The guys at Kurt Kinetic have long known what they’re doing, and the latest edition to hit the bike shops is this awesome smart version of their legendary Road Machine (which we previously reviewed here).
The Kinetic Road Machine smart trainer combines the latest technology with good old fashioned engineering. The solid base gives a feeling of stability, while the front end apps put you into a virtual world where you’ll feel like you’re really out there on the open road! For its price – which is still very decent for a top-level smart trainer at under $300 – the Road Machine Smart trainer will provide you the advantages of much more expensive monitoring devices, as well as a real road feel.Click HERE for the latest reviews & discounts for the Kinetic Road Machine smart trainer!
So, what’s to like about the Kinetic Road Machine Smart?
Kurt Kinetic pride themselves on the quality of their frames, and as a result, it probably won’t surprise you to know that they regularly feature in our Top Trainers bestseller list. If anything, they say they are happy to have their trainers described as “over engineered”. Bless ’em!
The base of the Road Machine Smart trainer is certainly impressively put together. It has a very solid feel, as if it’s going to cope with more than you could ever give it. But all physical elements in this trainer have a chunky, solid feel about them. The design is based on a bright green, white and black color scheme which is unapologetic about being fit for purpose. The adjustment bolts have easy to grip, rubberized knobs which add to the feeling the trainer gives of putting you in control.
The frame itself is made from powder-coated steel, completed with super-strong welds at the joints of the down struts and rotor holder. The three supporting points are in solid black plastic so no worries about damaging any smooth floor surfaces. The angled design means the trainer will not slip or move during use.
Overall, the trainer’s frame oozes strength and the capability to cope with any training regime you put it through.
Those Moving Parts – engineering at its finest!
The Kinetic resistance rotor unit is also an impressive looking piece of kit. Again, secured by an ergonomically useful adjuster, the unit is a highly engineered mix of precision steel and aluminum. The flywheel is an impressive 6.25 pounds in weight.
But it’s inside the trainer unit where it gets really clever. This is where the liquid resistance dictates the sort of ride you get. As with other such trainers, this actual piece of machinery is largely unseen, which is probably just as well. At the end of the day, all we want from our trainers is that they work properly, right?
Located underneath the revolving metal moving parts is a black box which houses all the Bluetooth and Kinetic inRide technology. Basically, the Bluetooth picks up the signal from your smart device and tells the inRide system how much resistance to apply. As with the rest of this impressive looking machine, all this tech is safely housed inside something which looks impossible to break!
The Kinetic Road Machine Smart trainer comes with a training program as standard – a free month’s subscription to the makers’ Kinetic Fit power training app. This is worth having anyway, whether you are an experienced user of indoor trainers or not. If this is your first trainer, Kinetic Fit will give you a good idea of what you can expect, and a feel for how to actually use your trainer.
Certainly, the Kinetic Fit app which comes with this trainer works fine. It works with the trainer to replicate conditions you would experience actually riding a bike, including inertia when pulling away. The heavy flywheel is particularly good for this.
And yep, a major selling point for this trainer is its future proofing. It is compatible with proprietary apps including FulGaz, KinoMap Trainer, Rouvy, TrainerRoad and Zwift. As the trainer measures your cadence, distance traveled, power applied and speed, these apps have the potential for fine tuning in an awful lot of ways. Check out our upcoming guide to smart apps for your indoor training!
Kinetic Road Machine Smart – the Technical Specs
OK, so this trainer comes with some excellently engineered elements, and its ability to take your indoor training some years into the future is also a deal-clincher, at least in our opinion. In summary:
- Zwift (and other apps) compatible
- Measures cadence, distance, power and speed
- Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
- 6.25 pound flywheel
- High quality steel roller
- Rubber over-molded ABS plastic control fittings
- Compatible with 24″ to 700 cc to 29″ mountain bike wheels
- Free 1-month subscription to the Kinetic Fit app
- Lifetime frame warranty
- 2 year warranty on inRide sensor
Something to consider…
Just one thing, really. This is the upgraded, smart version of what was already a great trainer. And with new technology does come teething problems. Some have experienced issues with the “smart” parts, namely the app and its connectivity, and if you’re an Android user you might have some issues. The makers say they’re working on these technical glitches, and you may have better results if you use Apple.
So, is the Kinetic Road Machine Smart trainer worth splashing the cash on?
This smart trainer is excellent value considering the smart elements that will help future-proof your training. It comes with the engineering expertise from Kurt Kinetic, meaning you’re getting a very sturdy, superbly engineered machine. The rotor and fluid resistance unit are excellent, and mirror real world cycling, something that many of us cyclists are always craving throughout the winter months. It really does have the strength to put up with your toughest workout. All in all, a very robust and responsive power trainer. Recommended!