Today, Wahoo announced cassette preinstallation and reduced pricing for their popular KICKR Core smart trainer, bringing its price and flexible cassette options in line with the Zwift Hub Classic. Wahoo also announced lower pricing for the wheel-on KICKR Snap trainer and retailer support for $99 Zwift membership bundling.
In related news, Zwift has stopped selling their Hub Classic trainer.
These are big moves. What exactly is happening? Let’s unpack it all…
Lower Price, More Value
It’s not something we’re seeing much these days: a business reducing prices while also increasing the value of their product. But that’s exactly what Wahoo announced today: KICKR Core trainers purchased through WahooFitness.com or Zwift.com will now come preinstalled with your choice of 8/9/10/11/12 speed cassette and bundled with a year of Zwift at the following reduced prices:
- UK: £549.99
- US: $599.99
- CA: $939.99
- EU: €599.99
That’s effectively a 20% price reduction on the Core, which was selling for $699 previously without a cassette (which Wahoo sold separately for $50). Wahoo notes that “additional availability in Australia and Japan will be added very soon.”
Sidenote: what’s really wild is that the KICKR Core was selling for $899 without a cassette for the first few years after its release. Take the $99 Zwift Bundle and $50 cassette out of the Core’s new price, and it is now selling for just half its original price!
The KICKR Snap, Wahoo’s industry-leading wheel-on smart trainer, is also seeing a price reduction. Previously sold for $349.99US, it is now available through Wahoo and Zwift at:
- UK: £349.99
- US: $399.99
- CA: $739.99
- EU: €399.99
This new price includes a year of Zwift membership, which means the price of the KICKR Snap has effectively been dropped by $50US. (Interestingly, that is a 50% price reduction, just like the KICKR Core, compared to the Gen 1 KICKR Snap released in 2016.)
$99 Zwift Memberships via Wahoo Retailer Purchases
The KICKR Core will continue to be sold without a preinstalled cassette through Wahoo’s extensive retailer network at a reduced price of UK £449.99 / US $499.99 / CA$599.99 / EU €499.99. Additionally, if you bought a KICKR Core or any other Wahoo trainer or smart bike from an authorized Wahoo retailer on or after September 13, 2023, you can contact Wahoo support to purchase an annual Zwift membership for just $99. That’s a big discount on top of Zwift’s new annual membership pricing!
Meet the New Classic
Today’s big price moves from Wahoo are happening in conjunction with a big move from Zwift, who have stopped selling the Hub Classic smart trainer as of today. That’s right: while the single-cog Hub One is still available, Zwift and Wahoo have agreed to make the KICKR Core effectively replace the Hub Classic!
Is this a good move for consumers? The KICKR Core was released in 2018 and quickly earned a strong reputation as the leading mid-level direct drive smart trainer. It’s slightly more accurate than the Zwift Hub, with a slightly heavier flywheel. It also supports three simultaneous Bluetooth connections and works with the KICKR Climb gradient simulator.
The Zwift Hub, meanwhile, was released in 2022 and includes three premium features (virtual shifting, auto-calibration, 10Hz race mode) the KICKR Core currently lacks.
Here’s how the two trainers stack up against each other:
|ANT+ and Bluetooth
|ANT+ and Bluetooth
|Bluetooth Connection Limit
|Zwift Play Virtual Shifting
|10Hz Race Mode
|KICKR Climb Compatible
I’m a big fan of auto-calibration since it increases overall accuracy. I’m also a big fan of Zwift’s new virtual shifting, for reasons already discussed. 10Hz race mode? Anything that helps me respond faster in races is a good thing.
Therefore, my take on this move from Zwift/Wahoo is that it will only be a clearly good thing once Wahoo brings auto-calibration, virtual shifting, and 10Hz race mode to the KICKR Core.
Will it happen? I think so. My hunch is that Wahoo didn’t develop auto-calibration or 10Hz mode for the KICKR Core because they wanted to differentiate it from their premium KICKR trainers. But Zwift Hub, and today’s moves, have changed all that. If the KICKR Core is replacing the Hub Classic, it should offer the same features as the Hub Classic… or something better.
Wahoo hasn’t said anything about if or when they’ll release new features for the KICKR Core. But my guess is we’ll see some new stuff for the KICKR Core sometime in Q1 2024. Maybe even sooner? Here’s hoping!
Smarter Trainers to More Zwifters
If Wahoo can bring those features to the KICKR Core, it will be one killer smart trainer at an incredible price. But consider this: on top of its slightly-better-than-Hub features, it will also be much more available to Zwifters worldwide, since it will ship through Wahoo’s global distribution network and be available via their extensive retailer network!
Zwift only ships to the US, UK, and EU. Wahoo ships to those areas, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
Looking at it from this angle, these moves may be more about distribution than the hardware itself.
What are your thoughts on Wahoo’s price reductions and this move to swap out the Hub Classic for the KICKR Core? Share below!