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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
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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.
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
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 road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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. 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.