Winter Temps Garage Trainer session

Hey All, I’m hopping back on the trainer after a fun summer of riding outside. With snow falling here in northern Washington, USA temps are getting in to the 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve setup the trainer in my unheated garage for the first time ever and I’m seeing some monster power readings. I did a 4dp test and had a 2100 watt sprint. Which doesn’t seem right.

I’ve done a spin down successfully and haven’t seen any errors. But, dang, I just can’t believe these numbers. Does the cold cause the power meter off the Kickr to read abnormally high? If so, how long should I warm up on the trainer to be sure I’m getting accurate readings?

Thanks in advance for any insights y’all have!


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Manual/app says to ride the trainer for 10 minutes to warm it up before doing a spindown.


True True, and I do that for sure. I guess I’m wondering if that 10 minute warmup is adequate for a spin down in freezing temperatures. I looked through the manual and app as well and didn’t see any guidance on normal and abnormal operating temperatures.

@emacdoug have you had weirdly high power readings when using your Kickr in freezing garage temperatures?

The other option is I’m a beast! Watch out crit/track riders everywhere! As soon as I move away from the cycling island that is NE washington your all doomed to 2nd place finishes! :smile:

I have ridden mine in the winter when it’s been cold - even freezing outside - but never quite that cold inside my garage. Maybe below 50F a few times. But never below 40. So I can’t say for sure on that point.

There are others with more experience with their trainers who could probably chime in with better help than mine. lol. But I know a few definitely do ride in quite cold temps in their pain caves. Or maybe someone from Wahoo, possible…

:crossed_fingers: I’m kinda hoping that I’m just coming into trainer season super recharged and am having some incredible power. But, that hasn’t been the case in years past and the only thing that I’ve changed is trainer location. Thanks for looking at the post!

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Hey @Anthony_O and welcome to the forums!

I use a Kickr as well. Mine is the '18 model. Which one are you using?

A 2100 watt 5 second sprint seems a bit off to me too but not entirely out of the range of possibility. Well…it is for me cuz while my strength is my sprint and I’ve hit about 1200 watts, I’m an out of shape rank amateur with no special gifts :stuck_out_tongue:

In any case, I would also think that a 20 degrees F or -6 degrees C operating temperature for the Kickr is likely not ideal but I’ve never seen anything that says you can’t do this. Have you reached out to support?

In the meantime, given the temps you are riding it, and given that there would likely be fluctuations in temp throughout the day and night, I’d consider doing the full 10 minute spindown prior to each ride just to ensure consistency in my indoor training. I wonder if condensation might be an issue here too in the lower temps.

Do you have another power source you can compare it to? Crank meter, pedals etc? Might be interesting to compare the readings over the course of a workout.


@Anthony_O Love that attitude - it is the best way to approach Full Frontal.


The Kickr will read high in very cold temperatures, and it would make sense that the colder it is the longer it will take to warm up. Have you tried doing a spin down at the end of an hour of riding then doing a couple of sprints to compare?


Thanks for checking the post out @Glen.Coutts ! I submitted a support request for sure and I’m waiting to hear back.

I have a set of Favero Assioma that am going to do compare to the Kickr. My plan is to let them sit overnight in the garage as well and then have both devices at the same temperature. It’s like GCN does Science!

I’ll keep the post updated with the results of my comparison data and the Wahoo reply.


@TTDragon my gut tells me you are correct. As the kickr warmed up the numbers I was seeing felt more accurate to what I would expect. Then at the end of the session I did a spindown and it was successful.

When Wahoo gets back to me I’ll update with what they’re saying.


Take the Win.


Cos it may not last long! :grinning:


I have a set of Assioma Duo’s too and that’s how know of the discrepancy! Once warmed up the two are very close. If the cold is affecting the readings you can make the Kickr use the power readings from the Assiomas. In the Wahoo app go to the Kickr and turn “Control with ant+ power meter” on. While you’re in the app make sure that you are on the latest Kickr firmware.


The cold temperature likely affects it as that is I think below the recommended operating temperatures. I remember with Eraces that some riders put their KICKR in the freezer before hand as it gave them a huge power boost. Warming up for 10min or so should help alleviate this issue, maybe covering it overnight with something a bit insulating could work too


What happens if you use a space heater? Maybe set to 60f?

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:smile: It is funny you say that. I was joking with my boss that I was going to get one of those COVID outdoor dining bubbles that were everywhere two winters ago. There are probably a ton of them sitting in the storage rooms of thousands of gastro pubs across the country if not the world!


I bought a small space heater to point at my trainer and start warming it up about 20 minutes before my ride. Then i hop on the bike and do another 20 minutes or so warmup to get the trainer working normally. I found the cold also affected the kickrs ability to control resistance as well as read power.