The Battle Of The Indoor Bike Trainer: Kinetic’s Rock And Roll vs. The Evo Indoor Fitness Bike
Throughout the past few months I have put the Evo Indoor Fitness Bike to the test by racing and winning several triathlons around Southern California.
99% of my cycling training everyday for at least an hour is on the Evo Indoor Fitness Bike. I am not your typical triathlete standing at 6’3 and weighing in around 215 lbs on a good day. The muscle endurance and core training workouts that I get from the Evo bike translate to some serious speed on my triathlon bike times during races.
This is all very unconventional and not the ‘typical’ way to train for cycling power and endurance, however I love it because it’s safe and effective. Anyone can ride the Evo as it requires no riding experience and it safe and easy to use. Just like any indoor cycling bike there is a resistance knob in the front and comfortable handlebar and seat adjustments to meet all your needs.
The Evo Fitness Bike is a new type of indoor cycle that mimics the natural pedaling motion of outdoor bikes and requires balance, core strength, and upper body muscular endurance. It accomplishes this through a unique frame that sways like a real bike, allowing users to put more power into each pedal stroke by counterbalancing their weight. Unlike typical indoor cycles that have fixed frames, the Evo Fitness Bike movement feels natural, allowing athletes to seamlessly transition from indoor to outdoor training without awkward balance issues. Jack Nunn used the Evo Fitness Bike and a new training program called TriCore to prepare for his third Ironman. TriCore combines the unique sway functionality of the indoor cycle with high intensity interval training to obtain the conditioning, strength, and balance necessary to compete in the Ironman. Lately, there has been some debate as to whether the Evo and the TriCore indoor cycling program can be as competitive and effective as a real-time indoor cycling trainer. The answer is absolutely… YES! And it can offer you even more…
Let’s go through the my top 5 differences and you can make the decision on your own.
The Kinetic as well as other indoor cycling trainers can retail for around $500 plus tax and shipping. The Kinetic Rock and Roll indoor trainer has a cost of nearly $800. This is clearly already a disadvantage in comparison to the Evo Indoor Fitness Bike. Let me remind you that with the purchase of the Kinetic Indoor trainer you must also purchase a road bike to train with and set it up every time you want to ride on the trainer. A decent ‘first time’ road bike will cost you around $800 and then the kinetic or other trainers will bump that cost up past $1,500. The Evo fitness bike base model will cost you around $1,200 and can be used by everyone and not only yourself without all the hassle of tedious set up and adjustments to the seatpost and handlebars on a traditional road bike. Plus, you won’t have to worry about all the wear and tear that you are putting on your personal road bike. In the end you would be saving around $300-$500 that you could put towards a good racing bike in the future once you feel the need to start doing any triathlons or bike tours.
The convenience factor with the Evo bike is amazing. Not only does the Evo feel more durable and sturdy than other indoor trainers but it already gives you the real time feel of a real road bike without having to use your own bike. The fast and easy handlebar and seat adjustments make it available for friends and family to use the Evo Bike. The Evo Fitness Bike comes with a standard, specially designed set of handlebars that allow for the four most commonly used hand positions. They also feature holders for two large water bottles and a center platform for smart phones. By incorporating the input of outdoor and indoor cyclists, the InfiniteFit™ Handlebars are ideal for all riders. There are 5 different hand positions that can be utilized on the InfiniteFit Handlebars in order to work specific abdominal muscles throughout your core.
The Evo Fitness Bike has a very durable steel frame that is made with an innovative cantilever design that has gone through rigorous static and dynamic testing. The Evo Fitness Bike crank and pedal system has a versatile design that accommodates both cycling shoes and standard gym shoes. The extra durable cranks can withstand almost any amount of force you can dish out. The Evo Fitness Bike features a high-quality, durable seat that is both comfortable and easy to adjust. The seat is designed to fit every rider, not just hardcore cyclists. However, if you need to have a racing style seat, it is an option on the Evo cx or Evo mx models. Since there are no chains involved the Evo indoor bike is virtually maintenance free as it does not require moving the chain in any direction due to the typical ‘stretch’ in bike chains that happens over time. The Orb™ Planetary Gear Drive System has a compact, single axis design that negates the need for a belt, chain, or external flywheel. It is a completely enclosed, three piece crank with an aligned sun gear.
Unlike typical indoor cycles, the Evo Fitness Bike frame rocks like a real bicycle. Whether you realize it or not, your core muscles and upper body are used when you ride a bike outdoors. They help to stabilize and balance your body while you pedal. Cycling professionals are able to use this rocking motion to counter-sway the bike, throwing more power into the pedals when they climb hills or perform all-out sprints. To see this motion, simply watch the next Tour de France and pay attention to how their bikes move when they stand. Jack Nunn developed TriCore Indoor Cycling to take advantage of the Evo Fitness Bike sway frame. The rocking motion of the indoor cycle offered Jack, an avid triathlete and Iron Man competitor, the opportunity to safely train for competition while also giving him the natural feel of an outdoor cycle.
With the Kinetic Rock and Roll, you have to use an wrench to remove the long green legs and the flywheel doesn’t fold that easily. How loose the bolts are in the back of the trainer, will affect how far over the bike can sway. This can be a little scary at first but then when mounting the bike you should use more caution than normal. After my first few rides, I began to feel more and more confident and switched to my tri frame. Other concerns I had while setting up the Kinetic Rock and Roll revolved around my comfort in properly adjusting the rear bolts to stabilize the trainer. A good tip is to tighten the bolts it until they feels too tight, then to loosen them a few turns equally on both sides. Once you are then ready to place the bike on the trainer, check to ensure the rear wheel is centered. If it isn’t, go to the left side of the trainer and unscrew the threaded arm a little bit. This ought to center the bike for you. If the bike is not perfectly centered, you will lean further to one side than the other.
Here are the list of triathlon races and results I have done since November 2012 while training nearly 100% on the Evo Indoor Bike…
Full Ironman Cozumel
*Avg Bike Speed Of 22.1 mph
Tinsel Sprint Triathlon
Won My Age Group *Avg Bike Speed 25.65 mph
Laguna Sprint Triathlon
Won My Age Group *Avg Bike Speed 26.56 mph (1st overall on bike portion)
Race On The Base Sprint Triathlon
Won Clydesdale Division (2nd overall on bike portion)
Steelman Challenge Sprint Triathlon
Won My Age Group (1st overall on bike portion)
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Jack Nunn is the head trainer and owner of Roworx. Jack is a former national team rower who has competed in more than 100 triathlons, including 9 full Ironmans. He has created a system of rowing that prepares the whole body for both competition and fitness longevity.