Looking for a dedicated stationary smart trainer bike because you’re sick of taking your regular bike on and off the trainer? Then we have good news! Stages Cycling and Wahoo have both introduced brand new models that are designed specifically to ride on Zwift, TrainerRoad and all the other main online cycling platforms.
Here’s how the StagesBike from Stages Cycling compares to the Wahoo KICKR Bike.
You probably know Stages Cycling for their outstanding crankarm based power meters. But you might not know that they also make commercial spin bikes. And now, with their first dedicated stationary smart training bike, they’ve come out fighting with a slew of features that will appeal to all those Zwift addicts who love their smart trainers.
Use Your Favorite Saddle, Bars and Pedals
- Standard road drop bars and saddle included
- Riders can easily swap to preferred bar bend, saddle model, or even aero bars and adjust to replicate their outdoor bike fit and feel
Adjustable to Match Your Bike’s Setup
- Wide-range, infinite micro-adjust saddle height and fore/aft position
- Easily adjustable crank length (165, 170, 172.5, 175mm)
- Laser-etched scales for saddle height, reach and stack
- Quiet, maintenance-free Gates Carbon belt drive
- Electronic resistance of up to 3,000 watts at 120rpm
- Fitness studio-quality frame for unsurpassed stability and longevity enabling countless miles under hard use
Optimized for Zwift, as well as Other Online Training Platforms
- ANT and Bluetooth connectivity for all control modes
- FE-C and FTMS ready
- Two high-speed USB ports for convenient device charging
- Adjustable integrated tablet holder
Designed with the Future of E-Riding in Mind
- Programmable electronic shifting, braking and steering to handle any and all future app developments
- Brake hoods with integrated, programmable shift buttons
- Sprint buttons with the option to add climbing or TT/aero bar shifters
- Stages Gen 3 Dual-Side LR Power Meter as ridden to multiple Tour de France victories
Cost: $2,600 to $2,800
Learn more at Stages Cycling.
Wahoo KICKR Bike Overview
If you’re already riding a smart trainer, chances are high that you might already be using a Wahoo. The top end KICKR is an extremely popular model, as is their KICKR CORE and many accessories like the Headwind smart fan or the KICKR Climb attachment. If you’re ready to switch to a dedicated smart trainer that doesn’t require your bike and you already love your Wahoo, then you have an idea of what to expect with the KICKR bike.
Use Your Own Saddle and Pedals
Unlike the Stages Cycling bike, which allows you to use any type of bar setup you prefer, the Wahoo comes with drop bars that use a shifter system that simulates the way that Campy, SRAM or Shimano shifters work. So you can set it up so that it will shift the same way as your regular bike.
Adjustable to Match Your Bike’s Setup
- Bike fit is also guided through the Wahoo App for precision, consistency, and ease.
- Import measurements from professional fit systems like RETUL and GURU to adjust the KICKR BIKE’s five contact points to generate a perfect fit immediately so training time doesn’t become configuration time.
- A six-point adjustment system means the KICKR BIKE can mirror your outdoor bike’s exact geometry.
- A custom crankset with five built-in, selectable lengths mean perfect pedal strokes with no adapters needed.
- Has a tilt feature like the Wahoo Climb device, so that your trainer will match the incline shown on apps like Zwift.
- Belt drive for quieter pedaling.
- Up to 2,200 watts of resistance
- Tough steel parts are built to last under heavy riding
Ready for Online Training Platforms
- Like other Wahoo trainers, it is built for compatibility with all of the major online training platforms like Zwift, TrainerRoad and more.
- Unclear if it has programmable buttons for steering and other “future” types of platform features that aren’t mainstream yet.
Learn more at Wahoo Fitness.
Which dedicated smart trainer sounds better to you, and why? And what about the Peloton? Are you considering a Peloton as a competitor in this category, or do you consider it a “spin class” bike?
paul barrett says
I do think of the Peloton as spinning bike, not a serious training tool but an exercise/motivation tool. I don’t think either of these trainers are in my future. Neither of these will feel like my bike no matter how close the set up is, The Stages is a “spin” bike with watts. The Wahoo has elevation which I don’t think is all that effective for indoor training, I practice climbing, climbing outdoors. What I’m waiting for is a platform which has forward and backward as well as side to side movement you can set your trainer on. Not the hacks you see on YouTube but a real commercial, well engineered platform. I hear Cyclops is close to releasing a product this year. Love to hear more about it.
Road Bike Rider says
If you’ve got money to burn, you might look at the Saris MP1, which is sort of like a wobble board for your trainer that supposedly gives you a more realistic feel. You can put any trainer on it, I believe. https://www.saris.com/product/mp1
For me, it isn’t important that it exactly simulates riding outside. What appeals to me the most about using a smart trainer is that it keeps you riding at the correct wattage for all of your training plans, if you like to ride specific workouts. So if you are supposed to do a 3 minute interval that is 110 percent of your FTP, it will make sure that you’re really doing it exactly that way. I find it very motivating to do a workout on Zwift and then complete the entire thing and know that I did a prescribed workout that is improving a particular aspect of my cycling like VO2 max, etc.
