I am going to ask for a trainer for Christmas. Iím not a racing cyclist and therefore I will not need tons of resistance. I have been biking to lose some weight and improve fitness, and therefore I would like a trainer so I can ride during the winter.
I have got my choice down to the Nashbar Watt Master Fluid Trainer and the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. My budget is under $350 and I would certainly be open to suggestions if I am missing other notable trainers.
I like the sound of a fluid trainer, as it will better simulate the road, however leaking sounds a little scary and I donít want to have to do too much maintenance
I would just have Santa bring me the Kinetic Road Machine as it wonít leak, but I really like how the Nashbar has the electronic display as I have been tracking distance very closely.
I have only used the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, but I really like mine. The warranty behind it is great the ride feel has been great as well. As you've mentioned the KK stuff won't leak.
Most people track time on the trainer, not distance on the trainer as trainer mileage is necessarily equal to road mileage. A couple of options if you really want to see distance. You could switch to a bike computer with a rear wheel sensor or look at the computer KK offers a power computer:
Now, a lot of folks say not to spend your money on it as time on the trainer is more important than mileage. Coupled with, there is a chart on KK's site that will let you map mph (if you have a rear wheel bike computer) to approximate wattage on the trainer. I would search the forums a bit to see what others have said about the Power Computer. I did not purchase one, but will be switching to a rear sensor bike computer in the near future.