps:

If you’re certain that your power meter is calibrated correctly and tested with another bike, but you’re still having issues, it’s time for a factory spindown.

Not sure of the exact details, but in a few places DC Rainmaker has alluded to the KICKR Bike v2 having some accuracy issues that Wahoo are aware of and working on…

Yes, the dura ace pm has been calibrated multiple times, and still the same thing (maybe it interferes with something and shows wrong power too - just a thought). I know it sounds like nothing is wrong with the Kickr, but I can definitely feel that the numbers are wrong even though everything has been calibrated and working.

Yes, I’ve opened a ticket, and they told me to send files of the kickr and dura ace powermeter. The problem is that the dura ace is reading the same as the Kickr (was the case before calibration) or lower than the Kickr, meaning that the Kickr is overreading (which makes this whole case even more ridiculous).

I will now borrow my friend’s kickr (previous version) and compare it with mine.