Kurt Kinetic Smart Control - does it work with Zwift? what is required for a PC user?

I use my trainer exclusively with Zwift. Might want to use it with TrainerRoad or something else someday, but right now it is just Zwift.

I would like to purchase a smart trainer that will adjust the resistance based on the grade of the “road” on Zwift.

My current set-up:

  • Kurt Kinetic Rock-n-Roll original (dumb) that I love the road feel and the side-to-side action.
  • A Windows 10 PC that is a few years old, connected to wifi, and ANT+ dongle
  • HDMI cable from the PC to a large screen TV. Critical to my Zwift experience.
  • My SRM power meter and Garmin HR broadcasting ANT+.
  • I LOVE the fact that when I end the ride, the workout data is uploaded to Strava and TraininPeaks. TrainingPeaks synchs with WKO4, which means I don’t have to futz with files at all. I ride, my ride is published to Strava, and I can analyze it in WKO4.
  • I use the SRM head unit as a back-up in case something fails.

I’ve spent a couple hours reading the DC Rainmaker trainer evaluation, most of the comments, and the KK web site. I’m still not clear if I can buy the Kurt Kinetic Smart Power Control upgrade, swap it onto my Rock-n-Roll frame, and have it work with my set-up. I am reluctant to add my iPhone into the mix and I certainly will not use my iPhone as the display for Zwift. I want Zwift on the big screen TV. Anything else is a showstopper.

Would I be able to upgrade to the KK Smart Power Control and start Zwifting with my set-up as is? or would I have buy other stuff to make it work? 

The KK representatives on DC Rainmaker’s site talked about an older PC being able to communicate with the KK Smart Power Control through wifi. Would that require a BLTE dongle? If I was using a BLTE dongle, would I still need the ANT+ dongle or would that be unnecessary? Is the BLTE dongle the only thing I would have to buy?

If I upgrade my current Kurt Kinetic Rock-n-Roll with the Kurt Kinetic Smart Control Power Unit, will I be able to use Zwift on the big screen TV?

Most importantly: are there any KK Smart Power Control owners using it on Zwift? What is your experience – is it easy? reliable? hassle-free?

Hello - I did not have success with the Kurt Kinetic working properly. I had to return the unit to Kurt. I don’t feel confident that you will not have issues with the unit itself. Good luck. BTW - I am pretty savvy with computer “stuff” so not a noob.

Bummer! When was that? I found some comments on Amazon where people who tried to get it to work in September and October had a lot of trouble, but other people who were trying it in December we’re able. When were you attempting to get it to work?

Everyone has different experiences. I could not get it to pair at all. Everything else I have works - Kurt was not good and I have a Kurt Kinetic trainer that I love (with the big fly wheel).

GIve it a try and good luck - it was over a year ago. I gave up on it.

The short answer is, yes the Kinetic Smart Control works with Zwift and on Windows you do need to use the Zwift Mobile Link on a smart phone to bridge the bluetooth communication.  You can buy the control unit itself and mount it on your current Rock & Roll stand – it is sold separately.

I’ve ridden about 30 hours or so with mine.  It has a very good road feel, it’s quiet and quite durable.  I use it on a R&R stand as well.  The only issue is that the power figures are reading high for it.  Kinetic has some updated firmware on this that tightens this up dramatically (I’ve tested it too) and they hope it is ready for release very soon.

Hey Jim, 

Just curious if you went ahead with the Smart Control for your RnR? If so, has it been working well for you or any setup issues or suggestions you care to share?

I’m in same boat thinking about upgrading to the RnR with Smart Control next week.

Riding on Kurt Kineic Smart Unit RR (upgraded from the dumb model).


zwift is connecting just fine at the moment.

I’m using KK Rock n Roll Smart Control in a similar manner that you are.

I’ve got it first pairing to my phone (Android 8) through bluetooth (connects to the sensors and starts mobile Zwift). I like being able to control Zwift (messages, turns, full map view etc.) from my phone while on the bike but this is optional of course.

Then through bluetooth, my Macbook is picking up the sensors (Garmin HR through ANT+ dongle) and that’s where I’m “watching” my ride on Zwift. I could HDMI this to my TV but I don’t, doesn’t impact the functionality at all though.

When I finish a ride, it auto uploads to Strava, no problem. This is a sync setting between Zwift and Strava and has nothing to do with KK.

Your setup doesn’t sound like it needs any additional investment to work.

I had an issue with the sensors once and had to use WiFi to connect to the trainer and it was simple. I just switched the setting on Zwift to search with WiFi vs. Bluetooth and it was done. No additional dongle was needed for this but I think maybe it needs the phone to be paired via bluetooth and connected to WiFi, otherwise I don’t get how it’s connecting to the KK but I could be wrong.

I love the Rock n Roll Smart Control, makes a big difference with my training. However, it has its issues. I’ve had mine replaced due to faulty bluetooth and every now and then on my current one the sensors drop their connection which is frustrating mid-ride. This could be an Android issue though, hard to tell which device is causing this drop.

It’s also worth noting their firmware updates take FOREVER and frequently break things. I end up leaving it “updating” for an hour before just unplugging everything and restarting. Never update the firmware right before a ride unless you have ample time to spare.

KK is very responsive with their customer service at least and they were willing to replace my smart control unit without questions.

I hope this helps. Cheers!

Great summary of your experience, Alyson.  I do some testing for the firmware when there are beta releases, so we will keep doing our best to make sure that bugs don’t get into the main release.  You are right about needing to power cycle the trainer after a firmware update though for best results.

On that note, there is some good stuff coming.  Kinetic is updating the trainers to use FTMS, which is the industry standard for controlling trainers with Bluetooth.

I’ll relay back to Kinetic your concerns about how long the firmware update takes.  It takes about 5 minutes for me, but I agree that this seems a bit long.