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

(**Update: The Tacx NEO has been superseded by the Tacx Neo 2T. Check out that link for the latest In-Depth Review on the Smart Trainer**)

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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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

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And here’s a nifty animated GIF of everything:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

Summary:

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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 Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review 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. The reviews 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.

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Since the Tacx NEO Smart is no longer sold, I recommend looking at Tacx NEO 2T Smart:

I've also put together a quick list of some of my favorite or most compatible accessories for this unit:

This virtually invisible base plate gives motion to (more)

This virtually invisible base plate gives motion to your Tacx NEO. It's awesome - especially for longer workouts, albiet, also pricey.

And finally, here’s a handy list of trainer accessories that most folks getting a smart trainer for the first time might not have already:

There's no better bang for your buck in getting Zwift (or FulGaz/etc) on your big screen TV than Apple TV - it's the primary way I Zwift. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, the 4K version has more powerful graphics than the base, worth the extra $30.

Basic Trainer Mat

This is a super basic trainer mat, which is exactly what you'll see me use. All it does is stop sweat for getting places it shouldn't (it also helps with vibrations too).

Cassette Installation/Removal Tools

There are *many* variations of cassette removal tools, this is the best bang for your buck. Don't overthink this. You'll likely only use this tool once every 2-3 years.

Front Wheel Riser Block

Here's the thing, some people like front wheel blocks, some don't. I'm one of the ones that do. I like my front wheel to stay put and not aimlessly wiggle around. For $8, this solves that problem. Note some trainers do come with them. Also note, I use a riser block with *every* trainer.

Honeywell HT-900 Fan

I've got three of these $12 fans floating around the DCR Cave, and I frequently use them on rides. They work just fine. Sure, they're not as powerful as a Wahoo Headwind, but I could literally buy 20 of them for the same price.

This desk is both a knock-off of the original KICKR Desk, but yet also better than it. First, it's got wheel locks (so the darn thing stays put), and second, it has two water bottle holders (also useful for putting other things like remotes). I've been using it as my main trainer desk for a long time now and love it. Cheaper is better apparently. Note: Branding varies by country, exact same desk.

This is by far the best value in trainer desks, at only $59, but with most of the features of the higher end features. It's got multi-tier tablet slots, water bottle holders, non-stick surface, adjustable height and more. I'm loving it!

Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617)

One of the most popular trainer fans out there, rivaling the Wahoo Headwind fan in strength but at a fraction of the price. It doesn't have smartphone/ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but it does have secondary outlets. I've been using it, and a similiar European version lately with great success (exact EU variant I use is automatically linked at left).

Shimano R7000 105 Cassette (11-speed)

This is a Shimano 105 cassette (thus, slightly more budget compared to the Ultegra), in most cases, you probably won't notice the difference. Ensure that the number of speeds matches your bike (e.g. 11-speed, 10-speed, 9-speed, etc...).

Shimano R8000 Ultegra Cassette (11-speed)

This is a Ultegra cassette, you can save about $10-$15 by picking up a Shimano 105 instead. Ensure that the number of speeds matches your bike (e.g. 11-speed, 10-speed, 9-speed, etc...).

I've had this for years, and use it in places where I don't have a big screen or desk, but just an iPad or tablet on my road bike bars.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

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!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review 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. The reviews 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.

If you're shopping for the Tacx NEO Smart or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Since the Tacx NEO Smart is no longer sold, I recommend looking at Tacx NEO 2T Smart:

I've also put together a quick list of some of my favorite or most compatible accessories for this unit:

This virtually invisible base plate gives motion to (more)

This virtually invisible base plate gives motion to your Tacx NEO. It's awesome - especially for longer workouts, albiet, also pricey.

And finally, here’s a handy list of trainer accessories that most folks getting a smart trainer for the first time might not have already:

There's no better bang for your buck in getting Zwift (or FulGaz/etc) on your big screen TV than Apple TV - it's the primary way I Zwift. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, the 4K version has more powerful graphics than the base, worth the extra $30.

Basic Trainer Mat

This is a super basic trainer mat, which is exactly what you'll see me use. All it does is stop sweat for getting places it shouldn't (it also helps with vibrations too).

Cassette Installation/Removal Tools

There are *many* variations of cassette removal tools, this is the best bang for your buck. Don't overthink this. You'll likely only use this tool once every 2-3 years.

Front Wheel Riser Block

Here's the thing, some people like front wheel blocks, some don't. I'm one of the ones that do. I like my front wheel to stay put and not aimlessly wiggle around. For $8, this solves that problem. Note some trainers do come with them. Also note, I use a riser block with *every* trainer.

Honeywell HT-900 Fan

I've got three of these $12 fans floating around the DCR Cave, and I frequently use them on rides. They work just fine. Sure, they're not as powerful as a Wahoo Headwind, but I could literally buy 20 of them for the same price.

This desk is both a knock-off of the original KICKR Desk, but yet also better than it. First, it's got wheel locks (so the darn thing stays put), and second, it has two water bottle holders (also useful for putting other things like remotes). I've been using it as my main trainer desk for a long time now and love it. Cheaper is better apparently. Note: Branding varies by country, exact same desk.

This is by far the best value in trainer desks, at only $59, but with most of the features of the higher end features. It's got multi-tier tablet slots, water bottle holders, non-stick surface, adjustable height and more. I'm loving it!

Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617)

One of the most popular trainer fans out there, rivaling the Wahoo Headwind fan in strength but at a fraction of the price. It doesn't have smartphone/ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but it does have secondary outlets. I've been using it, and a similiar European version lately with great success (exact EU variant I use is automatically linked at left).

Shimano R7000 105 Cassette (11-speed)

This is a Shimano 105 cassette (thus, slightly more budget compared to the Ultegra), in most cases, you probably won't notice the difference. Ensure that the number of speeds matches your bike (e.g. 11-speed, 10-speed, 9-speed, etc...).

Shimano R8000 Ultegra Cassette (11-speed)

This is a Ultegra cassette, you can save about $10-$15 by picking up a Shimano 105 instead. Ensure that the number of speeds matches your bike (e.g. 11-speed, 10-speed, 9-speed, etc...).

I've had this for years, and use it in places where I don't have a big screen or desk, but just an iPad or tablet on my road bike bars.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

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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2,173 Comments

  1. 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

  2. Klausnea

    Good Morning Mr. Hilko / Tacx,
    So regarding noise you mentioned the first patch might have that issue – can you report how to find out if my NEO is first patch or not?
    Sometimes there is some rattling noise, but definitely not at each ride….

    What about the serial numbers?

    KR Andreas

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Klausnea

      If you believe the sound is strange, the best solution is to make a sound recording and send this to support@tacx.com
      We can also explain that BAD sound comes from new cassettes using old chains. So sound (cracking sound) can be produced if you have an new cassette and an old chain.
      For these these we also make an additional FAQ on our website.

  3. marvin

    Just been @ the tacx company.

    The neo has been swapped with a new one inclyding the new firmware.

    Will ride on trainerroad this afternoon.

  4. Filipe

    Hi,

    were Tacx Neo buyers can get the discounted of €80 ?

    someOne know ?

    regards.

  5. marvin

    Ok the good part first;

    TR works good now with the new firmware. It gives allmost instant wattage when it needs to.

    The bad part this trainer made sucha noise i couldn’t end my workout or the neighbours would have shot me.

    When the trainer needed to make resistance there was a gigantic sound (couldnt even hear tv anymore). I will go back to tacx tomorrow

    sound
    link to drive.google.com

    • Tacx Support

      Yes

      The grinding noise is related to old cassette and new chain and or new cassette and old chain. We heard the noise of this. If you dont cycle you dont hear anything. So it is very important to have this setup correctly. if you speed up with -5% for example then there should be no sound in the Neo. All other sounds are related to chain etc

  6. marvin

    hmm the link wasnt correct…… i think 🙂

    link to drive.google.com

    • Lee

      Hmm. The “grinding” sound – I had that on my KICKR. It was using a worn chain on a new cassette. A fair bit of the other noise sounds like you haven’t re-indexed your gears.

    • marvin

      Hmmm but why didn’t i had that sound before on my other NEO if it’s the chain.

      I am using an older chain on a new cassette. I will order a new chain just to be sure.

    • marvin

      just to be sure we are talking about the same sound. I am talking about the sound you hear at the start from 0:00 – 0:04 very loud. I ain’t talking about the chain you hear clicking.

    • redheb

      I have that exact same sound on my Neo from time to time, no clue what causes it…

    • Einundsiebzig

      I also have this “humming” sound from time to time…
      Would be nice if you can sort that out with Tacx, maybe you take your bike with you and show them how it sounds…

    • marvin

      i just proposed this to them to sort things out. I am positive we will get this sorted out quickly.

    • Ed

      I also have the humming sound. Looks like it’s relative to a change of applied brake force. I have the impression that it is a kind of resonance.

      I do not consider it as a very loud noise but it is also present at the Neo of a friend. And he is on his second one. The first one also made this humming sound.

    • redheb

      I agree it’s not loud, but it would be good to know if it’s normal to have that “humming” from time to time.

  7. Adam

    Great news about trainer road

  8. youpmelone

    Update: Finally the TACX NEO works as intended. The good people behind Veloreality took my input seriously and released an update tonight which in essence is an update around/coping with Tacx’ interpretation of the ANT+ standard.

    I’ve been very happy with the support of the TACX service department, and the design of the NEO but the TT4 software is ahum sub par.. Veloreality has absolutely the smoothest most realistic ride now. Absolutely fantastic to ride Mallorca in 1080p on a a big flatscreen and feel it adapt to every small change in incline.

    Dear Tacx peeps, I think you struck gold with the NEO, but needing an iphone to update the NEO?
    And the buggy implementation in your own software? Time to wake up fast, luckily the nice people of Veloreality exist somewhere in Canada. As a fellow Dutchman I’d say the language shouldnt be the barrier, their should be enough people in Tacx who speak sufficent english.
    Talk to those guys and see if you can list this as software that works with NEO.

    If I wouldnt have found it (via the DC rainmaker compare table) I’d have sent the NEO back, and waited for the Kickr 2.

    they have an option as well to ride virtually together, I just saw the implementation for the first time and it is the coolest thing. A group ride famous mountains from the basement.
    This option is in the version they just released tonight and it is for FREE, as in free beer..

    No clue how they can keep the heating on with these prices but I’m a happy camper…

    I heard some rumours about sufferfest wotkouts on it, then I’d be awfully happy…

    NEO trainer, Veloreality software, a Sony 48″ bargain flatscreen, 15y old magnat surround sound, macbook pro with water damage and for the first time I like indoor training.

    let’s see for how long..

    • Alistair

      Hi Youpmelone,

      Do you use veloreality on your macbook pro via something like VMWare / parallels or via bootcamp?
      What’s the performance like and what hardware are you using?

      I’ve just got a Neo, but at the moment Zwift is crashing (no idea why, my mid 2013 maxed out Macbook Air should easily run it and it used to start) so thinking about giving veloreality a go.

    • Sorry for intruding. I do not know Youpmelone’s exact configuration but here is some info for you: using bootcamp is preferable since it provides the best performance. Some people are using it with parallels but keep in mind that you have to enable (if not enabled already) DirectX 10 since this is what our software uses. Finally I’ve got a message from customer who had managed to get it running nicely on VMWare Fusion but it required him to upgrade to Fusion 8. He is using Mac Book Pro (did not supply hardware configuration) and Mac El Capitan.

    • Alistair

      Thanks for that. Right now I don’t want to dedicate the space to bootcamp, but I do have a win7 VMWare image. If that’s worked for someone I’ll give it a go – nothing to lose!

    • youpmelone

      I’m pretty sure it will work fine in vmware.

      I got it working in parallels fine.

  9. Steven

    Looks like Tacx utility just got updated. That and my neo finally shipped from starbike.

  10. Einundsiebzig

    Right, nee Tacx Utility with Neo Support is out.

    Hilko/Tacx, how about the video you talkend about fort the Firmware Update procedure?

  11. Adam

    Video really not needed guys. Just did mine.
    Open app. Find and select neo.
    Go to update.
    Then Let the app do its thing.
    Every time it asks you to toggle the Bluetooth close the pop up. Bring up the quick settings by flicking up from the bottom of the screen. Turn bt off. Pause for a second or two. Turn it back on. Dismiss the settings menu.
    Eventually after 5 mins of faffing it’s done.

    • Adam

      Having done that still not seeing these incredibly controlled power profiles in tr that I’ve seen from kickr users. Assume there’s still word to do from tr side.

  12. Lee

    OK….so today I updated the firmware and knocked out Sufferfest Nine Hammers.

    Below is a comparison between the Neo and the KICKR.

    1. As you can see, the power output is far smoother on the KICKR. I believe this is purely down to the fact the KICKR has that big heavy flywheel. Sometimes you just can’t beat physics. I suspect that enabling power smoothing would make the Neo graph smoother but I’m comparing apples with apples here.

    2. The Neo is still slower to respond to a requested power change.

    3. On a power change, the Neo is more inclined to initially “get it wrong” ie you end up over or under delivering by a fair bit. You can see this clearly on the section I’ve marked with a green ring. I iniitally under-delivered at the start of this segment, but on the third increase you can see I over-delivered.

    4. As an observation, I noted that on a constant load, I actually ended up over-delivering across the segment. In basic terms, with the Neo you have to work just that little bit harder.

    5. The over-delivering resulted in the workout being harder on the Neo:

    202 NP / 624 Cal / 85 TSS (Neo)
    200 NP / 609 Cal / 83 TSS (KICKR)

    Whilst these numbers seem small and perhaps pedantic, the workout *feels* much harder on the Neo. I suspect that because some of the time I was under-delivering on the Neo, this brings the figures back down again. Certainly I felt that the muscular strain on the Neo was a fair bit more than the KICKR.

    This is backed up with the Power Zones reading from TrainerRoad.

    Neo:
    VO2Max (231-264) : 22.5%
    Anaerobic (264+) : 5.5%

    KICKR
    VO2Max (231-264) : 19.1%
    Anaerobic (264+) : 4.1%

    As to whether this makes a big difference to you or not…..I guess it depends on what level you’re training to. When I’m training for power I’m right on the edge of what I can sustain. The difference here would mean being able to finish vs giving up or lowering the intensity on the Neo.

    I haven’t put a TT bike on the trainer yet or done a TT workout on the Neo, but I can imagine that to a TTer who’s riding to an exact wattage, the over-delivering requirement of the Neo wouldn’t be welcome.

    Personally I think that for hardcore training and power/figure freaks ( 🙂 ) the KICKR is still the current champion. The Tacx is a more natural ride (somehow smoother, lateral play) and is certainly quieter so perhaps suits the more recreational rider. Certainly Neo on Trainerroad is probably “good enough” now.

    • Lee

      Oops heres the pic with the green ringed section I referred to:

    • Einundsiebzig

      Wasn’t it Trainerroad how had to work on their software? So not full Neo firmware related?

    • Maxdaddy

      Great work, Lee! Thanks for the info! Do you think the differences that you see in regard to resistance is a result of inherent difference in the machines themselves or is it something that may be corrected with more refined programming on the Neo?

    • Lee

      Hmmmm not sure to be honest if it can be made much better. The power figures that you get from a Neo are very similar to my stages power meter in as much that they can fluctuate within a crank turn or two…I suspect its partly that no-one has a perfectly smooth power delivery and partly because they sample quite fast.

      The KICKR has that big heavy flywheel remember. The guys at trainerroad told me that this acts as a very good smoother. The Neo has a virtual flywheel and so with no real inertia/mass, is open to the same kinds of fluctuation that anything electronic is.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Do you feel the fluctuation? I don’t think so… Loks like it commutes arround 3,4,5 Watts?
      I think if you average an intervall NEo VS Kickr, you will get almost the same values…

    • Nice graphs. Now the question here is were those graphs reflecting power reported by trainers? If yes I’d like to see the same thing but with power taken from power meter instead.

    • Lee

      Search this thread for “Zwift Watopia”. I put on some graphs comparing the Neo to my stages power meter. In terms of average figures over an hour they were identical.

    • Griffin

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to some earlier posts here (and perhaps on the Tacx forum), there’s also still some work to be done on the TrainerRoad side of the equation isn’t there?

    • Lee, thanks for the data. I have one question, although I might be asking the same as Veloreality: Could you clarify whether these are power data from the trainers or from your Stages power meter, and, in case of the latter, what the PowerMatch setting in TR is (auto, manual, disabled)? Thanks in advance!

    • Lee

      In the comparison of Kickr vs Neo its just those trainers. No power meter. I don’t use powermatch. The only reason I have a powermeter on my indoor trainer bike is I bought it ages ago and it cannot be transferred to my other bikes; I found it useful when gauging the accuracy of the kickr.

    • Thanks for replying!

      From the graphs you show, I totally agree that it could indeed be that the KICKR is superior.

      On the other hand, given that these are not graphs from the same dedicated power meter used with the two trainers, but the power values reported by the specific trainers, couldn’t it be that the KICKR’s internal “power meter” is both off and averaging (even after spin-down) resulting in a wrong appearance of superior smoothness and response? The KICKR’s control algorithm “believing” and reporting that it’s doing a near perfect job, while in reality it is just being fooled by the deficiencies of it’s internal power meter?

      Anyway, just a suggestion. Since you mention that you have done an accuracy test of the KICKR vs a dedicated power meter, what would your take on such a hypothesis be?

      From a different perspective, I think Tacx might have nailed at least the power meter accuracy part with the Neo, while Wahoo did not when designing the KICKR.

    • We are not talking averages here. People are claiming how trainer A gets to set power instantly and the other on is slow. And to prove the point they show graphs made by proprietary software which I think shows heavily processed power reported by trainer. I want to see 1 sec “instant power” graphs taken from power meter instead.

    • Lee

      The Neo reminds me of my stages PM in that power fluctuation is quite large, even when trying to pedal as smoothly as possible. On my Garmin when riding outdoors I use 3s smoothing for example because “instant power readings” are all over the place.

      The KICKR is very very smooth in terms of the power it reports. Usually fluctuating by only 1-2W or so. Is it the flywheel ? Is it the electronics inside are doing some smoothing ? Probably a bit of both.

      Last night I did a slow and steady ride. The wattage on the kickr was showing 180W @ 95rpm (as I say +- 2W or so). If I flipped over to the stages PM it was around 10W under this. Didn’t record the data streams as right now I’m currently bored of this endless comparison; lets face it, its not going to change anything 🙂

    • So I guess your “apples to apples comparison” statement was meant somewhat ironically given that the only shared characteristic of the graphs is that both were self-reported data from the trainers – and that’s more like kiwis and oranges? 🙂

      Completely agree that such test rides can be tedious; will do some tests my self, given the absence of comparable data.

      Anyway, thanks for the information that TR works properly with the Neo; I didn’t notice as I had been using only their iOS app recently and I wasn’t able yet to make that one work with the Neo yet.

  13. Chris

    Anyone using Campagnolo 11s out there? On mine the 11T cog is not aligned properly like it would be when installing on normal Campagnolo freehub. The tooth in the sqaure box should be where the tooth labeled 11B is.. Is this just the way it is since it a multisys freehub??

  14. Einundsiebzig

    Today I have done the new NEO Firmware update in front of tonights Zwift Group Ride… Update went flawless without any Problem!

    What I found out is, that the behavior of the Neo did change.
    For around 170-180 Watts on a flat I had to gear 39/17 > 39/16 with the old Firmware. With the new on I have to shift to 39/14 > 39/13 to get the same wattage, wich is not that good and realistic as before and compared to a ride outside! Anyone else with the same experience?

    @HILKO Tacx Support
    Is there a chance to make this better?

    • Tacx Support

      Hi, the changes are related to the best wattage output. As you see that people comparing different things with eachother.

  15. Jim Shatford

    Okay – I am a 60 year old who owns a 15 year old Computrainer which in the day was the state of the art indoor trainer. I don’t race anymore, do some fondo style events and local rides. I have Racermate One software and use Zwift and Strava to keep entertained. I try to keep myself in the best shape I can. I do use the Racermate software to compare results once every month in the winter. I check power, Hr, speed and time on a 20km flat TT course to see if I can match previous results. I don’t use a power meter on my road bike as I produce light bulb power at my age. I train by HR and “feel”. Here’s the question – is a Wahoo Kickr or Tacx Neo a complete waste of money for an old CT user? They are tempting but I am beginning to think that I don’t need the “bling” when all I am doing is trying to maintain what fitness I already have.

    • Lee

      Hi Jim – kudos to a lifetime cyclist – I think some of the oldest guys in the clubs here are pushing on 90 !!

      Sounds to me like you are now in the category of “keen recreational cyclist” rather than someone in out and out training. If power is not important to you then I would suggest looking at products on the market which use the wheel-on design as these are quicker to get the bike on/off and don’t involve having to worry about using a worn chain on an unworn cassette (you will only ever be using the chain and cassette on your bike).

      A number of the guys in our club have bought the Tacx Vortex Smart or Bkool trainers. These are the cheapest trainers I know of which deliver the full interactive “smart” experience. The Vortex Smart is the cheaper version of the Bushido Smart and can “only” go upto 950W which doesn’t sound like a limitation for your needs.

      Having used Zwift and TrainerRoad for quite some time, I had never ever ridden a virtual ride (ie video of a real life course) and I have to say, the Tacx TTS4 software does this very well with a simple upload to Strava. It will have your friends confused as it looks like you hop around the globe 🙂

      So that would be my recommendation. In the UK a Vortex Smart can be had for £260 whereas the Neo is £1080 – over 4 times as much !!. KICKR is £950 and KICKR Snap £650.

      Personally, the biggest selling point for me with the wheel off design is smoothness and a true road feel. The Neo adds lateral play into the mix to make it even more realistic. So if I were you I guess it would boil down to how many hours I was spending on the trainer, what my budget was, and whether I wanted a wheel off or wheel on design. If you’ve spent years on a computrainer then at least you know what wheel-on turbo is like. Why not try a test ride on a wheel-off trainer ?

    • Jon P

      Thank you Lee for such an informed answer… there’s a lot of us out here like Jim who want an awesome trainer like we hope the Neo will settle into being, but who don’t know if we’re ‘hard core’ enough to justify it!

      About wheel slip: is wheel slip a bigger issue on electronic smart trainers with a wheel-on design like Tacx Smarts, Bkool Pro or Wahoo Snap than non-electronic trainers? (I may lean towards the Snap because of the flywheel and 3rd party apps just work…)

      I’ve been training on a CycleOps Supermagneto Pro that has progressive magnetic resistance, but is a ‘dumb trainer’. The wheel slip I’ve experienced on it has been infrequent and never interrupted my workout beyond those few pedal strokes. (I suppose I don’t put out mega watts in a sprint then, right?)

      Keeping the cassette matched to the chain with a wheel-on designed trainer then might be the selling point, if wheel slip isn’t a bigger factor on an electronic versus non-electronic trainer for those of us who don’t push huge watts. I know ‘rider feel’ also comes into play with a wheel-off design, but I don’t want to confuse the focus with that variable…

      Thanks for your time and your thoughts.

    • Jim

      Lee: Thanks for the reply. I think that I will stick with my old Computrainer for the present time. I live in a small town and my local shop has a Kickr which I’ve tried briefly. They don’t like Tacx products as they had issues in the past with their products and no longer bring them in.

    • Lee

      Wheel slip can occur due to a number of things…

      1. Incorrect tension (tightness)
      2. Incorrect tyre pressure
      3. Tyre choice
      4. Grippiness of the turbo (I think every one I’ve seen uses a smooth metal roller, probably to reduce tyre wear/noise, however worth making sure the metal is clean and not oily)
      5. Resistance of turbo set very high (consider instead using a bigger gear on the bike and lowering turbo resistance)
      6. Big sudden accelerations

      Tacx reckon the Bushido is good for 1400 watts, Kickr Snap 1100 watts, presumably both have been tested with a strong rider so I daresay slippage must not be an issue.

      Whilst you might think slippage is not an issue on the wheel-off trainer, interestingly I found its possible to “fool” the Neo. If you have low cadence and suddenly stick a big effort through the pedals, it does indeed feel like you’ve spun a rear wheel. The Kickr does not have this trait, at the end of the day you have to spin a big heavy flywheel so its physics.

      When I used to have one bike (what??!!) keeping the chain/cassette wear matched was indeed an issue and I had grinding noises and vibration through the pedals whenever I used my Kickr. Luckily (??!!) I snapped the frame on that bike on a dropout, making it unsafe for road use (thats what I told the wife ho ho) but fine for the turbo/rollers so its now a dedicated indoor trainer bike.

      If you do serious indoor mileage (I think I’m going to be pushing 200 – 250 miles a week in the run up to Jan) then a dedicated indoor bike with the wheel-off is great. More like a wattbike setup in fact (although I dislike the ride experience/position on those personally).

    • The challenge Tacx has (especially in the US) is trying to force everything through the distributor from a support standpoint. It just doesn’t work or scale well. It helps that they’ve rolled out direct to consumer support recently (about a year ago), but the lack of phone support isn’t ideal.

      We saw Wahoo go down the same route initially (no phone), then eventually they opened up limited phone support. And finally, now they have a regular number to call. From a global units standpoint Tacx far outweighs Wahoo (way bigger in Europe), so I’d have to imagine it’s straight forward for them to open up such a call center if they wanted to improve the support experience.

  16. Chris

    Einundsiebzig – At least your firmware flashed properly, I know of 4 people including myself that now own a very expensive trainer doorstop… the firmware failed on all of us at about 25% area, and the the trainer is not even recognized anymore.. it comes up as DfuNrf, attempts to flash the firmware again are failed, and wont even start although it says an upgrade is available..

    Jim shatford.. I guess it all depends what you want.. I have a computrainer as well.. I train off ergvideo, veloreality, and zwift.. I wanted a trainer I could ride the real grades at and not worry about blowing power supply so I went for the Neo.. well…. as I said above I now own a doorstop, and to top it off, the last cog on my campy 11s will not install in the proper sequence on the multisys hub,so the ramping is wrong, or the freehub is cut wrong… in any event, Ive contacted the distributor, and I am calling tacx first thing tomorrow AM..

    • nicx

      I have never used an iPhone, so excuse me if this is an irrelevant question.

      How did you navigate to turn the bt on/off? Did you navigate away from the Tacx utility, or just drag the bt on/off into focus?

    • Tacx Support

      wow chris. We are checking this asap. Did you on 25% disconnect Bluetooth 1x

    • Einundsiebzig

      You can swipe up a menu bar where the setting is located and buttons giving you the choice to toggle on/off!

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Chris, please send us your info to support@tacx.com, so we can compensate you in any. I talked to the dev team about this, and the bootloader is flashed. Indeed not sure if you turned Bluetooth on/off via the slide screen (that is the best option) but when it falshed up like this it can only recoved by boot loader reset. The cause might indeed be the on/off Bluetooth that this was done to early or to late that for some reason it flashed. Tacx will put a new version in the App store today that reset this bootloaded so that the update can proceed. Unfortunate it takes 4 to 5 days before the App store approves the apps normally. More info on this later

    • TK

      Same problem here. Firmware Update got stuck at 25%. I have an open case with tacx support and a 2nd open case for the noise issue. Mine sounds like an old kettle just when the water is about to boil!
      Tobias

    • Tacx Support

      Hi TK, very sorry about that. That needs to be fixed anyway. We did remove the utility app. If you have experience the reset, please send us an email. The updated Utility app will be put online to fix this problem. Will update it on this website.

    • Chris

      I called and have been in contact via email with tacx

      Chris

  17. marvin

    Update on my problem with the noise,

    Good news for me as i got a new Neo this morning @ the factory.

    I tried a very short session just before i had to go to work and it was unbelievable silent as promised in all the promo’s. The chain wasn’t the problem which i expected, allthough with a new chain it will be even more silent. With a new chain my wife could prolly sleep next to the trainer. Now if i only could convince her to let the neo into the living room 😉

    Tonight i will do a long session on TR to see if everything stays well, i expect that here will be no problems at all.

    Extra info on the Neo development, they told me that they are looking to expand the capability for the trainer to work with more cassettes. So not only the campa and shimano they support now.

    Thumbs up for the support of Tacx who were willing to help me instantly with my problem.

    • Ed

      Hi Marvin,

      Can you explain more about the “unbelievable silence” ? My Neo is relatively quite but I do hear some humming / resonance sound once in a while. Can you make a sound recording again?

      I can’t honestly say that my Neo is “unbelievable silent”.

      Luckily or unluckily mine has developed the same ticking/creaking noises as Lee’s so mine is also going to be replaced by Tacx. I am from the Netherlands but Wassenaar is to far away so I will send it.

      Thanks in advance for your asnwer.

    • marvin

      It’s like i hear nothing from the trainer. The only thing you hear is de chain, which i also replaced in the meantime. It’s really silent now,

    • Einundsiebzig

      Sound Recording would be great…

    • George

      Marvin, Also would like to hear how the long ride went and a sound recording. Thanks.

  18. Nicolas Sapieha

    Does someone have more information about this KICKR2 that I hear people talking about quite often ?

    • It’s just folks talking about something imaginary, as in – the next generation of the KICKR, whenever that’d be. Right now, pretty much all hands on deck at Wahoo are focused on the ELEMNT. And they just released the KICKR SNAP this summer.

      Thus the absolute earliest we’d ever see a new KICKR model would be next summer. Nobody releases trainer models after Interbike (Sept) because they’d have missed the season.

  19. Ron

    The Neo is touted as being quieter, yet DC Rainmaker found only about a 1 db difference in his ‘cave’ compared to the Kickr. Einundsiebzig said, correctly I think, that it is the bike which makes the noise, not the trainer.
    The Kickr has a heavy flywheel which the Neo does not. Several have noted that the Kickr gives a more ‘realistic road feel’, possibly because of this, whereas the Neo may give the ‘smoothest drivetrain experience under different loads’. Not sure how to interpret those statements or which is more desirable. Several people, at least, have rushed out, sold their Kickrs, and purchased Neos. I hope they are happy in the longrun and don’t experience buyers remorse. Tacx is having some teething problems with its Neo software, which hopefully for them will be worked out. I must add that I’ve been quite happy with my Kickr for the past year. Although not direct drive, the adjustable belt is quite stable and it is adjustable if need be. Different strokes…….

    • That’s not exactly what I showed. The top db levels were almost certainly due to clipping in. It’s pretty easy to hear the differences – I don’t think there’s a single person anywhere that has said the KICKR and NEO sound the same.

    • Lee

      Unless noise is an absolute primary concern and driver, I do not understand at all why anyone would want to rush to sell their kickr for a neo. That makes no sense to me.

      All of this comparison and discussion would surely be the basis of a buying decision BETWEEN a kickr and a neo. Ie some guy starting out and wants to know he bought the best/right product with his hard earned.

      I’m lucky in that I don’t have to decide, I can keep both, but frankly I think each is slightly better than the other in certain use scenarios. Right now if I wanted to do a decent, accurate, controlled intervals workout in TrainerRoad I’d choose the kickr. If I wanted to do a TT workout or an accurate FTP test I’d choose the kickr. For all other riding which I’d class more as “recreational” ie Zwift, virtual rides with video, TTS4 virtual reality etc – the Neo.

      Similarly I have a set of rollers which I also use as these are good in ways a turbo cannot be.

    • Ron

      Ray – I didn’t say they sounded the same, only that your demonstration did not show a big difference. What do you think of the flywheel effect/ benefit?

    • I’m not sure on the flywheel benefit/effect – I suspect different folks interpret it differently – but I think far more important is actually the apps controlling it.

      Meaning, I’d be curious for those that don’t like the effect in one app (i.e. TR), how does it feel in another (i.e. native Tacx App or Veloreality or Zwift). As has already been shown here in this post’s comments – app compatibility items greatly impact things.

      As for noise, I’m going to record some new videos (mostly sans-speaking) later today sometime, just for the heck of it.

    • JP

      Thanks Lee – I think you summarized it well.

      I fall into more the recreational category. In the end I think I’m just waiting for Ray’s “roundup” – which should be especially more valuable after he spends time with his second model (and all the commentary here for him to leverage when making further assessments)

  20. Andrew (UK)

    I’ve been watching the comments the last few days and trying to play the waiting game. My Neo is still making annoying noises, but I’m trying to ignore them for as long as possible. My noises do seem slightly less than others here, probably because I’m not pushing 1000w+. Whilst I see that some people have the luxury of going to the factory / distributer and picking up new unit until they find one that works I’m very much dreading having to return mine. It’s going to mean days off work to be indoors at both collection and delivery and a potential long time without the ability to train (for both myself and the other half). Then I could easily get another one that’s even worse. And all because TACX’s Quality Control couldn’t be bothered to check the units properly. On top of this returning the unit may also cost me a non-trivial amount of hard cash.

    Reading the issues with the TACX upgrade utility there’s no way I can use that either. It seems I currently have a chance of bricking the Neo completely and if does work then it will become harder to pedal (more resistance) in Zwift. It’s already hard enough so I certainly don’t fancy making it harder.

    Really I’m wishing that there had been somewhere I could have tried the KICKR and Neo together and that perhaps I’d waited a bit longer. Although the lure of “silience” was too much to resist, the spectre of having to return a 20Kg+ unit several times for many days is far worse.

    This is my first experience of trainers and my first of TACX.

    • Lee

      Just took a call from my LBS. I’d kept them in the loop and they went back to Fisher who are the UK distie.

      Fisher are collecting and removing the weld residue. In my case (not sure if this would apply to all customers, but it seems to be Tacx policy) they are happy for me to swap my unit with another at the LBS.

      Do you not have a neighbour/relative who could have the Neo at their place so it can be collected without inconvenience?

      I did the update just fine. I have a friend who doesn’t own an iphone, he isn’t as technical as most on this thread, he borrowed his partners iphone and managed it just fine.

      If Zwift has become harder then its more likely the thing I talked about above – the Neo ends up with you over-delivering on power. Right now I’m not using resistance control in zwift, just using it for speed/cadence/power and its a lovely ride.

      I still haven’t used my kickr once even with all of these issues going on. But today for my lunchtime spin I’ll swap the bike back over and see what I think now I’m used to the Neo.

      Don’t despair. This is classic “early adopter” syndrome. It will get sorted.

      Had you bought the kickr you may well have been following other threads questioning the power output, asking how to get cadence out of the kickr (mine doesn’t, its vague as to why), getting to learn bluetooth and its connection foibles on wahoo applications. The grass is not always greener 🙂

    • Sean

      Hey Andrew,
      I could just copy/paste your comment. Same problems (noise) and dilemma (days off training) here – 100%. Anyway, in the EU (I live in Germany) we have 1 year warranty and I think I will just wait until march, before I call my distributer and let the Neo be fixed or swapped.

  21. Andrew (UK)

    Morning Lee.

    Unfortunately I did not purchase mine from the LBS because Neo’s were rarer than hens teeth. After it arrived it made a noise straight away, I walked into the LBS 2 days later they had just had a delivery. I almost cried.

    I have noone else I can give the Neo to for collection. It’s a nightmare scenario and one I was well aware would be the case were I to recieve a dud. I weighed up the pros and cons at the time (with the Mrs) and decided to risk that TACX were only shipping solid units that were well tested and quality controlled. Even DC stated above that issues were likely to be software related.

    I gambled wrong, now I have to face the consequences.

    Perhaps I would rue not buying the Neo had I purchased the KickR. Who knows. I was pushed into a corner with winter coming (Game of Thrones was right!) and needed a quiet trainer fast.

    Still, I will wait until the new software is released before I upgrade. And until a few others have tried it first. I can at least learn 1 lesson 😉 Especially as it won’t fix the noises and it works perfectly fine in Zwift as it is.

    • Ross

      Andrew sorry to hear about your experience with the Neo. I’ve only been cycling for five years and I have never seen LBS in my area or throughout my travels in the USA have any Tacx trainers on site. The exchange/return process was one of my main reservations in purchasing a Neo. Ultimately, that was the deciding factor of why I cancelled my Neo preorder and picked up a Kickr this week. As I said in a previous post, I know the Neo will be better than the Kickr. But, I wanted a smart trainer that was plug & play, and the Kickr used along with my Stages power meter has met that need. However, the Kickr is noticeable louder than the KK trainer I was using, even to the point that my wife made a comment about it.

      Now I have a bag of mixed feelings because while the Kickr just works and is compatible with so many apps. Part of me still wants a trainer that is quieter than the Kickr and the KK trainer. But the hassle in case something goes wrong with the Tacx Neo, then dealing with the online distributor and the cost of shipping for the exchange and the time it takes to do all that. I have no luck with gambling and I like safe investments, dealing with the noise of the Kickr is the safer bet for me at this time.

    • Andrew (UK)

      I think after 5 years you had a better handle on the situation than myself. I’ve only been cycling a few months this year and this was my first experience of TACX other than reading reviews. The general concensous seemed to be “terrible issues in the past but much better now” and I took that gamble. I now only have myself to blame. Well of course there’s always the people that decided Quality Control was overated at TACX to blame too of course.!!

      Quiet was paramount to us and listening to videos (including DC’s) of the KickR running at high speed put me off and pushed me to the TACX route. Had the Neo appeared on the market in June I would never have purchased until the first batch was out there and the reviews posted. But with winter closing in, the temperature dropping, the rain falling, I had to make an expensive decision fast.

      Live and learn.

  22. Artur

    Stupid question guys: when connected to garmin 520; the power and cadence numbers are being shown from my power meter or from neo?

  23. Adam

    The whole UK distributor giving the ok for the LBS to swap units is interesting.

    My Neo makes a hell of a racket – including some clicking after form sprints in TR – in fact post workout when the flywheel is spinning down is a great example, must record the sound.

    Looks like speaking to the shop I purchased from and see if they will swap for me. Or am I best getting the uk distro to agree to a swap and THEN phone the place I got it from? not sure.

    • Andrew (UK)

      I think you need to speak to the shop you got it from. The issue is that there are none in stock to swap for right now, so sending back risks a far greater delay. But if it’s got that bad then I guess it’s time.

  24. marvin

    For the people who asked about the noise of the new tacx neo i got here it is.

    This is with the old chain and new unit
    link to drive.google.com

    This is with new chain and new unit
    link to drive.google.com

    I had the phone 10cm away from the unit

    • Einundsiebzig

      Okay thx so far, same as mine 🙂

    • Lee

      Waaay noisier than mine in terms of chain noise. Having said that, when I bought the Neo, I took it as opportunity to change the cassettes, chain *and* front chainrings on my indoor bike. I rode my kickr yesterday for the first time in ages and the drivetrain noise was less than I can remember plus felt smoother as well.

  25. George

    Anyone have (or know someone) an Elite Real Turbo Muin B+ ? If so, how do they like it? Thanks.

  26. TK

    updated Tacx Utility App is available in the App Store. It worked for me. Neo is back alive.

  27. FYI – For those wanting another sound recording, here’s quite possibly my most boring YouTube video ever – me sitting on a trainer for 40+ minutes just letting it record the sounds on the NEO. I talk briefly at the 1ish minute marker, then again and 20, 30, and 40 minutes simply so you can hear my voice: link to youtube.com

    Note this is the second NEO unit, they had sent this new one over because they wanted to update the firmware and there wasn’t yet a firmware updater available for it.

    • Einundsiebzig

      What the hell, 40+ min. on Zwift without a towel… link to strava.com
      You’d must be soaking weat?

    • Lee

      Far noisier than mine in terms of the chain / derailleur clutter.

    • Yeah, I need to clean and tune a bit. Though I think it’s valid to continue to ensure folks are understanding the difference between chain/cassette/shifting noise and that of the trainer (which is very low).

    • Lee

      Fair point. I’ve kinda got bored of the whole noise discussion though. Partly because it doesn’t affect me 😉 but also because as you well know, a new/clean well-indexed drivetrain is very quiet. In fact, even a different lube will make a difference here. And I know that most of my acquaintances are nowhere near as anal as me when it comes to cleanliness=godliness.

      But in truth its also because in that same room as your trainer and bike you most likely have

      You ! breathing away, swearing at sufferfest videos
      A fan (which if its like mine is bloody good but has noise)
      TV/music/speakers

      So it becomes an irrelevance. Last night I rode my kickr whilst the wife and I watched some TV. The kickr whine wasn’t the loudest thing, it was the fan. Plus the kickr noise is behind you and your ears are designed for sound from the front.

      Bottom line – if the trainer is working fine, it makes next to no noise.

    • yanto

      thanks for that. good video

  28. Aali

    How does the cadence measurement work? Does it require you to attach something to crank arms?

    • Lee

      No. Its quite clever actually. Even on a very smooth pedalling action, there will always be a bigger force applied at the pedals (the downstroke) – by monitoring the power flow and “counting” when the bigger forces occur, you measure cadence. Its pretty darn accurate.

  29. Tacx Support

    Hi all

    The New utility app is online (some already noticed this 🙂

    What to do
    1. remove your old Utility app
    2. then install the new utility app that is in the App store (version 1.2.14)
    3. Go to devices – then select your trainer (or the name it finds)
    4. Then go to Update and press UPDATE

    When you are asked to turn off bluetooth, slide the bar (see pictures some people already posted here, but use the slide bar of your iphone at the botton to turn BT on or off) and then turn Bluetooth off and wait 3 seconds and then turn it on.

    It could be that the app stops at 50%.
    Then select Dashboard or wait and then go to update again and you can continue the update (or it is done again). (for people who were resetted).

    If you still experience problems let us know or send a mail to support@tacx.com

  30. Tacx Support

    One comment Please turn off any other devices that are connected via Bluetooth, or disconnect other devices via Bluetooth. Then it will all work correctly. Else the update might “hang” when resetting the Bluetooth.

  31. FWIW, rode a brief comparison between Neo and KICKR with TrainerRoad and power measured by a power meter (PowertapP1). Just one ride each with the trainers I have access to, so no claims of representativeness. No double checks and numerical analysis yet, just impressions from looking at the data:

    – Overall, no big differences.
    – TR seems to work as good with the Neo as with the KICKR.
    – Both are more accurate with power matching than on their own.
    – On their own, Neo was less accurate at very low power and up to about 250W but became more accurate at higher power, whereas the KICKR seemed inaccurate by about +10% over whole range (and can be off by a lot at higher power).
    – Power matching seemed to have some negative effect on KICKR (less smooth, slower response at very low power), but not so on the Neo.
    – Neo with power matching seemed most accurate and smoothest.

    Notes:
    – Attempted to keep cadence similar and reasonably constant over the whole test. Did not test yet how the trainers each respond to sudden changes in cadence.
    – All items had the latest firmware and all programs were tested in newest version.
    – TR was run on OSX. Could not make TR iOS app work with Neo.
    – Power meter was zero offset once at the beginning. KICKR was spun down before each ride.
    – Might write up a deeper analysis later on my blog.

    • Lee

      I note your power output is nowhere near as smooth as mine on the KICKR. On a sustained effort ie your initial staggered three peaks, I would get a near flatline.

      At one point in the past I stopped getting this flatline and started observing graphs much like yours so I disassembled the optical reader and cleaned it all out plus the black and white sticker on the flywheel.

      This may or may not alter your test results.

      Comparing your statements to my own testing, I agree that the Kickr has a fundamental accuracy issue. Mine is around 10W-15W overreading compared to my stages PM. However in my opinion, the kickr works much better with TR than the Neo. But then my graphs are smoother and the unit is lightning quick to respond (PC via ANT+ not OSX). I also agree that power matching dumbs down the response on the kickr, which is why I don’t use it.

      I think all you have “proved” is that using a different setup and trainers, different results have been observed. What I get isn’t necessarily what you are getting.

      Whilst its frustrating not being able to train indoors with power that relates exactly to power observed on the road, I am happy at least that the kickr is consistent with itself and works well with all the applications I use. The Neo seems to be more accurate but my experience is that it does not work well with all applications.

    • Einundsiebzig

      I did a workout on Zwift Island >
      Main part was a 2x30min. split on 180W with a 10min. rest at 130W…
      Same session was recorded with my garmin edge 1000 and my powermeter…
      Both were almost identical and the average difference of the 30min splits was less then 1W… Indeed you also see some spikes around that 180W resistance, but you see that in both, Neo session log and Powermeter session log.

      So I really do not understand why you are claiming that it is frustrating not being able to train indoors with power that relates exactly to power observed on the road – reason, just cause it definitely is…

      In every crank rotation is a drift of wattage and no human can put a 100% on point wattage in a 360° rotation! So a smooth straight line is not that what you typically get when you are on the road too. And if you expect, that a staight line will make your training or testing better in any way, you might need to understand that it just does not matter, if there are little pikes in between 2, 5 or whatever little Watts… If you do an interval or a test and the average is on point, than this is all what you need…

    • Lee

      I train on TrainerRoad. And for me, the Neo is not working correctly with that application. That is my main point right now. Its close, don’t get me wrong, but its not perfect.

      Observations about smoothness of lines etc, are just that – observations.

    • Lee, thanks for your comment. I’m not attempting to disprove any of your data or your impressions. I am just showing a set of comparison data that I (and some others I think) believe is better suited for objective, fact-based comparison.

      It might really be the case that the KICKR is smoother than the Neo, and it’s good to hear opinions based on real experiences. But, comparing the power graph reported by KICKR with the one reported by the Neo does not really show anything, because we do not know how each calculates power. Those graphs could be comparable or not, we do not know.

      Data taken with the same, dedicated power meter would be comparable, so that’s what I did and what my graphs show. The reason is simply that we can assume that, as the P1 used for the graphs is the same unit, it will have the same sampling characteristic for both measurements (except for spikes and small errors due to temperature changes etc).

      As you have commented on the lack of smoothness in my KICKR data, here are the graphs of the KICKR and Neo (without power matching, similar to your data set) but with data from both the trainers (as in your graphs) as well as my P1 (what my last graphs showed).

      As you can see, the power reported by my KICKR (red) is about as smooth as your KICKR graph, and my Neo graph (blue) shows kinda similar noisyness to your graph. But comparing those isn’t really objective; it’s somewhat like comparing the number of stars of a restaurant on the Michelin three-star-scale with that of the Yelp six-star-scale (or was it seven?). It’s apples-to-apples in the meaning of comparing stars with stars; in reality it’s more like kiwis-to-oranges (or whatever) because the meaning of the stars is different. (Really sorry, if this sounded offensive to anyone, just couldn’t come up with a better metaphor!) Again, what is comparable here are the yellow graphs of the P1.

      Hope this explanation clarifies the issue here to everyone reading this thread.

    • Lee

      Thanks for the info, all read/understood 🙂 No problems with the metaphor 🙂

      I guess the fundamental problem here is that in order to do a true comparison, you need to run with all power meters capturing data from a single session, then make comparisons. I think DC uses WASP stuff to do this when using multiple devices of the same type. However in this instance its impossible to measure output from the Neo and KICKR since you can only ride one at a time 😉

      (visions of some tandem style bike with lengthy chain and two trainers lol)

      So the best that can be done is
      a) Ride on Neo and Alternative PowerMeter
      b) Ride on KICKR and Alternative PowerMeter
      c) Ensure Alternative PowerMeter is the same in both tests
      d) Try as much as possible to ensure test conditions are the same, spindowns, applications and versions, temperature, cadence etc etc

      Not easy 🙂

    • I generally use a blend of a WASP, and a few concurrent head units.

      Ultimately, one cannot directly compare power outputs from two different trainer sessions (unfortunately). There’s just too many nuances there to do so. However, you can compare trainer + power meter ouputs, however again, if only two power meters you can get into a situation of: Which ones right?

      The test methodology is extremely important – and is what most people tend to hose up. Everything from recording rates to crank lengths (depending on power meter) to calibrations and warm-up periods if applicable.

      However, with trainers it gets trickier – since the apps that you use can and do have a direct impact on many facets. For example, some have had issues with Trainer Road and the NEO. Does one judge the NEO on that, or? Same goes for Zwift or any other app. What I try and do is to separate out and use some native functionality as well (as boring as that may be), such as the default apps that Tacx has to hold various power levels. That helps to specify a baseline to work from.

      I’ll be starting to publish data shortly with NEO + 2 or more power meters concurrently, which should help.

    • Yes, that was a TrainerRoad-specific comparison … or to be more precise an OSX TR specific comparison as I still haven’t been able to control the Neo with their iOS app as I wrote.

      I did have a 2nd power meter (Pioneer) running in parallel but the WASP iOS app died … again! … so I had to “synchronize” that data manually using HR pattern, and that’s why it wasn’t included in the original dataset … but it’s pretty damn close to the P1 except for some transmission errors.

      Will look forward to that data … and to what combinations you chose for more than 2 power meters.

    • Takura, what is the offset between your Pioneer SGX-CA500 power readings and the Tacx Training app ? Just curious …

  32. Donald

    For the sound tests, could you make 15 seconds sound clips with no running commentary? IThe current videos make it hard to find the sound and listen to it.

    Ideally, this would be a longer video going something like this: trainer announcement then sound sample, trainer , sound

    Something Ike
    “tack NEO”, 15 se ond sound clip from start to speed then hold for 5 seconds
    “Kicker” , Samestrucutre of sound clip
    “Kurt kinetic”, sound
    “Another trainer”
    ….

  33. mendelea ma

    So if add the Tacx “Upgrade Smart kit I don’t need to get a dongle to run Zwift? I don’t see Clever Training offering the kit .. I hope they do & at the discounted price if buying together . I have been using TTS4 on my Fortius trainer.. which I will be selling
    Thanks

  34. Lee

    FYI the Tacx Antenna does not work with Zwift if you use just the provided drivers that come with TTS4. I have to install Garmin Express which brings in drivers which work with Zwift, even though its a tacx antenna.

    Bonkers, but I wiped the PC and reinstalled it from scratch and thats exactly how it is.

    • Weird, I just plugged it into a PC with no TTS4 (or any TTS), nor Garmin Express (just WebUpdater). No issues (Windows 8.1).

    • Lee

      That is indeed odd. My fresh install is Win8.1. However I did not try the antenna with zwift before installing TTS4. Just so we’re talking about the same thing, I’m referring to the tacx antenna T2028, the base station thing on a USB lead, not a USB stick or dongle.

    • Yup, same one. I only note it because I literally just swapped/moved PC’s around tonight and was happy to find it plugged right in and Zwift worked. 🙂

  35. Lars

    Any more news on apps supporting Neo over bluetooth smart on iOS?

    • Some apps are already there (I think Kinomap). But I’m going to circle with the Tacx folks this week and get full clarity ahead of the 2015 Trainer Recommendations guide this week.

  36. Andrew (Uk)

    Here’s the recording of my super quiet NEO in action, taken today during a warm up.

    link to youtu.be

    • Einundsiebzig

      Mine does exactly sound like this from time to time…
      New cassette and new chain!
      This rattling is not permanent and if I give the freehub a little gap to roll and then pick up pedaling again, the rattling noise is often gone…
      Is this a problem of a broken edco freehub (bearing issue) or is it the claimed noise problem because of metall parts between the magnets?

    • Lee

      In contrast to Tacx’s diagnosis from the sound clip, I have NEVER heard a badly indexed setup or worn component make that amount of noise. That noise you have is what I had that night when the trainer got hot: link to youtube.com – I recorded mine from an iphone inside a waterpoof case which it why it doesn’t sound as “bright” as yours, but its definitely the same thing.

      And on my setup, its indexed perfectly, brand new cassette/chain/chainrings.

      so I cannot agree with tacx diagnosis of that sound, sorry.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Strongly agree Lee. Please see my reply to TACX below. I’ve also had the other half pedal whilst I listened to the Neo from close range. I too have never heard a bike make any noise remotely like this when not attached to a Neo.

      My recording was also done an iPhone, but the case being used was very light, hence perhaps why the sound is brighter.

      Btw – I’ve not checked to see if the Neo is getting hot, nor do I know how hot is should get.

    • Lee

      Yeah I got my wife to stick her ears next to the bike, she said the sound was deffo coming from inside the trainer too.

      My LBS have one in stock, but have been unable to confirm with Fisher whether its part of the “initial non-QA’d batch”. It came in a shipment of two and I’ve a friend who took the other one, he has been talking about noises too…..just tricky to work out whether its his indexing/components or whether its the trainer. I don’t know whether to stick with the unit I have now, or swap it out anyway, I suppose worst case scenario is that 2nd trainer is also faulty and I need a third. Luckily my LBS is close 🙂

    • Andrew (UK)

      Very jealous of that puchase from the LBS. I’m absolutely gutted about this issue. I purchased the Neo on the premise that it was quiet andpaid well over £1000 for this fact. I decided against the tried, tested and cheaper KickR on this basis. Now I have very noisy Neo and face huge hassle / cost returning it, time without a trainer (training pogrammes having to stop) and the fear that the replacement will be just as bad.

      Trying not to think about it too much.

    • Same noise here. And, yeah, sometimes it does make that sound and sometimes not.

      One way to circumvent the chain-casette-noise argument could be to just rotate it by hand: link to dropbox.com

      Although, of course, one could claim that this is not representative of the noise it would make when driven a chain. 😉

      FWIW, with my Neo, the noise happens not just at one position during the rotation but somewhat randomly at many positions…

    • Tacx support hasn’t gotten back to me yet over the weekend, so I might write it just here: The noise of my unit developed only over time, it didn’t happen on the first rides even when riding hard, now it is often quiet when I’m sitting, but it gets noisy when I ride standing, so, at this moment I’d suspect a bearing getting loose. And from my video above, it seems to be not a freewheel issue but inside the unit.

  37. Tacx Support

    Hi Andrew, this also sounds like an new cassette and an old chain. We have heard that sound before. Also send this to support@tacx.com for the correct registration.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Hi guys. This is nothing to do with the Chain, the noise is coming from inside the Neo somewhere.

      For reference the Chain is brand new, as is the cassette. The bike was purchased a month ago soley for use indoors on the Neo and has only been ridden for 5 miles outside on a dry sunny day to test everything worked correctly.

      Also for reference. This noise does not happen all the time, sometimes you can ride for 30 minutes before it starts, sometimes it’s there from the start, once it was even super quiet for around 45 minutes before the clanking started. If it was the chain you’d get this all the time.

      I will send an email as suggested above. I have also emailed the retailer where it was purchased earlier today, but I note that they have no new Neo’s in stock to swap it for and I’m extremely worried it will get swapped for another with the same issue.

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Andrew,

      Ps i let some other people listen to the sound. if the chain and cassette are the same age it is always good. The sound could come from 2 things , will send you a mail on that

    • Andrew (UK)

      Look forward to the email. As stated, the chain, cassette and in fact the whole bike are brand new. Willing to try any steps I can to sort this out if you have anything to suggest.

      If there are steps I can take then you may wish to post them here so that other people can also try to resolve if they have the same issue.

      Please note though. I have listened closely whilst someone else pedals and the noise originates from somewhere in the Neo, not the chain. It’s also intermittent, so sometimes it makes the noise, sometimes it doesn’t. By the time I’ve pedalled for an hour it always makes the noise. Once happening it has been known to go away again after a while, then return a while later.

  38. Andrew (UK)

    DC. I see that you recieved a new Neo from TACX on the basis that it had a later software version.

    Doesn’t it seem more likely that TACX realised your first one might sound like someone had left a spanner in there so shipped you one that they knew didn’t have the issue ?

    • Tacx Support

      Ps can you check your email, so we can verify some things. Thanks

    • Andrew (UK)

      Hi.

      I don’t really wish to post my email address here, hope you understand. I emailed support@tacx.com as instructed with all my details and a summary of the issue at 11:30am (UK – GMT). Hopefully you should be able to find all the information there. I also made reference to this webpage in the email, so it should be fairly obvious it’s me.

      Thanks.

    • Tacx Support

      i know :). I already send you a couple or mails back this morning :). So if you can asnwer them im good
      rgd
      hilko

    • Tacx Support

      Ticket#1081566

    • Andrew (UK)

      I haven’t recieved any emails from TACX at either the account I asked for replies to be sent to or my work account I used to send. I have also checked Junk email folders just to be sure.

    • Tacx Support

      no worries. Ive send it to the correct mail adres now .

    • Sorry, missed this question. Nah, the reason for the new one was simply due to some power related tweaks that I saw a few weeks into things that they had a firmware fix for. There simply wasn’t a clean way to get my unit upgraded since the updater wasn’t available yet.

      Fwiw, my first unit still sounds just fine – same as my second unit. I don’t know if the Tacx folks pre-tested my unit prior to shipping it to me with an actual human riding it. Sometimes companies do (and it’s obvious), and sometimes not. I had to put on my own cassette, fwiw.

  39. Andrew (Uk)

    Still no email.

  40. Andrew (Uk)

    Email received. Thanks also Ray for passing my details over.

    I will do the check and reply to the email later this evening.

  41. Lars Rune Christensen

    Happy camper: After a firmware update yesterday my Neo works very well indeed with TR. Great trainer: no noise, no problems.

    It makes very little noise and my wife and daughter are not bothered at all when i train in the next room. My gasping for air when doing SufferFest on TR drowns out any noise coming for the Neo 🙂

    Sorry, to hear about all the problems some people have had, but mine works fine. Just wanted to add that to the impressions of the Neo.

    • Lee C

      Larss, are you running the beta of TR (the one with the new interface)? Version is 0.1.0.693-beta.

      Since TR confirmed they needed to update it to support the Neo.

      Or are you using non-beta of TR?

    • Lee

      Bear in mind that what one person finds “perfectly fine” might be different to another. If you’ve never ridden a smart trainer, don’t have a kickr to compare to etc then its very possible the current firmware Neo on TR will be seen as OK by many.

    • Lars

      I am using TR 2.7.4 and new firmware as of yesterday. I have tried the Kickr and thinks that the only thing that really makes a difference between the Neo and the Kickr is the noise levels.

      With the Neo firmware and Neo in ergo mode – the power uptake from say 100 w to 250 w is now done i aprox 5 secs. With the old firmware it took 30 secs. So some improvement there.

    • Lee

      5 seconds is still too long though. Ever ridden Sufferfest Rookie ? There are a number of “surges” which last just 5 seconds. If the trainer takes 5 seconds to adjust, it will be reducing the resistance before you’ve even ramped up.

      Not saying the KICKR is perfect here either mind you.

      If I have some time tomorrow I’ll ride the first 10 minutes on Rookie on both KICKR and Neo, and video the output so you can see in realtime what I’m talking about.

      Where did you get 2.7.4 from ? Latest published release is 2.7.2. Perhaps thats the difference, perhaps you have a beta version which includes more optimisations for Neo ?

    • Lee

      Ah quick addon…..are you using Mac ? I can see 2.7.4 exists for OSX, but not for PC.

    • Lee C

      2.7.2 is what I use with a Kickr.

      I downloaded the latest TR beta to a machine I don’t use for training.

      Has the new interface and is version 0.1.0.693-beta.

      Will probably become 3.x

    • Lars

      Yes, I am using a Mac.

      And yes, 5 secs is not perfect for super short spring efforts, which theres are a lot of in speed training. So Tacx and TR are not home free yet.

      However, my knees due appreciate the gradual increase 🙂

    • Martin

      I suppose you are Norwegian. May I ask you where you bought your Neo? At XXL?

  42. Joe

    It would be really interesting to see a poll of who has Tacx Neo units that are working perfectly vs noisy vs noisy and with tech integration issues. I’m sure there are quite a few problem units as seen here, but people with problems are WAYYYYYYY more likely to post about them than people without problems whose units are working just fine. It may well be that MOST of the units are just fine, but it’s hard to get a gauge of that on here in this type of setting. Anyone started a poll on a forum yet? Is there one forum we could go to to get the most views?

    Potential buyers want to know……..

  43. Filipe

    Hello,

    I have The Tacx already and I put new cassette with OLd chain But It is very noise and something are wrong, can someone see The vídeo and help me with your fedeback?
    Thanks.

    Vídeo:
    link to youtu.be

  44. Paul

    I’m a happy Neo user. No noise issues and the update (I waited for the re-release) of the firmware worked fine. Good performance on Zwift.

    I checked with the TrainerRoad guys today and although the firmware update has improved the response times for the Neo they are confident they can improve things through further tuning on their side. They’re still waiting for their unit to arrive.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Interesting comments regarding the upgrade working well with Zwift. I performed the upgrade (after waiting for the 2nd version of the software) but didn’t notice any difference.

      However since Saturday I’ve been using the training modes which switch the Neo to ERG or Resistance mode. I haven’t done much free cycling around the island. And I am distracted by the clanging.

      What did you notice most ?

    • Einundsiebzig

      I saw and felt no difference in between normal rides on Zwift Island with the new firmware. First I thought I had to use higher gears to get to the same wattage, but that was groupe ride/drafting realted…

    • Andrew (UK)

      This is probably a good thing. My experience with the Neo and Zwift is that it works very well indeed. Free riding, training in ERG and Resistance mode all seem to work very well and be very responsive to me.

      Tonight I’m riding Day-2 from the 12 week FTP builder programme and there are several “sprints” in there, so I’ll get some more experience on how that feels too.

    • Adam

      I did my day 2 this morning, Andrew.

      the 10 second @ (for me) 415w was a pain, your head is saying up the cadence, the trainer is constantly lagging behind you upping the resistance at a cadence that youve just superceded. as a result it was a very domed interval where I would overshoot wildly, then settle in just as the 10 seconds were up. I get the feeling that this is down to my terrible technique more than anything though.

      By the end id got it smoother by just holding my natural cadence and just absorbing the increasing resistance while trying to not let your leg speed get bogged down, or overreact and get too fast.

    • Lee

      If you read upwards on one of my posts I said that the Neo makes you “over deliver”, which makes the workout significantly harder. The method in which a rider delivers power should not matter to a smart trainer. Guys with big legs can keep a constant cadence and increase the strength whereas guys like myself with feeble legs would indeed increase cadence. Spinning is winning (in my case) 🙂

      An interesting point though and adds more fuel to the fire of “what is good to one person might not be to another”. YMMV !

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Adam. I assume that this is the case on any Trainer using ERG mode ? Fully expecting that this will take some practice.

      Thanks for the heads up.

    • Paul

      Hi Andrew,

      Sorry I wasn’t as clear as I could be. I actually held off using the Neo until the update was available.

      I planned to begin my next training block on traineroad so was waiting to update the firmware to allow them to play nicely together. As it happened right when I had an ftp test to do Zwift released workout mode – becuase I hate FTP tests I thought I’d try it on Zwift instead.

      So I’m afraid I have no pre-update comparison to make. Just the comment that my experienc on Zwift was positive.

      FWIW, I’m coming from a Kickr which I sold to buy the Neo so that I can train when our 8 month old is sleeping – on the noise aspect it’s certainly not silent but it doesn’t disturb the boy so that’s good for me.

  45. Jase

    Interesting to read numerous guys noting humming, groaning noise when using the Neo. I hooked mine up for the first time a week ago and hopped onto TR hoping for a much quieter session than my wattbike Pro. This was not the case. With a 11-28 on the back and the chain settled into 25 ring the groaning was annoying at 80 cadence. Up the cadence to 100 and it slightly reduced.
    Changed gears to 13 cog on the rear cassette and hit the same 80 cadence and the noise was present but not as loud as on the 25 ring. Upped the cadence to 100 and all I could hear was the chain going through the gears and no humming noise at all.

    I setup a ticket with Tacx and was asked to check my cassette and chain and to make sure all was indexed. I did this on my winter bike (brand new chain and ultegra cassette) and then indexed on my Shimano Di2 but the same issues remained. I’m now awaiting a repair or replacement.

    Another point on power… I also note that the Neo differed by at least 50W on my efforts that I have done on the WB. I regularly use TR and was happy with my FTP work when on the WB but soon as switched to Neo I struggled to keep the training wattage for sessions over 1hr. When I reduced the intensity by 10% they felt the same.

    Hoping for a silent Neo on return to continue my investigation !!

    • Lee

      So…….today I went back to my LBS and swapped my Neo for a new one. As DC put it, mine sounded like “it had a gumball knocking around in there”.

      Got the new one home and did the firmware update then hopped on Zwift.

      Whereas my previous unit was very smooth and had no real vibration, just that terrible noise, this unit is not as smooth and has a sawing noise/vibration. Its quite subtle so I suspect trying to get a recording will be difficult. However its a kind of vibration that you feel through your hands on the bars and its akin to running your nails down a blackboard, it makes you tingle and feel eeekish after a bit. I had to keep sitting up and taking my hands off.

      I’ll persevere and put some more miles on it to see if it lessens, but I can’t help feel I’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire here.

      Conversely, rode my kickr a LOT this week and it was very pleasant indeed going back to something as smooth as silk. If only it didn’t under-read on power lol !

    • Andrew (UK)

      Sorry to hear that Lee. I’m now waiting for a replacement unit to be shipped and hoping that it’s solid. Seems like DC has a good one now, so they do exist !

      Is there any way for you to find out if you just recieved another from the “1st batch” ? Can TACX check the Serial Number for you ?

    • Lee

      The “1st batch” issue was supposedly weld and gumball knocking 🙂

      this is a different kind of sound. Looking at some of the posts below and clearance I’ve just taken off my garmin speed/cadence sensor as that was quite close between frame and Neo.

      It does seem like this is turning into a case that you can get a silent Neo if you’re able to get pigs flying in front of a blue moon whilst unicorns sing songs.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Mine sounds like the “Gumball” issue more than anything else, so I’m hoping it’s a Batch #1 oddity.

      Looks like I’ve got a couple of days to round up the pigs, unicorns and arrange a blue moon ! And keep my fingers crossed.

    • George

      Silly question…..what do mean by “indexing”? Does that mean the chain is sitting on the correct cassette ring? Thanks.

    • Lee

      To be thorough we mean that low and high stops are set correctly such that the derailleur cannot move past the smallest/biggest cogs on your cassette, plus (more importantly for noise) that the chain sits squarely on each cog as you move up and down the gears ie its not rubbing against cogs either side, that annoying clicking sound as if you’re halfway to changing gear.

  46. Noticed now that I have only minimum clearance between my seat stay and the trainer, probably around 1mm, and that when the bike is upright. Wasn’t that obvious from other view angles. If I put my weight on the right side of the bike it seems to be touching, so I might actually be hitting the trainer with my frame when I am riding standing. (This is a 2012 Cannondale SuperSix, non-evo.)

    Not nice … and this in addition to the knocking seemingly caused by a loose bearing (though that cause is not verified yet) and the occasional humming … It’s nice to have all this technology available now, but sometimes it’s not. 😉

    • Andrew (UK)

      Interesting. I don’t believe I’ve ever checked, will take a look at that gap this evening. Any chance that it’s not fully seated at the left side ?

      Knocking. Loose Bearings. Gumballs. Many different descriptions of what sound like similar issues, potentially with the same cause ? I know that generally only those with issues complain, but from what I’ve seen and people I’ve questioned it’s so far very rare to find anyone that says “I have a Neo and it runs like a dream”.

      A friend has just taken delivery of one, so I’m going to be looking for his opinion oover the next week.

    • Wow, that’s really close. Mine it quite a bit further. I’ll try and grab a photo today with the bike I’ve been using the most.

      I think the thing to keep in mind is that like you said, for the most part only people with issues will come and post here. It’s a logical progression of “Hearing noise, search google, find DCR post, make comment”. So even if that’s only 5-7 people out of thousands, it probably looks heavier than it is. That said, there have been a few others that have posted in recent weeks saying it’s silent and happy.

    • Adam

      mines also super close. I have a 2012 Cannondale Synapse and im guessing yours has the SAVE stays like mine and are a pretty similar shape.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Friend of mine has a Spezialized 2012 Shiv TT. Does not fit in > bottom braket and chainstay is sitting on the neo… Cannondale Slice TT also does not fit. My Fuji Norcom Straight TT also doesn’t fit in…
      Maybe Tacx should make the housing a little bit smaller, not so wide at the possible contact points…

    • Joe

      Crap, I have the same bike! Wahoo Kickr looking better every day I guess…..

    • A piece of paper slid in will stuck if I put my weight on the right side, so, frame and trainer indeed touch during riding though probably not very forceful. Just double checked that the frame was fully seated on the axle. I don’t think this will break my frame and don’t care that much about a bit of paint – still, kind of an unnecessary, avoidable design issue and would hope for some redesign.

      To be fair, it just came to my mind that this would depend on frame size too; this is a fairly small frame (44cm), a larger size might just have that bit of wider seat stay triangle to clear. And, given that some frames don’t fit at all, I guess I should consider myself happy that my frame does at least fit in … ? 😉

      But Tacx needs to update the “suitable bikes” tab on their product homepage with a list of frames that do fit, just barely fit, or do not fit at all; not just a list of compatible cassettes.

    • andi

      well, it would be very hard for TACX to create such a list … with all the different frames / bikes outside in the world … and with considering the different frame sizes …

    • Did I write they needed to make a complete list? It would be very easy to just make public what they know, as they seem to getting these compatibility complaints anyway …

    • Joe

      I just put the template in my Cannondale Supersix 5 105 (non-EVO). I bought it new in 2013 and as far as the template is concerned it seems like it will fit. Nowhere near seat stay, but maybe kinda tight at chainstay.

    • Joe, yes I think they changed the design from 2012 to 2013 to thinner and less curved seat stays as well as flatter, wider chain stays, so that would be the difference.

    • Chris

      My 2010 Supersix has the same issues.. and with an 11spd block on there, the edco lockring at one point has about 1/4 mm space between the lockring and frame is is dragging at some point.. luckily I never got rid of my 2005 Pinarello Prince SL… so that is becoming the new trainer bike with a part swap tonite…. ughhhh always something!

  47. Ron

    Must be really frustrating for those with defective noisy units arranging, then waiting and hoping for one that is silent as touted. Even more frustrating when one can go to YouTube and see Ray riding his perfectly silent unit. Tacx wouldn’t let him get a bad one.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Ray’s Neo and video is the holy grail. It proves that somewhere out there as a fully working unit. It proves that TACX have at least made 1 and it gives hope for all the others (like me) out there that there is another somewhere !

      I did an hour on the Neo last night and although it made the noise for 50 minutes it’s clear that it’s still an amazing bit of kit. I’ve partially solved the issue too by using headphone and turning the volume up loud 🙂

      Finally, it has been mentioned above that freewheeling can solve the issue for a while. I tried this a few times and it does have an effect. But after I start pedalling again the noise is back, usually within 30 seconds (max).

  48. Adam

    tired of the noise mine makes now, its the sort of noise you can ‘feel’ even with headphones on. Cleaned and lubed every part of my drive train on Monday, no difference, got a friend coming around with a different bike tomorrow to try on there, see if thats the same, if it is ill get some sound recordings and log a ticket with tacx.

    • Lee

      Its annoying isn’t it. I’ve had a kickr for over a year so I’m well aware of the importance of indexing, clean drivetrain/lube etc. But its getting to the point where unless every single piece of the equation is perfect you’re going to get a sub-standard ride.

      Since I still have my kickr and indoor noise isn’t a concern I’m a fags paper away from just returning the Neo and moving on with life. Not sure how long my browser can keep opening this thread for 😉

    • Ron

      Pardon my ignorance. What’s a “fags paper”?

    • Lee

      lol, a typo – should be “fag paper” as in thin cigarette paper, not some reference to someone’s sexuality and reading material.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Adam, I know what you mean about being able to feel the noise with headphones on, the vibration caused is runs through the bike frame right to the bars. You can’t fully block it out. However it does go a long way to helping.

  49. Stevster

    Just been informed that Tacx have only delivered a few tacx units to the distribution centre in the uk.so.my order has for the 5th time been bumped. Now at 11th november.

  50. Lee

    OK some more information for those with vibration noises. (We need a name for these as GumBall is now the official name for Batch#1 issues – I propose we go with SawBone as thats what it sounds and feels like)

    Turning the pedals by hand with a reasonable speed I can hear and feel the vibration. It appeared to be coming from the rear of the device on the right hand side.

    I have found that if I apply enough pressure to the metal disc, the sound and vibration goes away.

    Therefore the conclusion is that the metal disc is rubbing against the case or something in some way.

    As always, a video speaks a thousand words. Turn your speakers up !!

    link to youtu.be

    • Adam

      thank god. that is EXACTLY the sound I have. I was worried it was my bike doing something screwy

    • Adam

      I should add, I found if I let the neo freewheel on a long hill on zwift I can get off and observe the noise continue without me even pedalling

    • Tacx Support

      I have to send it to some-one because from my speakers i could not really hear it. Will forward it to some people. Like andrew, can you send us a mail with that link so i can let others hear it (andrew has something else we are checking). Thanks (mail support@tacx.com)

    • Tacx Support

      Yes Lee, please send us a mail, we need to register this

    • Lee

      Yep, did this immediately after posting it here. You gotta understand, dcrainmaker posts take priority 😉

      Adam doesn’t surprise me the sound continues because the metal disc continues to spin, your cassette doesn’t due to the freehub.

    • Igor

      Same sound/vibration here. I feel the vibration through the bike in my hands, and it makes my wooden floor vibrate – the neighbours can ‘enjoy’ hearing me train again.

      The noise/vibration is also present without pedaling. Tomorrow I will make a recording without my bike on it, to get a recording without the freewheel noise. (Plug in the Neo without a bike, set the slope to -2% on my iPhone.)

      This is my second Neo. My first Neo also made the Gumball noise. I swapped it this morning at my LBS (in the Netherlands). I’ll call them tomorrow, and send Tacx my recording.

      Quality control issues at Tacx? Now I assume that only those with issues find this thread and post their complaints. But it appears that several of us have swapped their faulty Neo, and got a faulty Neo in return. Coincidence? I wonder what would happen if those customers who think their Neo is silent, listen to their Neo without their bike on it, with the slope to -2%. In a earlier post, Tacx support stated that there should be no sound in the Neo “if you speed up to -5% for example”.

    • Lee

      Since the noise is coming from the metal disk, pure conjecture on my part but I reckon all of our units with the vibration have been disassembled to remove the gumball weld, and something about that process means they are not put back together quite right.

      As far as I know, no v1 gumball unit had the vibration.

    • Lars

      I got this exact same sound. My girlfriend actually thinks the Neo makes MORE noise then Kickr, just because of this vibration it makes. I also know that my neighbors hear this..What to do Tacx? I live in Norway.

    • Markus

      I recieved my Neo yesturday and I have the same sound too. There’s also vibration.
      I was not able to make it go away by applying pressure on the metal disc though.

      I hope Tacx can solve this soon, because now the system is far from quiet.

    • Igor

      Well, according to my LBS (Van Herwerden in the Netherlands), this sound/vibration is normal. I did and do not accept that (Tacx Support mentioned on this site that the Neo should be absolutely quiet), and after some arguing they offered to take the Neo to Tacx tomorrow, to test it and to get Tacx’s opinion. If Tacx says it is not normal, I’ll get a new one (my third). If they agree with van Herwerden and say it is normal (which would mean that the Neo is not meant to be quiet), I will not get a new one. I’ll keep you updated.

    • redheb

      Same sound here Lee! I find this sound quite irritating tbh…I need to send my Neo back. What a pain! And I also have that sound Takura described on his post from the 26/10 with the video on dropbox (same rattle when you remove the bike from the Neo and just spin the metal wheel by hand)! Combo, I win!

    • Sean

      Exactly the same problem hear. You don’t only hear the vibrating, you can feel it.
      link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com
      And for the “fitting” problem – good luck with discbrakes. I have dismounted mine, cause I thought that it might have caused the vibrating, but it didn’t. Unfortunately the discbrake also scratched the unit, because otherwise I would have just sent it back.

    • Lee

      Any chance of replying to the email I sent ?

    • Hannes Stauss

      Same issue here

  51. Griffin

    Well, if there’s anyone in the States that’s brave enough to pre-order a Neo after reading all of these comments, Trisports.com is offering a 20% discount right now through Nov 1. Makes the Neo US $1280, with free shipping.

    Good luck.

  52. Filipe

    That “GRR , GRRR, Grrr” sound I have it too and I hate it! it feels it is something wrong with the bike! 🙁

    • Jase

      I’m intrigued. Is your noise still there if you use big ring at front and 11/12/13 cog on rear cassette and hit 95+ cadence.

      Mine disappeared …which might indicate the faster the internals spin the smoother/quieter it gets.

    • Igor

      It might not be the bike. Try it without the bike: set the slope to -2% or so, and give the metal disc a spin. If you still hear the noise, it’s the Neo.

  53. DanUK

    After reading these comments I have now cancelled my pre-order for the Neo as Tacx, once again, has only managed to send a few units to the UK as they still have not got production issues sorted. I have been waiting for almost two months now with delay after delay and whilst irritating I think I should count my lucky stars given the problems encountered by those that did receive them in the UK. From what I have been told the Neos that arrived in the UK were demo units for stores that should not have been sold to consumers but that hasn’t stopped certain franchises for selling them on from a sufficient allocation. Neos available in the UK now just are the demo units with the next Tacx delivery targetting mid Nov and it would not be a surprise if that slips for the fifth time.

    Really wanted a Neo but even waiting a while there is no way to be sure you don’t get a demo minger and the subsequent dramas. thinking a kickr is the way to go, after all better the devil you know.

  54. Lee

    So I had a sit down and think about this last night. Then emailed my LBS who has agreed to take back my second unit and give me a refund. I’m out boys.

    I really wanted it to be the “ultimate indoor trainer” but I think I’ve been a little blinded to the reality because of the new-and-shiny placebo 🙂

    The fact is – I bought new cassette, chain and chainrings for my indoor bike. I also put a new cassette on the kickr. As a result, the kickr is riding as smooth as silk. We’re now splitting hairs, but even my first neo (no vibrations and usually no gumball noise until hot) isn’t as smooth, you can feel the very small undulations on a crank rotation where its going over each of the magnets. Its very slight, very slight indeed and if the neo was OK in other respects it certainly isn’t a reason for not buying it. However the fact remains my kickr is smoother. I wish I’d changed the chainrings ages ago 🙂

    The original biggest appeal to me was the lateral movement. Having ridden both back to back I’ve now realised that I don’t like it. I thought it would be more natural but perhaps I’m too used to the kickr. Certainly I think the Neo will be better for full on power out of the saddle moments and less chance of frame damage. Perhaps if they could tighten up the lateral movement resistance it would be best of both worlds.

    With my kickr, I run it lower than the road-wheel-setting. My indoor bike is a supersix evo and its geometry leads itself to tiring arms as I’m constantly “falling forwards” on it – there’s no rearward g-force to compensate indoors. So as a result I have lowered the rear on the kickr and its perfect. With the Neo there is no rear adjustment so I had to use a front riser block. And frankly, it made getting on/off awkward. Specifically to me, I use an overhead projector and the height of the Neo means I get a shadow of my head bottom of the screen 🙂 Thats not the fault of the neo but worth mentioning the kickr is a bit more flexible with regards height and adjustability.

    The Neo does not track power or react as fast as the kickr when using TrainerRoad. I daresay this will get fixed eventually but I’m not sure I want to risk the expectation – TrainerRoad is my main training application.

    Lastly, I bought the Neo so the wife had something quiet to ride on indoors whilst watching TV. She just likes to dial in a target power on the kickr and ride to that. The wahoo app is excellent for this, whereas the tacx training app is not as friendly. She wants to use the wahoo one which cannot control the Neo. And of course, even with the gremlin sounds removed, there is still a fair bit of drive train noise.

    Considering buying her a kickr snap – would certainly make life easier for her and my son to swap bikes on the trainer; the wheel off design is more suited to a guy who has no issues removing a rear wheel and in order to make a wheel off trainer silent you need to know how to reindex quickly. Thats not them.

    Sorry guys, I’m out.

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee. Sorry to see you go, your feedback through the last few weeks has been very interesting and thorough. I can’t argue with any of your reasons for going back to the KickR.

      Personally I watched DC’s videos of KickR noise levels and other videos from other sources. The faster it went the more noise the KickR made. When on the big ring applying pressure the videos make it sound like an air raid siren being steadily wound up. Having now owned a trainer, spent time listening to noises and recording them I have a greater appreciation for the fact these videos can over exaggerate noise levels. But I’m still not sure that a KickR with it’s “air raid siren” type noise would work within our flat, hopefully I don’t end up finding out – lol.

      I’ve never used the TACX App to control the trainer. Thanks for reminding me that this exists and that I should have a play with it. Currently I’m using Zwift for everything trainer oriented, doing the odd free ride and trying out their training plans. If they keep developing Zwift it could be all I ever need.

      Currently TACX are in direct contact and sending out new equipment to try to resolve my issue. I’m obviously very concerned that the next unit is broken too / has another different issue but definitely willing to give sorting this out a go as the potential goal is a trainer that does everything I need. Since TACX got in touch they have been very good and the fact they are working direct with me (rather than hiding behind a supply chain) is very positive and deserves Kudos.

      I would be paranoid that there are no “good” units and that these issues are there all the time, just that some people don’t know any different or don’t like to complain. However Ray has a good one and he knows exactly what to expect and what to look for, he analyses every detail in a depth I couldn’t dream of and has a vast knowledge of this market. So this proves that the dream machines are out there.

      Good luck with the KickR mate. Thanks for all the feedback over the last month / two.

    • Lee

      The deal with noise…..and this would apply to the Neo (or any controllable resistance trainer) as well as KICKR…

      simply find your quietest gear !

      For me, I never use the big ring. Always the 36 and about 3/4 down the cassette. You are right in that the noise of the kickr is related to the speed you spin it at, so just don’t spin it fast 😉

    • Igor

      Lee, thanks a lot for all the information you have been sharing.

      I am going to try again – swap my second Tacx Neo for a third… However, I must say that I have been hesitating to stay with Tacx. But the Wahoo Kickr I had before simply made too much whining noise and also vibrated too much for my wooden floor.

      (Anybody seen reviews yet of the new Elite Real Turbo Muin B+?)

    • Andrew (UK)

      I still don’t understand how you do that. When I’m riding the feel is very similar to the road and I need my big ring nearly all the time, the small ring for the hills. I just couldn’t pedal around Zwift island in the small ring all the time.

      I can only imagine that you use ERG mode 100%. But I don’t understand how that works with Zwift.

    • Lee

      ERG mode means the trainer will adjust resistance to ensure you deliver the power target requested, regardless of gear or cadence.

      SIM mode is what Zwift uses by default. And yes, you would need to use the big ring 🙂

      However, try this. Fire up Zwift, search for controllable trainer and add your Neo. You will see that Zwift automatically adds power and cadence as well as the controllable trainer. Now unselect the controllable trainer.

      You are now running with Zwift using the Neo for cadence and as a power meter. Whilst it won’t adjust the resistance for you, you can now sit in a comfortable quiet/smooth gear. If you kept your cadence and effort constant, your power output in zwift will be constant, so your speed will be determined by the incline at any point.

      I prefer this mode actually. On the island especially one minute you have very hard resistance, the next the “ground drops away” and you’re scrabbling for the 53/11 🙂

    • Andrew (UK)

      Appreciate the idea Lee and see that this will be easier in every way (my knees love it) but to me the whole point of Zwift is to simulate a real bike ride, unless I’m using a training plan. I want to feel the hills and change those gears 😉

      You way is definitely useful and I will do it. But it’s a training excercise, not a Zwift ride to me. I may as well turn the TV off and use the TACX app.

  55. Christian Bergman

    Having read the comments here for the last month or so, I would like to share my video of my new Neo.

    as you can see in the video i have the “gumball” issue. It helps to stop pedaling as you can see in the end of the video.

    I am starting to be a bit worried because this is still my first unit but if I got it swaped and my second just have the vibration issue then it dosen’t matter.

    My concerns are the same as Andrew “Now I have very noisy Neo and face huge hassle / cost returning it, time without a trainer (training pogrammes having to stop) and the fear that the replacement will be just as bad”

    link to youtube.com

    • Andrew (UK)

      Welcome to the club Christian. Unfortunately it’s not a very happy club, but it does seem to have a fast growing membership.

      You must change it. Ray has a good one, so they are out there and it is possible.

      Keep us updated with how you get on.

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Christian im helping andrew at the moment and also some other customers with the simular sound. Can you pelase send this also to support@tacx.com We just need to have this registered so we can find the correct solution on this sound (because unfortunate there are some customers having this can we might believe it could be something in the edco that we are fixing). Also for exchange (because we like to identify this) we can have a quicker solution if you report your video to our support desk.
      Thank you

    • Tacx Support

      We have found something in the edco module that is making the cracking sound. We have had a customer greasing some parts of the Edco module and the sound you experience is GONE. Will put some information on it and will make a PDF to put it here.

  56. Andrew (Uk)

    Summary of items I had to check last night.

    1. There is plenty of space using my bike and the Neo at the rear. I’ve attached a picture to illustrate.

    2. The Neo after 2 hours of medium use was quite hot inside and I could feel the hot air coming from the top vent. However no other part of the unit was hot and I expect this is as expected and normal.

    • Andrew (UK)

      When I use the phone there seems to be a habit of posting pictures rotated 90 degrees. You’ll have to rotate the screen 😉

  57. Ron

    My brother, who lives not far from me here on the east coast of the US, just got his Neo. He purchased it from R&A cycles in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is thrilled, so far. Like Ray’s, it is totally quiet. No inherent trainer noise, none, least of all the infamous ‘gumball’ noise. All I can hear is the chain moving and that’s pretty quiet because he’s got it zero’d in perfectly and it, the cassette, and chainrings are new. I guess he’s one of the lucky ones. Will see if that persists with time, or some noise does develop as the unit breaks in.
    I have had my Kickr for over a year now and am happy with it. It is built like a tank. My first one made an obnoxious grinding noise. I sent a video recording of it to Wahoo Fitness, who said it was definitely not right, and sent me a new one shipped to my house the next day. That one has been working perfectly since.

    Thank you Ray. This forum is the most informative source of bike product info online. There is nothing else like it, as far as I know. We are now in, or at least heading into the indoor trainer season. Wahoo Fitness had some initial problems with the Kickr, their initial trainer product, and jumped all over them immediately with great customer service. I didn’t read too many complaints here about the Kickr, after it came out. I don’t know of any problems with the Snap. The Tacx Neo seems to be having a bit of product difficulty. Is it the inherent design or manufacturing problems/quality control. If Tacx were smart, they would diagnose the ‘gumball’ and other internal noise sources and communicate that info to you, Ray, so that you could share it with too many unhappy customers. Social media is very powerful in business. If allowed to continue, customer confidence in the product and company will quickly wane, some of it perhaps irretrievably. The touted forte of the Neo, its quietness, seems to be too unreliably elusive. Was it rushed to market too soon before bugs were worked out. Perhaps. Carpe Diem Tacx.

  58. andi

    Let me tell you about my very good experiences with the TACX service … I had one of those noisy NEOs myself. I made a video / soundfile with the noise, contacted the TACX service and sent them the video. They ask the obvious question about new / old chain / cassette combo and when I confirmed that both are brand-new we made an appointment for me to come directly to the Netherlands for a swap. Luckily I have had the time and the opportunity to go there by car living in northern Germany.
    It was a very nice welcome yesterday at TACX and the swap took just 5 minutes. Did the first longer ride today and everything is working perfectly. No noise, absolutely quiet, only the sound of chain / cassette which, in my opinion, sound louder anyway riding indoors compared to riding outside. And, of course, it all depends on how well maintained and adjusted the whole drivetrain is.

    Bottomline … TACX may have some technical and / or quality problems with the NEO. But I am sure they will work it out soon. And for the service at TACX a huge “thumbs up” from me! Thanks again.

  59. Tacx Support

    Hi All, i just want to explain that the issues we have seen are reported are mostly here and some on our Forum. It makes sence because everybody is following this site (because it is has the most realistic reviews) and it is open for any comments. The sound that Andrew (and 4 other customers have reported, (at this point we do not have more reports to this specific sound, not saying that there are not other customers with this sound) is under investigation and might be something small that causes this sound (we are not sure yet) Therefore it is also important for us (as Andi is mentioning) to report this at our support@tacx.com website so we can actually help customers out the best we can.

    • Igor

      I assume Tacx already received back some Neo’s that have these problems. If not: I returned two Neo’s to Van Herwerden (yesterday and today). The first produces a sound that is much like the soundfile Lee and Andrew posted earlier on this thread. (Either the Gumball problem or a problem with the edco thing as I understand from comment #714.) The second produces the sound/vibration as described above by Lee, Adam, myself and a few others. Van Herwerden will bring the second one to Tacx tomorrow. Tacx support: I also emailed you about this. Hope you will find solutions. (I want to continue my training…)

    • Tacx Support

      thanks got the email

  60. Martin

    Hello… so far so good. I have waited nearly 7 weeks for my Neo (in the UK) – it arrived this morning!! Attached bike – very simple and quick setup (Shimano 11speed). Did an hour before work !! Absolutely fine, amazing, quiet, incredible in my humble opinion. It connected to the Garmin 1000, Zwift (PC Win10), the Polar V800 even picked it up perfectly (well done Polar) and Viiiiva displayed HR on all connected devices. This Neo is apparently from the batch that arrived at the UK Tacx distributor (Fisher) this week from the Netherlands – I decided to wait for this new batch. I’ll give it another test tonight and hopefully no issues.

    NB – I decided not to update firmware it has 0.3.1 / 96.1.2 / 0.4.2, the latest is 0.3.2 / 0.2.1 / 0.4.2.

    • Andrew (UK)

      This is a good day with lots of positive feedback filtering down.

      I did the Software update Martin. It’s very strange in that it keeps asking you to turn BT off on your device every 25%, but it worked ok and afterwards I can’t tell the difference (via Zwift). I think it has some important improvements for TR users though.

    • Tacx Support

      That is normal behaviour. This is to install the bootloader in the software. After this (and maybe possible further updates) you dont have to do this anymore. Already explained some changes some chats above

  61. mindz

    like some of you have reported, mine does also have some sort of humming sound: link to youtube.com

    • mindz

      note that the clicking is the hub and not the noise i’m talking about, but rather the rotating/humming sound

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Mindz, this is absolute normal. These are the magnets you hear and there is always some sound from the electro magnets driver the neo if you go downhill for example (the same like an electrical bike)

    • George

      That electric humming (not the clicks) sounds louder than the chain.

  62. Igor

    Interesting. My first Neo did not make this buzzing sound, and the sound my second one makes is similar to this – and it appears also to be similar to the sound reported by Lee (comment #688). Mindz: do you also feel vibration through the bars of your bike?

    Could there be a similar source of the problem, which manifests itself in various levels of sound and vibration? When is it normal and when is it not normal? Why did my first Neo not make this sound?

  63. Glen

    Hi Guys, been following this thread for awhile now. Had my Neo for a few weeks bought from the same LBS as Lee. I am posting on here to register that mine is also making all sorts of wierd and wonderful noises as well. I will try and get some recordings of them as some of them aren’t what have been reported on here yet. When the resistance goes on above say 250 watts there is a deep droning noise along with the vibration it almost feels like something is out of balance, like when your balancing goes on your car wheels, if that makes sense. Also sometimes when I am up out of my saddle with this higher resistance it creaks and groans like something is about to break.

    I am also having a mare trying to index the gears, which is really annoying as it makes identifying these noises hard, is it the indexing or is it the unit. I get the gears sorted on the smaller cogs but they are out in the middle of the cassette or vice vera, today i had the middle ok but once the gears were changed everything went clanky its as though the spindle itself isnt square. I have also found that if i am on the small chan ring there isnt any noise but as soon as i move to the large chain ring things go out, maybe its not the indexing and its the speed that is causing the sound to occur, I dont know its hard to pedal and have my ear by the cassette at the same time. As I am having to make such big adjustments it means i will have to re index again when i put the wheel back on.

    As i say I will try and get some recordings of these noises for the record as much as anything else.

  64. Griffin

    Tacx Support,

    I’m writing to you through this forum because my question is specifically related to the Neo and I know for a certainty that you are reading this forum. I live in the San Francisco Bay area in California and when I check the Tacx site for a list of dealers, the nearest is 875 kilometers away. So, clearly, my best option if I want a Neo is to order one through an online retailer. However, if it develops problems, I cannot simply jump in the car and return it to my local shop. I certainly don’t want to pay for shipping a defective unit back to the online retailer or to the nearest dealer. Do I have the assurance of Tacx that they will replace a defective unit free of charge, by mail, if needed?

    Thank you very much.

  65. Sean

    I have already posted this video link as an answer of a previous comment, but just realized, it is so far up the comment list already, that I’m posting it again, just to show, there are others with the same problem.
    It is concerns the grinding sound/vibration.
    p.s. intensity slightly changes with cadence
    link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com

    • Jase

      Yes, mine is the same which has been returned.

      What you didn’t show was increase in cadence. Big ring and one of the smallest sprockets to drive the internals faster. At about 90 cadence the vibration stopped for me but soon as I slowed the cadence (ie spinning bits inside the Neo) the groaning came back.

    • Sean

      Yes Jase, exactly what I obeserve.

  66. Sean

    ….it concerns…..

  67. jezz

    I’m posting to redress the balance a bit with all the talk of noise, and to share my experience.

    After swapping a chain which turned out to be pretty stretched, and putting an old SRAM force 10s cassette on, my Neo is essentially silent bar a bit of whirring you’d expect from spinning bits. All noise was chain-line related. A 10s ultegra cassette I tried ridiculously noisy, maybe it was well worn, but I don’t think it’s had that much use.
    I’ve also tried my good bike with da9000 and a SRAM XG1190 11s cassette, that’s also silent.
    My fan is far noisier, ironically noise isn’t really a concern for me but it would annoy me.

    I’ve done a comparison to a P2MAX power meter and it’s pretty close/close enough when averaged, but what does erk me is that the cadence sensing algorithm is all over the place. My Garmin using a crank sensor reads solidly, but the Neo will jump around -+5 rpm of what the Garmin is reading.
    The Neo power reading is a bit erratic, I’m not sure how Neo determines power but if (as you’d expect) it’s a function of the cadence it reads than that would be why; especially if the Neo then adjusts the resistance based on these inaccurate power readings.
    I haven’t updated the firmware yet due to being IOS only, so I’ll have to find a generous apple-ite to lend me their iPad. It maybe that some of these cadence/power issues are addressed in the new firmware.
    I’ll update once I’ve done the update.

    • Griffin

      Jezz…If you don’t mind, where do you live and when did you get your Neo? Thank you.

    • jezz

      UK, though I got it from bike24/Germany, it was shipped ~2 weeks ago.

    • Noticed too that cadence seems less reliable than e.g. on the KICKR.

      On the other hand, by the laws of physics, cadence is needed for calculating power only for pedal/crank/spider-based power meters. As the Neo is (or includes) essentially a hub-based power meter, they will wither use strain gauges for torque/force and “wheel” rotation or – I assume – compute from the electricity generated by the magnets.

    • Lee

      Thats a misleading post. The KICKR does not give you cadence !!

      For what its worth, I had no issues with the cadence output on the Neo under “normal training” scenarios. It only dropped out if I was riding a VR/film and did a ridiculously soft pedal or something. When under load, I found the cadence quite accurate.

      Given that the Neo is a tight fit on many bikes (and won’t fit on others!!), squeezing in a traditional speed/cadence sensor may not be possible. So having cadence output by the Neo is a big win I think.

      Or, do what Wahoo do (on the KICKR 11sp kit) – use a crank (or shoe!!) based small accelerometer. No issues with trainers or bike fitments then 🙂

    • Oops, sorry, yes, you are right that the KICKR doesn’t give cadence, thanks for pointing out.

      Still, the dedicated cadence sensors and power meters that output cadence that I have experienced have been always within I’d guess 1 to 2 rpm. The Neo is often not in that range, whether that is significant will depend on the user. But well, my post was more about the power calculation anyway. 😉

      Do Tacx trainers generally output cadence or is it just the Neo? Wondering whether they are using cadence for the virtual flywheel?

    • Einundsiebzig

      Correct me if I am wrong, but the new Kickr also gives cadence without any other sensors?!

    • Lee

      You are wrong. The devil is in the detail.

      If you look at the shop you’ll see they sell a 10sp KICKR (no cadence) and an 11sp KICKR (with cadence).

      What is this mysterious 11sp cassette cadence sensor you may ask 😉 ??

      Well, no its just that they bundle their Wahoo RPM sensor in the 11sp box.

      link to uk.wahoofitness.com
      Look at the features panel, specifically the “Measures Speed, Distance, Power and Cadence”:

      “Get all your vital cycling metrics on your indoor ride. Cadence only available when paired with a Wahoo RPM. 11 speed model includes an RPM and the 10 speed model does not.”

    • Fwiw, to a question somewhere in there on other Tacx trainers providing cadence – yes, they do an estimate (i.e. Vortex, Satori, Bushido, Genius, etc…). It’s not foolproof, but for 98% of riding situations it works well (pretty similar to PowerTap hub cadence).

  68. Einundsiebzig

    Here is a view of the dirvetrain side of the Neo after removing the Freehub.
    Don’t try this by yourself! You need a special puller to get the disc detached from the Neo…

  69. Mattv

    This blog must be a manufacturer’s nightmare!

    keep up the good work!

  70. Tony

    Hey I have been reading and following from the sidelines about the comments/ experiences with the Tacx Neo but I now only see comments up to October 13th and nothing later? I was reading the comments earlier today and at that time everything was up to date?? Thanks for any insight.

  71. Tacx Support

    We have found the issue related to the cracking sound. It is not in the neo but in the Edco module ring that is on the axle. I’ll but a solution on it at the end of the day (will make a short PDF)

    • Lars

      But not the issue with the vibration?

    • Igor

      Good news! Does it mean that at least one of the two Neo’s that I returned can be fixed? But which one?

      Which noise do you mean? The noise of which Christian Bergman posted a soundfile earlier? (Similar to the noise my first Neo makes.) Or the noise Lee posted a soundfile of? (Similar to the noise of my second Neo?)

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Igor, that was a different sound i believe but did not see the units yet

  72. Tacx Support

    Hi Igor, yes the sound of Christian Bergman : link to youtube.com
    This sound is the Edco ring

  73. Sean

    Courageous move, but it sounds like the right decision. Wish you all the luck. Greetings from Germany.

  74. Sean

    Sorry comment on the wrong topic – omg

  75. Lars

    Tacx: When can you say something about the other issue? As heard on Lee’s posting?

  76. Toby

    I saw a post (#681) saying that a Shiv TT won’t fit on the Neo. Is that true? I ride a size large 2013 Shiv TT. If that frame and others won’t fit is Tacx planning a fix? That issue would keep me from getting a Neo. I need to be able to fit my race bikes on my trainer.

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Toby, yes this is an important question, because NOT all bikes will fit on it

      link to tacx.com
      Text:
      I addition, the NEO is placed in between your rear fork. Unfortunately, the NEO doesn’t fit some bikes with an integrated rear brake. To find out if the NEO fits in between the rear fork of your bike, you can use one of the stencils below.
      link to wwwstatic3.tacx.nl
      link to wwwstatic3.tacx.nl

      Most of the time-trial bikes have special smaller frames that will not fit. Because there are so many different sizes these adapters have been made so that our customers can check it.

    • Toby

      Thanks for showing me the templates Tacx. Very disappointed to confirm that the Shiv TT will NOT fit on the Neo. The template bumps the chain stays and the seat stays. I thought I’d found my new trainer. Back to my 10 year old Fortius.

    • Einundsiebzig

      A Friend of mine raised the front wheel by a little peace of rubber in 4-5cm height. With that he is able to ride his Shiv in the Neo… Unfortunately now he is always climbing up to 5%… 🙂 I think a little redesign on the outer plastik shell would make much more bikes (TT) fit in the Neo… I could ask him for a photo if you would like to…

  77. Tacx Support

    Hi All, so on that “cracking” sound of the Neo, we have had 2 customers using attached solution and all was very fluent and no sound. We are still doing some checks on it but it this seems to be the fix. link to tacxdata.com

    • Joe

      Thanks for that. Glad one of the noises is figured out, but, to be clear for my simple brain, this isn’t the only noise issue right? The gumball noise people are talking about is still real? Are new units being tested for this before leaving the factory? Or are you guys still shipping units as they are made? I’d like to pre order from somewhere with a 20% off code that expires in a few days but only if I can be assured you will not be sending out any more units until this issue has been taken care of and me risk getting a lemon. Otherwise, I might have to go with Kickr, unfortunately, because I hate the whirring sound their unit makes as well. Thanks for being so responsive!

    • Lee

      I believe this fix is for the “gumball” sound. So as far as I know there are 3 issues/sounds

      1. Weld inside the drum leading to a metallic sound. I don’t believe anyone has really reported this though, the weld was originally offered up as the solution for the next sound……which is…….
      2. ….the “gumball” sound, which turns out to be a problem with the EDCO hub. That makes more sense to me because I never believed 0.5mm pieces of weld would make that cracking sound. Last up…..
      3. …..the brrrr brrrr brrrr sound which also vibrates right through the frame. No-one is offering up a reason for this right now I think.

      My LBS is returning all stock to the distributor with a “Don’t send any more until they are known to be fine” remit 🙂

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Joe, i can only say that we have had people with this sound and it was solved with this solution. We did not get so much but 2 of them this was the solution, and Andrew is also checking something on this. The other sound is still checked. Looking to deliveries (the demand is so high) that pre-ordering can also take some time. We had some comments on that. It just depends on how fast you need one.

    • Filipe

      the number 3 Sound are friking me out! I´m start to be MAD with it. It feels the bike have some probem but it is the NEO problema. GRRRR GRRRR GRRRR , rBrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Sorry, but this is not silence, this is noise! 🙁

    • TK

      On the sound file Tacx posted with the fix for the “gumball” sound you also can hear a whistle like sound (similar to an old kettle that is close to boiling) is that the sound that is related to the metallic sound caused by the weld residue?

      You can hear it cleary at around 11 secs and again at around 18 secs.
      link to tacxdata.com

    • Igor

      My Neo also whistles at a certain speed with a certain cadence. I think it is nothing to worry about. As far as I understood from my conversations with Tacx, it is simply air being pushed through somewhere at the spinning disc.

    • Ron

      So this ‘fix’ offered is to correct one of several abnormal sounds coming from many, but not all, of recently manufactured Neo trainers. Was this lubricant supposed to have been applied to the Edco hub at their factory or by Tacx during assembly of the Neo? Is one to assume that quiet Neo’s have the necessary lubricant already in place? Over years of reasonable use, will this Edco hub need maintenance with re-application of lubricant? I for one, had not heard of this Edco hub before the firestorm of this fiasco, having used Shimano hubs for many years.
      Tacx – so far, your explanations and advise are as skimpy as the manual that came with the Neo and are woefully inadequate.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Hi Ron, how often have you used your Neo?
      If you ride it only a couple of times over winter, then you don’t need to worry, thinkinside no weather condtions will wash out the grease…
      I own mine now since 9 weeks and I already did 59 rides on it without any problem…

    • andi

      due to my new NEO I don’t have any noise anymore, thankfully. But of course I “had to” check this proposal out by myself.
      And what I noticed was that the 5mm bolt was not been tightened very strongly. I could loosen it very easily … I don’t checked it with a torque wrench, of course but I had a look at the Shimano manuals for the required tightening torque for freehub bodies and it is 45 – 50 n-m.
      I don’t know the value for EDCO but maybe this might be source of some noises that occurs?
      Ok, I must say this is more a question of “feeling” but maybe worth a second look?

      And speaking of EDCO … EDCO is in general a company with high quality products when it comes to hubs, not any worse as Shimano for example.

    • nicx

      I don’t know if their is an official limit… but I would not want to put 45 – 50 nm on a 5mm hex. Especially considering that the skewer, when tightened, will be adding extra pressure on this area.

  78. Andrew (UK)

    Question for Neo owners using Zwift. First a little background.

    A few days ago a friend joined Zwift and attached his TACX Blue Motion “dumb” trainer. He did a few laps around Watopia and his best lap was 19:17, this compared to my best of 16:31 and was we both thought a fairly accurate representation of performance on the road.

    Then we drilled down a bit and noticed that he went up the main hill (1 mile after the start) in 2:30. My best is around 3:15. 45 seconds slower ! As I’d be reasonably quicker up any hill in real life this seemed odd but I just put this behind me and forgot about it until last night. I honestly thought my Neo was obviously right and he’d set something up wrong – lol.

    Yesterday evening however my club had a Zwift event with many people having a go at climbing that first hill on Watopia. This time using the Wahoo KickR. And this time those I usually directly ride with were recording 2:20 – 2:35 (unfortunately I wasn’t there for a direct comparison). This again is massively faster than I seem capable of on the Neo.

    Is there a chance I’ve somehow set the Neo or Zwift up incorrectly ? I’ve left all the settings like Trainer Resistance alone. At the first screen at the top left I select the “Power” option from the 2 available.

    I’ve checked my Strava and I know I am working pretty hard, know I can definitely go faster, but 30% faster…. Pretty unlikely.

    Any thoughts ?

    • Lee

      Firstly I’d discount your mate’s Blue Motion ride. Waaaay too many variables.

      Assuming the KICKR was reasonably accurate, the only way you will ever know whats going on is to pull their data from Strava (assuming they uploaded it), go to analysis and focus on just the hill climb, and make a note of their average power.

      Then do the same for yourself.

      The power will be recorded correctly regardless of what settings or personal details have been entered into Zwift. Its the only true absolute.

      If you have a club friend of similar build/weight and you think you are quicker up the hills in real life, then it stands to reason your power figure should be higher. Its power to weight ratio.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Unfortunately I don’t think anything was recorded in Strava. But they were doing one off “sprints” up the climb, so I think I need to have a go at this myself. See what I can do in 150 seconds if I aren’t considering riding another 2/3 laps afterwards….

      Level playing field.

  79. Einundsiebzig

    Question, did you adjust the weight in the riders profile after changing from rider to rider doing the Zwift climb? If not, this migth be the answer! As Lee said, power/weight ratio!

  80. Igor

    Good news. Tacx fixed my first Neo this morning (Edco problem, see for example the soundfile by Christian Bergman). Trained for 45 mins this evening, and it’s quiet! The coming days I’ll be doing some more extensive interval training – I’ll let you know whether it stays quiet. So far, excellent service from Tacx.

    • marvin

      No whistle sound also anymore? Because i will just grease the edco ring also if that’s the solution. Pretty simple action and good to know for future maintenance

    • Igor

      No, as far as I understand, the whistle sound is nothing to worry about and caused by air being pushed through somewhere at the spinning disc. (An explanation that makes sense, as it only manifests itself at certain speed/cadences.)

  81. Andrew (UK)

    Weekend Update

    I received the new Neo yesterday and also had a fix to try on the Old one (with the Gumball issue).

    Firstly I followed the instructions from TACX to replace the EDCO Hub. I’m not a bike engineer, but the instructions were very basic and I struggled, I wasn’t even sure if I should be greasing parts myself (as shown in pictures) but if that’s the case I wasn’t supplied any grease. Eventually I worked out what needed to be done and the hub was off. Unfortunately the new hub would not go on with the 2 parts in place that were there before. Very odd. So I installed it with 1 of the 2 which I only tried because it fitted perfectly.

    So at the end of the job I had one of these left over.

    Unfortunately when all fully reassembled, the freewheel no longer works. I had a good look over everything and apart from the spare part I’ve no idea what to do differently. And I can’t work out how that part fitted in or what it had to do with the freewheel. Potentially it’s a faulty hub, most likely it’s me not quite understanding the gaps in the instructions.

    SO NEO 1 is now useless and unusable.

    Onto NEO 2.

    Cassette off…. Cassette on….. Changed gear a few times. Horrendous BONESAWING vibration through the entire Neo / Bike Frame / Me.

    Before the issue was a loud noise, but at least the Neo was useable. This Bonesawing makes the bike unusable straight away. You just can’t ride the bike at all in the lower gears with the big ring. I got the Mrs to test too and she said the same thing.

    So…. 1 morning wasted. Covered in grease. 2 Neo’s. Neither work. No way to train at all.

    (Also having trouble posting this – perhaps due to image links – will try with them taken out)

    • Einundsiebzig

      I did exactly the same yesterday evening in front of my evening ride, even so I did not have this cracking sounds. Very sorry for you that you had so much problems, but I did all the maintenance in 10 Minutes without having any problem.

      I do understand you right? You honestly demounted the freehub and mounted it together with one ring left over and wonder that your trainer is not working anymore?
      You had two of this black rings? The one in the pic above belongs to the axis and you have to put him into the backend of the Edco Hub. You did that?

    • Andrew (Uk)

      By back end, do you mean top ?

      I was fed up this morning so may have another go with the old Neo in the morning. The new Neo is seriously faulty though and the Bonesawing issue is far worse than some clanking.

    • Einundsiebzig

      If i write back end, I mean back end. The rear part of the Edco Hub (the part you put into the sprocket of the trainer), this is where the black ring supposed to be…

  82. Andrew (UK)

    Hub not going in with both spacers in place

    • Andrew (UK)

      Ring over that would not fit anywhere.

    • andi

      Hmmm … I don’t fully understand your problem … just follow the instruction from Tacx to grease the ring is very simple. You remove the freehub body, pull the ring from the axle, put on some greasy (which you, obviously don’t have), put the ring back on the axle and put the freehub body back again. It will not fit at first attempt so you must rotate it slightly to get the paws into place. Don’t remove any paws or springs or whatever from the system or add any spacers. Then it should work again without problems. Maybe you can get a little bit of grease from your local bike shop? Have another look at it and try it again.

    • nicx

      That ring goes on before the freehub.

    • Raul

      I can very much imagine no reasonable soul (well, almost) is reacting on this guy’s post. 3 simple instructions………..

  83. Lee

    Unlikely to be a faulty hub mate as the ratchet/pawl system is pretty basic. Although easy to get a pawl out of shape. If you’re feeling brave why not just take the edco from the new sawbone model and stick it on your older gumball model (lol)

    conversely, ordered a KICKR snap for the wife and lad yesterday. Arrived today, out of the box, bike on, firmware updated and ready to rock.

    I think that wheel off trainers really sort someone who
    a) has a dedicated indoor trainer bike (me)
    b) has the patience/knowledge on how to reindex his cassette every time a swap is made…
    c) or…just doesn’t ride at all outside, thus removing the need to swap and reindex.

    • Andrew (Uk)

      Not sure what the point is in relation to the issue there Lee. However I’m using the Neo with a brand new bike that’s dedicated to the Neo.

  84. BritBiker1

    Received my Neo yesterday (UK). Set it up this morning. First impressions below.

    Setup: I have zero experience with the mechanical side of bikes and generally either get the LBS to do things or just have a go and hope what I try works. This was the latter. I didn’t find it super difficult to put the cassette on but it was a bit annoying and fiddly. Took about 30min but some of that was me faffing. If you know what you are doing then its a very quick job as there isn’t that much to do.

    Ride: I’ve only been on it for 30min so experience is limited. Will have a longer ride tomorrow. Initial impression is that it’s noisier than I thought it would be. Theres a low level humming that comes from the unit which does get louder the harder you peddle. It’s quieter than a wheel on trainer but not as quiet as I was led to believe. It will be interesting to see if I get any complaints from neighbours. I really hope I don’t get any complaints as I’m pinning my hopes for winter training on the neo.

    The ride itself was ok. I honestly need to spend more time on it. I found it took about a second or two to adjust to changes in resistance. I didn’t find it very realistic truth be told. It promises road feel but it feels like pushing through air to me. I may change my mind on it though as I use it more.

    Not sure if I like the rocking side to side. Possibly one of those things you need to get used to.

    Will hook it up to Zwift and TR tomorrow and see how it goes. I also need to do the firmware update. Will add more impressions to this thread as I go.

  85. Joe

    Well, I couldn’t do it. With all these unknowns, I had to order a Kickr. I’m out guys. If the downstairs neighbors complain due to noise, I’ll pick up a Neo in the future once the kinks get worked out. Good luck everyone!

    Ray– any idea when your next set of trainer recs are coming out for the 2015/2016 guide? I saw you say you were just waiting on the mid-level recs since one unit hadn’t arrived yet. Have you decided on who wins as to Kickr vs Neo yet for this year? What are you going to be recommending for the high price range?

    Thanks!!!

    • Lee

      Probably a wise choice. Certainly all of these mechanical issues will get sorted. Eventually. But look at the aggro Andrew has had in terms of just being around for collection/delivery and swapping one set of issues for another.

      The only thing which is an unknown right now is whether resistance changes and smoothness will ever be as good in TrainerRoad as it is on the KICKR. The guys at TrainerRoad told me that the big heavy flywheel on the KICKR accounts for a *lot*.

      If the mechanicals get sorted and the TrainerRoad improved then its going to be a very good trainer indeed. But then again it is considerably more expensive than a KICKR (every now and then Wiggle do 17% discounts and the KICKR can be had in the UK for around £740)

    • I don’t forsee a direct winner between the KICKR and the NEO. The reason is that there’s such significant overlap, but also a key difference (noise, price depending on region) that it’s going to be a bit of a ‘buyers decision’ between those two at the top.

      In some ways the KICKR will be the default (primarily due to cheaper price in most places, and currently better app compat), but that others will want to spend more for lesser noise reasons.

    • Griffin

      Everyone…don’t overlook the Elite Real Turbo Muin B+, which I’m sure will also be in the high-end category. If the connectivity of the unit pans out vis-a-vis all the popular 3p apps, then this will be a real competitor to the Kickr. It has the benefit of the flywheel, plus the added realism provided by fluid technology.

      Although, as I live in the States, I’m as fearful of warranty/tech support from Elite as I am from Tacx.

    • Jon P

      +1 on high hopes for Ray’s observations and musings on the Elite Real Turbo Muin B+. I’ve been ready to pre order (about a dozen times!) on the Neo, but have been holding back till I see the winter trainer post. At this point it looks like it’s between the Kickr and the Elite for me this winter. Really wanted the Neo to be it though…

    • Joe

      Is that new elite going to be in the new DC trainer review?

  86. Andrew (Uk)

    I’m going to spend another hour / 3 with the old trainer tomorrow and see if I can get it back working with some time, knowledge from today and one of the two hubs.

    Fun way to spend a weekend. At least Bond was good this afternoon. Cheered me up a bit.

  87. v

    Did anyone have a chance to compare pedal stroke smoothness of Neo and Elite Real Turbo Muin B+ 2016 ? I mean how it ‘feels’. Neo has 125kg *virtual* flywheel, Real Turbo Muin has 7kg *real* flywheel rotating in silicone oil. I had Elite Qubo Power Fluid before, it was really smooth. Nice. Now I have Vortex Smart TDF and does not like its pedal stroke at all, it’s unnatural and not smooth. If Neo is more like Vortex Smart than fluid in this question then I’d definitely purchase Real Turbo Muin. Surely if it works correctly with TrainerRoad and Zwift 😉
    Difficult choice when it’s impossible to test this ‘feel’ of pedal stroke before placing my order… 😉

  88. Andrew (UK)

    I couldn’t wait for morning. Back on a buzz from Bond and knowing I wouldn’t sleep until I’d tried to sort this out. So back out the old Neo and here we go.

    Firstly I believe that the 2 plastic rings is a red herring and that one came from the new EDCO hub and one from the old, Whichever way you look at it (and I did for 20 minutes) only 1 will fit inside.

    With this in mind I tried BOTH EDCO Hubs (old and the new) only to find that the newly supplied one does not fit the old Neo. It looks identical in every way, however when you tighten it up the freewheel will not spin. If you put the old one back on and tighten it up the freewheel works fine. So basically I was doing things right previously and had spent most of my morning trying to get a square peg into a round hole.

    So I’ve put the old Neo back together and it works as before with the clanging noise. In fact it seems to now make a small rubbing noise too from somewhere.

    The “New Neo” is simply put on one side. The Bonesawing sensation described previously is simply too terrible to try again.

    No idea what happens next. I’d still love to have a Neo that worked and I appreciate everything that TACX are doing to try to sort this out, but even they must be getting worn out now.

    • Sean

      Good morning Andrew,
      hope you could sleep, after you have solved the mystery 🙂 . My neo is also making the bonesaw-noise (video to be found here somewhere) and I got an email from Tacx, telling me that it has to be changed. As I’m currently abroad, I will only have the chance to return it around the middle of the month and I’m hoping that I’ll get a fine unit in exchange (and hopefully without a lot of delay). I keep my hopes up, especially after I’ve seen a video dealing with Zwift yesterday, where I was remembered of the whiningly sound the Kickr does.(which I liked a lot, if it wasn’t for this sound)
      Check at 1:40
      link to youtube.com

  89. Just greased the free hub and can happily say my noise is gone … and the free wheel is also much less noisy than it was, too. (From how it’s constructed this seems to be a Tacx issue and not an Edco issue.)

    To my ears my Neo is now by far less noisy than my KICKR (which I admittedly rode with the larger chainring because the weight of their flywheel just wasn’t enough for me to produce enough inertia and a nice enough feeling on the smaller ring),
    and according to my evaluation it’s also more responsive and smoother with TR (although only with OS X and not in iOS),
    so I have absolutely no reason to go back to the KICKR at this moment …. except that the seat stays of my training bike hit the Neo … 🙂

    Concerning Elite Real Turbo Muin … I had the non-real, dumb Turbo Muin before the KICKR, and that was in some aspects a nightmare, much too progressive and changing power characteristics which made finding the right gear for a specific target power difficult, deadly smooth feeling that felt more like walking through mud than riding on the road, and noise of the fluid that would not disturb the neighbors but myself, so, clearly not wanting to go back to Elite either, even though the first issue should of course be solved in their smart version.

    • Lee

      Always interesting to hear from others and their perspectives; I only ride the KICKR in the small ring as its the smoothest gear combination. No complaints as regards inertia. And of course, this makes it a quieter experience for me.

      As for the Elite trainer……I was looking at their RealAxiom B+ this morning. Almost in pure desperation.

      I bought a KICKR Snap for the wife/son to use and this is massively inaccurate in power. The Snap was set to 150W yet I was having to do 220W to achieve this. This would make riding Zwift a nightmare as the trainer would absolutely pile on the resistance/effort going up hills.

      Why can no-one make a trainer that just WORKS ??!!! So chances are I could try an Elite and just find a whole load of faults with that too.

    • v

      Lee, Takura – thanks for your comments about Elite Muin! It’s obvious that this unit also has his own cons. By the way, I found one right on the promo video: link to youtube.com
      1:26, see how awfully magnetic “micro variation” is constructed! It’s a magnet moving on a thread, some kind of “screw-gear”. So it definitely can’t change resistance fast enough, from 0% to, say, 8%. Magnet should move to the correct place and it will take time, I guess 10-20-30sec.

      Lee, I deeply understand your words “Why can no-one make a trainer that just WORKS”, I feel the same. All smart trainers now are far away from perfection. So now [my] choice is only among “less evil” variants ;(

      Yesterday I was looking at Wahoo Snap thinking maybe it’s an appropriate compromise. Today I’ve read your comment and understood I was wrong 😉 Big thanks for the info!

      How do you think Tacx Genius Smart is better than Vortex Smart in question of smooth pedal stroke? Or they are similar?

    • Einundsiebzig

      There are trainer that are working even better then a kickr or a tacx Neo…
      I would spend all my time on my Cyclus2 if it would be not so loud like the kickr…
      link to cyclus2.com
      That is why I love my new Neo so much…

    • Ron

      My curiosity led me to explore the Cyclus 2. Yikes!!! – 8300 Euros list price……and as loud as the Kickr. For that price it should be totally silent and maybe even invisible. Lifestyles of the rich and famous……….

    • Einundsiebzig

      What you get with the Cyclus2 is a calibrated device wich measures wattage in a range of 1% accuracy. So you cannot compare this to any other trainer out there.
      If you are going to have repeatable tests wich are on point, there is no other trainer out there where you can put on your own bike. And yes, Cyclus2 is loud, not as loud as the Kickr, but only a little bit under his noise, so far away from silent.
      And 8300€ seems to be a lot of money, but if you are training athletes (triathletes and cyclists) and do over 100+ FTP tests in a year, wich they pay for, accuracy is for what you go… And by the way for my training at home, I love my Neo and for that it is all I need….

    • Lee

      Its a different tool for a different job. There is also the choice of The Wattbike, a UK designed, British Cycling/UCI used, accurate, smooth, robust (they have them in consumer public gyms over here). £2250 so a “bargain” compared to that Cyclus2. They give you all the cycling dynamics you could need.

      However they are also
      a) Heavy and difficult to store
      b) Whilst adjustable etc never going to be the same as your road/TT bike
      c) Not electronically resistance controlled
      d) Uses a mixture of air resistance and magnetic. I found it “a little odd”
      e) Noisy

      Fantastic bit of kit, but perhaps more suited to an indoor gym than a guy riding Zwift in front of his TV.

      I want the Neo to succeed as long term I think it will be a better proposition for me than the KICKR. I’m also happy my TT bike fits for example. but right now it seems we cannot get a quiet one here in the Uk……..

  90. Christian Bergman

    Hi guys:

    Just an update on my “gumball issue” I tried the grease and mine now works perfect, sound just as the recording DC rainmaker put up a few weeks ago.

    I did a 70 km ride today on zwift and nothing at all 😀

  91. billy

    Does anyone have a bottom line on this? Christmas is coming. Wait another year on the NEO until bugs get worked out, ride my Kurt Kinetic, or buy a Kickr? Noise is not a problem for me so that is not a big deal NEO vs Kickr vs KKinetic. Can’t seem to decide if using a smart trainer is worth an extra 1200 to 1600 dollars to upgrade from what already can be a decent workout for me.

    Is the function where the smart trainer just allows you to pedal and not look at the wattage a big deal for everyone? I just look at the watts the whole time it seems. I use sufferfest with trainerroad and my kinetic trainer.

    Thanks for any help ,and thank you for this outstanding web site!

  92. Griffin

    V,

    “It’s obvious that this unit also has his own cons. By the way, I found one right on the promo video: link to youtube.com
    1:26, see how awfully magnetic “micro variation” is constructed! It’s a magnet moving on a thread, some kind of “screw-gear”. So it definitely can’t change resistance fast enough, from 0% to, say, 8%. Magnet should move to the correct place and it will take time, I guess 10-20-30sec.”

    This is pure speculation, right? Or do you currently have a RTM B+?

    Ray, please leak a little detail from your upcoming guide, are you finding it takes 10-30 seconds for the RTM B+ to change power?

    • v

      Griffin,
      yes, it’s only my guess from what i’ve seen in that promo video. i don’t have my own Real Turbo Muin and i didn’t have a chance to try it myself. But from the video i’ve seen the technical solution (screw-gear) which personally i do not like at all. Neo’s internals look much better and smarter from the engineer point of view.

      Muin has fluid unit with progressive exponential resistance AND magnetic “micro variations”. i’m talking about only magnetic part which is responsible for (as far as i understand) huge changes in resistance especially in low speeds and big watts (jump from 0% to, say, 10% or more regardless the speed and cadence). my guess is that this unit technically can not do it fast. if i’m wrong Ray will say, from the practical point of view 😉

    • Griffin

      According to a response from Elite, the RTM B+ would take “about” 4 seconds to go from 150W to 250W.

    • I can confirm that time (actually, it’d be closer to 2-3s for that range). As I posted on another thread a moment ago, it’s roughly 40-50w per 1s of movement. That’s testing with a custom TR workout that basically goes from 150w to 310w and 340w instantly. There’s some play in that it’s TR controlling it, which we’ve seen does have an impact elsewhere on other trainers.

      But you can actually hear the whole trainer changing gears, sounds like a very faint Roomba as it makes the big shift (I didn’t even notice it the other day when doing other intervals over a longer shifting period).

    • v

      Thanks for the real info!

      40-50 watts per second – it is still too slow. Looks unusable for short 10-20sec full power sprints, when you jump from “regular” 200-250 watts to, say, 800-900 watts.

      Also as Ray mentioned in other thread RTM B+ does not broadcasts ant+ speed/cadence/power, only supports ant+ fe-c.

      Two these facts (slow resistance change, limited ant+ support) make this year RTM B+ sapless…

  93. Sascha Richter

    My Neo also have this “cracking noise” and I wanted to put some grease in the Edco Freehub like it is shown in the tacx manual above. The only thing is that i can´t remove the Freehub after removing the black propeller. I never removed a freehub before on my bikes so i´m not that experienced but i thought after removing the black propeller i only got to pull it off but obviously i am wrong. Is there somekind of a special trick or what am i doing wrong?
    Greetings Sascha

  94. Andrew (Uk)

    Really happy for those now reporting they have solved their issues. Unfortunately I’ve had no such success. I’ve added grease to hub, even tonight lubed the chain out of desperation. But I still have the same noises and potentially it’s even making the bone sawing in smaller cogs on the big ring.

    I can’t face taking it all apart again. It’s a consumer item I paid over £1000 for and it should just work. Perhaps I haven’t applied enough grease. Perhaps not to right place. But I’ve had enough tries now.

    See what TACX say tomorrow.

  95. BritBiker1

    I used mine for a bit longer today with TrainerRoad. Sadly TR doesn’t record cadence properly from the Neo. Throughout the duration it stayed at 22rpm irrespective of what I did. I found the power quite difficult to get right with minor changes on my part resulting it quite big swings. Considering TR was going to form the basis of my winter training this is quite disappointing. I hope they fix this asap.

    The neo itself seems ok. It’s louder than I expected from the promotional literature. There is a strong vibrating coming from the unit so I hope it doesn’t go through the floor and annoy the people downstairs.

    There is also a clear revving noise on each revolution which I find a bit odd as it clearly shows the device isn’t smooth so how Tacx can claim a realistic road feel is a bit much I think.

    I updated the firmware today which is a strange process of turning on/off the bluetooth on the phone. Took about 5min in total with some hangs but got there eventually.

    I’m still not sure about the feel of the ride. I will do a longer ride tomorrow and report back.

    • Lee

      That sounds like a broken unit then. Whilst I had various issues, cadence was not one of them, in any app (my main app is TR).

    • Einundsiebzig

      I did a 2h TR ride yesterday. Had no Problem with Cadence there. You use ANT+ right? Try to put the ANT+ USB Dongle as near as you can beside to the trainer with an USB Cable… Then you will not loose the Signal…
      And remember TR is not 100% ready for the NEO! Thats what they mailed me:

      “We are aware of the issue with the Neo. Make sure that your firmware is update-to-date on your Tacx trainer. You can double check for updates in the Tacx app.

      We are waiting on a delivery of a Neo so we can test things in house. Once we do receive the trainer for testing we will be able to workout some of the kinks. I don’t have an ETA on when the Neo will be properly supported, rest assured it’s a top priority for us.

      Sorry I don’t have better news for you. Let me know if you have any other questions.”

    • Btw – as a interesting notable/aside, remember that Tacx does a secondary separated broadcast of speed/power/cadence onto their own ANT+ channels. So you can always simply pair TR to the dedicated ANT+ Cadence channel if you want.

      This is true of all Tacx trainers.

    • Einundsiebzig

      I found out, that the ERG mode in TR on Ipad is way better on ANT+ then it is on Bluetooth. On Ipad may ERG mode is only working on ANT+? I will have to check this again, cause I did not ride a lot under Bluetooth…

    • BritBiker1

      Thanks Ray. How do you do this in TR on the ipad? Apologies, I’m more of a plug and play person as opposed to tech troubleshooter! Thanks

    • Hmm, I haven’t played with the TR iPad version lately, but it should be an option to scan for sensors, and then you should find a Tacx Cadence sensor out there, that’s basically the cadence channel being all solo-cup. It’s designed for bike computers/apps that don’t support it on the same channel as power. But has other uses, such as this.

  96. BritBiker1

    I had it in ‘ergo’ mode if that makes a difference. I was using the ipad app with a ant dongle in the ipad (on the handle bars) so can’t get it any closer to the neo.

    I also found that when connected to the power, on stopping pedalling the cassette would continue spinning so the chain would come off. I notice in Rays video that when he stops the cassette spins down without the pedals spinning. Mine does do this if I don’t connect it to the power.

    • Einundsiebzig

      So you mean you do not have the freehub running free?
      This is not like it should be. If you do not Pedal, the cassette should stay still immediately, also if the tacx Neo Disc is spinning…
      Did you lube the Edco hub? Maybe you screwed the Edco hub to tight to the Neo?

  97. BritBiker1

    When it isn’t connected to power and I stop pedalling the cassette stays still and the hub spins down pretty quickly.

    When it is connected to power and I stop pedalling the cassette continues to spin and the chain slackens. If I take my feet off the pedals they spin freely until the hub stops. It’s like riding a fixed wheel where you cannot stop pedalling.

    I don’t think it is too tight otherwise it would behave the same off the power as it does under it?

    • Glen

      Mine also does this, it spins down for a long while when plugged in and as you say if I take my feet off the pedals they also turn. As yet I havent removed and greased the freehub.

    • Andrew (Uk)

      This is the problem I got when I changed the EDCO hub that came fitted with the new one TACX sent me to try. I described this above.

      Both NEO 1 and 2 come fitted with Hubs that freewheel. However the new Hub (spare sent by TACX) when fitted to NEO 1 = no freewheel. When the cap at the end is not fitted freewheel works, as you tighten it slowly the freewheel stopped rotating. Anything like a tightness that will secure the Hub stops the freewheel. You can even stop it with finger tightness.

      I also suspect the vibration felt above is a variation of the bone sawing I describe.

    • BritBiker1

      I’m confused. Should it freewheel with the pedals moving when connected to the power or not?

      Does anyone else have a unit that vibrates? Mine is the same as the video posted by Sean above (copy pasted here: link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com )

      Also the cadence doesn’t read on TR.

      Do I have a dodgy unit?

    • Andrew (Uk)

      It should freewheel whether you have it plugged into power or not. The chain should never go slack or come off when you stop pedalling. It should always behave just like your bike would on the road.

    • BritBiker1

      I see. On mine I can rotate the hub with my hand and it will rotate the pedals.

      It also sounds sort of similar to Lee’s video here (link to youtube.com )

      I’ll take another look tomorrow but starting to feel quite disappointed.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Andrew, nope… this is not true. If you don’t have power on the unit, the freewheel stops within 1 or two seconds… If the unit is powered on, the freewheel runs longer… Also if you are on a descent and plug of power, unit stops within verz short time, and this is how it should be….

    • Andrew (Uk)

      I will rephrase my answer to be clearer. Under neither condition should the freewheel cause the chain to be pushed forward and unravel before the FD risking it being trapped in the cranks / etc.

      Which is what happens to mine when I fit the spare hub and the freewheel becomes fixed.

  98. Lee

    This is getting quite ridiculous with the amount of common faults. “Mine does that too” is the new Tacx motto it seems.

    My advice would be to adopt the same position with your place of purchase that my LBS has done with the distributor/Tacx – quite simply “Don’t send me another one until you’ve sorted out all of the issues.”

    I’m now out – I returned mine for a full refund. However I note also that fitment on – shall we say, “unusual” bikes – is also a concern. I pickup my TT bike on Monday, so almost certainly that would be another nail in the coffin. My plan was to sit on the TT bike all over winter getting used to the position.

    Don’t get too despondent guys, just remember the grass isn’t always greener. I’m already into beta firmware to get a useable trainer with the KICKR Snap I bought for the wife/son…. they all have their fair share of issues and I just think that in this niche high end sports industry it takes a good few months, maybe even a year before all niggles are ironed out, all firmware’s are stable and all apps have good sold support.

    • Einundsiebzig

      So far I can tell you, from my club now three other friends have a tacx Neo, and no one has had a problem with the Trainer. One of them failed installing the firmware the first time, but second try was successful. All trainers are silent. Two of us did the Edco hub maintenance, also without problems. Mine now has over 75h of Zwift, thats almost over 2400km of distance. The longest ride I did through Ironman Hawaii Live coverage with over 5h30 with no drops in Zwift and Neo is still silent, very responsive and does just what it has to do…
      Normal talking without raising voice is absolutely no problem while standing next to the trainer… And for sure I’m not a Tacx fanboy, tested all kind of other trainers, Airstreeem, Kickr, Bushido, Cyclus2. Next to my Cyclus2 the Neo is the best Trainer I’ve ever used…

    • BritBiker1

      Einundsiebzig – Does your Neo vibrate? I have mine on a mat and I can feel the vibrations through the mat.

      If you rotate the large silver hub with your hand do the pedals move? Mine do..

      I have no idea if mine is faulty or not.

    • Joe

      You’re not making this easy……

    • Andrew (Uk)

      I’ve had mine in bits AGAIN tonight. Greased the hub again and used all the information / feedback above to do it flawlessly.

      A 10 minutes spin seemed to have no clanking, but this means little without a longer test which I will try to do tomorrow evening. There’s a definite “roughness” in the smallest cogs when on the big ring.

      To be honest I’m sure everyone’s fed up of these updates.

    • Einundsiebzig

      You say: There’s a definite “roughness” in the smallest cogs when on the big ring.
      It is really hard to understand descriptions for sound or feel in words…
      As you said you are using a new bike, especially for the trainer, I guess you are on a brandnew chain and cassette also? In my opinion, all you need is to index your gearing right an you will be happy…

    • Einundsiebzig

      I replied to Andrews post… My answer to your question read below!

    • Andrew (UK)

      I agree that it’s very difficult to describe what I’m experiencing. All I can say is that “bone-sawing” is a very accurate description of the issue in it’s worst form (how it is on Neo 2). This is the same thing, but milder. Gentle bone-sawing.!

      Unfortunately Einundsiebzig I never claimed to be a bike engineer and still don’t. If my real bike has issues over above cleaning, lubing & tyres I take it to the LBS and let them deal with it. I even have Di2 on my main road bike to avoid any indexing issues. And before you ask, my main bike will not fit on the Neo due to Thru-Axles and Disc brakes.

      As you summise everything is new on this bike, it is based on 2015 Shimano 105 (11-speed). It changes gear perfectly on the Neo, there are no “half way in/out” noises you often hear on the road when the next gear doesn’t fully engage, it’s solidly in gear with every click. I’m afraid I don’t know enough to start indexing gears to solve a problem that may / not be related to that.

      With a £1000+ device I expect to just be able to put the bike on it and ride. The fact I have to fit a cassette is annoying, but ok if it works. Above that I just expect it to work. I don’t mind a recommendation for a new cassette and chain (check!), but I then expect it to work. I don’t expect to need to be a qualified bike mechanic.

    • Lee

      With the greatest of respect Andrew, you are mis-informed regarding DI2. It is not a magical fix for indexing issues. It just allows you to index your gears easier through the shifters, however you still need to manually set your high and low stops, plus front derailleur position/height.

      I do sympathise but this is what I hinted at before with regards to the suitability of a wheel-off design. I just don’t think its for all people. It is NOT just a “fit and forget”. You will always have to reindex because a cassette will never be in the same position on a trainer as it is in your wheel.

    • andi

      this roughness… I think it’s just a chain / cassette thing. Which is not a real problem, I think.

    • Sean

      No it’s not. But that has been said often enough to repeat again.

  99. Einundsiebzig

    My Neo is also starting to yowl a little bit when I do cadence above 100-110 RPM with power over 200 to 250 Watts. I think this is just an airflow of the plastic turbine wheel inside the NEO… All up to 90-95 RPM is absolutly silent. My Neo also vibrated a little bit when I did efforts over 350 to 500 Watts. But this is gone since i put grease on the Edco hub ring…

    If I turn the large silver disc on the Neo clockwise, the pedals are not moving. If I turn it counterclockwise, pedals move backwards…

    Have you done the Edco maintenance? Maybe you did not do it right. Very important is to screw the freehub not too tight on to the Neo. Just slightly over handtight… In Nm I would say 0.5 to 1 Nm. This is enough, cause the freehub don’t need to be press screwed onto the axis.

    • Andrew (Uk)

      0.5 / 1nm ? I’d like to see something official from TACX before tightening so loosely. I gently used an Allen Key just to make sure it was solid, but estimate 2/3nm. Can’t image that makes any difference.

      I tried tightening the hub tighter and with the old hub the freewheel works perfectly no matter how tight. The new hub stops working with very light pressure.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Way too much. Remember how easy it was to unscrew the hubscrew… I talked to our german distributer on phone and he gave me the advice NOT to overtighten it and only to screw it that there is nomore play in between screw and edco hub.
      If you tighten to much, you put pressure onto the bearings wich is not very good for a smooth running. Handtight is enough, cause you put pressure with the quick releases quite on to the dropouts, wich makes the srew almost impossible to get loose…

      Have you ever mounted a hub and indexed the play of the wheel axis and bearings? If you over tight the screws there, your wheel does not rotate a single mm….

    • Lee

      For what it’s worth, Wahoo recommend 8lbft on the nut holding the freehub on the kickr.

      However he’s right the hub ain’t going anywhere 🙂

    • Lee

      Sorry just checked it’s 6 now.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Which is 8nm and WAY higher than I have done it up. An official answer would be nice.

  100. Einundsiebzig

    I think we all agree, that all this problems should not come up anyway…
    So maybe I was only a lucky one out of a all the other Neos…
    Mine has a serial Number in the fivehundrets, so pretty sure that it is one out of the first batch…
    My friends Neos have Serial Numbers in between 1200 and 1500… Definitely newer than my Neo…

  101. Britbiker1

    I see. I will try and loosen the edco tomorrow. I did do mine up as tight as I could. Maybe this is causing the problem?

  102. Einundsiebzig

    Like I said… Remember how easy it was to open the srew… As tight as you could is not the best option to mount a hub…

  103. BritBiker1

    I loosened everything this morning and still the same. If I rotate the silver hub by hand in either direction the pedals are rotated too. There is also a low level hum that comes from the unit.

    I will raise it with Tacx and see what they say.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Does that low hum result in a horrible bone-sawing feel through the bike when you pedal ? Especially when using the smaller cogs with the big ring ?

    • Britbiker1

      No, not a ‘horrible bonesaw’ feeling. It is just louder than I would expect and you can feel the vibrations on the mat. It also gets louder the harder you pedal.

      It might actually be working as intended and my expectations aren’t aligned.

      It might also be myself which has set it up incorrectly, which would be preferable as then I can get it working properly as opposed to it being faulty!

    • Andrew (UK)

      Ironically though, Neos are marketed as “Zero Maintenance”. And any premium premium product like this shouldn’t need a Masters Degree in Bike Science to get it working properly.

      Perhaps this is the reason that Wahoo fit the KickR with a hub and a cassette as default. Then they can QA exactly what the customer is getting and make sure it works as intended. It seems here that there’s potential Neo issues, potential EDCO issues, potential issues installing a cassette, etc…. There are so many places that problems could be and it’s very hard for anyone (customer or TACX) to control everything.

    • BritBiker1

      It would be good if Tacx or someone else put a video up on YouTube demonstrating the assembly, preferably with an 11 speed shimano. Then I’d have a better idea if I’d screwed it up! 🙂

    • Andrew (UK)

      The process of installing the cassette is very simple, I had to do it 5 or 6 times this weekend – lol. I did consider making a video, but my hands were constantly covered in oil / grease.

      With an 11-speed Shimano you have the easiest install and its the same as I have. Quick description below.

      Put the Neo on it’s side (collapse 1 leg) so that the hub is pointing up.
      You do not need any spacers before the cassette goes on.
      Place the cassette onto the hub, part by part.
      It will only go on 1 way so you cant get this wrong.
      Then you will need the EDCO 11 or 12 ring to tighten it on. This is determined by the size of your smallest cog. So 11-32 = 11.
      You will also need a chain whip because the hub / “wheel” will rotate in both directions.
      Hold the cassette with the Chain Whip and tighten very tight with the Campag Cassette Tool. (40nm).
      Job done.

      Hope this helps.

    • Britbiker1

      Thanks. I’ve actually installed one before but am sort of hoping I’ve done it wrong as that would be an easy fix!

      I reinstalled it over lunch and was careful to make sure everything was lined up correctly etc. I now have the clanking sound too 🙁 Couldn’t work out if it was the bike or not though.

      The pedals still move irrespective of which way I rotate the silver hub.If I stop pedalling the chain slackens and fly’s off.

      Waiting to hear back from Tacx.

      Attached is a video (if it works!). I’m not sure it sounds correct?

    • Einundsiebzig

      Sorry, but so far what I see is a pretty silent NEO with a bad indexed Shifting… 🙁
      Are you sure you fine tuned your shifting right?

    • BritBiker1

      How did you get ‘bad indexing’ from that?

      I didn’t change gear once. The chain was in the middle (six cogs in) of the 11 cogs (so not cross chaining).

      I think there is something wrong with the hub. It doesn’t spin freely like a wheel would. It is firmly attached to the unit so whichever way to silver hub is rotated the pedals also rotate.

    • Andrew (UK)

      I can’t comment on indexing; however, if your hub does not freewheel then it’s broken and you need to open a ticket with TACX.

      I was sent a replacement hub (pre greased) to try on my first Neo this weekend. When I fitted it I had the same issue – no freewheel and my chain shot forward onto the floor when I stopped. At first I thought I was going mad, surely not another different issue, had I broken something on the bike when taking it off ? After closer inspection (and a brief spell in the asylum) I switched back to the old hub (which came with it) and the freewheel was ok again. Later I discovered that the new hub freewheel did work with no cap on the end to hold it in place, but at the cap was added and tightened (with fingers, gently) it stops rotating. So not all the hubs are the same.

      If the freewheel doesn’t work your chain will either come off, end up on the floor or jam in the cranks if