Posts tagged kurt kinetic
If you’re looking for the very best bike trainer for 2017, we’ve done pretty much all of the homework for you with this great little list for would-be buyers…
We know it’s not always easy sifting through all that info online, and hey, even through all those reviews on our own website, what with all the models we’ve tried and tested over the years. But we’ve done our absolute best to create the ultimate Top 5 list of bike trainers out there, a list that will surely take your indoor training efforts to the next level.
And yes, there is something for everyone on this list, so whatever your budget and cycling level there’s something for you to enjoy. The range of indoor trainers we’ve included in this list ranges from a very budget friendly $70 trainer to a pricey but extremely classy trainer that will set you back over a grand (and comes highly recommended for the serious/pro cyclists of you out there).
Yep, these really are the best bike trainer options out there in 2017, in our very humble opinion. And yes, with one of these trainers in your training arsenal, you can seriously start expecting some decent results…
Budget-friendly and AMAZING value for any beginner: the Ohuhu Magnet Steel trainer!
This bike trainer only recently came onto our radar, but we have to say, this HAS to be on your radar if you’re looking for a trainer with tremendous value (we’re talking a typical online price of around $80).
Seriously, if your budget is on the conservative side, or you’re just getting started with indoor trainers, this is an excellent choice. Some might say it’s a direct copy of this bestseller from Magnet, but we feel there’s just that wee bit more in this one to warrant its selection as one of the very best budget trainers of 2017!
There’s a LOT to love with this trainer, including a heavy-duty frame that also folds up (and ensures it can be easily stored away), adjustable internal resistance settings that are controlled via the handlebar (thanks to some awesome inbuilt magnets), skid-resistance feet, and perhaps most importantly, it’s a very quiet trainer, even when the wolves are at your feet!
If you’re looking for additional budget options, check out the best THREE bike trainers for less than $80!
A revamped classic for the smart tech generation: the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller!
The Kurt Kinetic’s Rock n Roller has long been on our featured list of trainers. With a revamped version recently released to take on the ever developing world of smart technology compatible trainers, this could be your ultimate ride through the off-season.
The major factor in choosing this smart version of the Rock n Roller is its Inride Sensor. If you love your details and performance data, this sensor will give you pretty much all the data tracking and workout details you’ll ever need. And we can’t emphasize how important some of that data (speed and heart rate to cadence) can be for the serious cyclist; while your competitors are piling on the pounds/losing fitness over the off-season, you’ll be primed and ready for the spring!
Accompanying the Inride Sensor is the inRide app, which does an amazing job of collecting and transforming that data into workout suggestions, modifying its built-in workout programs according to the data the sensor provides.
Together with the fact that this smart trainer from Kinetic handles like a dream (that rocking motion is a big big plus) and can cater to almost any wheel size, its price tag of around $550 is excellent value for money, especially when some of today’s smart trainers are breaching a grand.
One of the BEST trainers your money can buy: the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro!
This trainer is seriously going to make some improvements to your fitness levels over the winter. And if you’re after something ANT+ friendly, with real-time analysis of your riding sessions, this is the beast for you.
I’ll be honest, this trainer is going to put a hefty dent in your wallet, as you’ll be lucky to find it under $1000. However, the big bonus with this trainer is that it uses ANT+, ensuring you get crucial performance data on ANT+ cycling computers that provide you with real-time analysis as you ride. So yes, if you’re looking to tweak and improve your riding, this is an amazing tool to have on your side.
Enjoy an integrated PowerTap power meter for some awesome metrics, including power in watts, power zones, peak power, caloric expenditure in kilojoules, cadence, heart rate, and much more. The Mini ANT+ USB stick (included with the trainer) also lets you control the resistance from your computer (this means you can also use CycleOps’ Virtual Training app for auto-syncing sessions with virtual training routes)!
Other crucial selling points: it’s extremely quiet (CycleOps states it generates a reasonable 69-70 decibels when riding at 20mph), and you can attach most road and mountain bike frames, with support for 650b, 700c, 26 inch, 27 inch, and 29 inch wheel sizes, with tires up to 2.25 inches wide.
Note this trainer also comes in a Bluetooth Smart version, but apparently connectivity issues persist with it, so we’d recommend sticking with this ANT+ version.
