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Kinetic Smart Control power unit failures

Old 07-26-20, 02:18 PM
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bmcer
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Kinetic Smart Control power unit failures

Yes, that's "failures", as in more than one. The beginning of this year, I bought a Kurt Kinetic Control Road Machine "smart" trainer. I got about 3 weeks use out of it when the PCB board the power source plugs into failed. No green light upon power up and no start up sounds from the unit. I filed a warranty claim and they sent me a new board. Once I installed it, things seemed to be working again. Until, that is, two days ago, when the unit went dead again. Pulled the case apart and found that the socket that the power cord plugs into had separated from the rest of the board.

I've filed yet another warranty claim, but at this point, I'm serious considering asking for a refund. 2 failures of the same component just a bit more than 6 months of gentle use makes me think I ought to look into some other brand of trainer to use with Zwift. Don't feel like I can trust Kurt's QA and/or design any more.

Has anyone else encountered the same problem? Any recommendations for another trainer that'll work with Zwift?

Last edited by bmcer; 07-26-20 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Asking for recomendations
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Old 07-27-20, 07:24 AM
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I would go for a whole new unit or refund at this point! I have the same machine and its been flawless...love mine. Sorry your having trouble. I wonder if its got rona? lol...I would see what they are willing to do though.
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Old 07-27-20, 11:01 AM
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So far, this hasn't been a stellar customer service experience. Kurt's customer service phone has been off line for several days now, and the email response I did get requested a copy of the receipt (no problem) and a picture of the power cord (I have NO idea why), but made no commitment. The last time this happened, about 5 months ago, it was one phone call and a replacement PCB board arrived 2 days later. Different story this time.
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Old 07-27-20, 12:58 PM
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they are made in the republic of MN with all the political and COVID issues in that state I would bet the responses are delayed!
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Old 07-27-20, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
they are made in the republic of MN with all the political and COVID issues in that state I would bet the responses are delayed!
Things are a unstable everywhere these days between politics and disease, and I understand the toll it takes. I did get a timely response to the email I sent with the invoice and the pic of the power cord. However, the person on the other end somehow thought the power cord was the problem and said he couldn't see anything wrong with it. Well hello, I clearly stated it was the PCB board that failed last time and THIS time. I responded to that message with a note making it crystal clear that the power cord is fine. I'd checked it's output. And that it was the PCB board that was somehow compromised. Still waiting on a response.
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Old 07-27-20, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bmcer View Post
Things are a unstable everywhere these days between politics and disease, and I understand the toll it takes. I did get a timely response to the email I sent with the invoice and the pic of the power cord. However, the person on the other end somehow thought the power cord was the problem and said he couldn't see anything wrong with it. Well hello, I clearly stated it was the PCB board that failed last time and THIS time. I responded to that message with a note making it crystal clear that the power cord is fine. I'd checked it's output. And that it was the PCB board that was somehow compromised. Still waiting on a response.
I hear the frustration! I get it, feel for you. I broke my adjustment knob on my first trainer, the green tension knob and they said I installed in wrong?! I was like WTF its a threaded bolt, they said did you grease it. I said your directions did not say to do that. I got a replacement after that. LOL....made me laugh after it was all done.
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Old 07-27-20, 04:38 PM
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When the board went south the first time, they told me the power jack on the board was a known problem. Advise use a switched power strip to plug the power cord into with nothing else plugged into the strip, turn the resistance unit on/off using the power strip switch exclusively, to only turn the trainer on when in use, and finally, to avoid plugging an unplugging the resistance unit as much as possible. That was in February this year, and I've followed those instructions rigorously since. Then we started getting weather that made the garage where I was set up way too hot to train in. So, with fear and trepidation, I carefully, gently, unplugged first the power strip, then ever so gently I unplugged the power jack, and tip-toes the whole mess into my den. Once settled, I revered the process with equal care. And... nothing. No green light, no startup sounds, nothing. And right about now, I'm getting the same from Kinetic's CS.
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Old 08-01-20, 09:51 AM
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So it's been almost 2 weeks since I first brought this issue to the attention of Kurt Kinetic's customer service department. To date, the problem remains unresolved. It took almost a week to get the customer service people to "send" a replacement PCB board, and so far the package has not yet been received by USPS. At least that's what USPS tracking says. Somebody created a shipping label 3 days ago, and nothing since.

I know Kinetic enjoys a good reputation, but as of today, it'll be a very chilly day in hell before I buy another product from them.
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Old 08-19-20, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bmcer View Post
Yes, that's "failures", as in more than one. The beginning of this year, I bought a Kurt Kinetic Control Road Machine "smart" trainer. I got about 3 weeks use out of it when the PCB board the power source plugs into failed. No green light upon power up and no start up sounds from the unit. I filed a warranty claim and they sent me a new board. Once I installed it, things seemed to be working again. Until, that is, two days ago, when the unit went dead again. Pulled the case apart and found that the socket that the power cord plugs into had separated from the rest of the board.

I've filed yet another warranty claim, but at this point, I'm serious considering asking for a refund. 2 failures of the same component just a bit more than 6 months of gentle use makes me think I ought to look into some other brand of trainer to use with Zwift. Don't feel like I can trust Kurt's QA and/or design any more.

Has anyone else encountered the same problem? Any recommendations for another trainer that'll work with Zwift?
Same issues and similar poor service. Used the trainer for 6-7 weeks (2-3 times per week) and then the weather improved and lockdown kicked in so road riding was bliss. Went back to the trainer 8 weeks later and it was dead (power board failure). Initially Kinetic were very supportive, email comms was quick. Checked purchase/receipt and then asked for address to send replacement power board to. Since then absolutely nothing. No communication, no response to emails and obviously no replacement product. Incredibly disappointing. Surely as a a company they realise that positive feedback/social media posts is critical for them? VERY VERY disappointing from Kinetic.
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Old 08-19-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Buckosboots View Post
Same issues and similar poor service. Used the trainer for 6-7 weeks (2-3 times per week) and then the weather improved and lockdown kicked in so road riding was bliss. Went back to the trainer 8 weeks later and it was dead (power board failure). Initially Kinetic were very supportive, email comms was quick. Checked purchase/receipt and then asked for address to send replacement power board to. Since then absolutely nothing. No communication, no response to emails and obviously no replacement product. Incredibly disappointing. Surely as a a company they realise that positive feedback/social media posts is critical for them? VERY VERY disappointing from Kinetic.
Well the replacement PCB board finally arrived here yesterday. Almost 4 weeks after bring the issue to Kinetic's attention. It's not possible for me to determine who is responsible for the shipping delay, but even if it all on USPS, it still took Kinetic 3 weeks to honor their warranty. Just to ad insult to injury, the board came with a rather snarky note advising me that they would not replace "abused" equipment in the future.

Indoor bike trainers are a niche market serving a tight knit community. I'd think they'd be more aware of the negative effect incidents like this have on their share of a small market even in these difficult times.

Meantime, I'll continue to use this trainer until the PCB craps out again. Then I'll replace it with something from another vendor.
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