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Old 11-10-17, 06:08 AM   #1
Machoman121
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Wahoo Kickr - OMG

I've had the Kickr for a month now. Initially thought i made a mistake - overbuying another toy for my hobby. And my first unit did have serious connection right out of the box. But the LBS was very professional about it and within a week gave me another unit with a small discount for my trouble.

I've had about 4 serious (approx. 1 - 1.5 hour) sessions on it and already on outside rides i can feel my legs are stronger. I've always been a very average (read that as below average) rider and i'm hoping the kickr would change that. It looks hopeful so far

I love the fact that i can ride 24/7 - whenever i pleased. I've come home from work and starting riding even after dinner!!!! And you can lose a lot of weight just riding like that.

I'm mainly on Zwift - and occasionally on Velo reality. I'm even looking forward to riding indoors now and have cancelled some outdoor rides (maybe it's the new toy effect for the time being).

The entire setup (Kickr, new desktop PC, 2 x 32 inch monitors/tv, new benchtop, etc......has been quite a stretch of the budget but i've had some extra funds come from a change of jobs.......and i thought what the heck.....it looked like it will improve my cycling.

It's a luxury surely - but i just enjoy my cycling so much more when i'm fitter and feel strong on the bike.
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Old 11-10-17, 06:26 AM   #2
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I tell you what. I am pretty pissed that when I bought this thing and I was never told about getting an ANT + dongle. All I had to do is click and I would have had one with my order but no, this is something you must find from searching through internet posts and digging through the Support section. I will say that documentation is a lost art and quite lacking in today's world. Same with websites. All multi-media BS that is not very good for learning.

Don't mind me... I'm just venting. I am sure I'll love it, but I pretty much just wasted my free Zwift trial.
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Old 11-10-17, 07:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by PaddleFoot View Post
I tell you what. I am pretty pissed that when I bought this thing and I was never told about getting an ANT + dongle. All I had to do is click and I would have had one with my order but no, this is something you must find from searching through internet posts and digging through the Support section. I will say that documentation is a lost art and quite lacking in today's world. Same with websites. All multi-media BS that is not very good for learning.

Don't mind me... I'm just venting. I am sure I'll love it, but I pretty much just wasted my free Zwift trial.
Kickr’s website is pretty clear about what you need, I.e. a computer with Bluetooth or ant+. In any case it’s a $20 item that’s readily available on Amazon so not much to whine about.
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Old 11-10-17, 07:57 AM   #4
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I use a dongle with my Kickr which I already had. For some reason, my BT doesn’t want to connect. No problem with the ANT dongle.
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Old 11-10-17, 08:06 AM   #5
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I'm very seriously thinking about getting a kickr. Your setup...LOL. I have dual monitor setup for my gaming computer (yes, I am 50+) and love it. I can imagine that a dual monitor setup for a trainer is definite overkill, but can "add" to the VR aspects. I've got several computers and I already have a place that I am considering for the kickr and the computer setup.

My LBS also sells gear and I've talked with them about it. It probably won't be straight away, but I know I'll have the support I need from my LBS.
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Old 11-10-17, 08:26 AM   #6
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I had a lot of success with my kickr last winter. Then I overtrained once randonneuring season started. Probably need to track my TSS (training stress) better. But I was faster than I have been in years in March.

I got a dongle, but I only rarely use anything but my phone to control my kicker. Trainerroad says that you should turn off wifi, but they seem to have the connection problems fixed. I think they just reconnect a lot.

If you have problems, turning off bluetooth and turning it back on and then re-associating the device seems to fix any problems I have.
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Old 11-10-17, 05:08 PM   #7
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I expected the whine remark. Typical bike-a-hole.

I had Bluetooth, so I figured I had what I needed. It just not working even though it should be according to instructions.

Thanks much unterhausen, I've been trying everything.. learning a lot actually, but no luck.

I should add, all works correctly except Zwift, which refuses to see the devices.
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Old 11-11-17, 12:42 AM   #8
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REI is having a 20% off one item sale, so I can get this for $600 - $120, whatever that comes out to. Plus tax.

I currently have a dumb trainer (Kurt Kinetic) + Wahoo speed and cadence meter, and trialed Zwift last year with a few different email addresses, but never really got into it. So I am trying to decide if upgrading the trainer is the answer, or if I just hate riding inside.
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Old 11-11-17, 12:45 AM   #9
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I expected the whine remark. Typical bike-a-hole.

I had Bluetooth, so I figured I had what I needed. It just not working even though it should be according to instructions.

Thanks much unterhausen, I've been trying everything.. learning a lot actually, but no luck.

I should add, all works correctly except Zwift, which refuses to see the devices.

I can no longer get the ANT+ dongle + Zwift to work, and can only get it working with Bluetooth.
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Old 11-11-17, 09:04 AM   #10
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Traced my problem to having a Galaxy S3 phone. PC just does not want to work with it and it is a known issue. It was very interesting to learn how everything works. I usually need a catalyst for that to happen.

I took my first real ride on the KickR, just using the Wahoo Fitness app and I can see that although very different, it will be a big help for me this winter. I ordered my Ant + dongle and I do look forward to riding with Zwift. Best benefit so far is I am able to fine tune my fit. No more winter weight gain for me.
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Old 11-11-17, 12:29 PM   #11
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Don't mind me... I'm just venting. I am sure I'll love it, but I pretty much just wasted my free Zwift trial.
I waited to start Zwift until I had the Kickr connected to the bike. But I also went down the Bluetooth dead-end, and then got the ANT dongle (plus a long USB extension cord). And for that matter, the 1st ANT dongle I bought from Amazon was a dud, and I had to return it and order a 2nd one.

That's the thing about this - it isn't a turnkey kind of deal, so you are getting various parts/cables whatnot before you have something working. For some of this you might get help from a LBS, or you can do it yourself. In no particular order, I needed (besides the bike, laptop and the Kickr):
  • A new cassette to match the bike.
  • A new chain. It was due for a new chain anyways.
  • A shim ring for the cassette (Kickr came with 11-speed - I was mounting 9-speed).
  • Front wheel block. Don't need a fancy one - a cheap one works. So does a phone book, really.
  • A tool to remove/replace the cassette locking ring.
  • Another cadence sensor.
  • An extra water bottle.
  • ANT dongle.
  • A yoga mat type of thing. Our cats are scratching the hell out of the 1st one I got, so earlier today I got a carpet runner from Home Depot.
  • Extension USB cable so ANT dongle can be closer to Kickr.
  • Portable fan.
  • Stand for laptop that I put next to handlebars.
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Old 11-11-17, 12:36 PM   #12
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I can no longer get the ANT+ dongle + Zwift to work, and can only get it working with Bluetooth.
When I first got the Kickr, I had horrible bluetooth problems. Once I connected with the phone, the phone app would freeze up. I tried going to Wahoo support, at first they helped some, but eventually they blew me off. But the same day that happened, Verizon pushed an update to my Galaxy S5 that resolved the issue.

I don't think I have ever had ANT problems - at least until I let extra sweat drip on the dongle and it crapped out on me in the middle of a ride. That's another little bit of advice - wrap a small plastic bag around the dongle so it always stays dry.
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Old 11-11-17, 02:18 PM   #13
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Currently I have a Wahoo Speed/Cadence sensor and RTFK display unit. These all get recognized via bluetooth on my iPhone SE without issue, using the Wahoo Fitness app. I was unable to pair the Speed/Cadence sensor to Zwift until I quit this app on my iPhone. This leads me to believe that I cannot pair these things to two different devices simultaneously.

