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After the introduction of Saris H4 last week, we have a new trainer to look forward to.
This is because Wahoo introduced an updated version of their KICKR v5.
In this article, I summarize what’s new and if you should buy the latest generation.
I am currently in the process of testing the v5, so I share my experience too.
SPOILER ALERT: If you already have Wahoo KICKR v5 (or another high-end smart bike trainer), I don’t think you should upgrade.
But, if you experience connectivity issues or use Apple TV that limits Bluetooth connections to 2 devices, you might consider buying v6.
Continue reading to learn more.
Wahoo KICKR v5 vs. v6
The main difference between Wahoo KICKR v5 and v6 is that v6 offers WiFi connectivity, an ERG Easy Ramp feature, and an odometer.
Design-wise, there is no difference except for the connectivity icons and LEDs.
I summarized the technical specifications of both trainers in the following table.
|Feature||KICKR v5||KICKR v6|
|Flywheel||16 lb (7.26 kg)||16 lb (7.26 kg)|
|Connectivity||ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, |
Bluetooth, Direct Connect
|ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, WiFi, Bluetooth, Direct Connect|
|12-speed cassette support||Yes||Yes|
|ERG Easy Ramp||No||Yes|
|Weight||47 lb (21.3 kg)||47 lb (21.3 kg)|
|Buy (USA)||Check Price|
Check Price (competitivecyclist.com)
|Buy (UK, EU)||Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)||Check Price (wiggle.co.uk)|
As you can see from the table above, v6 offers 3 improvements:
- WiFi connectivity
- ERG Easy Ramp
The 2.4 GHz WiFi connectivity ensures automatic firmware updates (so you don’t have to update the trainer manually).
It’s also good news for Apple TV users. Apple TV limits Bluetooth connections to 2 devices only (including the trainer).
So, for example, you have one slot left for a heart rate monitor. The WiFi connectivity frees up the Bluetooth slots for additional accessories.
You will also appreciate it if you experience Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity issues (due to interference).
However, if your current KICKR v5 connects without issues, you can stick with it.
ERG Easy Ramp
ERG Easy Ramp is a handy feature when you do a lot of riding in an ERG mode.
You know that feeling when you have to stop pedaling when doing an interval in ERG mode, for example, because somebody is ringing.
Then, you want to start pedaling again, but it’s almost impossible because of the resistance.
The ERG Easy Ramp increases the resistance gradually over 10 seconds so you can get back to training easily.
The Odometer measures the number of physical wheel revolutions. So, when you buy a second-hand KICKR v6, you can ask the previous owner to show you the kilometers ridden.
These features raise a question:
Is the KICKR v6 worth over v5?
I am currently working on a detailed KICKR v5 review. My impressions are positive, and I recommend this trainer to anyone who wants to step up their indoor cycling game.
Unfortunately, I haven’t got my hands on the KICKR v6 (yet). But, I think these additional features are not worth $1,199 when you can get the v5 for about $200 less unless you take advantage of the new features.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Wahoo KICKR v5 vs. Wahoo KICKR v6 FAQ
KICKR v6 is worth buying if you can appreciate its new features. Especially the WiFi connectivity and ERG Easy Ramp.
WiFi connectivity ensures a more stable connection and allows Apple TV users to connect to more devices because its Bluetooth connection is limited to 2 devices only.
The ERG Easy Ramp is handy when you do many ERG mode training. It will ramp up the resistance gradually when you stop pedaling mid-interval.
The Odometer is useful, but I don’t think it should be a deciding factor.
KICKR v5 still belongs to the best smart bike trainers on the market, especially now when many retailers have discounted it.
So, which one do you choose? V5 or V6? Let me know in the comments.