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Tacx Neo Bike Smart: First Ride and Final Specs

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Last year at Eurobike Tacx announced their intentions to make a smart bike, the blend of an indoor trainer and a bike. Similar to a ‘spin bike’ in looks, but under the hood totally different.  It’d have full resistance control just like their Tacx Neo trainer, while also having handlebars and shifting like a bike.  Much of the focus on smart bikes has been spurred on by Zwift aiming to capture a wider indoor training market.

At the time though the concept of the Tacx bike was more rough sketch than final. No specific pricing was announced, nor was it near shipping. They said it was something to look for at Eurobike 2018.

And thus, here are: Eurobike 2018. They’ve now got pricing and shipping details, as well as a fully functional unit that’s very close to being final production quality.  With it, the unit gained functions like realistic shift feedback that makes you feel like the gears are actually moving below you. It also gained a small display to help clarify gearing and other critical stats, as well as gaining fans that change speed based on how hard you’re working.

Finally, to be super clear – this is not a review, and certainly not an in-depth review. This is a brief look at the final bike with merely some brief riding time last week on it.  I don’t even dive into aspects like testing power meter accuracy, or other apps beyond Zwift, or configuration of the virtual shifting.  All that will come in due time with my usual in-depth review closer to shipping.  So hang tight for that!  In the meantime, you’ve gotta check this thing out, it’s surprisingly cool.

The Final Specs:

So let’s get right into the specs and what this bike features, since that’s what you’re all here for.  Of course, before we do that, sometimes it’s just easier to watch a video on it, so I put together an overview of a short ride on the bike, where I walk through from front to back all the nuances and the details of the bike.

As you can see, it’s not only quiet, but also essentially a Tacx Neo bundled into a bike.  Except, that definition skips over the nuance of some of the more bike-focused features like adjustable crank lengths or virtual gear shifting with virtual gear combinations.

So to start, let’s just do some bullet-point style specifications.  I like bullet-points because they’re easy to convey a crapton of information without a crapton of flowery words:

– Priced at $2,599USD/EUR (+/- $100-$200). EUR pricing is set, but USD pricing still in flux a bit. GBP is 2299GBP
– Availability set for fall 2018 worldwide, but volume will be limited initially, so may be tough to get until winter.
– Has the same specs as a Tacx Neo Smart in terms of resistance/accuracy, so +/- 1%
– Max power resistance is 2,200w
– Can run with or without power cord, self-powering
– Handlebars have shifting control buttons like normal bikes, for virtual shifting
– Shifting can be configured to replicate any chainring/cassette combination
– Handlebars also have brakes (both sides), to allow braking, or potentially even turning
– Contains a small display (powered by you) that shows gearing/power/heart rate, and other metrics
– Includes dual position-configurable fans that can be controlled by HR, speed, or manual
– Has a large clamp system for holding a tablet
– Has a small tray for placement of phone or M&M’s
– Includes two 2.0 AMP USB charging ports below the small tray, for powering phone/tablet
– Internal battery charged while you ride to charge ports and display
– Customizable saddle height/position, handlebar height/position
– Ability to change out handlebars or seat for your own if you want
– Ability to add clip-on aero bars
– Adjustable crank lengths built-in: 170mm, 172.5mm, 175mm
– Q-Factor is standard road-bike q-factor
– One glorious water bottle holder

Phew…got all that?  Good!

As you can see, it’s an impressive set of specs.  If we look briefly at how it compares to the WattBike Atom released last year, the core additions are heavily focused on user experience aspects that shine better in apps like Zwift than ERG mode.  For example, compared to the WattBike Atom you’ve got:

– Added feedback that you’re actually shifting (a vibration of sorts)
– Added USB ports for charging tablets that run apps like Zwift/TrainerRoad
– Added brake levers and I’d argue better shifting buttons in terms of feedback
– Added a display for core data metrics to be displayed
– Added fans up front to keep ya cool
– Ability to customize virtual gearing to match your bike/what you want.
– Doesn’t require power cord
– Crank lengths adjustable, versus statically set
– Q-Factor matches road bike, versus wider stance

There are a few minor things the Wattbike Atom has though that the Tacx Neo Bike Smart doesn’t.  For instance, it doesn’t include aerobars like the Wattbike does.  With the Wattbike you get regular handlebars as well as aerobars in the box.

Of course, all these extra features cost you extra cash.  In the case of the Wattbike it’s only really sold in the UK, and the price there is 1,499GBP. Whereas the Tacx Neo Bike Smart is slated to sell in the UK at 2,299GBP.  And of course, the more prudent issue: The Wattbike is actually available today, versus the Tacx bike is at best a few months away for those lucky enough to nab an early spot.

With that, let’s talk about my first ride experience.

First Test Ride:

Of course, the key thing with smart bikes is how they feel.  We talked about all the specs up above, but none of that really matters if it doesn’t feel right across all the apps.  That was sorta the challenge with the Wattbike for me. It was awesome for me with ERG mode and overall functionality, but when it came to Zwift it kinda fell apart because of shifting in particular.  So the inability to know what gear you were in (partially solved since), but more importantly feel the gear changes was tricky.

It’s something you take for granted with your bike – when you shift, you feel it. You feel the click of the levers (or even the button press of Di2 is still tactile in nature).  You feel the drivetrain briefly release tension for a split second as it moves between rings or cassette cogs. But with the Wattbike, none of that happened. It was like a fart in the wind, somewhat unknown.

So jumping right into it I adjusted the saddle height on the Tacx bike quick and easy and was off and running.  The fans weren’t quite final and were the only piece in the system that felt a bit beta to me (as they admitted). But it was merely because the bolt wasn’t firm enough, so they kinda floated too much. But that’s a trivial fix.

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The fans are designed to pair to your heart rate sensor or trainer speed, enabling you to simulate going downhill faster.  I suspect though that novelty will wear off quickly, and folks will just leave them on full blast.  Still, having the option is appreciated.

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Next, while there was a tablet holder I used my a phone to bring up Zwift. I did this simply because I wanted to record the Zwift session for the video.

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Note that below the tablet holder is 2x2AMP USB ports for charging. These charge based on your pedaling power, or you can simply plug the bike in too.

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Within Zwift I paired up the bike via Bluetooth Smart, just like any other trainer – no different there really.

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Once I did that though the onboard display on the unit re-adjusted itself to a paired down version that minimized the information and focused on core metrics like the actual gearing and my power.  Essentially it wasn’t just re-duplicating everything on the Zwift screen, but really just the information you cared about.  Still, I think this is super useful, and you see the same thing on the new Elite bike as well. It’s another differentiator between the Wattbike and the Tacx bike.

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The gearing will be adjustable down the road, so you can program the chainring/cassette if you want to replicate your exact bike setup. Want a configuration that’s better for climbing? No prob. And Tacx is looking at doing the same for replicating Di2 vs eTap and other shifting methods, so that it feels identical to you from a ‘how to shift’ standpoint.  Again, these are the little details that matter.

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What’s most astounding on the entire bike though is that when you shift you feel it between your legs. That’s because the Tacx bike has the ability to ever so briefly (for a split second) pull back on the resistance, so it simulates the exact same feel that your shifting does on a bike where for that split-second there’s almost no resistance.  It’s mind-bogglingly cool, and exactly what Wattbike is missing.  Part of this is the way the Tacx Neo (and thus the Tacx Bike) is designed from an electronic resistance standpoint. It’s effectively the same underlying technology leveraged in the Neo’s ability to replicate cobblestones and other bits of terrain.

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I’d say at this point that for other smart bike manufacturers, some sort of feedback like this will become a requirement to be successful in the market.  In my limited time riding this, it was without question the missing gap on Zwift that the Wattbike needed.  While other companies can implement this virtual gearing realism in different ways, implementing something is required – otherwise Tacx will simply win every conversation and test ride about it.

Now I will say that the only caveat with shifting is that I wish the buttons themselves were a bit crispier. I want a ‘click’ on the buttons (as well as the feel of the drivetrain). Whereas today the Tacx bike lacks the click but has the drivetrain replication right.

In addition to shifting there’s braking, you can pull the brake levers to brake the bike.  This has two purposes down the road.  The first is to stop the bike mid-ride, but the second could be to replicate/simulate directional turning.  So the idea that you could potentially brake one side or the other to turn the bike. Zwift supports neither today, but Tacx says they’re ready when Zwift is.

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Like the shifting though, my second and only other complaint about the Tacx bike is that I wish the brake levers had a bit more travel distance and stopped the bike a bit faster.  Given this was the first unit off the line, I suspect that’s an easy thing to address.

Circling back to some of the hardware elements, the unit has three adjustable points in the crank lengths. By using a small pod inset into the crank arms they can give you 170mm, 172.5mm, and 175mm with nothing more than swapping the pods out:

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The q-factor on the Tacx bike is identical to that of a normal road bike.  Additionally, you can adjust the front handlebars forward/back, as well as up/down.  The rear seat post can go up/down, as well as slide the saddle front/back.

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Next, you’ve got sound…or rather, lack thereof.  As you can hear in my video, it’s virtually silent. There’s a very low hum, similar to a microwave operating in the background (before the ding). Sure, in my video you hear it in an otherwise totally silent room, but you can also hear my phone playing the Zwift music/soundtrack in the background, and my phone isn’t on full blast.  Remember, it’s the same flywheel situation as in the Tacx Neo – so if you’re familiar with that, it’s roughly in the ballpark of that with one key difference: Your drivetrain is gone, which is typically the noisiest part of the equation.

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As far as road-feel, it feels identical to that of a Tacx Neo…except with the rumble in the jungle of the virtual shifting.  I’m personally pretty good with the Tacx Neo road-like feel, though some like the KICKR better. I think that’s purely a personal preferences thing.

Ultimately though, after riding it for a short bit – I’m really impressed.  I guess going into it I had no expectations.  I’d seen it last year at Eurobike like everyone else, but that was merely a frame of what was to come.  It wasn’t much more than a barren tree.  Now it’s a real product that they’re fine-tuning the production line before scaling up for real-world production in the coming weeks.  Certainly my time was limited, and I’m looking forward to getting it into the DCR Cave for longer term testing across more apps than just Zwift.  But at this point, I’m far more impressed than I thought I’d be.

Going forward:

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Ultimately, as far as I can tell at this point Tacx is easily taking the crown of best indoor smart bike, at least in terms of features.  While the new Elite Fuoripista is, of course, a head turner, I don’t think even if prices were equal that I’d choose it over this. Mostly because I prefer the practicality of the Tacx Neo Bike Smart with things like fans and shifting feedback that the Elite unit lacks.  Meanwhile, if you compare it to the Wattbike Atom, as I noted in my review the main deal-killer there is the shifting still isn’t ideal for Zwift.  Zwift has made some progress in terms of a gear indicator, but the lack of tactile feedback has always been a big challenge.

Of course, a $2,500 (Update: $3,199USD, EUR pricing will be notably lower) bike isn’t going to be for everyone.  For a lot of folks, they can buy a perfectly good bike and smart trainer for that price.  But as the Wattbike Atom proved, there’s also plenty of people that want an easy to use stationary unit that multiple people can jump on and quickly configure and just ride.  This fits that (large) bill in my opinion better than anything else on the market.

Certainly I expect more smart bikes over the course of this season, though whether or not those companies manage to hit fall timeframes remains a big question.  If I wanted a smart bike for this season, I’d probably be putting my name at the top of the list for the Tacx unit, and then deciding in early fall if that was the right choice after all the announcements have been made.  Whereas if you wait till fall to order, you realistically won’t get this unit till next year according to the numbers that Tacx is looking at.  As you might expect, manufacturing and delivering such a large product is a different challenge than their much smaller trainers.

Of course, Tacx has experience in massive products though. You’ll remember their Magnum treadmill (and it’s 8,000EUR price tag).  That’s far more complex from a technical and logistics standpoint.  So I wouldn’t assume the limitation will be experience here.

In any event – look for me to probably start riding a unit in August, for a full in-depth review likely sometime in September or so once they start shipping out units.  I’m definitely looking forward to getting more time on it and digging into all the nuances.

Until then – thanks for reading (and watching)! Feel free to drop questions down below as usual and I’ll try and get them answered.

Update – August 2018: You can now pre-order the Tacx Smart Bike from Clever Training in the US. EU/UK links to follow soon – free shipping for US or EU from those respective sites. Don’t forget you can also apply the usual DCR 10% discount code as well, DCR10BTF. The unit is expected to arrive in the US in November, I’d thus expect that Euro folks will get it in late October – which would be the norm for Tacx and how they tend to do it. As usual, using Clever Training helps support the site here, I appreciate it!

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107 Comments

  1. Tim

    The ability to change directions in zwift with the shifters would be awesome. Please Zwift get on this! I would love to have a button I could put on my bike and turn right or left in Zwift. I know you can do this with the companion app but messing with my phone during the ride is not enjoyable.

  2. LR

    It looks like my next indoor trainer for me, and maybe another one for my wife.

    I do have a question though. Did TacX improve their quality assurance? I have two Neo units, and they both came faulty, out of the factory, generating weird noises (whistling, rattling) from day one. I had both disassembled myself, readjusted and the problems went away, but it suggests TacX does not care to test their units before they leave the factory. Did that change or do the owners of the heavy Neo Bike will have to face the dillema of either shipping them back for repairs or repairing themselves to get them to work as quietly as advertised?

    • I think they learned a lot of lessons from the early Neo and Flux teething pains. Things seem to be better these days, and it sounds like they’ve put a lot of new focus on QA.

      But ultimately only time will tell here.

    • Neil A.

      Ray, further to LRs comment “for me, and maybe another one for my wife”, with all the adjustability, is the positional marking of the seat & bar positions good enough that if two (or more) people were sharing a unit, swapping settings would be easy or would it require 15+minutes and a measuring tape?

    • On the unit I tested, they hadn’t put the handle on it yet for making adjustment a two-second thing (it had pretty much rolled straight out of the factory next door into the room like minutes before we got there). But the handle will definitely be there, it may already be on the ones at the showfloor here at Eurobike, I’ll look.

      The measurement numbering wasn’t on this unit, but I think they said that was coming and just didn’t make the cut for the unit we tried. At least, I don’t think I’m blending two different conversations there. I’ll ask when I swing by just in case.

    • Neil A.

      Thanks Ray.

    • LR

      I need two as we have two houses – my wife works in a different country :-/

      Thanks for the reply – fingers crossed for improved QA. This thing is a bit too heavy to just send back if it malfunctions.

    • I confirmed the final unit will have measurement markings on it. Also, as noted above all adjustment points will have the knobs as well (no need for hex wrenches).

    • Mattv

      Hopefully they did. I had 3 Neo units that all made crazy noises too. The owner of my LBS thought I was being too picky, so we opened a brand new one up right off the palette and it made that awful knocking noise, you should have seen the look…
      Half of Tacx’s QA issue is their crappy attitude. I contacted them directly and they essentially told me “live with it’
      I would never buy a $2500 from them unless I had an ironclad guarantee of safisfaction and they could cover any shipping costs.
      I’m sure there are plenty of people who got good units, but I know that their failure rates were crazy high. If anyone wants to buy a used one, I have it sitting in my garage… only makes whistling noises…

  3. Jay

    It does get tedious taking the bikes (two of us here, with 2 Neos in the house) on and off and cleaning all the cassettes. Couple of these would be grail pain cave setup.

    Two big points though.

    Sprinting – the Neo currently has lateral movement. I love that. Had a Flux for a month and ended up getting a second Neo as it just doesn’t feel as good out of the saddle or sprinting on. That will get lost with this I’m sure, though there is a major advantage in that you’re no longer afraid to trash your carbon frame. I’m always quite conservative when sprinting and it really is just a fear of going all out and something going snap around the seat stays. Will be interesting to see reviewers put down some proper sprints and see their opinion on it.

