Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One ❌What’s Wrong with it ❌ Full bundle plus Virtual Shifting

Wahoo fitness KICKR CORE Zwift OneWahoo Fitness KICKR CORE Zwift One

You’re looking at one of the futures of indoor bike training over the next few years.

Zwift and Wahoo have teamed up to bundle together the key bits of hardware and training software that every newbie to indoor bike training needs to complement the bike they already have. Heck, this KICKR CORE great package for serious cyclists too especially if you are city-based and know you will be spending a lot of time riding indoors and want the full Zwift experience for your weekday evening training.

Zwift and Wahoo will form a stable commercial partnership going forward and the KICKR Core Zwift One ‘bundle’ is likely to continue for several years at this excellent price point.

Buy KICKR Core Zwift One
Buy KICKR Core Zwift One

However, this is not some magical, mystery deal that gives you a perfect indoor setup. I’ll explain the key downsides further below in the article.


Normally we discuss price last! but this is such a great deal, that it’s worth explaining why upfront.

Price: £550/$600/600 € (includes 12-month Zwift membership, saving £130)


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Buy KICKR CORE Zwift One

You will have to buy the Zwift membership at some point (£130/$150/150€) and with some other indoor trainers, you will also have to buy a rear cassette with prices up to €/$/£100. Then you’ll have to make sure the cassette you buy matches exactly the one you use on your bike’s wheel otherwise you might have to adjust the chain or buy and fit a new chain. That also might involve adjusting the B-screw when you swap the bike from indoor to outdoor or vice versa. Even with the exact same cassette and spacers, it’s possible but unlikely that your bike frame’s dimensions won’t quite match those of your new trainer; it will still work but you might have to re-index the gears each time you swap your bike over.

You have NONE of those issues with KICKR CORE Zwift One. The Zwift Cog solves the mechanical compatibilities and the Zwift Click controls (also included) give you the latest digital shifting abilities in Zwift’s virtual world

Finally, there is the KICKR CORE indoor trainer which although significantly cheaper than Wahoo’s high-end KICKR trainers (GBP1000 or more), is featured similarly. It’s a high-quality indoor trainer. KICKR CORE is easily more than good enough even for more serious cyclists like myself who want to ‘waste’ (ahem, invest!) money on the top-end stuff.

Tip: Either buy directly from Wahoo or your local bike store. If something goes wrong you want a direct link to the people who will fix it. Saving £20 buying from a random e-store is a false economy if something later goes wrong.

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Buy KICKR CORE Zwift One

Zwift Cog

Zwift Cog is maximally compatible and will work with almost any 8-12-speed bike. It minimises noise, minimises cost and minimises maintenance. It’s essential for virtual shifting.



Small bikes like a Brompton and ones lacking a derailleur won’t work. you need a derailleur to tension the chain.


Zwift Click

Zwift Click controls your virtual gears, attaches to any handlebar and digitally pairs to the Zwift ecosystem.



It has nothing to do with the Di2 shifters you find on more expensive bikes. It’s a shame that you can’t (yet) use your Di2 levers and buttons for the same purpose.

Virtual Shifting

Virtually shifting merely changes the trainer’s resistance. There are no mechanical gear shifts and Virtual Shifting entirely replaces the gears on your bike.


Q: What are the benefits of virtual shifting?

A: Since your bike chain doesn’t need to move when you’re changing gears, there’s no interruption to the motion of your pedalling and no additional noise as you shift. Virtual shifting is quick and consistent, regardless of how fast or hard you’re pedalling. You can shift your virtual gear while stationary—no more getting stuck in the wrong gear.

Q: What equipment do I need to use for virtual shifting?

A: The Zwift Hub One bundle and the Wahoo KICKR Core Zwift One both offer virtual shifting. If you have a Zwift Hub with a cassette, you can upgrade your set-up by purchasing a Zwift Click and Zwift Cog bundle or Zwift Play controllers.

Q: How many virtual gears are offered?

A: 24

Q: Why 24 gears?

A: It covers all types of riding and is the same as found on the latest 12-speed bikes (2×12=24). You get 24 gears regardless of the physical derailleur on your bike.

Q: How do I know which virtual gear I’m in?

A: It’s displayed on the screen.

Q: Where can I use virtual shifting?

A: Anywhere in Zwift. But nowhere else! IE virtual shifting is not YET standardised and compatible with other training platforms.

Q: Can I use virtual shifting in a workout?

A: No, not if you have ERG mode on. ERG mode automatically adjusts resistance.

Q: How do I access virtual shifting?

A: Update to the latest version of Zwift. Connect Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One via Bluetooth in the PAIRED DEVICES screen, and connect your Zwift Click or Zwift Play.

Q: Can I control when I use virtual shifting?

A: Yes! it can be enabled/disabled mid-ride

Q: Is this a premium feature?

A: No, it’s covered in your subscription.

Q: Will Zwift Cog become available to higher-end KICKR models

A: Yes, I think it will. That’s speculation though.

Q: Can I shift the front derailleur

A: Yes, probably but don’t. Use the big ring. You’ll be OK so long as your rear derailleur can still create the required chain tension. Remember if you have Di2 that synchro shift will shift the rear.

