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The Tacx NEO Smart Trainer: Everything you ever wanted to know

Over the past few weeks Tacx has released two new trainers, the Tacx NEO and the Tacx Genius Smart.  While both of these trainers have similar technical capabilities, the actual hardware aspects of them are dramatically different.  One (the Genius Smart) looks like most traditional trainers that Tacx has built prior, and has similar specs.  Meanwhile, the Tacx NEO is unlike anything that Tacx has previously done.  It goes in the direction of direct drive (versus a rear wheel), while also claiming to be virtually silent.

But is it really silent?  And at $1,599/€1,399 is it worth the substantial premium over other trainers on the market, including offerings from Tacx themselves?  This post is a first look at everything you might need to know to make that decision.  It’s not a full in-depth review, as I just haven’t had enough time yet on the final production unit to make that determination and to be able to have really dug into every last detail – so do keep that in mind.

The Executive Overview:


Short on time? No problem – here’s the low-down…with a tiny bit of relevant history.  Tacx has effectively gone for gold over the last year when it comes to trainers.  They started their train last year at Eurobike (one year ago) with the release of the Smart Trainer series.  This was really their first attempt at getting away from locked in software and hardware.  That line-up included broadcasting on both open ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart channels of power, speed, and cadence.  They did this not just at the higher end products, but rather starting at the cheaper Satori Smart unit, costing $469.

Next, fast forward to this June when Tacx became the first to announce and (in the same day) implement the ANT+ FE-C trainer control protocol.  This allowed 3rd party apps to fully control the Tacx line using ANT+.  Within days the vast majority of ANT+ capable trainer apps announced adoption too.  Then, followed the rest of the higher end trainer industry – now with Bkool, Elite, and Wahoo.

Where we get to now is the Tacx NEO.  Previous to this Tacx had higher end trainers, but they never really felt higher end.  They just felt…cumbersome.  They relied upon software from the company that had a history of being buggy (albeit has improved over the last 12-18 months).  With the NEO though, they’ve made something that’s anything but cumbersome.  A beast perhaps, but a really pretty looking beast.  And one that feels more like the road than any past Tacx trainers.

The NEO weighs in at 48lbs/21kg, the heaviest trainer that I’m aware of to date.  With that weight also comes features; it’s ANT+ FE-C capable and then also broadcasts on ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart for Speed, Power, and Cadence.  This means it’ll work with any apps or devices that are compliant with those standards.

What differentiates the NEO though from something like the Wahoo KICKR are two main aspects: Downhill drive, and noise. Or rather, lack thereof.  First, the noise from the unit is pretty close to silent.  At least the NEO itself – your bike is still going to make some noise, namely the chain.

Then you’ve got downhill drive – this means the unit will actually simulate downhill sections more accurately than a trainer that will just coast to a stop when you stop pedaling going ‘downhill’.  This same functionality is also found on their new Tacx Genius Smart.  Of course, it’s not quite perfect – but it’s better than instantly stopping.

Now, all of this goodness does come at a price. Literally – some $1,600USD (or €1,400).  That’s super pricey for a trainer, and about $500 more than the Wahoo KICKR is today (depending on cassette version that’s included).  And the Tacx NEO doesn’t even include a cassette, so that’ll set you back another $50-70USD (for a basic Ultegra variant).

There are also some short-term app compatibility differences, where the KICKR has the edge in most cases (though not all), that I discuss later in the post.  I think the road feel is largely the same, though some with more refined trainer palates might have different opinions.  So really, the main thing you’re going to want to weigh is how valuable the noise aspect is to you.  Do you need silence?  Or is your standard trainer noise levels acceptable?

Availability for the NEO will be roughly mid to late September for the European markets, and the US following about 4-6 weeks later in mid-late October.  The reason for the difference is simple: The trainer is made in the Netherlands (Europe) and thus it takes about a month for the shipping containers to make it to the US via boat.

Inside the Box:


I picked up one of the first production units from the Tacx folks while at Eurobike last week.  Actually, production unit #6 to be precise.  Like any other product I test, it’ll eventually go back to them.  I ended up unboxing it at the DCR Eurobike RV, simply because that’s what I had available.  But since it had silly-few parts, I actually put it back together nicely and unboxed it again in the DCR Cave – so I’ll give you those pictures since they a little less redneck.

Thus, this unit comes in this well structured box.  I found it travels reasonably well.  First, I had to drag the thing across the massive Eurobike show floor.  Then, we actually chucked it over an 8’ tall fence (seriously, we looked highly sketchy) since it was less work than going all the way around the perimeter.  Then I hauled it across down the road a few hundred more meters.  Then it bumped around the RV for a long weekend, before I did another fiasco of a dance getting it a thousand more kilometers on the train/uber/etc back home. And yet, it still looks pretty.

Once you remove the box you’ll see the unit folded up just like one of those space movie fighter jets:


There’s also a small pile of boxed parts, which include the power adapter, manual, trainer skewer, and then some cassette end caps.

The power supply is dual voltage, so you can use it anywhere in the world.


To complete your install, you’ll first just unfold the wings down.  As you do so you’ll see it’ll change from red to blue, indicating they’re locked in place.  Little buttons on the backside allow you to fold it back up.


Then, you’ll go find a cassette for the unit and install it like installing any other bike cassette.  This piece is a bit of a pain in the ass, because most consumers won’t have the right tools to do this.  And because it’s yet one more thing you need to buy.  I’d really like to see Tacx offer models with the cassettes included for a tiny bit more.


Once the cassette is installed you’ll slide through the included skewer.  Then, you’ll go ahead and plug it into a wall:


With that, you’re ready to ride.

Features & Functionality:

With setup complete we’ll walk through some basic features, first on the hardware side and then on the software side.  You’ll have noticed that the unit sits up off the ground in the center.  It’s kinda neat – and feels like it’s built like a tank.  So despite effectively ‘hovering’ in the middle, I’ve got no concerns of breakage.


As you’ll have noticed, there’s no rear wheel here.  This is a direct drive trainer, which means that you remove your rear wheel on your bike to attach to the trainer.  This reduces wear and tear on your bike’s wheel, as well as virtually eliminates slippage issues that can sometimes happen at steep grades on conventional trainers.


However the downside to this is that it can be a bit finicky to connect the bike to the trainer, especially if you have a bike (such as my triathlon bike) that has rear-facing dropouts.  Hardly impossible or difficult, but like the KICKR it can be a bit cumbersome at times.  In general though, most folks would agree that direct drive trainers are usually preferred, but especially for harder efforts.

Next, at the front of the trainer there’s actually a light system that illuminates below the bike.  This changes based on the intensity that you’re putting out.


Blue for less intensity, red for lots of power (and purple somewhere in the middle).  It’s perhaps a bit cheesy, but it’s also kinda sorta really geeky cool.


Next, on the side of the trainer it has three lights showing you the state of three different features: ANT+, Bluetooth Smart, and whether it’s got power.


When you establish a Bluetooth Smart connection, the BLE light should illuminate.  Whereas ANT+ is always broadcasting, so that’s sorta always on.  And of course, if you don’t have power connected, you won’t get that turned on.  You can actually use the trainer without power.

Now you’ll notice there’s no level or other way to manually control resistance – that all requires software and an app of some sort.  That app could be a phone app, a desktop app, or even a bike computer like the Garmin Edge 520.

The Tacx NEO supports trainer control in one of three ways:

ANT+ FE-C: This is the ANT+ Fitness Equipment Control protocol, and is the new standard for the way ANT+ devices can control fitness equipment, namely trainers.  Read up on that here.  This is mainly for 3rd party apps and devices to control the trainer.  You’ll see this mostly leveraged in desktop apps, some Android apps, and then some hardware devices like the Garmin Edge lineup.


Bluetooth Smart: This enables the trainer to be controlled using Bluetooth Smart.  Today this isn’t yet open to 3rd parties widely, so most of this is to allow the native Tacx applications to talk to the trainer directly, mainly from iOS and Android mobile devices.  Down the road, 3rd parties will start having access to this too (but there isn’t an open/agreed upon standard yet there for trainer control).


Tacx Existing Private-ANT Control: This is for existing Tacx applications to control the device, such as their Tacx Training Suite (TTS).  That suite costs extra money though, so it’s not really something I’m going to focus on here.

All of the above methods are actually supported on all Tacx ‘Smart’ series trainers (except the Satori, since it doesn’t allow electronic control).  Now when it comes broadcasting your information, that’s also accomplished via a few different methods:

ANT+ Speed, Power, and Cadence: The unit will broadcast your speed, power, and cadence as both a combined and separate channel for compatible devices to read and record.  Devices include the entire Garmin lineup, PowerTap products, Suunto Ambit2 series, and many other ANT+ compatible devices.  The appeal here is that you can record data onto devices you already have.


Bluetooth Smart Speed, Power, and Cadence: Just like ANT+, but with Bluetooth Smart instead.  This makes it easy to connect devices from Polar, Suunto (Ambit3), and many iOS & Android apps that support Bluetooth Smart connectivity.  Note that there can be some kinks still here due to the industry still settling a bit – especially with BLE power meters, but thus far things look pretty good on the Tacx front.


Tacx Existing Private-ANT: Like before, Tacx also broadcasts to its desktop apps using a different channel.  This is mostly because those apps aren’t yet fully converted to ANT+ FE-C, but I suspect in time you’ll see that.  If you aren’t using these Tacx desktop apps, this won’t really matter.

Again, the appeal to the above three options is that it basically completely covers you for any modern app/device you’ll use to connect to the Tacx Smart Trainers (i.e. the NEO).  Plus, they’re totally open and easy for 3rd parties to support.

At this point you may wonder how this differs from something like the Wahoo KICKR.  In short, it’s not much different.  The one item of note is that the KICKR doesn’t communicate yet on ANT+ FE-C, but rather a fairly similar version that they’ve had for years (before ANT+ FE-C was released).  It doesn’t matter yet much for 3rd party apps because virtually all of them support the KICKR using the Wahoo ANT variant, but it does matter for products like the Garmin Edge 520/1000, which only supports ANT+ FE-C and not the Wahoo variant.

Speaking of control, let’s talk about some of the basics.  First is controlling the unit.  By default you can just use some of the basic (free) Tacx apps, available on iOS or Android.  For example, here’s their phone iOS app, which allows you basic power and resistance control, by setting the slope and power levels.  While their iPad app expands that and allows purchasing videos at a reasonable price (about $10 per video), as well as a deeper interval/workout creator.  Not too shabby.

But I really think the strength of the Tacx Smart trainer lineup (and any other trainers that embrace openness) is the 3rd party app compatibility.  Out of the box it works with Zwift.  It works with TrainerRoad, and it works with the Edge 520.  And for that matter, any other app that’s implemented the ANT+ FE-C.

Astute followers will remember last week when I did a live Zwift session on Periscope for about 20 minutes at night during Eurobike from the DCR RV.  In fact, you can even do this without any power at all to the trainer.


But I needn’t be in a parking lot to do that, Zwift connects right up instantly as long as you have an ANT+ USB stick plugged into your computer:


And TrainerRoad does much the same, again, just needing an ANT+ USB stick for the PC version, or the ANT+ adapter for the iOS platform.



With FE-C support on the Garmin Edge 520 (and soon the Edge 1000), you can also use that to control the trainer.  During both sound test videos that I did, I used the Garmin Edge 520 to control the trainer directly from the head unit.


This allows you to do anything from re-riding a ride you’ve done outdoors, a ride you’ve downloaded, or just setting a wattage to follow a specific structured workout.


Now the Bluetooth Smart 3rd party app side, which would be leveraged by apps such as those on iOS or Android is a bit less clear.  Major 3rd party trainer app developers have been working with Tacx to get support covered, and Tacx says they’re working on getting something more formal in place as well.  But neither have firmly put a date on things.

I suspect the reason is that there isn’t yet an official Bluetooth Smart control standard for trainers.  Wahoo does it one way, PowerTap another, and Tacx yet something else.  Today, apps like Kinomap and Trainer Road simply work with these manufacturers to bake-in support for each trainer company’s variants.  I expect to see that occur here as well, and find it hard to believe that won’t be in place prior to shipping units to consumers.


(Just to be really clear here, you can still use Bluetooth Smart to control the trainer with the default Tacx apps.  And, you can use Bluetooth Smart to connect to the trainer and read power/speed/cadence from any 3rd party app today.  It’s only control via Bluetooth Smart by 3rd party apps that’s lacking today.)

So what about trainer feel?  Well the unit feels cleaner and more smooth than any other past Tacx trainer I’ve used (and I’ve got a boatload of them).  Because there’s no rear wheel, there’s no slippage.  Plus, the unit will simulate descents.  It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing as the rear ‘wheel’ won’t just stop when you stop pedaling.  This is obviously most notable when descending down steeper hills, such as on a real course video or on Zwift.


It feels as close to riding on a road as other products aimed at replicating that (Wahoo KICKR, Elite Real Turbo Muin, Lemond Revolution).  I’m not sure I’d declare one a winner over the other.  I think one minor thing the NEO has going for it though is a slight bit more lateral movement than the others.  You can actually just tilt it a tiny bit side to side (perhaps 1cm), whereas the KICKR is more locked down.

This allows you a little bit more realistic feel when sprinting or climbing, as the bike sways that little bit.  But I wouldn’t really let that be a deciding factor.  It’s still not riding outside.  There’s no wind in your hair, nor squirrels to dodge.  Perhaps I’m a bit more cynical there when folks talk about true road feel on trainers, as for me…it’s still a trainer.  Just, a really nice trainer (albeit one that can sorta simulate downhill).

Noise, Weight, and Size:


Next we’ll look at the noise.  There’s of course immense interest in this, given the claims of near silence of the trainer.  Sure, Tacx produced an emotional ad showing you out in cow fields – complete with an elegant British voice to make it sound smarter and lots of fancy manufacturing imagery.  But at the end of the day – is it really silent?

Well, mostly.

About the only thing you’re going to hear on the trainer is your bike parts moving and a very slight electronic hum.  For your bike, the chain and its interaction with your front chainring and rear cassette on the trainer will make noise.  Not much, and not enough to be heard in the apartment next door.

But rather than try to explain it in text, I’ve put together two videos showing it.  The first is a sound comparison against the Wahoo KICKR – simply because that’s what most folks are interested in.  In this video I’m in about as non-noise friendly environment as I can think of.  No trainer mats, no carpeting, just the echo-chamber of the DCR Cave:

Next, we shift over to the DCR Eurobike RV rental, where I filmed this inside to again cover noise and volumes:

As you can see – it’s pretty darn quiet.  It’d be hard to be upset with those volume levels.

About the only thing you could potentially be upset about is the weight.  It’s a beast.  It tops in at 48 pounds (22 kilograms).  You really don’t want to be moving this thing very far very often.


It’s a bit awkward to move because it lacks a handle like the KICKR has.  Though once you get the right hold on it, it’s not too bad for short trips:


Next, there’s the size.  The unit has precisely two positions: Folded and unfolded.  The clasps keep it firmly locked in either position, so there’s no worries about snapping your fingers in the unit.  Here’s the folded up position:


And here’s the unfolded (trainer mode) position:


And here’s a nifty animated GIF of everything:


Changing the position is pretty easy and only takes a few seconds.  Finally, to compare it against the Wahoo KICKR in size, you’ll see that it dwarfs it.  Which is quite an accomplishment, since the Wahoo KICKR always felt kinda big previously (in a good way).  Now it looks sorta tiny.


Now of course one of the things with trainers is that weight and materials are important to both stability and long term reliability.  I can’t at this point speak to how well it’ll hold up in 5 or 8 years.  But it (like the KICKR) is built like a tank.  It’s built to take a beating.  Which is what you want.  You don’t want a tipsy trainer, so you want something that can have a wide base (even if it folds up like the NEO and KICKR).  Similarly, you don’t want something with cheap materials that will break after years of placing your bike on and off (and the usual banging that comes with it).  So you want to be leery of thinner plastics or moving parts made out of thin plastic (i.e. some levers).  I’m not seeing any obvious breakpoints at this stage with the NEO.

Comparing the Tacx NEO:


As you can see above, the Tacx lineup of Smart branded trainers has certainly grown (though, it’s got nothing on the quantity of 16 trainers that Elite has in their 2015-2016 lineup).  But I think Tacx has done a better job at creating products at different price points.  Here’s the basic levels – note that all of these trainers broadcast in dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart:

Tacx Satori Smart ($469): Basic trainer that has manual lever to control resistance, but still broadcasts ANT+/BLE and can be calibrated for accuracy.

Tacx Vortex Smart ($629): Least expensive trainer they offer that includes electronic resistance control, and support of ANT+ FE-C (plus the same ANT+/BLE broadcasting).

Tacx Bushido Smart ($959): Same as Vortex, except that it can push a quite a bit more watts and a steeper incline and doesn’t require a power cable, it’s self powered by your pedaling

Tacx Genius Smart ($1,099): Can pump out more resistance again, but most importantly is able to drive the wheel forward to simulate downhill descents on the trainer.

Tacx NEO ($1,599USD): Their top of the line direct drive trainer, the only one they have that you remove the rear wheel. Highest levels of resistance offered by them.

Now I’m sure if you read a bunch of marketing materials they’ll sell you on slight resistance/max wattage levels of each trainer.  But realistically you’re not going to need that.  Unless you’re pumping out 1,000w+ on a regular basis, it’s just not likely to matter.  If you are pumping out 1,000w – then you already know that.  The incline differences can matter if you’re replicating Alpe d’Huez on a regular basis (for slippage), but otherwise you’ll likely not often notice.

In many ways I feel like aside from the NEO, the sweet spot in the Tacx lineup is at the Satori/Vortex levels.  If you don’t need trainer control – the Satori is an excellent value.  Whereas if you want trainer control, the Vortex is very solid and well priced.  I don’t find all that much value in not having to plug in my trainer, nor do I find a ton of value in simulating downhill sections.  But that may be because much of my trainer time is with wattage-focused workouts.  Perhaps as I do more and more Zwift sessions that’d change.


So what about comparing it to the Wahoo KICKR or the Elite Real Turbo Muin?  Well, that’s tricky.  The KICKR and Elite Turbo Muin are roughly in the same ballpark price-wise, in the $1,100-$1,200 range.  Whereas the Tacx NEO is at $1,600USD.  Note that Euro prices are a bit different, so keep that in mind – but generally the Tacx NEO is more competitively priced in Europe to the Elite units.

The biggest short-term challenge the NEO has is 3rd party iOS apps (without adapters).  They haven’t yet published a way for those apps to talk to the NEO, whereas Wahoo has.  And there’s 20+ apps today that support the KICKR, many on iOS.  You can see my massive trainer app post from last year.  Long term though, I think both Tacx and Elite will offer ways for apps to add support for Bluetooth Smart control, it’s just that’ll lag behind the KICKR which already has apps using it.

When it comes to the Elite Turbo Muin, it’s sorta in the same camp as the NEO for apps.  Both have FE-C, so you’ll see all of the FE-C apps support both at the same time (i.e. Zwift, TrainerRoad, Kinomap, and others already).  That list of ANT+ FE-C apps will only grow over the next few weeks.  I’d be blown away if there’s any apps not supporting it by October, given the number of trainers that’ll support it.

So then it really comes down to noise.  How much do you want near-silence?  Is it worth $500?  That’s up to you to decide (or perhaps, more accurately – your house mates and neighbors).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here’s a round-up of what I expect will be frequently asked questions.  I’ll update/add as I see repeat questions.

How much does it cost, and when it’s available?

The trainer is priced at $1,599USD, and €1,399.  This does not include the cost of a cassette, which you’ll need to get elsewhere.  Availability is planned for later this month (September) for Europe, and about 4-6 weeks later for North America.  The delay in timelines is due to the product being shipped (via boat) from Europe to the US.

What is the weight of the unit?

48 pounds, or 22 kilograms.

What does power accuracy look like on the Tacx NEO?

I’m working to collect all that data, but it’s going to take a few more rides.  After getting back to the DCR studio things look good thus far based on just glancing at multiple units, but I haven’t dug into the power files yet and most of the time I wasn’t recording all units yet at once.  Expect to see me update this post with more data soon.  It’ll include multiple power meters to better understand how things line up.  Look for that by early next week.

Meanwhile, Tacx is initially claiming 2% accuracy, but is working to increase that claim to a higher accuracy level with 3rd party validation/testing.

Do you recommend the Tacx NEO or Wahoo KICKR?

I think it’s still too soon there, but see my comments in the previous section on things that might help you decide between them.

Which Garmin units can control the Tacx Smart trainers via ANT+ FE-C?

Today it’s the Edge 520, but Garmin has stated the Edge 1000 will get the update as well.  However, the Edge 510 & Edge 810 will not be updated for ANT+ FE-C control.  No other devices have been announced either.

So wait, are you saying my Garmin can’t connect to the Tacx NEO?

No, that’s NOT what I’m saying.  Rather, only the Edge 520 & Edge 1000 can control it.  All other Garmin devices can READ the data from it.  So for example, the Edge 510 & Edge 810 can pair to the Tacx NEO’s ANT+ power/cadence/speed streams and display and record that data, just like any other ANT+ sensor.

What apps can control the Tacx NEO?

Any app that supports the ANT+ FE-C.  Down the road, it sounds like Tacx will be working with 3rd party apps to get Bluetooth Smart control as well, but that’s not yet here today.  You can check out my massive trainer app guide here from last year.  I’ll be updating that later this fall.

To be clear, the apps made by Tacx today for iOS/Android can control the units directly using Bluetooth Smart.

What the heck is the Tacx “Upgrade Smart”?  And should I buy it?

The Tacx ‘Upgrade Smart’ is basically just a bundle they’ve created with the TTS4 desktop suite (Windows), a small handlebar controller, and then an ANT+ USB adapter.  The handlebar controller is specifically for the Tacx desktop suite, not 3rd party apps.  The TTS4 software includes a more advanced interval function, 3D worlds, Google Earth option (with more licenses), and the ability to buy videos.

Now normally at €180, I’d so no, it’s not worth it.  But for buyers of the Tacx NEO Smart, it’s discounted down to €80 – which makes it slightly more interesting.  I’m not a huge fan of the desktop suite in general, but at that price you’re also getting the ANT+ USB adapter and wireless remote.  So essentially you’re software cost is in the €30-40 range.  If you already have a USB stick though, it’s of less value.

After you get the trainer, look at 3rd party app options first.  Then go from there.  While the Tacx software suite has improved considerably over the years, I think there’s some solid 3rd party options out there.  If those apps don’t fill the gap, then look at Tacx TTS software.

When will an in-depth review be out?

I’m not sure exactly. Likely early to mid October is a safe bet.  With full weeks of Interbike and the ANT+ Symposium between now and then, along with every other week containing work travel, it’s going to be challenging to get as much trainer time as I’d like.  Still, I’ll be answering questions as I go along here in the comments.  So there shouldn’t be really any question as to my thoughts on the unit.

What cassettes is it compatible with?

You can use Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo.  Both 10 & 11 speed.

How does the trainer work when there’s no power connected?

Exactly like the Bushido Smart – which is to say that you power the electronic components of the trainer.  So you can be setup in the middle of the cow pastures in their add and pedal away just fine, even controlling the resistance with your mobile phone.

How do you calibrate the trainer?

Interestingly – it doesn’t actually support any calibration feature (unlike all their past trainers).  It remains to be seen how over time that’ll work.  The theory here being that there’s no moving parts and thus nothing to get out of alignment, nor to warm-up such as a fluid trainer.

Is there a ride weight limit on NEO?

Yes, 125 kilograms /275 pounds.

What is the max resistance power and incline/decline?

On the NEO it’s 2,200w and 25% incline.  Meanwhile it can simulate 5% declines (downhill).

Where’s the Tacx NEO built?

It’s built fully in the Netherlands.  It’s a small European country that has taken cycling to a potentially unhealthy national addiction and cult-like level.  But because they’re usually pretty polite about it, it’s OK.  Plus, everyone loves their waffles Stroopwafels.



