In order to continue training through the winter months, I needed to acquire some fitness equipment. Because cycling has become my newest passion, a bike trainer of some sort seemed to be the best solution.
I wanted something that was versatile and compact. This threw out the full spin trainers, because they are large and dedicated to a single use. A bicycle trainer that attaches to your rear wheel seemed like the best option. I probably read a hundred reviews of different trainers on the market, but there was one that grabbed my attention right from the start.
The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is heralded as one of the best on the market, and its really not hard to see why. The engineering that went into this product is amazing. Fluid trainers are considered the best, but they are prone to leaking. Kurt solved this problem by creating a separate fluid chamber, and using magnets to lock the drive. This means it should never leak, because there is no seal around a rotating drive shaft.
Kurt also uses heavy gauge steel tubing to create a solid platform to work on. Couple this with a heavy flywheel and a large diameter roller, and you have a very robust training tool.
Attaching the bike is easy and quick, after the initial setup it only takes about 30 seconds to install your bike.
Riding is smooth and quiet. I have done several training sessions with my brother now, who is using a top brand magnetic trainer. You can’t even hear my Kurt over the noise his mag trainer is making. We have swapped trainers a number of times and both agree that Kurt is the superior model. The frame of his mag trainer feels very light and wobbles under acceleration. It also tends to squeak at the wheel through bolt attach point when you really start putting the power to it. As I said, you can’t even tell a Kurt is being used in the same room when that mag trainer is in action.
The down side to the kinetics heavy build quality is weight. Its a big heavy trainer and can be a bit cumbersome while moving it around. Definitely not a great choice if your female and plan on doing alot of spin classes away from home. I don’t find it that bad, but I would say this unit is better suited for staying in one place.
The only real problem I can find with this road machine, is the through bolt on the motor unit. Kurt provides a 3/8 inch bolt to attach the motor to the frame. But the hole it goes into is about 1/2 inch or more. This makes the motor unit flop around a bit. I was expecting to see a much closer tolerance on the fit of this part. I would have to say that this is the Achilles heal of the unit and I predict that this will be the point of greatest wear. Only time will tell if this becomes a sore point.
Lastly we should talk price. I paid about $360 CAD for mine. That was a pretty good deal for the time, but still on the high side for a trainer. I could easily have bought 2 of the cheaper models for that much. But I was interested in quality, and was willing to pay the higher price to get what I think is a great overall training tool. I am sure I will be able to pass this unit on to my great grand children 100 years from now.
- Heavy duty materials, quality construction
- should last forever
- Progressive road resistance simulates the road
- Smooth and very quiet
- No way to adjust resistance (not sure this is really a con)
- Bolt attaching the motor to the frame is sloppy
- Heavy and bulky, if you are going to spin class…its not compact.
Notes : After nearly 1000 simulated Kilometers of riding, I am extremely impressed with the unit and love to ride it. I would highly recommend the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine to anyone looking to for a quality bike trainer.
- Design : 4.5/5 – Works great, but the one bolt could have been designed with tighter tolerances.
- Quality : 5/5 – Heavy duty, well built, nice finish, no problems.
- Durability : 4.5/5 – Looks like it will last forever, that one bolt will be the weak spot.
- Aesthetics : 5/5 – Looks great, I love the green machine.
- Value : 4/5 – High for a trainer, you can buy 2 of something else for this price. But you are paying for highest quality.
I just installed my regular road tires on the bike. The noise level has doubled during kinetic use, as the tread pattern rides over the roller. I highly recommend a training tire for use on the trainer. the straight tire with no tread really cuts down on noise.