Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

Last week my latest fitness toy arrived – a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

Basically it’s a trainer for my bike. It allows me to ride indoors when the weather is too horrid, or my muscles are too sore to make running pleasant.

I’ve fancied a trainer for quite a long time, but didn’t realise until recently that good quality trainers are not that expensive, and also fit mountain bikes (I ride a hardtail mountain bike with road tyres).

I did some research into the various trainers available, and came to the conclusion that I wanted something reasonably quiet, that felt at least vaguely similar to riding on a road. This seemed to rule out turbo trainers (too loud), and magnetic trainers (the resistance and feel are quite different from road riding). The heavily computerised trainers were also ruled out as being too expensive.

Looking at the fluid trainers, the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine seemed to have the most consistently good feedback, so I placed an order with the Planet X, who are the UK distributor. The kit I bought included a computer to attach to the handlebars and a spare tyre, and cost £196.50 including delivery. A CycleOps Climbing Block was also purchased from Wiggle, to lift the front wheel level with the back. Brief impressions below:

  • Firstly, the build quality is very impressive. I can’t see how you could possibly break this thing, and why they offer a lifetime warranty.
  • It’s supposed to be quiet, and I have heard people claiming to use them in flats. Well it’s not bad, but I certainly wouldn’t call it quiet, and wouldn’t want to live downstairs from someone using one. No problem in my garage though.
  • It feels pretty similar to riding on the road, except there’s no opportunity to rest, so ten miles on the trainer is noticeably tougher harder than riding on the road.

Eighteen miles is my longest ride so far, and the only downside I’ve found is that even riding in an unheated garage in November, I get very hot, very quickly. I don’t think I’ll be using the trainer in the summer, but then there’s no excuse for not getting out in the fresh air then.

To make things more interesting, also I picked up an Ipod nano from the Apple UK Refurbished Store. £65 delivered for a black 1st gen 2Gb nano was a very good price. To go with that, I bought an XtremeMac SportWrap from Amazon UK. I’m very impressed with both of them. Long rides seem to go much more quickly with podcasts and music as company.

Overall, I’m very happy with this set up, and would buy it again without hesitation.

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