There’s no doubt the Tacx NEO is shaping up to be a solid entrant in the higher end trainer world.  The lack of massive trainer noise levels alone will be a huge appeal to many, as well as the direct drive aspect.  There would be no issues using this trainer in any sort of noise-restricted setting, such as an apartment, or significant other who is desperately trying to watch Grey’s Anatomy re-runs in the same room.

But at the same time, there’s also no reason you need to spend that much money for a very functional electronically controlled trainer.  Tacx themselves makes some great models at almost 1/3rd the price that still do FE-C and all of the other technology focused items I discussed here (except simulating descents).  Similarly, other competitors such as Bkool, Elite, and Wahoo all are making strong competitive options at lower prices.  So definitely do your research.

I think one of the biggest strengths though of any of these trainers, especially the NEO, is the 3rd party compatibility.  While Tacx may have a rocky road on the software apps front, it’s somewhat of a non-issue here – since the trainer is being controlled by these 3rd party apps.  I do suspect we’ll continue to see some very slight teething items over the next month or two with apps, head unit, and trainer companies implementing these specs.  But I think a lot of that’s already been occurring over the summer and by and large things are cleaning up nicely.

I’ll continue to update this post as I get more time on the unit, as well as answer questions below in the comments.  Thanks for reading!

Found this post helpful? Or just wanna save 10%?

Hopefully you found this post useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  These longer posts generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items).  You can pickup the Tacx trainers (including the NEO) from Clever Training. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF at checkout.  By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Clever Training is carrying all of the Tacx trainer lineup, but here’s the Tacx NEO link below:

Tacx NEO Smart Trainer

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

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  1. Paul

    Thanks for the confirmation that I’ve made the right decision. Just this morning I’ve put my Kickr up sale and pre-ordered a Neo. I’ve got a 6 month old and every time I train I’m disturbing his sleep – and annoying the wife. The silent aspect of this is definitely going to be the selling point as you say!

    • Ben

      I realise you made this comment a long time ago, but how did it go with the child and the NEO. I am selling my Kickr now for the very same reason.

    • Fwiw, both The Girl and I actually did a workout on the NEO and KICKR2 next to our little on (4 month old) recently. She almost fell asleep, though we ended the workout before she was completely out.

    • Raul

      My daughters were sleeping very well with sounds around. And movement, like in the stroller, while I was running. I think there are parents panicking too easily. This panic is worse than the noise. Poor Kickr…..

    • Ben

      Someone else also suggested the Kickr ‘white noise’ was not too bad – it was more the wife who was terminating sessions – but when I told her I will sell it and drop more money on the neo she caved…. Thanks

    • Note I’m referring to KICKR2, not KICKR1.

  2. Dustin

    Wow… this solves every complaint I have with my Computrainer…. namely that my pain cave looks like something out of the Matrix with cables EVERYWHERE.

    Very cool.

  3. Dolf

    Thanks for your review. One thing I’m missing is the durability due to the lack of transmission. Next to that the Neo does not need calibration. I also sold my Kickr and ordered a neo for noise reasons.

  4. morey000

    Gaaah. typo: “…This is a direct drive trainer, which means that you remove you’re wheel rear on your bike to attach to the trainer. ”


  5. Daniel

    Great review. There is much interest and anticipation for this review; you nailed it! I really want one. Pricing is interesting. In the UK indicative pricing is only £100 ($155) different to the Kickr making the Neo the more attractive option (direct drive and near silence). It’s expensive and I could live with a kickr but only if Wahoo reconsidered their pricing point.

    • Paul

      At bike24.com UK customers can get it for €1209.00, around £00 – I’ve pre-ordered with them. I’ve used them in the past with no issues, ymmv

    • Daniel

      Cheers for the heads up Paul. Not seen them before. They are actually selling the Kickr for more than the Neo!!!! They don’t have
      a stock date yet but will monitor.

      Also no one seems aware of the Smart Upgrade discount Ray referred to which, as I need an ANT+ key anyway, would be a nice to have.

    • ewan

      No stock and delivery time unknown. How can you offer the Neo with a price below MSRP when it’s not available in the market yet?
      “Availability for the NEO will be roughly mid to late September for the European markets, and the US following about 4-6 weeks later in mid-late October.”

    • Al

      I ve gone to my local IBD tacx demo dealer and ordered one – competitive on the price, great service and piece of mind with back up : ) love the Neo, its amazing!

    • Paul

      It’s a pre-order.

    • ewan

      Good luck with your pre-order. Price is up €100 today. From my experience with these websites and their pre-orders with fluctuating pricing is that by the end of the year you’re still riding your old trainer while the new one is available in all concept stores.

    • Paul

      Shipped today will be with me tomorrow, happy days

  6. Don Rhummy

    Ray, which is quieter: this or the Elite Turbo Muin?

    • NEO The Elite Turbo Muin has a bit of a watery sound that this lacks.

    • I would like to add that (I have the first edition of elite muin turbo silencer) the watery sounds you will not hear at all if you are above 200w since then the drivetrain will sound so much more. So I will say in that regard they might be just as silent.

      I don’t know about the newer version of elite muin, but since my version can only control resistance with shifting, which makes quite some noise especially with Di2, so in that regard Tacx Neo would be so much more noise free.

      Oh wait I googled it, as I understood it according to their site the newer version is the same as mine ( link to elite-it.com )

      Q: Can the app adjust resistance on the Turbo Muin?
      A: No. Turbo Muin’s resistance is progressive only as a function of speed.

      Thanks for a great review as always and I’m also really impressed that your chain is always so clean 🙂

      Question from my side, do the Tacx Neo has a silent mode, i.e don’t simulate downhill (I guess that would make some more noise?)

      FWIW: I have not forgiven Tacx for their nightmare trainer Tacx Bushido. Sweat drops on the touch-button control board would either quit or change the sessions during training and always made it really hard to change it back, once it was weat (I’m quite amazed that they would even consider selling that device for a trainer, could never have tested it in the real world for themself). The horrible forever beta firmware that were supposed to be matching with an external power meter, was so bad that you couldn’t use the trainer. Didn’t get better with an official firmware. Lets say I was doing 3*20min@300w it would always randomly after every 3-6min but me at 500-600w for a minute or so. Guess what… I was never able to finish my tempo/threshold session on that trainer. Oh wait I sold it after three weeks. Never been so happy to get rid of something related to triathlon.

  7. Patrick Charlton

    Great review.. thanks for that!!!

  8. Matt Cartet

    Neo looks interesting! Love the idea of downhill drive, is this something Wahoo could retrospectively add to the Kickr?

    Noise no issue for me, so looking forward to the market becoming awash with second hand Kickrs’!

  9. Miro Lehky

    What is that iPad holder you have attached to the bike?

    • It’s actually one that Tacx makes – don’t have the model number handy, but should be easy enough to find.

      I noticed it at the show and asked about it, so they added one to the pile to poke at. Also really impressed with a sweat band bike protector thingy they had. I normally think those are stupid (and still do), but this held a cell phone protected. Like a arm band meats bike frame sweat protector. Brilliant as I’m always trying to find a good place to stick the phone. Regrettably, didn’t get one of those.

    • Miro Lehky

      Found it on Amazon. Looks like a nice mounting system.

      link to amazon.com

      Also noticed the following on Tacx website.

      link to tacx.com

      Might try this out if I can find oen in the USA. My pain cave computer has no front USB and often has receiption problem due to where it is in relation to the bike and other stero gear.

    • Indeed, that’s the one!

      In fact, the little ANT USB adapter is actually pretty handy since it has a super-long cord and a cute little tower thingy. Of course, you can also just buy a USB extension cord for like $3 on Amazon and then glue the end of it to a wooden block for a $1.

  10. Lieven

    Waffles? From Holland? They’re known for their Karnemelk (“lait battu” or “babeure” in France) and Pindakaas (peanut butter). For waffles, please come to Belgium 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for the nice article. It’s already a lot more in-depth than what other sites or magazine would call a review!

  11. Mad_triathlete

    Thank you Ray for another great review (yeah, yeah I know it’s not up to your full in-depth review level yet, but for us mere mortals more than sufficient 😉

  12. Nick

    I know its still pretty early, but any idea when your winter trainer recommendation is going to come out?
    I need to get a new trainer and I’d like to wait to see your general opinion on this years fleet.

    • I typically aim for early October there, basically past the Interbike announcements. I’m not expecting any further major trainer announcements at Interbike, but I could be wrong (only because everyone except CompuTrainer and LeMond have already announced everything).

    • Ken P

      Do you foresee any pricing changes as the space gets more competitive?

      Or is MSRP pretty much locked now for the season? (I’m excluding retailer sales or 10% off promotions here-.)

    • Bart

      I’m looking for a trainer for this winter and comparing all the models from different brands i have a few questions/suggestion for your winter trainer recommendation.
      – Could you do a volume comparison between a few different types of drives (directdrive (neo)/ elektro (like vortex smart) / fluid / rollers )
      – Clearly explain the real “watt” levels (at different angles). It seems the controlled wattage is based on: Weight of rider, simulated angle, speed and desired wattage. (At the moment it’s not clear what i need as a 80kg rider doing a simulated alpe d’huez. What will happen if i choose my trainer to light (vortex smart))

  13. Really promising! Kickr is for sale.
    Can’t wait for the glowing light, geek factor++ 😉

  14. Mad_triathlete

    On the noise front, it seems to me that although the Kickr and Neo seem to be equally loud (at least in the case of your bike) that the pitch is quite different. Whereas the chain on the Neo just sorta rattles the belt drive of the Kickr sounds like it is constantly screaming. So in conclusion I think the noise levels might be the same but the perception of emitted noise differs quite a lot. Or is that just me? 😀

    • Lou

      I rode on the Neo at Eurobike and it’s much more quiet than the Kickr. The rattling noise of the chain in the video is due to the setting of the rear derailleur and has nothing to do with the Neo. Or new cassette + old chain…

    • It’s just you. 😉

      It’s hard to accurately separate out the chain noise – and I’m sure the camera doesn’t help.

    • The video audio doesn’t do the Kickr noise justice. Its a very piercing pitch that reverberates through my house. The neo noise was just the chain basically.

  15. Ian S

    Ray, some geeky questions I guess;
    1. The kickr had some issues with power accuracy when the unit warmed up. Any view on how accurate power is on the Neo?
    2. To combat the above Wahoo added a nice firmware option that allows the kickr to read the power straight from your meter and use that for resistance afjustment, erg mode etc. Does the Neo also allow that?

    Thanks, great review as ever!

    • For accuracy, as noted in the FAQ section of the post I’m still gathering some data and will post all the details soon. The Tacx folks are also sending me over a updated offset file that wasn’t set in the unit initially during the initial manufacturing run. So right now I see things very stable/consistent, but just offset slightly (of course, there’s also recording in different places too). I’m not seeing any drift on it – but most of my efforts are in the 30-40mins range right now. But that’s beyond the typical drift range of trainers which is usually 15-20mins in, so that’s a good sign.

      There isn’t any method to calibrate it. Even if you send an ANT+ FE-C calibration command to it, it doesn’t do anything with it.

      Finally, as far as an additional firmware option to track a PM, nothing natively. But Apps like TrainerRoad have basically made that separated out anyway – so in theory I think it’ll work with any FE-C trainer as-is.

    • Tom H.

      Wait. You can change the offset? So if the Neo produces consistent power numbers, shouldn’t you be able to “calibrate” it to match the numbers coming off another power meter?

  16. LC

    How accurate is the power output with calibration? By that I mean, does the power output by the NEO (or any of the Tacx trainer series) match that of the power meter you’re using? For example, if you set 150W on the Tacx do you get 150W from your power meter? This may vary a few %. I have a Tacx Vortex and Garmin Vector S power meter – the two never align power-wise. Very frustrating. Any tips?

    • Ian S

      You’ll get a small delta simply from where the power measurement is taken from. Vector is from the pedals, the tacx will be from the back wheel on the roller so all of the drive train loss will be in there. Having said that this shouldn’t be more than 2 or 3%.

      Historically the power measurement from turbos hasn’t been accurate enough to be used for power based training if you’re also using a power meter out on the road. People have tried various fixes such as having a different ftp for indoor than outdoor. The whaoo fix of taking a feed directly from your power meter is a good way to ensure your data is consistent across turbo and outdoor rides.

    • LC

      I find the difference to be far more than 2-3%. For example, I set the Vortex to output 150W, yet the Garmin Vector S says I’m only doing 100-120W. This means its worthless for power-based training (i.e. preset videos, etc). I have to ignore the Vortex and just adjust power on it +/- until I get the power I want on the Vector S. So no “pre-programmed” training is possible. Any workarounds besides this?

    • For your Tacx Vortex, try toying with the press-on resistance on the wheel and then doing more calibrations. I find that on Tacx wheel-on trainers it’s a bit more finicky to get right initially than other brands. But that said, I’ve actually had good luck with getting them very close on that trainer once I get past that first time. See, I’m often too lazy to bring bikes up/down the stairs (since it requires removing the front wheel and not hitting walls) at the studio, so when I’m doing quick tests I sometimes just use a Satori and Vortex in the office area because it’s super simple to get up and cooking quickly, and I’ve had good luck on the accuracy front.

    • Phil

      if your using Tacx Training Software or some of the 3rd Party programs such as Veloreality or Zwift they will pick up your power meter watts & use this for the speed calculation & data file. Not 100% sure if the Tacx tablet apps will do this but they should do eventually if not now.

    • Hu3ain

      To follow up, can you measure watts using another power meter while on the Neo, and using that power measurement to control the Neo’s resistance?

    • Martin (Tacx)

      It is possible to use your power meter together with the pc software, TTS. This function will also been added to the tablet cyclng app.

    • Martin (Tacx)


      If you are using the TTS software, you can upgrade the firmware of your Vortex very easiliy, which improves the accuracy a lot.

  17. Marc

    Looks promising indeed.

    Ray, since we are getting to a very realistic road feel on these high end units… I guess the new way to evaluate that aspect would be against a classic rollers based trainer? What can you say about the difference in road feel on these two types of trainers? Obviously, the rollers will allow much more bike movements, such as wheel swings from left to right… Curious to see your comments on this.


    • I think in general the rollers still feel a bit more realistic in very short sprints, whereas with with direct drive I feel a tiny bit more lag on the response. Some of that might come with the stability of a direct drive trainer (bike being locked in) though, versus far more movement on rollers.

  18. ian james

    hi there, thanks for the interesting review. one thing that you have not mentioned is the response/reaction time to wattage changes when using ergo mode. currently I am using both a tacx bushido legacy (with tts 4) and cycleops powerbeam pro (with trainerroad) for my training purposes and find that with both of these the reaction time for them to increase the resistance level to match the power segment changes takes approximately 15 to 20 seconds. now this is fine for the longer intervals but with much shorter ones, say 30 second over and unders, I find they both struggle to keep up. I have not used a wahoo kickr but I am reliably informed that the response time for this trainer is around the 5 second mark, so would be interested to know if the tacx neo can compete with the wahoo kickr as this will be the deciding factor as to which trainer I will be going for next.

    • It’s interesting, I tend to see the most complaints about resistance changes from TR users (with any trainer). Not sure why, I’ll have to ask them if they do some sort of smoothing.

      I tend to use native apps for power changes, and it’s within a few seconds usually (you really don’t want it to be absolutely instant, but usually a couple of seconds).

      I did a short test a few hours ago where I did some power changes using the Edge 520 to control it, and even from 200 to 250w it was within a couple seconds at most. But I’ll do some more poking with larger intervals (i.e. 100w easy pedaling to 450w for 30/30’s) and see how it handles.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Ray, I am going to get the Neo to have an alternative to my Cyclus2 unit. I really like the fact to ride in a more silent atmosphere, f.ex. while enjoying music or a movie. What I really like on Cyclus2 side is next to his accuracy the fact, that the Cyclus2 changes his wattage immediately after a change. Doesn’t matter if it goes from 100-150 or from 100-500 Watts, even extremely high loads over 1000W in sprint tests are flawless.
      Beside that the Cyclus2 has also the ability of “Sinus training”. Sinusoidal loads are a great method of riding intervals. I am still wondering, that no other 3rd party app like TR or Virtualtraining, etc. comes up with this feature. Wouldn’t it be nice to nudge the developers to this little feature?!

    • Jake

      I did my first workout on TrainerRoad (beta) and the Neo last night and experienced this too — the lag in response time and I kept having to increase my RPM to achieve my target power).

  19. stijn

    Ray, I think your knowledge of waffles needs some fine tuning. The waffles that everybody loves are made in Belgium, not in the Netherlands.

  20. Julien G

    If somebody in France (Paris) is selling their Wahoo Kickr – contact me 🙂 Or other smart trainer. Looking for a 2nd hand option.

    Ray could create a used part forum – sure a bunch are selling edge 500 and 510 also currently.

  21. David Mulligan

    I am very interested to find out how well each of the ANT+ FE-C trainers simulate hills. They say we should work on our weaknesses and one of my biggest limiters is hill climbing. My difficulty on hills is likely tied to how lower inertial load changes how I pedal in a way that a higher gear with lower cadence does not simulate well on a fluid trainer.

    Of course then I will still need to find software that has a good hill climb training plan.

    • Martin (Tacx)

      The neo adapts the inertia to your own weight, all calculations are carried out in the brake itself to realise themost realistic road feeling.

    • Matt

      Hi Martin,

      I am debating between the wahoo and the tacx neo.
      I have tried both for a short time at bike shops but would like to know if you can do a manual session on the tacx without planning it with resistance etc.
      To explain more I just want to be able to warm up then time my own intervals and manually control the resistance quickly.
      Is this possible?

      Best regards,


  22. Steven Shaw

    I was a bit confused about the external control via FE-C bit. I’m interesting down the line this winter of experimenting with trainer road or zwift. I will initially start with my kurt kinetic road machine, but would like to upgrade to either the neo or kickr, I will wait until the price pans out. Noise is not super important for me but obviously quieter is better.

    Can the neo work with trainer road? I seemed to read it as not yet but should be an easy fix.

    • Martin (Tacx)

      Trainerroad supports ANT+ FE-C and all Tacx smart trainers including the Neo is tested with Trainerroad. For iOS you will need an ANT+ adapter. It is also possible to use the BT smart power speed and cadance profile of the smart trainers, but you can not control a Tacxtrainer by BT smart…(yet)

  23. Garrett

    So, if you can use it without power, why does it come with a power cord? Is that just for the downhill simulation?

  24. IzzyODT

    Ray, one more great review, chapeau.
    It’s fine for road bikes with quick releases, how about its compatibility with MTBs/Cyclocross bikes and thru axles?

    I couldn’t find any info on that regard


  25. Ben Mills

    It’s funny how after all the analysis, it really comes down to noise (for me at least). If it was as noisy as a KICKR, there would be no reason to pay any more for it and I would prefer the known quality of the KICKR. Noise is big though. I don’t have neighbors or family members to annoy when I’m down in the basement, but the noise from my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine makes it hard/annoying to watch TV while training. I’ve taken to cranking up the music instead. I really think I might suck it up and pay the extra. Note that the differential shrinks to $340 after applying the Clever Training discount. It’s still a ton of money to pay for a trainer, but if it accurately works with Trainer Road and Zwift, then I’m going to get a lot of use out of it over the next few winters.

  26. Stefano


    Just a simple question , when do you get Tax Software Suit discount? You buy it after you get the trainer or you choose to buy them together?

    At CT you “only” have the option to buy the NEO alone.

    Thanks for the review! It made many things clear!

  27. jbro

    Will a disc bike road or cyclocross frame fit on the NEO? My ‘cross bike, with a 140mm rear rotor, doesn’t fit on the Kickr 🙁

    • Ben Mills

      Makes me wonder if the NEO works with 135mm spacing as well as 130mm spacing. My disc brake equipped Salsa Vaya has 135mm spacing. I know the KICKR has a reversible piece to switch between the 2 sizes.

    • Sascha

      That is an interesting question. I have a CAADX and plan to buy a Vortex Smart for the winter months. Never thought about that.

    • Steven

      According to rosebike’s description it does:

      link to rosebikes.com

      suitable for rear stay dropouts for hubs with 5 mm quick-release skewer and a hub width of 130 or 135 mm

    • Ben Mills

      Would love to know if this is done via a part (as the KICKR does) or if the NEO is set to 132.5 spacing and requires the dropouts to flex a little. That sounds a little crazy after I wrote it, but I’d still like to know how this is done.

    • Richard M

      Would love to know about this drop-out thing too

    • Spencer Nowell

      Hi Jbro!
      I’ve got my cross bike with a 140mm rotor and 135mm spacing set up on a Kickr. Everything fits like it should! Yours shouldn’t have any issues as long as you have the spacing set correctly on the Kickr.

    • Fernando Rodrigues

      Hi guys,

      My bike is a Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc (135mm axle). I bought the Tacx Neo few days ago, considering that is was compatible with my bike.

      When trying to set it up, after installing the cassette, I realized that there is no space available to fit the disc caliper. It’s not a question of the axle fit, which it does fit, but rather an issue regarding the body of the Tacx.

      My only option will be getting a different bike/frame!

      I’m not sure if this will happen with all disc brake bikes or how does it deal with MTB bikes, but I spent more than 1000€ on a trainer that won’t work with my bike! 🙁

      Please do confirm your setup before you make the decision! It’s no use asking Tacx support, as they will only reply with the axle size!

      Kind regards


    • Unfortunately, counter to Spencer, I have a 140mm rotor on my 135mm disc frame (Foundry Riveter) and my caliper does contact the frame of the Kickr. It’s not ideal, but when I put the frame on the trainer I have to loosen the disc caliper to move it out of the way of the trainer. Total P.I.T.A. if you are switching from indoor/outdoor rides regularly.

      Of course, this probably would not be an issue for frames where the disc caliper is mounted on the seat stay rather than the chain stay. Additionally, if I had bike set up with 160mm rotors, the adaptor would lift the caliper out of the way and it would fit fine.

    • Susana Martins

      I am in contact with Tacx support and they are saying it will fit with my Specialized Ruby Disc Brake.
      I read your post and I am wondering if it will really fit… or even if they changed the product to fit the Disc Brake.
      I just don’t want to import a product to Brazil and face the same issue you had. Any idea on how to check compatibility?


    • Fernando Rodrigues

      Hi Susana,

      I don’t think there was a product change. My guess is that initially they only worry about axle spacing for a correct fitting, but with the spread of disc brakes on road bikes this is an issue. From what I can understand now some disc brake road bikes fit and others don’t! It has to do with the caliper itself (mine if SRAM Red 22 non flat) and where it is on the frame.

      I know that if I loose the caliper I can fit the bike in, but for me that’s not an option as I don’t want to do it each time I want to put the bike on the trainer. I bought another bike with regular brakes. And then other issues began! I’m still not using the trainer and I’m waiting for tacx support to send me a ring to put behind the hub. For my new bike the group is Campagnolo (11 speed) and the cassette just doesn’t fit correctly on the hub!! 🙁 Tacx says it has a solution for it using this ring! My version of the trainer has a EDCO multisys hub and I was asking tacx if buying a EDCO cassette for campagnolo would work and they just said the new ring would! I’m waiting to get this piece for one month… 🙁

      My suggestion for you is if possible please take look into the wahoo or the elite trainers and try with their support service to check bike compatibility!

      If you need additional info please feel free to drop me an email! (f962489309@gmail.com)

      Kind regards


    • Susana Martins

      Hi Fernando, thank you for your answer.
      I couldn’t hold myself and I bought the Tacx Neo.
      Fortunately it worked just fine with my Disc Brake Bike, I just had to buy the 135mm adapter.
      Very happy with the unit :).


  28. craig smith

    Great writeup. Helps with decision making . I have narrowed it down to wahoo kickr snap or vortex

  29. Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Some Tacx trainers eg Bushido can be controlled by a paired powermeter like Powertap I own. Due to the lack of rear wheel Powertap is out in case of using Neo. But, can a Neo be controlled by crank based powermeters???

