Bike Trainer Product Review Wahoo Kickr Snap

Posted on 07 April 2016

Don’t’ sweat the small stuff, the famous quote and list of books made popular by Richard Carlson, PhD many years ago.   Recently, I was preparing for a big time trial test on the indoor trainer and definitely did not start off as expected.   In addition to rollers, I have used a Computrainer for the last 20 years or so (2 of them).

It just was one of thosedays; turn on the Computrainer for the warm-up and I find out that magnetic wheel was fried.   I had it 12 years and no complaints at all.   A great trainer and my estimate, 6000-7000 hours on the trainer.

Unlike the normal method of the past with doing some research on the Computrainer new models and eBay, I decided time for a change.   The comp trainer was one of the first trainers that fully integrated technology with respect to watching on a screen  – racing against a competitor with specific customized or pre-programmed courses.   They were all the rage with the triathlon crowd when they first arrived on the scene.

However, over the years I noticed that the racing against the competitor was not something I focused on and just used the manual mode all the time and simulated the workout per my specific goal.   Bottom line, the high cost and graphics were not a factor in the next purchase.

There are plenty of pro’s and con’s of using a bike trainer, but personally I actually enjoy riding on the trainer during the winter months to measure workouts which is sometimes a bit difficult in the winter with the ice and snow (with the road bike).

The help of Google and some research I settled on the Wahoo Kickr Snap and found a good deal on a refurbished one.   The company sells refurbished – defined as a decal scratch, etc.    It saved around $100 and seemed to be a no-brainer.   When the trainer arrived, I inspected it and not even a scratch on it.

Wahoo also promotes the ease of transportation and fold up, etc.   I know one thing for sure; I don’t travel with my trainer or ever take it down and wonder how many athletes actually take the trainer down and travel with it?

Impressions:

  1. The trainer is built like a tank even though it only weighs about 30 pounds.
  2. Once challenge with my Computrainer in the past was with the skewer system of various wheels and bikes. The bike had to be set exactly perfect with and “old style” skewer.   The Wahoo comes with a skewer that must be used to ensure a sound fit.
  3. The quick release arm (see picture) made it so much easier to get the bike set up vs. the endless cranking tight of the Comp trainer.
  4. This trainer is all about training, very basic, less features and of course not the graphic race against another athlete media.
  5. The software to control the magnetic resistance wheel (back wheel) is a simple smart phone app called Wahoo Fitness. It’s simple to set up and almost no instruction manual.
  6. The software app is basic, with watts, speed, resistance controlled by IPhone and the availability for cadence, etc. It can be integrated with other platforms such at Strava, etc.
  7. The cost was approximately $1,000 less than the Computrainer, which was a plus as I stopped using every feature on the Computrainer.
  8. A huge positive is during standing; the front wheel block and level of the back make it feel almost like being on the road for a climb. The sturdiness of the trainer makes out of the sale climbing exceptional.
  9. Sound, nothing earth shattering in terms of being quiet.
  10. Good customer service –it only took a few days before it arrived.

There are plenty of pro’s and con’s of using a bike trainer, but personally I actually enjoy riding on the trainer during the winter months to measure workouts which is sometimes a bit difficult in the winter with the ice and snow (with the road bike).   The Wahoo trainers are definitely worth checking out if you are looking for an affordable, no frills, and workhorse trainer.

Leave a Reply

Categories