Kurt Kinetic Fluid Trainer
Review: Kurt Kinetic Fluid TrainerBy Scott Mares | Published Sep 19, 2010
While the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is awkward to carry, it is me tell you I have tried a lot of them. I greatly dislike trainers that are not stable enough to hold the bike still, leaving you rocking back and forth while working out. With the Kurt Kinetic, it's so stable that it is just short of being on an ergometer. One of the best things about the Road Machine trainer is that your workouts are measurable and repeatable. This is a big thing when you are training. Kurt Kinetic is able to do this through a combination of research, calibration, and the unique fluid in this trainer. If your coach tells you to train for 20 minutes at 200 watts, you can do that! The ride feel is so smooth and stable that you will feel like you are outside without all of the cars! It has a realistic coast-down with its 6.25 lb. flywheel so you don't come to a dead stop the minute you stop pedaling. The Road Machine is truly impressive when compared to all the other trainers on the market. The fluid chamber on this unit is guaranteed not to leak. Most fluid trainer companies have a drive shaft that goes directly into the chamber. Kurt Kinetic, however, has connected the drive shaft to the paddles in the fluid chamber that use special super magnets that hold it in place. So it's separate, sealed and connected. Before receiving the evaluation unit, I tested one at a retail store and I was impressed with how powerful those magnets are. I have been riding and racing since back in the day (pre-clipless pedals) and have had many indoor trainers over the years. Silence is golden with trainers, so if your trainer is noisy the TV has to be really loud. The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is one of the quietest trainers that we have had so far. If you happen to live in a condo, duplex, or townhouse, the noise will be tolerable for the neighbors. The Road Machine also comes with a lifetime crash replacement policy and unconditional lifetime warranty! While most companies limit their warranties, Kurt Kinetic simply warranties the product for the lifetime of the original owner. Very nice. It says a lot about a company that puts up that kind of guarantee.
We Didn't Like
While the sturdy construction and commercial grade materials provide a more stable and durable product, the flip side is that it makes the Road Machine heavy. I can skip lifting weights at the gym if I just move it around the house a few times. We like taking the Road Machine to races, but as we mentioned above, it's awkward to carry. Instead of making several trips to the car on race day, we would love to see a backpack for the Road Machine. It would be really nice to pack the trainer, riser ring, and skewer in a bag and be able to put it on your back. Kurt Kinetic also needs to put warning stickers on the frame warning where not to put your fingers and hands when moving the unit. When you pick up the trainer, the resistance unit has a tendency to go back against the frame which just happens to be a natural place for you to pick it up! However, it only took me one time to learn this painful lesson. The Road Machine also burns rubber! But all trainers have a tendency to wear tires out. With tires at $30+ a pop, we recommend having a dedicated wheel and trainer tire just for the trainer. We would still love, however, to have a trainer that was this solid but didn't eat tires.
The Final Say
Lets face it, every cyclist needs a good trainer when you don't have time to train or the weather is miserable outside. Don't mess around with trainers that fail to offer the best for what you pay for. While you might save a few pennies now, you will wish you had spent the extra money when your bike comes out of the trainer during intervals or you are constantly wobbling back and forth. Get a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, train hard, train smart and reap the rewards out on the road.
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- Kurt Kinetic
- Road Machine Trainer
- Road Machine Trainer
- 25 lbs
- Steel frame with sealed fluid chamber that uses thermodynamically neutral silicone resistance fluid.
20" X 31" X 16" when opened on the floor
- Lime green with black, green and white decals.
- Kurt Kinetic offers a lifetime crash replacement policy and unconditional lifetime warranty on their products.
- Assembly of the Road Machine trainer can easily be done in 15 minutes or less. All that you need to do is attach the resistance unit to the frame and your good to go. The remaining time will be spent unpacking and reading the directions.
- The frame design of the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine trainer is not that unusual or ground breaking. It uses a typical "U" or "V" shape for the main frame with swing legs that are adjustable to accommodate all wheel sizes. The adjustable legs form the stable triangle that we see in most trainers. What sets Kurt Kinetic apart is that they use commercial grade materials where most trainers use consumer grade. The Road Machine is heavy duty! They also utilize a fluid resistance unit that is totally sealed off from the rest of the world and is guaranteed not to leak. The paddles turn in the fluid resistance unit by special magnets on the outside and inside of the unit. There are 80 metal cooling fins on the Road Machine resistance unit to dissipate heat. As the fluid heats up, it heats up the metal encasing the unit. The air moves between the fins carrying the heat away from the unit similar to a motorcycle engine. With most fluid trainers, you can fry an egg on the resistance unit when you are done with your workout. The Road Machine, however, is one of the coolest fluid trainers on the market. The resistance unit has a heavy 6.25 lb. flywheel which gives the rider a realistic feel of riding on the road. The coast down and acceleration is very realistic.