  30. Tisztul_A_Visztula

    See link to tacx.com about what I meant when used the words “be controlled”

  31. Ken

    Great to see some competition for Wahoo! Hopefully, this means a quieter KICKR version 2 down the line. Meanwhile, thanks Ray, for your great reviews. I have put in an order for a Vortex Smart. In 5-6 years, when quality/features improve and the prices come down some more, maybe I will go for a Wahoo or a better TACX.

  32. Nir

    Is it possible to use the NEO with a 9 speed (shimano) cassette? I’m thinking of getting one and putting an old bike on it, but everything I’ve read only mentions 9/10 speed compatibility.

    • Nir

      I meant 10/11 speed compatibility.

    • Steven Shaw

      I would think so since I have swapped between 8sp and 10sp using the same wheel. As far as I know 8/9/10 sp all use exactly the same width of cassette so can be swapped freely. 11sp needs a wider freehub, but can still accept 10sp and lower but needs a spacer.

    • Jens

      Edco Multisys
      De Tacx Neo Smart is equipped with an Edco Multisys body, making it compatible with Shimano (9, 10 & 11 speed), Sram (9, 10 & 11 speed) and most Campagnolo (with 4 arm spider) cassettes.

  33. Larry

    Does the NEO have any height adjustment for bicycles with different size wheels like the KICKR?

    • Not that I can see. There’s basically no moving parts outside of the wing flap things that have one locking position.

    • MartinR

      Does this lack of height adjustment affect Neo’s compatibility with different wheel sizes (e.g. 29, 27.5 inch wheels)? Is it necessary to use the supplied riser block (what about drivo/kickr)?
      My plan is to get one of the big four trainers (Kickr,Neo,Drivo,Flux), but right now only for a 29er MTB bike (C’dale F29). Down the road I will get a road bike/tt bike (probably with disc brakes). Are there any compatiblity issues with these trainers?

    • I’ve been using my Neo for a few weeks now with my Merida Big Nine Team (29er MTB), had to get the correct adapter and bought a deore XT 11speed cassette (running xx1 on the mtb) and everything works great! Although I think a larger chainring in the front would be good.

    • MartinR

      Thanks for the response, Patrik! My 29er has a standard quick release axle and a 10speed cassette (would be interesting to know if it will fit the new 12speed cassettes), so I don’t think that I will need an adapter. Are you using the supplied riser block?

    • Patrik Rosén

      aaah, just though everyone was using thru axle today, with QR your’re good to go, includes was shims depending on what hub-width you’re using. Im using the riser block yes. Although I’m thinking about building a stand for my fork, so I can use it without the front wheel as well. It will take less room, and feel more stiff when standing up etc.

  34. Ernesider

    Well maybe Wahoo have forced Tacx into getting their act together. The posts relating to the software controlling their high end machines was a long running horror story. Saying that I had nearly seven years excellent service from a Tacx Flow before giving it to a friend (working fine) and buying a Wahoo Kickr one year ago. So far a great machine which I will not be abandoning for some tarted up floozy. ..!!

  35. AAbb

    How long is the discount code good for?

  36. Allen

    What is the iPad holder you are using in the pictures in the review?

  37. gn

    Will the trainer work for 142x12mm rear axles?

  38. Yotam

    But for buyers of the Tacx NEO Smart, it’s discounted down to €80
    Is this through Tacx’s online shop or by some other means?
    Thanks for the review, looking forward to the Power readings to compare with my own. Should receive the Neo in a week or so and will compare with my SRM PM.

  39. Brilly


    This is the thing that’s still doing my head in. I currently use an Elite RealAxiom CT Wireless trainer and while the current Real software isn’t the prettiest thing going around it is functional. Add to that a not insignificant pile of Elite video courses, so I have an investment that I’d like to be able to continue to use.
    With the advent of the FE-C protocol, and Elite’s pending revamp of the Real Application, what is the likelihood of being able to get a good handoff between the Real software for control of something like the NEO? At present my obvious upgrade path would be to stay with the Elite family and look at the new Real Turbo Muin B+ but the NEO certainly has some points in its favour.
    Do you have a gut feel on how well these 1st Generation FE-C platforms will play together?

  40. Hu3ain

    A Kickr can be adjusted to fit bikes with different wheel sizes as well as MTB. Same with the Neo?

  41. Mattv

    What’s amazing to me is that resistance trainers have been around for 30 years and it’s taken this long for someone to produce a silent one. The market for a quality silent trainer is huge. I spent many, many years unable to train indoor in winter because I lived in apartments. I know I’m not the only one!

    • Luk

      Noisless trainer does not mean silent workout. You’ll hear it at night. Bicycle drive is quite loud. I have TurboMuin trainer, and although quiet, I can not imagine driving at midnight. So be careful with your assumptions. 🙂

    • Mattv

      True, it is not truly silent, but as someone who has logged thousands of hours over 30 years on at least 15 different models, in many different house/apartment settings, I have some baseline to judge. In an upper floor apartment, the main culprit is low frequency “thumping” noise. I used to ride rollers, and although they are quieter than a lot of mag type units, slight out of true wheels or even slight tire eccentricities can create a very disturbing noise. I never believed it until one day my downstairs neighbor invited me down and I had a friend ride my bike on rollers and trainers. After that, I was much more sensitive to complaints. I would be upset too, if it were me.

      Any units with real wheel mounted drive has similar problems, multiplied by the noise the resistance unit generates. It really depends on a lot variables in the structure/room, how annoying it is to housemates or neighbors. I currently have a Kickr and love it, but I wish it were quieter. I’ll get a Neo and see, but my sense is that this unit may finally make apartment riding significantly less a problem than any other unit I’ve ridden (and I’ve ridden most of them )

    • No it did not tale that long. Computrainer was pretty quiet and it’s been around forever.

    • Mattv

      Computrainer (rode that for years) is the same basic configuration (and sound characteristics) as the turbo trainers of yore…..

      Definitely on the noisier end of the spectrum..

  42. MaxG

    Talking about calibration, Is there a possibility to attach a sensor magnet to the rear wheel?
    It is a magnetic resistance trainer after all, it kinda sounds like there would be some interference.
    What wheel circumference? (I guess that could easily be configured by trial and error)

  43. Pål Kristoffer Sørvoll

    I am today running TTS4 Advance on my PC and with an ANT+ antenna it controls a Tacx Bushido-trainer. Is it possible to use the same equipment to control the NEO or do I have to buy the “Upgrade Smart”?

    • ms

      The Tacx Neo uses the FE-C protocol and the TTS 4.16.2 update (link to patches.tacxdata.com) includes support for the ANT+ FE-C protocol:
      •Create from will now show the correct date
      •GPS routes will now follow the roads better
      •A white indication line has been added to the GPS editor’s height profile
      •Uninstalling without an internet connection will give you an option to uninstall without deactivating your license
      •Clipboard export for fitness added
      •Added support for ANT+ FE-C protocol.
      •Infoboxes can now be shown during multiplayer. This is a local setting accessible in the lobby.
      •Fixed crash that sometimes occurred when connecting a Bushido trainer.

  44. Einundsiebzig

    Ray, what i saw, was how silent the NEO was while you where riding Richmond:
    link to youtube.com
    There it sounds much quieter than in your 1:1 comp VS Kickr…

    • That’s actually from Zwift itself (the sounds), not from my trainer. 😉

    • Einundsiebzig

      Thats mean.. 🙁 I never rode in swift, was there only in spectator mode, but could not hear any pedaling sound. So the “hum” sound is generated by Zwift… This sound doesn’t appear while in spectator mode, so I thought it was the “veeeeeeery silent” trainer… 🙁 my bad…

  45. So what happens if you go over the stated max power? I can ride over 1000W but on an hour long ride obviously I’m not going to be over that. I might briefly go above it when climbing for example though.

    Does it break the trainer or anything?

  46. Adam

    As European, it’s really nice (and also very unique) to see one brand selling cheaper in Europe vs US!
    Currently on german amazon the prices for older smart units are:
    Satori 225E vs $469 in US
    Vortes 330E vs $629 in US
    Bushido 615E vs $959 in US

  47. Einundsiebzig

    If someone from the US knows someone in Military or Air Force, with an Army PO.Box adress, it shouldn’t be a problem to get this NEO fast and with very low rates shipping, tax free to the US! But first it has to be available… 🙂

  48. Andrew (UK)

    Hi DC. Thanks for the excellent review. I am one of the people currently poised to purchase a trainer right now and (like many here) the choice is between the KickR and the Neo. It’s still a tough decision, but at least you are providing the details that will allow me to decide.

    For the KickR – It’s a known entity, proven bulletproof, proven to connect with anything, proven reliability, comes with an 11-speed cassette to just attach the bike straight onto and it’s cheaper. There are even (soon to be many!) 2nd hand options to choose from. The only downside seems to be the noise, like all previous trainers this falls into the category of “very noisy”, potential to upset the neighbours, can’t use it early / late and can’t use it whilst the other half is wanting to watch some TV nearby.

    For the Neo. It seems to do everything the KickR does. Nothing in your review suggests that the KickR is better in any significant way, nor is the Neo much better than the KickR. It has all the key features built in (Bluetooth, Ant+, etc.). AND it’s very very quiet. The quietness means it can be used pretty much at any time with zero chance of annoying anyone else, even potentially in the same room as someone watching TV.

    Against the Neo. It’s very new. First units could be full of faults (physical or logical) and this is a very heavy unit to send back in the post. Reading your reviews in the past TACX seem to have a history of their technology not working, intermittently losing connection and being a pain to setup. That’s a big risk to take. Furthermore I need to buy an 11-speed cassette £30 and tools to fit it.

    The KickR has been your “best of the best” trainer for a long time now. Does the Neo have the potential to replace it ? And how confident would you be that the first batch of units are going to be of a very high quality ?

    • Einundsiebzig

      How about guaranty in the UK. We have a 2 year guaranty, so I don’t mind if it is faulty and to get a knew one. I think the tacx related problems were mostly software wise and not so much on the hardware/quality side. But I am not 100% sure about that. I had a bushido once, wicht I had to return after a couple of days. No way to hold up the communication with TT4 wich was very annoying. Got my money back and went for an Airstreem witch was an even greater desaster software sided. then I decided to go for the cyclus2 and never had any problems with it since almost 2 years now.

    • Anch

      I had vowed never to buy another Tacx trainer again after the amount of problems I have had with my Vortex and the subsequent poor customer service from tacx. I was all lined up to buy a Kickr this winter and can’t see what the Neo offers that the kickr doesn’t other than noise. The fact you can’t use with 3rd party apps using bluetooth is a big con for the Neo.

      It would be interesting to hear how an update on the Neo.

    • Jens

      Here in Germany, i can see some comments at online shops that indicates hardware problems
      in the first batches. Support is still a catastrophe at TACX.
      I have an Airstreeem 3000 too, and can confirm that this machine is very crappy. I purchased my
      one on January 2013, the software never did what you expects. Lost control, gives you
      unexpected full resistance during a sprint (not really funny), very large latency during changes in
      your exercise (up to 30 seconds). I have a powermeter on my bike, i check the calibration every
      year against an Cyclus2 the differences between the cyclus2 and the Airstreeem is about 25%.
      This makes the Airstreeem absolute useless.
      In autumn of 2015 i got a new revision of the software (yes 2,5 years later), runs definitely better… but now i have a strange loud noise from the back of the machine. I contacted the support via phone and E-Mail and what should i say… no response.
      I’m personal dreaming of an own Cyclus2… but price tag is to high.

      I try to repair my Airstreeem now, but i fear the story for Airstreeem ends here and i will consider to replace it against something better.

  49. Tom

    Ray – I am thinking of getting a trainer for home. Only issue is noise as I tend to work out in the morning. It seems though that the Tacx is no louder than having a television on moderate volume or 2-3 people holding a conversation. Would that be about right?

    I have previously used an elite fliud trainer and that was pretty loud.

    • Yes, I’d agree with that – assuming your chain alignment isn’t a complete mess, far quieter.

    • Bart

      Being a real direct drive trainer the noise level generated by this trainer is extremelyy low (having used most of the trainers out there). Main noise remaining is from the bike ‘s own drive train. Avoid using a worn out chain on a new cassette (as surely mounted on your NEO) and use the most silencing chain lube: Pro-X , made by Dumonde Tech (it really makes a difference).
      Enjoy your most quiet trainings ever !

  50. Luca Plaino

    Thx for the review. Is it possible to perform sprints? I mean short (5 – 7 sec) burst of power maximum effort… I usually do that to assess the neuromuscular characteristics of the cyclist; doing 4 or 5 sprints with different gears is useful to draw the power/cadence relationship. that’s possible with isokinetic ergometers (SRM) or air braked devices (turbotrainer). In my knowledge, in order to perform sprints, you need a direct drive system and a very fast responding brake (otherwise the cyclists “cooked” before the brake reaches it’s maximum, or the rear wheel slips…). Do the NEO accomplish that? The guy at tacx boot in eurobike was not clear about that…

  51. steve williams

    Found a tacx video end of July and ordered beginning of August after emailing Tacx to ask for some details of the device. Replacing tacx fortius which is on its last legs. never got a reply when asking if there was a cassette with it so thanks for the heads up DC Rainmaker.

  52. Bradley Murphy

    Does the Neo have adjustable feet for example on uneven garage floors?

  53. Thomas

    Hi, thanks for the review. You really need to partner up with store in Europe and arrange a discount for your readers here? 🙂

  54. Tara Steele

    do you get the TTS software with this too

  55. Lee

    I find it interesting that a number of KICKR owners have immediately put them up for sale and are jumping ship. I wonder if the outcome will be “better the devil you know”. And so far, it seems that noise is the biggest driver.

    Well I’m a KICKR owner and I too am thinking about jumping ship. Nothing to do with noise though. I’ve had two KICKRs now and recurring faults

    1) Calibration. Its almost seems like a lottery as to what power output you get. I’ve even had wahoo send me the full on weight/rod calibration kit as my latest one was waaay over (40-50W !)
    2) sometimes I get very unsteady power tracking, the figure will jump up and down by around 10W whereas it usually floats around a 1-2W from erg…..this sometimes causes……
    3) The KICKR “hit a brick wall” where the unit will suddenly load up resistance
    4) Speed of resistance change to input.. trainerroad always makes the KICKR show the lag.

    I would have liked to have seen more than 1cm of lateral movement in the Neo. The lack of lateral movement in the KICKR is a big negative in my eyes. As someone who bust a frame whilst out of the saddle, I find the KICKR too locked down. Not asking for a kurt rock-n-roll but something with more give 🙂

    I think I’ll get a Neo in and see how it fares before committing to stick the KICKR up for sale thanks 🙂

  56. Paul Ramsteijn

    When changing your bike from outdoor to direct-drive-indoor back and forth, you are actually using a single chain on 2 different cassettes. You wouldn’t normally do that on your bike. When worn, you would replace your chain and keep using the same cassette (or replace the cassette and chain simultaneously). Any thoughts on this?

    • Lee

      Paul you are spot on mate. I have a KICKR – after a period of outdoor riding, when I came to use the KICKR again it was making a horrible grinding vibration/noise. The chain had worn with my outdoor cassette and when used with the indoor cassette was horrible. Had to change the chain.

      I’ve ended up with a dedicated bike on the KICKR.

  57. M.Gar

    The Neo’s noise level is exaxtly what I had expected when I fell for Wahoo’s marketing lie “silent” a year ago. At that time I still kept it because there were no real alternatives. Now there are. Bad for me but good for the market.

    I still wouldn’t buy a Neo now. I got burned with every single first generation product so far (Stages, BSX insight, Wahoo). There were always some technical issues. However, with Taxc at least there is a major player behind the product. And not some small company having to hit the market early because they run out of money otherwise. And exploting their early customers as beta testers.

  58. Tom

    in my opinion tacx made the same mistake they nearly always make – the next PLASTIC MONSTER.
    huge and heavy despite made of plastic – seems to be product designers masterpiece.
    sorry – definitely not my thing.


    • Einundsiebzig

      You think you get 22kg only with plastic? To use plastic as a cover, in my opinion is absolutely OK so far.
      Metal there would not be an option, cause the weight would increase a lot more… If the plastic is durable, so why not… The only thing i am interested is the silver cover near the cassette. Is this plastic or at least steel? if the chain drops, it could be scratchy…

    • Tom

      of course inside all this big plastic parts they have cheap metal frames. but this is the opposite of ‘form follows function’ – this is ‘we make a brainless construction – cover anything – and most customers say wooohoooo at the first glance’.

      i’m not talking about how the trainer works – at least for the first year or so. i just say the mechanical construction is not well thought – that’s why they had to cover anything with lots of materials without real function and hard to recycle.

      the wahoo kickr (and some others as well) is a straightforward construction – better to maintain and fix. using SO MUCH PLASTIC just for show and adding senseless weight is not just outdated – it’s really ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION.

      just my 2 cents

    • Einundsiebzig

      To be honest, wich product today (eletronics, etc.) does not use a lot of plastic. go for a coffee machine, a tv, a monitor, a mouse…

      If you ever have had a “daum 8i” ergometer, wich I had a couple of years ago, where every steel metal part got rusty and even the electronics inside the ergometer started to rust, you might think a little bit different.

      As long it will be durable and does his job, I do not care.
      By the way, the Kickr has a metal stand and the rest is also a lot of plastic too…

    • The reason for the weight is that you don’t want it to easily tip over.

      If you go with a folding approach to spread out the weight for a wider base (to reduce top-heavy aspects), then you want to ensure those components will last a long time.

    • Einundsiebzig

      From my point of view the designer did quite a good job in FFF, means form follows function.
      Ray, can you tell me about the silver cover next to the cassette? plastic or metal?

    • When I get back home later tonight I’ll see what material it is exactly.

    • Tom

      yup – and that’s what wahoo achieved without all this PLASTIC CRAZINESS – like apple with their macbook pro unibody …

    • Einundsiebzig

      macbook is a good example… but you pay the price tag! and if you have a big scratch in your brushed little macbook cover, it does hurt much more… I know what i am talking about… 🙂

    • I’m confused. In one comment you said you hated the use of plastics, and in another you want plastics. 🙂

    • Tom

      ray – i don’t know what comment you are talking about where i said i want plastic.
      fact is – i love plastic too – the right plastic in the right place. e.g. the housings of my festool tools – but just to cover a mediocre construction – i do not …

      anyway – have a good one

    • Tom

      i guess the bell shape you are asking for is one of metal parts. in this screenshot from tacx promo video you find it on the left side carrying the neodyms.

      what you also can see – is all this overengineering around a semi-good concept. if after some time something starts to wobble or to creak – examining the reason must be great fun 🙂

    • Einundsiebzig

      Yeah, i would guess this part is metal, hopefully robust enough to stand against a flipping chain. Except that I do not have any problem with good durable plastic around.
      And I really do not think like you do. I find its not that much over engineered. If you look at the parts, it is surprisingly simple and not that complicated as you would think at your first look from the outside. For me it looks like it does not have a lot of parts with heavy load or wear on it. So hopefully this unit will be long lasting and durable. We will see, I will see, everything else is look in a crystal ball.

    • To settle the question, the plate behind the cassette area is some form of metal, as a magnet sticks to it just fine.

      Pic attached.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Thanx Ray, are you sure about this test with the magnet? Remember there are a lot of Neodym’s behind the Cover. Exactly where your magnet sticks… :-/
      Looks like you already have a magnet of Zwifts next generation course Hawaii-Watopia … 🙂

    • Not 100% certain, but it feels like a metal and not a plastic. And quite honestly either will scratch roughly the same way with a high speed chain.

    • Tom

      ray – it’s not rocketsience – just touch the plate with the outside of your fingers and then one of the black plastic parts. if the silver one ‘feels colder’ then its matal – because of the higher thermal conductivity of metal …
      of course maybe it could be porcelain or glass or … either :)))

      have a good one

    • Hence why I said “it feels like a metal”. 😉

      I’ve long since learned though that even when I think I’ve figured out the material there’s some new wonky material that acts one way and is in reality another. Again, it feels strong and metal-like, but virtually any material out there will scratch if you run a chain over it at high speed.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Or flame it, cause metal won’t burn or melt as good as plastic…
      *duck and away*

    • Tom

      yup – but i think einundsiebzig was asking – because nothing looks as bad as scratched silver plastic – because mostly black plastic is under the surface …

      p.s. the ‘fire experiment’ sounds plausible 🙂

    • John Vella

      I spot a magnet from Malta! Finally good use for a holiday souvenir!
      Next time you’re here, contact me before and we’ll set up a few runs, rides or swims with local triathletes. If its May to October there’s a good chance there’s a race on.


    • Haha…yup, indeed from a trip last fall for a work trip. More details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

  59. Hands down the best review for a trainer I have ever seen. Excited to get these in. It seems like the one to have.

  60. A Jeffrey

    Hi Ray,

    Do you have any idea about availability in Australia?
    I’ve been getting a lot of confused looks asking around at my LBS’s.

  61. Howard Lu

    Hi Ray, how does this compare with Elite Real Turbo Muin? Is it quieter? Which one, in your view, is better bang for the buck? Thanks!

  62. John

    So I get that it functions as a sort of built-in power meter, and the speed is pretty obvious, but I don’t understand how it can reliably track cadence?

    • Bart

      Even being the perfect cyclist, your pedaling on a bike will always show a slight difference in power output throughout the pedaling circle. Tacx trainer (from Satori Smart and up) will notice this and calculate your cadence out of it. The Tacx Genius trainer being used with TTS4 software will even notice difference in the power output between left and right leg and inform you through a bar in the trainer software.

    • Michael

      Today i used my neo smart for the second time – actually i’m using TrainerRoad.
      Two observations i made.
      At the end of the unit i tried to cycle als constant as possible – the values for cadence are very erroneous.
      You can see this under the following link.
      link to trainerroad.com
      So it seems to me tacx should have better build in dedicated device for cadence measurement.

      Another point is the handling of the peaks. It is not possible to ride them nearly perfect in erg mode. The interaction between TR and neo smart seems to be to slow. I don’t know which one is to slow.

  63. Einundsiebzig

    Is the Neo really all plastic? Or is at least the silver cover, next to the chain metal?

  64. rgurney

    Ray – What is the width of the Neo base? Cannot find dimensions online anywhere. Thanks.

  65. Zeljko

    Hi Ray,

    I decided to go with new and much cheaper Tacx Genius Smart. Is this model any different than Tacx Ironman – or is it basically the same hardware and purely cosmetic difference?

    Thanks for your opinion,


    • Phil

      They are the same trainers hardware wise, but the Ironman ships with a few extra Ironman related goodies & if you do Ironman you will look the part while training!

    • Bart

      Not even close hardwarewise.
      If you compare the Tacx Genius Smart and the Tacx IRONMAN the are very different in power limits.
      I don’t know your needs but there is more than cosmetic difference,

    • Zeljko

      Thanks Phil. Copy, same hardware.

    • Zeljko

      Bart, can you explain just a little bit more? In what way are they different? Thanks 🙂

    • Yes sorry there is a difference between the older Genius & the new Genius Smart, think I heard they may have improved the break & its got the FE-C ability to link to 3rd party software. Its the same break as the Ironman Smart though.

  66. Lars Storm

    Ok I will repeat the question regarding thru axles: will Neo fit a 142×12 mm axle on fx a mountainbike ?

  67. Ben Mills

    I asked Tacx about 135mm spacing and I got this answer:

    “There is an adapter set added so you can have longer axles. So that is not a problem.
    E true 12 mm axles is, but there will be a solution for that in the future. ”

    The 2nd sentence got garbled somehow, but they seem to be saying that thru axles are not supported yet, (but will be in the future).

    135mm axles are supported with an adapter, but I still don’t know if that’s included in the box. I just asked and will update when I hear.

  68. gabe

    Ray is the Vortex the best value for an electronically controlled trainer?

  69. gabe

    btw – i found some too good to be true prices on these trainers

    any thoughts?

    link to starbike.com

    • Steven

      I have had good luck with star bike. They are my source for all things euro. They claim to have the narrow Schwalbe pro one tubeless in stock too. I am waiting for the 28mm version.

