Kinetic Road Machine + Smart Control vs. Wahoo Kickr Snap

Hello Zwift Community,

I searched around in the forums here and couldn’t seem to find the answer I am looking for. Here’s the situation. I am a triathlete training for my first 70.3. Been riding road and competing in tri’s for about 5 years now. I currently have a Kinetic Road Machine with no iRide, no Smart Control… just the fluid trainer. Use that along with my Garmin Fenix 5x and my Stages Power Meter. That’s it. I use Training Peaks to upload my Garmin data and it is pretty important that I continue to use my Garmin along with TP.

I always get a good sweat and solid workout on the Kurt Kinetic. My coach gives me HIITs and Super HIITs to do and they are tough just switching gears normaly to increase resistance. All that said…I feel I’m missing out. 

So after a discussion with my coach today he did say any Smart trainer and Zwift would be a good investment. So here are my options as I see it.

  1. Purchase the Kurt Kinetic ‘add on’ Smart Control’ and pop it on my existing Road Machine… currently on sale for 20% off at $359USD on sale. 
  2. Purchase the Wahoo Kickr Snap 17. I chose this as I feel it is very similar in feel and noise level. I do want to keep things relatively quiet… in this noise ballpark and probably not much more money than this? I think this set up is selling for $480USD on Clevertraining site right now with their 20% sale.
  3. Stay with what I got just start using Zwift. I currently have not yet tried Zwift with my current setup. 
  4. Something else?

Looking forward to hearing from experienced users. Most eager to hear from those who have tried both Kinetic Smart Control AND Wahoo Kickr. Secondly, I am very interested to hear from anyone using a Kinetic Smart Control unit.

Also, would very much like to use my Stages Power Meter so that when I’m out on the REAL road, the power numbers I’ve been training with have more meaning.

Thanks so much everyone!



Hi Mike,

First I am somewhat in your same boat/crossroads.  My wife and I use both the Road Machine and Rock and Roll trainers (for several years now) and love them for their quality build.  That said, I was REALLY excited to see the option to upgrade one or both of our trainers to the smart control unit.  


  1. keep my current trainer frame format

  2. only spend $359 to upgrade to smart trainer capability

  3. bigger 14 lb flywheel compared to Wahoo’s 10 lb


  1. No ANT+ support which means the power generated from the trainer cannot be displayed on my Garmin

  2. It seems the cadence display from the trainer will not match up with Zwift.  (So for me, I would have to link my Garmin wireless/ANT+ sensors to Zwift separately from the trainer = longer setup time)

  3. Wahoo apparently has a “power match” capability which allows you to utilize your current power meter setup rather than calculated power from the trainer.  Thus the 3% +/- difference in accuracy disappears.

When I got the email today about the Kinetic smart control unit with 20% off, I was about to pull the trigger, but after finding out the above I think I’ll try to sell my Kinetic trainer(s) to pay for the difference in the new Kickr for only $120 more.

I, like you have felt like I’ve been “missing out” on the opportunity to ride virtual options of some of the triathlon/road bike courses I may be going to later.

Hope you find this useful,

In Him,


PS: good success on your 70.3 journey! I’ve been blessed to complete a few 70.3 and 140.6 events and hope you see the same happen.

Hi Mike,

The advantage of a Smart trainer & Zwift is that is simulates gradient changes. If that is what you feel you are missing out on, then you should invest in a smart trainer.

If you don’t need a Smart trainer to change the resistance for you, then I would argue you would benefit more from rollers. You should asking your trainer what they think about rollers.

Your Stages power meter should have ANT+ and ANT+ it is one to many, so you can use both your “Garmin along with TP” and Zwift simultaneously!

I’ve put a Winter season on a Kickr Snap and recently tried a Smart Control (Rock and Roll) trainer for a couple weeks (riding every day):

Compared to the Snap the Kinetic is junk. It’s noticeably louder and, at some rpms, sounds like a jar of loose screws. The lack of ANT+ is (IMO) a huge drawback. (Kinetic gets all defensive about this).The only thing I prefer about the Kinetic is the ‘rock and roll’ aspect, and that isn’t (for me) enough reason to put up with noise and no ANT+.

I sent the Kinetic back and will stick with the Snap. Wahoo is just a better package (and cheaper, too!).

But I think I agree with some of the other comments – the Road Machine + power meter may be all you need for what you want.