As much as we love the idea of having a trainer that allows our bike to feel like it's moving under us, having a trainer that's compact and easy to travel with is hugely important. With the Road Machine Fluid Trainer, Kinetic by Kurt offers the same fluid resistance unit from their Rock and Roll Trainer and have it attached to a lighter, more compact frame.
The Road Resistance Unit is an impressive feat of engineering. It uses a 6.25-pound (2.84kg) flywheel and a completely sealed fluid resistance unit. Together, they give you a consistent road-like feel and resistance curve. The tire roller is made of stainless steel and is 2.5in (6.35cm) in diameter, which is a good bit larger than much of the competition. The larger roller means less wear on your tire and it reduces the temperature of the spinning elements.
The resistance unit is unique as it's made of two parts. The first is the driver made of a small flywheel embedded with six rare-earth magnets. The other half is a completely sealed cast-aluminum fluid chamber that is bolted to the housing containing the driver. The fluid chamber contains an impeller with corresponding magnets. As you ride, the magnets in the driver spin the impeller through medical-grade silicone fluid to provide the resistance. And since there is no driveshaft entering the fluid chamber, the Kinetic design eliminates a common design weakness of most fluid-resistance units.
Of course, the system builds heat; your energy has to go somewhere (in this case friction). However, the fluid acts as a coolant and the chamber has 80 cooling fins on the outside that act like radiator fins. It's impossible to overheat the chamber or reach a point where performance is diminished. The silicone fluid retains its physical properties, even up to the normal operating temperature of 325˚ F when riding 25mph.
There are several benefits to this system. Because it doesn't overheat, the viscosity of the fluid doesn't change, and that results in a consistent road-like power curve that increases as your speed increases. They've even published a chart to show exactly what speed goes with how many watts. To give you an example, it takes 143w to ride at 15mph, 258w at 20mph, and 25mph will take 430 watts.
For the Road Machine Fluid Trainer, the Road Resistance Unit is attached to a more traditional triangular base. The base is 32in (81.28cm) wide when open. The bike is attached to the trainer via two threaded knobs, with a locking quick release on the right side. When folded flat it is 26in (66.04cm) wide and 6in (15.24) tall, a good bit smaller than the packed size of the Rock and Roll Trainer, and it weighs about 20lbs less. It works with wheels from 22in to 29in in diameter.
The Kinetic Road Machine Fluid Trainer is green and comes with its own quick release skewer that assures a good fit in the cone cups that secure your bike to the trainer. Like all Kinetic by Kurt trainers, it comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty.
- Kinetic makes a bike computer that can show power as you're riding the unit. It's sold separately, but it's an easy addition if you want to track your wattage as you train inside.
- Smooth, quite resistance from 5-3,000+ watts
- 6.25 lb. Fly wheel for realistic coast-down
- Thermodynamically neutral silicone resistance fluid for consistent resistance in variable temperatures
- 80 cooling fins dissipate heat for long life
- 2-1/8 inch roller reduces tire wear