  70. Remember, it takes a lot of time of training on this Tacx to burn the calories of those stroopwafels.

  71. Asaf Elbaz

    Another great deal (~333$ for the vortex, ~534$ for the Bushido) on Bike24

    • gabe

      thanks for the link.

      i ended up getting the vortex for $285 – tour de france edition (I actually prefer the colors over the baby blue) – it also includes the ipad stand.

      I’ll give it a go!

  72. marvin

    Hi DC, thanx for making the review so soon. And it’s stroopwafels indeed 😉

    Anywaysz my question is what kind of casette is on the tacx from shimano? Or doesn’t it matter cuz you can buy you own and set it up?


  73. v

    Tacx Neo Smart, 1.007,56€ (without VAT), available in 10 days.

    link to bike-components.de

  74. Jonathan Pope

    Thanks Ray… Can’t wait for your follow up on power accuracy. Assuming the numbers are within specs, do you think that the initial units will be bug free (hardware and internal electronics)? As a a follow up, has Tacx customer service and support improved from the point they were at a few years ago in your other reviews? If these two points are in question, I’d go for the Kickr for its proven track record… Thanks for your time.

    • I wouldn’t expect a lot of hardware or internal electronics issues with their units, they tend not to have issues in that space. Almost all of the complaints I’ve seen historically are on the software and connectivity side (pairing, etc…).

      I hear mixed things on support, it sounds like it’s generally quite a bit better in Europe, but still varies in the US depending on your retailer. They did introduce a new support platform which was designed to make that easier. Before I post a review I’ll circle back with them to understand exactly what’s changed in the support realm over the past few years.

  75. Nicholas Mugridge

    Hi Ray,

    Are you able to get some sort of cast-iron response from Tacx that they’ll support the 142 mm x 12 mm axle standard with an adaptor of some sort for the Neo? I’m close to pulling the trigger but need some reassurance it’ll support that axle standard…otherwise it’ll be pretty useless to me in all honesty.

    Given that the road bike market is shifting to discs, the momentum is certainly underway, with the 142 x 12 likely to be the standard and the fact that the World Tour peloton will be on discs from 2017, I’m in some way VERY surprised Tacx hasn’t created something at launch, which can’t be that hard if Wahoo managed it, surely?!


    • Phil

      I was told they planned to have the MTB hub adapters included in the box, I know I see them during the demonstration they did for the Neo back in July so for sure Tacx is producing them. I would check with Tacx or your shop to be 100% sure.

  76. Mathias

    I’ve got a first-generation Tacx Bushido and with one of the later firmware updates they released they supposedly added support for controlling the break resistance based on power values from a 3rd party ANT+ power meter. I haven’t actually tried it myself yet, since I only just recently got my first ANT+ power meter, but I was wondering if this can be done with the new Smart models as well (and the NEo in particular…)?

    • Einundsiebzig

      How does it make sense, to control the brake power of bushido by power meter signal connected to a bushido? You ride your power meter bike on your bushido and the power meter you pedal gives the resistance to bushido? You may mean something completly different…

    • Mathias

      Since the Bushido power meter (the one in the brake) isn’t very accurate, it makes a great deal of sense to use the same ANT+ power meter that you normally use (on the road) to make sure that the resistance applied by the break is the same as when you normally pedal with a certain strain.

    • Indeed, this helps to ensure that your power numbers outside match inside – specifically ideal for intervals and wattage-targeted goals/workouts.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Okay, you said the update made it possible to “controll” the brake resistance by use of power meter. What you mean is to calibrate the bushido output via power meter while riding! That’s a totally different thing!!! 😉

    • Actually, it’s both. See, in order for the brake to match the power meter, there’s a loop that has to occur there (power meter reads power, transmits out > trainer picks up power meter, changes resistance based on specification > power meter adjusts to new resistance). This loop could be subject to small delays of course.

    • Jian

      My question is: is there an app-controllable “smart” trainer without in-built power meter? Ray, as you said, it makes perfect sense to use the power meter on the bike to keep consistency indoors and outdoors. Therefore I feel the power meter in the trainer is redundant and can be cut to make the trainer cheaper?

  77. Einundsiebzig

    Okay, so it is not like wahoo does it with an “offset value” to correct the power trainer?

  78. Griffin

    Just to follow up on what Ray said in this post about Elite, namely: “When it comes to the Elite Turbo Muin, it’s sorta in the same camp as the NEO for apps. Both have FE-C, so you’ll see all of the FE-C apps support both at the same time (i.e. Zwift, TrainerRoad, Kinomap, and others already). That list of ANT+ FE-C apps will only grow over the next few weeks. I’d be blown away if there’s any apps not supporting it by October, given the number of trainers that’ll support it.”

    Well I just saw that Elite posted this to their Twitter feed today —

    Elite ‏@Elite_cycling

    Elite Protocol open to developers.Are you a programmer who’s working on an app or have you already created one? Contact us:real@elite-it.com
    0 retweets 0 favorites

  79. gabe

    SO can anyone chime in on these “smart” trainers.

    I typically just follow power. say using Trainer Road

    The only incentive to go smart is to play games like swift or following videos.

    is this just a fad? does a smart trainer make the experience much better? worth the premium price when one already has a power meter?

    I’d like to hear from someone who went from a fluid trainer to a smart one – i

  80. Lee

    Thats not the only incentive. Since you use Trainer Road, lets use that as an example….on the feed I see countless people who are trying to match their output to the requested target and failing. Or they will complete 50% on target and start to dwindle off towards the end. As soon as you introduce a smart trainer that controls the resistance, there is no “cheating”, you simply must produce the power it asks for or be forced to stop or change the intensity. I use the word cheating loosely, of course no-one is getting an unfair advantage as such! But if you have a smart trainer you have a scientific repeatable test which cannot be beaten.

    It also has a downside however. In real life, if you want to get out of the saddle you can change a few gears, lower the cadence and do so. Very hard to do on a smart trainer which then weakens the resistance. It suits staying in the saddle really.

    • gabe

      Hi Lee – Thanks for the response.

      I wasn’t aware trainer road worked with the smart trainers. Do you exclusively use trainer road? do you have thoughts on other services?

      I live in california so it will be all year around cycling but weekdays after work i’ll be back on the trainer. Was looking to “spice” up my training with a smart trainer like the tacx vortex.

  81. Lee

    I am pretty much exclusive on TrainerRoad. Occasionally I’ll fire up Zwift, but thats more to see whats changed etc (I still feel the speed/aspect/scenery is disjointed to the cycling power).

    I’m a sufferfest nut – got all the videos (although I tend to keep going back to just a handful). I fall somewhere between the guy murdering his legs looking at nothing but numbers on an ipad and someone who wants a fully interactive experience. For me, sufferfest videos combine a really good workout with enough visual/audio stimulus. I was halfway through Nine Hammers when I saw your reply on my phone 😉

    For me, training is the turbo and riding is for enjoyment. OK so if I go and do a 200Km ride that certainly has training benefit, but I regard the turbo as the place where you make most gains and the bike the place you get to enjoy them. When the weather gets bad and I just want to spin, I’ll just stick on some music videos from youtube or something.

    • ian james

      I agree with your approach to training and riding 100% lee, grovel in the basement on the turbo doing the quality stuff, then get out on the road just to enjoy the ride and reap the benefits of all that suffering!!. like yourself I am a big fan of the sufferfest videos but this then brings me back to my previous post about the response/reaction time of the smart trainers to the wattage level changes in the trainerroad workout. I currently use a cycleops powerbeam pro trainer hooked up to trainerroad using the ergo mode, and I find that this set up works just fine in the main. however when doing my sufferfest workouts I find the lag of time of 15 to 20 seconds for the powerbeam to respond to the change in wattage makes following the workout/video a little awkward at times especially doing the short sharp interval stuff (“revolver” for example). what trainer are using with trainerroad, do you train using ergo or slope modes, and do you experience the same lag issues?. if the new tacx neo responds better than my current trainer then I may invest in one but if not I think I will be going down the wahoo kickr road for my next trainer.

    • Lee

      I use a KICKR using the erg mode. I just pulled a TR session, zoomed in – the lag you talk about is very small indeed. I can see the KICKR reacts to a change within a second, however its about 2-3 seconds before the output I produce meets the target, HOWEVER this is a good thing. The KICKR is bringing up the resistance slowly. Imagine on something like revolver if you went from 100W to 300W instantly, you would seriously jolt your knees. The same is true in reverse, the KICKR doesn’t immediately “let go”, its a gradual release of the resistance, although I would comment its faster to let go than it is to ramp it up.

      Certainly I think it works very well and in tune with the human body. 15 to 20 seconds sounds downright rubbish to be honest and something is not right there. A few of the videos are slightly out of sync to the profile which exaggerates this, however you can create a copy of the profile and add a second or so if need be.

      I also use ANT+, I tried the joke that is TR’s implementation of bluetooth and its downright rubbish. I have a USB extension cable so my ANT+ dongle is right by my KICKR. Its possible you have one or more of weak signal / sub-optimal dongle, or maybe it is just that the cycleops is slow to react.

      I get my Neo in about a week so I will be able to provide a spot on back-to-back test. I’m trying the Neo because I’ve been plagued with power consistency issues on the KICKR and I don’t like the way it has zero lateral give.

    • Ian S

      Lee, interested in your comparison of the Neo against your kickr. Especially the power tracking accuracy of the Neo (not having to move my Vector’s onto the turbo bike every time would be a big sell for me). Any views yet?

  82. ian james

    hi lee,
    thanks for your response and information provided, much appreciated. I would be very much interested to hear about your results when comparing the neo and kickr back to back. your comments about how the kickr works with trainerroad echoes what I have heard from others using this combo and is very much as I would want from my training sessions, hence why I am on the lookout for a new trainer. if the neo comes close or betters the kickr then I may be indeed tempted to go for this option also so please keep me informed.
    many thanks, ian james.

  83. Just wondering how it works as a plain fluid trainer? That is – no mans power connected, no iPhone / IPad control, just an Edge 810 to record speed, power, HR, etc.

    Would I be able to just ride intervals, etc and use gear change / speed to vary the resistance?

  84. marvin

    Hi DC, i was wondering if you allready had the time to do the sound/noise test comparison with the right equipment? Last time it was broken and you had to use the ipad

  85. Does it work with XX1 cassette an 12 / 142 axle ?

  86. Martin

    Hello.. great review as always. I have just ordered one – sub £1k in the UK (sorry). Does anyone know which Ant+ USB adapter (Tacx/Garmin/Suunto) will work with the latest Mac OS X to allow communication/control with the Tacx Neo and Zwift? Without having to run VMware or Parallels. I have a Polar V800 and Viiiiva with Garmin 1000 that communicate all data between them on the road. Pity the Viiiva would not link the Mac to the Tacx Neo – maybe one day!!

    • Stu

      I have the garmin dongle plugged into my Mac on latest OS X and it picks up the ant+ signal from my garmin speed sensor and cadence and heart rate for zwift

  87. Rob

    I have bought the Tacx Neo last Friday 11-09-2015 and yesterday I found out that the app for the iPad is not working. This morning Tacx send a tweet that the new app for the iPad for the Neo T2800 will be delivered not earlier than the beginning of October. So at this moment I can only use the app for the smartphone. Or use the discount card that is in the box and buy the Upgrade Smart via the webshop of Tacx for a price of €179,– with the discount of €100,– still have to pay €79,–.
    Tacx never mentioned this in there pre-sale the last weeks or on there site.

    • marvin

      Do you allready own the NEO? Wow that’s fast!

      You can just use any other software in the meantine right? Do you know if the same problem is on an android tablet?

    • Martin

      Thanks for letting me know Rob. Does it communicate through Bluetooth to the iPad? I’m interested in using Zwift (currently free) !!!

    • Rob

      Yep, I already own one. That is the lucky I have because my reseller is the first in the Netherlands to deliver the Neo.
      I heard from my reseller that you can use other software in the meantime. And I don’t for sure if the problem is also on android tablets. But I think that if the problem is on the app of an iPad than it will also be on the android app, at tis moment I do not see anything from Tacx about the app for android they only are mentioning iPad.

    • Rob

      Tacx is saying that it communicate via bluetooth on the iPad, but I think that this from iPad2 and earlier. I see now on the site of tax the following comment what was not placed earlier today.
      “Connect to iPad
      Unfortunately the Tacx Cycling app for iPads cannot yet be used for the NEO Smart. This is only applicable to the iPad app, the Tacx applications for Android tablets and for smartphones (iOS and Android) do work. The problem will be solved start of October.”

    • marvin

      What reseller did you use Rob? I live in the Netherlands also 🙂

    • marvin

      Never mind i see the one in voorburg has it. Very close to my home but it’s on sale for 1399. van bon has it for 1275 so i will just wait 7 days 🙂

    • Arno

      Tacx’ app update for iPad has been released on Oct 6th and iPad control now works fine!

  88. Rob

    Sorry, I ment to say “iPad2 and later”

  89. rob

    It is indeed van Herwerden, but vanBon sell this one without the cassette, van Herwerden is the cassette included in the price. Good luck with the delivery time, because the price with vanBon with only the Neo is still 1399 on there site without the superdeal-code, the delivery is still standing on 1 to 3 days, and that is for the last five day’s.
    But you never know.

  90. rob

    And one more thing, if you have a Shimano/SRAM cassette you need to tight the EDCO lockring (delivered with the Neo) with the Campagnolo lockring removal tool. You can not use the Shimano/SRAM locking removal tool.

    • marvin

      wow, thx! i think i will let it be pre-installed for 10€ 🙂 Saves me alot of trouble

    • Einundsiebzig

      If youn have a shimano/SRAM cassette, you should also have at least one compatible lockring wich usually comes with the cassette…

    • Steven

      From what I have read about EDCO multisys, it always requires the Campy lockring supplied with the cassette body even with shimano. I am ordering the campy lockring tool just in case 🙂

    • Einundsiebzig

      No need to! The NEO comes with two different lockrings. One for Campy, one for Shimano!

    • Einundsiebzig

      Sorry, had a closer look. Inside are two lockrings, one for 12T one for 11T, both are CAMPY! So you are right. Tonight I can make some Photots if you would like!

    • Steven

      I just ordered the lockring tool shipped to my place for 7000 KRW or about 5,25 EUR. Now I just need starbike to get their stock so they can ship to me 🙂

  91. Mindz

    rob, care to share your first impression other than the disappointment about the ipad connectivity?

  92. Andrew (UK)

    “And one more thing, if you have a Shimano/SRAM cassette you need to tight the EDCO lockring (delivered with the Neo) with the Campagnolo lockring removal tool. You can not use the Shimano/SRAM locking removal tool.”

    What does this mean please? I’m loo currently waiting for the Neo to come into stock in the UK. I didn’t see anything in DC’s review about additional steps to install a Shimano (market leader) cassette and I’m going to have to purchase tools to do this in the first place (major pain in the back side).

    Has this now just got a whole load more complicated ?

  93. Andrew (UK)

    Does anyone use a PC (not a laptop) that’s not right next to their Trainer to control training apps / Zwift ?

    I’m concerned that this technology still isn’t “complete” and it all looks complicated / bitty / non-standard. Seems that in addtion to a bike and a Neo I need at least, a PC, HMDI connectivity to the Amp / TV, a cassette for the Neo, tools to fit the cassette, ANT+ dongle / USB extension cable, ANT+ dongle for the iPad AND a lightning convertor because they don’t make ANT+ dongles for iPads built in the last couple of years.

    Pretty horrendous from user experience point of view. And I’m probably still missing something.

    • Einundsiebzig

      I am not sure if the tacx neo would be the right choice for you. 🙂
      You def have to deal with other tools and equipment to get the most out a such a trainer. From my point of view, some tools are must have for a serious cyclist (cassette tool).
      And where is the deal if you need a USB cable of 3-5m to get in Range of a PC.
      You buy an electronic device and this is alway cheeky and you have to deal with adapters, mounts, cables, etc.
      What you brought up should be enough to have fun with the neo. What I also own is a Phone Mount for the Zwift Mobile App, an Ipad Mount (wich I made by my own with a 3d printer), a laptop stand where i can put my macbook on, some towel holders on it to grab a new towel, if of is soaken wet, water resistantearphones, 2 Fans, ANT+ and Bluetooth Heartrate Strap, and of course Cycling Shoes 😉 …

    • Lee

      Hi Andrew

      my setup – based on a home cinema system – mediaPC connected to receiver (in turn to amps and projector). I use a simple 2m USB extension cable with a Garmin ANT+ dongle to ensure there’s no signal dropouts from trainer to PC. (Currently using KICKR, just waiting on delivery of a Neo).

      Without wishing to offend, I would politely suggest that anyone who’s thinking of spending £1k on a turbo trainer probably already has a number of bikes or cassettes, and so this would not be an issue. Assuming you don’t, a 105 cassette plus chain whip and cassette lockring can be bought for £40 all-in.

      For a start – if you’re using a PC you don’t need an iPad. But if you did want to use an iPad instead, you would communicate over Bluetooth, thus removing the need for any ANT+ dongles and lightning converters. I think you are over egging the pain of setup here 😉

      I have zero issues with my setup. Zero. I cannot stress that enough – no issues whatsoever. I get no dropouts between trainer and PC and TrainerRoad/Zwift have no issue with the control and received power. HDMI from PC into receiver and out via amps/speakers and projector is just “the done thing”, again no issues.

      It is not horrendous, its not even remotely painful. I will accept that I fall into the category of technical user, and that if you are not technically minded then you would struggle. I’m sure we all have friends/family who couldn’t get an HDMI source working with a TV 😀 but respectfully thats no fault of the products.

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Einundsiebzig – You have some serious kit there and I’m certainly wishing to avoid much of that. I don’t have a dedicated room for this setup, so keeping things minimal is key. Although admittedly things do tend to “mount up”.

      I own a fair bit of cycling gear, but I’m a firm believer in getting the LBS to do the big stuff. Therefore removing / fitting cassettes is something I’ve avoided. And if I bought a Kicker / virtually any other current trainer I wouldn’t need to do this either.

      I guess I’ll just have to suck it up, but this will mature into something that just works with minimal cabling eventually.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Thanks Lee. I too will be using a home cinema system. But the key difference is that most people (like your good self) are using a nice tidy Media Center PC in the Rack or a laptop. I instead have a Gaming Rig about 15ft away from from the trainer and not currently linked to the home cinema system. I don’t want to buy a £1000 laptop just for Zwift and already have 4 ipads. A MC PC would be nice, but again I already have far too many devices and don’t want any more just to play zwift.

      I can easily link the PC to the Amp via HDMI. But although the ANT+ standard says it works over big distances, lots of people have issues over just a few ft.

      iPad – I’ve spoken to a few apps (eg TrainerRoad) and the BlueTooth just doesn’t cut for fully control of the Kickr. So I do need ANT+ for the iPad.

      So my main concern is will the ANT+ work over 10-15ft ?

    • Lee

      You’ll “probably” need to change the cassette on a KICKR too.

      Mine came with 10sp, bike was 11sp. And in addition, over the winter if you’re using it extensively you need to run the same chain/cassette combo. I got horrible vibration on my KICKR when using the bike chain on the “new” kickr cassette.

    • Lee

      1. I’ve never had any issues using TrainerRoad on ipad/iphone / Bluetooth and the KICKR. Not sure where “doesn’t cut it” is coming from.
      2. I use Wahoo fitness app with the KICKR (bluetooth) also, no issues.
      3. ANT+ would not work in my environment over 15ft. Too much interference…..however…
      4. a 5m USB extension cable is £1.94 on Amazon.

      zero issues 🙂

    • Einundsiebzig

      I would say 10-15ft will not work without an extra usb extension cable for 5-6 Bucks!

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee – The issue with BT control is with the Neo currently. Not the Kickr. The Kickr however is almost certainly too loud for my appartment.

      I’m not entirely sure how far you can extend USB over a cable. If 5m is ok then that should solve my potential problems, but it is another cable across an otherwise tidy room.

      Everything just feels like a cludge using my current PC unfortunately. If TR and Zwift worked over BT to the iPad then the PC could be taken out of the equation and everything would be neat / tidy. This will be the case within a year, but just looks like I’ll have to muddle by until then.

      Thanks all for the input.

    • Lee

      As far as I am aware, Zwift does not run on iPad. Only their mobile companion app runs on iOS. Mac or PC for the main app only.

      TrainerRoad runs on iOS just fine, although you will need to use something like dropbox to store videos for workout playback. A PC is easier in this regard. You are then limited to the iPad screen size and audio, unless you do airplay mirroring, which sounds like another compatibility headache 🙂

      So in reality, PC is simply easier all around.

      5m is the longest distance for USB2. You can buy active USB cables (which effectively act as a USB repeater) for a tenner eg link to scan.co.uk

      Certainly though, you definitely want to get your ANT+ dongle close to your trainer. A lot of people’s issues are todo with poor reception.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Indeed, Zwift isn’t fully on the iPad yet, but according to their website it will be by June 2016. Lets allow them a lot of slack on that timescale (as it’s still free Beta) but at least it’s coming.

      BT control of the Neo will come too (for apps like TR), I believe DC refers to this in his review alhough I’m not as confident as him that it will be available before October when most users start to get their deliveries.

      Good choice with Scan, they built my PC for me 😉

    • Mindz

      can we see that 3d printed mount? 😛

    • Einundsiebzig

      Of course. Here it is mounted on my Cyclus2!

    • Mindz

      cool, thanks! what printer and software did you use if I may ask?

    • Einundsiebzig

      I use a pimped mendelmax 2.0 with Slic3r. Layout in Solidworks.
      I have printed a lot of stuff for my bikes.
      For example Garmin Mounts, DI2 Clipholders, Aeropockets, Clips…

    • Steven

      I have an Intel NUC (link to intel.com) strapped to the back of a touchscreen monitor. It’s actually pretty blazing fast, power efficient, and has passable graphics (Iris 6100). All I had to do was add memory and an SSD drive, but there are vendors who sell them complete. Works for zwift/trainer road. I also have a USB hub coming off of it that charges/updates all my garmin devices, cardo bluetooth headsets, DI2, etc…

  94. Arno van der Loop

    I bought a Tacx Neo , but is there seems to be a bug in the software ( according to Tacx) so the brake does not work with the official tacx software ( TTS advanced). The brake shows also no reaction on my smartphone ( Tacx App) .How can it be that DC rainmaker writes a positive review about an UNFINISHED product ??

    • Einundsiebzig

      As you can read in the comments before, just use 3rd Party software and be happy with the tacx Neo.
      Tacx software is well known to be buggy and unfinished… At their website the write, that they are working on their Ipad App right now… How do you connect your phone (Bluetooth)? Can you establish the trainer/phone connection? For example my Sony Xperia also have ANT+…

    • Arno van der Loop

      I connect with Bluetooth and the android Tacx Cycling App. Connecting is easy , but still the brake is not working .Tacx replied that I should add 20 kg to my weight ( virtually) and that this would solve the problem till the software is updated ..WTF !! Selling an UNFINISHED product , and not delivering what is promised ??

      This product does not deserve a positive review !!

    • Einundsiebzig

      Lol, funny you are… You claim software issues of an free app wich actually have nothing to do with the trainer! Just use an free ANT+ FE-C compatible software and have fun and ride some kilometers. At least you should see that this review was a trainer review and not a software or app review…

    • Dennis


      Too bad it’s not working for you.
      I had no problems connecting the NEO to TTS 4.16.3, in a minute all was working fine.
      Which version of TTS are you working with? I believe ANT+FE-C is added in version 4.16.2



  95. Arno van der Loop

    @ Einundsibzig TTS advanced is not for free . 🙂

    • Einundsiebzig

      And still not officially supported for the neo as you can read in the tacx forum!

