The Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer is ideal for amateur cyclists who can’t be bothered to take their bikes apart every time they want to use a turbo trainer. This wheel-on smart trainer can turn your road bike (or mountain bike) into an indoor exercise bike in the matter of just a few minutes. You might want to clean the dirt off your mountain bike first, before you mount it on the Wahoo Kickr Snap in the middle of the living room.
Nothing beats cycling outdoors in the mild spring weather, when the sun shines in the right angle, the skies are blue and the temperature is just right. Unfortunately, the weather is not even remotely this good for most parts of the year and therefore sometimes you have to take your cycling training efforts indoors.
This is where smart turbo trainers, like the Wahoo Kickr Snap, come into play. Wahoo has other smart trainers too but what makes the Kickr Snap the most accessible product of the range is the simplicity of the setup. There is no need to take the rear wheel off your bike and mount the chain directly onto the trainer, all you have to do clip in the rear axle, adjust the flywheel and off you go. This versatility makes the Wahoo Kickr Snap trainer one of the best home gym gear, definitely for cyclists.
- Indoor cycling guide: how to get started training indoors
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer review: setup
Setting up the Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer couldn’t be easier and goes as follows:
• Get the turbo trainer out of the box
• Flick the legs open
• Set it down on the floor
• Clamp the rear axle of your bike into the bracket (you can even replace the axle with the quick release ones provided by Wahoo in the box)
• Adjust the position of the flywheel by turning the knob at the back of the trainer so it touches the rear wheel of the bike (tighten it a bit, but not too much)
• Plug the adaptor into the mains socket
• Pair the trainer with the app of your choice (Wahoo’s own, Zwift, Supperfest etc)
• You are ready to train!
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer review: features
One of the main concerns when it comes to any piece of indoor training equipment is the level of noise they generate. This is especially true to indoor rowing machines, treadmills, elliptic trainers and, of course, smart trainers. You can train all you want with your sweatproof headphones in your ears, listening to some sweet jazz tunes while the rest of the fam has to suffer through the whirring of the flywheel on your turbo trainer as you push the pedal.
Thankfully, this is not the case with the Wahoo Kickr Snap. The 10.5lb (4.7kg) flywheel does generate some noise but not enough so it would be unbearable to be around. You don’t have to turn the sound of the TV all the way up either.
Being a smart trainer, the Wahoo Kickr Snap automatically connects to your smartphone, tablet or even smart TV via Bluetooth and for the best experience, you’d better sign up for Zwift, TrainerRoad or Sufferfest so you can enjoy the benefits of structured indoor workouts, and in the case of Zwift, an online community.
- Zwift: your ultimate guide to getting fit without setting foot outside
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer review: completing the ecosystem
The Wahoo Kickr Snap can automatically adjust the resistance to stimulate climbs up to 12% incline. Combining this with the Kickr Climb Indoor Grade Simulator at the front of the bike, you can do some proper mountain climbing sessions indoors. Make sure you cover the bike with towel in this case because you are going to sweat a lot.
Excessive sweating can be helped by adding the Kickr Headwind Bluetooth Fan to system. According to Wahoo, “the device’s Targeted Airflow Pattern mirrors the shape and position of a cyclist’s body while riding so you can receive maximum cooling affect. With speeds of over 30 mph, you’re able to keep cool during even the toughest training sessions.”
Admittedly, both the Kicrk Climb and the Kickr Headwind will appeal to the most hard-core riders only. Both devices are great on their own terms but they are also relatively expensive: combining the trainer with the fan and the climbing simulator will set you back around £1100/$1350. That is a substantial amount of money for non-pro racers to justify, although there is most usually a discount for buying them in the same time (please check before you buy).
- Winter running tips: an Olympic champion’s guide to training indoors
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer review: how does the Snap compare to other Wahoo trainers?
Wahoo has a range of indoor training products, which includes two more smart turbo trainers – the Wahoo Kickr and the Wahoo Kickr Core – and a smart indoor bike called Kickr Bike. The latter is not actually on sale just yet but was available to try on the Rouleur Classic last year.
The maximum power output of the turbo trainer range as follows:
– Wahoo Kickr/Kickr Core maximum power output: 1800W
– Wahoo Kickr snap maximum power output: 1500W
(For comparison, the Wattbike Atom’s max power output is 2000W)
Understandably, the Kickr Snap has a lower power output, as expected from a wheel-on bike trainer, but still high enough for majority of riders who will be interested in buying the Wahoo Kickr Snap. It is also worth mentioning that both the Kickr and Kickr Core are more expensive than the Kickr Snap (£999 and £699 respectively).
The Kickr Core does not include a cassette or wheel block either, these items can be purchased separately.
Another difference between the lot is the size of the flywheel. The Wahoo Kickr has the heaviest flywheel (16lbs), followed by the Kickr Core’s (12lbs) and the Kickr Snap’s ever so slightly lighter flywheel (11,7lbs).
- Wattbike Atom review
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer review: verdict
You have to love the Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer. It takes the hassle out of indoor cycling training and makes good use of the road bike you’ve already got. Unlike indoor training bikes, it takes up very little space since you can fold it up and store behind your wardrobe or out of the way, leaned against the wall.
Setting up the Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer is dead simple, unfold, mount the bike, plug it in, pair it with phone/tablet and you can start cycling straight away. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes the first time and even less going forward.
The Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer is also well-connected to third party apps: let it be Zwift, Sufferfest or TrainerRoad, you will find an app you can use to structure your indoor training sessions effectively (full list of apps can be found here)
The flywheel is quiet enough so you won’t drive the rest of the family away from the house when you pedal indoors. If you are an amateur rider who takes indoor training seriously, you might want to consider expanding on the Wahoo ecosystem by getting a Kickr Climb climbing simulator and the Kickr Headwind Bluetooth Fan, although none of these are essential for a decent indoor cycling experience.
The Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer is a versatile and reasonable indoor smart trainer that provides a lot of features, superb build quality and a great cycling experience for cyclists of all abilities.