Wahoo's KICKR ROLLR is a bicycle roller/trainer hybrid
When it comes to indoor cycling, some people prefer the natural feel of rollers, while others prefer the security of a stationary trainer. Wahoo Fitness' new KICKR ROLLR is claimed to combine the best features of both in one device.
The KICKR ROLLR's adjustable-length frame features a pair of aluminum-alloy rollers at the back – which the bike's rear wheel sits upon – along with a Safety Tire Gripper at the front, which gently pinches the top of the 700c front tire.
As the rider pedals, their rear wheel spins up the rollers, plus it sways subtly from side to side. This simulates the feel of actual on-road cycling, building the rider's core stability and sense of balance. In this way, the setup is much like a full set of rollers.
Additionally – as is the case with traditional rollers – neither of the bicycle's wheels have to be removed. The bike is simply plunked down onto the rig, and the Gripper is tightened around its front wheel.
One big problem with regular rollers, however, is the fact that inexperienced users tend to periodically fall off either side of them. Because the KICKR ROLLR secures the bike by holding onto its front wheel, this won't happen – giving the setup the main appealing aspect of a stationary trainer.
Making the KICKR more trainer-like is its 10.5-lb (4.8-kg) magnetic flywheel, which is used to manually adjust the resistance of the rollers. That flywheel can also automatically vary its resistance based on output from a bike-mounted power meter, and in response to virtual climbs and descents on third-party virtual cycling platforms such as Zwift.
The rollers can be slid fore and aft then locked in place via a quick-release lever, to match the wheelbase of the bike. It should be noted that the Gripper can't accommodate front tires wider than 2.1 inches (53 mm).
The KICKR ROLLR is available now, priced at US$799.99. A package that includes a Speedplay Powrlink Zero power meter goes for $1,399.99