Why Kurt Kinetic Dominates The Fluid Bike Trainer World
Posted Apr 27 2011 8:22am
Fluid bike trainers have always had a few very important advantages over the rest of the bike trainer world.
They're quieter, smoother, and able to provide much more resistance than either wind or mag trainers. But they've also suffered from an Achilles heel.
And here it is…most fluid trainers could be counted on to start leaking over time.
I guess it kept the UPS man happy with all of the shipping to and from the service departments of the various bike trainer manufacturers, but it made for a group of grumpy cyclists.
The big problem with fluid trainers was O-ring failure. There just wasn't a foolproof way in which to 'connect' the outside parts of the trainer (the roller and the flywheel) to the inner workings (the impeller and the fluid).
But then someone remembered the magic of magnets.
What the Kurt Kinetic proprietary design does is connect the outside components to the components in the fluid-filled chamber, not with a common shaft…but with a 'virtual' connection.
They've embedded six powerful magnets into the flywheel and six matching (opposite poles) magnets into the impeller. With this design, they two rotate in tandem without the integrity of the fluid-filled chamber having to be compromised in any way.
The whole concept is explained very well in this video…
1). The basic version of the line is the Kinetic Road Machine . It's a no-nonsense trainer that'll essentially last forever and will provide up to 3000 watts of resistance (probably about three times as much as you'd be able to generate).
I've called this the 'Road Machine on steroids'. It's essentially a Road Machine with an extra large flywheel. Instead of the standard six pound flywheel, the Kurt Kinetic Pro has an addtional 12 pounds added…for a total of 18 pounds of man-style spinning steel.
Because there are picky cyclists who get a real 'kick' in their cycling shorts when their bike trainer's 'realistic'. What they're looking for is how well it matches what they feel out on the road.
Since the extra flywheel weight makes it more difficult to alter the speed of the pedal stroke, they're forced to apply pressure more evenly throughout the pedaling circle.
It's a subtle thing…but bike races are won or lost by subtle differences, and an efficient stroke can take years to master. So if a serious cyclist is going to spend time on a bike trainer, it may as well be time well served with as realistic of an experience as possible.
3). Speaking of realism, the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer comes at it from another angle. This unique design isn't stable. The whole bike and trainer set-up will rock back and forth depending on how the rider's doing with their cycling efficiency.
When on the Rock and Roll, any 'mashing' of the pedals will be very apparent. The unit will sway like a drunken sailor.
Of course the rider won't fall off the bike or anything like that (leave that to trying to ride on bike rollers). But they will be instantly alerted to the fact that they're pedaling inefficiently.
You can see the way in which this works on this video…
A few days ago I wrote a guest post for FitBuff.com about using a bike trainer to maintain your fitness level. What I didn't write about in that post is the distinct advantage that Kurt Kinetic has over the competition.
And that advantage is certainly something you'd better be aware of if you're shopping for a fluid bike trainer…or you'll probably be calling your UPS man to pick up your leaking trainer for transport back to the service department.