Another smart-tech option: the awesome value Tacx Vortex Smart Ergo Trainer!
Smart trainers have recently become the trend to watch out for in the bike trainer wold in 2017, but with many of the recently released models topping a grand, smart trainers are out of reach for many. And then came along the Tacx Vortex Smart Ergo trainer.
What can we say, except “buy it if you’re after a great smart trainer”!
Seriously, this Tacx trainer packs a seriously smart punch – for less than $500. With a quick and stable connection ensuring your trainer is responsive to the smart app that comes with the trainer, you’ll soon be enjoying the likes of Zwift and other similar software (including the included Tacx software).
With excellent resistance (thanks to 16 inbuilt magnets) that you can crank up to a whopping max of 950 watts, excellently accurate workout calculations, and awesome electro-brake technology coming into its own and registering delicate changes in speed, this is one indoor riding experience you won’t need any motivational pep-talks for!
One of our personal faves: the awesome CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer!
(EDITOR’S CHOICE) This bike trainer from CycleOps has long been in our personal arsenal of off-season training tools. It has been around for some time, but after recently being revamped and redesigned, it still remains an excellent option for 2017.
Simply one of the best value trainers on this list (coming in at around $300), we’ve probably had more training sessions on this beast than any other trainer out there. Still quiet, still classy, and yes, still an indoor riding experience to savor.
With excellent resistance, a new larger flywheel delivering twice the inertia (read about the resistance technology from CycleOps here), Powerband technology ensuring a wide resistance range to work with, a self-cooling mechanism that keeps the unit performing better and for longer, plus a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, this is an excellent choice for the beginner, keen cyclist, and even the hardened pro.
Quick glance comparison
Below is a table summarizing the best bike trainers in this bestsellers of 2017 list, so you can see at-a-glance what ticks all your boxes before reading more about each trainer…if you’re still not sure what type of trainer you really need, check out our quick guide for assistance.
NOTE: The ratings are review ratings currently listed on Amazon
|Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Trainer||The ultimate realistic indoor riding experience, expensive but quality|
Read our REVIEW
|Ohuhu Magnet Steel Trainer||Adjustable internal resistance levels, quiet, skid-resistant feet, wide frame, excellent value.|
Read our REVIEW
|CycleOps PowerBeam Pro||Perfect for pros with ANT+ compatibility for real-time analysis, quiet, lifetime warranty from CycleOps!|
Read our REVIEW
|Cycleops Fluid 2||Infinite resistance, self-cooling, one of the best!|
Read our REVIEW
|Tacx Vortex Smart ErgoTrainer||Smart technology, intuitive, electro-brake technology, best value smart trainer!|
Read our REVIEW
What types of bike trainer are out there in 2017 – and what type should I buy?
So yes, we know it can get a little confusing when trying to work out which type of indoor trainer best suits your needs, but we’ve wrapped up the main types you need to take into consideration for 2017 below…
Without a doubt, smart trainers are the future of indoor training. With their ability to connect to a variety of applications and sensors, smart trainers are for the keen to pro rider who needs that extra data available – or for those who just want to ride with their buddies on multi-rider platforms like Zwift. We’ve already uncovered a couple of great smart trainers, but the Tacx Vortex we mentioned above is one of the best value smart trainers we’ve come across. But watch this space because we’re sure there are some interesting developments ahead, and not just in 2017…
Fluid trainers are about as real as you’re going to get to an authentic on-road sensation. They typically generate resistance through a magnetic flywheel which combines with a fluid chamber inside the flywheel. So as you hit those pedals harder, the fluid in the chamber gets hotter, which means that the trainer’s resistance becomes more challenging as you continue.
Expect to pay a few more $$$ than most of the other types listed here, since these types of trainers (our own favorite is the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer listed above) certainly provide quality, with most of the models out there today also proving they are leak-proof (a well-known problem in earlier fluid type trainers). If you want to go for a pivoting, and truly awesome fluid trainer, take a look at the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller (see above), now updated with a smart-friendly version!
