To Balance/ Rocker Plate or Not...?

Background- about to upgrade from my trusty Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roll to a Smart Trainer. Still undecided as to which trainer (!), but likely to be one of these:

Kickr Core
Kickr v5
Direto XR

I’m leaning towards the Core tbh, but I’m wondering whether to invest in a rocker base. I’m obviously used to the movement of my Rock n Roll, and wondering whether I’ll miss that movement if I just go static/ fixed Smart.

I’m not particularly bothered about ride feel in relation to out-of-the-saddle stuff, as I know it’s different- it’s more the in-saddle comfort of being able to shift about a little.

Any similar experiences or advise? Only one I’ve really looked at so far is the Lifeline one at £199 which even at that discounted price is steep for a cpl bits of board and rubber…

i spent under $60 to build my own, and it does help with my in the saddle comfort. I definitely wouldn’t ride indoors without it now.

< $15 for wood (I think I used 3/4" or 1/2" thick plywood (Lowe’s/Home Depot)
$25 for pillow block bearings (amazon)
< $5 for a steel rod that fits through the bearings (Lowe’s/Home Depot)
$8 for Spike Balls that I can adjust the level of movement. (amazon)
< $5 for little U shaped fasteners to hold my kickr to the top plate (Lowes/Home Depot)
(power tools and screws were not factored into cost)


I only have a few rides on the Rock & Roll, but many years on a variety of rocker plates. I test on rigid once in a while, and it’s an unwelcome experience each time. I get more saddle irritation and a generally odd feeling from the locked in connection.

Everyone is different, but if you have really become accustomed to motion, I expect you will be looking to add it again. You can always start rigid and see how it goes. If you like it, keep it that way. If you don’t, there are many ways to add motion from cheap to expensive DIY and the growing list of sellers too.

I can possibly help with more info as needed.

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Cheers for those comments. I’ve seen/ heard of ppl going the DiY route, but never really given it much consideration (lazy). Maybe I should look into it a bit more…

The more I think about it, the more I feel I would indeed miss that motion, and the additional comfort it offers.

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Buy the Rockr lite. It’s cheap and will have at least the amount of flex as you had before.

If the hint from the currency he used above (British Pounds) is a true, the Rockr Pod Lite might be more expensive once you factor in the shipping. Won’t hurt to get an estimate, but he may be better to check the more “local” options for the UK region (if I am guessing right).

For reference, here is a UK list of makers. I have other regions in the doc too, if that guess is wrong.

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Good point! I seem to remember that Wiggle one getting a lot of good reviews.

Yeah, the LifeLine (and any of the other RideNow clones by KOM Cycling, JetBlack, Zing) are decent for the money. The decking is not the top level, and some do note unfinished/sharp/rough edges on some units, but I think that is fair for the price.

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Personally I’ve never felt the need for a rocker plate. I mainly do endurance stuff outside so long hours in the saddle are not uncommon. I use a titanium-frame bike on the Kickr and that allows a fair degree of lateral movement. May be different if using a carbon frame.

The deciding factor for me was space - I don’t have it! I can’t leave everything set up permanently so it would be one more thing to have to mess about with and find space to stash away.

If you get the Kickr, you can go this route…I thought it was cheaper than this originally though. Did they raise their prices?

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My 2003 Ti bike is now my trainer bike. I ran it about 18 months on a Kinetic R1 (Direct drive trainer with side to side rocker movement). it was great. Rocker plate motion without the plate, but the accuracy and responsiveness was exceptionally bad, so I switched to a Saris H3. I did not get a rocker plate at the same time and yowza, what a difference. I really disliked being locked in place. I’m not exceedingly handy with woodworking so I dropped the coin on the MP1 rocker+fore/aft plate. (Few if any rockerplates in the US said they’d support an H3) the fore aft takes some getting used to, but I’m SO glad I got the rocker back. It’s like going from a car with automatic unlocking doors and a start button back to mechanical key to unlock and start. Once you’ve done it the new way, the old way just isn’t something you’re keen to opt for.

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I wrote a fairly verbose (sorry) review of the Lifeline rocker plate - top marks from me. Nothing to compare it to other than static riding, but it feels much more natural once you’ve dialled in inflation/offsetting flywheel weight. I’m also one of those people who starts a DIY project, and everything that can go wrong does (AKA fairly inept). Compared to the effort of sourcing materials and DIY, I was happy to pay for the thing to be delivered to my door with very minimal assembly. Plus DIY time is training time. The only real downside as mentioned above is the slightly larger amount of floorspace lost, but you probably weren’t hoarding stuff that close to the bike anyway.

I happily put in 4 hours on my rocker yesterday (TR ride - Longfellow) along with a decent pair of Assos bibs


Sadly, the E-Flex is not directly available outside the US. InsideRide has not established easy options for overseas buying. Can’t hurt to contact them, but I have not heard of anyone successfully getting one outside the US at this time.

As to the price, I think there was one price increase, but that took place over a year ago IIRC (I would have to check my review thread, because I know I covered it in there, but no time to search right now.)

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Ah, thanks…did not realize that.

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Yeah, like many of the smaller builders, they have not really established solid connections for off-shore sales. It’s a shame, because I see requests for it elsewhere (UK, AUS, etc.) fairly often.

Yep, just to confirm I am indeed in UK

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It’s a shame that Kinetic R1 seemed to get a lot of negative feedback. A fully Smart Rock n’ Roll would be great. Not sure what happened to Kurt- have they died a death? I heard support/ customer service all but disappeared?

Kinetic was just posting 20% sales on FB and their site AFAIK. The seem have a pulse at least, if that is any evidence. Sadly, the feedback on most of their electronic enabled gear (power pod & trainers) are less than stellar. All companies show some problems, but I see lots of issues on K stuff, which is a bad sign considering the likely small market share they actually possess in the industry. It’s a shame.

Yes at some point. Originally it was $399 + 40 shipping, now its $449 + 40 shipping.

I have a DIY plate and will never go back. When on vacation this summer I brought my bike and trainer but not the rocker plate. Did one ride and it was so horrible that I built a rocker plate out of spare lumber, hinges, and old tennis balls. Rocker plate all the way! :love_you_gesture: