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Hands-on: The new Tacx Flux Smart Trainer

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This week at Eurobike, Tacx has announced their latest smart trainer, the Tacx Flux.  This new trainer sits at the upper edge of the mid-range electronic trainer pricing range at $899USD/€799, but pulls in features historically only seen at higher levels, notably being direct drive and ANT+ FE-C for electronic trainer control.

The Flux would be the only new cycling trainer they’d release this season (aside from the Magnum treadmill, but I’ll cover that separately).  However, they did roll out a substantial firmware update to their high end NEO lineup earlier in the summer, plus that model received a very minor external shell modification to make it compatible with more bikes.

Still, the Flux is a demonstration of Tacx for the third year in a row pushing the boundaries of prices and feature alignment in the trainer space.  Let’s dive into the new mini-beast.

Flux Overview:

Way back in early June I got to spend some time riding on a Flux while visiting the Tacx headquarters.  At the time, the trainer was very much still a prototype externally, even if internally it was pretty much locked.  As you can see below, things take interesting paths from prototype to production (or, near production as it is today).

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The company currently has a handful of not-quite-production units to show, though they look the part of a production unit.  This state is important to note because it helps to set the stage for timelines later on in terms of release/shipping dates.  Here is one of those almost-production units:

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To begin, as is likely obvious from the above, the Flux is a direct drive trainer.  That means that you’ll remove your rear wheel and affix your bike directly to the trainer.  As with the Tacx NEO, and Elite and CycleOps direct drive units, you’ll have to provide your own cassette (a $50-$70 cost), plus installing said cassette.  Whereas Wahoo is providing that cassette on their KICKR included in the trainer cost, but if your needs don’t match their 11-speed cassette you’re basically replacing it anyway.

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The Flux is a fully electronic trainer, in that your resistance can be controlled electronically from various apps on desktop or mobile devices.  These apps can be anything from Zwift to TrainerRoad to Kinomap and many more.

Like virtually all high end trainers these days, the unit supports ANT+ FE-C for trainer control.  Plus on the Bluetooth Smart side, apps that work with the Tacx Smart trainers already, will work with Flux.  Further, it’ll broadcast out your ANT+ Speed, Cadence, and Power.  Alongside the same metrics on Bluetooth Smart.  This means you can pair your head unit/watch directly to the trainer to record stats.  And you can use the FE-C control from various head units as well.

In the below photo you can see the 6.7kg flywheel, which is that silver piece that rotates as you ride to provide inertia.  In my trial this summer of the unit, the road/inertia feeling felt pretty good.  Not quite as good as the NEO, but still more than sufficient for my needs.  Long-time readers will know that I’m not a huge person on ‘how much does it feel exactly like the road’ when it comes to trainer inertia.  For me there’s still the mental roadblock of looking at a wall and being inside, no matter how realistic the trainer inertia may feel.

Now interestingly the company states that the flywheel has an effective inertia of a 22.8KG flywheel, due to the belt design.  This is similar in concept to what Elite is doing as well with a secondary flywheel inertia ‘rating’.

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Now the Flux does require being plugged in to power to provide resistance, which is done with a belt system inside (as seen in the prototype unit photo above).  So this is a bit different than the higher end NEO, but then again.

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Note that the Flux does not fold-up like the NEO or most other trainers.  So it’s not quite something you can slide under a bed or such.

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You can detach the legs though via a standard hex tool.  Two bolts on the bottom hold it in place.  The unit actually ships with the leg piece detached, so it fits better in the box.

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Of course many wonder if this is a mini-NEO, and in some ways it is.  But there’s also a handful of other ways the unit is different than Tacx NEO:

Accuracy: It’s claimed at +/- 5%, versus the 1-2% of the Neo (more on that in a second)
Calibration: Like most trainers, you will want to do a calibration/roll-down each ride to get better accuracy (which isn’t done on the NEO)
Max Resistance: It tops out at 1,500w and 10% slope simulation. Those wattages are quite frankly more than sufficient for 98.6% of cyclists.  And the 10% is pretty solid unless you’re doing lots of alps mountain simulation.  Tacx says the unit can actually peak north of 2,000w for a few seconds before the flywheel catches back up.
Flywheel: It has a virtual flywheel at 22.8kg, compared to the 125kg of the NEO.  But understand the NEO is really in a league by itself.  Most flywheels are in the 5-20kg range.
Sound Levels: It’s audible compared to the virtually silent NEO.  Not super-loud, but in the 60-70db level range, which is on par with something like the CycleOps Hammer and would be considered ‘good to normal’.  The belts lack ‘teeth’, which reduces the noise level compared to something like the KICKR.  I’ll publish some video details/tests once I can get a trainer in a quiet place to do so.

Now on that 5% accuracy claim, that’s their ‘worst-case’ scenario during the warm-up period.  They’re hoping to get it better than that, and they noted that if you did a calibration/roll-down at about 10-15 minutes in (as is recommended for many trainers anyway), then your accuracy should be significantly closer.  To put it in perspective, the 5% claim is the same as the wheel-on trainers that are a bit cheaper, including the CycleOps Magnus and the KICKR SNAP.  Of course, if the accuracy in my review testing ends up being closer to the 2-3% mark, then this trainer will be a very serious contender in direct drive price ranges otherwise above it (i.e. against the CycleOps Hammer, Wahoo KICKR, and Elite Drivo).

And finally, for lack of anywhere else to note it – the unit does have temperature compensation built-in.  Additionally, the Flux’s belt is automatically tensioned with a spring, which they say will help to maintain calibration (and thus accuracy).

A Video Overview:

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Check back a bit later today for a video overview of the unit in operation. At present they are finishing up unboxing their booth, and the bikes to put on said trainer haven’t quite made it out of the shipping crates yet.  Once they do, I’ll attempt to steal both a bike and the trainer to give you a short demo of it, as I didn’t record my earlier riding back in June on it unfortunately.

Going Forward:

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What’s impressive about the Flux is really the potential for it to be a very solid direct drive trainer in the sub-$1000 market.  Specifically, $899USD/€799.  While we’ve seen numerous electronically controlled entrants in the $1,000-$1,200 price range (such as the CycleOps Hammer, Elite Drivo, and Wahoo KICKR), this is a substantial price drop-off of those units.

Of course, the primary trade-off will be that official accuracy claim, which is less than the 2-3% seen/claimed by those other units.  For some people, that won’t matter.  But, and this is a pretty big but – if the accuracy of the Flux ends up being in the 2-3% after warm-up, that’ll basically make it on-par with those other units that cost quite a bit more.  And in turn, that’d end up really shifting the trainer landscape from a pricing standpoint in a similar way to what Tacx did two summers ago with the release of their Smart Trainer lineup (Satori/Bushido/Vortex).

The other ‘catch’, if you will, is the release timeframe.  Right now they won’t be arriving into people’s hands until October for Europeans, and November for other continents (simply due to ocean shipping container timelines).  And of course that’s assuming everything hits the production schedules.  Again, if you can hold-off until October/November for a trainer (and most people probably can), then this is most definitely a model to seriously consider.

Finally, yup, I’ll be doing an in-depth review once I have a final unit to work from.  My guess is that’ll be sometime in mid-late September, and thus my review would be a few weeks later in early October.  With that – thanks for reading and don’t forget to check back a bit later today for some Flux video goodness (or, just subscribe to my YouTube channel and you’ll get automagically notified when it posts).

Thanks for reading!

Note: You can pre-order the Tacx Flux on Clever Training for arrival once it comes off the first boat from the Netherlands.  By  using Clever Training you support the site here, plus save 10% using DCR Coupon Code DCR10BTF.

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232 Comments

  1. Andrew

    So those legs don’t fold or come off at all for storage?
    Does it need to be assembled or is the box huge

  2. Jeff

    Having been someone where there was fit issues with the Neo ….

    What are the shell modifications to the Neo?

    Are they obvious?

    Can you get a model # where the Neos have the new shell?

    • Donald

      the modifications are obvious on the box. Hilko Schravenhoff of Tacx says ” The NEO box is labelled on the box with a barcode with a 2017 number outside the box. Will take some time before they are at the local store, but in factory the are already produced like this”.
      I think I saw this on the tacx neo Facebook group link to facebook.com

    • Jeff

      Would be good to get some confirmation of the changes. The original Neo had serious issues with WiFli medium cage rear mechs.

      When you say ‘obvious from the box’ do you just mean the 2017 code?

  3. Pierre

    Will it be available to pre-order in the European Clever training site also?

  4. Andy C S

    Oh, wow! A direct-drive smart trainer in the ~800€ region? I guess it’s your move now, Elite and Wahoo…

    Also, I can’t find the Drivo anywhere, not even for pre-order yet!

    • Yes, given the announcement of the new Wahoo Kickr at Eurobike, this is a highly interesting move from Tacx. Bringing the price point down to 2/3 of the Wahoo Kickr and Tacx Neo price is interesting. Hopefully the quality is as reliable as the more expensive units.

  5. Patrick Myers

    “It’s audible compared to the virtually silent Neo.”

    *whew* That was what helped justify the price of the Neo given I live in a tiny-ish apartment. I know technology is ever marching forward and prices ever dropping, but I’d like to stave off buyer’s remorse a little longer.

  6. Michael S.

    Does it do that neat trick the NEO does when you go over cobbles in Zwift?

  7. Markus Ottosson

    No downhill simulation, right? (electric drive)

    • Charles

      No downhill simulation with the motor like my Fortius has will kill the deal for me. I can’t afford the Neo. So it looks like I will have to stay with my Fortius a while longer. I was hoping to go SMART soon.

  8. TomW

    Two questions and I hope they are not too stupid: Where does the maximum 10% slope simulation come from when the Watts I would be perfuming are under 1.500 anyways? And what would it mean if I ride a course with more the 10% for example? Would it just max out at the 10%?

    • Diego

      I have the same question, how does it behave when you go through higher percent slopes than 10%? Can you generate more watts changing gears or what?

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Ray confirmed somewhere what I said about this at #85. I’ve just ordered a Flux today. Might get it end of next week.

  9. Xander

    What if your bike is through axel (most disc brake equipped bikes)? Can you still mount it to the direct drive?
    Tacx supply an adaptor for their “regular” trainers, how does it work with this one?

  10. Jeremy Marquez

    Ray- thanks for the review. Wondering if you can comment on the power accuracy you found when testing the unit. I have one on pre-order, and am trying to decide if I should wait for it or just go with the new Kickr (for $300 more).

    • In the two situations I’ve had time to ride the trainer, I didn’t have other power meters on them. Once they have a final production unit to me (sounds like later September), I’ll definitely do that.

      They’re saying that basically the first 10 minutes or so during the warm-up phase accuracy could be up to +/-5%, however, after that they’re looking at 2-3% right now, sometimes better.

    • Jeremy Marquez

      Thanks Ray! Those numbers sound pretty good. 2-3% and direct drive at that price point is a great sell.

  11. thomas pedersen

    just wondering if you managed to re-shoot the video as i would be very interested in seeing it.

    • Same here :) Really curious on hearing the sound level.

      Ray, you write that the Cylops Hammer is similar in sound levels, but it has a somewhat high pitch. Does the Flux have the same or is it a lower hum like the new Kickr?

    • Yup, will get it knocked out tonight. I did re-shoot it, just trying to edit together the thing into something slightly less confusing than it currently is.

      In riding it now a 3rd time, I’m going with it still being quieter than the new KICKR.

  12. Phil

    What does this give you over the Vortex Smart? Is is just the extra resistance?

  13. Phil

    I’ve been looking at the maximum grade the TACX machines can simulate. On the page for the Vortex, they claim 7%, but that is when the combined weight of the bike and rider is 75kg. Above that weight, the gradient rapidly drops off to below 5%. The Bushido, on the other hand, is easily able to simulate grades of 18% for the same bike/rider combination.

    Garmin explain that the difference is due to the Bushido having a mechanical motor, whereas the Vortex has an electrical one. They say that electronic motors have problems above 7% The Flux is claimed to have 10% maximum but it has an electrical motor like that Vortex. Also, it’s interesting to note that graphs detailing this data are provided on the pages for the Bushido and the Vortex, but not on the page for the Flux.

    link to tacx.com page containing graph for Vortex
    link to tacx.com page containing graph for Bushido

    • Lee Parker

      This is something thats making me hold off ordering, I weigh 80kg and currently have the Vortex Smart which I plan to sell but the hill simulation is limited due to my weight.
      Im worried this means I may have to look at the Neo which I cant really stretch to, Im struggling to find the operational range for the Neo also what site did you use to get these details?

  14. Scott H.

    I just read the Elite Drivo review and really appreciated the info on the speed at which the resistance changed during the 30×30 trainer test. I’d like to see the same results for the Flux, as this capability seems crucial for workouts requiring short interval segments. I have a Tacx Vortex Smart now that doesn’t do this very well at all, certainly hope the Flux is a big step up.

    • Yeah, I’ll be using that test in all my trainer reviews. Partially because it’s a really crystal clear test that so easily tells the story of shifting power, and partly because it only takes me 12 minutes to do. :)

      So once I have a final Flux unit, I’ll be doing that test within it. It was also within the KICKR review as well, fwiw.

  15. Hey Folks-

    For those following along on comments, I’ve just uploaded the video. I’ve embedded it within the “Video Overview’ section above: link to dcrainmaker.com

  16. Barry Gaunt

    Do you get the “square pedaling” effect on these Tacx direct drive trainers when you are trying to simulate a steep hillclimb on a low gear?

  17. Kevin

    How does it function if one doesn’t have access to a power outlet, such as warming up next to your car prior to a race?

    • No luck, it’ll basically just flat-line around 125-150w. You can do a sprint briefly (a few seconds), but then it just flat-lines back again.

      Some folks with the KICKR have created little adapters for cars, as it basically has the same challenge.

  18. Lars

    Love your reviews!

    It would be nice to see the difference between Neo v1 and v2.
    I have a Cervèlo S5, and as far as I understand the Neo v1 does not fit. I am hoping the v2 will…

    • f1li

      What are Neo V1 and V2?

    • The only difference is the shell design to accommodate more bikes, just the shell. And only the shell.

      There were minor changes made in the first few months of production last year (i.e. Sept-Dec 2015), which readers here saw the impacts of. 95% of these were more production changes than anything else, designed to minimize issues. None of them impacted features.

      As for the two shells, there’s pics I believe in the NEO thread of the two.

    • f1li

      Thanks a lot Ray.. I’m about to order my new tacx after several year of Fortius and Bushido. I was sure for Neo before I came to know of the new Flux. Since I will use it with a laptop and TTS which I already have I need to add more or less 150€ extra on top of flux street price. Now the delta price is down to 440€. I’m not competing in any race but I use the indoor trainer really a lot because I hate cold and wet season. I don not care about powermetering precision but descent and cobblestone simulation could be nice. No problem to stay almost 3hrs on a trainer. For sure the investment will be spread on several years:) Neo immediately available, Flux in few weeks time. What is your suggestion then? I tried to ask also on twitter yesterday. Thanks again.

  19. Bertie

    As you correctly note, unlike the Kickr, the Flux does not come with a cassette. But instead of buying another one, would it not be best to take it off your back wheel and mount it on the trainer?

    • You could, but honestly that’s kinda a solid pain in the butt to do each time. I’d rather just buy a cheap cassette.

    • Bertie

      True.
      My bike repair guru tells me that its best to replace the chainwheel when the cassette needs replacing, the idea being that you don’t mix new and old. Is this just old school thinking? For me, the bike is not coming off for several months if the cassette is on the trainer!! (that’s if i manage to put get it off the bike and put it on the trainer in the first place!). This errs me towards a less fancy smart trainers like the vortex or the snap. With these the pain is just changing the rear tire. (sadly the magnum is beyond the size of my den, let alone wallet!!)

    • Scott H

      You won’t want to swap the cassette back/forth between the Flux and your regular wheel. Instead, buy a relatively inexpensive (think 105 level) to put on the Flux and leave it there. No worries about swapping the chainwheel, too. Your repair guru is misleading you. Cassettes often wear out within a year or so with heavy use, but chainwheels last many times longer. If you want to be safe rather than sorry, replace your cassette and chain at the same time you install a cassette on the Flux.

  20. F1li

    Honestly Ray.. Based on the first hands on and impressions.. Does the Tacx new worth 440€ more than flux with ant+ kit? This is my dilemma. I could wait 1 month or so.. But in case I go for neo.. I can have it in a fortnight. Thanks again

    • FrostByte

      I rode them both at interbike. It wasn’t quiet in the room but it seemed like chain noise was the loudest part of each trainer. The Flux seemed noticeably stiffer (less side to side flex) and coming from a rock and roll, I like the flex. I didn’t get to compare any efforts, I’d like to have done some low cadence to simulate my efforts up mountains. Oh well. To me the cobblestone effect was cool but I’m not sure if it was more of a gimmick but I’m sure it’s not worth the money, in my opinion.

    • One minor note on the Flux at Interbike (and Eurobike) is that the casing on it is/was 3D printed, so it may have different play than the final version. It won’t make it anywhere near the Rock and Roll, but, just for reference…

    • Greg

      Hi Ray,
      I’m very interested in that aspect. So I see that Neo can flex side to side (and with that it is pretty delicate on a frame), while Flux – I have no idea.
      Did you have a chance to play with more close-to-production units? Could you include that feature (stiffness) in your standard review write-ups? Or maybe it is there but I just missed it?
      Thanks!

    • Liam bard

      Hi Greg, Personally I think it’s better to have that flex in the turbo I think it’s suppose to be there rather than all strain going through the bike frame.

    • Greg

      Liam, I fully agree. That’s why I’m asking if Flux has it. I’m thinking of buying it and I would like it to have it.

    • Liam Bard

      Ah, apologies I miss read your message and took it that you saw it as a negative and “wanted” a super stiff one.

      I tried the flux at the rouler classic, can’t fully remember because after a few beverages I wasn’t taking too much notice at the time details but it felt rather sturdy than when I jumped on the neo.

      I was waiting to hear a review of the flux, but I’ve just placed an order for a neo.

      The self powered & ability to fold up legs and transport (appreciate it’s heavy)swayed it for me rather than the flux being stuck in it’s set up form if you didn’t want to keep removing the 2 x hex bolts undernethe each time.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I ordered a Flux on Monday on the promise that it would be here next week, but I will get a Drivo it it fails to show up.

      If I get the Flux, I will write a quick review as I’ve been waiting for one for weeks. If I don’t like it I will send it back.

      I had a Bkool Pro, which I used for 1040 miles and any of the latest direct drive trainers will probably feel better, but I want the Flux to feel like as ‘real’ as possible and will share my views.

    • I chatted with Tacx folks this afternoon. They’re still doing final testing. If that goes well, then they’re hoping to send me one of the first units off the production line early next week.

      As noted above, typically that’s overnight between the Netherlands and Paris. As soon as it arrives (or that I hear it’s shipped), I’ll note here.

    • Greg

      Awesome, please keep us posted.

    • Steve

      I ordered mine today, with the delivery date meant to be next week (UK). Sounds like that might be a tad optimistic…

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Yoh, Ray! Thanks for the info!

      I am having to ride in cold, windy weather here in the UK at the moment and getting desperate for a new trainer.

      I can get a Neo (£950), Kickr2 (£899) or Drivo (£990) delivered next Tuesday but I am holding out for the Flux because I am only paying £580GBP and it looks good in the adverts.

      I am going to call my supplier on Monday 14th (the date they said they’d have a Flux), see what they say and make a decision.

      The UK Black Friday is 25th November but I don’t think there will be any mega savings on trainers. But it’s only 2 weeks away so it might be worth hanging on until then. I am also now considering the Cyclops Hammer as this could be the best and might be available.

    • Lee Parker

      Can i ask where you are getting the price of £580 from?

      Ive seen the FLux cheap (£557) via Athleteshop.co.uk but they dont seem to get good reviews

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      £629.99 at Leisure Lakes and another £50 from their VIP points as I bought an mtb from them in July.

      I was looking at the Athletes Shop price and wondering what they were like to deal with but hadn’t seem any bad reviews. To be honest, I’d rather pay a bit more and know that I can return it if I’m not satisfied. Some shops just don’t do that. That’s why I buy most of my hi spends from shops like Chain Reaction, Wiggle or Leisure Lakes.

    • Steven DV

      just tagging this one for blog comments email follow up for myself. I too am very interested in buying a Flux ASAP, but the unavailability of this thing is worrying me :-)

    • I chatted with them last night, and they were still working out final tests related to calibration. They sent me a pic of a slew of units in the assembly process.

      They were going to circle back this evening with clarity on where things were going, and if a unit had shipped out today to me, or if that’ll be differed (be it to tomorrow or otherwise).

    • Steven DV

      Wow. That was a speedy response from The Master himself :-) Thanks DC!
      Kudos for providing more reliable info then Tacx themselves…well actually Tacx gives more the CYA (Cover Your Ass :-) ) answer: “the different shops will have gotten their own lead times. Please check with you favorite retailer”… blah blah blah ;-)

      Slightly worrying though they seem to have so many last minute issues with Flux… Some Tacx Dev Team VP will be getting a very hard time from his co-worker, the Tacx Sales VP that they are missing beginning of indoor cycing season, Black Friday etc… not good for Flux Sales figures :-) I just hope at least it will work decently from day one and that there are no issues showing up with Batch 1. Knowing some of the issues they had to fix with big brother Neo…

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I just hope it’s worth the wait as the weather is really bad in the UK this week and I need a trainer!

      We’re all counting on you Ray ;-)

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Yep… the problems that there might be with the first batch of a trainer with ‘rushed’ final tests from Tacx. We could just be waiting for trouble :-(

    • In general, I’d argue that a company choosing to wait until they believe they have it right and accurate is better than a company pushing out a product.

      For example, Kinetic started shipping their Smart Control units a few weeks ago – which by all accounts are seeing really bad power meter accuracy across the board*. Kinetic believes a firmware update should address it. Still, this type of thing should have been easily caught before it left the factory.

      Hopefully that’s the case here.

      *As soon as I finish up a post I’m working on in a few mins, I’m going to validate/dive into it myself.

    • MartinR

      Will the Neo and the Flux in-depth reviews be published simultaneously or in a sequence, following each other?
      Really looking forward to the Neo in-depth review…

  21. Hussam

    So does the Tacx Flux support Road Patterns? Also, any idea on the weight of the unit, compared to 22kg for its big brother, Neo?

  22. Richard Knight

    Hi Ray.

    Do you know if it is possible to use your own power meter with this trainer, but still have the resistance control in erg mode? Like some folks to with the kickr? If so, I’d not be worried about the power accuracy as I’d be using my Quarq anyway.

    FWIW I’d be mainly using trainerroad.

    Cheers, and thanks for the great article.

    Rich.

  23. Baz Lewis

    Hi Ray, does erg mode work on this trainer? I.E. Could you plug in a workout of 5 x 5 mins w/rest (through Zwift) and just sit in the same gear with the resistance changing at the back? I know people use the Kickr in this way and wondered whether it does the same. Thanks, Baz.

    • Baz Lewis

      Great, thanks for the quick reply. Think I’ll be getting one.

    • Tony

      Erg mode is problematic on the Flux. With a straight chain (small chainring to middle cassette) it can’t go lower than 150w, I have to change to a lower gear to get that. Then in the lower gear it can’t generate more than about 320w resistance without changing to a higher gear. Erg mode is like something between Erg and a fluid trainer. Not impressed.

  24. alex!

    hello , ray! thanks for the write up. can’t wait to get one of these – will go thru clever training for sure. any update on shipping timeframe (USA)? thanks!

    • Jeff

      I pre-ordered through CleverTraining, and just received an email that units are probably delayed until early December.

    • I’ve confirmed that as well with Tacx this week while at the ANT+ Symposium with them.

