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

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

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

The Executive Overview:

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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 helpful? Or just wanna save 10%?

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

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

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

Tacx NEO Smart Trainer

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

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2,164 Comments

  1. jezz

    On another note regarding bearings, the inner diameter of the outer bearing of the freehub is too big for the shaft by a few thou.

    • nicx

      You noticed that too? I saw the movement there when I was greasing the freehub.

    • jezz

      I did indeed.
      The end cup that you screw on clamps the bearing so I’d thought about just putting a bit of tape on the shaft to help centre it before clamping it with cap; not ideal but better than not

      It’s pretty poor that on a £1k product simple schoolboy stuff like clearances, grease etc are awry.

      Is there a howto on how to check and preload the disc bearing?

    • nicx

      If you read post #947 I mention how it appears there is no way to preload the bearing with the original setup.

  2. Glen

    As the cause of the sawbone noise/vibration has now been identified as being a manufacturing fault, has anybody heard if Tacx are going to be doing a product recall or do we just return our faulty units to where we purchased them fromand hope the current stock is OK.

  3. marvin

    most ideal situation would be that the LBS do this and swap the units that have a problem. New units will be ok.

  4. JP

    It seems the single biggest problem with the Neo is the fact they didn’t just include a cassette.

    I plan to buy a Neo to allow me to get a good cardio workout at home… In a way that I will be entertained enough to extend my workouts to the 1+ hour length, on a daily basis.

    I have no chain whip… No spare cassette or cassette nut. While mechanically inclined, I have no real desire to be a bike mechanic. While I have a lot of tools, I actually do not have a torque wrench for the proper tightening of the cassette nut. (I realize I can get away without that, but still) Aside from the multi-hub problem(s), I just really would rather not bother – I’d prefer, like it’s competitors, to just take it into my living room, and pop the bike on in a few minutes and be done.

    I think it’s a massive fail by the product management team at Tacx to not just do what other manufacturers have done. And now with the problems of the multi-hub, they are living with their poor product requirement decisions. (They could have handled a different # speed configuration via special order if it was really important to some people)

    But since I live in a flat, trainer noise is a big concern for me… So in the end I’ll likely buy a Neo. I’d like to wait until they get their next revision out. While I realize their next generation might be 1-2 years away (or more), it is possible in 6 months they have an interim revision that addresses the uncommon (but very painful considering these aren’t readily available at most LBS’s) problems.

    • andi

      well, in general you are right – there should be an option to order the NEO with a cassette … but which one? Campa? Shimano? 12-28? 11-29? 10 speed? 11 speed? hmmm … so many choices …

      And really the Edco multi cassette body is not bad – it works perfectly with my Shimano 10 speed cassette.

    • jezz

      I think the Edco solution (when installed correctly) is fine, and I agree that supplying a cassette is a can of worms. Too many variables.

      They should supply a Campag tool though. I had a choice of cassettes, but no campy tool when my Neo arrived.

    • JP

      I know guys – you do bring up valid points.

      The thing is though – the “trainer to buy” before the Neo came out was what, the Kickr? Which of course, comes with a cassette, right?

      The problems from the (granted more mature product at this point) Kickr, are a lot less, are they not?

      I’d love to have the Neo already – really I would. But as someone said just below, the place I would have bought it from (Clever Training)… Brand new unit one would think as they just arrived… And it still has problems. (Although likely unrelated to the multihub)

    • Adam

      Have to say I’m shocked by the people that don’t have chain whips and tools required to change cassettes. What do you all do every year when chain and cassette wear requires replacements?

      Lbs? If so then I don’t see what the fuss is all about getting lbs to fit the trainer cassette.

      You do realise one cassette won’t last forever on the neo, right? Unless you want the cassette to wear the chain to wear the chainrings costs even more money ?

    • andi

      “They should supply a Campag tool though. I had a choice of cassettes, but no campy tool when my Neo arrived.”

      yes, a Campy tool is not very expensiv if you have to buy it, but if you are not aware that you need one when you buy your NEO it is annoying.

      And if I can order a Campy tool for 7 Euro I can imagine for what a price TACX could get a few thousands for the delivery with the NEOs…

    • Trevor Fielder

      Not me. I know a guy who has over a dozen ironmans under his belt including overseas ones and all he can do is change tires.

  5. Mattv

    Update on Neo experience.
    bought from Clever training.. Arrived clearly opened an retaped.

    After riding a few short test rides that seemed fine, it has begun an extremely pronounced clunking (bonesawing??) vibration. Sounds like what others have experienced. totally not rideable.

    Worse yet, Tacx support has not responded in 3 days.

    I would second the other’s advice NOT to buy this at this time..

    • Ron

      Why doesn’t Clever Training take it back, exchange it for a good one, and make it right? You bought it from them, not Tacx.

    • Tony

      Hey Mattv- how many miles did you end up riding? I have completed 5 laps in zwift, two over an hour RLV rides with the Tacx TTS software, and a few VR rides also in the Tacx TTS software. No issues so far, still whisper quiet and the only weird noise is a very faint hum when the Neo is sitting idle. I talked to Tacx and they said to unplug the Neo from the rear plug or unplug it from the outlet. I have it on a powerstrip and just turn it off after each ride. Let us know what clever training with the return. As stated earlier you should be able to deal directly with them and not Tacx. I asked about any returns before mine arrived and they stated they would cover the return shipping if your unit had problems. Best of luck and sorry to hear of your Neo’s fault. What was your serial number on the Neo? Thanks

    • Tacx Support

      Hi Mattv, is this not the Edco issue
      link to tacxdata.com

      If that is not the case you do need to return i, but it does not looks like it. Sound recordigs are the best in these cases

  6. Matt vW

    Hi Tony,
    I probably rode 40k on zwift. It was fine on zwift, but it bucked once in the ride. Got on today and it was fine for a few minutes, then it started riding poorly. When I first got it, I noticed I could not turn the axle by hand without it being very hard to turn and very rough, but once I plugged it in it seemed to ride fine. I called clever today but the very rude woman said I’d have to call back on Monday (((

    Good thing I have a Kickr…

    • Tony

      Matt- I really hope she was just having a bad day- so far my communications with them have been pleasant- Your Neo problems sounds like it is a malfunctioning magnet situation. Especially if you describe it has notching or feeling resistance then no resistance? choppy feeling? Also what is your SR# on the Neo? mine is 00828. Trevor looks like his is 00818. Just want to keep note of SR# to see if there are any batch correlations.

    • Mattv

      Tony- I think it might have been the answering service… still not the best experience.
      Strangely, my iphone or ipad apps do not report the serial number., i could see where it gets displayed, but there was no number…

      I really liked this trainer when it was working. i think this type of device is the future of trainers. Always risky buying 1st generation equipment..

  7. Trevor Fielder

    3 laps in on zwift with my neo and issue free. 10 speed shimano hub installed with the provided spacer and no issues. Caad10 plenty of clearance on the chainstay and seatstays. As mentioned above the unit would not turn when it first arrived. I plugged it in, heard a loud magnetic click, and the thing has been perfect ever since. I dont put out a big wattage so its possible i need to stress it sone more but so far its perfect.

    • Trevor Fielder

      My serial number is 801500818

    • Mattv

      Mine behaved the same way when I first got it and plugged it, as if the magnets retracted and allowed the disc to spin. After a bit of riding, it “locked down” again and not it not only has high resistance that is fixed, it has pronounced “notchy” feel and is completely unrideable..

    • Mattv

      After playing around with my unit a bit more, I’m not sure my unit is actually experiencing the same “bonesaw” issue as other have reported. Mine is more of stair stepping kind of feeling (very pronounced.) The unit is recognized by Zwift (and the Tacx App), but it does not output any information to the software and the colored lights don’t flash underneath when I (attempt) to pedal….
      I was able to update the unit to the latest firmware before it locked up.

    • Tony

      Hey Trevor- I only noticed 5 numbers on my iPhone ap when it showed my SR#. Mine is 00828- I think our units are 10 apart from the assembly line lol-

    • Trevor

      Interesting our numbers are so close. I did a lap (10 Miles) on the richmond course yesterday and I actually though I had the sawbone issue. Vibrations coming up all through the bike in the last two rings of the rear cassette. So I took a look at my chainline and discovered that my front derailleur was rubbing when I was in the big ring. It was not rubbing enough that I would have even noticed outdoor, but it was creating horrible vibes on the NEO. So after resolving that, my 12 ring is buttery smooth and my 11 ring still has a really mild vibe to it with some increased noise. I attribute that to the fact that the cassette is set further out than on a typical wheel because I have a 10 speed instead of the 11. So, I can live with that because I am almost never in the 11 ring, and best of all, I dont believe there is anything wrong with my neo at this time other than maybe a slight alignment issue. I have never been a fan of FSA cranks which is what came stock on my CADD10 and could be causing some of the issues, so unless the sawbone effect comes back, I think I am still good to go. You guys have me closely monitoring it though!

      Oh and I got my serial number from the sticker on the bottom of the neo leg. Probably why I came up with more numbers.

    • Andi

      well, I noticed that the setup and adjustment of the drivetrain system requires more thoroughness with the NEO compared to my real bike … maybe it is just because you notice the chain / cassette noises more when riding indoors compared to riding on the road.

      And when I ride outdoors climbing / grinding up steep hills in the Alps the chain / cassette does make noises, too. Not all (I do not dare to make a guess how many…) problems described here are TACX`s fault …

  8. Emmanuel

    My Neo produces the metallic clunking sound when the flywheel is rotated by hand. I didn’t even bother trying it with my bike because. Tacx Support posted a message here saying that this problem was limited to early units. Mine has serial number 801501128 in case anyone is interested in getting an idea of how many units are included in the “early units” batch.

    • Trevor

      Emmanuel, you may be making a big mistake here. You need to put a minimum amount of force on the unit for it to work properly. Its not designed to be rotated by hand without a bike hooked to it. I can tell you that with my bike connected if I rotate my crank arm by hand I hear the same clunking, but as soon as I apply a minimum ammount of effort, it properly engages and there are Zero problems. I’m not trying to say your unit isnt bad, but I dont know how you could possibly determine that without connecting a bike and giving it a try.

    • Tacx Support

      i do believe something is wrong here. If that sounds like metal it means there is a metal residue in it. Yes your model is in that batch as mentioned before

    • Emmanuel

      Tacx Support, Thanks for the confirmation about the batch. The trainer is on its way back to my online retailer after confirmation from support@tacx.com that it is defective.

      Is there a cut-off serial # that I can tell me retailer not to ship back to me? I fear that their stock might consist only of early units and don’t want to risk having to do another return cycle given the long delays and high shipping costs.

    • Emmanuel

      Trevor, Nice idea but I get the noise when I pedal too. Sounds like metal hitting and scraping inside. I had decided to mount the bike to the trainer to confirm that it fit properly before returning it for exchange. For those interested:

      Bike: Argon 18 Krypton (2012 model year)
      Groupset: Campy Record – short cage
      Cassette: Edco 11-27 with the Edco-supplied sliver spacer ring installed as per Tacx instructions
      Result: No interference even when in the 27T cog.

    • Chris

      So the lower portion of your rear derailleur blackplate does not touch the bottom bulge of the neo frame at all? Post a pic.. Id like to see this… put it in your 27 cog and take a close up pic of your rear derailleur from thw back.. the only way I could get my actual campy 11s cassette to work was to place a small piece of foam with double sided tape to the neo so when I shift to the top cog, it stops the rd from hitting the neo… works great now…

    • Emmanuel

      Chris,

      I don’t have my trainer out now because I’m preparing to return it (it’s my second one and I think it is afflicted by the sawbone problem) but I do remember that the bottom of my cage came within about 1.5mm of the bump-out in the Neo frame when in the 27T cog.

      I wonder if it is because I’m using the Edco cogs that I don’t have a problem. Or maybe it is a derailleur hanger issue – I check my hanger alignment early this past summer and it was bang on.

    • Emmanuel

      Oops. I was wrong. I dragged out my Neo again to try to convince myself that I don’t have a bonesaw issue and my derailleur DOES rub. I must have been in 25T instead of 27T.

      Indeed, the upper jockey-wheel screw on the inner plate rubs against the silver disk when in the largest cog. And the bottom part of the plate is either just touching or a small fraction of a mm away from the plastic frame of the Neo. I am using the silver spacer that came with the Edco cogs (11sp Campy Record short-cage).

      Sorry for the false report that the Neo was actually working properly 🙂

      I’ve reported to Tacx Support to see what they say but I guess there’s nothing to do about it other than returning the Neo to the store and buying a Kickr or just not using the smallest gear.

    • Lee C

      Emmanuel, not so fast.

      I have a Kickr and I cannot use the lowest gear.

      This applies to:
      10 year old bike which last year was upgraded to 11 speed Shimano 105
      1 year old BMC GF01 with Shimano Ultegra Di2

      Both are medium cage mechs.

      In the lowest gear the mech touches the Kickr housing.

  9. Ian

    Am thinking of pulling the trigger on one, but the failure rate, is off putting. Just the faffing around with tacx and the lbs, when I could be riding my bike.

    Would tacx be good enough to publish the number of units with issues? If less than 2% I can live with those odds

    • Trevor

      Ian, for me its about the silence of this unit. If anyone can get a lemon it is me and mine is working fine. It’s so quiet, you will be very happy with your purchase. You need a cassette, campy lockring tool and chain whip, and you need to read the instructions to get the proper spacers installed for the multisys hub. By design this unit is 1000 times more simple than others so although some folks are having issues, in the long run I expect this to be one of the most reliable units on the market. YOLO my friend, nobody has been denied warranty to date so get what you want.

  10. Stevster

    Hi,
    I know most people on this forum are receiving issues with the Neo unit itself however for anyone has got past this stage as far as saving an activity on the cycling app (tablet) and loading it into garmin connect?
    I’m getting wildly inaccurate calorie and ascent figures. I have tried loading the exports directly into strava yet.

    Thanks

    • Andi

      I am using three different softwares for recording my training and ride (Garmin, Strava and another program on my MacBook … and when it comes to calories values I get three different values because every software uses it’s own algorithm for calculation.

      Same with the altitude meters … I know that for example the Garmin Edge firmware does level out small climbs so that this value is in general lower as for the same ride as in Strava for example. Especially when I ride here in Northern Germany where we have mostly smaller climbs, When I ride in the Alps with longer climbs for example this is not the case … maybe this might be with you, too

  11. Tacx Support

    Just an update. Ps if you send a mail to support@tacx.com you always receive a ticket ID number within a couple of minutes. If not something went wrong (had some reports of barricuda blockers) You can als DM on FB or send a tweet that you did not receive any.

    Some info on the “bonesaw” issue reported by Lee in the beginning. We received nit from a german customer who had this issue so we could investigate it. It is related to a bearing not being locked up correct. There is a simple fix, but can only be performed by a Distributor (bearing is behind the metal disc). In case you hear that sound that lee has, please send a sound recording to support@tacx.com, so we can tell you if this is the case or it s Edco related (which is greasing). Our FAQ site on our website will also be updated.

  12. Michael

    Tacx Support Wrote: “Our FAQ site on our website will also be updated”
    That would be nice seeing as currently, the Home > Analyse > Solutions link does not even list the Neo:

  13. Øyvind P

    Does anyone know if many (most?) TT bikes will _not_ fit the Tacx Neo? I’m looking to get a Scott Plasma 20 TT at a decent price in a couple of days. It has integrated rear brakes and, although I haven’t checked to be sure, I doubt it will fit the Neo. Ideally I would of course want a TT bike that I can use on the trainer, but if it would prove difficult to find one that actually fits then I’m thinking it might not be worth looking for something else when I can get a good deal on the Plasma 20.

    • Fwiw, it fits my Cervelo P3C.

    • nicx

      I’m pretty sure the Scott Plasma 20 TT will not fit. See post #1181.

    • tricx

      From your picture it seems your Cervelo P3 is a 2010 model? When it comes to compatability with the Neo, do you know of any reason it shouldn’t fit my P3 (58″) 2009 model too?

      From the Tacx Neo compatability stencil it looks very tight. Most so on the left (non-cassette) side, where the edge of the metal “wheel” (not-rotating?) seems very close, right?

      Did you have to set the axle exceptionally far back (by using extra long dropout screws)? I assume one could do the trick by adding the extra 135mm axle spacer, but guess you didn’t do that 🙂

      You haven’t experienced any problems with the frame twisting and making contact with the Neo at heavy load?

    • kcr

      I fitted a 51cm 2008 P3C on a Neo without any problems. I assume you will have more clearance on a 58cm frame, but the template should give you the definitive answer.

    • tricx

      Thanks for feedback. Can now confirm that my 58cm 2010 P3 fitted as well.

    • Hesham

      Hey, i just got a Cervelo P3 frame and it seems very tight from the non cassette side, is that the norm on a 2017/18 Neo (not sure which one i have bough it during black Friday last year)

      The clearance is around 1-2 mm only which is kinda worrying, is it the same case for your P3? do you think its ok to use the bike on the Neo?

  14. Adam

    Pretty annoyed now – my Neo went back to the UK distributors who confirmed it was broken and would need to be replaced.

    Current wait time on more stock? 1 month. :/

  15. Lee

    To be fair, since the sawbone resolution has only just been found, surely any UK stock will already be “in doubt” anyway ??

    Whilst its a bit of a logistical nightmare you’d think the best thing to do would be to get everything sent back, all issues resolved and ensure any stock supplied now has grease and washers 😉

  16. Adam

    cancelled my order, ordering the kickr instead. Love the concept of the Neo but not willing to stress test it for them and pretty disappointed that they havent allocated a reserve for repairs/restock as companies generally do when launching a new product (I thought?) will revisit in a year or so and maybe take the plunge then.

  17. Joe

    So even units not making noise now are basically ticking time bombs without a bearing washer that Can only be replaced by sending the unit in? Will this be covered by warranty? Super disappointing considering we’ll probably all have to pay that shipping ourselves! If my unit just shipped from trisports in the USA will it already have this washer? Or the units from the newest batch still don’t angry the fix of new washer and adequate greasing?

    • Joe

      Cause I’d rather replace a silly washer myself than send it in even if it requires specialized tools. What tools would I need? Will you be sending detailed instructions on how to do it for those of us confident and handy enough to take the job on ourselves?

    • Andrew (UK)

      From the posts so far it appears that solving the “sawing” issue involves access to the insides. Therefore I’d assume that due to possible injury (and in the USA that means a law suit) you’d not be allowed to complete this yourself.

      Hopefully I should get an update on mine later this week with this new knowledge out there. Also my 2nd Neo should now be back at HQ and under investigation to help further with diagnosis.

      I can’t see how any Neo’s have this fix yet, but the $1m question is whether some units were faulty or this is a fault waiting to happen on all.

    • Einundsiebzig

      I doubt you have the right tool for that… 😉 And if you like to know, I does not have this either!

    • Michael

      Exactly what is that tool used for? Most indicate that once the end cap is removed, the freehub comes off fairly easily, so not sure what that bearing puller would be used for.

    • Einundsiebzig

      Therefor!

  18. Joe

    My new just arrived. Ordered from Trisports with 20% discount for the halloween sale. I debated long and hard about cancelling this order and going with kickr– GLAD I WAITED IT OUT!!!

    This is a great specimen so far. Minimal chunky vibration at low speeds, disappears at normal medium speed tempo. The loudest thing in the room by far is my drivetrain. Connection to zwift took all of 5 minutes including updating to latest Neo firmware via iPad. No issues running with cheap ant+ dongle to macbook pro and using HDMI cable to mirror onto my 55″ TV. Love this thing. Can’t wait to do an FTP test as I have never had a power meter and want to structure some good workouts to come out stronger than ever this Spring. Will be putting many hours on this over the next few weeks. Will report back if any issues develop but so far so good.

    Oh and also, Cannondale Super six (non evo) 2013 size 52cm fits no problem in case anyone wondered since someone above had issues with a similar bike.

    • Joe

      typo, oops. My new Neo arrived. Not my ‘new’ arrived. Too excited to do any spell checking haha!

    • Maxdaddy

      Joe. Glad to hear that your Neo is working well. I got mine from TriSport also (serial # 801501772). Started out nicely but second time on it it vibrated like crazy and made quite a racket.

      Took the cassette/hub assembly off and found the little round thing to be bone dry. Greased the doohickey and reinstalled it (very simple to do). Didn’t seem to do much at first but after riding for about 20 minutes the vibrations and noise just about disappeared. Amazing what a little grease can do!

      Hoping that things will be even quieter tomorrow but I suspect the rest of the noise may be my drive train.

    • Joe

      The one negative thing I will add is that I also cannot go into my largest cog on rear cassette without the deraileur hangar rubbing the metal flywheel. Not a big deal to me, I just will try not to use the granny gear in back– not much use for it during training anyway– but worth mentioning.

    • Chris

      Are you running Campagnolo or Shimano.. I have now succesfully got a full 11s Campagnolo 11-27 block to work… I am using a .55mm spacer behind the cassette which is what Mavic wanted Campy users to do on older wheelsets.. I then cut a small square of packing foam , about 1/4 inch thick and put double sided tape on it… Campag rear derailleur touches the bottom frame of the neo… now I have the foam piece there so the back of the rd plate touches the foam and not the neo frame, this keeps the top pulley away from the flywheel as well. not the best solution, but its working fine for me! I am using mechanical drivetrain so there is probably some flex ad forgiveness… Im not sure how something like that would react with electronic with the servo…

    • Chris

      If you run Tacx RLV or Veloreality at the actual gradient you will probably appreciate that small cog.. grab Veloreality’s free Paterberg loop and run full 18% grade!!

    • Andrew (UK)

      “grab Veloreality’s free Paterberg loop and run full 18% grade”

      Lol – No thanks. I’m happy with Zwifts 8-12% slopes that are in fact only simulated at 50% (by default). My knees don’t do 18% even in the real world, let alone on a trainer.

      I’ve now noticed that the rubbing / sawing does occur on the small cassette cogs using the small FD too, just that I never noticed due to changing up to the Big FD before I’d normally use those gears.

      Still trying to just ride around the issue at the moment until support come back with a way forward.

    • Chris

      You can knock veloreality down to whatever level you want too for slope as well…. have you greased the sleeve under the cassette? Takes 2 minutes, 3 minutes if you don’t know how to use an allan key 🙂

  19. Emmanuel

    My second Neo has the sawbone issue. When I ride, there is a vibration/noise that transmits through the bike and floor of my house.

    I sent a recording to tacx support and they said they couldn’t help me and that I needed to contact the dealer. I fear this is going to be a protracted process of convincing my dealer that the unit is actually defective.

    With my first Neo and with my Genius before it (replaced twice in 3 years), Tacx Support had always confirmed that the unit needed to be exchanged which I then provided to my dealer. In fact, the first time I had a problem with my Genius, the dealer said he wouldn’t get it exchanged unless Tacx said it was defective.

    I am worried now that, in the face of many complaints, Tacx is pushing this issue to the dealers to sort out and that customers who bought lemons will be at the mercy of these dealers.

    • Mattv

      That’s too bad. I think this is pretty well understood to be a failed product launch at this point. Hopefully they will get the manufacturing issues ironed out at some point and it’s not a fundamental design issue. I think the basic concept is great and the way most trainers will work in the future…

      I’ve got a second one on order. Hope springs eternal in the human breast….

    • Emmanuel

      Well there does seem to be design issue with respect to clearances for Campy 11sp derailleurs. I can’t believe Tacx didn’t know about this before releasing – they probably decided to release anyways and hope that most customers would just accept that they cannot use their largest cog.

    • andi

      If there is really a problem with Campy 11speed I don’t think that TACX did it with intention…

      and usually for any warranty issues your dealer is responsible. If somethings wrong with the new bike you bought you wouldn’t go directly to, for example, Cannondale.

    • Mattv

      I have Campy 11spd. I can confirm that it does not have clearance for the inner cog. My Kickr has the same problem. The chainline is good and consistent with my bike (I don’t have adjust anything going from wheels to Neo), but the problem is that the metal disc is just too close to the inner cog….

    • Chris

      I have Campy 11s and its working perfect… here’s what I did..

      First its an 11-27 block, where the bottom of the rear derailleur would touch the neo frame , I took a piece of 1/4 inch stiff foam with double sided tape.. where the lower back rear derailleur touches the Neo frame in the 27 cog, I placed this piece of foam.. the foam then draws the upper pulley away from the flywheel and I can dial in my 27 cog to make it work.. I am also using a mavic .55mm spacer behind the cassette to make it work…

    • Tony

      Chris is there a chance you could post a picture of how you did your fix? Thanks

  20. jim

    I can’t seem to find the answers to the following questions. How much side-to-side movement (preferably in degrees of tilt) does it have? How quickly does it respond to changes in power for intervals? And is there software control that allows one to shape the rise and fall of the power curve, or is there only a square wave option? Thanks

    • Mattv

      I don’t know the exact amount, but it seems like a couple of degrees. I find it to be distracting. It does not feel natural at all.
      Perhaps if it had a rubber bumper or spring to give it a little dampening it would be better.
      Get rollers if you want to simulate sprinting……

    • Tony

      Jim- I find the slight side to side motion kind of cool and realistic enough. I ride Zwift, and Tacx TTS4 so far and I think the changes in resistance respective of the grade changes are good. I really like how smooth and quiet my Neo is and so far no problems other than my Camp 10 speed rubbing in the largest rear cog on the metal disc on the Neo.

    • Einundsiebzig

      In some previous post from Tacx support, is a link to a PDF!
      link to tacxdata.com

    • nicx

      In actual fact I believe you will find the main body has practically 0 movement. Its the fact that the axle housing bends down on the drive side that creates the effect of tilt. Just look and any videos, or behind yourself if you own one, and you can see this happening.

  21. Chris

    Heres the pic of foam for the 11s guys… on the 39×27 now the bottom rd back plate just rests on the foam… as for the 10s setup.. i still put a .55 spacer i used on mavic wheels behind the block.. just like i did for 11s

  22. roader

    Utility app for Android!!!
    link to play.google.com

    • Chris

      For any users (like me) who borrowed a friend apple device to update the firmware, the 2 versions are the same.. so android users if you updated the firmware from an apple device.. this is NOT a newer firmware version than what we have already..

  23. Volker

    “…or significant other who is desperately trying to watch Grey’s Anatomy re-runs in the same room.”

    HAHAHA! Funny you should mention that. What about significant others who use the training bike WHILE watching Grey’s Anatomy re-runs? Which is what my significant other is actually doing.

    I guess the NEO is a must-have then, because apparently it reduces the need for using headphones (or at least the volume needed to overcome the trainer’s noise) to much more manageable levels…

    “Honey, I HAD to buy that new trainer just so you can watch Grey’s Anatomy in a much more comfortable way! Oh yes, we, er, you DO need that!”

    😀 😀 😀

    Cheers,
    – Volker

  24. Steven

    Just a follow up on how things are going. I went over to a friends house who has a Kickr and am reminded how loud that is in comparison.

    I started hearing the gumball/cracking noise so I will be greasing my hub. This is at about 300k into riding it.

    I have had it happen twice now where if I try to go from 50w to ~800w input in slope/sim mode it flashes red and pretty much locks up..

    My BB creaking (stupid pressfit) is usually louder than any noise it makes.

    Downside: it does vibrate, and I do hope the neighbors don’t feel/hear the vibrations through the floor. I am considering if during an ERG mode workout if the neo or a kickr in the easiest gear is actually quieter as perceived by neighbors/my wife. In any other gear than 36f 25r the NEO is definitely quieter, but on the KICKR I could cheat during sufferfest workouts and just use the easiest gear to keep the belt/resistance unit moving as slowly as possible. I think with the NEO using the small front ring is good to keep the chain moving more slowly (avoiding chain noise) and then using a cog in the middle of the casette to keep the unit spinning a little faster so it is smoother.

  25. Mauro

    I rode my Neo for the first time this weekend on Zwift and TTS and so far I am VERY impressed. The first thing I did after taking the unit out of the box was to grease the cassette axle and teeth thoroughly, all I needed was a 5mm allen key to remove the cassette body. I then updated the unit to the latest firmware using an android tablet, the procedure worked perfectly.

    I chose the Neo over the Kickr due to the fact that I already own many Tacx TTS videos, I wanted a trainer that would support the Tacx software as well as all other software such as Zwift, trainer Road etc. This trainer makes the Zwift experience extremely realistic, changes in gradient were almost instant while descents give you a realistic feel and much needed rest. Sprints were very realistic and ramping up was very hard just like real outdoor riding. The Tacx TTS software worked perfectly, just as my Tacx Genius trainer however things felt a lot smoother. From grade changes and soft pedaling things felt much more realistic.

    During the three hours of riding I ran into zero issues, no weird sounds, no overheating. The top of the trainer was hot to the touch after my ride but I could feel an internal fan moving the air out the vents.

    I understand that forgetting to grease parts is almost unforgivable for a trainer of this price but it is very simple to do and most of us already have the tools and grease to get this done easily. It is probably something I will do before each trainer season anyway just to be sure this trainer lasts me a long time.

    • Mauro

      And of course after about 4 hours of riding my Neo started to get the sawbone effect. The trainer seems to still work perfectly but the noise is annoying and the vibrations can be clearly felt through the bike. When coasting the sound is like a whomp-whomp-whomp and it seems that some parts are running inside the unit. Holding the metal disc does not make the sound go away.

      Has there been any details posted about the cause or a potential fix for the sawbone sound?

      Thanks, Mauro.

  26. Trevor

    Any update on Neo’s erg mode smoothness?

    • Ian S

      I’ve a Neo, it will never be as ‘smooth’ as the kickr in erg mode as the flywheel on the kickr basically smoothes the power output. That doesn’t mean that the power is being applied any differently, it means the kickr probably masks the reality. I find the Neo great in erg mode on both TR and zwift with the new firmware.

    • Julian

      I did an erg mode session the other day with TrainerRoad:

      base level 150 W
      30s intervals with 450W
      multiple intervals with 1min to 5min duration, 1-2 min break in between.

      No issues whatsoever, resistance came on quickly but not too quickly! I noticed the resistance ramping up about 1s before the actual interval started and I guess maybe around 0.5s after the start it was full on.

      I liked it! (Don’t have a direct comparison to the kickr though!)

  27. Stevster

    Anyone had problems pairing the Neo with TTS4?
    When I scan for device it doesn’t appear!

    • Tony

      No problems pairing my Neo with TTS4. Make sure you are on the latest firmware for the Neo using the smart phone App and also unfair any other trainer you might have paired up to TTS4. I have a Fortius, Genius, Vortex, and Neo so each time I ride each trainer I have to unfair that device then rescan for the trainer I want to ride. Hope this helps.

    • Andrew (UK)

      No problems pairing the Neo with TTS4 either. I installed TTS4 yesterday and it found the Neo straight away. I used my regular ANT+ dongle (used for Zwift) to do so.

      Btw – A tip seems to be to avoid riding the Villagio course as there are some bugs. So pick one of the others. Trust me to pick the bugged one as a demo, hope to try another at the weekend.

      Also intend to have a go at a film as soon as I can this week. Thanks to TACX Support for helping out here.

      Fingers crossed I’ll soon be able to get my Neo sawing issue resolved. At least it seems as if the common Neo issues are known and the fixes are too. TACX support have been very good so far and hopefully I’ll be reporting a fully working Neo in the near future.

      Have to admit that the wealth of software out there to go with the Neo is great. I’m hoping I’ll be able to combine rides in TTS4 with TACX Films and regular use of Zwift ALL linking into and updating Strava. It’s not all working yet, but the future looks pretty bright.!

    • Lee

      I have TrainerRoad workouts going straight into Strava. Zwift rides straight into Strava. TTS4 RLV rides straight into Strava. Don’t need a Neo for any of that 😉

      Does look like all issues are out of the closet now, so once you’ve got rid of the bonesaw you’ll be sorted 🙂

      Interestingly I get what people are on about with the KICKR and noise. Up until recently I’ve only ever used it in ERG mode with little ring, so its rotational speed and thus noise has been low. In Zwift now, always in the big ring with the KICKR flying around and it does whine somewhat. I think the whining is due to one of the smaller pulley wheels inside spinning at speed, not the main flywheel. Certainly the KICKR Snap is silent.

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee — “I have TrainerRoad workouts going straight into Strava. Zwift rides straight into Strava. TTS4 RLV rides straight into Strava. Don’t need a Neo for any of that”

      I find a Neo helps greatly for all the above. When I take the Neo away the bike is much lower down at the back, very unbalanced, the pedals no longer go around and I get an oily chain all over the nice carpet. Zwift, TR and TTS4 all refuse to talk to my front wheel too 🙁

    • nicx

      A theory proffered by someone claiming to know about this sort of stuff claimed that it is because of the type of belt that has been selected. He said the whine on the Kickr at high revs may well be coming from the air escaping as the belt mates with the teeth. If that is the case then I suspect if you put a small cut at the bottom of each indent for the air to escape you might be able to silence it somewhat.

    • Ron

      Not a sound idea. How much of a cut? Would only serve to weaken the belt. You wouldn’t do that with a fan belt in a car, would you?

    • Tony

      Andrew- Glad issues are being sorted for you so you can enjoy your Neo as much as the rest that are reporting no problems. Mine is still spot on perfect and quiet. I only ride TTS4 VR and RLV, Zwift, and Veloreality. I also found out the hard way that VR Villagio was not responding correctly but all the RLV’s I have done so far are great.

    • nicx

      Cut in the bottom of the indent on the wheels, not the belt. Just a small gap for air to escape, kind of like tread on a tire.

  28. kcr

    Even located in the garage, my trusty old Tacx Grand Excel is so noisy it wakes up the rest of the household, so a silent trainer is a very attractive proposition, and I have been following this discussion with some interest.

    Unless I have missed something in the thread, there seem to be 3 known issues reported so far; weld fragments contaminating the rotor, ungreased hub components, and a problem with the axle bearing assembly.

    A question for Tacx, if they are reading this, please – are there still units out in the marketplace that have one or more of these defects, and am I taking pot luck on getting a fully functioning Neo if I buy at the moment?

    • marvin

      your LBS has to do the adjustments so it’s best you ask them if it they greased everything etc.

    • kcr

      OK, so a retailer should be able to do all the mods necessary to fix units now?

    • Andrew (UK)

      As I understand it the distributer has to make the fixes. Your LBS cannot.

    • kcr

      Just an update to my own question:
      I contacted the UK distributor to ask about this, and they informed me that they believe Tacx are applying the fixes during manufacturing, so everything now being imported should be OK (as far as the known issues are concerned). They think that most of the UK stock that was imported before the known issues were identified has probably now been sold, but obviously can’t guarantee this.
      So if you can get new stock, you should be OK (assuming there are no new issues to be uncovered) but I guess there could still be some lemons out there!

  29. Oscar

    Just got my Neo and after a test run using Kinomap everything seems fine. Sound from drivetrain and my breathing drowned out any noise from the trainer! Looks like I can finally make the move in from the garage this winter..

    Now I just need a iOS app to control it, any suggestions? I’ve used ismoothrun and imobileinterval to build structured sessions for watt targeting in the past with a KICKR but they doesn’t support the Neo (for now at least). Is there any other apps to try that supports the Neo?

    Thanks!

  30. Scott

    Question for people who use both PC and iPad to run their training software – which is best? I’ve finally pushed the button on a Neo. I plan to use it with some kind of structured training software and/or something with video (real or computer generated). I don’t want to go overboard on the dongles yet, so

    Question for the experienced Neo users (any smart trainer user actually) – am I better using my laptop or ipad?

    • Lee

      PC, without a doubt. On a PC you’ve access to ANT+ and then FE-C or basic power/cadence.

      On an iPad, using bluetooth, you’re stuck with apps which support the Neo over bluetooth, which AFAIK is only the Tacx training apps.

      I haven’t included the option of running ANT+ from an iPad as I can’t believe anyone would want to torture themselves that much. Even then you’d need an iPad app which “knows” ANT+ and then supports FE-C. Unicorn shite rare 🙂

    • Scott

      Thanks Lee, very interesting. I thought (maybe wrongly) that I could stick a dongle into the ipad and run, say, Trainerroad/Sufferfest or something? Just thought it might be easier to use ipad than laptop.

    • Lee

      So out of the box, the iPad is bluetooth. TrainerRoad supports bluetooth BUT NOT FOR RESISTANCE CONTROL OF A NEO !! It would however, work if you were happy to use your gears/cadence to achieve the TR power targets.

      You can put an ANT+ dongle in your iPad and then apparently TrainerRoad on iOS does indeed support FE-C over ANT+. So not rare as I originally thought, kudos for TR guys for supporting FE-C on iOS/ANT+ which I suspect not many people use. There is of course the question of whether a Neo, using FE-C over iOS ANT+ with TR actually works 😉

      It looks like (assuming your iPad is new) you need a Wahoo ANT+ dongle plus a 30-pin to lightning adapter. PC with garmin ANT+ USB seems the simpler option here by far and is what the maintstream users would run i think.

    • Concerning TR-Neo combination, OS X has been working excellently for me (details in some post way above…) but in iOS it just doesn’t seem to track fast/accurately enough to be useful at this moment; haven’t checked though whether this is just me and whether this is being addressed by either Tacx or TR. Agree though that iPad is way more convenient, so that’s what I always used with the KICKR.

    • Scott

      Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound as they say. I’m going to give the ipad route a go. Ordered a PC dongle just in case…

    • Scott

      And I meant to say Thanks Lee for investigating!

    • Andrew (UK)

      The PC certainly gives you more options and hooked up via HDMI to a big screen will give a better experience too. I’m using Zwift this way and have had brief flirts with TTS4. Zwift + Neo + TV = Very Happy Cyclists..!

      I also have the ANT+ dongle for the iPad but haven’t tried it yet. Will look forward to your feedback.

    • Ian S

      I use TR on an iPad with an Ant dongle (I use the wahoo one). It works absolutely fine on the Neo, I can’t detect any difference in response compared to using the PC (mac in my case). I prefer the iPad as it’s faster and easier, plus it lets me run Zwift at the same time which is a useful distraction when the intervals ramp up.

    • That’s great to hear as I prefer iPad or iPod touch over PC, just easier to have within reach. Checked again and yes, iOS seems to work for me too now. (Same versions and settings as the several times it didn’t work before, not sure what changed?)

      iOS doesn’t seem to have the ancipatory change in resistance implemented in the PC versions for trainers that are slower to respond than the Neo, so that feels actually nicer on iOS. Did have one sudden increase in resistance though with power matched to P1 that seemed due to lost power meter, and one that I can’t explain yet.

    • Joe

      Wait, you use an iPad with a dongle and it can make auto resistance changes to the Neo from trainer road? I thought this didn’t work with iPads or iPhones and you needed a full fledged computer (mac or PC)? Am I wrong? That would be nice if I could run trainer road from ipad, and zwift from macbook at same time!

  31. Martin

    Everyone..any help appreciated, I have an issue with the Neo and FTP testing. I have tried TrainerRoad, TrainerRoad Beta (with Sufferfest – Rubber Glove) TTS4 and Zwift and they all show roughly the same problem,. They all work fine during the warm-up phase (assume in ERG mode) and as soon as they get to the 20mins of the actually FTP (pain) they all just lockup the Neo. It seems like they switch to resistance mode at 100%, on TR Beta I can jump off and knock it down to 20% on the laptop. I’m running Win10/Ant+ dongle and all the latest software. I can try it on the Mac on Zwift and TR. Just wondering if anyone else has seen this, or is it just me and I have something configured incorrectly. Thanks.

    • Chris

      Is your firmware current on the neo?

    • Martin

      Yes firmware updated.. :o(

    • Glen

      I have read somewhere that during an FTP test on any platform the programme is designed to switch from ERG to resistance. This allows you to get a more accurate reading due to the fact that if you stay in ERG no matter how much power you output the trainer will adjust the resistance to its target. Regarding the lock up sorry I cant help.

    • marvin

      Hi Martin,

      This is a known issue in trainerroad.
      ******************
      Hey Marvin,

      We are aware of this issue with the Tacx Neo when completing a FTP test. We actually just received our own Neo today! We should be able to fix the issue now very soon.

      In the mean time, instead of switching to erg mode during the intervals, just lower the resistance. You can do this by using the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard.
      *************
      So lower the resistance mode with the keys and you are fine.

    • Andrew (UK)

      I’ve done the FTP test in Zwift and it did switch from ERG to Resistance (slope) I believe during the test window. However the Neo did not lockup and I was able to “enjoy” 20 minutes of the anticipated pain without technical issues.

  32. Emilien

    a message I received from support(at)tacx:

    “All the known issues we have are solved.
    This means that the NEO’s which now come from the factory, are improved with respect to the first batch”.

    • kcr

      Yes, I followed up my earlier question about outstanding problems by contacting the UK distributor. They also told me that the fixes are being applied at the factory, so anything now being imported to the UK should be OK as far as known issues are concerned.
      The UK distributor thought that most of the original stock supplied before the issues were identified has probably now been sold (and not all of the original stock had problems anyway) but they obviously couldn’t guarantee that, and there could still be a few lemons out there with retailers.

  33. Trevor Fielder

    Update on my neo, greased my hub and still having vibes and grinding in the last two gears. Tacx is air mailing me a new edco and has been very responsive and helpful. I think the problem is alignment because it just seems that the cassette (shimano 10 spd) is spaced really far out compared to a real wheel. Not sure if i will be able to replace the edco myself. Anyone done this yet? Hoping this will fix my vibes, otherwise very happy with my neo.

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Trevor. Sounds like the same issue as me. I get the rubbing / grinding in the last 4/5 gears when riding the big cog and the last 2/3 when on the smaller. This rubbing has apparently been diagnosed to be a bearing issue that cannot be resolved by a user. For reference I use an 11-Speed Shimano 105.

      Replacing the EDCO is simple. You will be fine. Hopefully this solves your issue.

    • Trevor Fielder

      Thats what it feels like. Willing to try the edco, but after that it is going to get returned. Will probably replace with another neo though. I love this thing.

  34. Trevor Fielder

    Could someone post a pic of their chainline from the rear when you are in the big ring up front and 11 ring in the rear with the neo? Do u get any vibes or grinding in the last gear?

  35. Lee C

    Is anyone using a Suunto Movestick Mini with the Neo?

    I use one with a Kikcr for TrainerRoad and Zwift.

    Is it compatible with the Neo?

    I’m on a Windows 8 PC.

  36. Eddy

    The following article makes me wonder what this next product by Tacx will be. It’s an article written in Dutch about the visit of a Dutch politician to the Tacx factory in Wassenaar, The Netherlands. After showing him the new Tacx Neo Smart, they also showed him a future product. Let me try to translate that part of the article: “… a future project: a “climb trainer” that can be used to simulate mountain stages in a very natural way. This trainer that, apart from cyclist is also meant for runners, we hope to bring to market in half a year from now”. So, that would be around March 2015 if I have the math right.

  37. DanUK

    HI all I know this is a Neo thread but hoping the many Kickr owners can provide some insight. I bought a kickr due to the Neo’s teething issues. Generally pleased with it but have noticed that at higher speeds (c. 30mph or 300 wheel revolutions) it goes from silky smooth to quite buzzy through the pedals even when coasting. I have tried a couple of bikes (used and brand new) but vibrations are still present. I was expecting the loud whine on the Kickr but not this heaving vibration so think it may be the flywheel.

    So the question is whether other users experience the same thing? Hoping someone can help…..

    • Lee

      Doesn’t sound normal. Obviously anything mechanical will start to vibrate a bit more at high speed but your description sounds like it needs looking at. Possibly the belt is too tight.

  38. DanUK

    Thanks Lee

    Definitely get a strong buzzing when free wheeling after hitting high speed. Its brand new so would have expected the factory to get it right. My spin down takes about 17 seconds if that means anything. I have also noticed that the pedal stroke is quite grinding/ juddery when using 50/12 or 50/11 present on both old and new bikes but silky smooth in the shorter gears.

  39. christian

    After reading all the posts about noise with the neo, i greased the EDCO par – so the metal noise was gonet. but i still think that my NEO is not silent. Compared to an normal one it is, but compared with your videos it is loud. see under:
    link to dropbox.com

    what do you think

    • Einundsiebzig

      Hi Christian, sounds like you got the so called “sawbone” fault…
      This can only be fixed by Tacx or a distributer so far…
      Where are you from?

    • christian

      Hi Einundsiebzig,

      i am from germany, purchased at bike24. but i am each week near to the tax factory. i have a ticket now, will try to drive direct to tacx.

      or ist there any other quick chance to fix it.

    • Andi

      when you look a little bit up here in the forum you’ll find more infos for your problem and how it can be fixed.
      If you can get an appointment directly with Tacx this would be the best and fastest way to get your NEO fixed. I’ve been there at the factory, too a couple of weeks ago to swap my first NEO which had a problem to a new one… no problem and they are very nice and kind people there …

    • christian

      i was today in the factory of tacx and my neo was changed. for me it is solved. super support from tacx – thanks to Heiko from tacx.

  40. filipe

    Hi all,

    can I put my Cyclocross bike Focus Mares Ax 2016 with the new Rapid AXIE 12mm ?
    Rear: 142x12mm 63,8g
    link to focus-bikes.com

    need some feedback.
    best regards,
    Filipe

  41. JP

    I was hoping Tacx could comment… Now that everything i apparently understood with respect to the problems people have been experiencing… I do plan to purchase one.

    However if I’m paying $1600 (or whatever the price is when I buy it)… I want a new one, not one that has been ridden for 50km and then repaired after it was shipped back.

    I assume you guys will be selling off refurbished (repaired) units separately, and that you’re tracking those units closely?

    I will likely still wait a month or two, just in case other manufacturing or design improvements (tweaks) are made – so when I buy, I really want something new.

    Thank you.

    • Mattv

      I would be extremely surprised if the don’t resell the fixed ones. I just hope that they actually thoroughly TEST the ones they repair, and not just have the distributor make the required fixed, then blindly send it out…

    • My guess is that refurbs would be used for providing support replacements, that’s pretty common.

    • Mattv

      It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it works. Seems like every time I get a warranty replacement for anything, they send me something obviously refurbished. Not all manufacturers, but many.

    • ms

      Over at the Tacx User forums, someone has started a poll regarding abnormal noises (link to forum.tacx.com). Interesting to note that estimates in this thread seem to indicate a less than 2% defect rate and while it is a very small sample rate with only 16 votes, but thus far, the poll results are not very favorable at 44% (7 of 16) with abnormal noises!

    • Ron

      The hoopla about the quietness of the Neo has raised the bar so high that even reasonable noises are now considered abnormal. The ‘noisy’ KICKR never had to deliver so much……….

    • andi

      this and very high expectations, I think… which maybe cannot be fulfilled sometimes.

  42. Lee C

    Pulled the trigger. Bought one from Wiggle and it arrived today.

    So far so good. Had a quick 5 minutes on Zwift but no time until tomorrow evening.

    Mine seems to lean to the right. There is no way to adjust the feet height so I’ve propped up the right leg with 2 magazines.

    My rear mech (near the bottom jockey wheel) touches the plastic cover in the lowest gear, but it does shift into the lowest gear. Same cannot be said of my Kickr where I disabled the lowest gear. Doubt I’ll use it anyway.

    One thing: Tacx manual says don’t use a spacer for an 11 speed Shimano cassette. I have a brand new 105 cassette and the cassette is “loose” and is moving, causing additional noise. I’ve tightened the lock nut as far as I’m prepared to without breaking it.

    I ended up using the thinnest of the 2 spacers and this solves the issue.

    Shifting from 11t to 12t is really bad (actually does not work, need to go up 2 gears). I suspect I need to rotate the 11t as the ramps are not aligned. Will do it another time.

    Despite that, I found the cassette goes on quite easily.

    My unit seems quiet, but it’s way too early to say until I’ve used it.

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee C — Not sure if it helps, but I’m using an 11-speed Shimano 105 cassette (11-32) and it fitted correctly without a spacer. I would have assumed that using a spacer would mean all the gears were out of line and needed a serious adjustment.

      The rear mech on mine is VERY close to the Neo on the 32, but doesn’t quite touch. Like you I avoid using it though and there’s no need on Zwift which only simulates hills at 50% by default.

      I can change from 11 to 12 and visa-versa.

    • Lee

      If you have a 10sp cassette you must use the thicker of the spacers. With 11sp cassette the thick spacer is not required.

      if your cassette has an indent at the back (tacx call this a “pocket”) then you must use the thin spacer. Its down to your cassette.

      This is exactly the same as the situation with the cassette on a normal freehub wheel.

      The bottom line is that the locknut should be tightened to the correct torque and if the gears on the cassette can be jingled around, fit the bloody spacer 🙂

    • Lee C

      @ Andrew

      The spacer does not affect the gears. I didn’t even need to adjust them. Gears are Ultegra Di2. It justs moves the cassette outwards by around 0.5mm.

      Gears have not been adjusted at all since taking off the Kickr and putting on the Neo.

      Regarding shifting from 11t to 12t, it is not possible to align the cogs as they would be on a Shimano only body.

      The Edco body requires the 11t to be rotated slightly in reference to the rest of the cogs, which are all aligned.

      I’ve only found 2 positions in which it will go. One is terrible for shifting (need to shift up 2 gears then down 1), the other shifts but takes ages by Di2 standards.

      Wonder if Tacx will sell a Shimano only body? I would buy one.

      I don’t think we realise just how dependent we are on those shifting ramps on the cassette.

      Did 20 minutes on TrainerRoad (beta) tonight.

      Resistance changes immediately on intervals. In fact quicker than my Kickr – by feel and by studying the workout graph later.

      The Neo also seems to track a Stages power meter much more accurately than my Kickr. I don’t have access to anything else to compare the power meter on the Neo.

      If you go from a Kickr to a Neo then what you will notice is how “spiky” the power is on TrainerRoad. Looks like the Kickr smooths the power a LOT.

      Personally I feel the power output is more realistic (i.e. not smoothed) on the Neo. But I just don’t have enough experience with power meters to say for sure.

    • Andrew (UK)

      Strange. My 11t cog slots in exactly the same as all the other cogs, when I lower it on to the hub there’s only ever seemed to be one way it would fit.

      I have Di2 on my main bike and did once manage to knock the RD whilst I had the rear wheel off. Everything seemed ok, but when the wheel was refitted it wouldn’t change gear to the next cog up. To resolve I needed to put the Di2 into micro-adjust mode, adjust it 1 tiny notch (very tiny movement) and then everything sprung back to life again. Not sure if this may be related.

      Good to hear that the Neo fairs well on TR compared to the Kickr. Recently I’ve noticed that when riding Zwift (my main choice of App) the Neo reacts almost a second after you’d expect it to. Go over a hill, hit the start of a hill and the resistance seems to be 0.5-1 second late. It’s a small thing and I only really notice it because there’s not much else to do when riding round the same track over and over 🙂

      Good luck.

    • Lee C

      @ Andrew

      Have a look at the image.

      If you cannot see it, go here:
      link to cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com

      See the “SHIM place here”.
      That is where the largest “key” of each cog goes for gears 1-10 on an 11 speed cassette.

      Last gear – 11t – is rotated slightly clockwise. You can see the slot to the right of “SHIM place here”.

      i.e. it is not aligned with the other 10 cogs.

      There is another place you can install it as well.

      I have it as aligned as possible with the other 10 cogs. Shifting is not great but I can live with it.

      Cassette is a new 105.

    • Lee C

      CORRECTION.

      I took the 11t cog off. It *is* possible to align it correctly.

      Not sure how I managed to get it out of alignment. This would explain why I needed the thin spacer. No longer need this on 11s cassette.

      Shifting is now back to normal from 11t to 12t.

      My tip: don’t do what I did and install the cassette with the Neo sitting in it’s normal upright position. Rather lower one of the legs, like it shows in the manual, so the cassette is pointing upwards, at a ceiling light. MUCH easier.

      Do I get a prize for this stupidity or what?

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee C — Glad to see you worked it out. Indeed it’s much easier to fit the cassette when the EDCO is pointing upwards.

  43. Bob

    So do we think that the hardware issues are resolved and future units should be ok ?

    • Lee C

      @ Bob

      I waited as long as I could, to guarantee getting one before the New Year. Since Wiggle are now out of stock, it looks like I bought it at the right time.

      I really wanted to avoid the initial batch and all the issues reported.

      Did some tests tonight to compare against a Stages power meter.

      The Neo seems to be pretty accurate. I have “on the road” goals I want to achieve based on power. I’m not interested if a stationary trainer is merely consistant – I want it to be close to the power I put out in the road.

      That – and the reduced noise – is the reason why I switched from Kickr to Neo.

      Personally – when it comes down to power output, I would rather be “devastated by the truth” than “comforted by a lie”.

      Don’t let that put you off buying a Kickr. It has been one of the best health related purchased I’ve ever bought and I’ve used it solid over 13 months.

      I can feel vibration in the pedals when using the Neo. I have this on the Kickr as well. I don’t think this is an issue but rather a limitation of the current technology.

      One thing the Kickr has over the Neo: inertia. The fly wheel on the Kickr improves the feel, and higher intensity intervals in a bigger gear feel better.

      My Kickr has various issues on Zwift, specifically the first hill on the Richmond course. The wattage I would need to pedal at would increase up to 600W+. That’s a big increase for a non-sprint wattage. At times my cadence drops sharply and I need to change gear quickly.

      The Neo does not seem to be affected by this problem, but I have only done a single climb on Zwift on the same hill. Going to do a longer test on Zwift tomorrow night.

    • Andrew (UK)

      @Lee C — “My Kickr has various issues on Zwift, specifically the first hill on the Richmond course. The wattage I would need to pedal at would increase up to 600W+. That’s a big increase for a non-sprint wattage. At times my cadence drops sharply and I need to change gear quickly.”

      It would be nice to have a little context around this statement. You can pedal up that hill @ 60w, so you are doing something interesting to “need” to generate 600.

    • Lee C

      @ Andrew (UK)

      I can’t pedal up the hill at 60w. That’s my point.

      On my Kickr I have to generate a LOT of power on sections of the cobbled hill in Richmond.

      The power on screen is showing over 600w and this absolutely corresponds with what my legs feel.

      That is the *minimum* force I need to pedal at. My cadences drops to 40-ish and I’m really struggling to turn over the pedals. This happens briefly for a few seconds.

      Definitely a software issue rather than a Kickr hardware issue.

      I did 2 laps of Zwift tonight on the Neo. This is definitely THE trainer for Zwift.

    • Lee

      I have zero issues using a KICKR on Zwift, whether it be RIchmond or Wattopia. Given that there are far more kickr users on Zwift, plus the fact that kickr tends to be the trainer most developers use when developing / enhancing software, I would be surprised if there was kickr specific bugs in there.

      There’s just so many variables with all this stuff, even down to the amount of interference a household might have, its very difficult to debug and diagnose from the end of an internet post 🙂

      In my setup I have a new (both hardware and software – fresh windows install) PC, wired ethernet on a fast/stable home broadband connection, high quality ANT dongle with small distance between dongle and trainer and I have no issues with dropouts or resistance control (on either kickr, kickr snap or Neo). I know from the past, and others, that signal dropouts don’t necessarily mean a lack of feedback to the screen, but can invoke a huge resistance change on the trainer. I also know that its possible for Zwift to “lose” ERG mode (although since a recent update I see zwift flashes a line like “re-establishing ERG mode” or something). Just soooo many things which can go wrong 🙂

  44. Stefano

    Does anyone know if a M size Shiv will fit? Is there a list or somewhere to see what will NOT fit?

  45. Melvin vv

    Hello.
    I was wondering if this will fit a Cannondale Caadx disc 2015

    • Andrew (UK)

      ON TACX’s website there’s an explaination and PDF templates you can print to measure.

    • Melvin vv

      Hi Andrew
      I printed out the template it fits nicely between the frame but when i turn it up it touches the disc brake. but this might be diffrent on the trainer since the template is more made for seing if the neo smart will fit between the frame and not for the disc brake comming out of the frame right ?
      Corecct me if im wrong i just realy want too use this trainer
      Regards Melvin

    • Andrew (UK)

      Hi Melvin,

      If concerned still, do you have a LBS which sells TACX hardware you could take in and test on ?

      My main bike has disc’s but I can’t use it on the Neo due to it using Thru Axles. Therefore I purchased a an Alum Framed Felt in the sales specifically for use on the Neo. I appreciate it’s a further investment, but I didn’t really have a choice. It also means I don’t have to keep taking a bike on and off the Neo when I want to train.

    • Melvin vv

      I have contacted the tacx support and they replied saying that with 135mm hub spacing there is an adapter for disc brakes to ensure that the bike fits without any problems

    • Tero

      Hi Melvin
      I think that you can use Caadx disc 2015 if the template fits between the frame. I also was wondering if the Rose DX Cross (disc brakes: Avid bb7 Road) will fit and tested it with the template. I also noticed that if I turn the template upwards it can touch disc brake. When the Neo came I installed Rose DX Cross to the Neo and it fits perfectly and disc brake is not touching Neo.

    • Melvin vv

      Hi Tero
      do you have 135mm hub spacing?
      and if so how much space do you have left between the disc brake and the trainer?

    • Tero

      Hi Melvin
      I do have 135mm hub spacing.
      I haven’t actually measured the clearance between Neo and Disc Brake but I think it is about 3-4mm.

  46. Sean

    Short feedback concerning my Neo with the sawbone issue: I’ve returned it to my retailer (Fahrrad.de) on the 16th of November. After they’ve done their paperwork they send it to Tacx on the 24th, arrived there on the 25th. Today I called Fahrrad.de for a status update and they told me, that my order is already raising red flags in their system because they haven’t heard back from Tacx yet (they actually had set a deadline for the 5th of december for a response).
    Long story short: meanwhile more than 3 weeks have past when I couldn’t use my 1400€ trainier (officially 1600) when the solution would be a simple replacement (as the problem is known meanwhile) and the end is still open. Very disappointing.
    p.s. I had my printet out my emails and attached to the Neo in order to speed up the process – apparantly in vain.

  47. Manny

    Does anybody has a list of metrics the NEO output? (RPM/Cadence, Power, etc)

  48. Scott

    I used the Tacx Utility all to update the firmware for my Neo, and it died halfway through. Now the app won’t connect to the Neo. It works with Zwift, so I know the Neo isn’t completely dead, but it won’t work with the utility app or the other Tacx app, and I’m stuck with old firmware. Any advice??

    • Try unplugging the NEO, as well as airplane-mode’ing your phone and closing the Tacx app out. Then re-try the connection.

    • Tony

      Hi Scott- here is a youtube video I just found. It is kind of crappy but you get the basic idea of how you are supposed to update the firmware. A little like a poodle doing circus tricks jumping through hoops but once you do it it is not so bad. The guy in the video does not wait long enough between each time that he is witching off and switching on his bluetooth settings. Every 25% Tacx will ask you to turn this off and then back on again. I found it best to wait a good 15 to 20 seconds between doing this step but again- it will do this every 25% as it updates.

    • Scott

      Thank you Ray. Mission accomplished. The user experience with the Tacx app isn’t exactly refined, but once I understood that I had to baby it through the update process by turning on and off the bluetooth periodically, it worked. Keep up the great work. Seriously impressed with how quickly you respond to people. Thanks!!

    • Scott

      Tony, I meant to thank you in that comment as well. Thanks for your input! Neo is up and running.

  49. Andrew (UK)

    Update
    -=-=-=-=

    Just a short recap for those more recent to this thread. I’ve had my share of fun and games with the Neo and certainly learned a few things about bike mechanics along the way. My first Neo had the gumball issue which TACX released a fix for, but then a nagging sawing sensation / noise still prevented it from being as good as it could be.

    TACX though leaped in to the rescue and sent me another unit. Unfortunately this was Dead On Arrival. It was sent back and TACX diagnosed a bearing issue. In the meantime I carried on using Neo #1.

    Earlier this week TACX shipped a second replacement, confident that all issues were fixed. They even tested it before sending, great service.

    I’m now glad to report that this is fully setup and working well. It did require a little gear re-alignment as it wasn’t quite happy in the small cogs (not a Neo issue) and I got that sorted at the LBS to be sure it was done properly. Most people would do this themselves in minute / two.

    I’d just like to say a big Thanks to Ray for hosting this great place to discuss these issues & for personally responding to many questions. Plus a huge Thankyou to Hilko from TACX for helping resolve these issues, keeping in touch and providing such a good service. What could have been a very difficult situation has been resolved as well as it could have.

    I’m now looking forward to a good ride / two over the weekend.

    • Paul

      Yes, I’ll second that thanks to Ray: What a great service to us all and your input is really balanced and informative.

      I have bought a Neo and the device I have is pretty damn quiet: getting a bt of Christmassy feeling with a bit of a jingle bells sound at times, but it is minimal.

      My bike leans to the right unaided as another user said, so I have to bias the skewer into the frame to have it upright: an easy fix.

      I’m on Campag Athena which initially worked fine and dandy but may need some gear tuning; As my LBA supplied a sprocket set which is too big anyway (lowest is 25, too big for col practice; and the biggest is 11: I mean, when do you need gears THAT big? Merckx didn’t, nor did Lord Voldemore for that matter. Otherwise LBS brilliant (Zweirad Stadler for those in Germany).

      I haven’t figured out what the cursor control is supposed to do, apart from crash the Tacx software. If it just controls/crashes the Tacx software, then I guess the answer is not much, soon to be followed by nothing.

      Following Ray’s review of trainer software I have started with Veloreality. Wow! Pretty cool combination of hardware and software.

      And yes, I agree with other posters: Tacx sofware sucks like a toothless pitbull terrier. The Neo, however, is a really cool piece of kit.

      See y’all in Mallorca/Corsica/Vetoux/the Alpe etc etc 🙂

    • Andi

      hmmm …. I really don’t understand why everyone`s having such huge problems with the Tacx software … it works well with me since a long time …

  50. Harmless

    Which powermeter is integrated, powertap? Thanks.

    • Chris

      Has anyone done the “latest” formware upgrade to the neo.. is there one? There is nothing for android, nothing comes up on my TTS4 saying there is an update, but some people say a week ago their trainer was locked up and not working on zwift , but worked on everything else.. someone else commented on the tacx form a problem with firmware for trainers below serial #1000… can anyone comment on any of this.. IS there a current firmware update for the NEO in the last week or so.. what does it do? Someone also posted a 20-30 watt difference between their onboard PM and the neo, but the firmware version is never stated…

    • Lee C

      @ Chris

      I updated the firmware on my Neo as soon as it arrived.

      I used a Sony Xperia phone running Android.

      The process never fully completed on the phone, but it did update the Neo firmware OK.

      Seems to track a Stages power meter pretty well.

      I would say the power is accurate.

    • Chris

      Hey Lee,

      OK, then since you and I are android users we probably have the same update installed.. I think there was an update that got released on the IOS though in the last week that we android users won’t have for a while…

      Chris

    • Lee C

      @ Chris

      Just checked it now with an iPad.

      It says I’m up to date. Nothing newer out.

      So the Android & iOS utils are in sync with firmware.

    • Eddy

      I bought my Tacx Neo Smart about a week ago and updated it today using the Tacx Utility on an Android phone (Galaxy S4). It went from version “0.3.1 / something / something” (don’t remember) to “0.3.2 / 0.2.1 / 0.4.2”. At the end of the process, the utility did confirm that the updated had completed.

      By the way, using the utility I can see my Neo has number “03817”.

    • Chris

      @ Lee can you post what version you have like Eddy..I have the same as Eddy (Im also an android user, but did the initial flash on an IOS from a friend).. Im almost positive a new IOS version was released a week ago…???

  51. Gabe

    No one seems to be commenting on the fact that the lock ring for the cassette is compagnolo. Does everyone have a compagnolo cassette tool lying around, or did anyone else think this was a big oversight by Tacx?

  52. Scott

    Possibly a dumb question, but a question I have nonetheless. I’ve had good success with my Neo since the initial hiccup with firmware, but I want to know if it is best to leave the Neo plugged in all the time, or unplug when not in use. When it is left plugged in, I seem to hear a small fan or something running constantly. If I unplug it each time after use, I worry the plug port in the back of the Neo may become loose. Thoughts? Thanks!

    • JamesC

      Plug it into a switched outlet strip.

    • Scott

      Good idea, but problematic for my set up, since it is plugged into a the same strip with my computer that runs my man cave. Said strip is hiding under the work bench that everything sits on. So, still waiting for an answer on whether it is ok to leave it on all the time…

    • Andrew (UK)

      I unplug it a few minutes after use. Plug it in just before ever ride.

    • Andi

      why don’t ask Tacx directly. How should anyone here can answer such a question?

      Well, I can … if you like … just leave it on. Why not? If you don’t care for any noise and some energy waste …

      But don’t quote me or hold me responsible in any way if your NEO goes up in smoke one day ,,,

  53. Justin Jones

    My neo was in the first round of US shipments as I purchased it back in September from Clever Training. Got it 11/19 and within a week both sounds started appearing. Now the clacking sound is so loud I can barely hear myself think. Clever Training said I had to get a claim # from Tacx and sent me the info to send them. After a back and forth from Tacx they said I had to contact my retailer!!! They obviously didn’t bother to read my initial email as I said my retailer said to contact them. Now keep in mind that with support from any company you have to wait at least 24 hours for a response so with every email another day goes by and I can’t even get this $$$$ piece of junk out of the door to get it replaced. After such a long wait for the product in the first place I am pretty disappointed with the response I am getting. I hate it when the purchaser is put in the middle. Here is the link to my video I sent in with the ticket. The sound is even louder now and almost constant.

    link to dropbox.com

    • Einundsiebzig

      What I can hear in your Video, this sound might be easily fixed by yourself by greasing the EDCO Freehub.
      link to tacxdata.com

    • Matt

      I also got the first batch from Clever Training. They exchanged mine readily after they got more in stock. I now have a second one that at least works, but it is nosier than the first (at least before it completely locked down!)
      I noticed that the freehub sleeve now comes pre-greased.

      Mine makes a fairly loud (still way below a Kickr) humming noise. It also makes a high pitch whistling noise at certain RPM/loads.

      Does anyone else notice this whistling noise?

    • Dominick

      Due to issues and sounds like yours Tacx has agreed to take mine back and replace it…in a month, or whenever the next batch is ready.

    • Matt

      I would strongly recommend nobody buy a Neo this year. Wait till they get over these issues.

      Just too frustrating, especially for such an expensive trainer.

    • Eddy Coussement

      I’ve purchased my Neo in Belgium about two weeks ago and have had no issues at all. I can’t imagine Tacx would still be shipping bad units after confirming they have a fix for all known issues.

      I would say: if you plan to buy a Neo, then just buy it now. If it’s broken, then just return it to your dealer to get fixed or to get a replacement. That’s just how I see it.

    • Matt

      Sure if you’re in Belgium, but here in the States it’s a long slow boat ride for these trainers and you have to deal with Tacx and the distributor who doesn’t want to deal with expensive shipping of these trainers…

      Maybe I should just move to Belgium. That might be easier for me to get a Neo that works…..:)

    • Chase_R

      I agree and would add that it’s only the marketing that suckers people in to thinking this is a wonderful machine. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and in spite of being called a troll they can’t say I didn’t warn about this company. I believe now the folks at Tacx are on holiday and no one will get support until after the first week of January. So if you plan on this for a Christmas present “Don’t”. You most likely won’t even get your registration accepted so you can use it.

    • matt

      It’s a good trainer. I have lots (thousands of hours) of experience with trainers. This is one of the better ones. I also have a Kickr and that is good too, but it has it’s issues as well. The Neo is just a new product that needs to be refined. It feels like it was rushed to market.

    • Jim

      The Neo really is a great trainer even though some of us have gone through some teething issues. I compared it side by side with a Wahoo Kickr and found the Neo’s “quiet” operation to be a real game changer for me. I quickly returned the Kickr even though it was several hundred dollars cheaper (thanks to REI). I echo the comments of others here that stressed cleaning your drive chain thoroughly and seating the rear dropouts fully on the trainer before judging it. Greesing the EDCO hub, inside and out, also helps. In the end, I find it hard to belief that anyone with reasonable expectations won’t be satisfied with the Neo. I would not hesitate to recommend this purchase to anyone at this point as I am quite confident that the units that are now being sold and delivered are almost certainly going to be problem-free.

      Zwift and the Neo work perfectly together. I honestly can’t imagine a better combination for training and fun.

    • marvin

      Good cleaning of the chain and setting up the neo properly is indeed THE most important thing for the neo to be as quiet as it can be.

    • Doug Johnston

      Enjoyed the long Neo post, very informative and happy that I indirectly received the Neo “after” the problems were resolved. Read all the Neo reviews, but didn’t read this post’s comment thread until after purchasing Neo through CleverTraining. At 58 yrs and coming from 18 yrs on CompuTrainer, several trainer tires and associated noise. Branching out from CT software RacerOne & RCV and 3rd party videos: EGRVideo and Veloreality that supported CT. Found Zwift Beta an enjoyable alternative and continue using Zwift, the social “competitive” component provides the additional motivation to push or stay for 1 more lap and for all that have been that rider I attempt to stay up with or stay in front…Thanks! This all brought about an interest in the new smart trainers and what they offered in comparison to my noisy but “rock reliable” CT. The price of new smart trainers were cheap in comparison to CT 18 yrs ago and to CT’s current price for new; the question of long term reliability for the new Hi-Tech smart trainers was a concern. Paying out $2200 for a CT in the ’90’s that will endure 20+ years isn’t expensive compared to purchasing a new $600-1500 Trainer every 2-5 years. Test riden a Kicker several times and decided to try the lower price route first and purchased a BKool in Oct and the firmware update was a failure and BKool support even worse! Returned BKool and ordered a Tacx Neo mainly for the low audio and design was a significant jump in technology; but they were back ordered til early December. Received the Neo, setup and road Zwift… Wow!! amazed how quite the Neo sounded, could hear a little electrical magnetic hum under the drivetrain. I was amazed to hear drivetrain, couldn’t hardly ever hear drivetrain on the CT. Several of these posts indicate how smooth the Neo and Kicker are on Zwift. I found the CT more smooth and how it applied resistance on grade changes. Recently performed the Neo firmware upgrade and rode Zwift on 3 separate 60-90 min rides and notice the resistance more smooth on grade changes but still not like the CT. Both true road climbs and Zwift, gear changes on CT are 1 jump increments every few seconds til grade satisfied, in comparison the Neo requires 2-3 in one move and a totally different feel in watts on the initial ramp of grade. My tested FTP on the CT was 260-280w range and a little faster lap & sprints in comparison to Neo. This may not be any indicator other than not being comfortable on the Neo yet and adapting a new riding technique. I haven’t tested my FTP on the Neo yet, waiting to be little more comfortable. Maybe it’s more accurate but it currently feels not as close to road at the initial ramp of climb, although during the climb about the same as CT. I’m currently enjoying the quite audio, the lack of 4-6 minute warm up, the more true descents and lack of setting the calibration & tension. These differences are all positive and encouraging in adopting the differences and adjusting to the Neo; and I like the Neo’s technology and cool design platform. All the positives are great, but after reading this long thread despite the corrections of 3 “known” issues, I come back to the factor of long term reliability. Lacking belts and various moving parts I originally thought that would equate to long reliable life of unit. I now question if the hardware can last 10, 15, 20 years. CleverTraining was great in purchase, super in returning the BKool, and the other great variable of CleverTraining is a 60 day satisfaction policy. I’ll use the Neo for a month and monitor how it operates, thanks to this thread I’ll pay a little more attention to it’s behavior. Currently, it’s great, enjoying the new ride and I’ve purchased the TTS4 upgrade system to explore Tacx’s Virtual offering too.

  54. kcr

    I’ve just purchased a Neo. The big draw for me was the advertised “silent running” because my nearly 15 year old Tacx Excel disturbs the rest of the household, even using it in the garage.

    However, having set up the Neo and tested it today, I’m finding it difficult to describe it as “silent”.
    Here’s a video I recorded :
    link to youtu.be
    Is this normal running noise, or have I got one of the lemons? As you can hear in the video, there’s a constant, low frequency rumble and an rythmic vibration that gets worse when you start working it hard.

    Having read about previous problems, I removed the freehub and greased up the sleeve on the main shaft before assembling everything. I updated the firmware, but have only tried the Tacx Android training utility so far. This didn’t seem to work correctly for me; I could link the Neo, and the speed, power, etc outputs were shown on my phone as I pedalled, but adjusting slope or power set point using the training utility had no effect on the resistance of the trainer.

    • Joe

      Your drivetrain still sounds louder than the Neo. Mine makes a little more noise than that but totally acceptable as long as it won’t hurt the unit IMHO. Still way quieter than any other trainer out there.

    • Jim

      KCR:
      Honestly, it doesn’t sound bad at all. Check to be sure your bike’s rear dropouts are perfectly centered and resting on the Neo. If they are off, even slightly, you can experience some vibration noise when peddling. But, the Neo isn’t silent; it’s quiet. There’s a difference. To appreciate just how quiet it is, you should try another trainer. The difference between the “noise” from the Neo and the Kickr is, IMO, substantial.

    • kcr

      OK, I understand what you mean about “silent” but I couldn’t describe the Neo as quiet either.

      I guess I’ve been using turbo trainers for about 20 years now, so I do have some idea how noisy they can be. I’ve just had another run on the Neo, and once I’m up around 300W output, I’d say the noise level doesn’t sound too dissimilar to my 15 year old Tacx Excel. There’s a constant, loud, mid frequency turbine noise, with an arrhythmic low frequency throb underneath. I suspect the higher frequency chain noise may be carrying better on the video I recorded, but the rotational noise of the Neo is much louder and more prominent in real life. It’s pretty much the classic magnetic turbo trainer drone.
      Soft pedalling at lower power outputs is a lot quieter (but that also applies to my old turbo).

      If this is really normal running, and not another faulty unit, it’s very difficult to describe it as quiet!

    • Matt

      It’s hard to tell from your recording, but it does sound loud to me. My Neo is a lot louder than I expected it to be too. It’s quieter than any I have used (pretty much everything) but it is nowhere near silent and the trainer noise is greater than the drivetrain.
      Mine has the benefit of a high pitched squealing noise, so count yourself lucky…

    • Jim

      KCR:

      If you haven’t yet tried removing your bike from the trainer and reseating it, I’d suggest giving it a try. Not saying it will solve the problem, but I had a similar issue and doing this (and thoroughly cleaning my chain, chainings, etc) helped noticeably.

    • kcr

      It’s the Neo itself that is making a lot of noise, not the drive train, and the bike seating is rock solid. I’m going to assume I just have a bad ‘un and will be returning it to the retailer, in the hope of getting an up to date unit with the correct quality fixes.

      It’s a bit frustrating because I contacted the retailer and the UK importer before ordering, and was assured that any stock currently being sent out should be fixed.

    • Jim

      KCR:

      I watched your video again and saw that your drivetrain was clean. I should have looked more closely at the video before adding that suggestion.

      But, to be honest with you, your unit sounds pretty quiet to me and I would not call it “defective.” (Admittedly, I am NOT an expert and all I did was watch your short video.) There’s some vibration/harmonics that I heard and I was hoping you could reduce that by reseating the unit on the dropouts. If you look closely at your video, you can see that the Neo rocks left/right slightly when pedaling. (It’s made to do that.). If your bike is not properly seated, I would think that could induce vibration noise. I had some initially and carefully reseating my bike on the dropouts made a noticeable improvement. Having said that, you’ll still hear (and, possibly, “feel”) some modest vibration/harmonic. You may also want to make sure you torqued your cassette to spec when you initially installed it on the Neo. Again, given that the Neo is intended to “rock” right/left a bit when you peddle, the cassette/hub interface is particularly sensitive. My guess is that was why greasing the EDCO hub inside and out proved to be an important problem solver for some early purchasers.

      Again, I am not an engineer and am only offering a layman’s opinion here. I am just hoping to provide some helpful advice.

    • kcr

      As I said above, “the bike seating is rock solid”.
      This is internal noise, not interfaces, and it sounds not unlike my existing 15 year old Tacx Excel, under load. If, as you suggest, it is not defective, it doesn’t really cut the mustard as a quiet turbo trainer, and doesn’t solve my problem of noise disturbance.

      Anyway, it’s being returned today, so lets see if I get a replacement that works better.

  55. Jeremy Martin

    just wanted to say that despite quite a few negative comments over the net I went ahead and bought a Neo.
    Best thing I did,it’s transformed my winter training.
    I have always preferred to train indoors in the winter months as I guess I’m a bit of a wuss[whatever ]
    I know it’s a bit pricey but if you can stretch to it then it’s worth it.It’s incredibly smooth and quite.
    It responds to gradient change very quickly
    And the power readings are pretty much the same as my power2max.
    When I was setting up there was an issue with the rear cage rubbing which tacx insisted that both my bikes rear dérailleurs were slightly bent in towards the hub !! A very small easing the other way and they are both rub free !!
    In short,,, It’s Brilliant

    • John

      I would buy a Neo in a heartbeat if I could be assured of getting one of the smooth running units, and not one of the “grinding rocks” or “burned electronic component smell” versions.

      :-/

    • Matt

      Just buy one. Eventually you are likely to end up getting one that works properly. You’ll might have to send it back multiple times like I have to, but I’m sure Tacx will eventually get me one that works.. :/

  56. Bryan

    Per this review, the Tacx NEO Smart Trainer will NOT work on a 9 speed bike.
    Is that correct?

    • kcr

      No, it will work with 9 speed, because a 9 speed cassette is the same width as a 10 speed cassette.

      I just got a Neo, and have been trying it out with a 9 speed bike. I got it running but for some reason I’m getting a lot of chain noise on the small cogs of the cassette. It sounds like a chain line problem, but visually, it looks like the cassette is sitting in the correct position relative to my frame, so I’m not sure what the problem was.

      Unfortunately, I’m returning my Neo to get a replacement, for other reasons (the excessive noise and vibrations reported in my post above).

  57. Lee C

    3 weeks in my Neo is doing well. No regrets.

    I still have my Kickr and I won’t sell it until around early Feb just to be sure.

    Ignore the comment about needing to register the device to use it. This is simply not true.

    I use mine with TrainerRoad and Zwift. Nothing else. No Tacx software.

    The Neo is hands down the best trainer for Zwift.

    I’m struggling to get anywhere near my Kickr sessions. I believe the power meter on this is far more accurate and the Kickr was overreading. Won’t do me any harm.

    • Michael

      I was convinced that i would buy a Neo when i came out but all the problems really keept me from doing this.

      I have a Kickr that I am very pleased with in all areas accept the power reading, it reads 4-6% higher then my Vector 2 witch I have reason to belive is fairly correct.

      Doing laps on Zwift I can control the Kickr with my Vectors but doing structured workouts this is not possible using ERG mode.

      If i knew I would get a Neo that would be close to my pedals I would take the chance now, but reading at the Tacx forum about units reading 30-40 watts lower then peoples other PM makes me hesitate.

      My Kickr normaly reads 10-15 watts higher then my Vectors in sessions around 60 min 290 avg watt, mabye I just have to live with that……..

      But do you se any other areas that I should go for the Neo and retire my Kickr?
      (The sound is not a problem for me with the Kicker)

      Br
      Michael

    • Lee

      How do you know your Vectors are accurate vs the KICKR ? All power meters work differently and will report slightly different numbers. Unless you are using the exact same powermeters indoor training as you use on the road you have to accept this and factor it in to your training.

    • Michael

      2 sets of Vectors and 1 Bkool Pro are very well in line, just 1-2% diffence, the Kickr is the one that stands out from the rest so I take it this is the one not showing correct figures.

      And i have to say the support of Wahoo is really bad and very slow if any responce to problems. I seem to fortuend since I read about peolpe having units reading 30-40 watts higher then thre other PM and wahoo still dont have any fix for this.

    • Lee

      “reading 30-40 watts higher then thre other PM and wahoo still dont have any fix for this.”

      Incorrect. My KICKR was a very early unit and I had this issue. Wahoo sent me a calibration kit consisting of a big weight, balance arm and application. You calibrate your KICKR and then send it back.

    • Michael

      Yes, as you say, the early units were more correct, but somewere on the line something changed in production and the high reading units started to come.

      I know about the calibraqtionkit and even I know many peole has used it without succes i would be happy to give it a try only I could get my hands on one.

      Wahoo support is not answering and as they are not on sale anymore I cant find one to buy either,

      I guess I have to send them a mail again and se if they wake up……

  58. Manny

    Bought the NEO from Amazon a week ago. Installed a 10 Speed Cassete from Shimano.
    Smooth as butter.
    Put about 50 miles on it, today I was riding on Zwift and a loud humming noise together with sort of a “stepping” sensation, very annoying and loud, in all the geats and more noticeable in high power.
    Rebooted it, reset, did everything I could, no difference.
    Im not taking the thing apart and greasing parts, so this is going back to Amazon.
    I just ordered another one, also from Amazon, will get it on Wednesday.

    Tacx better keep their show together, Amazon detect real quick when there are more returns that usual and then they pull the product out of their cart, that means sales will drop for Tacx, and a really bad reputation.
    (I really dont buy stuff that doesnt have good Amazon verified purchase reviews, and I know a lot of people that does the same).

    • Doug J

      Manny; hope your next one is a good one. Curious, if Amazon’s warehouse has older units; do you have the serial number? If you use Ray’s site code, you get a CleverTrain 10% discount (substantial for this purchase) and might receive a newer updated unit. Good Luck!

    • Matt

      I don’t think the problem you have (my first one had exactly the same problem) can be fixed by the user. My second one has problems too. It’s functional, just a bit noisy. I hate to send it back, but I guess I will have too. Still waiting for Tacx support to respond. Since I ordered this in October, I actually had about 7 days of actual riding. Good thing I have a Kickr, which I actually am liking more and more all the time..

    • Manny

      Im attaching the label with the serial.
      SN: 801504064

      Is that and old or a new series?
      But I just realized that the label looks funny, like they relabeled this unit (see the picture? there is another label below).
      I noticed that when I got that box it was previously opened, all accessories were new, and the unit looks new too, but the box was in really bad shape.
      Weird, since Amazon usually doesnt do that. I was expecting a brand new box,, and I got a crappy one,, didnt pay much attention because I though since these units comes from the Netherlands.
      Who knows now what happened to this particular unit before I received it, or if it has a “previous life”
      Nevertheless, it is going back today, hopefully the second one will be in perfect condition.

    • Matt

      Manny – When I got my first Neo, the box had also been clearly opened and re-taped. The second one I got came in a sealed outer brown box and the Neo box had not been opened. My second one is going back too.

    • kcr

      Yes, the one I’ve just returned (UK) came in a box that had been opened, and when I set it up, I noticed score marks on all four of the metal locking joints, so it appeared to have been used. I’m not too precious about reconditioned units, but I think you need to be honest about it with something this expensive, and the unit I got just didn’t seem to be working correctly.The retailer I bought the unit from has promised to make sure I get an up to date replacement which works, so I’m waiting to see what the UK importer and Tacx come up with.

    • Matt

      Yeah, I don’t care if someone used mine, it just would be nice if they could actually verify that it actually works at the same time….

    • Manny

      The next Neo will arrive on Wednesday, we will see.
      Any little noise or vibration I feel, it is going back also.

      My personal opinion, users should not settle for less, sounds ugly but if everybody that feels their Neo a little “strange” would return it, chances are Tacx would be forced to fix them for good, and quick.
      I think if we accept them with their little quirks, then we become the “enablers”, and then we will get abused over and over again.

      When you are buying the lowest tier of anything, you could accept “details”, but not when you buy the top tier. If you pay top price on anything ($10 , $1600 or $100,000) you deserve top quality (top quality candy, top quality bike trainer, top quality car).
      Dont get me wrong, top quality doesnt mean perfect (I have a Fenix 3 Sapphire, it is not perfect, but it is top quality, but if for example a button falls every now and then or it makes weird noises when clicked, then it is not top quality anymore and needs to be sent back, and replaced again and again, until the manufacturer feels the pain on their logistic system and fix the product)
      Apologies if I offend anyone.

    • Matt

      Manny,
      It WILL make noise (humming), and you will feel a slight rumbling/vibration when you pedal from the magnets.. As other have said, it is not silent, but it is quiet…..
      At low RPM the drivetrain noise is, in fact, louder than the unit, but once you are using it above 100watts., you will hear humming…

      My current one makes some extra funny noises that I think are bearing related. Still waiting to ear from Tacx on that one.

      Just trying to set your expectations.

    • Manny

      Hi Matt

      Thanks,, I know how it sounds, the one Ive got was perfect for about 50 miles.
      I did a few climbs on Zwift at 350 W and I hear the humming, pretty silent actually, for what I was expecting originally.
      That level of humming is excellent, compared to everything else on the market.
      The problem was all of the sudden, changed from humming to a louder noise (not as loud as the Kckr, but very annoying) plus the stepping sensation when pedaling that made it unbearable to use without being distracted.

      I believe I have an idea what to expect.
      Now, if the new one is more noisy, or has weird clicks or after a while start changing the way it works, then my “top quality policy” will kick in 🙂

      Actually, I feel kind of uneasy on the whole thing,, what about the Neo becoming noisy after a few months? if it becomes like it happened to me but after lets say, 5 months, then I would have a hard time returning it, or getting service for it or even replacement parts (if any). Who knows how long it will take Tacx from the other side of the world to take requests.
      So far it takes me days just to hear an answer by email (I was asking questions about the iPad app), and then I reply, and then days again, then they write, and then I reply and so on so forth.
      If the device becomes unusable after 12 months or so, thats $1600/12 = $130+ a month, just in trainer hardware that has to be disposed.
      Sounds scary.
      Nevertheless, Im giving them another chance.
      Again, just the way I see things.

    • Matt

      Manny- good you have your expectations calibrated 🙂

      As with any new product, if you are are really that worried about future problems cropping up, I would suggest not buying on the bleeding edge of technology. You are just setting yourself up for anxiety and frustration.

      If I took the same approach with getting married, I would have listened to the naysayers who told me not to marry the super hot woman I married, because I was afraid she might leave me. She might make a few noises now and then, but I’m not going to dump her because of what she might do in the future…..
      🙂

  59. Joe

    Thought I already posted this but I can’t find it now so here it goes again. Which noise is this? Just developed today after less than 10 hours on the Neo. Tried greasing the EDCO but didn’t work. Maybe I’ll try again. Email sent to Tacx. Is this gumball, creaking, something else? Sorry for the poor video, hard to ride and film at the same time.

    link to s80.photobucket.com

    link to s80.photobucket.com

    link to s80.photobucket.com

    Thanks

    • Tony

      Joe- I dis get this noise with my Neo during the first week. I ended up greasing everything I could and I also tightened up the skewer and it stopped creaking. I think it comes from the frame of the bike and the movement of the Neo. I could be wrong but the above is what I did and it fixed the creak I was experiencing.

  60. Stevster

    Hi Manny

    You have described the problem I’ve just encountered with my unit.
    Done about 200 miles on it then the other day got a loud click from in the Neo then a higher pitched louder noise with a stepping vibration when pedalling which is more noticeable at lower speeds. Something has definitely happened in the unit but I’m not opening it to find out. Going to have to get in touch with the LBS for a return.

    • Manny

      One thing is for sure, we have to test these units to the maximum during the return period.
      🙂
      Im not so sure that the waiting for the “break in period” applies here.
      Sorry Stevster you are having that issue.
      Matt, congrats on the hot wife, my best wishes to you both.

      Back to the Neo, thats why I buy these kind of things from Amazon, when you are a good customer and dont abuse their return policy, they believe you pretty much blindly, you just pres a button on their website and 2 seconds later you get a pre-paid return label, you drive to UPS and a couple hours after you drop the item they send you a text that your refund is being processed.
      I hate these sellers that you tell them something doesnt work and they try to wear you out, having you calling manufacturers, getting on conference calls, going around on endless troubleshooting emails , etc.
      Amazon is easy, you THINK the items is broken, and they tell you to send it back, later they deal with the manufacturer.
      I can deal with the manufacturer, but they have to be as quick and as efficient than Amazon, I will give you an example:
      – Two weeks ago I got a pair of Runscribe pods, I understand Ray use them and has reviewed them, pretty slick units (again, not perfect, but top quality), on the second day I noticed one of them had a slightly faint LED (it worked, but it was not as strong as the other one, so it was harder to see the status on daylight), I could have returned immediately to Amazon, but I always first try the manufacturer. So I wrote to Runscribe on their website, 4 hours later they wrote me back asking me if I was sure that batteries were full and asking me to put fresh batteries just in case, which I did with the same results. 2 hours later the lady wrote me that a replacement was going to be shipped, including a prepaid label for returning the defective Pod to them so they could see what happened.
      Got the replacement Pod 4 days later, worked perfectly, sent the other back and end of story. Just because of that 3 of my friends bought the same Pods, and I evangelize anybody that ask me what those Pods are. Amazon would have been quicker, but you have to give a chance to the manufacturer.
      Tacx seems, in my humble opinion, a little too lose with their customer service (I might be wrong, again, my apologies) but I have been writing to them for a few days, even before purchasing, and I never know when they will write back, and if they will even answer the questions.

      Look at this below, after I tried to get answers to 6 questions, which were enumerated and I specifically ask them to please state their answer under each of them because they never got to the point and always gave me random answers.
      =====================
      “That’s the problem when I dont get all the questions answered.
      I will repeat the questions that I didn’t get answered, one by one, so I can get an answer to each, that might avoid confusion”
      =====================
      The I got an answer to one of the questions, then I wrote back:
      =====================
      “Would you be able to answer all the other questions?
      :-)”
      =====================
      Then:
      =====================
      “Hello

      I sent the question below over the weekend.”
      =====================
      Then nothing for days, and then I wrote:
      =====================
      “Hello

      Can I get an answer to my email below?
      How about answering a customer that just purchased almost $2000 and is trying to spend some more?”
      ======================
      Then they told me that they though I was a re-seller (I guess because I mentioned money or something on the previous email), to which I answered:
      ======================
      “Im not reselling anything, not sure where you got that idea.
      On my last email I was complaining you guys don’t answer, even though I was a paying customer.”
      ======================

      That took about a week, and I never got answers (I can paste the 6 questions here, they were pre-sales questions, about installing a mountain bike, about the inventory in the states and about what exactly the Neo Track does)

      After a few days I abandoned the questions 🙁
      Then after I got the Neo, I wrote about the iPad app not controlling the slope, and it went again around and around.
      The app has an issue, I installed Kinomap on the same iPad and it worked perfectly, controlling slope and everything, but the Tacx iPad app didnt work. Again, emails and emails and then I also abandoned the thing, I though “what the heck, I will wait for the PC app with the Smart Upgrade and/or will use Zwift”.

      So, no sir, my expectations of getting an issue resolved with Tacx in a timely manner, are null in my opinion, so, Amazon to the rescue.

      My only regret is that I bought the Upgrade Smart package directly from Tacx plus I also bought the Neo Track (the extension you use for your front wheel) from link to bike-discount.de , and I live in the States,, so i doubt very much these two entities now understand that I might want to return their unused items because the Neo’s are not working properly.
      (The Neo Track arrived today and I havent opened the box yet, and the Upgrade Smart has not been even shipped).
      I have bought first generations of iPods, iPads, iPhones, Garmin watches, computers, cars, and many other things, and it is very rare to get busted on the top tier products, but sometimes it happens, I guess this is one of those.

      Again, I still have faith on the Neo, hopefully the next one will work better.

    • Matt

      All I know is that when I’m lying on deathbed, I’m not going to looking back and thinkg about Tacx tech support…….

    • Tony

      Sorry to hear that some NEW purchasers are still seeing problems. I bought early, am here in USA, and bought through Clever Training. I have had my Neo now for right over 800 miles on Zwift, about 100 miles on TTS RLV, and several other rides on Veloreality. So with right around 1000 miles I am very happy with the Neo and my hope is that it holds up for many thousands more. Best of luck to the others.

    • Manny

      No problem if the Neo cost $2K, the problem is the issues, the support and the durability.
      Not sure how much you guys train per year, but to be cost effective, the Neo would need to last probably 6000 miles without issues (that would make it a little more than 25 cents per mile, still more expensive that some cars, but reasonable).
      How long it will take to put 4000 miles on a trainer? (me, Im not sure, since Im not a pro, Im just buying this to keep up with my workouts, I have a business to run, wife, kids, other hobbies, etc, so my free time is many times at night).
      So lets say I train 20 miles each time, 3 times a week, thats 60 miles a month, which is 720 miles per year.
      So, the Neo would need to last more than 8 years trouble-free in my case.
      Wonder if the device has that kind of endurance in all their parts.

      If the Neo last a year, or 720 miles, that would make it more than $2 a mile. That kind of expensive even for the “bleeding edge technology”. It is a bike trainer, not a Citation X.

      To keep you in perspective, you can lease a latest model Mercedes in the US for $500 a month and drive it 36 months and put 36000 miles on it, that is $.50 (fifty cents) per mile.
      Now, the Mercedes will last the 36K miles, just as the first day in most of the cases and if not, they will fix it for you, real quick.

      🙂

    • Doug J

      Your post on duration is same track I prev mentioned, although I would expect an MTBF in excess of 10-15 years. New design should equal or exceed older designs. If a CT that provides accurate wattage can typically last 15-20 years before failure, similar new hi-end technology designs within same class of accuracy, quality, and price should provide similar lifespan.

      My concern is a different comparison analogy. An older washer / dryer typically would last 20 plus years. New models typically last 5 years at greatly increased costs.

      If that’s the case of new trainers, the CT is hands down best value and accuracy. Although, previously noted… I like the new Neo design, ultra quite operation, lack of wearing parts, interfaces and features. I’m hopeful after design bugs are fully resolved, it will last for many years!

    • Manny

      Doug,, just noticed that I was pretty much repeating what you already exposed.
      Durability is the key now, not price, and in some cases no even features (since all manufacturers will catch up in features pretty soon Im sure)
      Nobody can predict the future, but you can sort of get a feeling of it, based on indicators.
      Some of those indicators when it comes to this particular model (its issues, the support, plus the uncertainty of getting commitment from the manufacturer) give me a bad feeling.

      Tomorrow I will get a new Neo, for sure I will be way less permissive on this unit.
      By the way, bike-discount.de (I ordered the Neo Track from them) has been nothing but helpful, they told me I can return the unopened box for a full refund, no problem (shipping needs to be paid by me, which is completely fair)
      Now Taxc.com told me they shipped already the Upgrade Smart (in Dec 18, according to them) so they cannot cancel the order,, but when I asked for a tracking number they stopped writing back, 🙂 I asked 4 times via email, no answer, their website shows my order as “completed” (not sure what that means), but doesn’t show tracking, even though I paid ‘expedite’ so I would get tracking and quick shipping.
      I have a feeling they haven’t shipped anything, but I will confirm the shipping date when the packages get here, then they will hear me again, a few times, for sure.

    • Doug J

      Manny, hopefully your next one will be the charm! I too ordered the upgrade kit w TTS4 and the Track. The TTS4 will take some experimenting, my goal is to record and ride against previous ride performances to motivate and benchmark myself. That’s one feature of the CT software that was great… I find it hard to understand why it’s not more widely offered in software.

      The Track is a little on the “game” side and more entertainment than adding any realistic value. I promptly received both add-ons from Tacx. I do like the USB Ant+ Extender device in kit, works very well with all applications.

      After riding Zwift, the TTS4 graphics are a little disapointing and choppy… But provide variety in rides. Humorous side, the developers made all the female characters well endowed.

      The Veloreality videos are a joy with the Neo, feels realistic with the decent feature of the Neo and the HD video provides nice view on a 46″ screen.

      My Neo continues to operate smoothly. At times I think I hear a noise, but I’m pretty confident it’s my drivetrain. Time will tell.

      Good Luck with 2nd Neo!

    • Manny

      The new Neo is here.
      The box was also previously opened, the Styrofoam was cracked in many places inside and some of the printed material was torn.
      The Neo itself looks new.
      Funny, the serial number is lower than the one I had before, but at least I dont notice any ‘re-labeling’.
      Testing will commence sometime this afternoon.
      🙂

  61. Doug J

    If looking for a good Neo test and change from Zwift. Try out the BKool “3D World” rides, add a few Bots and Ghosts (other rider performances) and select a course with challenge. I signed up to try the free Premium subscription that adds the 3D World virtual courses. Within the 3D Courses, select the “Toaster Course”, a 33 mile ride with grades up to 17-18%.

    Kinda cute currently, for Xmas they’ve added a roadside Christmas scene.
    Several climbs are long with grade changes from 4-16%, so it gives a non-stop test for the Neo. Has a nice down hill run allowing a leg break.

    I’m new to BKool 3D courses, and took a short time to figure out… In lower right the slope section indicates current slope, time left before next section and grade of next section.

    After creating acct / profile & downloading and installing app; hop back on web site logged in, select Sessions, then deselect view Video (and Dirt) so only 3D road courses show. Add the courses to favorites and they’ll be downloaded to your local app.
    Within setting explore and turn on the Performance stats so you have more data to observe.

    Something new to try and works the Neo more than Zwift.
    Some of the BKool Premium features aren’t available to non-BKool trainers currently, but tech support indicated they were planning to add more soon. Their Velodrome games look like a good challenge and entertaining when available.

    • Matt

      Might be good to mention that Tour de Giro is working on a ANT+ FE-C profile support. I’ve been testing it with the Neo and it’s great.

      Tour de Giro Tuesday nights at 7 pm (EST). Good massed start even.

      Tour de Giro is the best.

    • Manny

      Happy Holidays to you all.

      I almost could not believe it.

      Installed the Cassette on the Neo, went for a ride on Zwift for 20 min, rode 5 miles (using the Jon’s mix, which you might know it takes you a few times to 600Ws)
      Like I said, did just 5 miles on it, and then the stepping feeling started again.
      This time less pronounced, but same symptoms, sort of a clicking sensation specially at low RPMs.
      No loud humming this time, but very annoying feeling, which I didnt feel during the feels few miles until I started the climbs.
      Just to make sure, I will remove the Cassette tomorrow, and will reinstall it again.

      Looks like another Neo will go back to Amazon, and I might even order another one, who know, or perhaps on Clever Training this time (not sure if Clever Training is as receptive with returns as Amazon is)

      🙁

    • Matt

      Manny,
      I suspect they all feel this way at slow speeds, mine does. I know that feeling you are describing about the pedaling getting rougher after a very steep hill… my first one did that too….

    • Manny

      I see,, well I dont know what to think then.
      Id love to hear from other people too.

      I actually took the cassette out, and noticed that when I spin the flywheel with my hands I feel a click on every turn,, sort of a gear engaging in the inside.
      Sounds strange, it didnt feel that way when I came because I tested it.
      Matt, does yours has tha same click? (I even hear it a bit, I might even take a video tomorrow and post it somewhere on YouTube with a link here)
      I feel very uneasy about all these things,, because if this are signs of something bad with the unit, it might become unusable after a little way, once Im out of return period or even warranty.

    • Tony

      Hey guys- sorry but I do not get this feeling at all on any grade climb. Mine is smooth as butter. It has to be something with the cassette or spacers or something with the set up. I hope for Christmas you get it figured out Manny- Happy Holidays to everyone.

    • Doug J

      Manny, I concur w Tony; system very smooth under load. On your hand turn comments, I don’t have any click or noise but I can feel the magnets pulse as they pass the magnets on the opposing side while the cassette or steel plate gets turned very slowly.
      If I turn the steel plate (silver disc), I do get a click at pretty much each magnet pulse, but it’s the cassette’s ratchet and not the magnets since the chain is holding cassette. If turning the cassette it’s a silent & magnet pulse.

      The magnet pulse at hand turning speed might be described as a stepping feeling.

      Under load, even on sudden extreme grade change such as Zwift’s city course where it jumps to 12-14% climb… If I wasn’t prepared my cadence drops very low and watts climb rapidly but Neo remains quite other than the electrical low audio… Not a noise.

      Not directly related, but have you greased the cassette ratchet pawls and drive shaft bushing? I did this evening just to check what everyone was discussing. Took all of 4 minutes and I think it reduced the freewheel ratchet noise a bit.

      Hope some of that helped and best of luck!

    • Matt

      Yeah, my first (seriously defective) unit had a VERY pronounce stepping sensation on hand turning the freehub body or silver disc. My second unit (less defective, still problematic) has a definite resistance and stepping with hand turning, but I don’t notice it too much under load >150 watts. I believe this is normal for this unit.

      I have had some very strange things happen under very steep courses (not Zwift) >12% where the Neo slipped. It felt exactly like a tire slipping on a computrainer. I wonder if this was a software problem or comm. dropout, or just the magnets releasing, but my power meter showed about 800 watts load. it was a bit disconcerting..

      My Neo makes some strange intermittent noises , so it’s going back. I keep going back and forth on the Kickr and Neo and trying to decide which is better. The Neo is definitely a lot quieter, but I prefer the flywheel momentum of the Kickr..

    • Manny

      Yes, the first and the second Neo were super smooth at the beginning, and after putting them under load they seems to break, so how can you trust a piece of equipment that looks defective on the first few days?
      I know some of you have done it, but no, Im not going to take anything apart and grease it, because unless this is documented and advised on official channels prior shipping then it means that Im covering for a faulty process on Tacx, which I wouldn’t mind if they classify them “as is” and give me 50% off of my purchase.
      I will test the Neo in the next few days and Im writing to Amazon a letter, they need to know this is happening and the Neo are showing a high rate of early failure.
      Im sure Tacx monitors this forum, and they just simply keep silence.

      I might even order a third one from Amazon or Clever Training (depending of their return policy)

    • Doug J

      Manny, sorry to hear problems continue. Re CleverTraining, they have no hassle 60 day return… Might be better than Amazon.
      Taking cassette apart isn’t challenging and it was recommended by Tacx mid-way down this thread. One Allen bolt, cassette stays on hub… Slides off, lube, slide on, snug bolt. That said, I don’t think it’ll resolve your problem. Good Luck!

    • kcr

      I think the engagement click you are describing is normal operation. I noticed this when testing my Neo before returning it. When I started rotating the cassette or disc by hand, there was a pronounced clunk on the first revolution, once above a minimum speed. I think this is some sort of internal clutch engaging, because after the clunk the floor level disco lights kick in, and the Neo is obviously generating power.

      The clunk sounds ominous, but I reckon it is just normal operation, I didn’t notice “notchy” operation once my Neo was running, and it seemed acceptably quiet up to 150W or so.

      I want to be objective and wouldn’t criticise everything about the Neo, because the general design and connectivity seem very good. My problem with the unit I received was specifically the very loud turbo noise and loud unbalanced low frequency pulsing and other noises the unit made when I took it up to 250 to 300W.

      I’m also not very satisfied that I received a used unit (presumably returned by another dissatisfied customer!). I had hoped to have a Neo set up for some holiday training, but I’m stuck with no Neo and no information about a replacement yet.

  62. Nick

    FYI – the Neo doesn’t fit a 2015 Giant Trinity with a chainstay-mounted di2 battery. You can take the battery out and it will work (but barely). Not a huge issue as more bikes go to internal batteries, but still.

    Also, the tacx software is beyond rubbish. It won’t even record when the app is running in the background of an iPhone. That’s insane.

    • Doug J

      Nick, agree… TTS4 software is disapointing at a cost to boot! I don’t feel I’m doing something right either and hopefull it’ll improve. I used it twice and thought my performance was saved to ride against later… But not saved even though log indicated the rides.

  63. Doug J

    Experimented with power pedals with Neo. Used Vectors ver 1 & 2 on road bikes since introduced. Recently discovered I’m above the 250lb Vector limit (6’8″)… They’ve performed great for well over 9k miles without incident.

    Purchased Power Tap P1 pedals and installed on trainer bike. The Vectors were on Avg 30-40W lower than Neo. The P1’s were impressively very close, about 2-6 on avg flux +/- Neo. So close it was hard to determine, the Neo appears to be 1-2 seconds ahead of pedals. On steady climbs or level, both were almost identical. Although, on high powered climbs or sprints, the P1’s reached peek wattage quicker and indicated much higher watts for short 5-15 second bursts… Almost appeared that the Neo didn’t display short burst peaks. I tried a very slow cadence 45 with 360-450w and easy spin 85-90 80-120w and both were consistantly very close to Neo. The P1’s install quick, much less frustrating than Vectors.

    • Manny

      Done two more rides on the Neo, now I notice the “stepping sensation” a little more (when I spin the freewheel with my hands).
      I will ride a few more days, and I guess I will decide.
      Have any of you guys heard about the Real Turbo Muin B+?
      link to elite-real.com

      It seems to be nearly as silent as the Neo, but I cannot find a comparison on DB as well as the full review of the features, etc.

    • Doug J

      Manny, looked at Muin B+ too… Looks like a nice trainer.

      In Ray’s 2015 Trainer write up, this was his comment.
      Elite Real Turbo Muin B+: While one of the first ‘quiet’ trainers, there’s some minor quirks that cause loss of top spot. Notably lack of broadcasting over standard ANT+ (but does support FE-C for control), also slightly slow response of resistance (can only change/shift 40-50w per 1-second). Given it’s priced similarly to KICKR/NEO, just little reason to buy it.

      Still worth looking at, plus the Elite software looks like an improvement over TTS4.

  64. Dennis

    So bummed. I ordered a Tacx Neo Smart from CleverTraining the other day (hoping I was getting a newer, more reliable unit). I got it today and it was glorious!

    But after about a 6 minute ride on Swift, the unit overheated. When it overheats, it loses all resistance and there’s a strong “burnt electrical” smell. Also the top vents are very hot to the touch.

    I’ve initiated the return process with CleverTraining and I’ll give Tacx another try. Really bummed, because it was working great on Zwift and it sure was quiet!

    • Doug J

      Dennis, Thanks for info!
      Sounds like a new issue that you’re first to report.
      Hopefully that indicates it was a faulty component within unit and not a widespread issue to resolve. For it to overheat in 6 min, it does sound like a failed electronics unit out of the box. Pits you received it, major bummer… Hopefully next one will be flawless!

    • Manny

      Remember I said I was going to try the second Neo for a few days?
      Tried on Zwift today, about 6 miles, and when I finished I did a few spins to the freewheel with my hand (after dismounting the bike).
      Now, in addition to the “stepping feeling” I also hear the electric sound of the magnets, like a high voltage humming. It comes and goes.

      I read that some people hear that, but the weird part is that I didnt hear it before, at all, and now it shows up.
      I wonder what I would hear/feel after 100 miles, 200 miles, 400 miles, etc

    • Matt

      I just sent my second one back, hope springs eternal …
      At least I know the fastest route to the FedEx facility now….

    • Dennis

      So it looks like I’m the first on this forum to report the overheating issue. But it seems the Neo Smart overheating is not a new or uncommon issue. I found this discussion of other people having the same problem on Tacx’s own forum: link to forum.tacx.com

      As Matt said, hope springs eternal. I’m going to give Tacx one more chance. But if the next trainer is a dud, I’m done with Tacx.

    • Tony

      Sorry to hear about the over heating issues some are having. I have over 1000 miles in Zwift alone and several 100 in TTS RLV and VirtualReality. I have done multiple 40 to 60 miles rides with no heat issues.

    • Doug j

      Dennis, the Tacx fourm link does indicate overheating is another problem. By the way Neo overheats in 6-10 minutes, I think still points to a failed electronics board or a connection circuit not complete. A few indicated the LED flashed red and would run after a cool down for another 6-10 minutes. Oddly, all the posters on the Tacx fourm were prior to the late Nov / early Dec production that supposly corrected the known manufacturing issues. Your unit is after the new production units. Again… Major bummer and hope replacement unit is a good one!!

    • Doug j

      Tony, my experience is similar to yours… No issues so far!

      Question on VirtualReality rides. Used to use my CT on VR.
      On the Neo, in setting up it doesn’t use the Neo’s speed sensor. VR responded that they calculate the speed based on Watt, Personal profile data, RPM, and Grade. Do you find it realistic in speed with Neo and realistic in Grade / climbs?

    • Dennis

      Some info for those doing research: The Serial Number of my unit is: 801504996. Based on some of the Serial Numbers posted above, it looks like the unit I have is one of the more recently manufactured models.

      CleverTraining will take it back, but asked that I initiate a support ticket with Tacx first and see if they have any remedies (which I have done).

      While admittedly a first world problem, I’m pretty bummed that I have no idea when I’ll be able to start my off-season training plan. I’m spoiled by Amazon’ s return/exchange policy. I’d have a new one in 2 days had I gone that route.

      I’m starting to second-guess the decision to get a replacement Neo Smart and may scrap it altogether. Perhaps one more season on the Kurt Kinetic and we’ll see what next year brings in the Smart Trainer market.

    • Matt

      Indeed – first world problems!
      Nevertheless, I’ve had $1,600 tied up in the trainer futures market for over 3 months now, hoping to eventually realize a return on my *ahem* investment………

    • Doug j

      Dennis, Matt… Sorry you’re experiencing the delays on replacements. Your Patience is commendable!

      My viewpoint would be to let retailer handle the issue with Tacx. You purchased through CleverTrain, they offer a 60 day satisfaction return and cover defective returns. Defective returns should include covered shipping, CleverTrain should pursue costs through Tacx. If you can’t resolve your issue with Tacx in short order, the Retailer needs to handle the matter.

      When I returned the BKool to CleverTrain as defective, I expressed my BKool Tech support communications (3 days of poor emails) were not being attentive and I would like to return the trainer and purchase a different model. They issued a RMA and provided a UPS shipment. A few days later, I ordered a Neo.

      If I need to return this unit, I’ll probably request a RMA return and purchase a 2nd Neo to shorten the waiting period; The credit will apply back shortly after the 1st model is received.

      Amazon costs about $150 more, but agree the return is very smooth and less involved.

      Good Luck on next package!

    • Manny

      Guys, thats what I mean on my previous posts with a “no hassle return” from Amazon. As long as you dont abuse them, they will never have you run in circles with the manufacturer.
      I hate this companies that wear you out trying to prove what is obvious.
      “Troubleshoot this, troubleshoot that, maybe is your laptop, maybe if your chain, maybe if your cassette, that weird sound/vibration is expected, write to the factory, see what they ask, wait for few days, request RMA, pay shipping your selfs, wait until we received the unit, wait until we process it, oh, now we dont have it in stock, we will let you know” etc etc etc.
      No way, I dont buy stuff like this unless is Amazon+Prime.
      Pre-paid returns, quick processing, advanced exchange, etc.
      It is almost 2016, any less than what Im used to from Amazon, and I dont purchase a thing.
      Sorry, my $1600, Im not going to save $100 and play with luck, make the numbers, how many hours all this running in circles take? how much any of you make per hour? I bet thats more than the $100 “saved”

    • Dennis

      You’re absolutely right Manny, it wasn’t worth the savings vs ordering from Amazon.

      And now I’m in between the manufacturer and retailer. I just want to unload this thing and get my money back, but it looks like I’ll have to jump through hoops first. CleverTraining said this item was exempt from the 60 days money back until the return is cleared through the manufacturer.

    • I’m confused. CT said they’ll take it back, and since you already initiated a request with Tacx (and received a response), that seems pretty open/shut. Just trying to understand where, if anywhere, you’re currently waiting on someone.

    • Matt

      Clever Training has been very good about accepting the RMAs. Not as easy as Amazon, for sure, however. Amazon is very good about returns. My biggest issue with Amazon is that OFTEN get clearly used, returned goods with missing parts, defects, etc…

    • (Just to be clear, I’m asking so if there’s something I can unblock, I’m happy to try to do so.)

    • Dennis

      Hi Ray, sorry for any confusion.

      CT did say they’d take it back but that the Neo Smart has to go thru Tacx’s support first before they could accept the return. I initiated a support ticket with Tacx, but other than the auto-responder giving me the ticket number, I haven’t heard from Tacx yet.

      I totally get CT’s position, they don’t want to end up holding the bag on a very expensive piece of equipment if the manufacturer isn’t going to replace it under warranty. I have no ill-will towards CT.

      And if Tacx has a quick fix for this, I’ll be ecstatic not to have to return it. But from the research I’ve done, it looks like an overheating unit is not an issue that can be resolved by the user.

      Frustrating, but a first world problem. Amazon has spoiled us all with incredible ease of turnaround on returns 🙂

      Thanks for weighing in Ray, I love your website!

    • Matt

      What does Tacx think of this blog? Have they contacted you regarding the comments here?

    • I’m not sure what they think of the site, I haven’t asked them in quite that manner.

      That said, I think in general, you’re finding that for better or worse, this page will attract those that are having issues, yet ignore the likely thousands (or probably tens of thousands) of others that aren’t.

      Which doesn’t take away from the issues certain folks are seeing, or aspects of Tacx support. But just to put it in perspective.

      I do know that they get a copy of every comment posted to this post though, since I get an auto-responder from their help/support desk with a ticket number for each comment. Now, whether there’s some rule that those get deleted automatically, I don’t know.

    • Matt

      Yeah, of course,people usually only post problems. I guess I’m just unlucky with this product. I think the QA is definitely missing here…

      I just can’t help but wonder if Shimano ever entered this market….that would be a game changer..

    • On the Shimano front, I’d actually disagree a bit. They’ve proven time and time again that they’re actually really bad at tech gadgets. I can’t think of a single gadget (aside from the core internals of Di2) that they’ve executed well, or even bothered to properly support.

      I’m thinking of things like the Shimano action cam (great promise, horrible/non-existent follow-through), the various Shimano head units, or even just the software you can use to configure Di2 (a total mess). In my occasional discussions with some involved there, I get the feeling it’s a cultural gap that’s going to be very difficult to bridge.

      It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the long-rumored power meter front there.

    • Matt

      Ray – yeah, that’s an excellent point. I think the whole gadget revolution passed these old school hardware companies by. I’m guessing their boardroom has guys wondering when this fad will pass..

  65. Howard

    Hi Ray,
    Can you tell me when installing a 10 speed Shimano Ultra cassette (11-28TT) on the TACX Smart Neo whether to use just the 2 mm EDCO spacer that comes with the TACX or also the 1mm spacer from Shimano i.e. for 3 mm total? It is very unclear from the instructions that talk about a cassette with or without a “pocket”, whatever that is. I have not been able to get an answer from TACX.

    Thanks for your help and for another great and useful review.

    • Doug J

      Howard, Ray may provide more detail to the pocket question. I installed an Ultegra 11-28 using both for 3mm. Tried it w 2mm and later w 3mm. I liked the little extra clearance for the DR on 28 ring and back plate. I think both work, and either will require a slight re-indexing. Good Luck!

    • andi

      there is a very good explanation linked here in the thread somewhere above (and in the internet – use google) from EDCO, so use a couple of minutes and you will find an answer.

      I guess you will have to use the two spacers. Just give it a try – start with only one and when the cassette is not fastened tight use the other one, too.

      It`s not rocket science, isn’t it?

  66. rowan

    Thanks for the excellent review. There has been a lot written about how quiet the Neo is, but I have seen no discussion about the amount of vibration caused by the lateral “flex” or movement of the unit. It seems that the Neo has been designed to allow some intentional flex. I am worried that this movement will translate into vibration on the floor, but perhaps it is only the top part of the unit that moves and the base stays stable? In my experience it is less the actual sound (in decibels) and more the vibration that causes problems for neighbours (especially downstairs neighbours!). Even a totally silent trainer could be very annoying for a downstairs neighbour if it’s making their ceiling creak when you’re thrashing around on a hill session. Could you please comment on whether you think this might be an issue with the Neo, and perhaps more generally if there is any trainer which might be better for avoiding this kind of thing? Maybe the Kickr would be better if it doesn’t permit any movement? Thanks!

  67. Sean

    Hi guys. Over the last days I’ve lost a bit track of the discussion here, but I just want to report, that after 6 weeks (just the shipping back to me from my dealer took 5 days with UPS- whaaat) my finally Neo returned to me and after 80km of Zwift I can (still carefully) say that it now works as advertised. It is really quiet – especially in comparison to my old Kickr – and just fun to ride. I hope it stays that way.
    Nevertheless, I guess I won’t be among the early adopters for things like that in the near future.
    @everybody in this forum: Have a happy, healthy and successful new year.

  68. kcr

    Still waiting for news of a replacement Neo here in the UK.

    I sent Tacx support a link to the video I posted above, and they confirmed from this that the unit I originally received appears to be faulty. Not a surprise, but just thought I would post Tacx’s response in light of some of the contents suggesting it sounded OK!

    • Marc

      Been following this thread since its inception, thanks to dc and everyone – its been a great help.

      Eventually bought a Neo. Serial is 54XX. Appears to be working fine although not yet tested in any significant way.

      Interestingly mine uses a Shimano lockring tool not Campag.

      Would be interested to find out why the change ? Does this imply that the lockring might help some of the issues that have been experienced or did they just run out of Campag ! The instructions were reprinted as well (see attached jpg)

      Thought you might like to know !

    • Doug J

      Marc, Enjoy the Neo!
      Interesting on lock ring, from your updated instructions it appears to still be a EDCO cassette hub. Maybe they just changed the ring. It’d be interesting if they updated any other component or building procedure.

      Curious on inventory, where did you purchase your Neo?

    • Marc

      Thanks Doug, it was special order through my LBS, who don’t stock it normally, from fisher I think. (London)

      It is an EDCO hub.

      Btw – I couldn’t see how to post a comment without replying – hence my first post/reply. Where is the post a comment link ?

    • Marc, This has become a very long thread, to post a new post travel back to the top of thread.

      I’d be interested to hear your outcomes in near future since you clearly received a unit after “some” changes where addressed. My Neo is performing well, although it does make a little clunky sound intermittently on moderate load, but haven’t determined if related to Neo, bike mount, chain, etc. so not flagging it as a Neo problem yet. The sound is there at times, but still so much quieter than my CT it’s not a concern… I’m not expecting silent.

      My biggest long term ownership issue from all discussed is the overheat and total loss of resistance. If that is a common failure point, that’s a concern for a high-end trainer.

      If you’re looking for something other than Zwift to test, try the Veloreality videos. Several videos have long accents that offer a good load throughout the climb. Setup software to have descents and the Neo powered descent feature provides a great scenic leg break.

    • Marc

      Thanks Doug

      I will try veloreality and let you know when I do.

      But it will probably take me a few weeks to get fit enough to test it properly. I have done very little over the last few years and will need a little time to get up to speed to test it hard enough or even to give any valid opinion.

      Do you have any advice on which videos to start with ?

      Also, as another thought, can the neo talk to 2 or more different devices at the same time ? Or for example, can I have multiple apps on a phone reading and storing the data at the same time as running zwift or vr on the PC. With a view to collating all of the performances metrics for everything I do ?

    • Dennis

      Hi Doug,

      I got a response from Tacx today about my overheating trainer. They said the overheating is caused when one of the internal fans stops operating.

      If I was a betting person, I’d say this will become a common issue as I’ve had several of these small internal fans burn out in some of the other electronics I’ve owned over the years.

      BUT the Tacx Neo is so good (when it’s working properly), that I’m going to try to source some replacement fans for it. Then when my new trainer comes… the one that’s going to work perfectly 🙂 I’ll have some on hand for when the warranty expires.

    • kcr

      That’s interesting. I bought my noisy Neo from Halfords just before Christmas, but as you correctly point out, Fisher are the UK importer. The unit I received had the Campag lockring. The feedback I’ve had so far from Fisher and Tacx is that my Neo requires the bearing fix.

      I don’t know how I got a faulty build in late December, given that Halfords were initially out of stock when i ordered, and told me the unit was being supplied direct from Fisher. As I’ve already noted, the unit I received was in a box that had been opened, and wear marks suggested it had been used, so I strongly suspect I was sent old returned, unfixed stock.

      Fisher say they are going to do a fix, but I have asked for a new, latest build unit, which I think is not unreasonable for something costing the best part of a grand.

      Bottom line, I’d say buyer beware in the UK at the moment. Halfords have been very helpful (great customer service from their staff) I’m reserving judgement on Fisher, but initial response not great, and Tacx have just said “Sorry, hope you get a new unit soon”!

    • doug j

      Dennis, Hope your next one is spot on! That’s actually in a odd sort… good news! Not that it failed prematurely, rather not a circuit board difficult to obtain in future. I’d rather install a fan than replace a circuit board in the future. I agree, small fans are easy to locate matching specs and replace. I haven’t popped my Neo open yet to inspect, if you do and locate fans with matching specs, pass them on to the thread.

    • doug j

      Marc, No worries about the route and physical condition. The videos have the ability to set max grade. If the video you like contains 12-16% grades, you can set the max low and raise later when ready for more challenge. Exp: If true grades are 16%, set a max of 3% and you’ll experienced true grade up to 3% and limited grade above at 3% to what you configure; you can set it as 3% max or a proportionate degree to true grade.

      Although, I need to back pedal and retract a perk… The decent doesn’t seem to support the Neo’s Decent feature. On a short coast while RPM is dropping it does, but when RPM hits zero the video stops and Neo continues to spin based on descending grade. VeloReality forum indicates this will be addressed.

      Which videos, all European I’ve purchased so far are great and the USA SW sets look great too. You can get a feel for each within the store. The free video software comes with 2: 1/2 mile demos to get the feel. I’m currently riding the Corsica, Cap Corse FR set.

      Multiple devices are workable, the Neo sends the ANT+ and can be received by multiple devices. I use my Garmin head unit while displaying same information via USB ANT+ on PC (Win10) on 46″ screen. I’m not positive on BT, don’t know if multiple connections are supported.

      Ray or others experienced in BT could provide BT info.

    • Marc

      Hi Doug
      I downloaded Corsica and Majorca, and did a 25km part of Majorca 1 this morning and 20k’s Corsica 1 this afternoon. All sees to be working fine (despite the freewheel issue you described).

      No real heat noticeable on the top vents after each. I wonder whether sweat dripping into the vents might contribute to some type of short circuit. I know it seems unlikely because of where they are positioned but the electronics below do look quite exposed.

      I do notice that the Neo is smoother using the smaller chain ring rather than the bigger which feels a little ‘notchy’ at times. It’s not unpleasant but just not as smooth as the smaller gear. (Ultegra 6800) I am not sure whether this is the Neo as I haven’t taken this bike out on the road yet.

    • Doug J

      Marc,
      Great to hear & hope you enjoy Veloreality… if anything it’s a change! Next time you ride, the same route you’ll notice some arrows at top of screen on profile section. The “arrow” is your previous ride. If it’s pointing backward, you’re going faster than prev performance, if it’s square – same speed, if it’s pointing forward – faster than current. Eventually, you may see a white overlay circle pass you… that is your previous self.

      Just an old guy’s opinion follows…
      Smoothness is a mixed one… at first I strongly felt the magnet pulses on upper gears and higher wattage. Gave the notchy / step feeling. After riding the Neo, I’ve noticed the same gears & power seem much smoother, actually not even noticed. After you’ve ridden the Neo a bit, share if you’ve noticed any change.

      While our focus has been on the quietness of Neo, one of the main technologies has been it’s electronics to create variable inertia control that “supposedly” analyses the riders input over 1000/sec and recreates inertial efforts with the lack of a weighted flywheel and it’s centrifugal inertia.

      I compare this to weight training; if accustomed to barbell, then switch to dumbbell or independent cable weights the weight feels heavier, and movement is shaky or not as smooth due to using different muscles to stabilize and the muscles used to lift weight are applied differently. Until you adapt, it feels totally different, once adapted it’s smooth and overall better conditioning. Any comparisons? Don’t know but my mag-pluses have minimized or stopped in my normal range of applied power.

      Again, supposedly the Neo adapts to how the rider applies power and recreates your power rotational inertia. I’ve experimented a bit, push hard where you don’t normally push as hard and then apply your normal power rotation. It’s seems to change to smooth out power cycle.
      Hogwash or science… uncertain.

      Sweat & circuits, I would agree moisture could harm electronics. I’ve not noticed sweat in the location of the Neo. I’m more mid-center & ft of bike. If you’re sweating onto the Neo, I’d consider fabricating a little cardboard roof over the top electronics vent.

  69. Pascal Kolkman

    Subject : pedal smoothness comparison between TAcx Neo and TAcx bushido.
    I both tried the Tacx NEO and Bushido smart and vortex smart today in a tacx demo center in Germany.
    Especially I tested the grip of rear tire on the brake on heavy loads and according pedal smoothness above 300watt standed climb in small gear.
    On the Bushido similar to genius I noticed less smoothness in the pedal stroke than on the neo. Especially in low cadance low rpm < 91 rpm and relative high watts there is a noticable "DEAD SPOT" each half rotation at 6 o'clock or at 180 degrees for each leg (twice per rotation) . When your left or right foot and pedal is in the bottom of the pedal stroke at 6 o'clock it's keeps STUCK there for a short period.., untill you apply new pressure pushing the other leg down again, So this climbing on the bushido kind a felt unnatural like "Going down left leg+STOP, or going down right leg+stop".
    Also I noticed with no change in inputted wattage the resistance on the bushido did got much lighter easier on higher increasing cadance rpm than this same watts felt in low cadance rpm cycling.
    These dead spots are less noticable on the vortex smart but that is only beacause the vortex cannot apply more motor brake resistance than 7%.
    So my advise is: when you are going to be using a tacx trainer for many steep climbing or high wattage intervalls in low cadance fi standed climb above 300 watts < 91 rpm than the NEO direct drive is far more smooth and natural in the pedal stroke with less so calles "dead spots" than the Bushido brake.

  70. Lou

    Just fyi, my Neo arrived with a Shimano lockring.

    Looks like they’ve moved away from the Campagnolo lockring.

  71. doug j

    After my Neo has been quite, an Intermittent clunking sound has become more frequent and louder. At first I thought it was a noise related to bike frame or non-related to Neo. I’ve installed a new chain, installed an alternate cassette, and performed the hub greasing per Tacx’s recommendations. Clunking remains at moderate wattage of 180-220 most easily able to pickup noise. The clunking sounds like a crank arm hitting a kickstand, but multiple kickstands.

    Let me know if any of you that have already experienced issues if this sounds like a Neo issue.

    • doug j

      I guess you can’t add audio files, disregard.

    • Doug J

      Neo Noise resolved – Better than new!
      My previous post on recently developed clunky sound was corrected, even less noise than previous. Had already prev. performed Tacx suggested cassette inner shaft and sleeve greasing with no change in noise. I think the actual clunk sound may have been the cassette lock ring not being firmly tight.

      When installing cassette on EDCO hub, the splines felt a little tightness sliding the on cogs but the points of contact were minimal and not uniform around the circumference of hub compared to Shimano. It looked like it would be possible to have a little tension shift in each cog’s mount which might cause a noise and even amplify through the hub and magnet drum.

      I don’t normally grease the Hub on road bike, but tried it on the EDCO Hub… Light coat of grease on hub & splines, and inner contact areas on each cog… Not the chain teeth area.

      Result was a significant difference, very quite in drivetrain… If anything the grease is acting like a sound insulator and stopping the metal to metal sounds. Placed about a 100 miles on it and still quite!

      Wouldn’t do this on a road bike for outside riding due to dirt attraction. My trainer bike is an older aluminum CAAD4 10 speed that never sees the road. If road bike, I’d degrease & clean cassette when transferring over to wheel’s cassette hub.

      Worked for me, maybe a consideration.

  72. Doug J

    If interested to try VeloReality Videos utilizing the Neo’s Decline feature.

    VeloReality worked remotely with my Neo today to modify the VeloReality software to recognize & utilize the Neo’s Decline feature. I’ve ridden the modified software and works great! VeloReality may tweak the software a bit more, but will be pushing out an update soon that works with Neo’s decline. If you’d rather not have decline coasting, you can turn it off via a check box to Eliminate descends.
    link to veloreality.com

    • Paul Medhurst

      Zwift is good fun, but the programming ( I am assuming) still needs a bit of refinement to make gradient changes and acceleration more realistic. Veloreality really does feels much more realistic in getting onto and topping out of a /gradient climb.

      If Veloreality is reprogramming to take account of the direct drive of the Neo that will be great, because the video will stop if you don’t produce any power at all, so no freewheel.

      It’s funny, but there are hundreds of people out on Zwift, but only a handful on Veloreality (1 active ride as I write!). They are different products, but even so, the discrepany doesn’t reflect how much Veloreality has to offer. Once more people get on Veloreality courses, there wll be good scope for multi-rider rides.Seeing as the Patenburg loop is free and 50km legs can be bought for about €10 I don’t understand why Zift is viral and Veloreality is under the radar.

      I have a Tacx 4 software and have bought a few RLVs. So far no joy whatsoever in successfully installing the videos. Anyone know what I am doing wrong?

      Paul

    • Doug J

      Paul, agree w you on comparison of Zwift & VeloReality (VR). Zwift is very enjoyable and has a motivational element with other graphical riders, but very game feel. VR is much more realistic in grades and applying watts, and the HD video itself. Really notice the grade difference after riding Zwift a lot, then doing a VR video… Feels slower and requires more consistant wattage, much more realistic. I’m learning to enjoy the previous performance multi-rider component, I like riding against myself, good benchmark for performance gains. Not as graphical as Zwifts animated glyphs riding around you, but more precise. Other riders on same route is a rarity, I haven’t fully gotten into the multi-rider but per the manual, looks nice. The videos are long, and I like how you can continue the ride later, or save a section and make a shorter video. With the added feature of Neo’s direct drive, being able to coast a little after a climb is great. Should be available soon to everyone.

    • Doug J

      Paul, I also bought TTS4 and the Neo Track for the TTS4 Animation routes. Haven’t purchased RLV’s yet… I was a bit discouraged with the overall flow of TTS4 and the functionality of the animated virtual routes. I was considering trying a RLV, but may hold off now a bit and purchase a few more VR routes.

    • Andi

      well regarding the RLVs … where did you buy it? Original Tacx RLVs? In this case there should be no problem with the installation … in any case … with this absolutely useless question no one can give you any hint or help … if you still like to get help be a little bit more specific what exactly is your problem with the installation

    • Dennis

      Doug thanks for the tip-off to VeloReality, I’m downloading it as we speak. I had never heard of it and it looks like it’ll be a nice addition to my ever growing “bike training software suite” 🙂

    • Doug J

      Dennis, hope you enjoy! When I notice the VeloReality has pushed a new version down, I’ll post a note that you should be able to experience decline coasting. I’ve found the coasting on long grades a nice feature to simulate road. It’s probably not desired to be active if training hard & prefer load all the time.

    • Doug J

      FYI on VeloReality – Update has been posted on VeloReality Forum
      VeloReality Update that supports the Neo’s Powered Decline Feature.

      A download update is available, download and rename & replace your existing c:\Velo Reality Software\v_ride.x64.exe with new file.

      link to veloreality.com

    • Paul

      Andi

      You do have a point: My question was too universal and lacks information as to what is going wong with the installation. On the other hand, you are extremely rude. Please don’t offer any help. And yes, for what it is worth, all original software bought at some expense.

      Paul

    • Doug J

      Paul,
      Purchased 2 Tacx lower cost RLV’s to compare. Since I have the TTS4 software, should give their RLV’s a look. When downloaded and installed, I’ll maybe have a little more insight into what you may be experiencing. Currently downloading 9 new VeloReality videos (125 GB), the Tacx videos are behind those in que.

    • RE: Why Zwift gets more love than Veloreality

      I think there’s a few things at play here (not saying it should be this way, just offering reasons for why it is)

      A) User interface is a bit cleaner. I’ve seen time and time again that UI is one of the biggest draws for why an app succeeds. True story.
      B) Zwift is very well connected in the PR/media/cycling world. I think they got a bit frustrated at me initially because I generally ignored all their attempts at early posts, since I saw them as more hype than not.
      C) That connectivity to cycling pros and media is far deeper than people realize. Sure, they have a PR company that works their ass off, but they also have a lot of connections to folks in the industry, from pros to people now at various publications. So now they have pro group rides with various folks’ favorite pros. It pulls in.
      D) Media folks like writing about things that people like reading about. Because obviously, that draws eyeballs. It’s sorta like when I write about Strava & Garmin in the same post, the internet explodes. Same goes for Zwift posts. I often skip out on Zwift announcements, even though there would be significant interest (and even when Zwift provides exclusive early access) – simply because I don’t want other apps to feel like I’m favoring Zwift more than others. Yet at the same time, it’s hard to strike balance when there’s so much interest there.
      E) Lastly, some people prefer outdoor videos (i.e. Veloreality), others prefer workouts in ERG mode (i.e. TrainerRoad), and yet others prefer more gaming/entertainment (i.e. Zwift). To each their own.

      Just food for thought…

    • Doug J

      Paul,
      Installed the Tacx RLV’s… and agree that it’s a contorted manor to accomplish. The email received has download link & license key. The download is a utility Prg to download & install the RLV into TTS4. The utility Prg defaults to install the videos into the Windows\Program Files(86) directory. I selected an alternate path and installed in a created directory C:\Tacx Videos\. This prevents large massive video files to be stored in a Windows directory, my preference from old school IT structures, but you can simply select the defaults.

      Once RLV’s are installed by the downloaded installer. Start TTS4, the videos will appear in the TTS4 program under Tacx Film Tab. Although they won’t play – the “Start Training” button is ghosted (not active). This button does not become active until TTS4 program is connected & communicating with the Neo. Select the “Intro” tab to view your connections on Right side of screen… Should see Neo Trainer with an red X… Spin crank a bit to get a connection. If no Neo listed, you need to go to SETUP \ DEVICE MANAGER at Top Mgmt Bar at top of screen and add your Neo.

      Once Neo is active, go back to RVL tab, select RVL Video, select “Start Training” button. You will then be prompted for a license key, click Next and key in license key. After activation, spin crank for awhile until video starts motion. Stop cranks, answer prompt to end video. Video is now licensed and available. Select next RVL Video from list, repeat procedure to license.

      The frustrating part to me was the 1) Neo needed connected before the license key procedure and the license procedure wasn’t presented until video was started… Little backward logic. 2) The license email was not accessible because TTS4 consumes the screen and will not minimize, requiring manual lic key entry from phone or print copy instead of copy & paste.

      LOL, in comparison… VeloReality’s license activation is a “click”.

    • andi

      so I hope you`ll get some help somewhere soon …

    • Paul

      Doug,

      Thanks for the feedback. Maybe the trainer being attached and recognised is something I can look at. Quite sure that is something I have not assumed in the process (why would you?). It is wierd anyway though: TTS4 crashes every time I click the “other videos from Tacx link”. And Windows doesn’t find anything after the installation is supposedly complete. Meanwhile, just downloaded the next Corsica leg from VR for €10…

      Updated the software update as per your post re. the added freewheel function: brilliant!. I take your point about power training and not necessarily wanting to freewheel, but if you’ve upped into a higher band and want to take a drink on an undulating course, that is a great way to get you back where you want to be (just as you would out on the road).

      Ray

      I think your assessment is insightful re. popularity of Zwift and RLV: I hadn’t really considered the PR and industry connectivity of Zwift wihch with hindsight is manifest. And they are quite different training platforms. I have noticed a tendency to get a bit distracted on Zwift and train in an intensity band I wasn’t setting out for. The RLVs offer an environment where you can set the terms in advance and not get distracted by catching people, slipstreaming, comparative values etc. I have avoided any mountainous courses on VR for this reason – that’s stuff for Spring and Summer.

      Paul

    • Paul,
      I too experienced the TTS4 software crashing. Each time I closed the software after looking around the menus, it would crash and hang / freeze. I recall the video component crashing, but not what actual steps caused. Fully removed, cleaned Win Register Hive, reinstalled (2) and continued to crash intermitantly… Dependent on what was opened within TTS4. Was installed on Win7 OS, and since Win10 was a free upgrade I upgraded the OS. It’s been functioning nicely on Win10. Not sure if upgrade corrected a driver or logic error or if Win10 is more stable.

    • Paul

      Doug,
      Interesting to hear you had similar issues. I have also deinstalled and reinstalled, but not manually cleaned the registry. I will contact Tacx and see what they suggest, not using their Help Tool with its long list of mandatory info fields requiring entries which not not include the NEO. I think Tacx are slumbering their way into the corner of the market, having begun as pretty much the only RLV game in town.

      Tacx Support
      Wake up! Your RLV market is about to get scooped. Once the harware is sold, this is surely where the real money in after sales is to be made. The NEO is great, but your VR software is pants compared to Zwift. And Veloreality is simply a reliable alternative to your RLV products. €160 spent on your videos and software that don’t work reliably; €40 spent on Veloreality (so far) which does. Where is this heading?

  73. jjarz72

    Is anyone else have issues with consistent resistance in ERG mode? I just did my second TR ride today and it was a real mess. Using iPhone & the ant+ dongle (and latest Neo firmware upgrade), ERG mode started out tracking 10 watts under the target.

    During the ride I tried to:

    a) recalibrate (but after reading this thread both the Power Meter & ‘Ant+ Trainer FEC’ device calibrations are useless?),
    b) switch from ERG to Manual to Disabled (no change),
    c) power the Neo on & off which eventually get it going again.

    Since the tracking was still off I tried several the above again in no particular order which resulted in:

    2. ERG mode tracking 10 watts over target.
    3. ERG mode tracking 100!!! watts under target
    4. ERG mode holding at 180 watts through the cool down; initially 10 watts under but eventually almost 100 watts over.

    Any help is appreciated (does this sound like user error or a buggy unit?).

    Also If anyone can relay the successful steps they use with Neo & TR on Ant+ I’ll see if that helps (power on Neo first or last? Simply initiate a TR workout or go to devices and configure first?)

    Thanks

  74. Arnout

    Neo for less or equal than Wahoo Kickr
    For the same price keeping in mind the ANT stick and 10 speed Shimano Ultegra Cassette I would think that the Neo is a no brainer? Or did I miss anything!?

    • doug j

      Arnout,
      All in a persons perspective, and those that have experienced multiple issues may have a stronger viewpoint; The Neo has had startup issues & bugs. I had the same thought path as you and very glad I went with Neo. I personally feel future firmware updates will provide additional benefits. I like the technology of the trainer, the quite operation, the lack of calibration, non-rigid mount, and hopefully few moving parts equates to long life! On a marketing / appearance angle, it looks great too!

  75. Cameron

    I received my new NEO yesterday.

    I thoughtlessly tilted the NEO up and to the side with the bike still attached to it.

    The bike flew out and I bent the rear skewer (on RHS in the process) so that I now cannot remove the skewer.

    I observe no obvious damage with the rear cassette and it’s operation in free-hub mode.

    Besides the bent skewer at the RHS, I am more concerned that I could have damaged internal direct drive components resulting from the lateral load placed on the skewer during this stupid act…

    I have not started the NEO yet because I am getting the bike geared up and tuned to suit the NEO tomorrow.

    Does anyone think I could have damaged any internal components from above?

    Cameron

    • Lee

      Having disassembled one (and bent skewers on other trainers), my opinion is that the Neo will be fine. Consider derailleur hangers are designed to be the weakest point to break first as a “sacrificial part”, the skewer is easily bent. I actually straightened mine on a KICKR, no issues.

    • Cameron

      Thanks lee.
      i am concerned with jjarz72’s post (#1521) – I thought these large Wattage discrepencies were all sorted with TACX and TR now?

      Cameron

    • Lee

      Well, jjarz72 is using iPhone and ANT+ dongle, which puts him into the “rarely tried and tested” category.

      Last time I checked, TrainerRoad Beta on a PC with ANT+ was a working combination although I still felt it was inferior to the kickr experience and could be tweaked further.

    • Cameron

      Thanks Lee.

      Is the ‘iPhone’ inference relating to bluetooth only?

      I will be hooking up TR to NEO via a PC with the Suunto Movestick Mini ANT +.

      Will I be having the same problems as Jjarz72?

      Cameron

    • Lee

      No – I said he was using an ANT dongle. There really cannot be many people using an ANT dongle on iphone given that newer iphones required 30pin-to-lightning adapter plus dongle and why bother when bluetooth is built in ?

      I know many people use the Suunto, don’t know of any specific problems. If you haven’t bought it yet I’d say go for the garmin ANT+ dongle as it seems to be the majority. And in this cycling techno race, its safer to be part of the majority 🙂

    • Doug J

      Cameron,
      Agree w Lee, Garmin ANT dongle more stable. I started with the Suunto, experienced a few oddities & drops. Tried Garmin to test any improvement and found more stable and more driver supported. Re: bent skewer, shouldn’t be any problem. Straighten, remove & replace. The axle passage & associated material through Neo is very robust, much more than the skewer.

    • cameron

      Thanks Lee and Doug.

      My oversight sorry. Still coming to terms with all of this gadgetry gizmo electronic bits and bobs 🙂

      Now, I have had the bike built up (brand new BB, bearings, etc.), installed and indexed properly to the NEO. When rotating by hand (with chain in straight line and no cross chaining) without any load, I feel a light notch every 2 or so degrees for the entire full crank rotation and is defintiely not a smooth crank rotation compared to a stand-alone road bike with the exact same crank/chain/gear set.

      I tried different bikes on the NEO with same notchey feeling. Is this notchey feeling normal for the NEO when rotated by hand?

      If so, what is the cause of this notchey feeling?

      Cameron

    • Doug J

      Cameron,
      No concerns on the notchey hand crank feeling. That is normal, you’re feeling the magnets passing each other at slow speed. You may also feel the mag pulse while riding at slow speed / moderate wattage. These magnets & associated generated electrical power is the core to Neo’s non-flywheel variable flywheel inertia.

      Take a ride, enjoy your high tech gadget!

    • Cameron

      Cool bananas! Thanks Doug.

      I have planned, researched this NEO for the last 7 months and now finally I can implement all the goodness I have learned about this NEO and what it has to offer.

      Will keep you posted on any new concerns, questions that appear..

      Cameron

    • Chase_R

      This operation is normal with Tacx motorized trainers. My Fortius does it also. Mostly it is more pronounced at slower speeds. It tends to be a big issue for me because it makes the private area go numb and then extreme pain. I normally can’t ride the trainer more than an hour before being forced to stop. I can ride all day in the saddle outdoors but put the bike on the trainer and the pain will happen. I’ve tried many different saddles but they didn’t work.

    • Ardillakilla

      Increased saddle discomfort is a common problem associated with indoor training. I really doubt it’s caused by the ‘notchiness.’ I’ve experienced it with every trainer, rollers, Velotron, except the Lynx. If the Neo does what’s it’s supposed to, it should be as comfortable as riding outside since the problem is due to lack of inertia which only the Lynx (and Neo if it works) solves.

  76. Cameron

    Hello, how are you…..

    Getting closer to riding my TACX NEO.

    Some minor hiccups at the start…

    I am trying to update the latest firmware with my Iphone 6.

    I make sure no other bluetooth devices are connected while I try this, however I receive a constant message from my iPhone/TACX utility app stating that I need to ensure I have no connection with other Bluetooth devices. I do this and even check on my iPhone to ensure no other bluetooth devices are in operation. I even turn my computer off.

    Alas, this constant message is stopping me from proceeding to update to the new firmware for the NEO.

    My current version is ‘0.3.1 / 0.2.1 / 0.4.2’. The latest version states ‘0.3.2 / 0.2.1 / 0.4.2’. Not sure what the difference is, but I want to ensure I have the latest firmware installed on the NEO.

    Help me install the latest firmware.

    Cameron

    • Doug J

      Cameron,
      That msg is just a notice, not a block… Proceed as normal to run app. The iPhone app isn’t checking that you have a conflict, it’s just reminding you to not have other active connections. The key during the update is to consistantly turn off & back on the iPhones BT with the toggle within Settings. Each prompt to turn off, toggle it off for 5 seconds and then back on. Next don’t panic if it appears to stop, just let it work through. Enjoy & Good Luck!!

    • cameron

      Thanks Doug.

      I have tried many times to toggle on/off in settings and for more than 5 secs at a time, and have let it work through.

      I do acknowledge that this message is not a block, however I would like to be operating with the latest firmware update.

      What are my next steps to ensure I can upload this latest firmware, given above information?

      Cameron

    • Doug j

      Cameron,
      Are you indicating the iOS app is completing the update and you’re making it through the process successfully and upgrade continues when you cycle BT back on?

      If it’s not completing, just some thoughts… Is Neo plugged into power? You indicated it’s a iPhone6 so iOS is current w iOS 9x.

      I’d suggest clearing iOS device. Double tap home key and kill each open app by sliding upward. Respiring device by holding both Home & Power buttons at same time and continue to hold both until you see the Apple icon after screen cycles off. When Apple Icon appears, let go of both buttons and allow iOS device to complete respiring (boot).

      Retry your iOS Tacx firmware app. If it’s completing, I’d assume update was performed. If still no joy… I can’t offer anything useful.
      If unseccessful, I’d drop Tacx support a note.

    • Cameron

      Hi Doug.

      Appreciate your ongoing assistance.

      I managed to update firmware to the current version.

      It took a lot of time, not sure why…

      Anyway, I am now at my last hurdle with TR trying to recognize my NEO.

      It recognizes a smart trainer and when I turn the pedal, it recognizes watts and cadence.

      However, it does not provide me with any option to select a NEO from any menu – like the previous version of TR.

      I want ot make sure TR is recognizing the NEO and not assigning some other unknown smart trainer.

      Thoughts?

      Cameron

    • Cameron

      Hello again.

      TR has detected a smart trainer with a device number ‘2933’. This is the same ID number as the Neo, but the word ‘neo’ does not appear anywhere on TR. Why is this and have I got the right trainer paired?

      I am finding it hard to accurately match the target power on erg mode and resistance mode noted in any profile I attempt on TR. My actual power line is jumpy and spikes above the target power line mostly. How do I obtain a smoother power output to match the target power line?

      On any interval workout, I cannot keep an accurate power reading to target power in erg mode or resistance mode. Having to manually adjust to resistance mode on the run just defeats the purpose of the erg function on this device imo. Any thoughts on improving this?

      Cameron

    • Doug J

      Cameron,
      Others will need to pipe up on TR issues. Others have been discussing TR and protocols.

      Re Neo’s ID, wouldn’t be concerned, that’s the device ID the software receives. The name Neo is basically a label and will appear if the software developer has added it to the device table. Since the Neo is new, several software developers may not have added it yet. The same occurs with VeloReality, it currently displays Neo’s ID only for Power, S&C, Trainer.

      Has anyone contacted TR to check if they’ve included any updates to fully include Neo’s sensors or specs in their programming?

    • Alistair

      Trainer Road user here. Using it with a P2M power meter and getting TR to use that for power with sufferfest videos. It’s not as smooth as the kickr traces look, I assume due to lack of flywheel.

      It mostly works, but IMO it’s too slow to compensate for the offset between the Neo and powermeter with shorter intervals on things like Nine Hammers. It’s not always the same amount, so I don’t want to put in a fixed offset.

      For example, interval jumps from 150 to 280 – quick reaction from the neo to increase the power, but will end up only being 260 or so on the PM. Then takes a while for TR to adjust that value up so the PM reads 280.

      I’m guessing something with shorter intervals like blender would be a complete non starter.

    • Lee

      You are spot on. Nine Hammers is not a workout that requires speedy resistance changes. Plenty of the others like blender or race simulations would just flatten out.

  77. Cameron

    I have a question about the cadence provided by the Neo.

    How does it compare in terms of accuracy, consistency and responsiveness compared to an ANT + third party cadence sensor one could place on the crank?

    I have a wahoo cadence ANT + sensor ready to use if I want to.

    Cameron

    • Doug J

      Cameron,
      Don’t have an actual specification, although when VeloReality was using my Neo remotely, he stated the cadence sensor is a calculated output, not an actual static sensor and wasn’t as accurate as a ANT+ sensor… Although only minimal and was a +/- depending on S&C.

      Joost,
      As in all power instruments, you’ll see a variance especially between different types: crank, axle, pedals, etc.

      My Powetap P1 and Garmin Vectors are both slightly different than Neo, Kickr, CompuTrainer and each Trainer is different between the each. The P1’s are closest to Neo but at a slightly different time. On a controlled even level output they are 2-4 W difference. On a changing output of grade or effort, one reacts quicker and it appears the P1’s will indicate higher short peaks; like the Neo is slightly smoothing the power curve.

      Overall not a concern once you’re aware of your differences and apply that variance in your training. Or focus on the one you prefer. I have P1’s to Garmin 1000 and Neo’s within the simulation: Zwift, VeloR, etc.

      Re Sensor ratio number, others may know the details. I’d recomend remove the sensor from Garmin unit and reinstall to obtain default values.

    • Michael

      Please have a look at my comment #161

  78. Joost

    Very happy with my Tacx Neo, I use it in combination with a Garmin Edge 520 and Rotor Inpower powermeter which delivers cadence and off course power. All this works pretty fine, but I do see a discrepancy between the power and cadence from the powermeter and what the Tacx app shows me.

    Although I have 1 question. I looked in my Garmin at settings for the Tacx sensor details. And accidentally changed the Gear Ratio to 0.00. I don’t know the number I should put in here.

    Also can somebody tell me what this number does?

  79. Sindeuk

    link to vimeo.com

    LED does not light you turn the pedals.

    When you connect the power, the power light does not turn on.
    But hear the sound of the motor rotation when the power connection.

    ant +, not even any Bluetooth pairing.

  80. robbie mc

    how does it compare in a gym enviroment being used a couple of times a day

  81. Cameron

    Electronic SMART trainers are known for their smooth nature of graphed power in ERG mode, primarily because of the natural smoothing generated by large flywheels.

    We all know that the NEO flywheel does not naturally smooth the power data in ERG mode.

    How important is it to have the smooth matching of the power target set by apps like TR?

    What are the implications of not having this smooth power matching profile on the NEO?

    Cameron

    • axti

      To me it’s not important. I’m used to the power fluctuations of a real power meter, so to me the NEO behaves more realistic compared to e.g. the Kickr.

      In TR, I set smoothing to 3 sec and I’m good. This still is far away from getting a flat line, but this is how you pedal! Too much smoothing won’t give you the real picture.

  82. Cameron

    Thanks a x t I

    Can you change your pedal Stoke to reduce the fluctuations even with 3 sec power smoothing?

    Doesn’t the spike y profile affect your power analysis g r a p h s say in TrainingPeaks ?

    Cameron

    • axti

      >>Can you change your pedal Stoke to reduce the fluctuations even with 3 sec power smoothing?

      Yes, even with 3 sec smoothing I can impact the fluctuations by the way I’m pedaling…but even when I’m really focusing on my pedal stroke it won’t be a flat line. See figure below.

      >>Doesn’t the spike y profile affect your power analysis g r a p h s say in TrainingPeaks ?

      No. The intervals are usually spot on regarding average power. One example:

      In the first interval TR requires a steady pedal stroke.
      In the second interval, TR requires to stand up every minute for 30 seconds, reducing the cadence by
      ~20 rpm (target power unchanged). This generates both power spikes and drops.

      In both cases, the average power was spot on compared to TR’s target power.

    • Cameron

      Thankx AXTI.

      A great workout there. Is Axti your user name on TR as well? I would like to have a look at your other workouts in TR.

      How can I search for workouts completed by other usernames in TR?

      How do you modify your pedal stroke to to impact the power fluctuations?

      Cameron

    • cmeron

      hi axti.

      what is the name of that workout you have posted a picture of?

      Cameron

  83. Adam

    A testament to the terrible Tacx service. I am pretty frustrated about this.

    I went to purchase the Smart Upgrade with the discount code from my NEO. I put in the discount code and went to check out and pay and before I paid I noticed my shipping address was listed incorrectly. It had the house number after my street address, which is not the convention in North America so I figured I would correct it so there would be no postal confusion when it was being delivered. So I cancelled payment and went back to change my address and before I could pay I had to input my discount code again. However, it listed it as invalid this time because it was already used. Apparently when I went back to my cart it created a new order and the old order with the discount code still exists. In fact I can see it (but not access it) in my account.

    And even though this is the TACX store, which they control in every way AND the fact they can clearly see what has happened from looking at my account, they cannot or will not fix the issue. I am not trying to get more than what was offered when I paid for their TOP END TRAINER. Their only option is to tell me I can pay the full amount and they will give me store credit. So due to a glitch on their side I have to pay them more money that I have to find a way to use on their store.

    If this is their best customer service, I shudder to think what happens if my NEO has issues and in fact I am very seriously contemplating a return.

    • Doug J

      Adam,
      Dang… That’s a bummer! I recall their store was a bit odd and I did a little back step too, but can’t recall what issue was, think it was the way address was displayed.

      If your attempts to explain and request coorcetion don’t work, I’d agree, return and if needed repurchase to obtain a new discount code. If you take that route, I’d use a different email on registration too… Can always change it later.

      Returning Neo is a major hassle for a discount code, I’d make another attempt with Tacx or even with the vender, they might be able to accomplish the task.
      Good Luck!

    • Doug J

      You might find someone reading this blog that has no intentions of purchasing Tacx smart upgrade & TTS4 software and might provide a Tacx code.

    • Adam

      Yeah, the software I dont care too much about if it comes to that, its not like there are not alternatives but if something goes wrong with my trainer and I have to talk to them about a serious issue. That is almost worth getting the kickr instead.

    • Just for clarity, who did you call at Tacx to try and sort it out (i.e. which number/entity/etc…)?

    • Adam

      I did not see a number anywhere that I could call, so I have been talking with them via email (support@tacx.com). At this point they do not seem to be responding as I presume they see the matter closed unless I agree to what they have offered. It seems so absurd that I am even talking about this! I can see the order sitting in my account with the discount applied, they can see it, we all know what is happening and yet they choose not to solve what is a simple issue

  84. Cambo

    Hi.
    Sorry to tag on, but I am having a few issues with my neo smart..
    I had the see saw problem and it was sent back via the supplier, but now I am having issues connecting via ant+ and blue tooth, I have tried the tacx’s training ap and the velo one… Tacx’s allows me to pedal okay for a minute then whacks on the most amount of resistance (I am an okay cycler) but I can’t even turn the pedals, velo connects for 4 seconds… Anybody else having these issues… Getting a bit fed up now. I was so excited when I got it.
    I am using my phone at the moment to connect as my iPad is too old and it is not supported by Mac (frustrated is not the word)
    Can anybody help?

  85. Josh W

    Ray, seeing as there’s a fair amount of issues, any word on your full review of this?

  86. Stephen

    I’m still on the fence about which trainer to get, so I’m looking forward to Ray’s in-depth review of the Tacx Neo Smart. Other than the price, it looks great!

    • andi

      as much as I love his tests and reviews from Ray and benefit from them … has not everything there is to tell about the NEO and his “faults” already been said here and elsewhere? What should Ray add to this ?
      What do you expect?

    • Stephen

      Hi Andi,

      I agree that’s there’s a lot of info posted already. However, Ray was planning to publish his in-depth review 4Q15 or possibly a review of the Tacx product line-up to add product / performance details or context. Ray’s thoughtful analysis and write-ups add more details and address questions I wouldn’t even know to ask. So, I don’t know what info he’ll be adding, but I do know it’ll be helpful for my decision process.

      Of course, there’s also an issue here and there that’s been called out on this page. It would be good to get Ray’s take on those, particularly if he’s had contact with Tacx to see what’s going on.

    • Mattv

      I know a lot of people are wanting to know the comparison between the Kickr and Neo. I own both and all I can say is that I use the Kickr more and after using both extensively with almost every major open software applications. I prefer the Kickr overall.

      It all comes down to noise (as Ray said.) The Neo is much quieter than the Kickr, but it is not truly silent. The Kickr has a smoother, more “road like” feel. For me the later is more compelling, but I use the Neo when I am want to watch TV during easy rides…..

      What I would really like to see is a comparison of the SRM trainer and these two……..

    • Just out of curiosity – is there really a overlap in the people looking to buy an SRM trainer (the only price I could find was 3,500EUR), vs a KICKR/NEO/whatever? Especially given said SRM trainer doesn’t work with any of the apps (to my knowledge) that every other trainer works with?

      (Truly curious)

    • As for a final review, it’s on my clean-up list as I try to clear out 2015 related products in this quiet time of year (not everything will make the cut).

      However, I do generally agree that I’m not 100% sure I’m going to add much more to the discussion (though I can probably get clarity on where manuf, qa and related aspects stand now). Ultimately I don’t see noise issues on mine, so for the most part things are pretty much where we left them on my side. I do read every comment here, but I also think we’re starting to see issues taper off (save for a few random pops here and there). Given we know manuf is increasing in production, it stands to reason that issues are decreasing as they’ve worked through kinks. Just a guess.

      My general opinion on the price/value of NEO vs KICKR aspect from this post remains pretty much unchanged.

    • Matt

      No, there is no real correlation between the SRM and the Neo/Kickr from a general consumer or practical perspective, but from a perspective of people nit-picking minor flaws and idiosyncrasies of these trainers, it might be interesting to compare to a “money no object” device. As one of those riders who really values, and is sensitive to, the “road feel” qualities, I’d be interested to try the SRM. Of course the apparent closed nature of the connectivity limits it’s appeal. I think there is a market for high end trainer devices, actually. I really like the idea of not having to use my bike and possibly risk stress/fatigue issues. (I’ve always wondered if that is a real concern….)

    • Yeah, that’s the challenge. Given most of the time these money no object type purchases have little real-world appeal, it’s tough for me to justify bumping some other product folks want me to write a review on (i.e. the NEO), out for something else. :-/

    • Andrew (UK)

      Hi Matt. For the price of the SRM (lots less I suspect) you can do what I did and purchase a NEO + a dedicated Ali Road bike for it. Like you I wouldn’t want my normal road bike attached to the Neo, nor would I want to be constantly attaching it / taking it off / taking wheels off / putting them on.

    • Megalodon

      Last I checked, the SRM was just a glorified spin bike. I’ve owned 3 SRM cranks and still recommend them but I wouldn’t buy their trainers.

      A better example of a high end trainer would a VeloTron or Lynx (FE-C support coming for both). I would choose the latter if you’re interested in “road feel” as it’s without rival.

    • I don’t believe RacerMate (maker of VeloTron) has committed to FE-C on any products.

      (Though, happy to be proven wrong)

    • Megalodon

      RacerMate doesn’t have any say in it. Everything they make has been reverse-engineered.

    • You can reverse engineer all you want, but that won’t change the code on the physical Velotron/CT hardware (nor lack of required physical HW components). So any reverse engineering (as noted, plenty has been done), is only serving to bolster someone else selling a product (be it software or hardware), that’s in addition/attached to the VeloTron/CompuTrainer.

      Adding FE-C support to a device means the device is able to natively respond to FE-C commands wirelessly via ANT+.

    • Megalodon

      I don’t even know what you’re trying to say.

    • No, you do. You’re just trying to be coy about it, just like you try and do the same in other places you post around the internet (and have for years). And that’s fine, we all get you reverse engineered the code. Great.

      However, none of which changes the fact that your code isn’t running on production Velotrons or CompuTrainers, and thus, it’s not FE-C. Which again, you fully well understand.

    • Megalodon

      No, I’m truly confused. But some other things have become clear.

    • Ok, what’s confusing?

      I know you’re smart enough to understand what I’m saying – since you’re well versed in trainer protocols and products. So if I’m not making something clear – let me know.

      A) FE-C is an ANT+ device profile that dictates how an app/device communicates to a piece of ‘gym equipment’, inclusive of a trainer
      B) Said equipment must have ANT+ hardware capabilities, as well as be programmed to accept FE-C commands. Merely using ANT+ is not enough.
      C) An app or device, in turn talks ANT+ FE-C to the equipment
      D) End of story.

      Merely having an app connected to a trainer isn’t FE-C, it’s just controlling a trainer. That’s been around for years, as noted, for CompuTrainer and Velotron. So again – FE-C isn’t something RacerMate themselves has ever committed to, and thus, it’s not almost here. No?

    • Doug J

      Off track of thread…
      Blog Name – Prehistoric Shark
      Troll or Rogue Developer?
      Evidently history

    • Megalodon

      I LOL’ed.

      As far as I can tell, comments aren’t threaded very well here. I was replying to #1579 and other posts about cost-is-no-object trainers with superior ‘road feel’ and pointing out that the most apt comparison is with the Lynx, not the SRM. Of course, the next issue someone would bring up is that X and Y don’t have ANT+ so they can’t use Zwift.

    • Megalodon

      OK, so you’re saying that it’s impossible to add FE-C support for a device without changing its hardware or firmwaree. Therefore, only Racermate can add FE-C support for its products?

    • Gotchya, thought you were trying to stir something up. Your response makes more sense now.

      As for RacerMate/FE-C, correct, only they could add it*, since only they have access to reprogram it as well as add in the required wireless hardware.

      *Yes, on a technicality, someone could likely hack the physical unit itself (software + HW addition), but that’d be more of an N=1 thing, and not something that’d scale beyond a handful of people willing to put their CT’s in peril.

  87. Niels

    Hi,

    I have bought a Neo and I like it. Works without a problem, controled with an Edge520.

    Is there a way to change the LED color sitching levels? Or at what Wattages are they set?

    On the TACX page there is so little information…..

  88. jjarz72

    Hi All – curious about other’s experiences with TR and resistance. I’ve done about 10 rides and have had to turn off Auto PowerMatch as the Neo would randomly not deliver the necessary resistance on intervals.

    I’m now set with a constant offset of 25 – works decent but can run high at low wattage (but necessary to be close to accurate at higher interval wattage).

    There’s also a lack of responsiveness to workouts with short bursts – i have Jepson scheduled later this week and there is no way the Neo will be able to manage the short spikes.

    Love the Neo – unfortunately the beta testing while the kinks get worked out looks like it will be going on quote a while longer.

    Curious if anyone is experiencing similar results.

    (note: on Windows desktop beta with Garmin Ant+ usb dongle)

    • Alistair

      Yep, I’ve had this as well.
      OSX, but same behaviour. I think it’s down to set wattage to target wattage, wait for Neo to settle, then try and adjust to match on pm, wait for it to settle, repeate. And this cycle is too slow for intervals. Right now I can get better % match on an interval If I use a dumb trainer and change how fast I pedal!

      I commented on TrainerRoad’s FB page and they asked me to put something up for a vote here: link to trainerroad.uservoice.com

      Also see Tacx forum here: link to forum.tacx.com

    • Jason Prosseda

      Yes. I miss the mark on Zwift when I go from 200ish Watts to a 600W 10 second burst. I do hope this can improve with firmware. Zwift will not always award a completion star in the cue sheet for that event.

    • Interesting, I haven’t seen that in the NEO with Zwift and bursts. Here’s a power accuracy chart from last night, comparing Zwift to three other power meters. You can see a few bursts, though the biggest one peaks out at about 770w. In general all four power meters tracked within 1-2% of each other, with the NEO usually being the lowest of the four (which is correct), by about 1%.

      The power values displayed in the upper right corner are not averages, but just simply where my mouse is at the top.

  89. Raul

    I have tried to mount my Orbea Orca Gold (2012) with Dura Ace Di2 and the problem is that the battery mounted under the left bracket interferes with the neo plastic wheel cover. Have you experienced this problem yet? Are you aware of any solution to be able to mount the bike without doing to much DIY? I cannot place the battery otherwhere without making new holes to the frame.
    Thanks a lot!
    Cheers

  90. Matt

    I would love to see a comparison to the Lynx. Has anyone use it?

    • Megalodon

      I’ve had a Lynx for ~10 months. I haven’t tried a Kickr or Neo or any recent trainer though. On paper, the Neo should do the same thing as the Lynx and perhaps be more accurate but people report that its ‘road feel’ is not that good/worse than Kickr or the LeMond Revolution. Tacx has been talking up virtual inertia and virtual flywheels for sometime now and each new trainer they make gets closer and closer to realizing that goal. Maybe the Neo can achieve this with a firmware or software fix but it might be a hardware limitation. Or maybe it does work but there’s no good way of verifying it…

    • Matt

      I can confidently say that the Neo does have to the inertial feel of a true heavy flywheel trainer. The Neo feels very similar to any of a number of mag trainers. It’s not bad (except for the low rpm roughness) , it’s just not as smooth as a flywheel trainer.. I resist using the word realistic, because nothing short of a treadmill trainer will give a real world feel.

  91. larssr

    Ray: You never showed us the power accuracy results you promised?

    • I’ve actually dropped them into various power meter reviews over the last few months. I’ll go through and consolidate them.

    • larssr

      Hmm, I’ve seen through your last power meter reviews, but can’t find one camparisation in any of them? I see that you do comparisations on trainer in every review, but you doesn’t say anything about the power data from the roller (often the CT?) it self.

  92. Terry

    Got my Neo last week. I’m using a MacBook with a Garmin Ant+ usb dongle and connecting the MacBook to my TV via HDMI. I’m using Zwift. I mounted my “B” road bike and put my Stages on so that I could monitor the accuracy of the Neo. I’d been running the Stages on my “A” bike paired to my Edge 500 and comparing it’s data to my SRM crank recorded on my Edge 510. FYI, the SRM and the Stages have always been very close.

    I paired the Stages to my Edge 510 before mounting the bike on the Neo. I then paired the Neo with Zwift via ANT+. I did a couple of shake down rides to become familiar with the Zwift interface and the MacBook HDMI output options. I’ve now done two hour long “canned” workouts on Zwift (hit the “e” key to access). One workout was microbursts and the other involved longer sweet spot intervals. I downloaded the data set recorded on Zwift, then dumped it into Training Peaks WKO+. I then downloaded the same ride data from the Edge 510 to Training Peaks WKO+. When I examine and compare the files, they are almost identical, if not truly identical. I’m going to do a few more rides like this, but if the data continues to be so congruent, I see no reason to continue duplicating the data recording.

    Still messing around with the Neo, still a novice with it, but I’m definitely impressed so far.

    • Justin

      I asked the list, but maybe I can get a response by asking you (an owner) directly:

      If you move the trainer back until it touches a flat surface like wall, what’s the distance between the rear axle and the wall?

  93. Edoardo

    Hi Guys!
    I am currently using my Neo with no issues but I have read so many posts about early units.
    Serial number is 801503459
    Do you know if I am supposed to go for any sort of maintenance like greasing the trainer?
    Thank you!

    • ooglenz

      Yes, just like other parts on your bike you need to grease the black ring now and then. Just takes like 1 minute or so to do it.

  94. Stephen

    I read elsewhere that Tacx is planning a price reduction on the Neo smart in the U.S, to make it more price competitive with the Wahoo Kickr. Anyone hear more about this — timing, pricing, etc? Even with the 10% off using Ray’s discount code on Clever Training (sweet!), the Neo is still a pretty penny. So, I may wait for that…

    • Patrick Myers

      Source? I just ordered one from CT, hasn’t even shipped yet. That would be a bitter pill if the price dropped in the next month.

      That said, you can also play the “wait till the price drops” game for all eternity, but I want to get on it and train so if you have more info, I’m all ears… or eyes… or well you get my meaning.

    • Stephen

      Hey Patrick,

      Here’s one: link to cyclingtips.com

      That aside, it seems the Neo pricing in Europe is lower than in the U.S. If you also factor in the need to purchase a cassette, the Neo price is even less competitive than the Kickr. The two products are in the same category but are not the same. I do like the NEO better. However, I would like to see a more competitive price point.

    • Patrick Myers

      “(We’ve been told that Tacx is looking to lower the price of the Neo Smart in order to compete with the Kickr.)”

      Got it. Yeah, if they could get around to doing that soon, that’d be great. 🙂

    • Andrew Stephenson

      Hey, thank you Patrick for your reply, it was very helpful. I have one last question before I buy the Tacx. I was told I need a 142x12mm adapter because my bike has a thru axle, is this true? It’s a Trek Domane 600 series Disc 2016 model. I attached a screenshot of the reply this person gave me. I can buy this from Tacx?

      I didn’t know how to find my original comment on here, loading all these comments and trying to find the latest ones…so I had to just find a comment you made and try to reply to that instead. Thanks in advance for the information!

  95. Joe

    To anyone with multiple poer meters in use on their Neo– how is your accuracy? I’m just asking cause, well, I thought I had a way higher FTP than I just got in my FTP test hahaha. Seriously though, within 10%? Kind of want to get a second power meter to verify but I am too cheap. I don’t care if the Neo is off, as long as it is consistent (which it is) since consistency is all that matters for training, just sucks for my ego right now 😉

    • Matt

      I have PowerTap P1 pedals/quarq cranks…
      The Neo is VERY close to what the P1 reads I have not done rigorous comparison, but when I see the values side by side, they are withing 5 watts generally I basically consider them to be about the same.
      The Quarq is about 10 watts higher, but extremely consistent.

    • ooglenz

      FTP inside and outside are different. So if you are compairing those 2……..

    • larssr

      This is just too easy to say..My FTP inside and outside (on flats) are almost identical. Outside in the hills is another chapter of course (20-30 watts higher).

      Now when so many are doing a lot of hours on their trainer, I’m sure that most people will see their “inside FTP” are getting closer and closer to their outside FTP.

    • larssr

      My P1 pedals are NOT consitent. They usual shows 7-10 watts lower then Neo, but some days last week (before I changed my crankset), they suddenly were spot on and even a couple of watts over (almost as my Quarq, that also says that my Neo is very consistent).

    • 7-10w at what wattage? 300w or 150w?

      In looking at far more power meter comparison data than I ever should, it’s really hard to get two power meters to line up perfectly day after day, week after week, month after month. Also, with the P1’s, note that occasional zero offset is required.

    • Larssr

      For 2-3 weeks they showed 7-10 watts under Neo at every wattage (tested from 100-400++). Suddenly last week they changed, and started to show about 5 watts more than Neo (and inside 1-3 watts of Quarq (about 15 under before). After this change in power readings, they were ok for 4-5 days, which also contained to changes to and from my tt bike. Showed about exact the same on each workout, and no change even when calibration number varies from 2-8..

      On tuesday I changed my crankset from 175 mm to 172,5 mm, and then (and today) my P1’s are now back at 7-10 watts under Neo..Today i calibrated before i started (8), and after 1 hour (2), but no change at watt against Neo at all..

      Just doesn’t seem to be trustable enough..

    • The variance shouldn’t change if the calibration changes (since that’s the point of the calibration value shifting to account for environmental changes).

      Though, the wattage difference actually sounds about right if you didn’t specify the new crank length.

    • Larssr

      No, the calibration part seems to work very good.

      Of course i changed the crank lenght to 172,5…

      Anyway the difference in this change (175/172,5) is below 1,5%. The change i power readings from last week are quite stady 15 watts. That’s not ok..

    • Niels

      I have the same like above mentioned, the values with the P1s are roughly 10W lower than the Neo (in the range where I train), theorethically they should be higher (Pedal vs. wheel).
      Both graphs are smooth and look consistent, so I just take it as an offset.

    • Konrad

      Hi.

      Same for me.
      Difference between Neo and P1s around 6-10 W avg.
      Zero offset before every ride.

      I’ve made some charts to give you a clear view on what I’m seeing

    • Konrad

      Another chart

    • C. Robinson

      How are you making these charts Konrad? I see a similar disparity between my Neo and my Rotor INpower at various wattages. Neo reads approx 15-20w lower than my INpower.

    • To be fair, if you’re seeing 5-15w, where the trainer is below a crank based power meter, quite honestly that’s expected. It’s lower in the drive train chain, and thus due to drivetrain efficiences you’ll ‘lose’ wattage when measuring at that point.

      Also, if you’re looking at a left-only system (i.e. inPower), then you need to consider a left/right imbalance of even a few percent (totally normal), will also impact things.

    • Konrad

      It’s the P1’s that show lower values than Neo in my case – just want to make this clear.

      I’ll probably have a chance to compare my P1 to a G3 hub this week so I can check if there’s a difference between those two.
      If P1 shows a lower value I’m assuming there’s something wrong with it. If it’s approx. the same or slightly higher (due to drivetrain loss) I’m assuming Neo is incorrect.

      Regarding those charts:

      I’m using Golden Cheetah to grab power values, adding those to excel and generating charts for 30s avg.

      See: link to athletictimemachine.com

  96. Niels

    Neo & QRings

    I have maybe a stupid question.
    As far as I understand the Neo calculates power/speed/cadence based on the motion pattern.

    Since I am using Rotor Q-Rings I am wondering if oval cahin rings will cause an iaccuracy or not.

    Is there somebody who could answer that?
    Thanks

  97. Alexander Borisov

    Hello guys! I’ve just bought Neo Smart, and tried to put my bike on it, unfortunately it does not fit… Fork size is 130 mm. Before buying I did the test that Tacx site suggests, it was fine. Bike is Specialized Shiv Elite (triathlon) M size, rear fork is not a fancy one, only visible difference with my road bike (Specialized Roubaix) is seat tube angle (hence back fork is rotated downwards a bit). When on the Neo, the rear fork of my tri-bike presses against the sloped part on the side opposite to the side where cassette is placed, 2-3 cm above “Neo” logo. I am using raiser block that goes with Neo.What can I do about it? I’m greatly disappointed that my fairly standard geometry tri bike does not fit… Probably I am missing something, or just out of luck?

  98. Ingo

    May we see a picture ? I also have a Shiv and have been thinking about the Neo

  99. Alexander Borisov

    The bad thing is, that Neo “bike test” template fits perfectly, with 0.7 cm free space between the fork and it (see picture). So you cannot say that frame is too narrow. However you can see that right side of the fork does not fit. Left part is fine. Used raiser block that goes with Neo. All this was done without cassette, because I don’t want to buy cassette in case if the trainer is not suitable for my bike. Also I sent several letters to Tacx support earlier, and was informed that if the template fits the bike will fit on Neo too, seems to be wrong assumption. I’ve sent a letter to Tacx support about this, and now waiting for the answer.

    Regards, Alexander

    • Jacob Martin

      Alex I had the same problem with my Shiv, and then again with a Falco. Right now my neo sits here unused as none of my current bikes fit.

  100. larssr

    The only thing I really miss with my Kickr, is the ability to control it over bluetooth with every apps. Anyone knows why Trainerrod and Virtual Training hasn’t made this possible yet?

  101. Patrick Myers

    Does anyone know if the new Shimano-hub Neos have the same problems as others have reported here? Here’s where I’m at:

    I got a Neo from CT, which came with the EDCO hub. It appears to have the gumball issue. I have grease waiting for me at work and can try applying it tomorrow night. Nonetheless, when I emailed TACX about it and supplied a video, their response was:

    “We are sorry to hear this. This needs to be repaired/replaced. Can you please contact your Tacx dealer so they can set this up with their Tacx service centre.”

    This sounds to me like maybe it isn’t the fixable-with-grease gumball problem or there’s something else at play that maybe I don’t know about. Regardless, I forwarded this to CT, who was great and issued an RMA.

    So, long story short (too late), do I return it and hopefully get a Shimano-hub Neo (which fixes all the issues, right?), the downside of which could be that I get a Neo with another EDCO hub, potentially with the sawbone problem or – assuming the grease fixes my gumball issue – live with a potentially-breaking-outside-the-return-period EDCO hub?

    If you’re interested, here’s the video: link to drive.google.com

    • kcr

      I’m in the UK, and returned a Neo in December, because I found it very noisy (you can see a link to video I recorded, earlier in this thread). I’ve just received a replacement unit. I have not yet been able to test it, but I can confirm the new Neo comes with a Shimano LOCK RING (so that Campag tool I bought in December for the original Neo is redundant…). However it still has an Edco hub. It has to be an Edco hub, to cover Campag and Shimano users. I’m guessing they have just switched the lock ring because they found more customers were using Shimano.

    • Patrick Myers

      Ahhhh, my mistake. I thought they changed the whole free hub. Good to know.

      Btw, for those taking notes, my serial number is 801504993.

      I will report back tomorrow once I’ve greased the hub.

    • Doug J

      Pat, You’ve already received Tacx & CT’s approval to replace due to a problem identified as needing replaced, not much need to prrform greasing cassette inner sleeve. I’d return and get a new one.

      Your noise is something different, Tacx addressed the previous issues including the 2-3 noise issues in later production units. The unit I received back in December after a month delay was waiting on updated model.

      After 700-1000 miles of use, mine had a noise that I thought was a previous identified issue. Tacx replied back that my unit was a newer model with all updates and noise wasn’t due to Neo failure. In experimenting, I lightly greased the cassette hub splines & cog’s inner hub notches… This resolved the little noise I think associated to spline contact since not as uniform as Shimnao’s hub, the grease acts as a insulator to minimize sound oscillations between different metal parts. Other than chain and little drive train, it’s amazingly quite.

      In short, your new Neo unit shouldn’t have the early October release issues, unless you somehow received an older unit. The units made in December forward were updated. Yours may unfortunately be a bad one that slipped through QC.

      Good Luck on 2nd Neo unit. After using a CT for 25 yrs and a Kickr for short time, I find the Neo is great, and with firmware updates should only improve.

    • Patrick Myers

      That’s kinda what I was afraid of. I figured if Tacx said “send it back” I should probably do so. *sad trombone*

      Hopefully #2 will be ok. Thanks Doug!

    • ms

      Just got two Neo’s from Ocshner and set them up last night and ended up 1 for 2 as the first one (wife’s) is smooth, whisper quiet, and nice, steady resistance. The second Neo has the same noise as it sounds like there is a piece of metal pinging/bouncing around inside, and regardless of resistance or cadence, it feels like I am riding on what a Chip & Seal road, alternately, like the bike has a belt drive with alternating sizes for the teeth of the belt. Obviously it is going back!

    • Matt

      With two Neo’s you’ll definitely get very friendly with your local shipping vendor..

    • Patrick Myers

      Out of curiosity, what are the serial numbers of your two Neos?

      Does it have a sound like my not-first-productiton-run Neo did?

      link to drive.google.com

      Apparently that isn’t the gumball sound people described early on.

    • ms

      Yes, same sound but ironically, I managed to eliminate most of the noise with a little rough handling of the trainer but it still persists if I turn the freehub by hand and regardless, this did not resolve the issue with how it the resistance feels while pedaling at any cadence. Serial numbers are 801506337 & 801506374 (bad) and the importer just received them off the boat last week.

    • Patrick Myers

      Also out of curiosity, did they come with the Campognolo lock ring or the Shimano one?

    • Doug J

      With serial numbers almost twins it does indicate Tacx appears to have a new problem on the revised model.
      Sorry for you & Patrick to have received. Hopefully they’ll replace promptly. On the positive side, you received a good unit too and have experienced the quite even power flow and proper operation. LOL… Will Wife share while you wait for replacement.

    • Patrick Myers

      My replacement should get here Thursday and I asked CT for one with a Shimano lockring. I’ll keep everyone apprised. *fingers crossed*

    • ms

      Both of our trainers have an Edco Universal freehub and included both 11 & 12 tooth Shimano compatible lock rings. As for the replacement, the distributor shipped me a replacement today as well as emailing me a call tag so I can ship the defective unit back. In the mean time, the Neo’s were replacing original Tacx Bushido T1980 trainers, so I will simply keep using one of those until the replacement arrives.

  102. Justin

    I’m looking for a trainer in a confined space below the beam of a projector and am looking at the Tacx NEO and the Wahoo Kickr. I need to move my bike just a little bit back from where it would be with the wheel on. It seems like with the Kickr, it can be lowered to be used without a front wheel riser block, and it allows the bike to be moved several inches back. It looks like the NEO can’t be lowered, and extends farther back than the Kickr, but maybe not as far as the wheel I’m removing.

    Is there height adjustability?

    How much space does it require behind the axle? (The same number for the Kickr would be appreciated if anyone has it.)

    • Matt v.

      I finally gave up on the Neo. I had three. Three defective. Two were unusable, the third had strange noises. Eventually I’m sure Tacx will get their issues worked out, but until then, I’ll just “make do” with my Kickr….

    • Andrew (UK)

      There are no height adjustments on the Neo and I run mine using the front wheel block supplied.

    • Justin

      Thanks! If you have a chance, I’d like to know how much the main body of the trainer extends back from the axle.

  103. Doug J

    Justin,
    The length from center axle to furthest point in rear is about 27cm or apx 10.5″. The upper housing actually extends the same or a tad more than the rear section of base. Measurements may be slightly off, used a box as wall and tape measure… So small margin of error possible.

  104. Mark Hewitt

    I’ve ordered a Neo from Wiggle in the UK today. I had a lot of hassle tracking down a Campag lock ring tool, but now I read posts saying some of them are now shipping with Shimano lock rings? Any ideas which one I’m likely to get?!

    • kcr

      I got a Neo through Halfords in the UK in December (Campag lockring) which I returned because it was very noisy, and appeared to have been used and returned already. I finally got a replacement a couple of weeks ago, and this was supplied with the Shimano lockring, so I’m guessing that is what you would receive now.

      Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to set the new Neo up and test it yet.

    • Mark Hewitt

      Thanks! Hopefully that’s the case, and I can just send the campag tool back.

      Any ideas on mounting a 10 speed cassette? link to wwwstatic1.tacx.nl

      The instructions there are unclear at best, talking about ‘pockets’.

      I know that on 10 speed hubs 10 speed Shimano cassettes require a spacer, except Tiagra which doesn’t. And on 11 speed hubs there is an additional spacer required. The 11 speed spacer I assume is what they mean by the “EDCO spacer”?

    • Patrick Myers

      My first Neo had an issue and got sent a replacement. Both had the Campagnolo lock ring. The lock ring tool is on Amazon if you don’t have it and is only $8.

      link to amazon.com

      You shouldn’t need the EDCO spacer with an 11 speed cassette. I put an 11-28 on my Neo and used only the spacers that came with the cassette (in between cassette gears); I didn’t use any of the spacers that came with the Neo (which are for 9 and 10 speed cassettes – you put the EDCO on the hub before the cassette to push the cassette closer to the “top” of the hub.)

    • Patrick Myers

      Slight correction – Campagnolo 11 speed cassettes DO need to use the EDCO spacer; Shimano or SRAM 11 speed cassettes do not.

      Campagnolo 10 Speed cassettes do NOT use the EDCO spacer, Shimano and SRAM ones DO.

      It sounds like you are mounting a 10 speed Shimano cassette, so you WILL use the EDCO spacer that comes with the Neo (in the bag with the lockrings and skewer).

      I believe

    • ms

      I have found that some 11-speed freehubs have very poor chain lines and the addition of .5mm or 1mm spacers helps improve this.

    • Spark

      Hi Patrick,

      How is the replacement? I’m thinking of buying the Neo from CT, and it’s disappointing that they are still shipping ones with the Campy lockring.

    • Patrick Myers

      I haven’t put too many miles on it, but the replacement seems to be working great.

      Serial No. 801505019 (so 26th down the assembly line from my first one 😉 Came with a Campy locking, but *shrug*

      It occasionally sings (I wouldn’t call it a hum, but I think that’s what people are referring to) which Tacx said elsewhere is normal. It makes a bit of a wub-wub noise sometimes, but I think that’s just the result of the 2-to-5 push of my downstroke. I’m out of shape so I my pedal stroke probably isn’t as smooth as it should be.

      But no odd vibrations, stepping, or gumball sounds.

      If anything changes I’ll post again, but for now, consider me a happy owner. My fiancee already says it’s way quieter than my old mag trainer; she can barely hear it if she’s in the other room with the door closed. And I’m no longer worried about disturbing the neighbors.

  105. Charly

    Great review and I also want to thank all the people that are commenting.

    My question is about which bike to use with the NEO, I don’t
    want to use the bike I use when I go out.
    can I get low budget bike since weight doesn’t matter? and
    which models would you guys recommend?

  106. Norm

    Just got off the phone with CT to verify that the latest Neos come with the Shimano lockring. I was told that they are the latest and greatest. Not so sure after reading Pats comments.

    • Spark

      I emailed CT in mid-January whether they were selling ones with the Shimano lockring, and they never got back to me. In light of Patrick’s recent experience, and unless they have just gotten a new batch, I would question what they have said.

      Ray, is there anyway you can check if they just got a new batch?

      Also, does anyone know of a US-based retailer that is selling the newer batches with the Shimano lockring? Thanks for all the info everyone!

    • Patrick Myers

      I’ll echo what I posted above – I’m a happy owner. The replacement – which came with the Campy lockring runs just fine. Not saying I would have objected to a Shimano lockring model, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Campy lockring ones.

    • Doug J

      Curious, Has anyone requested a Shimano lock ring from Tacx for the EDCO hub?
      I did locate a EDCO Hub Shimano Lock ring.
      link to sigmasport.co.uk
      The site offers both the 12T & 11T ring.

      If anyone finds a lower cost solution for the lock ring, post it.

    • Spark

      Thanks for your detailed updates Patrick. I’m glad you’ve got a good one! I might just get one with a Campy from good experiences likes yours, for as you know, it’s hard to keep waiting.

      Doug, more than just getting a Shimano lockring, the hope is that the newer batches reduce the likelihood of getting a unit with problems. We already know that they’ve made a couple changes with the pre-greasing of the hub, the change to the Shimano lockring, and the reduction of stray metal pieces from the manufacturing process that produced the ‘gumball’ sound. Considering the cost of the trainer and the hassles that come with the return process, I’d rather try to reduce the likelihood of getting a unit with problems.

    • Hi Spark-

      Yup, I’m having the CT folks validate which units they’ve got in terms of updates. I know it’s been a pretty healthy flow, so I’m guessing it’s about the latest and likely not more than a few weeks old.

      Will circle back shortly.

    • Ok, CT was able to confirm that all units they have in stock (and have had for a bit) have the Shimano lockring.

    • Spark

      Thanks Ray. I’ve gone ahead and ordered from CT this morning!

  107. Doug J

    Spark, fully agree with you on generation of units and the updates. My indicating the Shimano lock ring was solely for those that preferred not to invest or inventory 2 cassette tools. The lock ring doesn’t necessarily indicate an upgrade in the Neo; Tacx is responding to Users comments on the Campy lock ring.

    On the generation of updates and production series, from my readings & comminications there hasn’t been any additional production updates since the first series of problems were corrected in Nov/Dec timeframe. The new problem recently identified by Patrick may be a flaw in quality control and inspection not catching a problem unit more than a new failure in new units that needs to be updated.

    Very frustrating to deal with a bad unit and I feel for all that have had to deal with return & exchange. Hopefully Pat’s will be a rock solid unit as well as others to purchase, but I’m sure there will be small percentage of failed units similar to most products: I had 2 failed Bkools and 1 failed Kickr that slipped through QC.

    Best of Luck for all new purchases! My Neo continues to purr without issues. (knock knock)

  108. Steven

    TACX Now has the thru axle adapter available for 142×12: T2835 and for 135×10: T2840

    • Charly

      @Norm @spark I will be buying my NEO within 2 weeks I am in South Florida, CT seems the best dealer for me, did you guys get yours?

    • Spark

      Charly,
      I’ve been waiting a few months for the various issues to sort out. I’m not in immediate need of one, so I have been targeting getting one with a Shimano lockring for no other reason than those being a more recent production batch with hopefully tighter QC through incremental improvement in production, however slight it may be. Now I’m not sure how much longer I’ll wait, especially with good points from Doug. I guess it’ll depend on what Ray soon finds out from CT and from your experience. 😉

    • Charly

      @Spark, 2 days ago I bought a 60″ tv, I have to redo my home office so all will be ready in about 2 weeks, let’s all buy together and get a group discount on top of the 10% that Ray got us lol

  109. Mark Hewitt

    I’ve realised that the floor in my room is not exactly level, it slopes down to the right a little. Is there any reasonable way to adjust the feet or chock something under them to level it up?

  110. Nathan Smith

    Can you hook up a 29er mtb to it? I have a 1×11 and I know you can connect it to a wahoo kickr but I’d rather get a neo. Can’t seem to find if it supports mtb though.

  111. JAIME

    Hi there,

    Nice report!!! Congrats!
    I bought NEO one week ago and I have been doing my firsts workouts ever in a Smart Trainer this week!.

    My workouts consist on a bunch of step with a power target and some cadence target. I create the workout through Garmin Connect webpage, and unfortunately this tool does not allow me to enter more than one target; that is to say I have to choose either power target or cadence target but not both!! What a pity!!.

    I control de NEO with Garmin 520, and in my first three workouts I have realized the follows:
    – When the step has a cadence target, NEO applies NO resistance at all, so it is quite easy to do the workout and so I cannot rise more than 60 Watts since there is no resistance!.
    – When the step has a power target that consists in a wattage range, does NEO consider just the average power of the range or it considers the power range?
    – When the step is a sprint one (that is to say 5s, 15s, 30s at a high power) it is hard for me to ride or pedaling and although I move the shift of my bike it will not work since NEO will adjust it to the power target, therefore while more inertia a loose the harder is to pedaling. I have thought that probably I should stop controlling NEO from my Garmin in order to workout using the bike shifters.
    – I have also realized that when you use a Smart Trainer like NEO, it does not matter if the cassette has 1 speed or 11 speeds since you just stay in fix and the resistance comes from the trainer.

    Could you kindly comments about my points?

    In order to maximize NEO Smart Trainer utilities/functionalities, for me will be very useful to create my workouts through a tool/app that allows me to enter more than one target: power target AND cadence target. Could you kindly recommend me a Trainer App you have tested and is capable to accept two targets? Will NEO reed both target or it will consider just one of them?

    All the best and Thanks!

    Jaime

    • Adam

      I am also looking for a better app to control the Neo. It is cumbersome to move large increments in power. For example if I am doing quick intervals between easy and high heart rate/ power intervals.

    • I’ve done a pretty extensive post on Apps, virtually all of which work with teh NEO, which can be seen here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      I know for example that PerfPro allows different target types.

  112. Gregg

    DCR

    Love the posts.
    Your enthusiasm for NEO was persuasive but the product disappointed. Spikes in cadence with TACX / Skuga and no cadence with Kino map intervals necessitated its return.

    Somewhat slow responses from TACX, suggesting the problem was to be fixed with updated firmware, ended with the reply below.

    Disappointing.

    “Do you have a android device. What we can do is send you this firware but it can only be send over by android

    If not then an advise can indeed be to switch the Neo unit over. We just heard that the official update will be postponed for 3 weeks so that is to late in your position”

    Kind Regards,
    Tacx Support

    • But it sounds like your issue is the app your were using, and not the trainer itself. I’m only saying that because I don’t see a single report of cadence spikes in 1,600 comments here. Not saying there isn’t an edge case producing that (as obviously there is per your charts), but just putting in perspective that it seems like it may only manifest itself with the Kinotrainer apps.

    • Gregg

      This is a screenshot of Tacx software (until frustration set in), as well.
      Thx again for your helpful info.

  113. Charly

    @Norm @spark, Finally I got the NEO setup, I ended up getting it from bikebling, they said if there was any defect they would gladly exchange it and pay for the shipping fees.
    They are getting it directly from the tacx manufacturer distribution center out of Chicago and this is the second shipment of NEO’s they get(the first one sold completely)
    Last night I finished setting it up and rode for about 10 miles using swift, the trainer really is quiet I was riding at midnight and honestly I make more noise when I am playing video games and talk to other people on skype.
    From the date that I placed the order, it took 4 business day to arrive to FL
    One more thing I bought a specialized Vita bike(24 speed) the cassette is only 8 speed Shimano and all I had to do was use the spacer ring the NEO supplied on the inner side so there is a little separation from the metal drum, I was able to shift gears all over the place without any issues. I am very happy with the purchase hope to see you soon in watopia!!!

  114. Nic

    How loud is working out on this trainer compared to others? Not the trainer itself, but including drive train noise.

    I’ve read a number of posts/comments that say something along the lines of “yes, the trainer is quiet, but the net effect is the exact same because the bike is still loud”.

    I’ve seen two videos posted by you trying to explain this, but neither seem to really address the issue. One is inside your RV and the camera is far away and the other a 2 hr post on YouTube while you are training, and you talk several times, but your voice is really muffled, which makes you wonder if the bike is louder than it appears?

    I only want this trainer if the net effect is quieter than the Wahoo KICKR.

    Can you post a decibel comparison? (I saw a video where you attempted to this with an iPad, but you ended up talking through most of the video, so we couldn’t get a good feel for the trainer noise)

    Thanks!

    • Doug J

      Nic, I’ll let Ray reply on Db’s.
      As a owner of CompuTrainer, Kickr, and Neo… I’ve had one Neo and 2 Kickr’s. The CT is a loud trainer with the trainer tire. The Kickr is very quite due to no tire contact, but still has the belt and fan noise… So much so that hearing the bike’s drivetrain really wasn’t noticed.

      My other judgement is Spouse in room on other floor… She could still hear & feel the Kickr easily. The Neo isn’t “silent”, it does have a little electrical humm… but overall extremely quite. The Drive train is now the loudest variable. But the drive train isn’t heard in other rooms or on other floor. My spouse is basically not aware of when I’m riding vs when I’ve stopped… Except for the hard sprints, which she hears my vocal noise and the pulsating through the floor due to bike & trainer moving or rocking on floor.

      Based on my usage the Neo is considerably quiter in the noises that transmit through the floors & walls. In the room, you’ll hear your drive train but it’s the same it’s always been and you didn’t notice it much before.

      The Db’s may be close in the room, but the transmitted oscillated noise in other rooms is considerable lower.