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Kurt Kinetic Road Machine turbo trainer



Pricey turbo but it's built to last, and the consistent resistance means you can get repeatable results

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Kurt Kinetic's Road Machine might be pricey but it’s ultra-sturdy and the consistency of the resistance allows you to get a good power measurement if you buy the compatible computer too.

Before you can get going you need to attach the resistance unit to the trainer frame. You don’t get printed instructions but you can’t really go wrong here – and if you really can’t work it out, just watch the DVD included or go online. It takes five minutes and you only need to do it once.

You can also set up this turbo for different wheel sizes from 20in to 700c. Swapping between them is a case of moving the front legs. Again, it’s a five-minute job with a couple of spanners. Mounting your bike on board is easy enough too – with a quick release and turny wheels, it takes seconds. There’s no foot adjustment to level things out on uneven surfaces, though, and you don’t get a front wheel riser included with the turbo, although one is available.

The fluid resistance unit is the clever bit. It’s actually silicone in the fluid chamber, and it’s unaffected by heat so you get consistent resistance whatever the air temperature and however long your training session. It’s quiet too and, with a heavy 2.8kg flywheel, it’s really smooth.

The Road Machine lives up to its name by providing a ride that feels a lot like being out on the road – it’s very realistic. There’s no way of adjusting the resistance – you just flick through your gears as you would out on the road – although we found it hard enough for 60rpm high-intensity intervals (this will obviously depend on the individual and the gear ratios on your bike) and for convincing sprints.

You won’t get any leaks with the Kinetic either. Rather than using a standard drive shaft between the roller and the impellers in the fluid chamber – which would require an O-ring that could wear out – Kinetic use magnets. The bottom line is that there’s no danger of your living room carpet getting ruined (you don’t do that? Just us then).

The durability is very good all round. The Road Machine has a really solid feel and there are no itty bitty little parts that look set to fail any time soon. The only problem we’ve ever heard of is the thread stripping on the bolt that adjusts the position of the resistance unit. If this happens, Kinetic will just send you another – you get an unconditional lifetime warranty.

The fact that the Road Machine’s resistance is so consistent allows Kurt to produce a computer that gives you power measurement (the wireless model is £99.99) which we are reviewing separately.


Pricey turbo but it's built to last, and the consistent resistance means you can get a repeatable results and a power reading if you also buy the dedicated computer test report

Make and model: Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Turbo

Size tested: One

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Kurt say, "It’s the perfect workout partner for sprints to intervals to all-day cruising. Quiet. Smooth. And like every Kinetic Trainer, 100% leak-proof. The power calibration gives you true outdoor simulation. The automatic resistance adjusts as you change speeds. Realism as only Kinetic can deliver it."

It is a really high-quality turbo - about as sturdy as they come – and it lives up to their promises.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for value:

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? If I was in the market for a turbo, I would

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 190cm  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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TheBigMong | 11 years ago

Love my Road Machines (I have two so I can workout with a friend.) Well worth the cost, especially considering the lifetime warranty on the resistance unit (read: "the expensive and important part")

Pair it up with some of the HIIT workouts from Spinervals and you are getting some of the best training you can get, right in your living room. The Road Machine comes with a full-length Spinervals DVD so you can get your feet wet. Beware, though... it's an INTENSE workout regardless of your fitness level.

I've used magnetic resistance trainers and wind resistance trainers in the past and I think they are both inferior to fluid resistance trainers, which feel more natural at various speeds, during acceleration sprints, coasting down, etc. You can even add a heavier flywheel if you want, but the one on there is pretty darn heavy to begin with.

pwm_dcc | 11 years ago

Has a very accurate power curve apparently, which means it is ideal for use with the absolutely superb TrainerRoad app:

antonio | 13 years ago

If I was looking to replace my cateye C1000, which really is indestructable, this is the one I would definitely buy. A big plus is more weight for the flywheel can be fitted for a more realistic coast down.

DRVEKTOR | 13 years ago

one for me please , it's too cold outside ...

JonMack | 13 years ago

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