Old 12-21-11, 01:08 PM
Faster than yesterday
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Originally Posted by sprince View Post
Kinetic Road Machine Fluid Trainer @ http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...reviewsratings

manufacturer claim: quiet resistance from 5-3000 watts

reviewer writes: The trainer works well, but doesn't have as much resistance as I'd like. I can run my max gear for quite a time before feeling the burn. I'l like a larger range.
Either the reviewer has a defective resistance unit, or he has it set up incorrectly. He also doesn't say how fast he's turning that big gear, or what that gear is. A 50/12 at 60 rpm is only about 19.5 mph, for example. Personally, I don't find this review particularly helpful, and the user doesn't sound knowledgeable to begin with. A functioning, properly set-up Road Machine will challenge anyone. It's designed to increase resistance with something close to what you get while riding outdoors, and it does a good job of that. Whereas cheap magnetic trainers offer linear resistance, the fluid in the KK gives exponential.

The published speed vs. resistance curve is within a few percentage points of the true wattage up to about 500W; the "real' curve and the published one then gradually diverge, but the unit still provides progressive resistance (on mine as measured against a new Powertap). I don't know if it'll really do 3000W, and no one can do that anyway. For the meat of a cyclist's power band, they work quite well. I don't sprint on mine, but it's good for anything seated. A smooth tire is a must on any trainer.

The Road Machine has generally great reviews, in the aggregate, both here and elsewhere (example). I've also heard nothing but good things about their customer service. I have read of people getting a bad resistance unit, but those stories also ended with KK sending out a new one with no hassle.

The CycleOps fluid models are pretty good, too. My LBS had one and I tried it out. It was pretty decent, but I found a lower price on the Road Machine and went with it based on its reputation. I'm not at all disappointed that I did.

As for how quiet the trainer is: the older-style fan bikes can be really, really loud, like running a vacuum. Qualitatively, the KK is much, much quieter than that. Quiet enough to run in an apartment. They make some noise, but most of the total noise you'll make is from the tire on the roller (I've found the orange Continental trainer tire to be quietest, by far. also a PITA to mount), and the fan I run to keep cool is louder than the trainer itself. Tire squeaking is the most annoying to me, since it's high-pitched. Again, that's minimized by a dedicated, smooth tire.

If the tire is underinflated or not pressed firmly enough against the roller, it makes more noise.

Last edited by tadawdy; 12-21-11 at 01:17 PM.
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