By: Todd Anthes
The subject of a prior blog discussed the benefits of the Wahoo Kickr Climb (the “Climb”) as aiding in the recovery of my back injury. In short, the Climb adjusts to the gradient of a virtual hill by replacing your front wheel in a trainer setting. The default trainer difficulty setting of the Climb is 50% of the actual grade of the virtual hill. I think the intent is to not have the device working more than necessary and to smooth out the virtual experience/ride.
I primarily ride the Climb on Zwift. All of the Zwift worlds have climbs of varying gradients. The theory of the trainer difficulty setting is that a lower slope setting will reduce shifting and allow a rider to put more power out on the descents. And while this makes sense to me, I fail to see why a rider wouldn’t want the actual slope setting. I didn’t give this much thought and was happy to have the forced position change which I think helps my back.
When I start with new technology, I usually run everything “standard” until I am comfortable with it. I am now comfortable with the Climb and have started to experiment with the trainer difficulty setting. I fail to see why a rider wouldn’t want the Climb to not simulate the actual slope regardless of trainer difficulty. And as previously mentioned, the two biggest selling points of the Climb for me are the reminder of the ergonomic simulation of body and bike position on gradients and increased rider feel for the indoor effort.
I am still playing with the trainer difficulty setting on my virtual rides, but this article (https://zwiftinsider.com/kickr-climb-trainer-difficulty/) has been essential in my experience with such settings. For example, I have a recurring workout that requires repeats of six minutes climbs at a specific power. Given that I don’t have a six-minute climb near where I live, I often do this workout on my trainer. I have been playing with the trainer difficulty setting on the Climb and it has positive impact on the workout.
The jury is still out for me on what is the “best” trainer difficultly setting, but the referenced article is a great way to increase the viability of your trainer session.