Kurt Kinetic have a range or indoor trainers including the excellent Rock 'n' Roll II, and now they're embracing the roller scene with their Z-rollers. And they're very good, especially if you're required by your other family members to pack your pain cave away after every session, or you want to sling them in the car for a race warm-up.
The Z-rollers are a simple enough design: the standard three rollers are bolted into a frame that articulates at two points so you can fold it back on itself, in the shape of a Z. See? It's not just a clever name. That makes these Kinetic rollers the most compact I've seen when it comes to putting them away. They'll fit in a blue Ikea bag, and they happily stow under one of the chairs in my conservatory.
If you want to get riding, setting them up is simply a case of flipping the two ends out and making sure that the rubber belt is seated properly, and you're ready to go. The front wheel roller is adjustable over a fairly broad range to suit the wheelbase of your bike (97cm to 110cm); it's simply a case of undoing the two ends and moving the roller to a different hole.
In use the rollers are excellent. The design means they have four feet along each side for extra stability and the fact that the frame articulates in two places and doesn't lock means that it copes very well with a slightly uneven surface if you're using them in the car park before a race. The bearings are very smooth and quiet, and the aluminium rollers themselves look built to last; even if they don't, the Z-rollers are backed up by an unconditional lifetime warranty.
The only issue I have with these rollers is that the two sides of the frame are only braced by the rollers themselves, and they're only sitting on a bolt at each end, so actually there's a fair bit of play in the frame when you're manhandling it. Once they're down and you're riding them it's not an issue, but if you're constantly folding and unfolding the rollers – and that's one of their major selling points – then over time those bolts are going to take a fair bit of lateral stress. and not only those bolts, but the ones in the folding points. I'd like to see a cross member in the frame somewhere to keep everything nice and rigid.
Overall the Z-rollers perform very well and their super-compact footprint when they're folded make them a great choice if you're short on space in your house or your car. Slight reservation about the frame design aside, I'd recommend them.
Quality rollers that pack up very small, great for home training and race warm-ups
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Make and model: Kurt Kinetic Z-Rollers
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?
Kinetic Z*Rollers are the perfect option for developing better balance and technique, or for pre race warm-up. Precision machined aluminum rollers and premium bearings provide a smooth, quiet ride. A lightweight aluminum frame folds down for easy transport and storage. Z*Rollers are adjustable to fit bikes with a wheelbase from 38.2 to 43.3 inches (97cm to 110cm). Kinetic backs it up with our Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Unconditional lifetime warranty
Precision machined aluminum rollers
Compact, portable design
Fully adjustable frame
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. They're good to ride on and simple to stow away.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fold up really small, good quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
frame could use a cross brace or two.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
I'd give them a 9 if the frame was properly braced.
Age: 42 Height: 190cm Weight: 100kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.