      The hope is European shipments in November, arrival in the Americas/elsewhere by December.

      But, that also sounded even a bit iffy. They’re getting closer, but still refining things. So the reality is that every week they refine things (which, btw, is still good for consumers), will push out shipments by an equal week or more (depending on cargo ship schedules as well).

  25. First time indoor trainer buyer here, so please forgive. I appreciate the review of the Flux but if I want to watch a course on my HDTV while on a Tacx trainer would I also need to buy the UPGRADE SMART T2990 ($179 Euros) I see on their website, which “enables you to connect a Smart trainer to your Windows computer and expand your training options.” I am confused what I need to ride on a trainer with accompanying visuals.

  26. In various online shops in the Netherlands I see delivery estimations “in four weeks” and “week 46”. Was anyone successful buying a Tacx Flux Neo ?

    • Nick Wall

      I reserved one at Sigma Sport in the UK today, who say they are getting a delivery on the 21st. From what Ray says above, it seems that’s unlikely. I’ll wait and see – if it doesn’t turn up I’ll probably get a Kickr

  27. Jeremy Palmer

    Would you go with the tacx flux or kickr snap?

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I am going for the direct drive Flux rather than the rear wheel Snap. I have had a Bkool for a year and one of the main reasons I’m getting a direct drive trainer is the wheel spin on really steep climbs when on the pedals.

  28. The Neo seems a bit to expensive for me, so it really comes down to;

    The new wahoo kicker vs tacx flux.
    Flux is less accurate and less gradient I think,
    and yet it is cheaper. So How would they compare in Noise and
    would you pay the extra for the New Wahoo? Which of them would you buy?
    I am a OK roadbiker who rides a little over 10 000km / year.
    Thanks!

    Stian

  29. Marc

    In regards to the +/- 5% accuracy of the Flux, I’m guessing that is referring to the power meter accuracy. So if you use your own PM (I have PT P1 pedals) then you’re going based off the accuracy of your PM.

    Yes?

    • Unfortunately not. That’s because even though you’d know your accuracy level, the trainer wouldn’t know its accuracy level. So it might think it’s applying 230w, when in reality, it’s applying 250w.

      Some companies solve this by introducing the ability to control the trainer using the power meter (i.e. Power Match from TrainerRoad). But that does depend on the offset being ‘equal’. If it’s not (meaning, it shifts), then all the eggs fall apart.

    • Marc

      So does that mean you can only use the power reading from the trainer? And your PM reading is pointless?

  30. Just as a general update to folks, I chatted with Tacx yesterday on a call (or maybe it was the night before? either way…), regarding Tacx Flux shipping status.

    The current plan is that first production units will start rolling off the manufacturing line next week (just outside of Amsterdam). If said units pass QA, the first batch will be container’d up and placed on a ship to the US/Canada. Meanwhile, the second batch will hit Europe. Roughly speaking ‘batch’ in this case is all of first week’s production, and Europe all the following week. I don’t know schedules for other continents, but will ask once the first week happens.

    The reason for doing it that way is simply the 3-4 week lead time for shipping from Europe to US, so that gets those units on the way sooner, though European deliveries will happen virtually immediately the week after (aka mid-November).

    As for a test unit for me to start testing on, assuming QA of the first line units go well next week, they’ll pull one from that batch and ship it to me.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      That sounds good! I’ve been checking You Tube to see if you’ve tested a Flux recently. It will be interesting to see how they compare to the Neo. I ordered a Neo last week but sent it back before unpacking it. Nothing to do with changing my mind, more of a warranty thing.

    • F1li

      Can I ask you why? I am still convinced with NEO is the right choice for me..but I still can change my mind (and save money)

    • Marlin

      Ask your shop if they have had any quality issues on the NEO. Then decide if it’s worth the extra several hundred dollars at this point.

    • f1li

      Are you trying to say that NEO is having some issues? I got a lot of (positive) feedbacks either from one of the Saxo trainer and also from Tacx technical assistance in one of the biggest European country… My dealer has not yet sold any NEO yet..not so common here in Italy.. Let me understand your experience if you can. Thanks

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I was looking at the Flux and thought it would be better than the Neo because of Tacx knowing any development issues they had and not doing the same again with the Flux. I know it’s not exactly the same but very similar. Plus the Flux is a lot cheaper!

      I think a Neo would be OK but it is built with a lot of electronics and not easy to fix by the avg guy. Not that the Neo is unreliable but I have heard of a few with minor problems. Also, if there are any problems after the 1 years warranty, how much is that going to cost? It could be a very expensive buy for 1 years use. The avg ‘non-electronic’ turbo is easy to fix by comparison as it’s all mechanical with no circuit boards. I’ve heard the Kickr is pretty bullet proof and considering one of those as well, but still a lot more than a Flux.

      The Neo I purchased was from link to acycles.co.uk. I got it for £903 delivered and was a bargain! Problem was, when I checked the delivery tracking 2 days later, it was in the centre of France! I checked the acycles web site again and even though it’s all in English and £GBP, on the ‘About Us’ page their address is actually Saint Etienne,
      France!

      I would have been OK with that but checked the Tacx warranty conditions and they only deal through the retailer you purchased it from. So that would mean me sending it back to France if there were any problems. Seeing as I was spending £903 I wanted the warranty so didn’t sign for it when it was delivered and have claimed a refund through Paypal.

      I have emailed Acycles twice and they haven’t contacted me about it all week. It was delivered/refused on Tuesday.

    • It’s pretty cool that you’re kind of representing Tacx and sharing information on their behalf ;) I felt that people were superhungry(me myself included) for some updates about Flux, so that information came at the right time. Thanks!

    • Stepi

      Thank you Ray for your update, we appreciate your effort! I have the Flux preordered for about 3 weeks already and was curious when I can expect it.

    • Tim

      Thanks Ray – another pre orderer here. Please keep us posted if you hear any more news

    • I see that a few major Dutch online retailers have moved the delivery estimates forward to the last week of November. That would more or less support the timelines outlined by Ray. :)

      Looking forward to the first tests/reviews of the final production units.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I’ve done some more searching and I am now considering either an Elite kura b+ direct drive or the Elite Drivo smart trainer. Both get good reviews and or around the same prices as the Fluc and Neo.

      I wonder what Ray thinks about the Elite Kura b+? I’ve read his review of the Drivo (link to dcrainmaker.com) but can’t find one of the Kura.

    • Keep in mind that Kura doesn’t control power though, it only transmits it.

      I do plan a Kura review, but not likely till later November.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      To be honest, I’m not too bothered about controlling the wattage… I just want a trainer that gives the best real time ride. I see the Kura generates it own power so you don’t need to plug it in. It will probably limit the usage though.

      I will read your review when you have time to test/write one but I might have made my decision by then. I sold my Bkool before I got my Neo (which I returned) so have no trainer at the moment and gagging to get on one as the weather is c**p outside here in Lytham St Annes, UK :-(

      Thanks for fast reply, Ray!

    • Gotchya.

      I have ridden one or two rides on it thus far, and it’s pretty solid. Accuracy seems good (I haven’t loaded them into the analysis suite though – just eyeballing units at once).

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      How does the Kura ‘fluid resitance’ compare to the ‘Electro magnetic resistance’ on the Drivo? I am about to order either a Kura or a Drivo but this is the decider for me.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I know the difference between the two types of trainer but I just need to know the differences how the ‘ride’ feels. I would think the more expensive Drivo feels better but is it worth the extra £400 to be better?

  31. Karl

    Thanks for the great reviews. Two quick questions. First, what happens if a course calls for a slope greater than the 10% max? Someone else asked earlier but didn’t see an answer. Second is about power accuracy. Will it always be off the same amount in the same direction? Always 270W when reading 250W for example. Or could it be variable in error and direction from ride to ride (or even within a ride)? If its always off the same, seems like you could use another power meter you believe to adjust for the error.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Karl… I was thinking about the same thing regarding the gradient max. I reckon that the max gradient given will be the max resistance up ANY climb. So if you are riding up a 15% climb the resistance will be only at 10%. That will make riding Alpe D’HUez a bit easier in places on Bkool :-)

  32. Fili

    This why Neo is to be prefer if video passionate.. While for structured sessions flux should be very good value for money.. Still struggling to decide..