Chris K says
I really like my wife’s Peloton. If I could display Trainerroad or Zwift from a phone/laptop or would throw out data on watts, cadence, etc. via ANT and Bluetooth, I would be happy to ride it on some winter days.
Check DC Rainmaker on how to
Install Zwift on your palaton
Michael Katz says
Comparing the Stages Bike, Wahoo kickr Bike and Peloton, I would make the following observations. The Peloton is designed to give riders the experience of a “spinning” class in their home, not to provide a platform for structured wattage based training nor to do indoor rides that simulate riding outdoors. Whether Peloton provides an experience that measures up favorably to riding in an actual high quality group cycling class at your local studio can be debated but what can’t be debated is that Peloton can’t provide the group synergy of actually riding in a class nor can provide an instructor/coach who can actually connect with you, motivate you personally, correct your form and technique and get off their bike to walk around the room giving riders personal attention and feedback, all of which are the hallmarks of a really good class instructor. What also can’t be debated is that the quality and robustness of the build of the Peloton doesn’t come close to that of a commercial quality indoor cycle from a company like Stages, Precor or Schwinn. The Peloton, as an indoor cycle, is second tier in its specifications, design and build. What you are really paying for is the oversized tablet display that connects to Peloton’s online world. For serious indoor training, as opposed to indoor cycling cardio exercise, the Stages and Kickr bikes are heads and shoulders above the Peloton, particularly with their ability to connect with platforms like Zwift, Trainer Road, and others. And with Zwift, you can do actual group rides, with bi-directional rider interaction, in Zwift’s virtual universe.
In comparing the Stages Bike to the Kicker Bike, the Stages bike is built like a tank, based on its commercial studio cycles, and will take years of pounding rides without flinching. Whether the Kickr will similarly do so remains to be seen but pictures of the two make it pretty clear that the Stages Bike is built more robustly. The Kickr’s ability to adjust frame height is interesting but I question whether it actually offers a sizing and fit advantage over the Stages Bike which like the Kickr offers full adjustability of seat and bar positioning as well as crank length. The Kickr’s Climb feature and ability to program the shifters to simulate the major shifting systems used on real bikes are neat features but the Stages push button shifters are also programmable to match different chainring and cassette combinations. And the Climb feature is no doubt fun but in terms of actual training is no way the same as actually climbing a hill against gravity,
At the end of the day, if I were going to buy one of these new products now, I would choose the Stages Bike. It comes from a company with a proven record of building high quality indoor cycles, offers all the adjustability you need to fit the bike properly to you, and has all the technology needed to connect to all the indoor platforms out there, at 2/3 the cost.
Road Bike Rider says
Thanks, great comment! I was also swayed by how Stages has been making commercial spin bikes for a while and thought this was a very big selling point, along with the “future ready” programmable buttons.
Michael Katz says
Yes, Stages’ history in the commercial indoor cycling market is a huge plus. My daughter and I own a group strength and cycling class studio and we use Stages SC3 bikes. 25 bikes used at least 5 hours per day for 2 years and we have had one power meter crap out and 1 bearing go bad. And Stages sent out replacement parts under warranty the same day I called. All in all, very satisfied with the bikes’ robustness.
At home, I use a Wahoo KICKR for my off season wattage training and as an interactive “smart” system, it works great. No doubt the Kickrbike will perform similarly.
Either way, the technology available today is better than what you got from performance labs 7 years ago, lol!
After messing around with a spin bike on Zwift I’ve decided to take the plung and order a Wahoo Kickr bike.
I ruled the Stages bike out fairly early due to cost vs features and also the Wattbike.
In this space I only really think the Tacx and Wahoo offer the complete experience.
The Wahoo won me over due to the adjustment, incline and generally being more like a real bike in look and feel.
Considering a family gym membership is around £190+ monthly plus associated travel costs the Wahoo kick became a bit of a no brainer, if slightly more expensive in the beginning.
I should add I’m not normally a cyclist so coming at this as a complete novice.
Only time will tell if my research was correct and this was a good decision I guess.
…and what were your findings? How are you finding the Wahoo?
I had much the same logic but plumped for a second hand (cheaper but spotless) Stagesbike SB20 (as it was quicker to get, built like a tank, and the same price as an atom). At the moment, I’m loving it… and it’s almost a problem to force myself to do any other exercise (I have a Concept2 Model D but it’s not nearly as much fun!).
Just read all your comments and now its even harder to choose which one:) my vote was for the Zwift KICKR but I like the fact that the Stages is built like a tank!
It is also has the holders for ipad or PC which Wahoo does not have 🙁
Wahoo has one bottle cage holder (I would prefer two) Hard to see on pictures bur does anyone know how many bottle holders there are on the Stages?
The Stages is also cheaper but at my cycle club and amoungst freinds, everyone has the Wahoo series or KICKR bike therefore hard to choose. I guess at the end of the day they are both high end training platforms.
I also read that you can steer although just left to right but still a neat feature when Zwifting if you want to take the inner curve:) someone wrote that Zwift does not have or lacks the software for future steering addons? does anyone know if this is correct? Thanks for your replies:)