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Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

$1,369.99

Item # TAC0026

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  • One Color, One Size ($1,369.99)
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Item # TAC0026

Description

The smart one.

The Tacx Neo Smart Trainer represents a new paradigm of training functionality. It's a true direct-drive machine that Tacx claims is the quietest, most realistic trainer to date. This realism even extends to mimicking the virtual road surface with compatible training apps, which is something that not even the Genius trainers can do. It's Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible, and it receives resistance and terrain input from Tacx's own software, Zwift, Kinomap, Skuga, Trainer Road, FulGaz, The Sufferfest, Cycleops Virtual Training, BKOOL, Golden Cheetah, Maximum Trainer, Perfpro, and VeloReality. It's also compatible with Garmin's 520 and Magellan's Mio 505 head units.

  • A cycling trainer that makes you feel the road
  • Tacx's quietest, most realistic unit to date
  • Syncs with various apps for interactive training sessions
  • Mimics gradients up to 25%
  • Compatible with most 9, 10, and 11 speed cassettes

Tech Specs

Resistance:
magnetic
Wireless:
Bluetooth, ANT+
Dimensions:
[base] 750 x 575mm
Recommended Use:
training

Reviews & Community

REVIEWS

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Just like riding a bike outside

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

I was researching both the Tacx Neo and Wahoo Kickr smart trainers. Both are quiet, but for me the Wahoo had a high pitch noise while riding that was not loud, but I was annoying to me. Others may not have the same noise concerns. Ultimately, I decided on the Neo.

Please note, the Neo does not come with a rear cassette. I ordered a new cassette and chain to eliminate any potential noise from mixing old and chain drivetrain components. And I would recommend doing so if your chain is a season or two old. If you decide to use your current rear cassette, it will need to be removed and installed on the Neo.

After getting the Neo out of the box and reviewing the set-up. I was not super clear with the instructions and required a little internet searching to confirm which spacer was required for my 10 speed Shimano drivetrain. Depending if your bike has 9, 10, or 11 speeds, each requires a different spacer to get the cassette in the proper place. Thankfully all the spacers are included. I did notice some chainline issues and some extra noise from the rear derailleur not aligning perfectly, a few turns of the barrel adjuster provided enough adjustment to get it to not rub.

Next, remove the rear wheel and route the chain over the cassette and tighten the Neo’s skewer. Properly tighten and make sure the bike is securely attached to the trainer.

Also, it is recommended to update the trainer’s firmware. Simply download the Tacx Utiity app, sync it to the Neo and within a few minutes the software is updated.

There are numerous software options available to provide real world resistance and interactivity. Zwift, Sufferfest, Cyclops Rouvy, TrainerRoad, Tacx Training, and the list goes on. You can run them on your smartphone, tablet, or computer and connect to the Neo via Bluetooth/ANT+.

I installed the Zwift app on my iPad and created an account. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on, and Zwift will guide you through the steps of pairing to the trainer. It is simple and reliable to connect them.

In Zwift you appear at the side of the road, and when you start pedaling you now are riding in a virtual world with other riders from around the. Since the Neo is a smart trainer it calculates your speed and power output even if you do not have a power meter.

As you pedal how does it feel? Amazingly like riding a bike outside. Obviously, riding indoors will never be a perfect simulation with the wind in your face, the scenery, and freedom.

But you can either ride the Neo with or without being plugged into an outlet. If it is not powered it will provide a static level of resistance, but it will not change resistance as it would powered and synced with a smart trainer software such as Zwift.

Expected more at this price.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Replaced my Computrainer based on reviews. Neo cadence is worthless. Reads either correct cadence or way over 100. Not consistent. For this price it should work perfectly. Had to add a Garmin cadence sensor to crank arm to get accurate cadence. Still trying to get PerfPro to sync and control resistance. . Zwift works fine.

Avg. ride time: 4h 10m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Why did I wait so long?

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I am new to indoor cycling, though I have wanted to get started for quite awhile. This Tacx Neo is the perfect introduction, because I won't have to bemoan a system with better features and capabilities that comes out in the future.



It was easy to set up. My LBS was kind enough to put the cassette on and check that it would work the way I wanted. BTW - they do not sell this brand.



Anyway, after second-guessing myself on attaching the bike, I was up and running. I needed to update the firmware. Believe Tacx when they tell you to shut off all other applications running Bluetooth while you are updating. I figured they were just saying that, like applications tell you to shut down other applications while installing. Well, you actually need to. After a couple of false starts, I was updated.



Then Zwift. WOW - so easy. It found the Neo and we were good to go. Well, the equipment was. I quickly discovered that indoor cycling is a whole different animal. I decided to build up my strength and endurance by gradually increasing my ride time.



It is quiet. So quiet that I decided to rethink my plan of having to ride it in the garage.



It is easy, especially the software part.



This experience is, as others have said, a video game that is actually GOOD FOR YOU! Looking forward to many happy hours with my bike and Neo.



Almost forgot - I'm using this with a 2012 Ruby Comp. She's happy to be indoors.



Treat yourself!

Why did I wait so long?
Avg. ride time: 4h 5m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Works

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This machine works. Biggest pro is that it is quiet. Use it with the CC Merlin, as well as a CAAD 12. No complaints with fit. Sits in one place in the house and so not a lot of moving. Have moved it to the garage (Texas) for heat acclimatization and it isn't convenient to carry, but not impossible. Has a one-up on other trainers in that you can use it without plugging it in. I use this with Trainer Road and it works. Erg mode is relentless opportunity for adaptation. Had it for about a year, putting about 4-7 hours on it a week, no issues. Strong recommendation for those looking for a quiet, reliable, accurate indoor trainer.

Extremely nice machine

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I had a Wahoo Kickr (1st generation) which I really liked. It was a bit noisy and I live in an apartment. My wife was complaining about the noise from the other rooms - so I decided to swap it out for the Neo. (This was before the Kickr Gen 2 came out - which is supposed to be substantially more quiet). I like this machine marginally better than I liked the Kickr.
Pros:
- Virtually silent
- Works like a charm
- Looks like a rocket ship - so cool
- Realistic feel when riding over cobbles and planks - also cool
- Feels more "life-like" due to magnet drive vs. flywheel on Kickr. Makes downhill more realistic

Cons:
- A little tougher to mount my bike than it was with the Kickr
- Price
- Setting up and breaking down takes longer and is slightly awkward due to a lack of a handle and the way the legs open and shut. It's not easy to break down and to move around. But if you just leave it in one place - no big deal.

I would give it a 5 if not for the breakdown/setup issue.