Magnetic trainers generate resistance via a magnetic flywheel, the adjustable magnetic resistance creating drag against your bike’s wheel. They are typically on the cheaper side, and generally easy to setup and move about. However, the resistance is limited and for the serious cyclist this can soon cause an issue as you’ll reach your max resistance fairly swiftly. They also tend to be noisier than fluid trainers, a point those of you living in apartments may want to consider.
A good budget-friendly example of a magnetic stationary stand is the Ohuhu Steel trainer, which we included above.
Rollers are a whole different ball game; instead of attaching your bike to the trainer, as in the above models, you attempt to ride the bike on the rollers themselves, trying not to fall flat on your face! Certainly takes some practice, but rollers are a great way to work on your balance and positioning.
They typically are seen as a good value option, often coming in at much cheaper than the prime fluid or direct drive models. Some people swear by them, others can’t stand them – it’s entirely up to you! Don’t miss this review of the Top 5 bike rollers for a guide to the very best rollers out there.
Direct Drive trainers
Direct drive trainers are fairly new to the scene of indoor training, but are a great option for the serious cyclist. You can also save some serious $$$ on tires, since these trainers work on the concept of removing your bike’s rear wheel completely, and slotting it into a direct drive on the trainer. Quick and easy to setup, especially with today’s modern bikes that now all come with a quick-release skewer.
Virtual Reality trainers
If your budget is limitless and you really want the ultimate indoor ride, try a virtual trainer, which basically transforms your ride into a living PlayStation/XBox experience! Expect to pay some serious $$$ – for example, watch this video of the Tacx iGenius Virtual Trainer, it might just knock your socks off! You can buy it on Amazon, just be aware that it will cost you upwards of $1000.
We should probably point out that the concept of “virtual” trainers will probably disappear, what with the ever-growing range of smart trainers and direct drive trainers (see above), and their ability to connect with a range of appliances and software.
In all honesty, don’t even bother with wind trainers. They’re generally noisy, and in our opinion, are outdone by fluid and decent magnetic trainers.
The Kinetic Rock n Roll Smart Trainer – complete with a unique InRide Sensor – is an absolute triumph, updating the timeless Kinetic Rock n Roll design for the smartphone age, while preserving the smooth, fluid trainer-powered cycling experience that has made Kinetic a stalwart in a competitive industry.
I was a little dubious myself, fearful that something that had worked so well before could be upgraded – but yes, this beast is a definite upgrade! I traded my old Rock n Roll trainer in for this smart trainer (it’s also known as version 2.0) a few months back and have never regretted it – my workouts are more realistic, fun and effective than ever before, with the additional smart technology making a world of difference.
Of course, the smart tech factor hasn’t had an impact on the price, which still hovers on the edge of pretty expensive (you can pick it up for around $550), but this trainer has to be on your shortlist if you’re looking for something that extra bit special… and especially if your cycling is on an upward curve.
Smart technology to bring you rocking (and rolling – geddit?) into the 21st century!
Let’s start with the new stuff. The Inride Sensor is the centerpiece of the Kinetic Rock n Roll Smart Trainer’s “smart” offerings, promising precise data tracking and workout planning for the detail-oriented cyclist.
As a semi-serious cyclist with nearly two decades of experience, I simply can’t over-emphasize the importance of conscientious data-collection. The off-season, during which your competitors are piling on the pounds and losing fitness by the day, is the perfect time to get a head-start for spring races. However, careful planning is sooo important if you are to make the most of this vital period. I saw that the Inride Sensor collected mountains of data on everything from speed and heart rate to cadence, ensuring I was able to keep track of my progress as well as design training programs that pushed me hard while still allowing adequate recovery time.
If the Inride Sensor is adept at data compilation, Kinetic’s inRide app is absolutely outstanding when it comes to making good use of that data. It goes beyond mere number-crunching, but actually makes helpful and informed workout suggestions, modifying its built-in workout programs according to the data the sensor provides.
If those aren’t to your liking, the workout creation program offers a handy customization option, which even tech neophytes like me will find easy to navigate thanks to the intuitive user-interface. As the name suggests, the inRide app is even useful mid-ride, providing real-time interval graphing to monitor your performance right down to the last second, ensuring that you don’t inadvertently slack off and miss out on gains.
