LOVING SYSTM- Now time for a new trainer recommendation

Hi All,

Loving SYSTM so far after a few weeks. I’m considering upgrading my indoor trainer. For past 4 1/2 years I have been using a wheel-on Wahoo Kickr SNAP that has worked extremely well.

However, the SNAP’s response time to resistance changes is fairly slow, (not just on SYSTM). Typically about 4-5 seconds for the resistance to increase to the interval’s power target. I have used both Bluetooth and ANT+, always using ERG mode, and the slow resistance change is consistent using either, which suggests the issue is inherent to the Kickr SNAP. The SNAP’s firmware is up to date.

During some of the SYSTM workouts the intervals are fairly short, so during a 10 second interval, half the time is spent just reaching the target power.

Any recommendations for a trainer that has a quicker resistance change. Definitely looking to upgrade to a direct-drive trainer this fall.

Thanks in advance,
Max

A couple of days ago, my neighbor and I browsed the direct drive trainer market to find him a suitable one. He is relatively new to cycling. After following my training efforts on Strava for some weeks, he has developed a hook on indoor cycling and came for my advice when buying a trainer. He firmly believed he would be best off with a Tacx Neo. That was because he is a long-time Garmin head unit user and because I had told him how pleased I am with my own Tacx Neo. After considering the options, he bought himself a Wahoo Kickr Core. The reasoning behind the choice was the following. First, he wanted at least to have the opportunity to simulate gradients. That counted out the Tacx Neo because the chainstays would not have enough clearance to let the bike move up and down even if he used the relatively new Elite Rizer.
After counting the Tacx Neo out of the options, we discussed other options. Wahoo’s trainers can use the Kickr Climb or several other trainers with the option to use the Elite Rizer. Elite offers the “Suito,” which seems to be a direct competitor to the Kickr Core and the Tacx Flux. We counted out the Flux because I remember reading about many complaints about that unit and even mixed reviews from @GPLama and @dcrainmaker when the unit hit the market. So we ended with two options:

  1. Buy the Wahoo Kickr Core with the option to add a Wahoo Kickr Climb later.
  2. Buy the Elite Suito with the option to add an Elite Rizer later.

Both sets would cost roughly the same when going for the entire set. So finally, I recommended him the Wahoo option. That is because the Elite Rizer is way more expensive than the Kickr Climb. So we figured that the higher cost of the Kickr Core compared to the Elite Suito would pay off in having (a) a technically more advanced and stable unit and (b) have a more reliable customer service with Wahoo than Elites. (I don’t say Elites customer service is bad, but I had outstanding experiences with Wahoo’s customer service and knew from other people being of the same impression.) So, for the time being, the neighbor now has the Wahoo Kickr Core and will decide later if he wants to add the Climb. Right now, he will test out using it on Zwift to earn some own experience in indoor cycling. But I’m already pretty sure he will soon jump on the SYSTM train because I always emphasize it. (However, I recommended him to jump on Zwift at first because, from my own experience, it allows you to intuitively learn about the different options like ERG mode, level/grade mode, etc., and how indoor cycling translates to outdoor rides. And it may not be as overwhelming as any other app.)
That said, I would recommend the Wahoo Kickr or Kickr Core. But if you don’t need or want the gradient simulation option, I would recommend the Tacx Neo. The latter is a very reliable and rock-solid trainer from my own experience for several years now.

Well before purchasing a new trainer there are some techniques that you can use to help coax a faster transition:

  1. Ride in the little ring up front.
  2. Mid cassette or higher in back

(These reduce flywheel speed so transitions to lower power are quicker)

  1. Shift to a harder gear a second or two before to preload the resistance on intervals
  2. Consider using level mode for shorter durations

Those should help, but if it’s still not enough, a Kickr or Kickr Core would be a logical replacement. I have a 2018 Kickr and do most of my workouts in ERG. I can’t comment on other smart trainers as I’ve got no experience with them.

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A lot of trainers will struggle with 10s intervals. Use level mode.

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I have a Kickr and quite like it. Just adding to Sir Brian’s last point: with a little practice, it is quite easy to switch to level mode for short intervals and switch back to ERG if there are longer intervals or recovery after–although I usually don’t bother unless I’m doing all out sprints.

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Took me awhile to have the light bulb moment about running the small ring up front for lower flywheel speed/inertia = quicker resistance changes. Run that all the time now unless I need a high NM effort, as I’m nowhere near maxing out my Snap’s max wattage (1500 watts, right?)

Felt like I was cheating!

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Hi All,

Thanks for the info. I’ll try the advice from Sir_Brian.