    And… the adjustability. Missus’ cranks are 165mm, so I know this can’t replicate that unfortunately. More importantly though, both our bikes are aggressive aero bikes so would really need to see this being able to get us into those same positions for winter when we’re on the trainer 90% + of the time. If not, then it’s no dice. Mimicking position is pretty important for us so looking forward to seeing just how thorough they’ve been when designing this.

    • Neil Jones

      Damn you @Jay… I was happily reading through this thinking “nice, but as I’ve already got a Neo I couldn’t justify this” and now you’ve given me two good reasons – the hassle of bike on/bike off (particularly as I’m thru-axle) and worrying about the load on my carbon stays, especially out of the seat.

      Whilst I’ll totally admit that the first is laziness, in those periods when the weather seems to flip on a daily (or even hourly) basis, it’s still the difference between ‘I can’t be bothered to stick my bike on the trainer just for today when it’s going to be off again tomorrow’ or sweating away for another hour in the garage when there’s actually a short nice break in the weather outside.

  4. Ivan

    Thanks Ray, nice overview you’ve put here. Please info, can this tablet holder be removed (for Zwifters who use big tv’s in front of them, tablet would only come in the way?)

  5. Funkright

    Wife was looking at Peloton, perhaps this would be the better buy. Looks enticing, especially since we could then chose various platforms to ride on/with 🙂

    • Chris Benten

      Does an app exist for group spin classes for smart trainers? Peloton is a dumb trainer (solid built spin bike…no smart other than web connection). I suppose you could get a group together and agree on a workout…cycle team, etc..

  6. Larry M

    Hi Ray, any update on the Tacx NEO Smart Trainer? No updates last year, same this year?

  7. Wayne

    Hey, what a about a power meter like the atom? Seems a big differentiator for me no?

  8. Marco

    Any chance Tacx could consider bringing virtual shifting to the normal neo maybe via the tacx app and/or some bluetooth buttons? it would be nice to “virtual shift” in Zwift etc. with the neo without having to worry about the physical shifters / derailleurs etc. on the “trainer bike”

  9. Paul

    Ray – do you have a link where Tacx is taking pre-orders? I couldn’t find anything on their website. (As you can tell i’m excited about this and was hoping you would be posting on this! Thanks!)

    • Bryan

      Ditto. How would one get on a pre order?

    • Neil Jones

      I just emailed Tacx to ask about pre-orders and within 2 minutes got a reply saying they don’t yet have a release date and were not taking pre-orders at this time. The speed at which they responded makes me think I’m not the first to ask!

    • No link yet. CT is hoping to have the assets to create listings in the next couple days (for both US and UK/Europe).

  10. Gregory simmons

    I guess wahoo isn’t interested in this space? Something sub 2k would be a big hit for me.

    I feel like us Americans get the smart bike shaft

  11. Tony

    What’s about the maintenance of the drivetrain ? Is there a chain? a belt?

  12. James

    Finally! A suitable replacement for a 10 year old Cycleops PT300 Indoor Bike (powertap ant+ hub), which was a dumb trainer, but still felt great to ride (and I actually preferred it after trying a Kickr Snap for a month or so).

    Have held off buying a wheel off smart trainer since seeing this unit last year. Hopefully I can convince my wife that it’s time to upgrade.

  13. Pascal Trouve

    can you remove the cranks for replace it with powercranks?

  14. Joshua Tan

    I’ve been wondering about turning my current bike + Tacx NEO into something similar. For me the biggest gain with the Smart Bike is that it’s readily adjustable for different users, so people of different builds can share the same device. That can be replicated for the seat post by at worst using different seat posts per user and using a QR seat clamp, but I’m not sure how to replicate the handlebar adjustability. Do you have any ideas how that can be achieved?

    • I think once you put the quick release hands on there and the centimeter markings it should be quick and easy.

      I don’t know if you could swap out the entire seatpost as an accessory. I can ask though, that’d be an interesting one – especially if partners have different saddle preferences.

    • Joshua Tan

      Yes please definitely ask about swapping out the seatpost.

