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Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control Trainer Review

Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control Trainer Review

The obsession with smart bicycle trainers is real. Fluid trainers were providing a smooth and great workout for most cyclists. The Kinetic InRide, in particular, left a mark in the industry.

Kurt Kinetic might have basked in the warmth of its InRide glow for too long because it was a little late to release a smart trainer. It took it a while to realize that it was not as good anymore, compared to the smart trainers that were being released by competing companies. It, therefore, decided to install a smart unit in its trainers to keep up with the market.

Many renowned companies tend to slack off and start disappointing their loyal customers when they have established their brand – not Kurt Kinetic. Ever since it became an independent company in 1999, its products have been better than its previous works and it even won an award for its leak-proof fluid bike trainer. Once you become a Kinetic customer, you are less likely to want to explore other brands ever again.

The Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control is evidence of the efforts that Kurt Kinetic is putting in to ensure that its customers are satisfied every single time.

The Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control is evidence of the efforts that Kurt Kinetic is putting in to ensure that its customers are satisfied every single time. This smart trainer is a combination of Kurt Kinetic’s world-class frame, data delivery via Bluetooth Smart and electronic resistance that will make your legs burn. The Road Machine promises to give you a smooth and quiet indoor riding experience that you will not get enough of. They claim to offer a real road feel and all the benefits that come with high-end smart trainers.

So, on how many of these promises do they deliver? What exactly does the Road Machine offer and what makes it unique?

Summary of Features and Specifications

  • Ergonomic rubberized feet and knobs
  • Huge 14.4-pound flywheel
  • Frame accommodates 22” to 29” wheels
  • App-controlled resistance mimics road riding
  • Maximum slope: 10%
  • Maximum resistance 1800 watts at 30 mph
  • Folds flat for storage and transport
  • Compatible with TrainerRoad, Zwift, and Kinetic Fit
  • Connects to devices using Bluetooth Smart
  • Two-year warranty on the resistance unit and lifetime warranty on frame
  • Free 6-month subscription for Kinetic Fit
  • Compatible with most bikes (Kinetic Traxle thru-axle adapter needed for bikes with a rear thru-axle)
  • Includes skewer
  • Weighs 38 lbs

Closer Look at the Features and Specifications of the Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control

Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control Bike TrainerThis smart trainer requires a little assembly. The frame and the smart control unit come detached so you have to do the attachment, and that is all. It sounds technical but it is very simple. The next step is mounting your bike then adjusting the tension knob on either side to ensure the rear wheel is tightened onto the trainer.

The Kinetic Road Machine is a well-made frame, built from steel tubing. When Kurt Kinetic say that their frame is world-class, they are not saying it for the sake of it, they mean it. They have been known for some of the best frames in the bike trainers industry. That is why they offer a lifetime warranty on the frame—that’s right, they are sure it will serve you for a lifetime. No amount of hard sessions can take its toll on a Kurt Kinetic frame.

The Road Machine features a massive flywheel, 14.4 pounds. Such a flywheel guarantees a smooth ride and great resistance.

The Road Machine features a massive flywheel, 14.4 pounds. Such a flywheel guarantees a smooth ride and great resistance. A good number of smart trainers within its range have smaller flywheels, making this unit one of the best for a great road feel.

The power accuracy of the Kinetic Road Machine is okay. Smart trainers are not the best when it comes to measuring power but some do try, like this one. For longer rides, the numbers can be off by 5%. The good thing is that even though the numbers are off it is consistent and can be reliable. For more accurate reading, perform a calibration before you start. Use the Kinetic Fit app and ride for about 10 minutes then perform the calibration. The app walks you through the process.

The maximum resistance and slope simulation on this trainer is 1800 watts and 10%, respectively. If you are a Zwift user you will love the climbs and the good resistance that you will get. If climbing and sprinting are a big part of your routine, you may want to invest in a trainer tire because of slippage.

Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control Bicycle Trainer AppsThe Kinetic Road Machine connects to devices and software using Bluetooth Smart. It will, therefore, connect with all your devices effortlessly. As for software and apps, the protocol is closed and it only connects to TrainerRoad, Kinetic Fit, and Zwift. This is due to the fact that it lacks ANT+ FE-C and does not support third parties.

This trainer folds compactly for storage and transport. Unlike its sister, the Rock and Roll, the Road Machine does not require you to take off the legs while traveling or to fit it in a smaller space—which is hectic and requires a hex key. With this one, you only need to fold and unfold, except for the initial set up which is a one-time process.

The Road Machine Smart control is compatible with almost all bikes out there. Those with a rear thru-axle, nevertheless, require a Kinetic Traxle thru-axle adapter. It fits 22-inch to 29-inch wheel sizes. Moreover, it includes a skewer.

As already stated above, Kurt Kinetic stand confidently behind their frame with a lifetime unconditional warranty. The resistance unit, on the other hand, comes with a two-year warranty.

Why You Should Buy This Trainer

Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control Bike TrainerThe frame is sturdy and reliable. All trainer manufacturers will tell you that their frames are the best and most reliable but it takes a confident manufacturer who is good at their job to back up that claim. Kurt Kinetic frames have always been among the best, with positive reviews about them splashed all over the internet. The Kinetic Road Machine has a frame you can trust.

The power accuracy is decent. Smart trainers do not have the best reputation as far as power accuracy is concerned (so much for being smart, right?). The numbers are almost always off and the Road Machine is no different. However, after calibration, this unit is consistently off by 5%, which makes it reliable. Although you might still need to buy a power meter if you prefer perfection, this trainer is okay.

It has a huge flywheel that will make your workouts amazing. The flywheel weighs 14.4 lbs and you are guaranteed to have smooth pedaling strokes and amazing resistance.

The maximum gradient simulation is 10%. Zwift users will probably love this feature the most. Climbs are going to be more fun as you experience them from your home. When you come across a hill on the virtual terrain, the workout gets harder and depending on the steepness, you will feel your legs burn. What better way is there to enjoy indoor cycling than with the Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control?

It is portable and easy to store. Everyone likes it when life is made simpler. There is no doubt, then, that the collapsible frame of this trainer will excite you. There is no need for dismantling and assembling your unit every time. Have a small storage space? Do not worry and do not look for a smaller trainer that will probably not serve you properly; the Kinetic Road Machine is perfect for you.

Its Downside

It lacks support for ANT+ FE-C. Sure, they have included Zwift, TrainerRoad and Kinetic Fit which are the most commonly used trainer apps; but what if a rider wants to try out more apps? Also, sometimes you just want to know that your trainer can do and support a lot of stuff. This is not a big deal if you have no interest in the less used apps (which is the case for most cyclists, anyway) but it would be good if Kurt Kinetic considered adding the protocol.

The Smart Road Machine is a little expensive compared to its competitors.

What Users Are Saying

Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control Bicycle Trainer AppFor most buyers, this is the best part of the review because it is based on honest and unbiased feedback from users.

Setting up is easy and there is no negative comment about that. The frame is super solid and reliable. Some users have had their trainers for more than a year and it is still as good as new.

The riding experience is fantastic. The fact that it lacks ANT+ does not seem to bother many riders as they can connect to their favorite apps (mostly Zwift and TrainerRoad) using Bluetooth Smart. The resistance changes with the virtual environment giving them a good workout. The flywheel makes pedal strokes smooth and they like it.

There does not seem to be a complaint about noise.

My verdict

The Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control is a good trainer to have. Users have reported that it is easy to set up and use. It offers a great resistance and smooth riding, thanks to the massive flywheel. Despite the fact that it lacks ANT+ it will still connect to your devices and is compatible with your favorite apps. The frame has proven to be solid even though there was no reason to doubt a Kurt Kinetic frame in the first place. Now is a great time to get yourself this awesome smart trainer.