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If realistic road feel is the goal, and it should be, the Rock and Roll deserves a close look. The trainer is connected to its base via a flexible joint, allowing a bike to rock back and forth. The result is a much more dynamic feel, closer to that of an actual road than anything short of riding rollers. That small amount of movement, a bit of natural sway, makes a big difference.
Kurt Kinetic claims that the movement provides a core workout, though our abs appears no more toned than before.
Road feel isn’t all about letting the bike move, though. Like most high-end trainers, the Rock and Roll uses a 14.3-pound flywheel to better simulate the momentum of a real rider on a real road. In this area, it’s on par with trainers like the Wahoo Kickr. However, unlike the Kickr, the Rock and Roll uses a more traditional tire roller, rather than a direct drive. That means more tire wear and a bit of slip at the start of some hard efforts. Overall, though, the Rock and Roll is one of the most realistic-feeling trainers we’ve ever tested.
Like other smart trainers, the Rock and Roll connects to an app on your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device. Resistance can be controlled via this app, which also contains a plethora of pre-set training sessions, ranging from short intervals to sweet spot workouts.
The trainer’s technology package, including the app, is fantastic. The app is easy to use and connects with the trainer in seconds. Because it’s Bluetooth, and not Ant+, it requires no dongles to attach to your phone and then lose two weeks later. The app provides all the graphs and stats you could possibly want, including estimated power (which was highly accurate in our testing) if you don’t have a power meter.
The trainer also works with popular third-party apps like Zwift and Trainer Road, where its “smart” capabilities match well and provide for realistic changes in resistance.
The Rock and Roll is quiet, as most magnetic trainers are, except for the low tire hum that is present with any trainer of this design. Your significant other won’t hate you for training in the spare bedroom, but the neighbors downstairs might be less than stoked.
The trainer accepts quick release and, with an adapter, thru-axles. That’s important for future-proofing, as more disc road bikes making their way to the market.