    • Martin

      Interesting that its not supported. Yet they offer 100Euro off the TTS Advanced Smart pack with every NEO at the moment. Or is it that the issue is TTS being controlled over Bluetooth, which I thought was not really possible. If you use Ant+ then not an issue perhaps. Hopefully I will find out when mine arrives next week – hopefully. But agree so many alternatives to use than TTS so should be fine. Although looks like I’ll have to dig out the old Windows laptop and put the Mac down !!! Anyone know if the Edge1000 can control it as the 520 currently can yet?

    • Einundsiebzig

      Read DCs review 😉

      “Today it’s the Edge 520, but Garmin has stated the Edge 1000 will get the update as well. However, the Edge 510 & Edge 810 will not be updated for ANT+ FE-C control. No other devices have been announced either.”

      No update till today for the 1000!

    • Arno van der Loop

      @ Martin TTS is connected by ANT +,

    • Martin

      @ Arno that really is not good then..100 Euro off pointless :o) . Which Ant+ USB stick are you using?

    • Einundsiebzig

      This could be a problem, as for example a Garmin 1 Gen. USB1 Ant+ Stick won’t do it, because of not enough channels.

  96. Arno van der Loop

    I use the ANT+ antenna ( Tacx). This one link to tacx.com

  97. Einundsiebzig

    So from the ANT+ side you are fine:

    link to tacx.com

    Supports up to 8 channels!

  98. Dan

    Disappointment for UK Neo lovers. It appears Tacx didn’t make the expected 16th import date. Suggestion is possibly end of Month. Be interesting to hear if anyone in UK has got there order delivered.

  99. Stevster

    Told yesterday by a very apologetic dealer that Tacx wont be delivering my tacx neo which had been on order since end of July.
    Now looking at beginning of October.
    He wasnt informed by Tacx until Wednesday.
    Very disappointing.

  100. I see that Tacx is now pushing their Neo trainer as “The first REAL direct drive” link to tacx.com
    What a coincidence. I wonder what Elite think about that?

  101. earl

    Was looking at the tacx neo but think i’m going to opt for the tacx vortex instead. Can anyone tell me if I need to buy the tacx upgrade smart to use the tacx vortex in ergo mode with trainer road on a windows laptop? If so, is an alternative to use with a garmin 520 to control for simple ergo power set intervals? Any help or advice on this would be great.

    • Steven

      Earl, you do not need to get the upgrade smart to use TR, zwift, or any other app. You do need an ANT+ usb adapter — which the upgrade smart includes or you can use any other ant+ USB adapter such as Garmin ANT+ ($30-40 USD). The reason to get the upgrade smart is if you want to use Tacx Trainer Software (TTS). Trainer road does almost all the same things– the one really cool thing is TTS allows you to ride GPS rides with streetview/google earth images.

      The losing proposition here (for NEO buyers trying to use the discount card) is that you have to wait to get your trainer before you get the card, which can be redeemed at TACX.com only. Now that TACX has slipped on dates, if you want to use the neo you have to wait for it to finally ship, get the trainer, order online, wait for tacx to process and ship you wherever you are. Since the trainer’s main proposition is to be used with a computer — it is dead weight until that other item makes it to you. So I am just ordering the Garmin ANT+ adapter and sticking to trainer road, as the additional ant+ adapter would be of no use.

  102. Stevster

    Sorry for late reply, from the UK.

  103. Nicholas

    Hi Ray,

    Excuse me for asking again – would you be able to clarify or get Tacx (perhaps Martin) to confirm if the Neo will support 142 x 12 axle for MTB AND road bikes, please?

    I’m finding very mixed info – nothing of any note to confirm this…

    Thank you

  104. Ewan

    I’m thinking of buying a neo.

    I’m currently running an 11 speed shimano set up on my bike. My partner has a bike with shimano 8 speed. She’s not going to be a heavy user, but if anyone could advise if/how with the right spacers etc an 8 speed cassette could be occasionally fitted, would make it easier to justify!

  105. Coach

    I use a stationary (Monark) bike for testing my client. Of course there is some positive factors regarding possibility to test the athlete on their own bike.
    Is the tacx Neo the Product for me? Any other recommendations? The product must have the possibility to be calibrated and the the option to build your own test battery based on watt.

    Thanks for great presentations!

  106. joe

    Pre ordered my tacx neo! super stoked. Any recs for a good ipad holder for the bars?

  107. Stevster

    I use a technical piece of kit for my tablet…its called a shelf ?

  108. Soren Bech


    Just a friendly piece of advice: Next time you make a video to illustrate the noise level – please include a non-speaking period so the viewer/listener can estimate the noise level – and secondly – the perceived annoyance is not related to noise level alone (ie SPL meter reading), but includes a number of other factors – in this case the pure tone components of the other trainer will have a significant influence (ie its much more annoying despite similar SPL readings) on the perceived annoyance 🙂
    – Otherwise thanks for the review – very useful 🙂


  109. Einundsiebzig

    I have made another sound recording: link to vocaroo.com
    1st little Backspin, then Big Ring 52/15 100RPM, then 39/15 100 RPM, then rollin Freehub

  110. Soren Bech


    Much better – thanks 🙂


  111. Steven

    Looks like rose bike in Germany got a few in stock, now they are down to one. Here’s to hoping that means other dealers get theirs soon as well!

  112. Blake Green

    A few somewhat important points that I didn’t see covered in the review.

    1 – Accuracy. How accurate and how consistent is it’s wattage. Is there any temperature drift?
    2 – The direct drive, is it a real direct drive (i.e. no rubber inaccurate belt like the Wahoo)?
    3 – Calibration. Does it require any calibration or is like the Velotron and is factory calibrated and doesn’t require any further calibration?

    Except for the price (and maybe even despite that), this seems to be a LOT better than the Kickr.

    • Griffin

      Actually, all three points are covered in the review. All three are answered in the FAQ that Ray wrote, plus there’s additional information from him in the comment section, as usual. #2 is addressed in the answer to #3.

  113. Darren jones

    What is the size of the footprint for the Neo? The important size for me is its width when it’s opened out. Can’t find this info anywhere. …

  114. steve williams

    anyone in the UK got theirs yet? im waiting on pedal pedal to supply.

  115. Stevster

    Hi martin
    Yes communication has been good, even got a voicemail from them when tacx had let them down. Sent an email today and not had reply but im sure they will.
    Hadnt been told they will be in monday. Website says 8th.

  116. Lee

    To anyone who’s planning on fitting their own cassette – don’t forget you’ll need a campag lockring tool, even if you are a shimano user.

    And also – anyone using 10sp cassettes, you need to use BOTH spacer rings provided. The quick start guide is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, it may as well say “unbox and use product.”

    • Griffin


      I’ve read the discussion in earlier comments about the Campy lockring issue (started by Steve at thread #213) and now your comment. In the interest of clarifying this issue for me because I’m giving serious consideration to getting this trainer when it hits the States in the coming months, I’d like to ask for some elaboration from you if I may?

      For this trainer, I’d order a new Shimano 10-sp cassette and it would come prepared with its own lockring, for which I possess all of the tools necessary to fit it to a compatible hub. So, are you saying that given the hub on the trainer, I would not be able to use the lockring included with the Shimano cassette? That I would have to instead use a lockring that is included with the trainer, for which I would require a Campy tool? Further, that this lockring will still work with the Shimano cassette?

      Additionally, as to the use of the spacers for 10sp compatibility, is this something that you discovered only upon installation through a visual alignment or perhaps by shifting through your gears? I take it from your last comment that the manual is silent as to this issue.

      Thank you in advance for any clarification you can provide. I eagerly await user feedback from you and the others on this trainer, it looks so promising.

    • Lee

      Hiya. OK so I am a shimano user and I bought a brand new 10sp cassette for the neo. I too have a shimano lockring tool. I too was caught out 😉

      1. The lockring included with the cassette is not compatible with the EDCO hub. So you simply throw it away. This is why Tacx have included lockrings…
      2. Tacx have included two lockrings of different size. You decide which one to use based on whether your smallest cog is an 11T or a 12T. I would imagine that fitting the 12T lockring on a cassette with 11T will make the chain foul on the lockring edge as it is physically larger diameter.
      3. The supplied EDCO lockrings require a campag lockring tool.
      3. In the packet are two spacers. They are identified in the manual with individual product codes. The thicker spacer is to be used when using a 10sp cassette. For 11sp cassette it shows a dash ie “-” ie no spacer to be used. I mounted my 10sp cassette with just the thick spacer and you can wobble the cassette with your hand even when the lockring is done up. So I have concluded you must use both. Logic suggests therefore you would use the thin spacer on its own with an 11sp cassette.

      As the EDCO hub is machined to take both shimano and campag cassettes its a little fiddly to get the cassette on. Frankly my advice would be to buy both the Neo and a cassette from your local LBS and get them to fit the damn thing 🙂

      Sadly I have had to email tacx support already as a 10 minute trial spin with trainerroad shows wild power/resistance tracking issues in ERG mode whereas my kickr tracks just fine. Hopefully this will be resolved with a firmware update or something.

      Right now I couldn’t recommend the Neo to anyone non-technical or someone who isn’t prepared to wait for the bugs and niggles to be ironed out. As always the guy who gets the product on day 1 is in for a surprise. Or – in my case – I knew it wouldn’t be perfect so the niggles and quirks were as expected. Tacx don’t even have a manual up on their website yet !!!!

    • Griffin

      Thank you very much for the timely response and the thorough explanation, it all makes perfect sense now.

      I’m a little disappointed to hear about your initial experience with the trainer. I certainly hope this is something that can be resolved quickly and easily. I don’t know how you have the patience to put up with these initial quirks, I’d be completely annoyed that something so relatively expensive didn’t work properly from the start.

      I’d already ordered the Campy lockring tool prior to your reply, but now I think I’ll wait on a new cassette and chain, just in case…

  117. Stevster


    Received prompt reply email from Pedal Pedal as expected and they have confirmed the 9th as D day.
    Its a shame Tacx leave it to the retailers to have to spread the bad news.

  118. Lee

    I have had it confirmed by Tacx that TrainerRoad has an issue with FE-C, and that Tacx are assisting TrainerRoad with a fix.

    • Griffin

      It’s reassuring that the parties involved have already identified a known problem and are promptly rectifying it. Thanks to you again for working out the wrinkles for all the rest of us potential Neo owners.

    • Lee

      heh TrainerRoad’s reply was somewhat different. Apparently they haven’t even tested it on a Neo…..

      I did a sufferfest video this evening with the Neo in resistance mode. Even that just doesn’t seem right. In the little ring and a medium gear I can generate 150W easily but shifting into the bigger ring and putting down some real effort I just wasn’t able to hit figures that you’d expect. On the KICKR getting out of the saddle and dropping to a small cog I’d see 400+ easily. Was a struggle to hit 300. Right now I think I’d just conclude that TrainerRoad is a no-go for a Neo owner.

    • Griffin

      To clarify, these are the power numbers being displayed to you by the TrainerRoad app? Did the 300W feel like 300W or 400W+?

    • marvin

      I have the NEO for two weeks now and TR just works fine. You need to put it in ERG mode. Not hitting you Watt doesn’t mean the NEO is wrong. It can also mean your KICKR is wrong.

      I could be wrong but isn’t hitting 400+ on small cog strange?. You need to ride around 45km/h for that to happen. Your RPM should have been tremendous.

    • Lee

      On a 52/11 out of the saddle putting all your weight on the pedals I would expect to see big numbers, even if for just 30s or so. Just couldn’t generate this. Which is easy to do on the road, on my KICKR etc.

      I will do some proper back to back testing at some point using a KICKR, the Neo and a stages PM for reference.

    • Lee

      Sorry I wasn’t clear – by “small cog” I don’t mean the front chainrings, I mean the rear cassette. So on my setup, a 52/11 combination.

    • marvin

      ok in that case it sounds strange. I have also sent an email to TR, They responded to calibrate the tacx neo in the tacx app………

    • Sean

      Hey Lee,
      I have the exact same problem with Trainerroad and also with Bkool. I did an FTP test (i actually know my FTP, which is 280) and everything is fine, as long as TR is in ERG mode. For the 20 minutes though, it switches to resistance mode and it is almost impossible for me to hold 300W for more than 2 minutes – and it feels like at least 400W.
      Then i did a test with the Bkool software, where I climbed a 16% hill with 800m length. Even in the highest gear it was almost impossible to ride up the hill, even though the software said that I was only generating 270W. When I ride up the hill in real life or on the Kickr, I can easily use the the big gear on the front. So something is completely out of line with the neo. I already regret that I substituted it for the Kickr. The Kickr just worked.
      What is good about the Neo is, that it is quiet and does not smell like rubber after a hard exercise.

    • Sean

      Hey Griffin,
      that is exactly what it feels for me, when I try to assess the FTP test. 300W feel like 400 – do you have a solution?

    • Note: TrainerRoad has already noted above they plan to fix the NEO compatibility issue in Resistance mode.

      On BKOOL – Have you reached out to their support department?

      Ultimately, there’s going to be a period where 3rd party apps have to settle out and ensure compatibility with trainers. While some apps seem to have no issues with FE-C (i.e. Zwift), others seem to have made slight differences in implementation (i.e. BKOOL and/or TrainerRoad). Of course, it could also be some quirk with Tacx too and differences in implementation. But if folks don’t report back to their favorite apps they have a problem, then honestly isn’t not going to get fixed.

      Most of these trainer apps don’t have the money to have dozens of trainers lying around, heck, Elite released 13 of them this season alone. Tacx has 5 FE-C ones (+ marketing variants), and Wahoo has two.

  119. Jan

    Great review and in all honesty I haven’t read through all the comments so apologies if this has already been asked…anyway I now have a tacx i-genius and especially when you go uphill on the steeper section (say 7% and up) it feels less and less realistic. Not sure if others experience the same…but was just wondering whether this has improved on the Neo.

  120. Update 7.3.3 of Kinomap Trainer now supports the Tacx NEO Trainer over Bluetooth Smart 🙂

    • Griffin

      Quick, unrelated Kinomap question (my apologies to everyone for quickly hijacking this thread):

      Is there a limitation in the Kinomap app for Apple that would prevent exporting the video to a monitor/television through the Lightning port, or is this possible?

      Thank you.

    • Yes you can plug an hdmi adaptor to display on your TV, or use Apple TV instead. App interface is redesigned and optimized when being on a large screen too. More than 50% of our users run Kinomap Trainer on their iPhone with external display.

  121. Markus

    I got it today and put a shimano sp10 on it with the same tool as for the shimano lockring. To put the cassette on the Edco Multisys body is realy tricky.

    • Lee

      No idea how you managed that unless
      a) your shimano lockring tool is badly worn
      b) you managed to jam it in somehow

      My shimano lockring tool most certainly does not fit, and all the documentation says its a campag tool you need.

      link to tacx.com
      Campagnolo cassette remover T4547

    • Einundsiebzig

      Agree, the shimano tool may fit and hold a little bit.
      But not to screw the cassette tight to 30-40Nm. This would ruin the lookring…
      Only a Campa Lockring Tool fits the Edco Lockrings…

  122. JP

    For those who have it – or for DC’s full review…

    Is the mechanical design of it really truly robust? A bit concerned about the “wings” and that there is no support directly beneath the true “load” of the bicycle frame.

    That cantilevered design – while looking awesome, without it in my hands, I’m just having trouble determining if it really is a solid design for the abuse it can take over a number of years.

    • Lee

      I guess no words can really help, you need to have it in your own hands really. But the thing is a beast. I’m 76Kg and in or out of the saddle there are no creaking noises or anything to infer the unit has trouble with weight. It does flex nicely from side to side which really helps with out of the saddle efforts (whereas my KICKR is so locked down solid, getting out of the saddle felt unnatural, you had to make a very conscious effort to keep it smooth to avoid stressing the dropouts).

    • JP

      Thank you Lee – I appreciate the comments. I wish I could see it locally to feel better about it, but your comments do help.

  123. Andrew (UK)

    Reading all the latest comments is pretty off-putting. I’ve purchased Shimano tools in preparation for mounting the Shimano cassette and these are obviously now useless. Even then it doesn’t seem easy to get the job done.

    Then it seems there’s potential issues with power readings AND lots of key software.

    So I’m in a quandry. I want to purchase a trainer, need it to be simple to setup, quiet, as realistic as possible, compatible with all the key software out there and bulletproof reliable. I thought the Neo was gonig to meet the breif but the first comments from owners are suggesting otherwise.

    Can’t even purchase them in the UK anyway due to “stock issues”. Although Evans have them in at £1200.

    • Lee

      Based on your requirements, if your need is NOW, then a KICKR ticks all the boxes apart from perhaps “quiet”. Its certainly not loud, it just makes a whine whilst the flywheel is spinning. From the perspective of “training downstairs, with kids asleep upstairs”, it is absolutely fine, its far more likely that the bigger noise will be that of your TV/music.

      Right now the Neo isn’t looking too hot because software support is the biggest hurdle it seems.

      iPhone app – basic and doesn’t control the resistance (for me anyway)
      iPad app – crashes due to iOS9 release
      TTS4 – just installed this 30 mins ago, seems to work fine and power figures match my stages power meter.
      Zwift – works perfectly fine as far as I can see
      TrainerRoad – does not work *well* in ERG mode compared to a KICKR.

      I would imagine that in a month or so, the various software vendors will have ironed out the niggles, so then you’ll be left with a basic comparison of KICKR vs Neo based on price, ride feel and noise.

      Having exchanged a few emails with TrainerRoad and Tacx as well as my own observations, I’m not entirely convinced that a lack of heavy flywheel is “a good thing”. As the Neo doesn’t have a flywheel, it seems to be trying to create a virtual flywheel equivalent, however I find that its too easy to accelerate against. Again, could well be down to the software side of things.

      I’m a tech-head and appreciate these kinds of early-buyer-niggles. However if your stance is more the “Look, I’m paying top-end money, so I expect top-end product which works NOW”, then the Neo currently isn’t for you….

  124. Einundsiebzig

    I am an owner of the trainer now since two weeks. No problems at all!
    The Campa Tool for the Lockring isnt’t a big deal and every software I tried worked flawless.
    Zwift, Kinomap, Virtualtraining, PerfPro, Bkool.
    Also the power readings, compared with the values of my rotor power crank, are fine.
    Also no temp drifting at all.

    • IJ

      “Zwift, Kinomap, Virtualtraining, PerfPro, Bkool”, and Trainerroad using the ergo mode?

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Einundsiebzig – Congratz for getting the trainer in the smallest space possible 😉

      It’s interesting reading your views compared to Lee’s in-depth and disappointed thoughts. Are you not experiencing any Lag ? I’d be interested in knowing what software / modes you are using and more of your detailed experiences.

  125. Lee

    OK so this is the difference between a Neo and KICKR in TrainerRoad. For this test I created a basic TR profile and rode it on each trainer back to back using the same bike. I tried to keep to exactly 100 cadence.

    The points of interest:

    1. At the beginning, no idea what was going on. For a while I didn’t think the Neo was setup correctly, it wasn’t altering resistance at all really, hence the big delay.
    2. Note the delay on the Neo, but also the delay on the KICKR. This is because the KICKR doesn’t like dealing with low power – its heavy flywheel sometimes makes you “freewheel” at low resistance.
    3. Here the Neo had its usual large delay, but now the KICKR has a reasonable workload its quick to react.
    4. Again, Neo has a large delay and is up/down trying to match whereas the KICKR just dials it in quickly.
    5. Smaller delay on Neo, but even smaller delay on the KICKR too.
    6. The KICKR dropped the resistance nicely in one go, the Neo felt like it was having to make its mind up.

    You will also note that the cadence line in the Neo is a little peaky compared to the KICKR. The cadence figures came from the Neo directly whereas the KICKR has no cadence output so this was a wahoo speed/RPM sensor.

    In general, the resistance/power matching of the Neo is nowhere near as smooth as the KICKR and is terribly slow to react to change. It is no use in a profile that has rapid changes eg intervals or one of the more dynamic sufferfest videos.

    TrainerRoad have suggested using the power smoothing feature with the Neo. I’ll give this a go and I suspect it will indeed smooth out the graph but will do nothing for the lag / time to respond. Its a fudge basically.

    In both tests the power figures reported by my stages PM matched what was being delivered in TR.

    • IJ

      thanks for your thorough information lee, this has answered my enquiries in previous posts with regards to the trainers reaction time to the software power changes. looks like a wahoo kickr for me then!

    • I’d be somewhat cautious on making too many purchasing decisions based on using a 3rd party app, when said app hasn’t really had a lot of time to test the unit and implement any tweaks.

      Obviously there’s nothing wrong with the KICKR, but just pointing out in general it’ll likely take a few weeks for apps to stabilize and figure out any quirks with a given model (there are always quirks, and tiny little things that app companies put in place).

    • Andrew (UK)

      Thanks for the thoughts DC. This certainly sounds like positive sentiment from yourself. Will look forward to your full review, but the chances are I will need to purchase before then. Assuming the UK supply chain starts up.

      For me the main reason to choose the Neo over the Kickr is noise. I live in flat and I’d like to be able to use the trainer (anytime) without disturbing anyone adjacent to me or taking over the entire flat. In an ideal world I’d be able to use the trainer whilst the better half is watching her TV (or visa versa). I’ve never had chance to fully demo a Kickr, but watching DC’s videos suggests that it’s very noisy, especially under load.

    • Griffin

      I agree wholeheartedly with Ray, and in fact, it sounds like most of the user feedback is overwhelmingly positive even at this early junction:

      1) Lee has only really reported issues with the Tacx iOS apps and TR. I think it is well known that Tacx is a bit weak with their software/tech side of things. Additionally, that power readings in TTS4 match his Stages, an important point because this is where many report issues with their Kickr. Also, that the Neo works fine with Zwift. Other than this, Lee reports that the physical characteristics of the unit are robust and capable.
      2) Einundsiebzig reports that the unit is working fine over a period of two weeks using many of the other main 3P apps: Zwift, Kinomap, Virtualtraining, PerfPro, Bkool. It appears that Einundsiebzig has not tried TR, but I’d argue that the remaining apps constitute the vast majority of 3P users. Additionally, another report of accurate power readings from the trainer when compared to an independent power meter.

      So, other than TR, not many complaints thus far. In my observations, the TR folks tend to be highly responsive to these types of issues and are very engaging on the forums. The installation issues are very minor at best, the difference between a lockring tool for Shimano and Campy is US $8 or so, not likely to be a deal breaker for anyone that is willing to pay 180x that for a trainer. The other tools required are common between the installations.

      Of course, I’m still waiting for some more in-depth reviews and for the software issues that exist to be worked out before I commit to the Neo. I simply do not have the patience to put up with things that do not work properly through no fault of mine. It’s why I’m never an early adopter of any technology, but I do greatly appreciate those like Ray, Lee and Einundsiebzig that are willing to tackle it. Thus far, I’m very encouraged by the Neo.

    • marvin

      Re: First ride with Neo and TrainerRoad
      Postby Tacx support » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:54 pm

      We have also seen that the NEO was not reacting as this should.
      At this moment we are working on a firmware issue that will be online as all the tests are done.

      This update can then be done via the Tacx Utility app (only IOS version at this moment)

      Tacx Support

    • Lee

      Hi Andrew

      noise is a hard thing to quantify. I use my trainer in a cinema room and as its below my lads bedroom, if we’re watching something at night we have to keep the volume down. I sometimes use a trainer whilst the wife and I watch some netflix series…. interestingly whilst the KICKR makes that whining noise, the noise of the chain/derailleur/cassette (which is a constant on both KICKR and Neo) makes dialogue hard to hear. I’m no audio expert but I believe high end frequencies are highly positional and interfere greatly with dialogue, so the Neo is no better than the KICKR in this regard. You will not be able to train on the Neo with someone adjacent to you and them “hardly notice you’re there” 🙂 Similarly the whining noise from a KICKR is not enough to really go through walls – either sideways or up/down.

      A point to note which would apply to either trainer but especially to the KICKR since its whine is related to speed – since the resistance can be controlled to be independent of gear/speed, simply put your bike on the little ring and a large cog!! The KICKR is quite quiet in this scenario.

