Best smart trainers 2024: Immersive indoor cycling for all

If you're looking to buy the best smart trainer, then in my opinion you can't go wrong with the Wahoo Kickr. In my experience, it is accurate, works consistently, offers the most reliable connection with your chosen apps and has a few nice-to-have features too. Alternatively, if you want to pare down the feature set and save some cash, I'd recommend the Kickr Core Zwift One if you want virtual shifting or the Kickr Core with cassette if you prefer to use your bike's shift levers. 

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Written and tested by
Cyclingnews Senior Tech Writer Josh Croxton
Written and tested by
Josh Croxton

I've been using a smart trainer to ride and race on Zwift, TrainerRoad and others since 2018. In my time at Cyclingnews, I've used more indoor trainers than I can recall, putting them all through a series of test rides to work out their accuracy, responsiveness and how easy they are to live with. 

Contributions from
Josh Ross
Contributions from
Josh Ross

Josh has ably assisted our indoor trainer testing for the past four years, and is regularly found riding and racing on Zwift. He's covered well in excess of 1000 hours on the platform alone, using trainers from the budget-friendly Kickr Core, through to the premium Tacx Neo 3M and plenty of smart bikes too. 

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Best direct drive smart trainers: Comparison table
Header Cell - Column 0 Wahoo Kickr V6Elite JustoWahoo Kickr Core Saris H3Kickr MOVETacx Neo 3MTacx Neo 2TElite Suito
Best forBest overallRunner upBest budget direct driveCheapest high-specBest for realistic ride feelMoney-no-object choiceGreat flywheel feel at lower priceMost portable
Retail price£1,099.99 / $1,299.99 / €1,299.99 / AU$1,799.95£999.99 / $1,199.99 / €949.99/ AU$tbc£549.99 / $599.99 / €599,00 / AU$tbc£749.99 / $799.00 / €tbc / AU$tbc£1,399.99 / $1,599.99 / €1,599.99£1,749.99 / $1,999.99 / €1,999.99£1,049.99 / $1,399.99 / €1.299,00 / AU$2,399.00£639.99 / $799.00 / €569.00 / AU$1,189.95
TypeDirect driveDirect driveDirect DriveDirect driveDirect driveDirect driveDirect driveDirect drive
Can transmit power to appsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Can be controlled by apps? (ie ERG Mode)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Mains power required?YesNoYesYesYesNoNoYes
ANT+ FE-CYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Bluetooth SmartYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Multiple simultaneous Bluetooth connections32113211
Power calibrationAutomaticAutomaticManualManualAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticManual
Power accuracy1%1%2%2%1%1%1%2.50%
Max resistance2,200w2,300w1,800w2,000w2,200w2,200w2,200w1,900w
Max simulated gradient20%24%16%20%20%25%25%15%
Added reality featuresAxis feetElite Flex FeetN/AN/AFore/aft movementFore/aft movement, Rumbling over rough ground, virtual flywheelRumbling over rough ground, virtual flywheelN/A
Unit weight22kg / 47lb17kg / 38lbs18kg / 40lb21.3kg / 47lb29kg / 64lbs23.5kg / 52lbs21.5kg / 47.4lb14.5kg / 32lb
Flywheel weight7.25kg / 16lb6.2kg5.4kg / 11.9lb9kg / 20lb7.25kg / 16lbVirtual 125kg / 275.5lbVirtual 125kg / 275.5lb3.5kg / 7.7lb
Carry handle?YesYesNoYesYesYesNoYes
Cassette includedShimano 11sp - 11-28tNoYes, 8 - 12sp or Zwift CogNoShimano 11sp - 11-28tShimano 11sp - 11-28tNoShimano 11sp
Axle compatibilityQR, 12x142, 12x148QR, 12x142, 12x148QR, 12x142, 12x148QR, 12x142, 12x148QR, 12x142, 12x148QR, 12x142, 12x148QR, 12x142, 12x148QR, 12x142
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Best wheel-on trainers: Comparison table
Header Cell - Column 0 Wahoo Kickr SnapWahoo Kickr Rollr
 Best wheel-onEasiest setup
Retail price£299.99 / $349.99 / €399.99 / AU$699.95£699.99 / $799.99
TypeWheel onWheel on
Can transmit power to appsYesYes
Can be controlled by apps? (ie ERG Mode)YesYes
Mains power required?YesYes
Bluetooth SmartYesYes
Multiple simultaneous Bluetooth connections33
Power calibrationManualManual
Power accuracy3%N/A
Max resistance1,500w1,500w
Max simulated gradient12%10%
Added reality featuresN/AN/A
Unit weight17.2kg / 38lb22.7kg / 50lb
Flywheel weight4.8kg / 10.5lb4.8kg / 10.5lb
Carry handle?NoNo
Axle compatibilityQR (Thru axle sold separately)N/A
Josh Croxton
Associate Editor (Tech)

Josh is Associate Editor of Cyclingnews – leading our content on the best bikes, kit and the latest breaking tech stories from the pro peloton. He has been with us since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. 

On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Somerset-based Team Tor 2000. These days he rides indoors for convenience and fitness, and outdoors for fun on road, gravel, 'cross and cross-country bikes, the latter usually with his two dogs in tow.