The Tale of the Turbo… When H moved out sadly, the turbo went with her and so I was in the market for a new one. I had really enjoyed the Wahoo Kickr Snap (check out our review here) but, there had been a few things that had annoyed me (unexpected add ons etc) and so I was ready to upgrade to the newer model; Core.
The Wahoo Kickr Core
I purchased mine from Wahoo and paid £599.99. Due to it being pretty pricey I opted for one of the refurbed models. This means it was a Kickr that previously had a fault and was returned to the factory, restored and resold. Mine actually looks brand new and has no visual imperfections. It also saved me £100 as a box-fresh one costs £699.99. However, they currently don’t have any refurbed ones on their website (sorry!).
WHY THIS ONE?
As mentioned I had had a few issues with the Snap such as the wheel slipping on occasion, needing to purchase a cadence sensor, and having to buy a spare turbo wheel and tyre to prevent wearing down my tubeless one. The Core has its own cadence sensor built-in and takes up less room when in use. For the Core, you simply remove your back wheel and attach your bike directly to the cassette on the turbo. Simple!
WHAT WE’VE LOVED?
So far so good! It has been fab! It is pretty quiet…just a low rumble sound. It tends to be a little louder at the start, but once things warm up it quietens down.
I’ve had no glitches or locking up issues, it has run super smooth. The Watts reading always seems spot on and it is quick to respond when you change power.
I love the built it cadence sensor as leg turn over is an area I needed to improve on. It’s also nice (if not a little luxurious) not having to faff around trying to elastic band a sensor onto a pedal shaft as you do with the Snap.
I thought I would feel unstable as the feet don’t extend that far out but it feels really stable and secure.
WHAT WE HAVEN’T LOVED SO MUCH?
Like any turbo, if it could be completely silent, that would be fab. However, as far as these machines are concerned, it is very quiet. Perhaps just don’t jump on at 5am if you have neighbours below though.
More of a user malfunction but the first time I put my bike on I hadn’t locked the frame hooks all the way down on to the kickr so I felt a bit off centre. Just make sure you press the bike down firmly before locking in the lever so you don’t feel like you are constantly cornering!
It is quite heavy and a bit awkward to pick up and put away after rides as it has many moving parts. However, once you get the gist it only takes a few mins, you just have to watch your fingers.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY
You need to provide your own cassette to fit permanently to the turbo. You can go all out and super pricey with these but we just got a Shimano 105 from Decathlon.
Taking the back wheel off a bike can seem quite confusing to start with as the chain gets in the way. However, once you have done it a few times it becomes second nature and is super easy.
Zwift is an additional cost, but definitely worth getting if you’re training for something specific. It costs £13.99 a month and allows you to ride with friends and link to platforms such as Training Peaks to allow your coaches to plug your sessions in and use the turbo to match outside/ideal conditions.
Put a mat and a towel down before you set up to prevent any oil/grease/sweat marks on your floor.
You will get REALLY hot when cycling inside so we would suggest getting a fan. Again you can go top of the range and get a turbo specific one, but any fan will do!
Update: H also has now purchased the Core, and agrees with all the above. The only addition would be around tools you might need to piece things together. To tighten the cassette on, and to loosen it off you need a few tools, all of which are found here. If you’re looking to get up and go as soon as your turbo lands, I’d suggest getting these ahead of time.