Cycling indoors can be a terrible hassle, and I’m not talking about pulling your bike through the small hallways of your home. I’m talking about taking apart your bike whenever you want to use a turbo trainer. Turbo trainers are fantastic bike trainers, don’t get me wrong, but the hassle of unscrewing and re-screwing your wheels is enough to put you off cycling for the day.
This is why it is time for us to look at wheel-on smart trainers. Wahoo Kickr Snap is a wheel-on smart trainer design to make indoor cycling easier and less of a hassle. I’m going to check and see if it is as simple as it makes out to be and give you my verdict on the Wahoo Kickr Snap, so you can make an informed decision before you buy.
What Makes The Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer Different?
Bike trainers are there to keep your cycling ambitions going when the weather tells you to stop. When your enthusiastic mentality is already fighting the uncontrollable weather, you don’t want anything else deterring you from your cycling. Most bike trainers need you to remove your rear wheel before you cycle, but the Wahoo Kickr Snap lets you keep it on, allowing one less thing to mess around with.
Another big difference between Wahoo Kickr Snap and other bike trainers is its smart technology. I’ll go into more detail about the smart technology later, but it allows you to sign up to most third-party software (like Sufferfest or TrainerRoad) so you can keep track of your speeds, connect to your online community and continue recording your training.
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer Features - A Review
Now onto the smart features of the Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer. The bike has Ant+, Ant+FE-C, and Bluetooth which is fancy-technology-talk for being able to connect to your smartphone, smartwatch, smart tablet, and smart TV. This means that whichever app you decide to use, you can project it onto the device you’d rather use with ease.
Without adding or buying extra sensors, the Kickr Snap Bike can already measure the speed, distance, and power of your bike. This technology is inbuilt to the trainer.
The setup process is super easy, and once you’ve done it, you don’t need to set up the trainer again even if you don’t use it for a while.
I love the fact that the trainer allows you to use a third-party app, as that way you can connect to your current friends even if you use different trainers.
The design is easy to use, and not overly complicated.
How To Set Up A Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer - A Guide And Review
The physical setup of the Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer is rather easy. Everything is already set up for you before you even take the trainer out of the box. There is no need to screw parts together, as it is a “one-piece” equipment.
Once you get it out of the box, you need to flick the legs open. It’s an easy movement, but watch your fingers as it’s quite strong.
Put the trainer on the floor where you would like to cycle.
At this point, you want to clamp the rear axle of the bike into the Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer’s bracket. Wahoo does give you a quick-release axle as part of the package, so if you want to, you can replace your current axle with the quick-release. If you do this, it will make connecting and disconnecting your bike from the trainer even easier. If that seems like an unnecessary hassle to you, then don’t worry because clamping the axles, in general, is easy.
Next, you want to tighten up the connection between the bike and the trainer. There is a flywheel at the back of the trainer which looks like a knob. You need to spin that until the trainer touches the bike’s rear wheel. It's easy to tighten, but also easy to over tighten. You need to wait until the bike creates a “bubble” of pressure on the wheel. It can be difficult to get this part right, but you’ll know if it’s wrong if the bike is too hard to peddle.
There is a plug in the delivery box. You’ll need to plug in the trainer to the mains sockets if you want to use the smart features.
If you choose to use the smart features, then you need to pair the trainer with an app like Wahoo’s own, Sufferfest, TrainerRoad, Zwift, etc.
And that’s it, you’re all set up. The process was super easy as the equipment comes already set up for you, but the hardest part was getting the balance right between the flywheel and the bike. I would recommend getting an app to pair with the trainer (and I’ll explain why in a moment), and I think it's great that you can pair it with any app, not just Wahoo’s.
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer Realism - A Review
When I say “realism”, I mean “how real is the trainer experience in comparison to outdoor biking”. Of course, we all prefer cycling outside, but sometimes time, weather, and injury mean we cannot cycle the way we want to.
You can adjust the resistance of the flywheel on the Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer so that it can feel like a 12% incline. You don’t have to go that far if you don’t want to, but 12% feels the same as going up a steep and steadily increasing path or road.
If you want more than just a realistic gradient, you can buy the Kickr Climb Indoor Grade Simulator. You attach it to the front of your bike to create tough and realistic terrain.
If you need something that can replicate the speed and wind change of your outdoor ride, then the Kicker Headwind Bluetooth Fan is Wahoo’s choice. This raises the fan’s speed depending on your heart rate. This means when you’re cycling fast, the wind feels stronger, just like when you are outside.
Although I cannot deny how amazing these additional gadgets are, all three pieces are rather expensive. If you are a pro athlete or an intense cycling enthusiast, then you should consider these add ons for the wetter months, but if you don’t care about realism in your workout then these features might not be worth it.
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer - Overall Review
Set up was super easy, and putting it away again was just as simple. Because the trainer can fold up, it means when the sunny weather comes out again you can store the bike in the garage or beside your wardrobe and not have to worry about it being in the way.
Connecting the trainer to my phone and then to the app was quick and easy, probably taking less than 15 minutes in total, including the setting up of the trainer itself.
I’ve said it before, but the ability to connect to third-party apps makes it easy to use the apps you prefer.
You can create a high resistance that stimulates a high gradient for realistic cycling, and the additional add ons are great, if expensive. I still recommend only buying them if you are a hard-core cyclist.
The only real negative I found was from my bike tires slipping on the flywheel every now and then. It wasn’t enough to make me fall or to hurt my bike but it did slow me down when I was on my top speed.
Overall, I would recommend this bike trainer to anyone who wants to keep up their cycling when outside riding becomes too difficult.
Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer - A Comparison
You may have noticed that Wahoo has multiple bike trainers, so what are the differences between them, and which one should you pick?
Well, the Kickr Snap Bike Trainer is the most user-friendly of them all, is the only wheel-on trainer, and is also the cheapest. But that doesn’t mean that the other trainers are bad.
The Kickr and the Kickr Core can output 300W more power, which means they can go faster. This is because they are wheel-off trainers so there is more control in the speed and ability of the movement in general.
The Kickr Snap also has the lightest flywheel, which means it is the easiest to pedal. If you wanted something more daring and more difficult the Kickr Core is 0.3 pounds heavier and the Kickr is 4.3 pounds heavier.
Essentially, the Snap is the most user-friendly whilst still being professional grade.
The Wahoo Kickr Snap Bike Trainer is a top-grade bike trainer great for beginners and professionals alike. There are additional features that you can buy to make the bike more realistic, but the smart features and easy setup are already available to you to create a realistic workout.
Although the wheel does slip on occasion, this is somewhat normal for bike trainers.
This is an amazing bike trainer, and I would recommend it to anyone who is a cycling enthusiast who wants to keep riding when the winter days come.