By Rick Schultz
New ZWIFT Direct Drive Trainer
Price MSRP: From $499
Source: Bike shops, Websites
Features: Similar to the Wahoo KICKR CORE (Wahoo is suing over it.)
How Obtained: Purchased
Summary: 5-minute easy setup
- Easy 5-minute assembly
- Could have reduced the price a little by only supplying the power cord for your specific county, instead I have three power cords, two of which I will have to throw away.
Part 1: Unboxing
I have two trainers, one dedicated to bike fitting, the other dedicated to training. I have owned several Elite trainers in the past and all three had failed in different ways. At that point, I decided to go with Wahoo. Choosing the top end KICKR, after about four months, it developed a squeaking sound. They immediately replaced it, no questions asked and have been happy with the current KICKR for the past 1 1/2 years.
But, thinking about what would happen if this one failed? It’s out of warranty, so I’m not sure how quickly I could get another one or get the parts to fix this one.
A couple weeks ago, I received an email from Zwift announcing their new trainer. At $499, it’s $400 less than its rival the KICKR CORE. So, I went onto their site to order one. But wait — join the waitlist? Rumor was that there was some infringement lawsuit that needed to get settled first before Zwift could ship any units – https://road.cc/content/tech-news/wahoo-sues-zwift-and-jetblack-citing-patent-infringement-296515
Anyway, I added my name to the waitlist. Three days ago I received an email from Zwift saying my trainer was ready. I ordered it and three days later, it showed up at the front door.
Unboxing was simple as was initial setup, took about five minutes. The only hard part is that there are two options for using it with (1) a thru axle or (2) a quick release. Since there are different axle widths for each of these options, a cardboard cutout is provided to measure your specific bicycle. If you are running a thru-axle, your options are 142mm or 148mm. For quick release, it’s 130mm or 135mm. You will just need to swap one end of the adapter to the other.
In part two I will have some feedback after several rides. I am using this on Rouvy, so stay tuned.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.