Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll- Worth The Money?

The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer did its job as soon as I climbed on board.

I almost fell off of it.

Product Quality 05 Quietness 4.5
Realistic Ride 05 Bells and Whistles 05
Overall 4.5

What I had been suspecting for quite some time was confirmed pretty quickly during the first few minutes on the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll.  A couple of years ago, I had a pretty serious road bike accident (a lesser man would have whimpered and cried…I merely whimpered).

Since that time, I can’t seem to sit squarely on my saddle…I can’t ride with no hands without listing to the right…and my legs don’t seem to be on the same page, effort-wise.

kurt kinetic rock and roll review

Pedaling, Leaning Left, Glancing Right, And Smiling! “Whatcha Sayin, Willis?”

Sure enough, confirmation!  To stay upright on the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll I had to lean far to the left (my perception, of course).  That’s one of the attributes that sets the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll apart from the rest of the trainers.  Namely, you can’t just sit on this bike trainer and grind away on the pedals.

Done correctly, the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll will ‘encourage’ you to sit squarely on the bike…but even more importantly for those who have mastered that skill set, it alerts you to sloppy pedaling form.

Because the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll allows a rocking motion, and because the front wheel is on a ‘lazy Susan’ type turntable, smooth pedaling results in a ‘quiet’ bike.  Mashing on the pedals results in side to side movement.  You’ll see what I mean on the video further down the page.

Kurt Kinetic Fluid Trainers Benefit From The U.S.A. Patent Office.  Hey Dude, Don’t Skim…This Is Important!

kurt kinetic rock and roll trainer

The Rockin and Rollin’s Great, But The Heart Of The Trainer Is This Resistance Unit

To start with, the Kurt Kinetic company has turned the fluid bike trainer world on its ear in the last ten years with their patented proprietary internal design. While other fluid trainers are destined to start leaking due to failed O-rings, Kinetic trainers (of course this includes the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll) have a unique design which keeps the silicone fluid isolated from any parts that have the potential to leak.

The impellers and the silicone fluid through which they spin are in their own sealed compartment. The impeller has a half a dozen or so strong magnets embedded in it. Next to this sealed compartment is a small flywheel with matching magnets. These magnets form a ‘virtual’ coupler through the magic of magnetic attraction so that when the rider spins the roller, the impeller spins in like fashion.

Presto…you have synchronization of the roller and the impeller without any penetration from the outside into the sealed chamber holding the silicon fluid, guaranteeing that the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll will never dribble silicone onto your new carpet.

Lest you wonder how much torque the magnetic bond can withstand, tests on the resistance unit used on the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll demonstrated no slippage even when an electric motor accelerated this design from 0 to fifty mph as quickly as an electric motor can ‘pedal up’.

The chamber can provide up to 3000 watts of resistance. As a point of reference, the best sprinters on the Tour de France may generate up to about 1500 watts for a very brief time when they initiate their sprint.  It’s not likely you’ll overpower the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll.

Kurt Kinetic’s patented design and the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer are best understood by watching this video…and it’s a good flick!

===>Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll for under $550.00 here.  <===

So What Makes The Kurt Kinetic Rock And Roll ‘Realistic’?

Obviously the potential to rock back and forth while being on the front turntable makes for a much more realistic motion than what you’ll get when you’re clamped into a conventional trainer.

As is pointed out in the video, the rider has the ability to monitor their form on the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll by making every attempt to keep the trainer ‘quiet’.

Of course, you can still pedal along inefficiently (should you want to text while riding, answer your cell phone while training, or merely take a ride while inebriated). What I’m trying to say is that the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll won’t FORCE you to ride efficiently…it’ll just make you aware of how poorly or magnificently you’re doing.

The Kinetic Rock and Roll For Core Strength- My Chiropractic Perspective.

‘Balancing’ on the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll does promote a coordinated effort by your core muscles, which is extremely important for the prevention and treatment of back injuries.

I know about this, because as a Chiropractor, I’ve been sitting through far too many seminars on the importance of core strength… until my butt cheeks have suffered from hours of gluteus numbicus.

Some Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll users have wondered if there’s enough motion in the trainer to make it worth while, but maybe they’re missing the point. The point isn’t to make the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll sway like a drunken sailor, but instead to coordinate your efforts to keep any rocking at all to a minimum.

