WAHOO KICKR SNAP – PRODUCT REVIEW

Shaun George BOTS Guides, Reviews

One of Wahoo’s most successful trainers, the Kickr Snap! The Wahoo Kickr Snap indoor bicycle trainer is ideal for amateur cyclists who are just getting into cycling and can’t be bothered to take their bikes apart every time they want to use a trainer. What does it do? It can turn your bike (road, MTB, or a hybrid) into an indoor exercise bike. All this within a few minutes.

Let’s face it. Nothing beats cycling in the great outdoors… when the weather is perfect, the sun at just the right intensity, blue skies, and the perfect temperature. Unfortunately for us, the weather is almost never this perfect. During times like these is when you’d want to take your riding indoors. With the help of an indoor trainer like the Wahoo Kickr Snap, this is much easier.

WAHOO KICKR SNAP INDOOR TRAINER SETUP

The Snap comes out of the box fully assembled. The included quick-release thru-axle must be used in place of the thru-axle on your bike; it is designed to mate with the cups on the ends of the clamping arms.

The bike is attached to the trainer by clamping the quick release in the clamps and securing with the blue coloured clamp handle. When installed correctly there should be no play in the rear of the bike when you attempt to rock it from side to side.

Use the Blue Knob to Tightened Until the Tire Does Not Slip on the Drum

Wahoo recommends following your tire manufacturer’s pressure recommendation. The blue knob is then tightened until the tire does not slip on the drum when holding the flywheel and trying to turn the tire by hand.

The first time you use the trainer, you will want to download the Wahoo Fitness application on your smartphone and pair the trainer. The application will prompt you to perform firmware updates to the trainer if necessary. Follow the instructions for the “advanced spin down test,” and you are ready to ride.

TOP 3 FEATURES OF THE WAHOO KICKR SNAP

The 4.7kg flywheel on the Kickr Snap provides a near-realistic ride feel and also helps replicate a super smooth ride feel.

Something that you’ll be happy to know is that the Snap isn’t as noisy as its rivals. Wheel-on trainers are known to be on the nosier side due to the direct tire-roller contact. The Wahoo KICKR Snap is one of the quietest Wheel-On Trainers on the market!

The Snap is one of the most widely supported trainers out there, from an application standpoint. There are almost no apps that don’t support it

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

In this review, we will be focusing on 7 factors about the Elite Tuo

  1. Type of Resistance Unit
  2. Wheel-on vs Direct Drive
  3. Power Accuracy
  4. Connectivity
  5. Compatibility
  6. Portability
  7. Budget

1. RESISTANCE UNIT

The Kickr Snap is a solid product that brings Apple-computer-like ease of use and intuitive design to the trainer and related applications. The electromagnetic resistance unit can create up to 1500 watts of resistance, and simulate a grade of up to 12 percent, more than enough for most non-super human athletes.

2. WHEEL-ON vs DIRECT-DRIVE

Wheel-on smart trainers are an affordable option for indoor training and although they are often seen as the budget choice there are reasons this style of trainer could suit you better. As the name suggests, with this trainer the rear wheel of your bike stays on and this is set up against a roller.

Smart Trainers have adjustable resistance to make it easier or harder to push around the pedals. With wheel-on trainers, this is achieved through friction between the rear wheel and the roller. In most cases, such as with the Tuo, magnetic resistance adjusts this and can be controlled with a handlebar mount on standard models.

But the amount of resistance that can be created is not as much as you will find on a more premium direct-drive trainer.

3. POWER ACCURACY

This is where most of Wahoo’s emphasis lied with this trainer. The focus was to create an accurate, well-performing, easy to use indoor turbo trainer. All this at a price point accessible to most riders.

One of the biggest advantages of this trainer is it’s relatively big flywheel. The feeling of inertia and overall realism is quite accurate on the Kickr Snap. Additionally you can also control the level of resistance through your mobile device. The Snap can simulate a maximum gradient of 12%.

Claimed accuracy for the Snap stands at +/-3% which we found to be consistent during our tests as well. It’s not the most accurate when there are sudden changes in tempo but the average rider is unlikely to notice that. Because the wheel, tire and air pressure introduce variables into the power-measurement equation, you must do a spindown calibration each time you put the bike on the Snap. That being said, the Snap is still currently the most accurate wheel-on trainer in the market with a maximum power output of 1500 Watts.

4. CONNECTIVITY

The Snap will connect to all your smart devices via Bluetooth too. For the best most immersive indoor experience we’d recommend subscribing to either Zwift, Trainer Road or Sufferfest.

Read our BEGINNERS GUIDE TO ZWIFT in case you are not sure about what it is.

Worry not about connectivity because the Snap has you covered with ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, and Bluetooth Smart to connect to all your other peripherals such as power meters or heart rate monitors. Yes, that also means that iOS / Android / PC (Mac and Windows) owners can also connect to their trainers.

In terms of app compatibility, setup is quick and simple – it only takes a few minutes using the Wahoo Fitness App to adjust the settings to match your bike; for example, your bike’s wheel diameter.

Everything connects quickly and easily via Ant+ and Bluetooth, and works easily with third-party apps. The trainer paired instantly with Zwift, which we used for testing.

The Snap is one of the most widely supported trainers out there, from an application standpoint. There are almost no apps that don’t support it.  Every major one does, and usually across both ANT+ & Bluetooth variants. We didn’t notice any compatibility issues. Everything was super quick and hassle-free to use. Kudos to Wahoo for a smooth user interface!

5. COMPATIBILITY

The Kickr Snap is super versatile. It works directly with quick-release axles but is also compatible with Thru-axles with the help of adaptors for 12 x 142mm and 12 x 148mm thru-axles.

Compatibility across a variety of frame and wheel sizes is a hallmark with the Wahoo trainers. It can also accommodate almost all road and mountain bike wheel sizes (24-inch, 650c, 700c; 24-inch, 650b, and 29er).

6. PORTABILITY

At 17.2 kgs, the Snap is not exactly what you would call lightweight. Weight is certainly a factor in overall portability, but we found that the awkward nature of carrying a trainer with no discernable balance point was more of a detriment than weight.

We found the Snap to the most difficult Wheel-On Trainers to carry, along with being almost as heavy as the Direct Drive trainers.

Another factor that we take into account is the ability to use the trainer without a power connection. This comes into play for those that plan to use their trainer as a tool for warmups prior to races or events.

The Snap does not offer much in the way of resistance when not connected to electrical power. You won’t hurt the Snap by spinning on it with no power, but you also will not get much out of it.

7. BUDGET

The Kickr Snap is one of the best feeling wheel-on trainers that we’ve had, but it is also one of the most expensive. If ride-feel is the most important aspect for you as a user, then we have no issues recommending this product to you.

But if you are on a budget, and the Snap is just out of your price range, then there are several other trainer which we’ve found to perform quite similarly but a reduced pricepoint.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 17.2kg
Accuracy: +/- 3%
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 & ANT+
Max Resistance: 1500 Watts
Max gradient simulation: 12%
Flywheel: 7.25kg
Thru-axle compatible:
Yes


As wheel-on smart trainers go. There isn’t much that the Kickr Core misses out on. The Snap is very well specced and is a good example of trickle-down technology from the higher-end models even though it is one of the more budget-friendly options out in the market currently. One of the best most Value For Money trainers we’ve reviewed!

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