Finally, the new “smart” options are so easy to use, they pretty much do all the work for you. Other than connect the Kinetic Rock n Roll Smart Trainer to your mobile device (which literally just involves switching on both devices’ Bluetooth connections) the machine did all the work for me. Even updates (for paid users only) are automatic, ensuring that you can invest all your time and energy in working out instead of fiddling around on your touch screen or fussing about with knobs and dials.
Some top notch tech specs
This baby fails to disappoint – here’s a few reasons why:
- Supports wheel sizes from 700×23 up to 29 inch mountain bike tires
- Weighs 33 pounds (due to its quality build, see below)
- Lifetime warranty from Kinetic
- inRide sensor is pre-installed for wireless power-based workouts and fitness tests (there’s a free iOS app, Android is still in beta)
- App features built-in workouts; measures power, speed, cadence, distance and more
OK, but how does it handle?
If you’ve never used a Kinetic Rock n Roll indoor trainer before (such as the original classic Road Machine), you’re in for a real treat.
Kinetic has always justified this product’s premium price tag by reference to the Rock n Roll training experience, and it’s gratifying to see that the Rock n Roll Smart Trainer does not disappoint at all when you take it for a ride.
The sway of the trainer feels even more realistic than before, particularly when you’re pedaling against high resistance – when you stand up and pump those quads, the machine’s subtle and precise responses make it easy to pretend you’re out in the open on your favorite cycling route.
This not only makes for a more engaging training session, but also ensures your technique doesn’t take a turn for the worse in the winter months. Many cyclists who use substandard indoor trainers in the off-season come back as fit as ever, but find that their cycling technique, particularly on steep slopes, has regressed. Not so with Kinetic Rock n Roll users!
One quality-packed trainer…
Cyclists used to cheaper trainers are often shocked by the weight of Kinetic products, because this company does not skimp on building materials.
Every inch of these machines is crafted with welded steel or reinforced aluminium, for a robust construction that is built to last. Moreover, the pivot points (frequently the first component to give way in a vigorous workout) are made with car-grade elastomer for enhanced durability.
Another upside to the Kinetic Rock n Roll Smart Trainer’s uncompromising focus on heavy-duty building materials is increased stability. Whenever I tell laymen I’ve bought a Rock n Roll trainer, they inevitably ask whether a trainer that prides itself on its ability to rock and sway as you pedal is safe to use.
The answer, as all Kinetic fans know, is yes – so long as your trainer is built to take a beating. This smart trainer certainly is. The new ABS plastic contact points, with a thick rubber coating, provide an even firmer floor grip for superb anti-skid performance, contributing to the great overall balance of this trainer.
In summary: why you’ll want one of these Kinetic smart trainers!
As you probably can tell, I’m a huge fan of Kinetic’s long-awaited smart offerings. The Rock n Roll series has now been updated for the smartphone era, and what a gorgeous, high-tech product it is! It’s not cheap, but what smart tech enabled trainer is these days (but hey, the similarly priced Smart ErgoTrainer from Tacx is also an option to consider – see our review).
All in all, this is a quality trainer guaranteed to ramp up your training sessions. Highly recommended.
With 2016 well and truly here, we thought we’d take a quick look at the very best stationary bike stands you should be splashing your hard-earned cash on in 2016!
UPDATE: We’ve created a new list of the BEST bike trainers for 2017 right HERE!
We know there are plenty of you indoor trainer wannabes out there, hunting the perfect trainer stand to get your training and fitness in shape for the spring. And we also know you probably have a budget limiting your options – so we have collected a bit of everything in this little list, from the best of the cheap, budget trainers (we’re talking around $50-60), to the best your $$$ can buy (be prepared to invest…). These really are the best trainer options out there, in our very humble opinion.
Seriously, with one of these in your training program, you can start expecting some decent results…
A bestselling fave: the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer
Ever since we first purchased the revamped model in 2014, we’ve been very impressed. The CycleOps Fluid 2 is definitely one to consider if you’re looking for something in between the ultra-budget trainers and the cream of the crop (see the Magnet trainer and CycleOps PowerBeam Pro below for details).
Of course, there’s the brand name of CycleOps behind it, which is typically recognized throughout the industry as one of the quality names that serious cyclists should be aware of. Which means, not surprisingly, that this baby is almost always on the list of bestselling bike trainers at stores like Amazon.
