Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Machoman121
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Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Machoman121 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:37 pm

Here's a blog of my experience with the Kickr 2:

1) this thing is noisy - i thought the Kickr 2 was supposed to be relatively quiet? I was in the garage (2.5 car size garage) with the door 3/4 down and my wife could hear the whine of the kickr as she was putting clothes out to dry. She laughed and said that's pretty noisy - i agree - it sounded like i had a little jet engine in the garage! No way can you use it in an appartment - the sound is gonna go through doors and walls.

2) i was using BKool's simulator software - cause it's got a 1 month trail. the overall feeling is that these things (software and hardware)still feel like toys or something still in beta - very very early days beta. The resistance is not constant/consistent. You can see that you're on the climb but the resistance is all over the place. A climb like the 1-20 in melbourne has a constant gradient - but the climbs in Bkool are not consistent. It's quite frustrating as you see the hill you're on but the resistance is not constant...I thought these things are supposed to be smart.....it just feels so gimmicky. I"m getting a lot of 'virtual speed' in all my sessions - i don't know what that is but it's not my speed from the kickr.....it feels like the connection is lost from the kickr and the software forced to average my speed...the accuracy of the ride is lost and the whole thing feels like a very badly designed gaming software.....feels like a software IT student's would output for their projects. I"m not sure if i can be happy paying a subscription for something so dodgy.

3) even though it's a smart trainer with the tablet in front showing graphics and stats - you don't want to be affixed to the screen.....and the garage wall is not to inspiring......you'll want some kind of visual distraction aka. big screen tv and a movie or something to take your eyes off the garage wall and the tablet - can't be healthy for the eyes to be staring at 9.78 inch of screen real estate for over an hour non-stop

4) it was a coolish day but i can see how this can be a problem on a midly warm day - you heat up pretty quick ( i do have a fan blowing)

5) the arse will hurt as you're not moving around much - best to get the best perineum reliever saddle you can find

6) 10km on the trainer can feel like a million miles ! It's much better when you have someone to race with....but I lost connection or the software got dodgy a few times in the session and I kind of lost the focus in the ride after that

7) found out my Samsung S2 Tablet has Ant+ !!!!!

I wonder if there's anything that can be improved on the noise - it's quite bad...my ears are ringing a bit....

My overall feeling so far.....it's been quite a disappointment.

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andrewjcw
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby andrewjcw » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:17 am

Yeah they are noisy. If you really value quietness you really just have to get a Neo, anything else is a compromise and ranges from annoying to bad. Even on a Neo you'll make a fair bit of noise if you're doing a hard workout, but it's the quietest there is.

Don't waste your time with bkool mate, all the trainer companies make apps and they're pretty much all crap. I don't even use or like Zwift that much, but I feel sorry for someone mucking around with 2nd tier stuff.

https://zwift.com/free-trial

macca33
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby macca33 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:13 pm

From this and your other thread posts, I'm not sure that your expectations were realistic from the outset??? The smart ergo / trainer has its place and allows for specific training, as well as simple free-riding around on it, with various suites of software available.

Someone mentioned Zwift (my favourite), Trainer Road and Sufferfest in the other thread, yet you chose to try Bkool??? Try one of the others - Zwift has a free trial for a week or so, and see how it adds up. You could also try Rouvy.

Like anything, what one gets from the use of a trainer - smart or old-style - is only limited by the effort they choose to put into it...
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Machoman121
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Machoman121 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:46 pm

OK - i think i may have found out why i'm having such a terrible time with the Kickr - it's ant+ and bluetooth transmissions are not working consistently. At the Wahoo utitlity i can see the ant+ bars......out of the 5 bars - it would flicker for 1 second at bar 1 and then stop....the entire 5 bars go gray...ie. no Ant+ received. Which explains why bkool felt so dodgy......i'll have traction and proper cycling speed for like 1 minute and then bkool says virtual speed....i'll be moving at 35km/h without having to pedal. Bkool has probably lost connection with my Kirkr and gone into simulation mode....