Q: Do I need a rear derailleur

A: Yes. Even though you don’t use it, it provides chain tension

Q: What if I inadvertently shift the rear derailleur eg with my Di2

A: It’ll clunk a bit and make a noise. Nothing will break but don’t do it!

Q: What is the Zwift Hub classic

A: The same thing with a regular rear cassette, no virtual shifting

Q: Can I swap and use my partner’s bike

A: Sure. KICKR CORE Zwift One will probably work on all your bikes,  your partner bikes and your kids’ bikes. Intei a mate around, guess what? It’ll work with their bike too


Buy KICKR Core Zwift One
Buy KICKR Core Zwift One

KICKR Compatability

KICKR/ZWIFT are compatible with each other and KICKR is compatible with other apps, bike sensors and hardware. Compatibility is as good as you will get at this price point. The only improvement possible is for direct cable or WiFi connectivity.

KICKR has ANT+ and  3 Bluetooth connections. So you will be able to pair to iPad, a bike computer and zwift on a smart TV.


Related News & Thoughts

Zwift has terminated its trainer relationship with Jet Black and deals exclusively with Wahoo going forward for trainers.
The Wahoo/Zwift partnership will be a stable one moving forward. KICKR CORE Zwift One is a compelling package that is aggressively priced for newbie indoor cyclists. It’s particularly well-suited for those who have more than one bike and who want super-quiet operation. It’s just light enough to be easily moved around, and stored away. It requires very little knowledge of bike mechanics other than how to take off a rear wheel and put it back on again.

❌ Real Ride Feel

I would say you get a decent ride feel, but many improvements can be found on more expensive trainers. You don’t necessarily need a true-to-life ride feel.

The resistance level on the trainer matches the road conditions on Zwift. Like on real roads, you will thus have to change gears realistically.

However, you do not experience any kind of surface ‘noise’, which is a feature on much more expensive trainers that ‘vibrate’ to simulate gravel.

While the KICKR CORE simulates the difficulty of an uphill climb, it does not replicate the effects on the riding position of the gradient. You can consider buying the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB, which replaces your front wheel and physically inclines the bike to match the hill gradient. Theoretically, such a change in ride position will better train your muscles for climbing in the real world.

KICKR CORE also lacks a motor to simulate the ease of downhills, but that’s not a significant omission. Higher-end Wahoos do NOT have that feature, but Garmin TACX does.

A larger flywheel than the 5.4kg on offer with KICKR CORE OR the use of high mechanical gear (large front, small rear cog) to give higher flywheel speeds will both increase flywheel inertia at any given level of effort. It could be argued that these factors provide a more realistic road feel. Wahoo’s top-end trainer has a 7.3kg flywheel. This is a factor that only very serious cyclists need to worry about in my opinion, i.e., KICKR CORE is suitable for most people.

KICKR Core also lacks Race Mode, which is simply the more frequent transmission of data. When training, more frequent data makes Zwift appear to respond slightly more quickly to changes in your effort (like sprinting).


Buy KICKR Core Zwift One
Buy KICKR Core Zwift One


Buy KICKR CORE Zwift One

Price: £550/$600/600 € (includes 12-month Zwift membership, saving £130)


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Buy KICKR CORE Zwift One

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7 thoughts on “Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One ❌What’s Wrong with it ❌ Full bundle plus Virtual Shifting

  1. I don’t really understand why the virtual shifting has to be limited to only work in zwift.
    Isn’t the virtual gear effectively a multiplier/offset to the resistance level, meaning “shifting up” increases the resistance level, making the same cadence require more power.
    If that’s correct, it seems like it could be implemented natively in the trainer so it’d work with any simulation software rather than just be implemented in zwift.

    Maybe that was a marketing decision vs a technical one?

  2. Something to take note: I have both a Wahoo Kickr Core (2018) and a Zwift Hub One w/Virtual gears. I love both BUT…. if you are the type of person to ride IRL routes on your trainer, say maybe a route you’ll be racing or an IRL route you enjoy but cannot get to; only the Kickr Core allows/uploads the route to ride indoors. Zwift does not currently have this capability.

  3. I do hope Zwift enables virtual gearing on any smart trainers, if it is done through software.

    One implementation I can think of is to include a “14 ÷ virtual gear tooth” multiplier to the equation, lets call α.
    The number 14 is because of the gear used in the cog.
    Since, for simplicity, Power is directly proportional to gear ratio, given a constant cadence, Trainer Power/Resistance = α * preset Resistance of the map.

    I might be wrong with how it can be implemented but it should be possible to be done with only software, not requiring the trainer to be Wahoo, Tacx, etc. Then, hardware implementation can be done to emulate how the shifting feels, like having an instant change in resistance or some kind of transition.

    Anyway it would be great to have virtual shifting on non-Wahoo trainers as well.

    1. It’s highly likely this feature will rollout to other Wahoo trainers in the near future (this month, see gpllama)

  4. Ha, this sheds new light on the settlement of their legal dispute!

    Seems to have been a rather one sided settlement with Zwift curbing their Hub trainer and Wahoo coming out with this one. Zwift sure did burn a ton of cash with their smart trainer endeavor.

    Not a fan of Zwift at all but I feel sorry for all the people getting or having been laid off due to that.

    1. yeah I think there’s a lot fo truth in what you say. On the plus side for them tho the auto bundling of zwifdt membership on the Wahoo side of things should bring them some customers

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