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on December 17, 2007
Power computers are useful monitoring exercise activities in order to gauge progress in strength and endurance. Since I had a Kurt Kinetic trainer, I figured that the power computer would maintain similar high standards of quality. It was just the opposite.
The installation was quite simple, and took about 10 minutes to accomplish. Since one would never have the intention of leaving this on one's bicycle, it should have been made as a clip on device. Once it was installed, it worked properly for about 10 minutes. The buttons would operate in a variable fashion, the device would arbitrarily turn off and then on again, resetting all the variables, the speeds would arbitrarily jump around randomly even when pedaling at a constant speed, and it would spontaneously do unpredictable activities. I never was able to have it stable enough for even a single work-out episode and it never gave me even a single item of useful information during the work-out.
My advice to Kurt Kinetic
1) Take this device off the market immediately. It's bad for the reputation.
2) Since you measure only distance with your back wheel device, and that in an indirect fashion, you could get that information exactly by measuring the rotation of your resistance flywheel. The monitor device should be mounted directly to the flywheel and thus obtain exact distances traveled by the bike.
3) The monitor should attach to the bike in a clip on/off fashion to facilitate easy removal of the bike from the trainer.
4) The display need not have so much useless information. It should have only two alternating information screens
a) speed, exercise time for day, total power consumed for day, total distance gone for day. This screen should be easily resetable to zero for each workout.
b) speed, actual time, instantaneous power d(e)/d(t), accumulated total distance. This screen should be more complex to reset to zero.
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on October 15, 2007
This computer is a remarkable piece of junk. Everything on it is the cheapest possible grade. The magnet broke in my hands when I tried to install it. I used the magnet from an old Cateye computer. Even the plastic zipties were dried and snapped. The reset button on the computer itself sticks in the "in" position. The mounting bracket doesn't hold the computer firm enough so when you press the display button the computer goes flying off the bike. The battery only lasted 3 months. The display turns rainbow colors at about 60 degree F. BUT, you get wattage and all other vital info for your workout--so you NEED this thing. My Kurt kinetic rock-n-roll trainer is bomb proof. I love it. However, this computer is the biggest hunk of junk I've ever used in my life. Everything about it is of the lowest quality--but you need one, so buy it. Kurt Kinetic should tar and feather the guy who thought it would be a good idea to put their name on this thing. It is just shameful.
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on December 1, 2007
At first I would agree... seemed like junk. However, everytime i called kurt kinetic they were extemely helpful and shipped me a new one. mine kept "shorting out" and losing the display and info then might or might not come back on. after i receive the 3rd replacement i saw that the use of an extention cord had been eliminated and a solid wire from computer to pickup was used instead. that was it!!! my computer works perfectly now! for 50 bucks you cannot go wrong!! it is extemely accurate and matches wattage with the other much more expensive offerings ie power tap etc. great service from KK!!
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on October 31, 2007
Very cheaply made. Readout is small. Buttons are loose. Wires are flimsy. Shocking contrast in quality when compared to the Kinetic Road Machine trainer I bought it with. Should be included free with a $275 trainer in my opinion. But it works, just not worth 45-50 bucks. Be careful installing it as to not pull out the wires or crack the plastic tab that locks the computer on to the mount.
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on January 2, 2009
Let me first say that this is a $40 rear wheel mounted cycle computer that estimates power output. Real power meters cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Keep that in mind because this item seems to be made very cheaply. And also remember that this computer only estimates power on the trainer, it is not a power meter. It will not accurately estimate power on the road. It depends on knowing the power curve of the Kinetic trainers to estimate the wattage. So, as the title implies, although it looks cheaply made, it does work. It does display all the usual functions: time, speed, distance, power, and the average/max for each applicable function. For me, I use it because I needed a rear wheel mounted computer for the trainer and I couldn't afford a real power meter. I would've liked to pay a little more for better construction though.
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on March 12, 2010
I was getting sporadic gaps with another manufacturers wireless model, so I purchased this product to match the Kinetic by Kurt trainer. Plenty of included ties, the install is pretty straight forward. The wattage calculator is wonderful and there was plenty of cord slack for application on my Cannondale hybrid. Solid product, no complaints.
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on February 4, 2009
After reading the reviews, I expected this to be terrible. Admittedly, the zip ties which came with the unit crumbled to dust before I could attach it which drove me half nuts, but I had some in the garage and used those. It's probably not as good as a $300 unit, nor is it as well made as a $300 unit, and it's likely not as accurate as a $300 unit, but it serves my purpose. It allows me to track my training to the extent that I, as a somewhat serious but modestly talented leisure cyclist, need to track it. And guess what ... it doesn't cost $300.
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on January 2, 2013
I am still fairly conflicted about this product. On the one hand, the unit feels cheap and clunky. The buttons are awful and difficult to press without completely unseating the computer from its mount or pressing an unwanted button in the process, and the interface is one of the most poorly designed and difficult to use things I have ever seen. The most useful information is relegated to the smallest part of the screen, and you've got to cycle between a huge number of screens to view information. It requires something like 10 clicks for me to reset the computer to target power over an interval and have my wattage displayed again.