Throughout 2015 we put in quite a few sessions on this trainer (see our review here), so can heartily recommend it. It comes in at around $300, but is actually cheaper than most of the other options on this list! This trainer offers superb value, and is, in our opinion, a must-buy if you’re looking for a very decent trainer – regardless of your skill level. Yes, even the pros of you out there will love this one.
The BEST your money can buy: the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro
Seriously, if you have the cash to spend, this one will take your training to the very highest levels! The CycleOps PowerBeam Pro isn’t cheap – it’s priced around $1000 – but this beast will keep you in superb shape throughout 2016, and many more years to come!
It might be a bit pricey, but it comes pre-assembled, so you can get training within minutes of receiving it! Just unfold the legs, adjust the legs to make sure it’s stable, and slot the included steel quick release skewer through your bike’s rear axle.
The major advantage with the PowerBeam Pro is its use of ANT+, which displays your workout performance data on ANT+ cycling computers so you can see just exactly where you’re going wrong (or right!) in real-time. In our opinion, this makes it a perfect trainer for beginners wishing to really ramp up their training AND pros wishing to tweak their performance to the absolute limits.
This trainer is class – and you can read all about it in our Top 3 trainer list, which gives the lowdown on the best of the best.
Still one of the best for 2016: the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine
If anybody can give the boys from CycleOps a run for their money, it’s the guys over at Kurt Kinetic!
The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is still one of the best stationary bike stands you can buy, and after a bit of a redesign in 2014, it looks set to stand the test of time still further (we still probably prefer the CycleOps Fluid 2 though!).
The Road Machine is renowned for its non-leak fluid chamber, as well as a huge flywheel which ensures one of the most stable training sessions you’ll ever experience. An added bonus is its ability to take on 29 inch wheels, still not a common thing among many trainers. This is definitely one of the best trainers on the market – read our full review here.
If you’re feeling particularly extravagant and in need of even more bang for your buck, try their brand new smart version of the Road Machine, the Smart inRide sensor. It will put a few $$ on the price tag, but enable wireless power-based workouts and fitness tests using the Kinetic inRide app!
Budget friendly champion for 2016: the cheap and cheerful Magnet Trainer
One of the most popular trainers we’ve seen on sites like Amazon has to be this one – the Magnet trainer!
We’re still not sure how they only charge $50-60 for this baby, but literally thousands of buyers have bought this AND left happy reviews, so it definitely seems to be the indoor trainer to consider if you’re on a bit of a budget.
In our opinion, this has to be “perfect” for beginners, especially for those of unsure what trainers are all about. It can definitely be your stepping stone to a pricier, more feature-packed trainer…or it might be enough to keep you happy over the coming months, that’s entirely up to you of course. One thing we should probably mention and is something we certainly believe in – you often get what you pay for, and with this trainer, you won’t be getting a luxury trainer model that will stand some intense workouts. The Magnet trainer is solid, excellent value, and a good starter model, but remember you’re paying bottom dollar for this one, so don’t expect too much (especially good instructions – the instructions for setting it up are notoriously bad, but if you read this you should be well prepared!).
Perhaps the ultimate road-like ride: the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roller
If you’re a bit of a keen cyclist and want to feel the ultimate road-like experience, this one is for you – the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roller.
This model from the guys at Kurt Kinetic is another one that has been around for awhile, and also refurbished in 2014 to give it that modern look and feel. It, like the Road Machine mentioned above, also has a smart version that uses the new Kinetic inRide app for perhaps the ultimate ride!
It’s not cheap – coming in at around $500 (and an extra $50-60 if you go for the smart version) – but is certainly one to enjoy if you’re looking for the ultimate training experience. The clincher for many purchasing this trainer is, of course, the unique side to side rocking action which makes it feel like you really are pedaling away out on the road, especially for the climbers of you. And when you mix in the legendary huge Kurt Kinetic flywheel and fluid unit, the stability and resistance you need for an intense session is there to enhance your ride beyond anything else you’ve probably experienced.
Read our full review of the Rock and Roller here.
Don’t miss our ever-growing Buying Guide for a quick summary of many of the leading bike trainer stands on the market today!
