When used alongside a Kurt Kinetic turbo trainer this computer is able to give you a power measurement plus a whole load of other performance information.
It’s able to do this because the trainer is engineered to be consistent. The resistance is exactly the same every time you get on, regardless of temperature, so you can get comparable results from one session to the next.
But unlike much more expensive power meters (such as SRM cranks and PowerTap hubs), what it actually does is measure the speed of your back wheel and gives you the power corresponding to that speed based on an average rider on an outdoor ride. So it’s not truly measuring your power, it’s measuring speed, applying a formula to that, and coming up with an estimated power output.
With that in mind, it’s not perfect. The computer won’t measure any spikes in your power if you accelerate fast, for example, and you’ll still get a power reading if you stop pedalling and coast. But it will give you a reasonable idea of the wattage you’re generating (accurate to +/-3% when compared to a PowerTap), and it’s repeatable so you can see your progress over time.
A standard bike computer would allow you to chart your fitness over time on a Kurt Kinetic trainer too. Because the resistance is consistent, just comparing back wheel speed from one ride to the next would give you useful information. You just wouldn’t get the power to which your speed corresponds.
The Wireless Power Computer is actually only wireless between the speed sensor (which you need to mount on the rear wheel) and the head unit; the cadence sensor is wired. It has a wide spread of functions, and you can use it out on the road too. Power measurement isn’t accurate outside, of course, as wind, gradients and so on overrule any relationship between wheel speed and power input.
You get all the normal speed and distance stats including average and max speed and a speed comparison that tells you where you’re at compared to your average. There’s also a range of heart rate functions (a chest strap is included) including a visual alarm if you stray away from your chosen training band, plus altitude/gradient data.
It’s auto start (so you don’t need to remember to press ‘go’), the backlight is handy when you’re riding at night, and the large, clicky buttons are easy to operate even in your thickest winter gloves. The full list of functions is given below.
It doesn't have the most classy look for a £100 computer and we got the occasional erratic speed reading caused by electrical equipment around town. Apart from that, it's operated fine so far.
In terms of value, you can pick up a Polar CS200, for example, for about the same price and that's downloadable with a wireless cadence sensor. The main reason you’d buy the Kurt computer would be for the power measurement when used alongside the turbo. If you’re happy with the limitations on that front we mentioned earlier, it’s a decent enough buy.
• Auto Start
• Max. Speed
• Speed bar (% of max. speed)
• Average Speed
• Speed Comparison
• Distance 1
• Distance 2
• ODO 1
• ODO 1+2
• Ride time 1
• Ride time 2
• Distance Countdown
• Time to arrival (arrival time/time remain)
• % to arrival (Bar display)
• 2nd Wheel size
• Time (12/24hr)
• Auto sleep
• Heart rate
• Max Heart rate
• Average Heart rate
• Upper/Lower Limit w/ visable alarm
• Fat burn
• Auto Lap (Time/Distance)
• Calorie expenditure / Fat burn
• Home Altitude storage
• Altitude gain/loss
• % gradient
• Max Power
• Avg Power
• Temperature (C/F)
• Max Temperature
• Min Temperature
• Easy Caibration
• Service interval reminder
• EL Backlight
• Average Cadence
• Max Cadence
• Low battery indication
Decent computer with heart rate and altitude functions plus basic power measurement when used alongside a Kurt turbo trainer
road.cc test report
Make and model: Kurt Kinetic Wireless Power Computer
Size tested: n/a
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, "The Kinetic Wireless Power Computer is designed to give you accurate power (watt) readings when you are using a Kinetic Trainer. All other functions (speed, distance, cadence, calorie burn, altimeter, etc) are accurate both on and off the trainer. Because of this, the Kinetic Power Computer is an excellent choice for a cycling computer both on and off the trainer."
The power measurement isn't the most sophisticated ever, but it does the job when used alongside a Kurt trainer.
Did you enjoy using the product? Kind of. It's interesting to have a power reading
Would you consider buying the product? No - I'd probably go with a standard rear-wheel driven computer
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
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 worked for more bike magazines than anyone else in the known universe, dating back to a time when this was all just fields. He's been road.cc technical editor for four years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. When he's not cycling around Wiltshire, he's running around it, or possibly swimming (sadly, he's one of those 'triathletes'). Mat is a youthful 42-year-old Cambridge graduate, GSOH etc.