One of the best indoor smart bicycle trainers is the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control trainer. Every cyclist knows or has heard about Kurt Kinetic. Looking at their products and reputation, it is safe to say that they do have riders’ best interests at heart. This smart trainer, like most others, uses apps to control resistance and simulate the terrain on virtual environments.
Unlike your average trainer, the Kurt Kinetic has a unique design that allows you sway from side to side as you ride with its rock and roll feature (that is where it gets the name, by the way). Almost every feature of the Rock and Roll Smart Control is aimed at making your experience amazing; from the ergonomic touch points to the sturdy make.
Almost every feature of the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control is aimed at making your experience amazing.
This review is aimed at satisfying your curiosity and answering any question that you might have on the Rock and Roll. All the important and technical details are described in layman’s terms so have no worries about struggling to understand anything. Hopefully, by the time you are done, you will have a clear idea of what you can get out of this smart trainer and whether or not it is a good fit for you.
Quick Look at Features And Specifications
- Huge 14.4-pound flywheel
- Patented frame replicates real road ride
- Ergonomic rubberized feet and knobs
- Uses Bluetooth 4.0 Smart for transmission
- Compatible with training programs and apps
- Rock and roll movement for core-workout
- Maximum slope: 10%
- Electric motor resistance can be controlled by apps
- Sturdy, stable and durable
- Smooth and quiet
- Comes with a power cord and Kinetic skewer
- Compatible with just about any bike (those with a rear thru-axle need a Kinetic Traxle thru-axle adapter)
- Huge footprint
- Noise level: 78 DB at 200W
- Accommodates wheel sizes 22” to 29”
- Large roller for reduced wear and tear
Closer Look At The Features and Specifications
The Rock and Roll Smart Control is easy to set up. It does not come fully assembled but everything is super simple. You need to attach the support legs to the main frame. Nowadays, a lot of trainers come completely assembled but probably having the Kinetic Rock and Roll assembled would have made the packaging a little difficult—given its design. The next step is replacing your bike’s skewer with the provided steel skewer.
It uses Bluetooth 4.0 Smart for transmission and is compatible with cycling apps. These apps control the trainer’s resistance depending on the terrain on the virtual environment. This means that when you are going up a hill the pedaling will get harder. Unfortunately, Kurt Kinetic did not enable ANT+ transmission on the Rock and Roll—for some reason.
As already stated above, the Rock and Roll does not look like “ordinary” smart trainers in terms of design. Instead of the usual dual-triangle frame, t has a one-of-a-kind elastomer pivot point design that lets you move from side to side as you roll. This makes you work your core which is a huge plus (at least for most people). It is the only trainer that has dared to explore the lateral movement feature so far.
The stainless steel roller on this trainer is larger than that of most smart trainers within its range. It is 6.5cm (2.5in) in diameter. If you do not know, a larger roller means less tire wear and reduces the temperature of moving parts as you ride. The flywheel is also heavy at 14.4 pounds and has great inertia. You will notice a beautiful kind of smoothness when you are slowing down or speeding.
The Rock and Roll is a beast. It is made of steel tubing to ensure durability. In fact, Kurt Kinetic offer a lifetime warranty on the frame so you know it is very unlikely that it will break. (The resistance unit comes with a two-year warranty). Contact points are made of heavy-duty rubber pads. The trainer fits wheels 22” to 29” which makes it compatible with many bikes, including those with internally geared hubs and thru-axles.
The Kinetic Rock and Roll power accuracy is estimated at 10-15% which is acceptable. However, like most smart trainers you have to perform calibration first. The Kinetic Fit application will prompt you to calibrate after a 10-minute ride; so do not worry if you tend to forget, you will be reminded. You also do not have to guess through the calibration.
This smart trainer does not fold for storage. It weighs 47.5 lbs which is more on the heavy side. That makes portability and storage a bit of a problem. Anyway, it is the price you have to pay for the wide support base and sturdy frame, not to forget the rock and roll feature. Besides, you can always remove the legs while traveling (just make sure you do not forget to carry a hex key).
Why You Should Buy This Trainer
The rock and roll feature is awesome. It is not app-controlled. The movement makes your workouts more realistic. It makes the experience interesting, adding a fun twist to the otherwise boring indoor exercise—you will like it even more while doing out-of-the-saddle workouts. The motion also offers a good core workout and maximizes the number of muscles used as you cycle. Again, this feature is unique to the Kinetic Rock and Roll and you cannot get it on another trainer.
The Kinetic Smart Control is a well-made unit. The steel tubing provides for ultra durability. The unconditional lifetime warranty on the frame and this gives you confidence that you can trust it. There have never been doubts about the durability of Kurt Kinetic frames and this one is no exception.
Your ride will be smooth and road-like. The flywheel in this trainer is heavy at 14.4 pounds, as already discussed above. You are sure of smooth pedal strokes as you accelerate or slow down. The large roller cannot fail to be mentioned in this section too. Moving parts heat up super fast when you workout and might not last long with the heat. It, therefore, helps to have a large roller that reduces the wearing of your tire and the temperature of moving parts.
The main downside is obviously the lack of the ANT+ transmission. This has to be the only trainer to not include the ANT+ protocol—which is a strange move by Kurt Kinetic. Actually, even the supported Bluetooth protocol is a closed/private protocol.
Although you can use the most common apps (TrainerRoad and Zwift) with this smart trainer, other apps are limited and they have to request access. This might not work in favor of the Rock and Roll, but at least they included Zwift and TrainerRoad.
The power accuracy is not reliable. You can barely depend on the power measurement of the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart, more so for short efforts. The problem can be solved by using a power meter to measure your power output which translates to an extra expense. If you already have one then you probably have nothing to worry about, as long as you use it.
If you do not have enough storage space you might not like this trainer. Even if it is a quality piece of equipment, it does not fold and the support legs are really wide. It will not fit under the bed or in the closet. You might want to dedicate a special corner for it.
What Users Are Saying
Kurt Kinetic have never disappointed their customers. Even though a handful of cyclists have given really negative reviews, it still has a great rating on Amazon. Anyway, you be the judge from what others are saying.
Most riders agree that the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control is a sturdy piece of equipment. The side-to-side movement is fantastic. Is it exactly like riding on the road? Definitely not. But most of them agree that it is close enough. The large flywheel contributes to this too.
If you are worried about the little assembly that is required, cyclists say that it is a simple process, provided you follow the instructions. The resistance is great and the trainer, in general, will give you a pretty good workout. Most users are using Zwift and from their reviews, you can be sure you will be gasping for air when you are done.
The exclusion of ANT+ is something that Kurt Kinetic need to rethink. Riders are curious to see if they will cave and work on that. Otherwise, the Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Control does rock and you will definitely get a good workout. The frame is stable and durable; you can barely find a complaint about it anywhere. It has a great resistance (important for any trainer) and if you have a power meter you will make the most out of your training sessions. So are you ready to join the rock and roll party?