The optional extra flywheel also makes for a more realistic feel. However, in order to minimize tire wear, some riders take off the extra flywheel when doing intervals. Anytime there’s an acceleration of any significance on a bike trainer (like when doing intervals), there’s a bit of ‘slippage’ between the roller and the tire. In the interest of tire preservation, you may choose to remove the extra flywheel and reduce the inertia in the roller/flywheel assembly that must be overcome.

A side effect of the extra flywheel and the ‘sturdiness’ of this trainer is that it weighs in at a healthy 61 pounds!

Now that’ll exercise those core muscles if you’re dragging it from room to room.

A Word About Guarantees

kurt kinetic pro power curveWhile other fluid trainers other than the Kurt Kinetic line provide a guarantee for ‘manufacturer’s defects’, Kinetic stands behind their fluid trainers with an Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. That’s how confident they are that their trainers won’t develop a leak sometime down the road. If you understand the engineering of their resistance units, you can understand why the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll will never leak.

Does It Have To Be Silicone?

The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer’s resistance unit uses silicone fluid for a very good reason. Silicone is unique in it’s property of not getting thinner when it’s heated. Because of the heat that’s generated in the trainer from the friction of the impeller moving through fluid, it’s helpful that the fluid doesn’t lose it’s viscosity…and thus it’s resistance.

The resistance levels in these trainers has been calibrated using a power meter to closely match what you’d feel at any given speed out on the road.  See the graph above.

Even The ‘Bells And Whistles’ Are Industrial Grade

kinetic rock and roll

Even The Bells and Whistles Are Manly Steel!

The Kinetic trainers have always been stoutly built.  Kind of a no-nonsense approach.  Some of Kurt Kinetic’s competitors have come up with some nice features to make getting the bike into and out of the trainer easier.

Well, Kinetic wasn’t about to get left behind in that department so they incorporated a handy cam lever to tighten the bike into the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll.  The part that I find amusing is that even the cam lever is made of an industrial strength piece of metal bent into a ‘U’ shape.

I’ll tell you what…there’s not much on the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll that’ll break.  I did almost break my back carrying the unit to our backyard for the ‘photo shoot’.

And then when the bicycling model saw the ghastly color of the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll (which I personally like, because it matches my racing kit), she fled for parts unknown…leaving me to pose for the pictures.

The Good
  1. The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll moves so it bumps up the ‘realism’ factor.
  2. Features the ‘leak-free’ Kurt Kinetic patented design.
  3. The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll enables the rider to perfect their pedal stroke and core stability.
  4. The resistance unit on the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll contains silicone fluid…which maintains viscosity when heated for consistent resistance.
  5. Lifetime warranty is part of the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll package.
The Bad
  1. Not as portable as cheaper models…the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll weighs over 60 pounds.
  2. The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll is initially costly…but extremely unlikely to ‘fail’ due to leakage.
The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Trainer is for:
  1. Serious riders who want to optimize their indoor training sessions.
  2. Cyclists seeking to add the high quality of a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll  to their equipment.
  3. Riders not looking for a highly portable bike trainer.  The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll weighs 61 pounds without the extra flywheel.

===>Available on Amazon here. I haven’t seen any online pricing that beats them, and they are a very trusted merchant. 

Check Out Pricing Below!

Here’s What Others Are Saying About The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Trainer…

I was a bit leary of the rocking feature, but the default stiffness is less than expected…but you can loosen it for more movement, or increase the tightness for less movement. Unit is smooth and quiet. I remove the extra flywheel when doing intervals to minimize tire wear.
–“jellybiscuit”– {this review has been edited for brevity…read the entire review here}

It requires additional resistance to stand on the bike when using this trainer…get the pro version. Quiet and easy to load bike your bike onto the trainer.
–“HHHF”– {this review has been edited for brevity…read the entire review here}

Kinetic Rock and Roll Bike Trainer
The Rock and Roll is the only indoor trainer that delivers a natural side-to-side motion while you ride.
Save $69.00

About the reviewer: Ron Fritzke is a cycling product reviewer with a passion for ‘all things cycling’. A former 2:17 marathoner, he now directs his competitive efforts toward racing his bike…and looking for good cycling products.

If you think this Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll review is thorough, please link to it, Facebook it, Google plus it, or bookmark it.  Much appreciated!

12 Responses to Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll- Worth The Money?

  1. Eric says:

    I think you meant to say “unlikely”.

    The Bad
    …2.The Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll is initially costly…but extremely likely to ‘fail’ due to leakage.


