Smart Vs. Dumb Trainers

WheelPeople Editors


There was a lively discussion on the club’s Google Group about trainers. A member wanted to upgrade to a smart trainer and asked for leads. This request solicited multiple responses and we thought the discussion was of sufficient interest to anyone considering such an upgrade and we decided to report it. This is not an investigation into smart trainers for home use, but a recitation of member responses. We include some reference links at the end.

  • A couple of years ago I bought a Kickr Snap at Wheelworks and I’ve been very happy with it. It was also a great deal at the time with our 15% WWMS discount but I checked with the store recently and with the lower traffic and less revenue, they’ve suspended that nice benefit we had so you may want to wait until that discount is reinstated if you’re going to buy one from Wheelworks
  • Got a Kickr Core a month ago and love it. I use Zwift and the fact that it adjusts the resistance based on the gradient adds a lot to the rides. I chose Kickr because I also wanted to get a Kickr climb and it is only compatible with Kickr trainers. Among their trainers I chose the Core because it was the cheaper (smart) option and so far I have no complaints!
  • I have had a Cycleops Hammer 2 for over 1 1/2 years and it is awesome when used with Zwift. Last season was my best on the road and I was 67 then. Keeps getting better
  • Just got a Wahoo Kickr Core. Love it
  • I bought a Wahoo Kickr Core last Dec and love it. Setup of the Kickr Core was easy and the instructions clear and concise. I linked the Kickr Core with the Rouvy app, and it all works seamlessly. My phone is connected to a TV so the Rouvy training routes make using the trainer a lot more interesting and very realistic, especially when the trainer’s resistance increases on uphills. All in all, I am very happy with the Kickr Core and it certainly helped get thru the winter months.
  • I should mention that my Kickr is the Core also; there are models below and above it, and accessories.  If you live near Newton, see Thea (the mgr) or Carrie at Landry’s, Needham St.
  • I bought a Tacx Neo 2 years ago and it’s been pretty flawless. Tacx has some side to side compliance, so it gives a little when riding out of the saddle. This reduces stresses on carbon seat stays. It has enough clearance to accommodate disc brakes and works with solid axles as well as skewers. I do need to change out a little hardware to swap axle types. Tacx is pretty quiet - all I hear is drivetrain noise. I keep mine in the garage. It’s cooler than the house, so I don’t need to mop up pools of sweat or put it away between rides. I bought a sturdy music stand to put the laptop on in front of the bike. And a small fan to help keep cool. 
  • Have had the Wahoo KICKR for 3 years and use it very heavily (over 2,000 miles this year alone) with ZWIFT.  Love both.  Have had zero problems with the KICKR.



CycleOps Hammer
Zwift app





Great topic. Check out the recordings of past CRW Webinars to see further discussions on choosing your indoor trainer and training apps. It's all on the Facebook club page: