Wahoo KICKR Steer Review
Has it all gone too far with indoor cycling gamification?
With KICKR Steer, Wahoo Fitness introduces steering into Wahoo RGT (Wahoo Systm X). It’s a real change to the indoor experience that enables you to complete a course more quickly – for racers, it’s a race winner.
Verdict: ⭐⭐⭐ - A clever design but limited appeal only to indoor racers
Innovation is good and Wahoo regularly delights us with new innovations.
Wahoo’s KICKR Steer will delight some of you but, I suspect, not many. If you are interested in the gamification of cycling and want to be involved in events where steering and road positioning make a difference then this is for you.
If you just want something that lets you turn left or right, then the existing (and free) remote control app will do that for free.
Steering in a Wahoo event can give you a race advantage like moving to a better draft position or taking the shortest route through a corner, so if you are a serious virtual racer you’ll probably NEED to buy one and become proficient with it. For those of you who want to have directional control for a bit of fun or to turn left or take a tight line on a corner then…why not. It’s harmless.
- If you always wanted steering, you’ve got it
- A decent steering ‘feel’
- Can access from hoods or drops
- No physical movement of the handlebars required
- Dual ELEMNT/Edge compatibility
- Requires smartphone and a larger connected screen
- Any existing mount needs to be removed
- Non-standard bars not supported
- Limited appeal
- A bit laggy
- Only Wahoo X/RGT support ie not Zwift.
Obviously, the KICKR Steer is a completely new device but Wahoo Systm X/RGT needed significant changes to support steering.
You’ll need a smartphone to sit on your newly purchased KICKR Steer and you will also need a separate way to view the ride like an iPad. A Wahoo subscription is also required as is a bike and bike trainer.
How it Works
KICKR Steer tilts your smartphone and that is interpreted as steering by Wahoo X/RGT.
The RGT Remote control runs on your smartphone which you place on KICKR Steer’s tray. The RGT Remote uses tilt sensors (accelerometers) in your smartphone. So as you tilt the tray down to the right so the remote control will steer you to the right as it communicates with the Wahoo RGT app.
There are no electronics involved in KICKR Steer.
Installation & Calibration
Installation is easy.
Wahoo gives you a robust, new out-front mount for your handlebars made of aluminium. A tray fits securely onto that and two cleverly designed adjustable levers to the side are positioned so that you can use them either when on the hoods or on the drops.
The tray needs to be flat when not steering and can be calibrated if not flat.
As there are no electronics, there is nothing to connect other than the RGT Remote.
Aero bars and aero handlebars will not be able to accept the new mount.
The mount is intended to permanently replace your current Wahoo mount and includes an adapter for Garmin Edge devices
It only supports the Wahoo RGT platform AFAIK.
Will there be a modified form of this to eventually deal with Zwift Running? eg an accessory for a Wahoo KICKR Run
Other Ways to steer
You don’t have to buy KICKR Steer to enjoy in-game steering. These alternatives work in the same way
- Thumb buttons on KICKR Bike
- RGT Mobile Remote App
- RGT Game App – on-screen buttons
- RGT Game App – with keyboard
Seems to work.
When you override the automatic steering you can choose a faster route such as an inside lane for a corner and you can steer more quickly toward that corner if you keep the left/right button pressed.
You can’t go through active riders in the race, you have to steer around them. You can either do this with steering or let the game auto-steer you around them.
Wahoo Kickr Steer Review – Thoughts
Must Read: Wahoo Systm X Review
The maximum number of simultaneous online Zwift users has been declining from a record 49,114 in January 2021 to 42,000 in January 2022 and I doubt it hit 40,000 in January 2023. Indoor training is weather-dependent but it is also declining and Zwift’s initial stranglehold on the experience must surely have been impacted by Wahoo, Peloton and others. The number of simultaneous Zwift users will be a relatively small fraction of the total subscriber base which must number in the millions. I’m guessing that Systm X would have less than one million subscribers.
Let’s say 800,000 and be generous. I’d guess that a generous 1% of those will or might buy a Kickr Steer. That’s 8000 people x £90 = £700k over the full product lifecycle.
Hmm. Maybe it is worth Wahoo’s while to do this after all.
I’m definitely NOT the target market for this sort of product and very much prefer cycling outdoors. Indoor cycling occasionally appeals to me but I’m just not interested in steering. I’d much rather watch or interact with some of Wahoo’s other (excellent) and free content on System X, like a good cycling documentary or a Magic Ride of one of my local routes.
If I wanted to steer indoors then I’m not entirely sure that I would use other devices that physically rotate the handlebars and wheel, after all, that absolutely isn’t like real-world bike steering where we lean.
Wahoo’s steering mechanism just works and for me is a sensible method of virtual steering that won’t lead to equipment damage or injury.
So. All is good, product-wise. I’m just not sure if enough people will buy one.
Buy Wahoo Kickr Steer Pricing
- Wahoo X: US$14.99 per month with a 14-day trial period (£135 for an annual membership), including Wahoo RGT and Wahoo SYSTM
- Wahoo X and KICKR STEER Bundle: £179.99 (saving £45 with the bundled offer),
- Wahoo X subscribers: the STEER accessory will be made available at a preferential loyalty price, for a limited time
- KICKR STEER is priced at £89.99
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