UPDATE: We have now published an updated version for this winter!
With winter fast kicking in, and those dark evenings getting colder and even longer, we thought it was about time we came up with a guide to the best indoor trainers and cycling accessories for the upcoming winter months.
We know there are a fair few of you out there who take your cycling seriously, and winter is the time when our website really sees some action; those of you looking to stay in shape over the winter months know that a stationary bike trainer is an awesome solution to beating those winter training blues (and also knock off some of those excess winter pounds)! Not sure about you, but just looking at the photo above gives us the shivers – take it inside ladies and gents, please!
Check out what we rank as the best indoor trainers below (you should also check out our Buying Guide, which compares nearly all the known models out there), followed by a quick summary of some terrific accessories that will only enhance your indoor training sessions this winter…
The Best Indoor Bike Trainers
We’re constantly checking trends, new models, and new variations of existing trainers, and have to say that the old faithful models are still doing the business.
Let’s be honest, Kurt Kinetic will find it hard to top their top of the range Road Machine or Rock and Roller, however much they tweak and refine their existing line of models (this year, for the first time since 2007, they actually refined their designs a little bit, with a slight reduction in weight, rubber mountings instead of plastic, and more support for 29 inchers).
We’ve always loved their Road Machine (see our review here) and again, we recommend it highly if you’re looking for a quality trainer. If you’re looking for something just that little bit extra (and by extra we mean the ability to rock back and forth as if you’re hill climbing), then splash the cash on a Rock and Roller for a very realistic ride (see our review here). Both models aren’t cheap, but both are top, top quality.
Another couple of classy indoor trainers you should take into consideration are the CycleOps Fluid 2 and Cascade Fluid Pro. The CycleOps trainer comes with brand quality and has proven itself one of the best ever sellers over recent years; we can’t knock it and have enjoyed a number of sessions ourselves on this baby (see our review here). As for the Cascade Fluid Pro, we only came across this trainer this year but were very impressed; it automatically jumped into the “Highly Recommended” category (read more about why it impressed us so much here).
OK, OK, we hear you – not all of you have the cash to fork out on an expensive indoor trainer right now! And that’s why you’ll love this article we wrote on the best trainers for under $80. It’s proven way more popular than we expected, but in these times of economic uncertainty, that’s perhaps perfectly understandable. The one trainer from that article that seems to have been grabbed most of your attention is the Magnet Trainer – grab one while you can!
Must-Have Cycling Accessories for this Winter
When we started out training indoors many moons ago, we just slipped on some shorts and old sneakers and away we pedaled. Things have changed since then though, oh boy!
The pure number of accessories you can fork out on these days is incredible. From literally hundreds of specialized cycling shoes (for both men and women), to mats to place your trainer on, to countless numbers of gadgets that are all designed to enhance your training sessions, the choices are mind-boggling!
To help you out a bit, we wrote up an article on the Top 10 cycling accessories last Christmas, and we know that has helped many of you out. Check it out, there are some great shoes, smartphone cases and shorts on that list!
Personally, I’d have to whittle the list down to these must-haves:
- Awesome personalized name stickers for your bike / helmet / whatever…
- A great floor mat, preferably something like the Kurt Kinetic mat on the Top 10 list. This baby helps keep your floor clean, your bike even more stable, and yes, it even helps reduce the noise impact your bike will make during your training.
- A decent pair of gloves; you just don’t realize how much stress your hands take on during a training session…
- A sturdy, efficient and compact tire pump, such as the Serfas TPCG, which we reviewed here.
- A lovely, sensuous masseuse to work those post-training aching muscles back into the land of the living. And if you can’t find anyone to fill the job, the next best thing has to be these awesome Travel sticks. They’ll get your muscles rejuvenated!
We hope this article has helped you out for the upcoming winter – if not, feel free to hit us with any questions by contacting us here.
There are some really great bike stationary bike stands out there, and since we know it can get a bit tricky determining what model suits your training schedule AND your pocket, we regularly come up with lists of the bestselling bike stands, just so you know what others like you are searching for and spending their hard-earned cash on…
We’ve previously reviewed the EIGHT trainers we feel you should be looking at in 2014 (see the updated list for 2017), but this little list is a collection of the THREE bestsellers currently online at stores such as Amazon. From our own experience, any one of these three should more than do the job.