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I’ve heard some negative things about the Neo with sprint efforts and the Elite Drivo sounds better. Watch this… link to youtube.com (important stuff at 6m 47s).

      You can use most virtual trainers with the Bkool app so video rides are available (if you are Premium). The Bkool app will work with the Neo and the Drivo. But I’m not too bothered about the video on the Alpe D’HUez ride… more the climbing.

    • Fili

      I do not know anything about bkool but I have many Tacx videos and would like to use also zwift.. Would stay with Tacx but which one?

  33. Andrew

    Ray
    Any more info on the production casing and flex movement (comment 44) this is the decider for me as the locked in feel, is so unnatural to me and the neo is out of a justifiable price. (+Rock &roll isn’t smart)

    Tried a vortex on Zwift, that I didn’t like as slow watts response and I like to increase watts via cadence1st rather than torque, which just didn’t seem to gel, not sure if it was just me /needed longer test or the vortex limitations?

    Glad to here your be doing the 30*30 workout test for watts response.
    Keep the excellent reviews going

    • Nothing yet. It sound like it’s about 1-2 weeks till I get a final prod unit.

    • Mark

      Thanks Ray! I’m really looking forward to your review of the final product. I was going to get a kickr but if the flux is as good as you expect it to be, it’s the one I’m getting. Appreciate all your legwork on these Ray! So helpful.

    • Felix

      @Andrew, I too am rather uncomfortable with the “locked-in” feeling of trainers as compared to riding IRL. Which is why I am curious about the product called COPLATE, described as a rocking plate for indoor cycling. I read about this on the Zwift Blog. (Coplate.bike on the web).

      I wonder if Ray has ever tried it, and if he’s a believer?

    • Andrew

      @Felix, yep also looked at coplate, liked the look of it, but say a flux plus a coplate is almost neo money???
      Likewise would love to hear Ray’s thoughts on coplate.

      I thought taxcs ‘interesting things coming’ comments was going to be something like a coplate flux trainer by tacx, but after hearing the latest Zwiftcast seems likely it will be a smart bike, shame.

    • Interesting. Never tried one myself. Kinda reminds me of the Kinetic Rock and Roll concept.

  34. Wolf

    Really looking forward to your full review on this. Hesitating between the Flux and the Kickr, as the NEO does seem to work well with my Trek SpeedConcept

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I’m hesitating between Elite Drivo, Tacx Flux, CycleOps Hammer, Tacx Neo and Kickr 2. A comparison test between all of these would be brilliant (over to you, Ray), but I want a trainer sooner rather than later :-(

      I am still considering a Neo even though I sent one back (see #72). I could possible buy a Flux this time next week (if they get their allocated stock) and save myself loadsa money… but will it be as good as we are hoping?

    • Steve

      I am also in this position. There seem to be compromises with each top end trainer and it is a process of weighing these up. I nearly pulled the trigger on a Neo, but I think having the continuing QC issues (that SO many people have experienced) without a fix is unacceptable considering the time it has been in production. I don’t think spending £1000+ and hoping you get the ‘luck of the draw’ is right, regardless of if I can return it. I think the KICKR price point is too high now (in the UK), so the Flux is top of my list. If the accuracy is around the 2-3% after warm up as Ray suggests could be the case, I will order. Just a shame the release dates keep getting pushed back, but hopefully not too long now.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      The Bkool Pro I got last November only cost me £325 and got me into virtual training (I sold it last week for £250, so no trainer). That cost wasn’t too bad but spending over 3 times that amount is serious money for a trainer. I just want the trainer with the most realistic road ride feel… and I don’t mean the ‘road patterning’ feel of the Neo! The only downside with the Bkool was it didn’t feel real enough at times. Great when you can’t get out with bad weather but if I’m spending £1k I want the best.

      And the QC problems with the Neo… are Tacx going to suffer similar problems with the Flux? As they seem to be delaying the final release, they might have learnt lessons from the Neo and making sure it works with no issues. Or is it that the production schedule is running late and the are now rushing to get the Flux trainers built in time? If this is the case, then the Flux could have QC issues.

      The Elite Drivo has a 2 year warranty which is what if making me favour that above anything else.

    • Steve

      I’m hoping that because it is a more conventional flywheel setup, it won’t suffer the problems of the Neo. Who knows though, that’s the problem with buying hot off the press!

    • fili

      Can you please remind me the Neo issue? just bought one and it is being delivered right now.. Worried now. Thanks

    • Noise issues. In a nutshell there are a few variations, but you’ll know within the first ride. If you hear wonky sounds (like metallic sounds), that’s it.

      Virtually all the currently seen NEO issues (ignoring really old stuff), are noise, and all of said issues are in parts not seen in Flux.

      Whether or not that means anything, only time (and lots of units shipping), will tell.

    • fili

      Thanks a lot Ray for the clarifications..hope I will not be so lucky to hear these noises tomorrow..

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Fili… I would be very grateful on any feedback you can give on the Neo. I got all excited about the Neo when I first saw it last year, but thought the cost made it for pros. I would like to think that ALL the very latest Neo builds are OK and not ‘luck of the drawer’ like Steve says.

    • The comments recently have pretty much overwhelmingly proven that even 2017 model units made over the last month are still seeing issues (again, not all, but certainly enough – and I’ve even been asking folks to ‘prove it’ with videos, mostly privately*).

      *I’ve been doing this because I’ve seen some weird stuff with trainer comments over the past 12 months.

    • MartinR

      Interesting, were/are the comments legit? Would be interesting to know what percentage of the shipped units are the faulty ones.
      One of the NEO serial numbers I saw, suggests that Tacx have already shipped more than 18.000 units worldwide, but I might be wrong…
      Flux seems like a proven concept, so I wouldn’t expect any major issues with it.

    • Thus far, everyone I’ve asked has provided video proof (either publicly or privately). And all videos were dramatically different. Given I myself got a bad unit just this summer, I have no reason to doubt it.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Fili… how’s the Neo?

    • Fili

      Kevin…NEO was delivered…2 week ago. I brought it in my box, I discovered that most of the surrounding boxes in my building had been opened and few bikes stolen. I was so disappointed and scared that I removed my two bikes and decided to hold on a little bit with turbo trainer. I cannot afford to loose such a (big) value and at the same time I cannot take transport the NEO up and down every time I have to train. I sent it back to the seller waiting for better times for what concerning security issues. Sorry I can’t help.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Jesus! Sorry about that! Having to move it around up and down stairs, etc, etc, takes the fun out of it as well as hoping it’s still there every time.

      As you hadn’t mentioned anything about it on here, I thought you must be very happy with it after your worries about it.

      I need a trainer and was considering the Neo again but ordered a Flux instead (£580GBP). It will be even more awkward to move around as it doesn’t fold up like a Neo. But it’s going to be at the earliest December before/if I get one now. I have the money to buy a more expensive one but could do with saving the money with Xmas not too far away.

  35. Fili

    I did not know about these issues (my fault) and now I am too worried :(

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      My LBS say they might have a Flux for me on the 14th November. It should be good enough for me and it’s only £580 (good deal). If I get it and don’t like it I can always return it.

      MartinR reassured me (a bit) with his comment.

  36. Liam B

    Currently using a fluid 2 with P2M but wanting to make the switch into the smart trainer world for the option to play Zwift how it’s designed on the “days off”.

    Hoping this trainer will give a realistic feel (not the cobbles type) and be suitable for structured workouts aswell as for playing Zwift etc.

    Do you think it’ll be suitable for structured workouts ray? I’ll mostly be using it in slope mode to reflect flat roads for TT training.

    Also do you know if it’ll support a “tri bike” mode like the neo to give a cda value to work with.

  37. Kevin Mawdsley

    I’ve just been updated on my UK Flux order due in today and it has been put back to 28th November.