On the plus side, the power numbers are repeatable and there is simply no cheaper way to train with power. This alone makes the product worth all of it's faults.

I should note that the waterproofing of the computer is terrible due to a terrible design decision requiring a connection between the computer and the quick release mount because for some reason the wire leads to the sensors come out of the mount instead of directly from the computer. As a result the computer would frequently cease recording data when it got sweat on it (I have it mounted on aero bars and I'm a heavy sweater). After a period of cursing and considering returning the computer entirely I decided to rubber band a sheet of plastic wrap over the top. The screen is still legible, it never drops out anymore, and as a fringe benefit the small amount of compression from the plastic makes the terrible buttons considerably easier to press. Without the plastic wrap, this would be a 1 star functionally unsuable product and I would have had to return it.

Overall If you've got the extra cash, and a smartphone the new Kinetic inRide computer might be the way to go. For $200 you get wireless functionality, your phone for a display and the ability to save and upload workout files. I'll probably stick it out with this computer through this offseason and hopefully upgrade to a real power meter.
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on March 2, 2012
Let me start me saying that, other than my bike, my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is the single best purchase I've made as a new cyclist who is quickly falling in love with the sport. The Road Machine simply rocks. Top notch quality, awesome ride, love it love it love it.

That is why it was so shocking that they would put out this wireless computer. It is a complete piece of trash. And I'm not complaining because it's cheaply made (which it is). I'm upset because this is NOT a power meter. It's an ordinary bike computer that gives you speed on the trainer and then uses a formula to convert it to power. Guess what, my Garmin watch also gives me speed on the trainer, and I can run the speed to power numbers myself using the formula. When on the trainer, I can just as easily use the speed numbers on my Garmin instead of the speed/power numbers on the Kinetic computer. For instance, my garmin will read 20.5 mph. The Kinentic will also read 20.5 mph and then display a 280 watts number. Big whoopty do da do!!!!!

The Kinetic power computer also: (1) doesn't allow you to view cadance and/or heart rate while looking at the power number; (2) doesn't allow you to download the information for review into a computure program; (3) doesn't easily record interval sets (I could do this by continally pressing the lap button on the Kinetic power computer, but who wants to spend their workout doing that).

In sum, this is just a low grade, cheap bike computer. Other cheap computer let you look at cadance, speed, heart rate and distance simulanously. This one doesn't. And don't make the mistake of buying this thinking you're going to use it to start training with power numbers. Just use the speed numbers on any higher quality bike computer and then use the formula to convert those to power to see where you are at.

I'm sending mine back.
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on November 22, 2011
For a device at this price, I wouldn't expect much: just a consistent power reading for the effort I put in. It doesn't even have to be correct or reflect short spikes in power. To test this out, I bought one and used it with my PowerTap. The initial readings were pretty close. But over the course of a one hour workout, it drifted by about 30 watts for me. As the fluid in the trainer heats up, it gets easier and easier to spin. While this is great for the ego, it's not useful for training, as the computer makes no adjustment for this. Even if the readings were wrong, if they were consistently wrong it would still be a useful device. As it is, it's pretty useless. I returned it.
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