Feel free to shoot me with any questions if you have them; and if you’re still not sure what kind of trainer you need, check out our list of the different types of bike trainer stands available today.
In no particular order…
The CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer
This trainer has consistently been in the top bestseller lists for some months/years, and clearly remains a firm favorite online.
And what’s not to like? It might not be the cheapest trainer around (coming in just under $300), but it really has become renowned for its superior quality. It’s very quiet, and also provides a great, realistic ride thanks to its large flywheel. It also uses a self-cooling mechanism to ensure you get even more life out of it!
The Superb Value Indoor Trainer Exercise Stand
If you’re looking for excellent value, then this one has to be at the top of your list.
Good to go for 26 inch, 27 inch, and 700c bikes, this trainer stand from Conquer doesn’t have the big name branding behind it (like the other two stands in this article) but has proven very popular on sites like Amazon with hundreds of happy reviewers.
Its popularity probably comes with its amazingly cheap price tag (typically around $60), but it also has some very excellent features, including a sturdy (AND fold-able) metal frame,and its own riser block (for the front wheel, and which would usually cost around $15-20 online). It might be a bit noisier than the other two stands on this list, but hey, for that price…check out the latest deals on Amazon for this stand.
The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine
This trainer stand is one of our faves, and has been for some time. The fact that it is also almost always at the top of the bestseller charts simply reinforces our faith in it…
It’s good for 22 to 29-inch wheels, and might just be the perfect trainer for you and your training schedule. It’s a fluid-based trainer with a non-leaking magnetic drive system pretty much guarantees a leak-free session, however intensively you train. It’s also one of the quieter stationary bike trainers we’ve ever come across.
Again, not the cheapest option out there, but even at $300 it has proven a huge hit online. Read our full review here.
NEW: If you’re on the hunt for a real budget buster (and especially relevant for the beginners of you out there), in other words a stand that will keep your bank manager very happy, don’t miss this: the THREE best stationary bike stands for under $80.
2017 UPDATE: Don’t miss our updated list
of the very BEST trainers to buy in 2017!
We’ve reviewed many of the very best stationary bike trainers out there, many of which you can find in our Reviews and Buying Guide sections, but we thought we should compile a list of the EIGHT best stationary trainers you’ll want to consider buying in 2014.
Price, brand, and even weight are NOT the deciding factors in our list; what matters most is the quality and value for money we believe you can get from each and every one of the trainer stands on our list. So yes, a range of top priced bike stands, together with a couple of the best value budget stands we’ve come across, plus a couple of new stands we’ve recently had the pleasure of checking out. And a few more you’ll really want to consider…
Also – don’t miss our guide to the best bike stands and cycling accessories for the upcoming winter!
The legendary eight, in no particular order…
Top quality and our fave: the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine
One of the very best indoor bike stands we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing, the Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer is a fluid-based bicycle trainer that has helped us and many cyclists keep their winter training sessions on track. The non-leaking magnetic drive system ensures that your training can continue unabated without any messy leaks! It’s also remarkably quiet and will take wheels up to 29 inches – unlike many other stands out there. Not the cheapest, but we highly recommend this one – read our full review here.
Another top quality contender: the Cascade Fluid Pro Trainer
We only recently discovered this bike trainer, but are glad we did! With a thermally sealed fluid drive, this Cascade Fluid Pro trainer is guaranteed to give you what should be years of training. It’s a smooth and stable ride with this one, and the front riser that comes with it (and therefore saves you around $20) also means you have three different height options. Again, not cheap, but if you’re looking for something top of the range, this is certainly one to consider. We’re even beginning to think it could oust the Kurt Kinetic from its rank as our own personal favorite…Read our full review here.
The Best Cheap Bike Trainer Stand of 2014
With the economy burning a hole in many of our pockets, we’re always getting asked for our recommendations regarding good value trainer stands. The Magnet Indoor Exercise Trainer has to be one of the best value options out there, if you’re really concerned about keeping costs down to a minimum. Typically sold for around $50, this is one we’d definitely call cheap and cheerful! Certainly a superb option for beginners and with hundreds of reviews and happy buyers on Amazon, it bags our Best Cheap Bike Trainer Stand for 2014 award! Read more about it and the other best value bike stands we recommend right here.
The Best Value Bike Trainer Stand of 2014
OK, so as we mentioned above, finding a decent value indoor training stand in 2014 is a mission for many of us with limited budgets, so here’s probably the best value stand we’ve come across over the last couple of years – the Forza F2 Trainer. This great value trainer is typically priced around $100, but you can often grab yourself a nice little discount on Amazon. Perfectly suited for the riders who train 2 or 3 times a week and need a decent workout. It’s easy to setup and the noise generated is surprisingly low. Not the quality you’d associate with a Kurt Kinetic or Cascade Fluid Pro, but definitely the trainer that wins our Best Value Bike Trainer Stand for 2014 award. Read our full review here.
Top quality and superb value for 2014: the Blackburn Mag 6 Trainer
If you’re looking for an alternative to the superb Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, but want to save yourself some 30%, we can highly recommend the Blackburn Tech Mag 6 Trainer. It usually comes in at around $200, but is a great and quality option for the more serious of you cyclists (and even the non-serious of you). There are six resistance levels to enjoy, which can be adjusted directly, and easily, from your handlebar. A bike stand made to enjoy, it’s also very sturdy and stable as it’s made of tubular steel, which ensures a safe ride and a long-lasting trainer. Read our full review here.
The classy quality of the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer
Another top quality indoor trainer to consider is the superb CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer. This little beauty is not cheap, coming in at around $300, but is definitely one of the trainers to consider if you’re after top quality. A very quiet trainer, the Fluid 2 also has a realistic resistance experience thanks to a larger than normal flywheel. The self-cooling mechanism also works wonders, making the lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee almost unnecessary…And don’t worry about the legendary poor setup instructions – we’ve got a cool little video that shows you how to quickly set it up! Read our full review here.
The bike stand with an amazingly realistic ride: the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller
A question we often get asked is just how realistic a ride can an indoor trainer give you…well, the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller has to be the ULTIMATE ride! You do have to pay a certain premium for the experience, with this trainer regularly coming in at $500 or so (the new smart version costs a little more but is well worth it). But there’s nothing out there on the market that has the Rock n Roller’s rocking mechanism that simulates the riding motion, particularly when climbing hills. It also has one of the biggest flywheels around, adding to the realism when trying to build and maintain cycling speed. Read our full review, including a great video, here.
An excellent choice for Pro-Bikers – the 1Up USA
The last indoor bike trainer to make our list for 2014 is the 1Up USA, a stand that is regularly getting some top-notch feedback from pro cyclists on forums like MountainBikeReview.com. It really is a great option to consider, with its terrific Centrifugal Pressure Resistance, which many suggest add to the reality of your training session (but if you’re really after the ultimate riding experience, try the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roller, see above). The only drawback is that you can only order it from the official website. They don’t distribute the stand elsewhere, ruling out the possibility of grabbing a discount, which is a shame in our opinion (as we are always looking to save a few $$$).
I think I might have already covered why I like the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine so much (you might want to read this if you are unfamiliar with this amazing bike trainer) but this post is for those of you interested in the finer details, the techie stuff.
One of the major factors in considering any trainer from those guys at Kurt Kinetic has to be the resistance unit that comes with the trainer. A quite stunning piece of machinery that has ensured their trainers stay at the very top of any bestseller chart – as well as at the top of many a wish list.
The fluid resistance unit is out there on its own in terms of power and performance, especially with its non-leaky unit, something that often impacts the cheaper fluid trainers.
The unit includes 6.25 pounds of true flywheel, the biggest out there (by more than double!), an almost 3 inch roller that ensures less heat heading towards the resistance chamber, and 90ml of medical grade silicon, which is thermal dynamically neutral (which in layman’s terms means your workload is measurable, repeatable, and consistent).
And it all comes with a lifetime warranty guarantee (so even if you do KILL your trainer and it eventually leaks, you’re covered)!
To sum it all up, we found this great video from the Kurt Kinetic team, it’s well worth a look if you’re considering one of their stands…(and don’t forget their new smart trainer version of the Rock n Roller)