    Ray… it will be good to see what a Flux is like IF you get one to try this week. :-)

  38. Lee Parker

    Spoke with Tredz cycles today (UK) and was advised the date has been pushed back to the 28th November for delivery to them.
    I would like to make the move to the Neo but the price is alot more than I wish to pay, Come on Flux!

  39. David (frostbyteva)

    Tacx T2835. Ordered a Flux last week through CT as part of the sale. They didn’t carry the thru axle adapter so I started looking around. That sucker is $80 USD! Kickr’s is only $30. So for me at least, the Flux requires an $80 thru axle adapter and a cassette. That bumps the price from $900 to $1010, taking out 1/3 of the savings vs the new Kickr at $1,230 (with TA adapter).

    I’ve been burned twice by Wahoo not supporting their product (RFLKT+ and TICKRx HRM), but the Kickr is a known product and has better specs than the Flux… I’m torn about canceling the Flux order since the price gap is lower and really, the Flux is an unknown right now (shipping date and product quality).

    Anyway, just a rambling heads up for any of my thru axle brethren out there looking at this.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I’m trying to hold out for the Flux but, like you say, an unknown and will it be any good? Hopefully, Ray will give us the heads up this week. I could have a Kickr2 in 2 days at £900GBP (currently $1,121.80 USD) and Team Sky use them.

  40. livio

    can i use TTS4, the flux smart trainer and the steering of genius multiplayer or Neo?
    obviously loosely to flux as it is not compatible

  41. Bikeman

    I pre-ordered @ CT with the generous discount. Ray’s review will come out before the ship makes it to the states so I’ll be able to cancel if things don’t turn out as I expect. Like many others, I am really looking forward to the review.

  42. Just as a super-quick Friday evening (European time) update. I just heard from them and my final prod unit will ship out Monday morning (didn’t quite make the cutoffs for today). I should have it by Tuesday, though, I won’t return till Wednesday evening from a trip.

    Obviously, for those looking to get in on the 20% sale – it won’t technically be early enough for that. However, CT does allow you to cancel orders with no issues. So you could place an order now, and then wait for my initial results next week. CT won’t get their shipments (like everyone else) for another few weeks. So plenty of time.

    Some may have noticed via Twitter/etc that I got production CycleOps Magnus and Hammer trainers today as well. I’ll try and get some initial accuracy tests done over the next 24 hrs (short rides), but it’s still going to be tough to fit it in before the sale window closes tomorrow night (I’ve gotta assist The Girl on a bunch of things for the bakery).

    I’ll post updates to respective trainers on their respective existing posts (i.e. Magnus updates on Magnus post, Hammer on Hammer post, etc…).

    Have a good weekend!

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      So when are they shipping the first batch out to the UK? My Flux is supposed to be at my dealer on the 28th.

      Some feedback on the Hammer would be great as that is on my short-list as well.

      Cheers Ray!

    • Rom

      Hi,
      Ray congrats for the all your work it’s helped a lot in most of my gear choices.
      Just for info i pre-ordered my Flux on the 1st of November at Athleteshop. Was supposed to arrive on the 23rd of november and has just been postponed to the 30th.
      A nice week end to all.
      R.

  43. Ian D

    I ordered a Flux from tredz.co.uk just over 2 weeks ago. I received a phone call on Monday to say that I won’t receive it until w/c 5th December. Which seems to go along with what has been said on here.

    Didn’t want to wait that long, but from what I’ve read there’s nothing around that price point to equal it. I’ll just have to be patient. 🤔🤔

  44. What is this CT discount you speak of?

    • DCR Readers can save 10% using DCR Coupon Code DCR10BTF.

      However, up until this past Saturday, there was a 10-day sale deal to save 20%, including on the Flux. Said deal is now over though. Sorry!

    • David

      ah, no worries, looks they are USA only delivery anyways. I’ll buy it local to make sure I have good support since it’s the same price as online retailers. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

  45. So, folks. Tacx has put expected delivery dates on their website which are:
    Expected availability (limited supply)
    Netherlands, Germany, UK, Italy: week 48, other European countries: week 49, USA: week 51, Canada: week 52, Azia & Oceania: January/February 2017.

    link to tacx.com

  46. Oh, and Week 48 is 28th of November to 4th of December FYI.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      That’s good! It’s official now from Tacx as the shop I’ve ordered mine from said the 28th two weeks ago when they were due on the 8th. :-)

      It will probably be 1st December before it’s delivered though :-(

    • Steve

      I was notified today by my retailer (Evans Cycles – UK) that it has been delayed again until 8th December, so I’m hoping that official Tacx date is the correct one. It’s been put back many times now and I’m fed up of running, so I can’t come soon enough!

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Bladdy hell! I’m gonna check with mine (Leisure Lakes) tmoz and get an update. If it’s been put back further again, I might just buy a Kickr 2 as it could be next year at this rate and it might not be as good as a Kickr 2 anyway.

  47. Stefan Kinell

    Oh I would also love to see that hands on review. I’ve got a Flux ordered and believe I’m part of the first batch to northern Europe. Which would result in a delivery within a few weeks. But I just realised a local store with good black Friday prizes last year had a good discount on the Neo, which would cut the prize difference to “only” 250 Euro towards the Flux. But I wonder if the difference on wattage, slope, sound and the road feel and flexibility in sideways is worth the extra cash. Decisions, decisions…

  48. Kevin Mawdsley

    I called Leisure Lakes this morning and they said my Flux is still scheduled for next Monday 28th and I should have it by the end of next week. Fingers crossed!

  49. MartinR

    So the “Taco” Flux arrived today, did I get it right?

  50. Hi All-

    The Taco* did indeed arrive! Err…I mean Tacx Flux.

    I got it unboxed, and then did an initial ride. As promised, here’s my initial ride data: link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

    I did a calibration using TrainerRoad (FE-C control) of the trainer prior to starting, as well as at around the 11 minute marker. It was pretty good in that first 11 minutes (easily within 3-4%), but upon re-doing the calibration is got much tighter during steady-state riding (usually I was seeing it at about 2-4w off of 225w). During harder sprints you can see how it uses the algorithms vs measured power, as that first second or two you’ll see differences. This is common on trainers without power meters internally (basically, anything under $1,200).

    Noise-wise, I’ll circle back tomorrow. My chain is increda-dirty, and my shifting is just a bit finicky right now. So I need to clean both up tomorrow so I can tell more clearly. I’ll record something video/audio-wise over the following days.

    Overall though, things look very positive. But again, it’s just one ride, and a relatively short 30 minute one. I did do both low-cadence and high cadence, low power and high power. The estimated cadence got a bit wonky at one point, though, that’s why it’s estimated. I generally throw that away from most trainers.

    Finally, I plan an in-depth review on/about December 5th or 6th, which will include more detailed testing, analysis, and data.

    *https://twitter.com/dcrainmakerblog/status/801750211479695360

    • Jay

      Interested in seeing how it stacks up noise wise v Kickr 2 as that’s the closest competitor for me, even though it’s pricier. Shame the Kura doesn’t have controlled resistance…

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Ray… you’ve got one at last!

      All the power figures/accuracy are great if that’s what you are buying one for but how does it feel to ‘ride’? I am not too interested in the watts I’m kicking out, I just want it to feel like I’m riding my bike for real. Even though it was only 30mins, how did if feel compared to the other trainers, say a new Kickr?

    • I was in ERG mode, so for the most part, it just feels like any other trainer. I’ll be likely trying Zwift later today, which will be a better test of that.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      A Zwift test sounds great! I’ve never used Zwift… although I will try it… when I get a trainer ;-)

      Leisure Lakes, who my order is with, are now saying Monday 28th is an ‘expected’ date now, so good chance I’ll have to wait longer :-(

    • Iain Curtis

      Hi Ray

      Thanks for the initial review, am looking forward to your more detailed thoughts.

      One question coming from a “dumb trainer” user, if you were to use the Flux in Zwift would you have to do your warm up and spin down to calibrate things before you log in to Zwift to start your main session / ride or can it be done whilst riding in Zwift?
      I do a calibration now using my KK Road Machine (with inRide power sensor) using their Fitness app and spindown calibration process….so wanted to see if I had to do the same using a wheel off smart trainer like the Flux?