THe only time i can get a good strong green 4 bars is when i place my Samsung Tablet S2 three inches from the Kickr.....when i move it away the bars drop off progressively....and when i'm at the handlebar it loses all the bars...

Hmm....looks like it's a dud kickr for me.

these things can be flaky.....! I can imagine losing a lot of rides......not that i know what a full ride will feel like - I've got the kickr 3 days now and have yet to be able to ride a single ride longer than 5 minutes without losing some kind of connection....and end up free floating away.
These needs a hard wire connection - not some wireless stuff that'll fade in and out.....feels like the concept still need a lot of work to be reliable.

The Kickr feels like i had bought a toy from Toys R US.

Don't get me wrong - i want it to work - when it was working for 2 minutes I could feel the traction and speed readings looked correct....it felt great but that euphoria did not last long.

Ignoto
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Ignoto » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:12 am

Machoman121 wrote:Hmm....looks like it's a dud kickr for me.


Nope, the Kickr's have a bit of an issue with Bluetooth range. I originally had my PC no more than a few feet away from my Kickr, however it would get constant drop outs. It wasn't until I got a USB extender and put it under a foot away from the back of the kickr. That resolved the drop outs and connection issues.

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kb
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby kb » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:11 pm

Ignoto wrote:
Machoman121 wrote:Hmm....looks like it's a dud kickr for me.


Nope, the Kickr's have a bit of an issue with Bluetooth range. I originally had my PC no more than a few feet away from my Kickr, however it would get constant drop outs. It wasn't until I got a USB extender and put it under a foot away from the back of the kickr. That resolved the drop outs and connection issues.

You may want to switch your wireless to 5GHz and ban the microwave during workouts too ;-)
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Ignoto
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Ignoto » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:00 pm

kb wrote:You may want to switch your wireless to 5GHz and ban the microwave during workouts too ;-)


Haha. Yeah it's a bit ridiculous when considering I can walk around the house with my bluetooth headphones paired with my phone but can't have my PC more than a few feet away from the Kickr.

I've unfortunately done some testing using the https://zwiftalizer.com/ which breaks down the drop outs. Have a look at Shane Miller's youtube for how close he has his extender to the Kickr!

Machoman121
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Machoman121 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:42 pm

rushed home to try something.....i placed my Tablet S2 as close to the kickr as i could while still being able to see it while riding....like it was half way.was still very very very (very) flaky.....I eventually saw the ANT+ being picked up by Bkool (after several tries) and went for a short 2 km route ride on bkool. I think it was OK all they way to the end. The gradient's feel weird sometimes.....not sure if it's Bkool or the kickr's signal dropping out - could be both.....i mean 10% in real life would be a serious hill but on bkool it was only mildly hard......i tried to do another ride but then couldn't get any more signals from the kickr. Even wahoo utility could not pick up a signal - while both ANT+ and blue tooth lights are still glowing on the kickr. I even placed the tablet 1 inch from the Kickr and couldn't get a signal. I hope it died for good...nothing worse than having an intermitent issue when you're trying to prove to the LBS that it's a dud.

The built of the Kickr is incredible - pure quality and robustly designed and made. Mechanically this thing will outlast me and my children but it's the inside electronics that's flaky. I wonder how durable the electronics are over time.

The next Kickr should have an extendable Ant+ and Bluetooth extension cord for transmission ! Seriously. Or better still find a way to connect it to the PC/MAC - direct connection should improve the reliability of the unit's performance.

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kb
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby kb » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:48 am

Another possibility is that there's an issue with the optical sensor. Google should be able to provide some hints for that. (Not that you should have to be stuffing around...)
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macca33
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby macca33 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:20 pm

Purchase an ANT+ extension lead. Ensure that you have ONE and ONLY one program/application open at any one time, to ensure that a number of them are not trying to command the Kickr. ie, if Bkool is open then NO OTHER application/program should be open on your computer/tablet/phone at the same time.

Wi-Fi has nothing to do with the communication b/w Kickr and PC.

Brand new Kickr should be absolutely good to go, if you set it up correctly and follow simple electronics protocols - thousands of happy customers cannot be wrong...
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kb
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby kb » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:25 pm

macca33 wrote:
Wi-Fi has nothing to do with the communication b/w Kickr and PC.

Brand new Kickr should be absolutely good to go, if you set it up correctly and follow simple electronics protocols - thousands of happy customers cannot be wrong...

Neither does the microwave oven but they can both pollute the 2.45GHz frequency.
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march83
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby march83 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:47 pm

And the old cordless phone. 2.4GHz is a busy place these days.

For what it's worth, if your microwave messes with your wifi then it's a problem with shielding inside the microwave which is technically a manufacturing defect. In theory you should be able to return it, but good luck demonstrating it to the vendor.

Machoman121
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Machoman121 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:49 pm

So my Samsung S2 Tablet (9.7 inch), Samsung S4 mobile phone and Magellan Cyclo 505 would not reliably hook up to the kickr. In fact my cyclo 505 would pair with the kickr ( i think) but it wasn't able to do anything else with it......

I then tried this - turned off the fridge, all electronics in the house - pulled the plug on the house phone and mobile phones (luckily i was alone otherwise there'll be a mutiny)..I've even channel 1 my wifi..and tried my luck again........i didn't get any luckier. Good thing my life didn't rely on getting the kickr to pair reliably.

I then wondered if it could be my neighbour's pace maker????.........do you think?

I'm off to the LBS tomorrow - they said they'll try their best......hopefully they won't say i'm in the wrong suburb for it to work.

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biker jk
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby biker jk » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:44 pm

Have you tried an Ant+ USB extension lead as suggested?

Machoman121
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Machoman121 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:37 pm

No - simply because i don't have it and i haven't yet had the time to buy it - working man here.

My Samsung S2 tablet should be useable for something like the kickr -Surely the samsungs Ant+ and blue tooth and the Magellan Cyclo 505 can't be that bad can it? if it is - Wahoo should state on the box that the kickr is incompatible with them.....the box says Ant+ and i thought all Ant+/blue tooth is similar.....i'm off to LBS tomorrow....pain in the ass - i have to drive to the city with it - this thing weighs a ton........will keep u guys updated as to how it went.

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andrewjcw
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby andrewjcw » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:35 am

Pretty much everyone has connection issues with smart trainers at some point and pretty much everyone fixes them with some patience, advice, and an active USB cable with a dongle. Yes it is kind of silly and would be 50x better with USB connection, but that's modern marketing for you. By all means take it back and complain though, it's seems you made a big purchase without much purpose or research, so it's understandable you're a bit annoyed.

macca33
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby macca33 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:25 am

kb wrote:
macca33 wrote:
Wi-Fi has nothing to do with the communication b/w Kickr and PC.

Brand new Kickr should be absolutely good to go, if you set it up correctly and follow simple electronics protocols - thousands of happy customers cannot be wrong...

Neither does the microwave oven but they can both pollute the 2.45GHz frequency.



Thus far, not an issue for me - I try not to Zwift in the kitchen!
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Ignoto
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Ignoto » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:48 am

Machoman121 wrote: the Magellan Cyclo 505 can't be that bad can it? if it is - Wahoo should state on the box that the kickr is incompatible with them..


DC states the Cyclo 505 isn't Bluetooth FE-C compatible, meaning the Cyclo can read the readings from the Kickr but cannot control it.

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/07/eve ... iners.html

Machoman121
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Re: Wahoo Kickr - Day 1

Postby Machoman121 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:15 am

Thanks for the info Ignoto.
LBS thinks there's something wrong - but we needed the confirmation from the supplier to admit the fault....more waiting.

I might have an opportunity to get a refund and forget this whole kickr project...it's left a bit of sour taste in my mouth. I realised now that it's critical and it is so FRAGILE to get a wireless connection.

But i can also see how a proper smart trainer can incredibly improve one's cycling performance and fitness. You don't have to be a racer - just someone who takes his/her cycling seriously.

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