My Turbo is Crooked

My Turbo is Crooked

Earlier this week I saw a tweet from GCN @gcntweet asking about a cycling component that I’d “dream of owning.” Naturally there was just one answer that I have right now, though to be fair there are quite a few. One of the pricier things I’d love is a new turbo trainer.

I’m currently using a Kurt Kinetic turbo that is in the “old” style – I’m fairly sure. It is about 11 years old, and has actually held up really well in that time. It’s a rear-wheel resistance fluid trainer.

I replied to the GCN tweet saying I’d love something from Tacx or Wahoo, thinking about how great it would be to have a direct drive trainer. Personally I’m less concerned with ERG/Smart since I have an on-bike power meter. But it would still be awesome, no doubt. In the tweet I mentioned that my turbo trainer has a bent frame.

Surprisingly, I got a great response from a gentleman at Kinetic. He replied asking for more info on my bent turbo via e-mail. This led to him suggesting it may be a warranty issue (lifetime warrant on the frame is pretty great) and to submit a warranty claim. He also asked many questions about how it is set up, trying to figure out what might be causing it. In short, top notch customer service. And surprising too.

So I took some shots of the bike on the trainer. It’s clearly on an angle, and while it might not look like much it is definitely a problem. Discomfort in a big way, but also I fear the potential of a bio-mechanical problem, and carbon bike frame problem. With the bike on an angle, my weight is surely not distributed properly, and with the big hours I put in on the trainer I do think a bio-mechanical problem is likely. It might actually be a major contributor to some of the challenges I’ve had injury-wise over the last year. And with such an expensive bike, I’m worried about cracking the carbon frame. Again, having the weight not distributed properly.

The top picture shows how it is set up, while the bottom shows the extent of the angle. It’s clearly there. The bottom photo was taken with the base of my cell phone sitting flat on a piece of wood. I wanted to try to get a fair shot of what was happening.

So the up-to-the-minute update is that I’ve submitted the warranty claim as per his suggestion, and am waiting to hear back. This turbo has done me very well over the last 10 years, and I’m quite pleased thus far to see how Kinetic has chosen to approach this particular issue. Kudos to them for stepping up the customer service, and who doesn’t love a lifetime warranty?


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