    • Einundsiebzig

      With the Kickr i had nearly to max out my tv volume and a normal conversation was hard. You always had to talk louder than normal. Same with the Cyclus2, Maybe a little bit better with the Cyclus2 than with the Kickr.
      The sound of the Neo is minimal. The TV Volume is back to normal maybe a little bit louder, like I would listen without riding the Neo. In the next room with closed door, you hear absolutely nothing. Same in the room under the Neo, no wooming or anything else. Same above! We tested this with low and high wattage and low and high rpm. I have a wood floor and no insulation mat under the neo, Just a carpet to catch the sweat. What you do hear indeed is the freehub. This really is the loudest thing on the trainer, but also no big deal, cause you can lower your speed at the end of your session while pedaling till the neo stands still. this doesn’t make any noise either. or you remove the neo from power and it will stop immediately too.
      At the last weekend I had a phonecall with my dad while I was rifing Zwift and I was wheezing pretty loud going uphill on Richmond Climb. Dad asked me why i am breathing so loud. As I told him, that I am on the new trainer, he would not believe me and he said he could not hear any noise from that on the phone, liek he did with my other trainers.

    • Sean

      Problem is: the Tacx Utility iPad app does not recognize the Neo.

  126. Andrew (Uk)

    Thanks guys, greatly appreciate the feedback. Please keep it coming, also good to see above that TACX have acknowledged an issue and are working on a fix.

    Very interesting that you both give so different feedback. @Lee – From your report I’d believe that the two trainers are similar in noise and that neither were loud. @Einundsiebzig – reading your report gives an impression of two very different noise levels and certainly something would make a big difference to me / my other half.

    How do you both find the “feel” of the NEO ? Is it as good as others at mimicking the experience of the road ? Especially with Zwift, as there are obvious TR issues currently.

    • Lee

      Andrew, I’ve just listened to Einundsiebzig’s sound recording and as a quick observation – his drivetrain noise sounds a lot smoother than mine !! So this may be why I say there’s not that much in it.

      The bike I use for indoor training is an old cannondale I snapped the frame on – I can never get it to index properly, its always out on one gear or another, so perhaps I need to swap the cables and get it back to good order 🙂

      As far as the feel goes. They are both good……yet different. Because the Kickr has a large flywheel regardless of resistance setting, it takes effort to spin this up to speed and it feels quite nice in that the resistance is “at the end of your drivetrain” ie where the road would be. With the Neo, its creating a virtual flywheel so I feel like the resistance is applied more to my cranks than down the drivetrain. I have already said it may be a software refinement, but currently the neo seems easier to accelerate against, too easy really…

      Right now, if someone was asking for the most realistic road emulation, I would say kickr. If someone was asking for the smoothest drivetrain experience under different loads, I’d say neo.

      Since you ask specifically about Zwift, I have some more positive news for you. I’ve been on the Zwift beta since day 1. I’ve never really enjoyed Zwift as I felt the resistance levels were being changed a little independently of what I was seeing on the screen. Ie the perceived speed and inclination didn’t match up quite right, its a bit disjointed. I also felt that the resistance came on a bit strong, one minute it was slight, next minute you’re scrabbling for gears. I ended up riding Zwift constantly looking at the power figure and adjusting gears the minute it changed to keep me in a comfortable zone.

      I tried Zwift on the Neo, purely to confirm it worked, but straight away it felt much nicer. Almost like Zwift had been designed for the Neo and the kickr needed some issues ironed out.

      If I get a chance I’ll do a couple of laps on Zwift using both Neo and Kickr, then compare the recordings to my Garmin to see if the power changes are as abrupt as I recall, or whether its all just in the mind.

  127. Einundsiebzig

    The Tacx Neo is the best experience I have ever had in Zwift, as my Cyclus2 is still the most accurate Trainer out there, but not controlable. the neo in Zwift is on Point. If You ride into the Zwift Hill Kom, the Neo reacts immediately in wattage.
    Andrew have you listen to my Recording: link to vocaroo.com
    I def do longer workouts on the Neo than I ever did on my Kickr or Cyclus2, cause the silence takes really a of stress from your ears…

  128. Einundsiebzig

    A good adjusted shifting is the most important thing to reduce the noise while riding the Neo, as it is your bike wich makes the noise, not the trainer! Fortunately I am able to do this really quickly, cause I am riding a Shimano Di2. Also you should have your chain lubed pretty good. Another fact wich can make it noisy is that the chain doesn’t match the cassette. Lets say your cassette or chain is new or pretty blasted. New and old one won’t fit together, resulting in noise.

    • Lee

      As my Neo was about to be delivered and it had been a while, I splashed out on new chain, chainrings and cassette. The derailleur is reasonably new. Its “only” 5700-105 10sp though. Its the derailleur which makes the most noise. Daresay I could stick in an ultegra one if I was that bothered as they have bearings in the jockey wheels.

  129. Andrew (UK)

    @Lee & @Einundsiebzig – Thanks once more for the continued detailed feedback / answers. If the quality of the drivechain is the biggest issue then the Neo really has achieved an excellent overall quietness. The lack of the “drone” you usually get from these trainers is firmly pointing me towards this device. If only it were actually possible to buy one in the UK (stock always seems to be 1/2 weeks away) !

    In terms of drivetrain I have purchased a new bike recently in the sales that will be used almost exclusively with the trainer. This is Shimano 105 (11-speed) based and has only been outside (on a dry sunny day) for 10 miles to make sure it works. If purchasing the Neo then I will be buying a new 105 cassette to attach to it. I’m hoping this should give a fairly smooth experience.

    @Einundsiebzig – I haven’t had a chance to listen to your recording yet, unfortunately this isn’t possible at work and the last couple of evenings have been a nightmare. I will definitely do this tonight.

    Regarding Zwift. A basic question if I may. I see that many of these smart trainers have different modes (e.g. ERG / Resistance / etc). When using with Zwift which mode do you use and does Zwift automatically select this for you ? I may be being naïve, but I would like to be able to ride the island like I would normally, so for example as you start to go uphill I’d expect the resistance to change accordingly and need to change gears to accommodate for this.

    • Einundsiebzig

      “…so for example as you start to go uphill I’d expect the resistance to change accordingly and need to change gears to accommodate for this.”

      This is exactly how Zwift works with smart trainers like the Neo or Kickr!

    • Andrew (UK)

      Excellent. Just checking 😉

      Is there a need to set a particular “mode” on the Neo when using Zwift ? Or does the software take care of this for you ?

      Setting up Zwift will be another drama for me (as described elsewhere in the thread) but if I can get it all to work then the end result will be pretty spectacular. I was watching a video last night showing a lap of Zwift Island with a good commentary, It really brought it home how good it looks.

    • Lee

      You open up Zwift, click on “Search” under “Smart Trainer” and thats as dramatic as it gets 😉 There are no options. As the Neo feeds back speed, cadence as well as power, it actually makes life easier; you don’t have to add anything else apart from HR monitor.

    • Andrew (UK)

      You open up Zwift, click on “Search” under “Smart Trainer” and thats as dramatic as it gets. There are no options. As the Neo feeds back speed, cadence as well as power, it actually makes life easier; you don’t have to add anything else apart from HR monitor.

      @Lee – Thankyou for that. Answers my question fully. I have a Garmin ANT+ HRM used on the bike normally, so intend to also use that with the Neo.

      If I get a chance I’ll do a couple of laps on Zwift using both Neo and Kickr, then compare the recordings to my Garmin to see if the power changes are as abrupt as I recall, or whether its all just in the mind.

      @Lee – Would love to hear the results. It seems that for many weeks I’ll be unable to buy the Neo, so I’ll be especially interested to hear all the thoughts from those of you that have one. Especially regarding Zwift as this is what my other half is keen to use. She’s one of the main driving forces behind the trainer, she loves cycling but is simply too scared (can’t blame her either) to go out on the UK roads normally.

  130. Yves

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for another interesting review!

    I don’t have a Garmin Edge, however I’m using my Garmin XT920 watch on the bike (with the cadence/speed/power sensor).

    Does the NEO connects with my watch, I mean: will I be able to see these data (speed/power) of the NEO on my watch?

    Thanks for the help!


    • Arno

      Yes, the XT920 can read all three; speed cadans and power, but it’s read only, you can’t control the NEO with it (like the 520 can).
      Having connected it, i noticed it randomly disconnect/connects the XT920, but that’s probably a minor software issue to be solve by Tacx or Garmin

  131. Marvin (TrainerRoad)

    Re: First ride with Neo and TrainerRoad
    Postby trevorderuise » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:42 pm

    First off, I want to apologize to everyone having trouble with the Neo and TR currently. I know how frustrating it is when training time becomes troubleshooting time. The short answer is that we’re aware of the problems, and we’re working with Tacx to get a Neo as soon as possible so our developers can tackle the problems.

    Now for those a bit more interested in the technical side of things, let me clear up where we’re at. The size and amount of natural power smoothing from the Neo’s flywheel notwithstanding, TrainerRoad will likely need to do some work on how we interpret data from and communicate with the Neo via FE-C.

    As some of you pointed out, FE-C is the ANT+ communication “standard” for all electronic trainers. In theory, this standard can be baked into any electronic trainer and will be perfectly compatible with any application that supports FE-C.

    In reality, things aren’t quite as simple, I’m afraid. In fact, each trainer manufacturer tends to implement FE-C control in their product ever so differently. And without completely homogenized implementation of the standard, FE-C trainers may not function entirely properly with us prior to our software engineers getting their hands dirty and optimizing the communication.

    Stay tuned, we hope to have this all fixed soon 🙂

  132. Andrew (UK)

    Thanks for the update Marvin.

    Fortunately / unfortunately this won’t be an issue you have to worry about too much from the UK for a while. All the initial batch seems to be sold out and everyone is reporting 21st October as the first potential date for supply now.

    • Martin

      Yep… just had the same update – 21st Oct, 3rd or 4th new date from Tacx – very disappointing !

    • Andrew (UK)

      We are going to have to continue going outside – lol.

    • Lee

      Was chatting to my LBS today – he said that there was now pressure coming through to sort out the “crazy” internet pricing. Right enough I see pedal pedal have now changed the price from £950 to £1080.

      Wiggle are currently offering platinum customers 17% which makes a KICKR £788.

      £300 difference? Hmmm 🙂

  133. Lee

    OK so another comparison. This time I spent an hour in Zwift Watopia. The ride was recorded by Zwift from the Neo, and I also recorded the session on my Garmin, using data from the stages PM. I uploaded both to Strava to view them in a common format.

    The maximums differ a little (608W vs 620W), but this is just down to the recording interval. The important thing is the averages.

    Cadence : 90 (Neo) vs 90 (Stages)
    Power : 180 (Neo) vs 180 (Stages)

    I then zoomed in on a small section which contained a 25s sprint. The averages differ slightly (182 vs 164) but I guess this is down to the nature of reasonably variable figures over a smaller (20 minute) section. Both heart and cadence differ by a similar amount and since the HR was the same person, same monitor, just shows the difference in recording intervals/sensitivity.

    Again, although this is nowhere near the standard of DC’s power analysis, I think the fact that the cadence and power averages match exactly over the course of a 1 hour ride is very reassuring indeed.

    Oh, and the ride quality was superb. Smoothness between Neo and Kickr is the same, but the Neo seems to respond better to gradient changes, and the fact the trainer will allow side to side movement when out of the saddle is VERY natural indeed. Big plus there which was one of the driving reasons behind me grabbing one.

    • Griffin

      Excellent; this is very encouraging. I look forward to the TR to Neo v. Stages comparison once the gremlins are worked out. Thank you.

  134. Philip

    Great review, want to pre-order. Quick question regarding getting the discount using the site you mention and the code ‘DCR10MHD’ – will this work for us folk in the UK?


    • Yup, though at present with the import taxes/duties, it may not be the cheapest option (but I do greatly appreciate the support!).

    • Roger

      I got a beeping sound (in some situations) from my Tacx Neo, whats that?

    • marvin

      i had that sound also last time for a short period .it disappeared when i peddled at lower pace and didn’t come back afterwards. I have nu clue what it triggered.

    • Roger

      Thanks for your answer “marvin”… According to Tacx support it need to be replaced, they think it’s a small metal part loose in the magnetic brake… (the sound was more of a metallic resonance)…

  135. David Vreeland

    is the neo compatible with disc brakes, I have a tarmac s-works with disc brakes, 140 mm rotor

  136. KICKR user trying out the Neo right now.

    So far I am satisfied with build, noise (while pedaling), ride feeling (feels to me like slightly more inertia than the KICKR, which I always rode on the bigger ring for better feeling by larger inertia; with the Neo I the smaller ring feels acceptable and of course preferable due to less chain noise), side motion while standing (it’s not necessarily nice while sitting though), power accuracy (the KICKR was just so-so).

    The freewheel is noisy though: when I stop pedaling, the freewheel feels noisier than the chain while pedaling. Nice to have Shimano and Campa cassette compatibility on the same body (I guess especially for Tacx as it will simplify their logistics), but doubt that I would have chosen this solution if I were the responsible engineer in charge of a trainer to be advertised as silent … or did I just get a bad sample?

    Other than that, I think I’d be happy enough with it when either firmware or TR update fixes the slow response issue. For slow changes in target power it’s usable even now with automatic power matching switched on. (Kinda interesting from a technical viewpoint that it doesn’t seem to work well with deactivated power matching, and that most software except TR seems to have no issues with it.)

  137. Andrew (UK)

    Thanks DC for the great heads up review and then also to those that have commented here and answered many of my daft questions.

    I have now ordered a Neo and it’s currently looking like delivery will be Wednesday. Certainly hoping to have it setup by the end of the week. As I’m new to changing cassettes & trainers in general my experiences should be interesting to some and entertaining to others.

  138. Patrick Charlton

    The price of the Neo is going up and down faster than gold!

  139. Lee

    I note that Tacx have added manuals to their website now for the Neo, including a much better explanation of the spacers for the cassette

    link to tacx.com

  140. DJ (Chicago)

    Hi DC! Long time reader (bought my Suunto Ambit 2 after reading your reviews), first time poster. I just tried purchasing from Clever, and tried to use the code, but it won’t accept it. No one is picking up their phone lines… just thought I’d share in case others were having the same dilemma.

  141. Jacob

    Did you have any issues with the rear derailleur rubbing against the trainer in the lower gears? I also am having issues with the battery mount (shiv) on my rear triangle rubbing against the trailer.

    • Lee

      If your derailleur stops are not set correctly, then its possible to push the derailleur against the trainer. Same is true of the kickr. Remember that the cassette is bound to be in an every so slightly different position on the trainer to a wheel; I make a note of how many turns the rear derailleur cable needs tightening or loosening so just make this change quickly when swapping.

      I had to take off my wahoo speed/rpm sensor on one bike – its a tight fit back there if you’ve oversized chainstays. Daresay some unusual bikes (eg shiv) may have fitment issues.

    • Jacob Martin

      Thanks Lee,

      I will double check I thought maybe the rear hanger took a bump, but it seems to still be shifting nice and smooth on the bushido.

    • Ralf

      Same here. Two bicycles – one with mechanical Shimano RD-6800 GS, one with electric RD-6870 GS.
      Both derailleurs touch der neo in lowest gear (biggest wheel). Maybe because these are the longer (i.e. medium) versions.
      Both derailleurs are perfectly adjusted and work correctly in all gears.

  142. Andrew (UK)

    The Neo arrived this afternoon and after proving that any idiot can set one of these up it’s now operational. I have to agree that instructions were to say the least “sparse”.

    On the plus side, once connected, it attached to Zwift instantly and works a treat.

    However it makes a metallic noise. I can’t describe it, but it definitely does not sound like it’s supposed to happen. If I can find a way to post a recording somewhere then I will do so.

    Sending this unit back is an absolutely worse case scenario, so I’m half elated, half dreading that I bought too early, trusted that hardware would be good and may now have to send back a 20Kg+ package of which there are no others.

    • Lee

      Hmm, thats not good to hear. If its faulty you should not have to carry the cost of return. When I had to return a KICKR to wiggle they arranged a courier collection foc due to its weight. Your description sounds similar to Rogers (see above) so perhaps there is a weak item in this trainers.

      I rode a tacx film via TTS4 software last night. About 6 miles into a 28 mile ride the resistance control just stopped working. Luckily for me, cos it was a nasty mountain climb 😉 Rode it again today and I must say, the resistance was superb. Even at very low RPM it felt smooth, a scenario where sometimes the kickr would lock up and make the resistance impossible to overcome.

      They are great when working 🙂

    • Roger

      Sorry to hear that, but it sounds like my problem. (and we are not alone)
      This is what Tacx Support asked me: … “is this a more metal sound (like a bell)?”, if the answer is YES, then I am pretty sure you have to send it back… Tacx think it’s a small metal part loose in the magnetic brake…

    • Griffin

      This “metallic noise” issue seems to me to be the most alarming feedback thus far. Has anyone else on this forum other that Andrew (UK) and Roger experienced this? Roger, when you say, “…and we are not alone?,” what do you mean? Has Tacx confirmed to you that there are others experiencing the same problem?

      It almost seems as if we are getting a repeat of the Kickr, whereby the first production run produced sound units but subsequent production runs produced problematic units. Ray indicated he had unit #6 and has not reported any problems that we know of yet. Einundsiebzig reports having a Neo for five weeks now and reports no problems what so ever.

      It could just be luck that those two units are working flawlessly and others are not, or it could be indicative of a problem in the most recent production processes?

  143. Andrew (UK)

    @Roger. I haven’t had chance to fully appraise the fault yet, I will report back more info over the next few days. I initially did 3.5 miles on Zwift to test setup and at this point had learned two important things.

    1) There was a noise from the trainer (as badly previously described)
    2) Without a fan if I carried on there would be nothing left of me except a pool of sweat on the mat.

    Big fan (probably too big) ordered later that night to be delivered on Friday.

    Later that evening (after a ride out in the real world) I had another spin for 2/3 minutes to demonstrate the noise to my better half. Of course with all such demonstrations the noise was much less pronounced. However it wasn’t plugged in and my legs were pretty shot from the afore mentioned ride.

    I’m also thinking that there’s a years warranty. So if I can live with the issue then I will keep it until such time that it’s definitely identified, resolved and there are units freely available to replace it with. Sending it back now would mean weeks without it.

    A few things regarding setup – Remember the low bike mech knowledge.

    1) The metal “Wheel” on the Neo (stainless steel disc) rotates both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Therefore in order to fit the cassette I had to use a chain whip to stop it rotating as I tried to tighten it. There’s no mention of having to do this in the manual. Normally I believe you only need a chain whip to remove.
    2) There are small brown marks like rust on the metal disc. These didn’t easily come off and probably are irrelevant, but for the price I expected it to be polished on the backsides of celestial virgins !
    3) Once I fitted the cassette it worked first time, no gear issues. Smooth as silk. To keep the noise down though you need to be careful to trim quickly and avoid crossing the chain too much.
    4) Zwift setup was as easy as everyone said it would be. In fact for the amount of tech going on it was remarkable. Windows 10, ANT+ dongles, complex trainers, PC not near the Neo, home cinema amp, 2 screens. So much to go wrong, yet it all worked like a dream, first time.
    5) Initial noise levels are impressive. Gear changing is the loudest thing, but you could be riding Zwift @ 7am or 11pm with no danger of upsetting the neighbours.
    6) This is the coolest looking trainer out there. In a modern flat it’s almost art 😉
    7) I purchased an alternative mat as the TACX one is very narrow and not very long. Having set it up this was a wise choice.

  144. Julian

    Just got my neo yesterday. I’m noticing some slight stutter when I pedal, anyone has the same?

  145. JP

    Man I’d really like to buy one of these… (But..)

    On paper it’s just an elegant “design” – in the sense of direct drive, electromagnetic based resistance. I’m almost sad that I need to buy something before competitors get on the electric design.

    But I have to say I’m very cautious now about buying something that costs $1.6k, and weighs (figuratively) a ton… When there apparently is either a design, manufacturing, or packaging (shipping) defect.

  146. Roger

    … Not only that, it will not work well either in Trainerroad or Tacx TTS4 (Catalyst) for shorter intervals 5-120 s, too slow response… Surprised to see Tacx own software behave the same way as Trainerroad. Maybe Neo needs a firmware update, or is it a hardware design problem? Zwift or Tacx RLV will be ok I suppose not so quick changes in resistance.

    @Julian, is it really stutter or is it more like vibrations? Small vibrations I also had.

    @ Andrew (UK) Yes you could probable use it until it break down, or maybe it will not hopefully and change it over the summer or some other period that you are not using your trainer… But Tacx Support told me to change it immediately and I got a Kickr standing so it was not a hard choice for me… About the noise I could find it always at the same speed, like 53-13 at 86-88 in cadence and 53-14 at 94-96 in cadence and so on (the motor has to be plugged in)… Good luck whatever you choose. 🙂

  147. Andrew (UK)

    @Roger. When you have luxury of another premium brand trainer to stand in then it’s fair to say that sending the Neo back is a no-brainer. For me though it would mean :-

    1) Organising the return. If I’m lucky then it will be collected from me. However this still means organising to work from home for a day or taking a day off work.
    2) I’m then without a trainer for a long time as the availability is virtually zero at the moment.
    3) I’d then have to organise another day WFH / off work to be in to recieved the fixed unit.

    IF the QC at TACX is so appalling that they’ve just rushed faulty and dangerous units onto the market then they will have to issue a recall. If not then I assume it’s not dangerous, just a small noise that’s irritating.

    If this is a serious hardware fault then it will be last time I order anything new from TACX. Before I ordered this was always my worst case scenario and I took the plunge because the reviews were positive and it sounded like only the software needed some TLC.

    • Lee

      Why not arrange for collection/return to your work address……. ?

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee – Then I’d have to find a way of getting a 20Kg+ box to work. This would mean a taxi as there’s no way I could get it to / on public transport.

      I’d still be without a trainer for a long period whilst it’s fixed / replaced. Then I’d need another taxi to get it home again once delivered back to work.

      I knew all this when I ordered it. I didn’t mind software issues that would be fixed in time, but I was fully relying on TACX doing decent hardware quality control.

  148. Hristo

    I am disappointed to hear that there is many (software and hardware problems) with the Neo.
    I expected that but i hoped not to be in that way this time.
    I do not want to think what to expect after an year of usage.
    For me the right and reasonable decision is to wait for other similar products.
    Thanks for the opinions and the review!

  149. Einundsiebzig

    I have my Neo now since 5 weeks / 6 Rides per week and ridden almost 1650km on it. No problems at all so far… Works like it should… And quietness is balm to my ears…

  150. Roger

    @DC Rainmaker
    It would be nice if you could implement those shorter 20-30s intervals (response time: for some software) in your “in-depth review”… I think it would be interesting for many people…
    Cheers and thanks for a great site with a lot of comprehensive reviews.

    • Yup, almost all of my trainer workouts (and thus in-depth reviews) cover a 4×20-30s sprint chunk at the end. I typically use the default app for this, as to not skew performance on various 3rd party apps (i.e. how TrainerRoad needs to make some tweaks still).

  151. Andrew (UK)

    @Hristo – Don’t be too put off just yet. Anyone else copying this design will also have the same issues to overcome.

    My problem is so far “minor” and I have not been able to fully test the device yet. I’ve done 1 short session, my other half has done 1 short session too. Unfortunately in the few hours since it arrived on Wednesday afternoon I’ve had a lot of other things to do. Hopefully have some more in depth thoughts after the weekend.

    Certainly in regards to working with Zwift the Neo seems very good indeed.

  152. Julian

    I got mine yesterday, and did a short Zwift ride today. Very good experience, just two things that I am still wondering about:

    – How quiet is the NEO for you all? I do get some humm (volume and tone vary with speed) plus the chain sound, but I read that others only get a chain sound.

    – At low cadence (like 50 rpm) I do feel some “micro stutter” when I pedal – the resistance is not entirely smooth. Do you get a similar experience? Maybe I also did not fasten the cassette enough since I don’t have a chain whip…

  153. JP

    It would be really cool if someone did a teardown of the product so that we could see exactly how well it is constructed.

