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Kinetic Road Machine Smart Trainer Review

Kinetic Road Machine Smart Trainer Review

Kurt Kinetic is among those bike trainer manufacturers that are making life more beautiful for riders. One of their most remarkable products is the Kinetic Road Machine Smart Trainer.

Not to be confused with the Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control, this is a smart indoor trainer with an InRide sensor.

Another major difference would be the fact that it does not measure power directly like the Road Machine Smart Control and other smart trainers but rather estimates it. It is easy to have them mixed up but they are quite different, save for the names. This smart trainer is a budget trainer, perfect for anyone who wants a taste of the smart features without spending a fortune.

The Kinetic Road Machine Smart is an enhanced version of the Road Machine fluid trainer with cool features like ergonomic touch points, a lighter and better frame among others. Even with all the changes, the unit still possesses its old qualities that won the hearts of many riders. It is still quiet and very smooth.

There is a lot to learn about this fantastic trainer. Have no worry if you are still trying to wrap your head around a fluid trainer with smart features. This is the right place. Take your time to go through this detailed and well-explained review to understand just how amazing the Road Machine Smart is.

Quick Summary of the Features and Specifications

  • Folds flat for storage and transport
  • Pairs with devices via Bluetooth Smart
  • Pre-installed inRide sensor technology for connection to apps and power training
  • Compatible with Zwift, Kinetic Fit, and TrainerRoad
  • Quiet, smooth progressive fluid resistance
  • 6.25-pound flywheel for a smooth ride
  • Sturdy, stable and durable
  • Two-year warranty on inRide sensor and lifetime warranty on frame
  • Fits 22” to 29” wheel sizes
  • Ergonomic rubberized feet and knobs
  • Large diameter roller
  • A wide range of resistance (5 watts to 2000+ watts)
  • Personalized power and heart rate zones
  • Measures cadence, power, speed, heart rate, calorie burn, distance, etc
  • Easy to share and analyze workout data
  • Compatible with Pro Flywheel for extra inertia
  • Comes fully assembled
  • 100% leak-proof

Closer Look at the Features and Specifications

Kinetic Road Machine Smart Trainer inride sensorThe Kinetic Road Machine smart trainer uses a fluid (usually silicon) to produce progressive resistance.

A blade spins through a chamber filled with the fluid. As you pedal faster, the fluid warms up and becomes more viscous, making it harder for the blade to spin through. This, in turn, increases the resistance and pedaling becomes more difficult.

The best thing about progressive fluid resistance is that it is infinite (in theory).

The 6.25-pound flywheel makes your pedaling smooth. It gives you realistic momentum and acceleration. It helps replicate real-road riding and makes your experience more exciting. If you are in for 12 pounds of extra inertia, the unit is compatible with Pro Flywheel. The large diameter roller measures 2.5 inches in diameter—it is larger compared to others in competing models—and reduces wear on your tire and temperature of moving parts.

Unlike most smart trainers, this one does not measure power directly but estimates it instead. The integrated inRide sensor measures speed at the rate of 12 times for every wheel rotation. The number obtained is then used to come up with a power value as per Kinetic’s power curve.

Definitely, direct power measurement is likely to be more accurate than this estimated power. However, Kurt Kinetic have compared the Road Machine Smart’s power measurement against power meters and the difference is about 2-3%. The secret to a more accurate measurement is consistency and calibration.

Since this smart fluid trainer comes fully assembled, setting it up is involves unfolding the frame. There are big rubberized knobs and a lever lock system that makes attaching and releasing your bike a very easy task.

Fluid trainers are prone to leaking because sometimes the drive shaft may enter the fluid chamber. It was actually a major disadvantage of fluid trainers when they were first introduced into the market and riders were very skeptical about buying them. Kurt Kinetic trainers have never had this problem. They use a patented magnetic drive system that has two sets of world-class magnets on both sides of a dividing wall. This technology ensures that no moving parts make their way into the fluid chamber. You will never have a leaking issue with this trainer.

It has become obvious and expected of Kinetic frames to be robust. That is one of the areas they have managed to maintain a great reputation for themselves. The Kinetic Road Machine’s frame is made of steel tubing and is meant to hold your weight through it all. Whatever the intensity or type of workout, you can confidently count on this unit to be safe.

The Kinetic Road Machine is known for being whisper quiet, one of its most loved qualities. People use trainer mats to dampen the noise on trainers but even without it, this smart bike stand will not bother you with noise.

This trainer has hinges that allow it to fold flat for ease of storage. It is perfect for cyclists with a small storage space (or those that just love saving space). It makes traveling with it easier also. Folding and unfolding may require a little strength. This is a good thing because if it were loose it would be swinging even when you do not want it to.

Why You Should Buy This Trainer

Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart Bike TrainerIt is quiet. Smart trainers have made it possible to follow programmed workouts on virtual terrains or ride with friends instead of staring at a wall. When having this amazing experience, the last thing you want is a screeching noise that won’t give you peace.

The Kinetic Road Machine allows you to have a quiet workout where you can think clearly or listen to music.

The combination of fluid resistance and smart features is too awesome for you to ignore. Progressive resistance gives you a great workout, replicating road riding as you pedal faster. The compatibility with apps gives you varied workout options (you can barely exhaust them all). You, therefore, get great resistance and different workout programs in addition to being able to share and analyze workout data.

It has an unconditional lifetime warranty. Kurt Kinetic want you to know that you are getting value for your money by guaranteeing you a lifetime of service with this trainer. The frame, they say, will never cave and neither will the fluid leak. Honestly, this is all the assurance you need. If you want a trainer that will last, this is a great unit to consider.

How would you like training without the inconveniences of overheating? When a trainer overheats, in most cases, you have to pause your session to allow it time to cool. By the time it cools you might even not feel like getting on it again. The Road Machine Smart trainer has a large diameter roller that works to reduce the temperature of moving parts so you never have to worry about overheating.

Its Downside

Kurt-Kinetic Road Machine Smart Bike Trainer appThe cadence reading of the Kinetic Road Machine Smart is likely to let you down. The measurement is inaccurate and increases a lot. This can be inconveniencing and disappointing for cyclists who follow a cadence-based workout. The reason for the discrepancy could be because the cadence is calculated. If the app could connect to a cadence sensor maybe this issue could be resolved.

The Android version of the app is not that great. Sometimes it does not work completely and other times it messes up the data. This defeats the whole point of buying a trainer with an inRide sensor. Hopefully Kurt Kinetic will look into this soon enough- it is something they can easily fix.

What Users Are Saying

Kinetic products have not been known to cause any trouble for their users.

According to users, the Road Machine indoor smart trainer requires minimal setup. Within minutes you will have your bike on and your devices paired, ready to start training. The trainer varies the resistance in a way that mimics road riding. The noise level is usually a tricky issue to conclude on as people have different preferences. However, many riders have found it quieter than they expected. Everything else seems to work flawlessly.

The only complaints that stuck out in the reviews are about the erratic cadence reading and the problem with the Android version. You can try using a cadence sensor.

My verdict

Kinetic trainers are trustworthy and that includes the Road Machine Smart control. The progressive fluid resistance offers a great workout and replicates road feel almost perfectly. The frame is well-made and durable. The inRide sensor works well. This smart trainer is also super quiet and allows you to listen to music peacefully. Consider adding this unit to your home gym because it will change your workout experience.