One of my favorite things about TriRig.com is that I only write reviews about products I'm really excited about. We don't sell advertising, which means there's never any pressure to give a favorable review, or to write about products I don't really care about. It also means that when there's a specific brand or product line that I think is particularly cool, I can go all-out in covering it, even if I'm giving that subject a disproportionate amount of attention.
On occasion, I find a particular kind of product that just seems *right* to me. Where saddles are concerned, I absolutely love Dash. For shoes, it's Altra. And today, the subject is trainers; for me, the coolest trainer manufacturer right now is Kurt Kinetic (or sometimes 'Kinetic by Kurt'). I reviewed their innovative Rock 'n' Roll trainer three years ago, and it's remained my favorite trainer since then. But for 2014, Kinetic has completely redesigned their flagship trainer, and this review is all about the New Rock And Roll trainer.
The new trainer is much the same as the old one, with incremental changes all around. The most noticeable of these are:
- The base legs have become straight, and create a very slightly smaller footprint on the floor. Personally, I really like these legs, because their rotational position doesn't matter as they did on the previous version.
- The elastomer mechanism has changed significantly. Instead of two layers, the elastomers have consolidated to a single layer, and the mechanical interface is different. On the new version, the resistance unit is directly above the elastomer mechanism. This means that the suspension is more directly connected to the cyclist. I say that's a good thing.
- Kinetic's pride and joy is their magnetically-coupled, silicone fluid resistance unit. This trainer continues to use that same, top-of-the-line unit that was found in its predecessor. It will NEVER leak, which is a problem that sometimes plagues other fluid resistance units. Kurt has some great info about their fluid unit here and here.
- In general, the trainer has a general feel of refinement. Three years is a long time to work out any kinks in your top-of-the-line product, and Kinetic has done exactly that. I have no hesitation recommending the New Rock And Roll to the same extent as the original version.
In my opinion, the New Rock And Roll Trainer from Kinetic continues to be the best trainer on the market. For those long Winter miles you put in while the weather outside is atrocious, the suspension this trainer offers is really special. If you're riding HOURS on an indoor trainer, nothing will make you happier than a little extra comfort in the saddle. But more than that, it's a Kurt Kinetic product, and that's a stamp of quality all by itself. This is a very well-thought-out machine. The resistance unit is probably the best one in the industry, the construction is impeccable, and the overall product quality is simply excellent. If you're in the market for a trainer, you can't go wrong with any Kinetic product ... especially the Rock And Roll.