    I mean any product risks a defect or two slipping out, but I’d like to see if this thing is built as “tough” on the inside as many suggest it is on the outside. (or if it is under-engineered and will self-destruct with longer term usage)

  154. Ed

    I have done about 4 hrs on my Neo. (and a lot on a Genius)

    Some answers, my opinion, to some questions:

    – How quiet is the NEO for you all? I do get some humm (volume and tone vary with speed) plus the chain sound, but I read that others only get a chain sound.

    * I also do hear somekind of a humming sound additional to the chain noise. This hum als also mentioned by Ray and can be heard in the sound recording of Einundsiebzig. The humming does not bother me and it changes slightly with the resistance/speed of the Neo. Still I consider the Neo as quiet but there is something mechanical rotating inside and that will make some sound.

    – At low cadence (like 50 rpm) I do feel some “micro stutter” when I pedal – the resistance is not entirely smooth. Do you get a similar experience? Maybe I also did not fasten the cassette enough since I don’t have a chain whip…
    * You can feel the “magnets” if your cadance is really low. I did not experience any stutter at my normal riding cadance. (70-120)

    I do not use Trainerroad so I cannot comment on that. Previously I owned a Genius and that was really slow reacting in Catalyst (TTS4) and was also above the setpoint. The Neo is quicker, but not instantly and will follow the setpoint. According to some comments in the Tacx Forum a new firmware dealing with the reaction time is ready but the Tacx Utilitty app needs to be updated first. Can take some time though…

    I did a some RLV’s in TTS4 and the Neo is better compared to the Genius. Better feel and capable of high resistance at low speed/cadance and still fluently.

    The Neo in combination with Zwift is really good. Reaction time in grade changes (resistance) is allmost instantly and is following the grade of the hills/descents very well.

    Build quality seems very good. Also the lateral movement is a nice addition compared to other trainers. The Neo frame is not moving but the brake-unit inside the black frame is.

    Footprint of the Neo is quite large.

    TTS4 will be updated soon (4.17 is in beta), firmware is ready according Tacx forum so Tacx is working on it. (and they should)

  155. yanto

    I have my neo coming on the 15th
    I have seen the updated manual on the tacx website but it does mention something that has me confused,

    Mindz above post said…..

    Does anyone know what the Shimano “pockets” are?

    “a. No pocket, use EDCO spacer 2mm (T2805.10)
    b. With pocket, use Shimano original spacer 1mm & EDCO spacer 2mm (T2805.10)”

    I would also like to know what this pocket refers to, I don’t want to be sat there on the 15th crying like a baby because i cant put this thing together lol.

    • Einundsiebzig

      This means there are Shimano 10-speed cassettes with a pocket. Each like this is coming with an additional 1mm Spacer, wich you have to use when you want to mount the cassette to an Edco Multisys…
      If you have a 10-speed cassette without pocket, you only need the 2mm Spacer…
      The manual shows the two different types of cassettes…
      link to edco.ch

    • Lee

      This is vague due to translation no doubt. On the back of my 10sp cassettes is a small machined recess. The 11sp cassettes are entirely flat at the rear. This recess is the “pocket”.

      So on a 10sp cassette you use the 1mm spacer which effectively makes the cassette rear “flat”, then you’re using the supplied 2mm spacer to ensure the cassette is the same width as an 11sp.

  156. Griffin

    Regarding the “stutter” issue at low cadences, it’s been reported by Ed and Julian. Have any others now is possession of a Neo also experienced this issue? Is it low cadences across all modes of trainer operation, i.e. resistance mode, erg mode, etc.?

    Thank you everybody.

    • Lee

      I personally haven’t noticed any obvious stuttering. Yes, at low cadence you can feel that there are a number of magnets providing the resistance and the resistance “pulses” slightly as you go through a crank rotation. But its very very minor. On my kickr I get a vibration feeling through the pedals as the flywheel spins and is ever so slightly out of balance. Both translate to what I would say is “road feel” ie none of us are riding on glass roads are we 🙂

      On both Neo and Kickr as you increase cadence/speed the units get smoother.

      People need to be realistic with physics I think. If you went and did a 15% climb out of the saddle you will find that the bike will surge slightly forwards on your crank downstrokes as this is where the majority of the power comes in the stroke. Indoors on a trainer is very difficult to simulate a big climb, high power and low cadence. I think the Neo does a fantastic job in this regard and is better than the kickr.

  157. yanto

    thanks that explained to me what the pocket is. thanks for your time

  158. Lee

    Uh oh……so last night I did 2 hours on Zwift. The Neo got pretty warm 🙂

    After about an hour and a half I noticed a clicking sound. Not metallic like a bell, but a metal clicking. At first I thought it was drivetrain related but I noticed the clicking followed a set pattern which was not directly related to the crank position etc. Got the wife to put her ear close and she believes its coming from inside the trainer.

    Certainly it “did NOT sound good” – not the type of noise that you’d just dismiss and carry on. I found that it only happened at say 90-100rpm with a low power (say 150W) – if I increased the power to 200+ the noise went away. Decreasing the power and it came back again (more evidence its trainer related rather than drivetrain).

    Going to jump on it today and see if its still there from cold, or whether it comes back with heat/use.

    Given that there are bugger all of these things in the UK and a number of people who have them are in this thread (reporting problems), its not looking great.

    • Lee

      Quick edit. “Not the type of noise that you’d just dismiss and carry on” – although it seems like I have 😉

      What I mean is “not the type of noise that you’d ignore blindly as “one of those things”…”

      Frankly if it starts making noise I’d rather pound the damn thing to death so that if it does need returning, the store only need to turn the cranks once to see metal filings pour out the bottom 😉 Obvious issues are soooooo much easier to get returns on than vague “it makes a weird noise after an hour and a half”.

  159. Adam

    Tacx are claiming in Facebook that the sounds are from welding residue within the central bit which I guess would explain why it happens at lower revs at centrifugal forces would stop them jangling about at higher rpm?

    As a side note. How would one go about removing a cassette that has bitten into the free hub on one of these things. Does the free hub come off from the main unit to enable a bit of rubber mallet ‘persuasion’?

    • Griffin

      Adam, would it be possible please for you to link to the Facebook comment or post where Tacx mentions this problem? I scoured their page but must have just missed it. Thank you.

    • Adam

      Ok, this is pretty disturbing. Last night a guy from cwmbran, cant remember the name, but he mentioned he had also posted here, asked Tacx about shipping costs back if/when his machine broke.

      I replied saying I was interested in the response as mine was due 22nd Oct and a few people were having issues here.

      Woke this morning to a FB notification saying they had replied. The reply said (as close to verbatim as I can recall) “there isnt a problem with the machines as such, it is loose weld debris rattling around, we have tightened up our QA and this wont be a problem for future models”.

      Just went to find this post for you, *poof* its gone.

      the notification has also vanished. On the basis that im not in fact crazy Tacx have just lost a huge amount of (potential)customer confidence from me.

      Not a fan of that kind of BS. Just enquiring if I can cancel my Neo now. If you cant trust these guys in pre sales, what chance post? 🙁

    • JP

      Maybe when Ray does his 2015/2016 trainer round-up, he can get to the bottom of what’s going on. They’d probably not give him the run-around. (At least I’d hope not)

  160. yanto

    I was the person who made the message on tacx facebook page lastnight which i also posted on both forums.
    they did reply saying there was problems with some of the first units where the flux from the welds was causing internal problems.
    I went to reply to the message and it was gone lol
    they also have removed all the other messages on the lefthand side of the tacx facebook page lol.

    I was going to say thanks for the quick reply and that,what you have said would make sense with the faults I that I have seen, now this to me would have been good on there page as it shows they are on the case and sorting things out.

    now by deleting it they have cocked up. people will see all the faults and no anwsers and think stuff-getting-that-trainer its crap lol

  161. yanto

    mine is coming thursday so hope all is well and i can enjoy training all winter

  162. Andrew (UK)

    Small update — It’s still nice weather in the UK so my time on the Neo has been limited due to being outside however I’ve had 2 nice starter rides on Zwift now. 10 miles on Watopia and last night 25 at Richmond.

    The noise I had been experiencing was virtually gone during my Watopia spin Friday, the other half also had a go for 15 minutes without any clanging. Last night I didn’t hear it at all. But…. When a friend came over earlier Friday evening for a 10 minute spin I did notice it still a couple of times as the trainer was “warming up”. So I’m still listening, but hoping it’s nothing serious / sorting itself out. Occurrence is now “rare”.

    This news regarding TACX having shipped dodgy units and now deciding to cover up isn’t good news though. Like you’ve said, I hope that DC can get to the bottom of it. My immediate questions are. Is the issue something that will harm the unit over time ? Will it sort itself out ? Does it need to be returned ?

    I haven’t noticed any stuttering, but I guess my cadence rarely falls below 50 (where you are saying you notice it).

    • I’ll be following up with Tacx on it later today, just landed after a week in Mexico – so a bit backlogged.

      I’ll also see if it’s present on another NEO they sent me about 10 days ago (they had sent me a slightly updated one as the firmware updater isn’t ready yet for NEO, so they wanted me on the same production firmware as everyone else).

    • Griffin

      Ray, thank you in advance for contacting them directly about this issue. As I see it, this is really the make or break issue for many sitting on the sideline at this point. All the other gremlins mentioned thus far seem easily squashed via 3P software updates or an eventual firmware update by Tacx.

  163. Andrew (UK)

    Thanks DC. I noticed the lack of an updater too. Last night I tried loading the TACX Utility iPhone app and searching for the NEO. Wouldn’t find it. And on the support part of their website there’s no Neo updates detailed.

    Were it not for the worrying noise I’m very impressed in general with how this works with Zwift.

    • Lee

      Out of interest Andrew (and not necessarily specific to the Neo), how do you find the Zwift experience?

      Personally I find the Richmond course easier to ride as there are less dramatic changes in gradient. In Watopia it seems the amount of gear changes are a bit excessive; it doesn’t really “flow” for me.

      I was thinking of knocking off the “Full Control” aspect in Zwift and instead just pairing it up using speed/cadence and then power. In theory that should just mean the Neo will deliver a constant resistance, and the power you produce translates into variable speed purely based on the gradient at the time.

    • Lee

      I did exactly this at lunchtime. Paired the Neo, but knocked off the control. So the Neo was working in a fixed resistance mode whereby power is simply determined by cadence and gearing. I’m currently in diet/weight loss mode on the run up to crimbo so being able to train consistently and smoothly at a low HR is what I need. This did the trick nicely and I enjoyed the session more.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Going only low heart rate to loose weight is one of the myths wich survived the last century… 🙂
      link to youtube.com

  164. Miguel


    Anyone know wen Garmin prepare the update for Garmin 1000 ?

    Miguel santos

  165. Adam

    so if the ios app doesnt work on the neo, how are you supposed to update the firmware?

  166. marvin

    Re: First ride with Neo and TrainerRoad
    Postby Tacx support » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:54 am

    The Tacx Utility app is now in finished, and the latest updates have been added to it
    So it will be offered to the Apple store. This takes around 7 to 10 days.
    The models from factory already have this update version in it which react quicker on Wattage difference
    All is still communicated over ANT+.
    There are also some reports that customers are trying to connect Trainer road over Bluetooth but that is not possible. At the moment it is all via ANT+

  167. Adam

    so does this mean you cant just use the Neo with Trainer Road on Iphone6 over BT? thats a real pain in the ass if so.

    • Redheb

      That’s right Adam. You need an ANT+ dongle from Wahoo to control the NEO from an iphone 6 (plus the 30-pin adapter…). Sub optimal, I agree!

    • Just to clarify there – that’s been the case for all 3rd party apps on all Tacx units. That’s because they hadn’t opened up BT control. But they did that three weeks ago to developed, including TR. so now it’s just a matter of TR implementing it (which they’ve noted they’re in the middle of doing).

  168. Adam

    The trainer road guys are awaiting neo units for their devs to get their hands on apparently. Can’t see this happening anytime soon. Tacx have got their own software to flog and the trainer is in short supply (for free, anyhow)

  169. yanto

    i have my neo coming on Thursday and i got this off eBay to give me the ant+

    Fashion Crazy USB ANT+Stick Forerunner 310XT 405 405CX 410 610 910 for Garmin AY

    is this going to work with the neo
    i intend to run bkool software at first

    if its not i am going to have to order something real quick

    • Adam

      Not sure it’ll work mate. Somewhere in the dark recesses I recall it needs to be usb2.0. Not sure if that one is. Against my better judgement my neo arrives today and my garmin ant+ stick arrives Saturday so I’ll be using the kinomap app until then and see how I get on with it.

    • yanto

      hope it came today for you

  170. Jet

    This produces resistance using electricity through the internal magnets, right? Does this mean that it uses a lot of electricity to produce the resistance? How has it been affecting your electricity bill?

    • Einundsiebzig

      You should have read the review carefully. This unit is self-powering and needs the electricity only to work while you are not pedaling. So the amount of power it will suck is almost very low!

  171. Andrew (UK)

    @Lee. Out of interest Andrew (and not necessarily specific to the Neo), how do you find the Zwift experience? Personally I find the Richmond course easier to ride as there are less dramatic changes in gradient. In Watopia it seems the amount of gear changes are a bit excessive; it doesn’t really “flow” for me.

    Firstly a reality check. My experiences are from an average club level cyclist, someone new to both Zwift & Trainers as a whole, so I have a fresh mind but nothing to compare against except the open road.

    I love the idea of Zwift, the game quality graphics, the control of the Neo to simulate the virtual world. It’s an incredible tool very well implemented and it’s still in Beta. If they implement training and other modules well then this has the capability to be the only software myself and the Mrs would ever need. Although to really be “everything we need” it needs an iPad app so we can train and watch the TV / listen to the HiFi.

    I’ve only ridden 10 miles on Watopia including one full lap. I really enjoy the island and I’m very pleased that they are going to continue to add different courses to it. I know what you mean regarding the rolling nature though and until I know the circuit better it will continue to be a bit of a roller coaster. The trouble can be that the incline on screen isn’t always obvious and you really have to be concentrating on the top right % numbers to know when you need to change gear. I think that this will change once I know the island better. Right now I’m maknig too many gear changes.

    Richmond is much more “obvious”. Lots of fairly level circuit, followed by very obvious hills and climbs. There’s no mistaking the hills on this one, no doubt in your mind that there’s a need to “get ready”. I didn’t think I’d like Richmond as much but in fact I really enjoy it.

    I’m not sure how closely the Neo / Zwift matches the real world, but I’d like to think that 10% in game was close to 10% in reality. If so then this is a genuine way for me to improve my climbing over the winter.

    I’ve noticed that Zwift tends to be populated by hardcore riders. I’m around 75% of the way down the tables with many people on it lapping at speeds I’d have trouble with in a car. I guess this kind of tool primarily attracts the hardcore rather the average club rider. Doesn’t really bother me, as this is a single player game, but hopefully there will be group rides / races for people not in the Team GB squad eventually.

    Really looking forward to seeing what they do with it in the months to come. Can’t wait to get a few more laps in.

    • Lee

      I fully agree with your points. I was asked by a friend what I thought of Zwift and my take was that “the graphics/scenery aren’t particularly telling of the elevation; I find it easier to ride by looking at gradients and power”. As you say, this is lessened on Richmond as its a flatter course with obvious climbs.

      I did read somewhere that they had programmed Zwift to NOT represent elevation truthfully as the climbs would be too hard ? Can’t find that comment now, trouble is there have been so many changes in Zwift its hard to know whats current.

      Interesting reading here : link to support.zwift.com specifically the reply from “Stewart G (Team dZi UK)” which echoes exactly what I feel, and I also prefer what he calls Slope mode.

      You are also right about the hardcore riders. One evening I jumped on and some guys had organised a “steady” group ride amongst themselves. I joined in for a bit, but once they had regrouped and got some organisation going I was needing to stick in over 4 watts / kg to keep up, around 300W and more on the climbs. I just cannot do that.

      But don’t be put off because I often see many riders on there doing below 2 Watts/KG. Remember also that we are riding a very accurate power meter. Without a doubt there will be some guys on there who are using virtual power and erring on generosity 😉

      If you knock off the resistance control and ride the Neo as a power meter (aka slope mode), you’ll find it a lot easier to maintain a flowing effort, avoid too many gear changes and ultimately keep up.

  172. Andrew (UK)

    And even 1 the rght way up /doh!

  173. Andrew (UK)

    @Lee. I guess it’s like watching sport on TV in general, the slopes never look as dramatic / obvious as when you are actually there. Skiing is a great example, we’ve all watched the downhillers on Sunday and thought “I’ll have a go at that” only to discover that when you actually get on that run it’s practically vertical! Or when you film that “steep” run on holiday it looks almost flat on film afterwards 🙁

    Maybe we all need 3D glasses or an Oculus Rift ??

    It would be a big shame if the hills are dumbed down. And it would also give me a false idea of how good I am. I’d spend the winter getting the idea I was pretty quick up an 8% climb only to head out with the club and be struggling up that same slope.

    I believe I’m riding the majority of the time @ 2.3 w/kg on the flat and higher going up the hills. The majority of the people I see are 3+ or even 4+ on the flat. I too have seen a couple of mass rides already that were aimed at “average” riders. Yet they were well over 3w/kg as soon as the warm up was over. Perhaps the data logged by Zwift per rider can be used in the future to match up for races / general rides. I hope so as anything that helps incentivise training is good.

    I don’t see many below 2w/kg. When I overtake someone I assume they’ve gone for a drink 😉

    I don’t think I’d turn the resistance off, that would effectively negate the reason I bought the Neo. I want to dread those hills, feel them and (hopefully) get over them, occasionally in a PB.

    @Adam — Thanks !

  174. Andrew (UK)

    @Lee – 1 other thing I remembered. I feel hardly any effect from drafting on my setup. Being close behind someone seems to make very little difference to resistance I feel. So little in fact that I don’t even bother.

    I’d like something on screen that shows me when I’m getting the draft effect and perhaps even as a gauge so I can see what % I am getting (or is it an on/off effect).

    • Einundsiebzig

      If you are using a TT Bike, you will not benefit from drafting.
      If you use a roadbike you do get a graphic > 4m,3m,2m,1m OK and you are on draft…
      For me the effect is quite massive. Almost 0,5 to 1 W/kg ride behind another Rider…

    • Lee

      I find drafting quite difficult. Putting in an effort to catch the rider in front means that as the gap closes and you get into the “draft zone” I typically overshoot by a mile, then drop right back and start over 😉 Its quite difficult riding to a nice steady pace, again I think the slope mode is better for this.

      I appreciate that turning off resistance negates the simulation aspect, however you are always free to increase your cadence and/or change to a harder gear if you want to experience a significantly raised heartbeat and power output 😀

    • Andrew (UK)

      I’m using all the gear you get at level 1. I haven’t changed anything.

      I see the 4m, 3m, 2m grahpics. Then they disappear and I’ve no idea if I’m drafting or not.

  175. Einundsiebzig

    the OK tells you, that you are in the draft mode. if you get too close, you start overtaking your frontman and loose draft.

  176. Ian

    Well tredz just rang me. My neo will be delayed again. Was the 8th then the 15th now the 30th maybe. So is this tredz or tacx making these delays. Anyone had a neo from tredz yet and if so when was you ment to GeT it and when did you

  177. yanto

    i have on-order a tacx neo.

    it was pre ordered for the 8th.
    then there was a delay (no reason given) till the 15th.
    now there’s another delay and that’s till the 30th. maybe longer

    when i asked tredz why there was these delays they fobbed me off with i would imagine blah blah blah and then tacx make excellent products.

    why cant you give me a proper answer as to why this has been delayed twice and over 3 weeks late.

    i don’t mind if its 6 weeks late if you treat me properly and tell me the real reason why. this I can except! but fobbing me off with bull is not good.

    is it tacx or tredz that is causing the delay

    man up and tell the truth .

    • Lee

      For what its worth, I avoid using Tredz where possible. Their delivery timescales on a good day are rubbish compared to what is now the expected norm from places like Wiggle ie order before a certain time for delivery next day.

    • Martin

      Yanto – I have had similar delays, although being told now the 21st Oct, although would not be surprised if delayed again. I ordered via Pedal Pedal and they have been excellent at communicating with me. Logic would say that Tacx have had production issues – if you read the issues in this discussion thread (just a theory). Hopefully these delays are Tacx fixing these production/design problems and are now behind – supply vs demand.. Tacx use a UK distributor called Fisher, who are saying apart from the first few units that came into the UK, no more have come in for over a month. Lets hope when they arrive any issues (if they exist) have been fixed – don’t mind waiting if that is the issue :o).

    • JP

      That’s helpful – in that I guess we can’t be assuming the delays some have reported are related to an actual design (or more likely) manufacturing defect.

      I’m sure we’ll know more soon; although Tacx is not going out of their way to be forthcoming about the handful of issues we’ve seen kicked around here.

    • Martin

      JP – agree, hence (just a theory !!)

    • yanto

      yes that’s my thinking as-well
      just would like them to tell me the truth. be happy to wait

  178. Adam

    I’ve done a stint on mine tonight on kinomaps. Was good fun but have already had issues. The trainer makes a noise over and above pure drivetrain noise but not sure if it’s my bottom bracket or not.

    Also the Downhill emulation didn’t turn off at one point.

    Ant+ stick due tomorrow. See how zwift goes.

  179. yanto

    well i hope its just a small issue you are having and just your bottom bracket and not the neo

  180. JP

    I’m super tempted to purchase on Clever Training – as it is showing an estimated ship date about a month from now… And hoping during that time we get some answers. (if not I could cancel the order in 2-3 weeks)

    • Griffin

      JP, I’m almost there too, probably through Clever as well. I’m just going to wait a few days and hope that Ray gets an answer from Tacx regarding the metallic noise in that time.

  181. Stevster

    I can back Martin up on his comments.
    Pedal Pedal have been very good at communication the delays.
    Tacx should have released an apology and a realistic timescale on their website. I did post onto one of their facebook pages about my disappointment at the continuing delays and the fact they have had a large amount of my money for sometime. The only point they replied to was that they havent got my money the shop/distributor has. There PR team need some work.

  182. Andrew (UK)

    The above suggests they don’t have a PR team.

  183. Thomas

    Well there was a guy from TACX providing feedback initially but he disappeared pretty quick when the issues started popping up :).

  184. Hi All-

    Just as a quick update on some of the items people have asked about, after discussing with Tacx a bit.

    RE: Metallic sound in some units

    A think one, maybe two of you noted this. Either way, I asked about since another one of you had posted on their Facebook page about it.

    They noted:

    “The cause of the sound: A small piece (>0,5mm) of metal can cause this sound. If a small piece comes into the rotor during production, this piece will be attracted by the magnets.
    When we start to drive the rotor, it will be attracted between the coil and the magnet and can cause this sound.
    We have taken many precautions already to prevent this, and introduced steps to clean the raw parts and materials. We introduced checks during the assembly process. but not in all cases we were able to prevent this problem in the past.
    We have send tools to our distributors to remove the rotor to be able to remove this small piece(s).”

    RE: Retailers shipments

    A few of you noted from I believe one retailer in the UK (or perhaps others in the UK, but mostly seems to be one retailer in the UK) pushing out shipments. I asked whether the delays that some people were seeing were the fault of Tacx or someone else. Obviously, this is the answer from Tacx, and not the shops:

    “We are producing more than scheduled, and are still ramping up quantities.
    All distributors are getting what we agreed, even more. But the demand is very high. So Tacx is not causing delays, but turning up quantities. Of course expected lead times are mentioned from distributors to retailers, but when the quantities rises without confirmed orders, they will get longer as expected.”

    To be honest, this pretty much matches what I see across the board. It really sounds like 1-2 retailers may have promised dates they didn’t have units in the pipeline for (pre-ordered). Keep in mind retailers and distributors would have placed orders way back in August. For example, Clever Training places their pre-orders a heck of a long time ago (and has been continually ordering more).