If this is correct, would I be able to use bluetooth to the phone and ANT+ to my computer (with my dongle) simultaneously, and therefore be able to display info on my RTFK display unit while using Zwift? Is there an easier way?
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Old 11-11-17, 04:53 PM   #14
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You should be able to do the bluetooth to phone and ANT+ to computer. If I recall correctly Zwifts FAQ page has some info on it. I haven't tried it. The RTFK doesn't work with ANT+ correct?
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Old 11-11-17, 08:45 PM   #15
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If this is correct, would I be able to use bluetooth to the phone and ANT+ to my computer (with my dongle) simultaneously, and therefore be able to display info on my RTFK display unit while using Zwift? Is there an easier way?
I believe this is correct - you can have one BT connection and one ANT connection at one time. I have used the Wahoo app at the same time as I was running Zwift, and it does seem to work. But I can add that there is a Zwift app that you can run during a workout as well - thats a more common use case.
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Old 11-11-17, 08:58 PM   #16
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I can't get ANT+ to work anymore.

Zwift sees the dongle,



but it doesn't allow me to choose to connect through it.



Then a squirrel appears to tell me the obvious:



It worked fine before Zwift introduced bluetooth compatibility.

Last edited by wgscott; 11-11-17 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 11-11-17, 09:24 PM   #17
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Well, that was shockingly stupid.

I have two Wahoo speed and cadence sensors. An old one without ANT+ and a newer one with (which I bought originally to use Zwift in Dec 2015, before it was bluetooth-compatible). Well, I mixed them up, and wrongly assumed the more colorful one was the newer one.

It worked immediately when I had the ANT+ enabled one -- Zwift just defaults to recognizing it. (This is a good thing, because the version of bluetooth I have on a 2010 Mac mini hooked up to a projector in the garage is too old. FWIW, the bridge using an iPhone worked fine.)
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Old 11-11-17, 11:06 PM   #18
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Now, I have to decide if I should upgrade my dumb trainer + Wahoo SC to a Kickr. The $600 is $480+ tax at REI at the moment (which has the additional merit of giving me a return window).
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Old 11-12-17, 05:20 AM   #19
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Hello wgscott,

Can you try another USB port for the dongle? That can sometimes fix Windows/USB oddities. Also, take note if it is a USB 2 or 3 port.

I learned that Zwift does not use the free trial days until you actually start riding. Very good news!

I did my first 30 minute workout ride and I am very glad I bought the KickR. I had a dumb-trainer 30 years ago and I think I rode it less than that the entire time I owned it.

Edited: I have never seen that option for the built-in BT. I'll have to look into it.

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Old 11-12-17, 09:00 AM   #20
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@PaddleFoot

Sorry, it was 100% my fault -- I was trying to connect to a Wahoo SC that didn't have ANT+. I confused my two units. It was 100% due to my stupidity. Zwift + Wahoo + ANT+ works fine. Zwift + Bluetooth works fine on my later-model computer. Zwift + iPhone bridge (and bluetooth) works fine on my older computer.
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Old 11-12-17, 07:25 PM   #21
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REI is having a 20% off one item sale, so I can get this for $600 - $120, whatever that comes out to. Plus tax.
Thanks for heads up on REI sale, I just saved $240 on Wahoo Kickr.
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Old 11-12-17, 09:13 PM   #22
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We went to REI. I made the mistake of bringing my wife, who proceeded to veto my new toy purchase.

The five year extended bike tour is looking more realistic by the hour.
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Old 11-13-17, 01:04 AM   #23
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veto ? so she cancelled it???
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Old 11-13-17, 03:11 PM   #24
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As I get older and coming back in the spring gets harder every year, a Kickr Snap powertrainer and a Zwift account is starting to look pretty good. I'm in the same boat, though... $600? Wife thinks I should just ride outside when it's 10F and dark. Or take her method: lie on the couch all winter watching movies.
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Old 11-13-17, 03:24 PM   #25
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I just bought an Elite- Direto model. Quality looking and the rides have been entertaining. Zwift and Trainer Road. My brother has a Kickr 2016model so I thought it would be fun to A/B them for comparison. Sometime this week I hope. The Direto has a built in power meter which is a bonus and it mimics my powr2max meter very close. No regrets so far.
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