Neo 2T Smart
We'll be the first to admit that indoor training is not our favorite part of the off-season, but it's certainly better than letting your fitness dwindle and losing your competitive edge by the time spring comes around. Thankfully we're no longer condemned to mindlessly spinning away on the rollers when the weather outside is bleak, as the new crop of smart trainers does a pretty good job simulating the feel of riding on the road, and they can pair with training apps like Zwift to keep things entertaining for the duration of the workout. One brand that consistently stands out above the rest is Tacx, and the Neo 2T is their new flagship model. The Neo 2 was already widely recognized as one of the quietest and most powerful trainers on the market, and the 2T builds upon that platform with redesigned internals that make it even more silent and powerful than the original, as well as improved axle compatibility that allows it to fit a wider range of bikes right out of the box. Tacx also added ANT+ Cycling Dynamics to the firmware, allowing you to use the pedal stroke analysis feature with third party software such as Garmin Edge computers, making it easier than ever to monitor your output.
Diving a little deeper into the Neo 2T's internals, the biggest change is a redesigned motor with stronger magnets. This gives the trainer more torque (hence the "T" designation in the name), which eliminates the slipping feeling that past versions exhibited during hard sprints at lower speeds, like when you're powering up a tough climb. The placement of the magnets is also revised, which reduces the vibration transferred to the floor and lowers the noise level caused by internal air displacement. This makes the Neo 2T smoother and quieter than any previous generation. The redesigned internals also make the trainer more responsive to speed and incline changes, with dynamic inertia quickly compensating for weight, speed, and incline changes to ensure the most realistic ride feel possible.
The Neo 2T also sees improved axle compatibility, allowing it to fit just about any bike including road bikes with disc brakes and most mountain bikes. In addition to standard quick-release skewers, the trainer includes adapters for 10 x 135, 12 x 142, and 12 x 148mm axles. This means you can train on the exact bikes you will be racing on, be it on the road or on the trails.
Other notable features that are unique to the Neo series carry over to the Neo 2T. Like before, the trainer doesn't require an external power source to operate, generating its own energy from your pedaling force and making it easy to use the trainer anywhere you like. If you do plug it in, the Descent Simulation feature is enabled, which simulates the pull of gravity when you're going downhill. This resembles the effect of freewheeling by giving your legs a breather when you're descending, just like an actual road ride. When paired with apps like Zwift or the Tacx Film app, the trainer will also mimic the vibrating sensation of riding over cobble stones or gravel roads—livening up your training session and setting it further apart from the rest of Tacx's trainers.
A few more relevant details help distinguish the Neo 2T from other trainers in Tacx's lineup. Its max power is 2,200 watts (200 higher than Tacx's other high-end direct-drive and wheel-on options), it measures watts to a claimed 1% accuracy (a full 1.5% sharper than the Flux 2 Smart unit and well beyond any wheel-on unit's ability), and it simulates inclines up to 25% (putting it 5% higher than Tacx's closest wheel-on unit and 9% beyond the Flux 2, its closest direct-drive competition).
The Neo 2T is Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible, allowing it to pair with your smartphone, GPS head unit, tablet, or computer. It receives resistance and terrain input from Tacx's own software, Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, Sufferfest, Kinomap, FulGaz, BKool, and Road Grand Tours. It includes one month of free membership to Tacx's Premium software, which lets you ride with an array of high quality films, enjoy 3D map rides by linking your Strava account or uploading logged GPS data, participate in power-based and goal-specific structured training plans, and much more.
- Tacx's flagship trainer gets quieter and more realistic
- Stronger magnets improve ride feel when climbing or accelerating
- Revised magnet position reduces noise and floor vibrations
- New internals improve responsiveness to speed or incline changes
- Improved axle compatibility fits a wider range of bikes
- Pedal stroke analysis feature now works with 3rd party software
- Descent simulation mimics freewheeling effect of riding downhill
- Compatible with Shimano/SRAM 8 - 12-speed cassettes (cassette not included), Campy, SRAM XD and XD-R freehub bodies sold separately