Wahoo Kickr Snap Review – Quality Wheel-On Trainer

| | ,

Indoor cycling can be hard to set up right. And a big dedicated pain cave is unpractical if you live in an apartment.

There are many types of smart trainer. Some can be large, complicated and expensive. Many people just want something that is simple and easy to use. 

So – with that in mind – here is the Wahoo Kickr Snap review.

The Kickr Snap is a smart, compact, affordable, wheel-on trainer. A great option if you want to try indoor cycling and Zwift, without building an extension onto your house.

The review below is based on a friend’s one. Sadly, he wouldn’t let me take pictures as it’s set up in his spare room!

What you should consider before buying a smart indoor cycling trainer

If you’re looking to buy an indoor cycling trainer, there are many different models available in the market. But what makes one better than another? How do you know which is best for your needs and budget?

Indoor cycling trainer basically breaks down into two categories.

First you have direct drive trainers. You remove your rear wheel and the trainer effectively becomes part of the bike. Installation and setup of these can be awkward. And you will probably need to install a cassette.

Direct drive trainers are not as portable although they are generally more versatile and have more power, . Often the bike stays on the trainer as it’s awkward take it off and go for a ride.

That’s where the second option comes in. Wheel on trainers are much more user friendly. You can get the bike on and off in seconds. 

The drawback is that many wheel-on trainers do not connect to apps like Zwift.

However, there are a few smart wheel-on trainers come with ERG and connectivity, ie they can link with an app and simulate gradients and resistance for workouts.

Wahoo Kickr Snap

The Wahoo Kickr Snap

The Snap is well built and has a solid feel to it as you would expect from Wahoo. When you get it out of the box there’s a lot of weight to it but most of that is in the flywheel.

It feels like a well-built piece of kit.

In terms of rivalry it is closest to the Tacx Flow smart. The Snap is also a magnetic trainer. But it is capable of simulating a 12% incline and 1500W max power – more than the Tacx.

It should satisfy most cyclists. I certainly can’t produce anything close to 1500W.

The Wahoo Kickr Snap is designed for indoor cyclists who want a quality portable trainer, in my mind at least. Something like the Neo is great but it takes up too much space if you’re short on room.

The Snap can be taken out of the cupboard with a rolled-up training mat and set up with the bike pretty quickly.

Pros

  • Convenient wheel on design.
  • Carbon steel construction.
  • 12% incline.
  • Fit everything up until 29 inch motorbike wheel.

Cons

  • The need to get the right tire pressure.

Features & Benefits

Setting up and getting going

So you open up the box and inside there is the main trainer and two other boxes. The first box includes the skewers and power pack. The second includes a riser block, which is a nice extra to have.

In terms of setup it’s really easy. It is pretty much all there and done.

The only fiddling around might come via the tire. You need to get the connection with the flywheel just right. But that’s the same with all wheel-on trainers.

One thing I would suggest – if you haven’t done so already – is get a trainer specific tire. Wahoo haven’t supplied one here but they are worth getting.

And make sure the tyre you are using is nice and clean.

Connectivity

As you would expect the Wahoo Kickr Snap has and plus Bluetooth et cetera. It connected to swift pretty easily.

Power and accuracy

First up you will need to do a spindown calibration every time you ride. Something we often forget on direct drive trainers.

The Wahoo Snap has a +/-5%power accuracy of 5%. And it sticks to this fairly well – in fact I would say it appeared to be better than 5%.

In fact, I’m really stretching here to find anything seriously wrong in terms of accuracy. That said, I didn’t use a power meter while trying it out. 

For accelerations and deceleration it works pretty well. Power output and responsiveness was also pretty good. Responsiveness is a bugbear of mine. Sometimes when you are riding in a group you find that your bike is bouncing off the front and back as the pack changes speed.

Noise

In terms of noise, this is pretty good. While we haven’t checked for dB or anything like that it was pretty quiet. By that I say pass the TV test. Someone could be in the next room and the trainer wouldn’t get in the way.

In fact, I would say the loudest sound came from the gear changes I was making.

What other people think

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s a quick look at some opinions from the web. Not the usual suspects who get the loans, blitz you with pointless graphs, and have to keep in with the manufacturers.

Both these are from Reddit.

Cool. I love it when someone hangs onto the same piece of kit.

Two alternative wheel-on smart trainers

Here are two fairly decent options that fit either side of the Snap.

  • Tacx Flow Smart – pretty much the same product except not quite as good. The gradient is only 6% and the power is 800W. 
  • Saris M2 – a little bit better than the Kickr Snap. 1500W and gradients of 15%.

Conclusion

The biggest compliment I can pay to this trainer is that it feels just like a direct drive trainer. You can just jump out of the saddle and hits on watts and it feels pretty stable. Sometimes, wheel-on trainers can rock around a bit. 

It is really easy to set up. The only thing I would comment on is the need to get the tyre pressures absolutely spot on. That is something that you might need to play around with a bit.

I think there is potential for it to wear out tyres very quickly. But that is a drawback for most wheel on trainers.

Overall, if you’re looking for a smart trainer and have little space or second bike, then this will do more than hit the mark. Plus you get a free wheel block. 

 

Previous

30 30 Interval Training For Indoor Cycling

Zwift Course Calendar for March

Next