Wahoo Fitness Kickr Rollr Review: A Smarter, Safer Bike Trainer

My most vivid reminiscence of a curler coach is of the evening a biking buddy used his in a showdown to see who amongst us had the very best steadiness after a margarita or two. The contest was a superb instance of how rapidly a curler, which requires technical ability from the rider to steadiness their bike on the fore and aft rotating drums, can turn out to be a weapon of mass destruction when stated rider loses their steadiness, falls off, and takes out, say, treasured household heirlooms. Luckily, nobody was severely injured.

So I used to be excited to see the brand new Wahoo Fitness Kickr Rollr, a curler coach designed to cut back the chances of flying off. This newest launch from the maker of endurance coaching gear combines a curler—the place front and back wheels float freely, requiring that expert balancing act to remain upright—with a wise coach, which retains the bike firmly clamped in place. A common sensible coach requires you to take away your again wheel and fasten your bike to a drivetrain with an adjustable flywheel that permits you to change the quantity of pedaling resistance. The Kickr Rollr as a substitute helps you to depart each wheels in your bike. It holds the entrance wheel regular, and you utilize an app to regulate the quantity of resistance from the flywheel.

Photograph: Wahoo Fitness

The mission of this new machine is to provide cyclists extra freedom of motion than a fixed-rear-wheel coach. This design makes coaching indoors simpler on the physique and higher mimics an out of doors journey, whereas additionally including the technological perks Wahoo has constructed into its Kickr bike coach—specifically, the corporate’s flywheel that controls the quantity of pedal resistance—and the connectivity to varied software program platforms {that a} conventional curler coach doesn’t provide. Added bonus: In releasing the rear wheel, Wahoo additionally freed riders from the effort of eradicating it throughout setup and fiddling with extra cassettes or hub-and-axle adapter kits.

That’s rather a lot to vow in a coach, so I used to be curious to see the way it measured up with different fixed-wheel choices on the market, like Garmin’s Tacx New 2T and the Wahoo Kickr, each of that are premium gadgets. What’s instantly obvious is that the brand new Rollr lacks an inside energy meter to measure your output and feed it into an app, the place it may be logged and analyzed. In order to pair it with exterior apps like Zwift or TrainerRoad, the rider should set up their very own energy meter, which normally resides within the bike’s cranks or pedals. Another choice is to buy one from Wahoo—the corporate sells its PowerLink Zero Single-Side Power Pedals in a bundle with the coach for an extra $600. (I used this pedal set for my testing.) In any case, you may join your energy meter utilizing ANT+FE-C, Bluetooth, or Direct Connect.

One of probably the most spectacular facets of this coach—which weighs 50 kilos together with its 10.5-pound flywheel—is how rapidly it goes collectively. Take it out of the field, join a couple of items, roll a street or gravel bike (something with a tire width of as much as 2.1 inches) into the entrance grooves, and safe the highest of the entrance tire into the A-frame utilizing a tightening wheel. Fastening the bike like this positions the again tire over the rollers. I used to be arrange in lower than 10 minutes.

Plug within the coach, then let the Wahoo mobile app stroll you thru the connection settings, which incorporates calibrating the sensible pedals (if you happen to’re utilizing them). The app additionally guides you to show off extra exterior energy meters if you happen to occur to have multiple. This method, the Rollr will at all times default to the identical energy meter throughout your periods. Lastly, you’re guided to attach the Rollr to your biking coaching app of selection. In my case, the app was Zwift, which related seamlessly to a Windows pc, however required a couple of tries by means of my iPhone13 and my accomplice’s Android Zwift app.

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