      Many thanks
      Iain

    • You can trigger the calibration at any time from the Tacx Utility app. So you could just do it about 10 minutes into riding to make things a bit more accurate.

      In this case, they recommend doing a roll-down in that 10-15 mins in, though as you can see from the results, it’s very minimal variance.

    • Iain Curtis

      Thanks for coming back Ray!

      I am in a dilemma… today in the UK Wiggle have the Kickr Snap on offer at for £399.00 (£100 off the usual price) so do I go for the Snap or wait till the Flux is fully available? Would the wheel off Flux be really worth the extra £250-£300…will mainly be using it on Zwift??

      So…as Shakespeare would have said …”to Snap or to Flux…that is the question??

      Cheers

    • Generally I’d go Flux, if ignoring price. However, that’s a pretty steep difference for Flux over Snap, so unless there’s something specific you prefer about Flux (i.e. direct direct), then I’d probably go SNAP given those parameters.

    • Iain Curtis

      Thanks Ray…

      Have just ordered the SNAP…was too good a deal to turn down!

      Cheers

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      I saw the Wiggle price for the Snap but it isn’t a direct drive and I think that’s needed for the best ride. I’ve been using a Bkool (wheel drive) for 12 months and it was great apart from wheel spin on really steep climbs. I didn’t ride steep stuff all the time but I thought the ‘ride feel’ didn’t feel real enough with videos of the route. It did get me into virtual riding though and became addictive.

      I sold my Bkool to buy one of the latest direct drive smart trainers as that will cut out the wheel spin AND should make the whole ride experience more true to life. It’s a big ask from me and I know how I want it to feel, but I think any of the smart direct drive trainers will feel sooo much better than the rear wheel drive Bkool. I don’t want to spend a fortune and then think a direct drive trainer isn’t that much better.

      My Flux (if I wait for it) is only costing me £580GBP (with some loyalty points) and could feel better than any of the more expensive smart trainers for a fraction of the price. I’m waiting on Ray’s Zwift review as that could be the decider for me to hang on for it.

    • Rory Porteous

      Hi Ray,

      Looking forward to the full review. good to hear that it’s as quiet as the Neo, does that silence extend to vibrations? I quite like my Elite Muin but the vibrations through the floor don’t make me a good neighbor and there’s only so much 2 layers of carpet stuffed beneath the legs can do to fix things. Does the Flux experience any similar issues? I’m probably going to need to upgrade for noise related reasons.

      Thanks in advance!

    • Rory Porteous

      Impeccable timing!

  51. Jay

    athleteshop sent me several emails today saying they’ll have it in four weeks, then when I asked for a refund they replied saying it’ll be here next week.

    Was considering calling tomorrow but have a feeling they don’t know and will tell you anything to not cancel your preorder.

  52. TomL

    question?

    KICKR refurb OR tacx flux?

    • Richard R

      Just ordered in Germany for 663€, I hope it is good, I haven’t every used anything but the dumbest of dumb trainers!

    • MJK

      Which shop, if I may ask?

    • Steven DV

      which shop Richard R?

    • Biker-boarder.de with the 15% black friday discount code.
      Enjoy!

    • TomL

      what’s best for zwift training sessions KICKR refurb or tacx flux.

      and is it nececary to buy an tacx PC upgrade to train with zwift when i go for the flux?
      or is it the sae story for the kickr?

    • No matter which trainer you buy, you’ll need an ANT+ USB stick on most PC’s to control Zwift. That’s basically what the Tacx PC Upgrade kit is. You can find such USB sticks for $20-$40USD.

      The KICKR has the advantage of being supported *today* on the still-beta iPad app. Whereas the Flux doesn’t yet. That could change tomorrow, next week, or next month. Zwift hasn’t made that clear.

      From a pure specs standpoint, the KICKR is generally a better machine. However, the old KICKR is definitely far louder than the Flux.

    • Steven DV

      BTW,

      Based on the excellent tip of Richard, I too ordered at biker-boarder.de for the amazing price of 663 Euro using the black Friday promotion. I was thinking though: “this is too good to be true”… and I think it now is the case… I just received an order cancellation without any explanation form them. + I did read a whole bunch of bad reviews about this shop in the mean time about bad experiences. I guess I will have to add one to that. Anybody else got their Tacx Flux order cancelled by this dodgy biker-boarder.de shop?

    • Richard R

      Sorry to hear that Steven, they haven’t cancelled my order (yet), but I also haven’t had word of them shipping yet either.

      I had read some bad reviews, but also hundreds of good ones and they are google certified, so they shouldn’t be able to rip us off anyway. Still sucks if they accepted orders that they won’t fulfill.

    • Steven DV

      *NEWSFLASH* … I was in contact with the shop’s “Kundenservice” (=customer service) and it seems I received a wrong email about a return shipment (its kinda hard to return anything if you haven’t received anything yet :-) ). It turns out my order for Flux @ 663 euro is still ON und meine Freunde von Kundenservice have stated they expect “the delivery man to bring Tacx Flux to the warehouse” still this week. That would mean delivery to me next week, which would be excellent. To be continued I guess :-) but for now at least I have to take back the bad things I asid about biker-boarder.de above.

    • Jens

      Puh, you already made me nervous. The shop has removed the item from the catalogue. I was not sure if its was sold out or they could not be delivered on their owen.
      Sounds good now. :-)

    • Nifty54

      I’ve just been told by Leisure lakes, UK that they should have my Flux next Monday 5th and they’ll send it out next day delivery. What’s the smell in the air? :-)

    • Ian D

      Well I got the same info from tredz.co.uk, so hopefully this is it!!

    • Steven DV

      Jens / Richard,

      *sigh*

      I understand you also ordered at biker-boarder.de… I get a different story from these guys every day on delivery… You can reach me on sdevlieg1976@hotmail.com and then I can forward you the email conversation I had with customer service… Its a bit of a vaudeville… Now they state they have “unknown shipment date” and I think they haven’t even ordered it yet at Tacx… I am curious what kind of story you guys are getting…

      Steven

  53. Colin

    Thanks for your first impressions post Ray. Really useful and all sounds good so far.

    I have a Flux on order which I intend to use with a MacBook computer running Trainer Road, Zwift etc. However, I do not own a smart phone or a tablet and it has just occurred to me that this may be an issue when I need to update the firmware. Can I do firmware updates via a Mac (if so how), or do I need an iOS/Android device to do this.

    • At this point I believe you’ll need an iOS or Android device. I don’t think TTS support it, and even then, that’s PC only.

      However, keep in mind that firmware updates for trainers are very rare. Like, once every 3-6 months type rare. So you can likely invite a friend over for a beer, and the entire process only takes about 2-3 minutes.

      Today, TrainerRoad *can* trigger a calibration of the Flux already using the desktop apps. So you’re good there.

    • Steve

      Thanks for the updates Ray. Sounds positive so far and makes the long wait for it a bit easier, given my general impatience! If accuracy is roughly what you’ve seen so far, it backs up my hunch that it’ll be a cut price KICKR and will have saved me significant cost. What are your first impressions regarding build quality? Is it a solid unit?

    • No concerns at all regarding build quality. Seems quite nice – essentially a mini-NEO in that respect. Obviously, for that price you sacrifice the folding wings/legs of the Neo/KICKR, but it only takes 30 seconds to remove that front stabilizer on Flux if you had to.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      You’re making my choice harder as I’ve now got a Neo lined up to buy at a really bargain price and your review of the Flux will be the decider on which one I go for, so crack on with it Ray ;-)

    • Mark Foullong

      Ray, thanks so much for the interim data from the Flux. I too have been waiting the last month or so on your assessment of it before deciding to go Flux or Kickr2. Here in Canada there is a substantial price difference in favor of the Flux so if they’re pretty close to the same thing in durability and functionality then I’d go Flux. (don’t care a lot about legs folding etc) Are you going to give another interim update based on a longer more rigorous ride/workout or are we at this point waiting on your in-depth review on the 5th of Dec.? Thanks so much for your invaluable reviews. So helpful for purchases like this.

