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KICKR CLIMB: Behind the Design

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As a group of avid cyclists, we started Wahoo on this premise: we want to train indoors the way we train outdoors. Frustrated with the technology that was available, we started with the KICKR and made some huge leaps forward in terms of innovation. But something at the core of who we are wanted to push the envelope even further. We asked ourselves, “What can we innovate next?”

And we thought indoor training is really missing this experience of grade simulation. If you train for a hill, you should be on a hill. The next day, we went to work. We wanted to physically enhance the experience our customers had with the KICKR because, with a grade change, you’re actually changing your position on the bike.

“If you train for a hill, you should be on a hill.”

The problem was, there wasn’t anything like this on the market. We didn’t have a model to go by. So we asked ourselves, “What does it really have to do?” and “What do cyclists really want?” Our early prototypes used a worm gear, and it worked great, but it ran five times slower than we wanted it to. We came so close, but we had to go back to the drawing board. We wanted it to lift a lot of weight, quickly. And weren’t going to give up on that.

Engineering-wise, it’s hard to go back to the drawing board and design every mechanical aspect of something, but we ended up with a product that was incredibly tailored and far exceeded our expectations. In the past, Indoor training was never fun, enjoyable, or even a good option. It was just the only option. But now, from the KICKR and the ELEMNT to the new CLIMB, we’ve managed to create a whole ecosystem of products for athletes, made by athletes.”

“We’ve really created a whole ecosystem of products for athletes, made by athletes.”

Athlete and 2008 gold medalist, Jan Frodeno, for example, worked with Wahoo’s engineers, providing direct input into the design and development of the CLIMB, ensuring it was tailored to meet the needs of the most demanding professional athletes. We wanted to ensure Frodeno could replicate the resistance and grade changes found on the profiles of real-world TT courses, providing a competitive edge unmatched by any other indoor trainer. 

The new KICKR CLIMB indoor grade simulator is not only an exciting feat for our company, but for the millions of cyclists who’ve been craving a truly immersive indoor training experience. Designed to work exclusively with the KICKR and SNAP to add physical grade changes to your ride, the CLIMB is also compatible with third-party apps, so whether you’re riding a virtual course or having a structured workout, the CLIMB will automatically ascend and descend with resistance changes.

We’re very excited for this huge step forward in indoor training, and hope you’re excited to take it for a spin.

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