    Again, I can’t speak on behalf of any retailers that are pushing dates – but it’s pretty common to see retailers in many industries give unrealistic dates to consumers in hopes of getting sales. I see it here all the time with new product releases. 🙁

    RE: Firmware update for NEO

    The iOS app should be pushed to the App Store approval process today which will include a new firmware update for the NEO. As usual, once they submit to Apple there’s some time until approval (usually 7-10 days, but varies).

    For Android app, they’re working through BT compatibility challenges on various devices – but hope to have it out within a few weeks.

    Thanks all!

    • Adam

      Many thanks for the update, Ray.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Thanks Ray. Any ideas what the new firmware for the Neo includes.?

    • It includes some improvements in power accuracy in certain gearing/speed edge cases, but I’m not sure what else.

    • Einundsiebzig

      RE: Firmware update for NEO

      Ray you should make clear that there are two different Apps!!!!
      The Tacx Cycling App (for Training) and the Tacx Utility App (for Firmware update)…

      Tacx Cycling App Verion 2.5.4 is still working with the Neo!

      Tacx Utility will be available in the Appstore soon and has a ne Firmware update for the Neo!

    • Einundsiebzig

      RE: Firmware update for NEO

      Ray you should make clear that there are two different Apps!!!!
      The Tacx Cycling App (for Training) and the Tacx Utility App (for Firmware update)…

      Tacx Cycling App Verion 2.5.4 is still working with the Neo!

      Tacx Utility will be available in the Appstore soon and has a ne Firmware update for the Neo! And very Improtant: Tacx Utility App need iOS 8.3 or newer…

  185. Patrick

    Cannot connect to tacx utility app, Ive tried with 2 different iPhones.

    Frankly I’m quite disappointed with tacx, and neo as a whole,

    The app infrastructure is unfinished, ex; trainer road, and zwift does not have your trainer named on the app when connecting. Tacx hasn’t finished troubleshooting trainerroad usage, so they have little to no information in solving problems. If they’re going to advertise that 3rd party apps acceptable don’t you think you should make sure you’ve worked out all the bugs?

    Thier own website doesn’t have the Neo as a trainer to select in the solutions tab????

    No online support!!!! My LBS informed me that Tacx is a small company, this is the reason for the lac of online support, guess what, Tacx is not a small company! regardless of the number of employees Tacx is in thousands of cycling retailers, and it is the companies responsibility to ensure customer support either via online chat or by phone. This system that you are using where a question is answered the following day is unprofessional and frustrating. I’m writing this sitting beside my trainer and bike all geared up. Not training.

    3 months ago I started looking into upgrading my trainer, because of the 3rd party app ability I was going to buy the wahoo kickr. Then I heard about this amazing new trainer Tacx was releasing and started my due diligence in research to possibly acquire this extremely quite and accurate trainer. A few of my friends and teammates have various tacx trainers and they all have the same experiences. When they work, its great. When they don’t its a nightmare, lac of customer support and software issues. The neo was suppose to be different and you would think that after a couple years of issues and bad press the company would step it up and release the flagship neo only after extensive testing.

    A trainer at this price point should be 100% plug and play with NO issues, and FALSE claims of 3rd party accessibility. (according to Trainerroad they don’t even have a unit to test the app)
    When using Zwift I have no issues, but when using TR when there is big intensity changes the wattage showing is 40-60 watts less than actual, I’m talking about once the intensity has platue, not during the increase. This means I have to reduce the ftp to be able to finish the workout and it makes the recovery wattage really low.

    A couple of my teammates who decided to go with the wahoo this month have 0 issues with any platform they choose. I regret my decision buying the neo.
    I’ve written to tacx about this issue with no responce.

    • Einundsiebzig

      You wrote you have tried it with two diffrent Iphones. I have no problem at all to connect with the Tacx App since last update, neither on my Ipad 3 (iOS 7.x) or my Iphone 6 (iOS 8.4)…

      Maybe you should have a look wich Version of Tacx App you use! Version 2.5.4 is connecting flawless to the Neo and this Version was released at 6th of Oct.! I am pretty sure you have bluetooth enabled on both of your phones?

    • Adam

      FWIW Patrick, I used Kinomaps pretty much without issue too last night, so you can add that to Zwift as ‘things it works with’.

      I think the problem is that, as you surmise, they have launched too early and the firmware isnt fully baked and, to add insult to injury, the app eco system isnt ready for the trainer – again, another basic failure to work with the app developers to ensure they have some of the first units off the production line.

      If not for the fact that Tacx havent even got their own software working with the app yet, I would swear it was because they want to drive sales of the TTC, but clearly not.

      A lot of peoples frustrations could be quite easily smoothed out with a decent community manager who was reaching out to the few really busy bike sites online with a fairly simple message that the issues and teething troubles will be resolved.

      I think most people can accept problems as long as there is a clear plan of how things are going to get better. Something that’s lacking right now.

    • Lee

      For what its worth, I have a KICKR and now a Neo. I don’t use my KICKR anymore.

      I won’t debate the points you’ve raised too much, other than to say that currently, technology is a nightmare to integrate – two communication stacks, different protocols, different applications and platforms, frankly its a wonder anything works. Most of this is outside Tacx’s control. If you make a trainer thats FE-C compatible, but the world is using different standards, well there’s bound to be teethers.

      However the reason the KICKR works out of the box TODAY is because its been around for ages and so is the most supported smart trainer on the planet. It was exactly the same at launch.

      The Neo will take its crown I am sure – because in my opinion it is BETTER to actually RIDE on. And that is the hands down reason why I have one and don’t use the KICKR any more.

    • Ross

      Thanks Lee, I have been following your comments along with others and all the social media on the Tacx Neo. This morning I decided to cancel my pre-order on the Neo and get the Kickr instead. In my opinion, the Tacx Neo will be better than the current generation Wahoo Kickr but I just don’t have the patience to be a customer beta tester for the Neo.

      The good thing about the delays on my Tacx Neo pre-order, is that it gave me time to think, research and think some more. I have a history of being an early product adopter and most of the time the first generation product rarely works out to well for me. Knowing my luck, Wahoo will come out with a new Kickr 2 and I’ll be kicking myself again that I should have waited another year to get a smart trainer. My Kurt Kinetic has served me well for years on trainerroad but I’m ready for the full immersion of using a smart trainer.

    • I’m working through the same decision process. I’m a tacx genius owner and have been burnt by tacx’s ‘fixes’ and customer ‘service’, I swore I wouldn’t buy tacx again. I also like the way that Wahoo led the open platform charge.

      But the Neo looks like a fantastic design which is calling me. The quiet, lateral movement and (assumed) lack of power drift all seem to be an improvement on the kickr,

      Lee, any thoughts on how accurately the Neo tracks to a power meter? Any drift at all?

    • Adam

      Finally got to try this with Zwift last night and it removed any buyers remorse I might have had. Just need the Trainer Road guys to get their stuff sorted and my winter training programme is sorted.

      I would say though, the lateral movement isnt as pronounced as id hoped, in fact it could be mistaken for a manufacturing issue that allows flex.

      As it is, I managed to get up at 6:15, do 4 laps of watopia and not wake the wife/daughter so everyones happy (as long as Tacx sort the firmware side out)

    • Lee

      Somewhere in this very long thread I posted a couple of graphs and a comparison. In short, across an hour ride, the average power and cadence matched exactly that of my stages power meter. So I’m very happy about that.

    • Lee

      I cannot disagree with your thinking at all Ross. You will be delighted with your KICKR I am sure. Bearing in mind the most commonly made comparison is noise, if you don’t have noise concerns then it will serve you well.

      You are right about early adoption; however I quite like being on the cutting edge. My Neo is making all kinds of nasty sounding noises, I’m waiting for the initial stock issues and lack-of-knowledge to go away, then I’ll get it swapped out. I’m comfortable with this approach but I appreciate that many would not be, and for this kind of money you want perfection out of the box.

      Frankly, having ridden a number of trainers I think it really boils down to whether you want a wheel on or off design. If you decide on wheel off, then the options are limited. No point considering the previous gen of non-smart trainers as we approach 2016, so your choices right now really are kickr vs neo. Will be interesting to see how the elite muin b+ compares I think it will be the cheapest wheel-off smart trainer around.

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee. I’m with you on this one, wait until the issues are sorted and the Neo is in free supply before returning. My concern (that even DC was not able to confirm) is whether the noises we are experiencing are causing internal damage to the unit. If they are then I reckon TACX will simply take out the offending items causing the noise and return the trainer to us, including whatever damage has been done.

      At the end of a 25 mile ride around Watopia last night the bike was certainly making some noise I would not expect (not drastic, just not perfect) but whilst riding I wasn’t able to be sure if they were Neo related or the chainset of the bike. I intend to get the other half listening if the noises reoccur. I would normally try oiling the chain, but the bikes still done <100 miles and doubt it needs it. Regarding oil. I guess I should strip the current chain lube and use dry for the quietest results. Although to do that means cleaning the rear cassette and that means taking it off the Neo 🙁

    • Sean

      Hey Patrick, I’m completely with you on this.
      Bewlo the email I sent to Tacx – wondering when they will reply
      Dear Tacx-Team,
      about 2 weeks ago I bought a Tacx Neo. Unfortunately it took me a while until i could use it because 1st I had to wait for the delivery of the Campagnolo – cassette tool and then for the Ant+ stick to connect it to my computer. As in the description was a lot of talk about bluetooth, I was naturally under the impression, that I could just pair it to the iPad using bluetooth, just like with the wahoo kickr. As you (and now me) know, this is not the case. Anyway, I bought an ANT+ stick for my computer and as you mentioned in the description, I thought that I can use it with Trainerroad and Bkool. Regarding Bkool: your proclaimed compability with Bkool is at least on the Mac not true (see attached screenshot). I can connect it manually, but it is only working in ERG mode, so riding up a steeper hill is almost impossible. Same goes for Trainerroad. I can pair the Neo, but it only works in ERG mode. If I want to make the FTP test for instance, as soon as it switches to hill mode, it is almost impossible for me to move the pedals, even though the power is only supposed to be 300 Watts (which I can actually keep up for 1 hour!) and I’m riding the smallest gear. I have a powermeter on my roadbike, and I had a Wahoo Kickr and I know what 300W are – and what not. (Go on, try it yourself)
      Next point regarding software: Not even the Tacx utility app on the iPad is recognizing the Neo. If I use the Tacx training app, I have to switch off Bluetooth and the back on to make it work. Talking about Bluetooth: why can’t I just connect the Neo to for example Bkool on the iPad without a stupid ANT+ dongle, which I have to stick into an Apple adapter to make it work with the iPad air? In all those points the Kickr is just lightyears ahead of the neo.
      Construction: If you have a bike with a discbrake like me, it is impossible to put it into the Neo without scratching the Neo, because you have to tilt the bike (to get the chain in) as you only have 1mm room between the brake and the neo (see picture attached). If you want to fold it to store it away, you scratch it again, this time on the back side, because you have to tilt it vertically to release the locks.
      Wrap up: I could live with the hardware faults, but the software bugs are just inacceptable and I deeply regret, that I sold my Kickr for it (sold it, because I liked the idea of a quiet trainer, and that the Neo is, I’ll give it that). Unfortunately it is to late for a refund and it is slightly scratched now anyway, but I really hope, that you improve the software in less than no time.
      Sincerely, a disappointed customer

    • Trying to keep up here, cause there’s a lot of confusion:

      TrainerRoad Resistance Mode: Already noted as something TR has to fix

      BKOOL on Mac: This again, sounds like a vendor issue on the BKOOL side if it works on PC but not Mac, or if a certain mode isn’t working.

      BKOOL on iPad: That’s because BKOOL hasn’t implemented Bluetooth Smart support for the Tacx yet, in part because Tacx only opened that up to 3rd parties about three weeks ago. For example TrainerRoad and Kinomap are already working on adding support. This has been the case since announcement of the NEO three months ago, and was really only acknowledged they’d change it about 4-5 weeks ago.

      Bluetooth on/off again: Sounds like an existing app is holding open a connection to the trainer, hence why it’s blocking the connection until reset (Bluetooth Smart has a limit of one concurrent connection).

      I can’t comment on the disc brake aspects. But I’m not sure I get it on folding it scratches it. I’ve folded it up and down many times, and don’t seem to have any scratches.

      Again – just to repeat, if folks are having issues with a given 3rd party app, applying pressure to that app is really the right avenue. After all, you’re paying them for the app – not Tacx. Tacx has nudge TrainerRoad or BKOOL along, but those app companies respond far better when customers simply cancel their subscriptions to their apps.

  186. youpmelone

    Veloreality works perfectly as well.
    Absolutely superb ride with the NEO,

  187. Lee

    To all those who have reported noise issues: Here is a recording of mine:

    link to youtu.be

    is this what you are hearing ? To me, its hard to see how this would be a tiny piece of metal caught up inside. Sounds louder than this. And its definitely not anything on the bike before you ask 🙂

    • Adam

      hate to say it, but I wish mine was that quiet.

      completely different noise though. yours sounds as if something fairly big is bimbling about in there.

    • Lee

      Just jumped on it for an hour.

      At the start (cold) – no noise.
      At the end – same noise as in my video.


    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee. That’s how things were for me yesterday. Start seemed quiet, nothing untoward at half way, by the end (about 1hr 20 min later) there was definitely more noise.

    • Yikes, that sounds rough – like you somehow a gumball in there.

      I sent on the video to the Tacx folks for further clarification, and asked them to get a bit clearer support answer on how to handle it for the folks that are seeing it. Obviously there are many people who aren’t seeing that, but no doubt that sound is horrible.

      I haven’t had a chance to unbox the other new one that arrived for me to see if it does that too – but will check this weekend (was travelling for work again this week).

    • Griffin

      Ray, many thanks for pursuing some clarity for everyone on this issue. You certainly bring a certain leverage to bear that all of us cannot muster on our own.

    • Lee

      Thanks, appreciated. As you say, it sounds like something of a reasonable size is rattling around, however it doesn’t do it when cold, so go figure. There is no vibration or anything through the pedals to accompany the noise so not like something is obviously stuck. Who knows eh, be quite interested to find out 🙂

    • Trevor Fielder

      Lee, I can only see the first 500 comments on this page now for some reason so I will leave this reply here. I have contacted Tacx and Clever Training about my Neo 00818. The grinding in the last 2 gears is not going away. I can put 250W through the middle gears and is is smooth as butter, but anything over 75W in the last 2 gears on the rear cassette creates horrible grinding. Also I ran the firmware upgrade yesterday before my ride and for the first time I heard a noise other than the chain. It made this resonating metallic droning noise that I had never heard before during most of the ride. Not loud per se, but really loud compared to before the firmware upgrade. Not sure how a firmware upgrade could change this, but it did. Also noticed the unit freewheels longer. Anyway, the grinding has to be resolved, so I have contacted support. Will try to update when I get a response.

  188. JP

    Personally I’m somewhat concerned that this could be a design defect that won’t go away with “extra special” attention to cleaning the equipment before assembly.

    Tacx doesn’t exactly have a stellar customer service history, and if you buy a $1600 device that still functionally works, just is a bit more “noisey” at month 11… But then at month 13 it’s ridiculous and clearly “falling apart”, you shouldn’t expect Tacx to “do the right thing”.

    My point being if there is an inherent design defect were it is going to progressively get worse, you’re kind of screwed.

    Now granted maybe it really is just a manufacturing process issue and this problem goes away completely with their new updated quality processes.

    I really wish there were other super quiet (smart) trainers out there.

  189. Chris

    I’m getting my trainer on Monday in Canada… there was a delay on mine coming in, so I hope it is a “fixed” unit… as for a question earlier on what the firmware update fixes… its more with trainer road and the neo than anything else… seems the neo is slow to react to the wattage change.. have heard no complaints from anyone using zwift , tacx vid, or veloreality… If you go on the tacx forum there is a long thread about trainer road and the neo and someone from tacx explains that they are working together to fix the problem, but its on both ends, not just one…

  190. Hristo

    Too many hopes for something new and so expensive to work properly! I am waiting for wahoo kickr 2!

  191. Julian

    Testimonial to the noise level: My girlfriend fell asleep on the sofa next to the trainer while I was riding at 220W 🙂

  192. andi

    In general I am very happy with the Neo … for now the only flaw in my opinion is the EDCO cassette body and freewheel … the montage of my Shimano 105 10 speed cassette was pretty difficult, the cogs were hard to get into their position. But of course this is manageable … and I think the freewheel is definitively way too loud when coasting / not pedaling.
    What sense does it make to produce a quiet trainer when the freewheel is so loud? I know many riders like loud wheels on their bikes, that might be ok outside … but indoors ?

    • nicx

      Can you just pull the freehub off? Has it been properly greased? Could you silence it a bit with a thick grease?

    • andi

      well, maybe I could get it a little more quiet with that … but in the end it is not so bad that it is worth the effort.
      But thanks for the hint!

    • Greasing the freewheel makes it significantly less noisy and is a quick fix that requires only an allen key if I remember correctly. Definitively recommended. When I did it, I really wished I had done it earlier…

  193. Jonas

    Hey Ray,

    how much spacer do I have to install for a 10 speed Shimano cassette? I have a 2mm Shimano Original with 3 Little pockets and a Marker, a 1mm Shimano original and a 2mm Tacx. I don’t know what Tacx means with the option “a” or “b” in the elaboration on step 2 in the Installation Guid!

    Thanks for help!

  194. andi


    well, I have read a lot of the NEO making (metallic) noises and listened to some videos but I am not quite sure about the kind of noises TACX is referring to when they mentioned the little metal pieces in the mail to DCR above…

    what kind exactly are those noises? Ticking / clicking (random or frequent) or more like a sound like a brake pad grinding lightly on a disk brake ?

    Just being curious …

  195. Tacx Support

    Hi All,

    My name is Hilko and i’m from Tacx Support. Me or my collegaues will be more here just to inform you on the “real” story and explain as best the things we can explain or we have info on.

    Our support desk (can be reached by Facebook, Twitter (@tacxsupport or support@tacx.com (with this our customers always receive a special ticket ID and you ALWAYS get an answer) will answer questions on all topics, except we do not always have inside on delivery time and dates. On our FB page some people demand answers on deliveries but we just do not have that. Our shipments go via Distributors and we do not have information on distributors shipment to their local shops. It is the shops priority to receive the correct information related to delivery dates (we get many request on FB on this).

    Some customes have seen some FB links or questions on sound. That is indeed a good one, because the Neo is needs to quiet (best feature). Unfortunate some first models had a welding residu (very small) in the main disc which created a ticking sound on the magnets. This is what customers have reported (See link Lee). Our factory has taken steps to prevent this from happening.

    We will follow this post daily and if there is a demand on information, we will also report that here.
    One of the changes that are coming and request from cusyomers is the adaptation or Power in Trainer Road. It means quicker change of resistance following the interval profile of the training. This will be done in the Utility app coming end of the week, beginning of next week.

    • Lee

      Hi Hilko

      thanks for updating this thread. With regards the welding residue, did you mean to include a link in your post, or do you mean that the link/video I posted is the sound to be expected ? Because certainly the sound from mine sounds bigger than a small piece of residue.

      If residue is present, can it be removed easily or does it facilitate a swapout ?

      thanks 🙂

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Lee

      yes, but it IS the sound. If you see the inside of the Neo, you have the disc with all the magnets that are holding the disc. The distance between the magnet and the coils is very small. So a tiny part like this (see foto) is causing your issue unfortunate.

      I have added a picture so you can see. It is one part of the magnest and just a part of the disc. It is the same disc. you see a very small welding residue. This makes the sound

    • Joe

      Thanks for the reply. I guess the real question for me is will you be recalling all the produced units thus far, or if we order any time in the near future is it a craps shoot as to whether we get a first production run unit with these noise issues or getting a second run unit with these issues fixed?

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Joe
      This welding you hear directly when you cycle. I can also inform you that the first bacth is already sold out. There are no units at local dealers that have this anymore.

      Current users who already have the trainer will not have this issue. The strenght of social media is that everybody who experience something will put it on social media.

    • andi

      Hi Hilko,

      thank you very much for your information here … very much appreciated.

    • Emmanuel

      I have this problem with the brand new Neo I just received. When I rotate the silver disc even just half-a-turn by hand, I can feel something under the disc hitting metal parts inside the unit.

      What do I do if I have an affected unit?

    • Larry Miller

      I just purchased a new Tacx Neo and it has this horrible mettalic grinding sound. Even when I spun the pulley out of the box, before mounting the cassette. I mounted the cassette and attached the bicycle hoping it was just something I could hear by hand only.. NOPE. Sounds horrible. Did the update on firmware thinking it might help. NOPE.
      Returning my training.
      Thank you for wasting my time.

    • Filipe

      Were We can buy that Campagnolo locking ring for the Campanolo cassette ?

      can you help ? e need that Extra Lock Ring ?

    • andi

      you don’t need a special lockring for Campagnolo … just have a look at the manual:link to wwwstatic1.tacx.nl

      What you need is a cassette remover (or montage) tool for Campagnolo cassettes … this will work for the EDCO lockrings which will come with the NEO trainer.

    • Albert

      I just got my NEO and it now requires a Shimano cassette removal tool instead of the Campagnolo one. I assume that they got plenty of feedback surrounding the requirement of the Campagnolo removal tool and changed it.

  196. Tacx Support

    Ps, the removement can be done via a Distributor (that is behind the dealer), but it is more in our policy to replace the brake for a new one. This is more from a service point of view that we believe that a customer should be helped directly in this. If there is no stock than indeed it could be removed quickly at a distributor.

  197. Einundsiebzig

    Hello Hilko, Ray said, a new Tacx Utility is on his way to the appstore, with a firmware update for the NEO.
    Do you have a changelog for the new Firmware?

    • Tacx Support

      Correct. The Utility app will be released around 26th of October (we expect, while this has been submitted to the App store and that takes normally 7 to 10 days)
      Sorry to not have the changelogs by hand, but will post them tomorrow, but here are some changes
      * Improved wattage change (Trainerroad customers have this issue). So in wattage training the resistance change is much faster
      * b Slope % change improvement (feels heavier on higher climbs).
      * Spint test, better control on sprint test (with the older version it could go in security modus, so then there is no resistance etc). That is improved
      * Testing dashboard

      Also updates for other trainers then the Neo (like alignment for the Genius)

      There are more changes, but will mention them tomorrow.
      Just a comment on the Utility app. There will be bootloader put into the Neo (bit technical, so you can forget about this term). But to do this, during an update you need to turn on and off Bluetooth a couple of times. Best is to use the slide bar menu (where you can put your your phone in airplanemodus, wifi on/off, where your flashlight is) You need to do this around 5x during the update.
      We will make a short movie on this.

    • Adam

      Thanks for your help here. I feel sorry for the people that arent perhaps savvy enough to get all of this info and know how to update their Neo’s.

      This product, as promising as it is (I have one), was in no way ready for retail. No way to upgrade without iPhone and even then involves jerry rigging some BT on/off/on/off malarky?

      Astonishing – i’m just glad you are clearly trying to get the product upto spec, so for that, thanks again.

    • Filipe

      Good Mornin Mr. Hilko / Tacx,

      I´m going to buy my Tacx Neo in UK or Italy but i´m from Portugal.
      If my unit have some problem (like the noise) I can go to the Distributor in Portugal and ask for a Exchange of this unit ?


    • Tacx Support

      Hi Filipe, in that case it is just better to buy it at your local store. Our warranty procedure goes via your shop and the local distributor. So if you purchase it overseas and you have a problem you always need to go back to the shop for warranty. So please check the conditions of the shop regarding the warranty and how this is handled.

  198. Filipe

    for campagnolo cassete userswe need thart EXTRA locking ring ???

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Filipe,

      The lockring of the Edco module is the same size as a Campagnolo lockring. So it means you need a Campagnolo cassette remover to also remove Shimano cassettes

  199. marvin

    I will be at the tacx company this afternoon. I had a high sound on my tacx neo. It will prolly be the welding residu. Will keep you updated