The flywheel effect, revisited

Last time, I gave my second-hand Wahoo KICKR SNAP wheel-on smart trainer an introduction. A few weeks in, how has it been to live with?

The flywheel on the Minoura LR340.
The flywheel on the Wahoo KICKR SNAP.

The overriding characteristic the KICKR SNAP brings is this palpable increase in training load. I may be doing the same things I used to do (and which I, frankly, thought got slightly too easy) with my incapacitated Minoura LR340, but the five-fold increase in flywheel weight instantly notches up the difficulty. A heavier turbo trainer flywheel is akin to graduating to a heavier kettlebell or adding more plates to your weight bar, if one were to look at it from a weightlifting perspective.

Workouts that I would have completed in relatively good nick before, I now end with a lot more shortness of breath. I can definitely feel the post-workout soreness in my legs more, and for longer.

That flywheel also plays a role in the regular spindown tests Wahoo prescribes done for the KICKR SNAP. You spin the pedals until the trainer reaches the target speed of 37 km/h, then stop and wait for the flywheel to lose its momentum and shed speed on its own. This is supposedly best done after spinning the pedals for ten minutes, so that everything’s warmed up and calibrated properly. Spindown testing coincides with my own need to warm up, so it generally works out okay. That said, I’m trying to look for ways of minimizing the need to keep doing it, if possible.

As far as training load goes, it took me about a week to get used to the extra effort needed to get the KICKR SNAP going, and keep it that way. Looking back, it feels as if the KICKR SNAP came at just the right time, since I was perhaps getting a little too used to the LR340’s level of resistance and arguably not making any more gains.


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