Upgrade to Road Machine Smart 2 trainer worth it?

I have a Kinetic Road Machine fluid trainer, and I’ve always had this doubt that the watts registered in Zwift don’t match my pedaling. There’s no way to check in zwift if it’s correct, so I’ve been riding with this concern ever since.

Then the other day I saw a Kinetic Road Machine Smart 2 trainer, and I’m considering selling mine and buying this one.

A few questions:

  • As I mentioned before, I’ve always had the doubt that zwift is registering the wrong wattage in my current fluid trainer. I’ve even calibrated it with the Kinetic app, but I still have this concern. Will this Kinetic Road Machine Smart 2 trainer eliminate any doubt?

  • What’s the difference between riding in zwift with Road Machine fluid trainer vs Road Machine Smart 2? Is one more precise than the other? I only use the trainer for Zwift.

  • Is this upgrade to the Road Machine Smart 2 trainer worth it?

The only reason for the upgrade is to know, without a doubt, that the watts being displayed in Zwift during a racer are correct and precise.


Based on what I’m seeing, the only significant difference between the original Road Machine and the Smart 2 is the addition of the InRide 3 sensor.

You could probably upgrade your current road machine by adding the InRide sensor.

If you’re in the mood to upgrade, I would suggest getting a smart trainer. Kickr (original, core, or snap), or one of the Kinetic smart control trainers. You may even be able to just add a Kinetic Control Power Unit to your current road machine.

I’ve been using a road machine “smart” trainer for the last 3 month, having had Kinetic 10 years ago. It does record the power. However, the overall ride is similar and you still can’t coast. Otherwise it’s a great cheap trainer.

The Road Machine is a great dumb trainer.
Add the InRide 3 sensor, and it just gets better.
It is accurate but does need to be warmed and calibrated.

I also was unhappy when I first got it.
I had been using an older train with Z Power and I was happy with my performance.
I was top C borderline B.
Then I road a Zwift race with my friends from my real life club.
I was hanging with them in heart zone 3 and they were already in zone 5.
One guy is 26 years younger than me and I knew I couldn’t do that in real life.

I got the Road machine and instantly dropped to Cat D (eye opening bummer) but now the group races are more accurate.
I have trained up to Cat C.

I would say, if you are currently using the Road Machine with an InRide 3, then the watts you are seeing are pretty close to your real performance.
I rec using the InRide 3 so you don’t have to use any Z Power readings.
If you get an InRide 3, I find using the Ant+ connection option to be the most reliable.
Z Power is fine for free rides, work outs and social rides but is unfair to others when racing.

Thanks for your reply.

So, if I’m using Zwift, a regular Road Machine trainer uses ZPower while a Road Machine Smart 2 Trainer uses InRide?

How would zwift “know” to use InRide instead of zpower?

I’m currently using the regular Road Machine without the InRide attachment.

The Smart 2 trainers with Inride 3 sensors will provide all the necessary data to Zwift: power, cadence
This is a fluid or real smart trainer (depends on the model) that provides power to Zwift, so you will be seen on Zwift as a rider with powermetter. No DQ for ZPower on zwiftpower.com/
Well the disadvantages of the fluid or wheel-on trainers vs real smart trainers - already described multiple times (it is wheel on, needs to be calibrated each time etc…etc…etc…)
The advantages fluid ones:
_-- simplicity, you cannot break it )) (well, probably cannot)
_— and by the way, very good road feel and it is quite - you will hear mostly the noises of your bike and wheel, not the trainer. ))
If you are low on budget, take it, it is a good trainer.

When the InRide sensor is installed on the trainer, you just pedal a few times to “wake up” the sensor and the Zwift program will automatically detect it and you are good to go.
In addition to the Power Source automatically being d, I also always am prompted to also pair a “controllable” trainer.
I don’t have a controllable trainer so I assume this selection does nothing for me. I have disabled this and also left it alone and have noticed no difference.
I use a PC with an Ant+ dongle so the only decision I have to make is to pair using Bluetooth or Ant+.
I recommend using Ant+ for all pairings because it seems to work more easily with fewer headaches but I have paired it both ways.
(the InRide 3 green transmits both Ant+ and Bluetooth).
I don’t recommend relying on the InRide sensor for cadence because it is 5-10 reps slow.

Also, as mentioned earlier, I think if you just buy the InRide 3 sensor for $50, you can turn any Kenetic trainer into a Smart 2 trainer. If this is the case, I’m not sure about the use of the term “smart” because the trainer does not alter resistance on the hills.

The sensor appears to be sold out on many web sites so I think a lot of people are doing this.
I got a used trainer and the sensor for less than $200.
There are so many people up grading to direct drive true smart trainers, that the used trainer market is flooded with Road machines.
I encourage everyone on Z Power to get one and an InRide sensor.
This would address one of the major issues with inaccurate trainers on Zwift racing.
If the wheel slips, your speed won’t be increased because the power is calculated by the roller, not the wheel.
If you have an error in setup, you are penalized, not rewarded.
This is a “fail safe” or “Fail to safe” situation.

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Yep. Great advice.