    • I’ll likely cover some more initial/quick thoughts as part of my ‘5 Random Things I Did This Weekend’ on Monday, related to Zwift. But I’ll also probably copy some of that content to the comments section here.

    • Colin

      Thanks Ray. I suspect that I should treat this as an opportunity to drag my tech into the 21st century. Smartphone now on my Santa list!

      Is your job as much fun as it looks? Deeply envious!

  54. Ben

    Was waiting around to see if there would be a black friday deal on the Flux shipped to the US, but didn’t see anything (unfortunately missed out on the 20% offer from here). Anyone know of anything else, perhaps Cyber Monday?

  55. Ryan

    Thanks as ever for all the updates Ray.
    I’m waiting on my Flux from Evans – just one question regarding accessories….

    Will I be able to use the Flux as an ANT bridge so I can use my Garmin heart rate strap without an ANT dongle? (as I plan to connect to the Macbook/iPad via bluetooth)…..or will I just go for a Tickr and be done with it?!

    • Tim

      Can recommend the tickr if you go that route. Mines been going strong for about 3 years now.
      Also have a Flux on order from Evans… Last eta 8/12/16 but then the website product page has 12/12/16 so I think they’re shooting in the dark at the moment

    • Nope, the Flux doesn’t do translation/conversion of other stuff. As Tim notes, the best bet is a dual strap.

      The Wahoo TICKR, 4iiii Viiiiva, and Scosche (optical) are all good dual options.

  56. Marc Teichmann

    Hey Ray, are you still planning on a brief post about Flux and Zwift usage in your ‘5 Things I Did’ post?

    • Roughly. Maybe. Not sure.

      I’m working on an video edit right now with the Tacx Flux vs Tacx NEO vs KICKR2, focused purely on sound/noise. If the baby cooperates, I’ll have that up in a few hours.

      The 5 Random Things may not end up happening tonight.

  57. Ian D

    Got a Flux on order with Tredz. On Monday the expected delivery date changed to 12/12/16. Today it has changed to 5/12/16. Surely this must be good news?!?!? Hopefully!! ;-)

    • Jonathan

      just ordered a flux with leisure lakes, they told me it was unlikely that the flux will be delayed any more. Hopefully should get mine in the next few weeks. This is my first ever turbo trainer. I really need a reasonably quiet trainer as i live in a small apartment. Really hoping the flux will be quiet enough.

    • Ian D

      Actually spoke to a guy at Tredz after I posted this. He told me that their stock is on back order and is due in next Monday, so I should receive mine by the end of next week. 👍

    • Bikeman

      In addition to Ray, please post your own comments on the Flux. Those of us on the west side of the pond will benefit from your impressions on your new trainer. It’ll probably be January before those of us in the USA get our hands on the Flux. Thanks.

    • Nifty54

      I certainly will give a review as that is what I’ve been after for a few weeks. I was thinking of doing a video review but never done one before and I write better than I speak ;-)

    • Jonathan

      just got emailed to say that Tacx pushed delivery back to the 12th. Was initially told that it was looking like the 6th of this month. They told the dealer I’m buying from that they are still confident to deliver before christmas.

    • Kevin Mawdsley

      Leisure Lakes told me the 12th today but I ordered another Flux from a LBS this morning who say they’ll have one for me to collect by 1pm tomorrow. I haven’t paid for it yet.

  58. livio

    can i use the tacx neo steering frame with the flux?
    obviously without fix it to the flux.
    i love free drive of my fortius multiplayer in virtual reality but the Neo Smart is much expensive for me.

  59. Hi All-

    Just as a bit of an update on my Zwift go with the Flux, all went well.

    I rode what was mostly the mountain hill climb (to the top), so while there were some initial rollers, it was mostly setting various incline levels. Still, within that mode I’m able to sprint as I see fit and validate reaction time. All well there.

    Like I saw with TrainerRoad, the power was within the stated 5% for the first 8-10 minutes, and then stabilized nicely. For the remainder of the ride it was within just a few watts of the Quarq and Stages – this was across a wide range of wattages from 200w to 600w. You can view/download the files here:

    link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

    Overall, I’m pretty happy with it in Zwift. Obviously you don’t get the road patterns of the Neo in Zwift, but responsiveness was solid, even in sprints.

    *Note: I saw one oddity where the Flux dropped out entirely for a few seconds around the 10 minute marker. It dropped out from Zwift, the Edge 520, and even an iOS app watching over it. I don’t think this was actually the Flux, but rather the power outlet outlet. As the CycleOps Magnus did precisely the same thing last week. My thinking here is cemented in that I rarely use this outlet, except for Dropcam – where I get tons of drops. I used it today because I had all the trainers lined up for my video yesterday and was running out of outlets. While my thinking (for years) has been the few second Dropcam drops were because it was underground with bad WiFi, now I’m wondering if it’s been the outlet being crap. I’ll switch to my usual power outlets and note in my Flux review if I see it again.

    • tim

      Thanks for the updates as usual Ray, still waiting for an update from some US suppliers on arrival of their units, hopefully by roughly mid-December yet.

      Looking at the data it seems like something weird happened around the 40 minute mark? Both PMs dropped slightly but the flux spiked. My gut feel looking at the numbers is that the flux was closer to 5% off after that point (reading high) compared to nearly right on before that?

      Obviously without mathematical comparison it’s just my eyes, but for the 40-47 minute range it seems like there is a different offset happening on the flux compared to the Stages and Quarq.

    • That’s at the point in which Zwift spiked above 15% grade. Except, my Zwift settings were for 50% simulation at the time on this computer, so it would have been doing grade simulation there. I’m going to run some tests to see if I set it at 100% if that goes away, and then trying some different grades.

    • Hey Ray,

      I’m considering to buy a smart trainer (I’ve got Tacx Swing at the moment). Unfortunately, there is no place to test Flux vs. KICKR1/2 here in Moscow. People claim, that Flux is kind of slow to response on sprints and provides less momentum than other smart direct drive trainers. Can you confirm that?

    • Odd, I’m not sure who would claim that around slow to respond on sprints – since honestly only two people to my knowledge have units.

      Still, the Flux per specs alone is less powerful than the KICKR1/2 – there’s no doubting that. The real question to many people is whether that difference matters.

    • Mark Foullong

      Really looking forward to figuring out if that detail matters in your more in depth review Ray. Thanks in advance. Is that still expected this week?

    • Liz

      Ray, Futurumshop in the Netherlands has been shipping units already, so there should be more than two people who have units so far. ;) I got mine too last Thursday but the case was damaged (not closed well) and I had to send it back.

    • Colin Barton

      Sigma Sport are now showing 4 in stock. Looks like the wait is almost over for UK customers!

  60. Francesco

    hi Ray

    I’m considering to change my old trainer with a new one and this Flux is one of the final competitors. I want to train with a powermeter and for the moment I’m not too much interested in something like Zwift.. What is the difference between turbotrainers like the flux or something more traditional like the Elite Rampa? Would I have some other benefits apart the noise when doing tempo intervals?

    Thank you!!

  61. Stefan

    While waiting for my flux, that are with the delivery guy being transported from the bike shop to me, I was watching this movie: link to youtu.be

    At 6.30 it actually looks like it has some flexibility sideways. Not like the Neo perhaps but some flexibility is better than nothing.

  62. Hey Folks!

    The Tacx Flux In-Depth Review is now up. It can be found here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    As usual, I’ll close the comments section on this preview post sometime today, just to keep things tidy. Of course, feel free to move discussions over to the in-depth review instead.

  63. Jens

    I received my Tacx FLUX Smart 2016-12-07 and immediately found problem using my bicycles equipped with a long-cage, both my roadbike and MTB has it. Chain will hit the frame.

    Short analysis says that the Tacx FLUX smart need a short-cage and therefore is limited to around 36 teeth cassettes.

    Could´t find any information about this on the TACX hompage.

    Disappointed!

  64. Bikeman

    My Flux shipped from Clever Training. Delivery scheduled for the 28th.

  65. Jack

    Is this both 10s and 11s compatible?