    • Ron Fritzke says:

      Thanks Eric…just fixed it. Hope your riding is going well.

  2. Matt says:

    Kinetic says this will fit up to a 29″ wheel, but I just picked one up, and when I hopped on with my 28″ wheel, I almost burned a hole through the mat. Now, I’m on carpet, which contributes a bit, but keep in mind, the profile of the tire, the weight of the rider, I’m 6’1″, 200 lbs, the surface you’re on, etc, could result in not having enough clearance (in fact, they expressly say that with a 29″ wheel you need a low/no profile tire). I’m probably going to keep it and go pick up a 26″ rear wheel, spare cassette and training tire to use with it, but depending on your ride, good to keep in mind the potential additional cost.

    • Ron Fritzke says:

      Thanks for the additional insight.
      Happy riding!

  3. Paul Martin says:

    No need for a power meter . . . I use my Kurt Kinetic Rock & Roll along with TrainerRoad.com which offers a virtual power meter for various trainers, including the Rock & Roll. Subscription to TrainerRoad.com is only $10/mo. And offers various workouts – it sure is a lot less expensive than purchasing a Computrainer . . .

  4. Ron Fritzke says:

    It works if the tire on the mountain bike is relatively smooth. It will accommodate wheel sizes from 22″ to 29″, so whether your mountain bike has 26 inch wheels or 29 inch wheels, this bike trainer will work.

  5. Tata says:

    Does this work for mountain bike too?

  6. Robert L. Grant says:

    Hope you had a great holiday Ron. Follow you completely…I just used my average speed and time to gauge my improvement on my various rides, but I can see that it would be very useful to invest in a watt meter for the trainer. I ride for fitness and get pretty competitive at getting better average speeds and times and feel robbed if I don’t get in at least 32 miles a day. Still no real snow on the coast, had a dusting, not enough to break out the gear for my winter snow-shoeing activity and can feel my legs getting kind of spongey. Can’t wait for the trainer to arrive. Thanks again for a very useful site!!


  7. Robert L. Grant says:

    I have been looking all over the web looking for informed reviews I thought I could trust. Thank you very much!! I used to ride here in Maine into December but my new job took away my daily 26 mile commute. Now I have no late spring early winter time to ride so I must go to a indoor trainer. I do have a question…going into a small front chain ring and the large rear sprocket on cassette (39/23) that will simulate going up hill on a climb? Think I’m sold on the rock and roll trainer for X-mas birthday combo gift. Thanks again!


    • Ron Fritzke says:

      I’m glad the review helped you, Robert.

      Regarding simulating a climb…here’s how I look at it. Watts are watts. If you climb at 320 watts, at a cadence of 95 rpm’s, you’ll just put your bike in the gear pattern that accomplishes that.

      But your body won’t know if it simulates going uphill, or going on the flats at 320 watts turning 95 rpm’s…I’ve done hill climb races, and I’ve done time trials. The efforts hurt equally if I’m turning out the same number of watts, even though the speeds are different.

      I don’t know if I did a very good job of explaining what I’m trying to say.

      At any rate, you can’t go wrong with the Rock and Roll or the Road Machine.

  8. Ron Fritzke says:


    Sorry for the late response. Part of the tardiness is that I’ve been thinking over what I saw in the video.

    I hadn’t heard of the problem of the bounce putting a stress on the frame until I watched the video. I can see what the guy on the video is saying…and it makes sense, but in reality it may not be an issue. The fact that there was a squeak that went away when there was grease applied to the ends of the skewer tells me that the movement is at the skewer (supplied by Kurt Kinetic), therefore not compromising the integrity of the rear triangle of the bike frame.

    Regarding the bounce in the machine causing back pain…I’ve been a chiropractor for twenty five years and can’t think of a viable reason that a little bounce movement would be worse on the back than no bounce on a solid trainer. In fact, a case could be made for the benefits of vertebral disc health due to the fluid exchange that occurs when a sensible amount of intermittent ‘weighting/unweighting’ occurs.

    Thanks for the comment.

  9. Peg Paulson says:

    I’m looking into bike trainers for my step-son who wants a serious trainer for the winter. What do you say about a)folks who don’t like how the the “bounce” of the Rock and Roll feels on their back after an hour, and b)concerns about the “bounce” putting stress on the bike’s frame (see youtube link below).


    Thanks for your input – great website.
    Peg Paulson

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