By Todd Anthes
I’m still recovering from a back injury and have had to examine a number of factors to help me get back on track and not exacerbate the injury while riding. Oddly enough, one of items that has assisted is the Wahoo Kickr Climb (the “Climb”).
The Climb pairs with a Wahoo smart trainer (in place of your front wheel) and changes the gradient in conjunction with the hills on your virtual ride. The default setting of the Climb is 50% of the actual gradient of the virtual hill. You can set the ratio to 1:1 (or another ratio), but this will be the subject of an entire blog itself.
After my injury I spent a lot of time on the trainer as I could control my environment. Put another way, I couldn’t fall and risk injury. However, one of the negative factors of spending a lot of time on the trainer is that I didn’t change my position much. As I would get bored on the trainer I would tend to slouch. This puts my back in a compromised position and certainly does not help in my recovery.
In addition to a new fit, changing my saddle, and working on not slouching, the Climb was something I was very interested in trying as I thought it would force position changes on my saddle. The theory being that forcing a change in my position would not drive myself into dysfunction.
I used the Climb for my entire 2018-2019 winter season, including many rides of 3 hours or more. I’m pleased to report that the device has met its intended purpose. As the Climb adjusts to the gradient of the virtual hills, my position on the saddle also is forced to adjust. When the Climb adjusts to the gradient, it is also a great reminder to check my form.
I wholeheartedly endorse the Climb as a tool to enhance your training experience, as well as making longer trainer rides more tolerable. The forced change of your position on the saddle replicates the outdoor experience to a certain degree and can also serve as a reminder to pay attention to your form.