      Not sure if you understood my original question though: I’m not sure I want to purchase the Smart Bike since I already have a NEO. It’d be great if I could replicate the adjustability of the Smart Bike by swapping out a few parts of the current road bike that’s attached to the NEO. Do you know of a way to replicate the ease of adjusting the saddle position and handlebar position on a normal bike?

  15. Henrik Isaksson

    I got a email a couple of weeks ago from Swedish distribitor of The Wattbike. They now ship Atoms to costumers in Sweden. It’s the first country besides Uk that can get them from a local distribitor.
    In the email it also was some words of the Atom is going to have a new version that is more focused on gyms etc.

  16. T

    How about adjustability for short riders?

    Did TacX mention adjustability (seat and handlebar position) limits for short (or very tall) riders? I know many 155 – 160 cm short riders out there. Crank lenght 170 mm minimum will not promise too much. My opinion is 165 mm crank lenght should be possible.

    I quess they have decided design specs for max/min rider size anyway.

  17. jmjf

    Looks like one of the rocking animals at a kids park. Kind of llama-like, actually. Shane must love it.

  18. Jason

    Ray, great write up! I would also like to know if 165mm Crank lengths will be in the future as typical shimano crank lengths go from 165 -> 175mm.

    Also my wife is 5 feet tall so it would be awesome if we can both use it.

    • Dave Laird

      My wife is 5′ tall too, and it would be fantastic if we could ditch both of our current trainers and simply share this one smart bike. My biggest concern would be the seat height. Has Tax stated anything about the minimum inseam or minimum rider height?

  19. David

    Hi.
    Do you know what the maximum user height will be for this bike?
    Thanks in advance.

  20. Jason B

    What does it weigh?
    How can you move it? (Any little wheels?)

  21. Joshua Tan

    Do you think you can ask Tacx whether they can come up with some sort of trade-in program for those of use who already own the Neo? I’d love to buy this, but I have to worry about whether I can successfully sell the Neo…

  22. Robert

    I came here to make a comment re: crank length choice, but it looks like it’s already the most common comment. I will echo what others have said and add a little.

    I think 170mm at the short end is too long, especially with the move to shorter cranks, particularly in triathlon and TT. And then of course there are shorter riders, who even on their road bikes ride something shorter than 170mm.

    I am 6’0″ and ride 175mm road and 165mm on the TT bike. I would like to see the ability to not only go to 165mm, but even shorter, say 150mm. This would allow the Tacx Smart Bike to function as a bike fit tool. Want to see what 150mm cranks feel like? No problem! Just change crank length, adjust seat position and go. Then observe changes in feel and measure power.

    This level of adjustability would be easy to implement (fit bikes do this already) but would compromise aesthetics. And aesthetics matter for a product like this. Well, not to me, I would take the functionality, but for a large segment of consumers, they would prefer the sleeker look of the minimally adjustable crank.

    Are the crank arms easily removeable/replaceable or are they more or less integrated into the bike? If the former, I would be first in line to buy if Tacx or a third party offered a more adjustable crank option.

  23. curt shaw

    how to i buy one??? Where??

    curt.shaw@natura-global.com

  24. hncelebi

    Finally a properly silent ergo/trainer. Some of us are living in apartments in Germany etc you know; almost impossible to use a trainer without constant complaints. And that is the reason for popularity of Kettler units despite their medieval software and limited features.
    I hope this one has an accurate powermeter (not stupid calculations, a pm with strain gauges), ergo mode with pre-created workouts (cannot articulate how important this is), local ride recording (I would like the unit record the trainings in a local fit, tcx etc file) and a good service center. No zwift, apps etc required but welcome. I do not want to scramble for a phone, tablet etc every time I do a session. Controlling from a pc is also acceptible and a good alternative.

  25. Daniel

    Ey Ray. Could you ask tacx is It would be possible to implement the simulation of oval plates such as the Q-Ring QX2 Rotor.

  26. Ken

    Ray, what did you mean by this, “In addition to shifting there’s braking, you can pull the brake levers to brake the bike. This has two purposes down the road. The first is to stop the bike mid-ride, but the second could be to replicate/simulate directional turning. So the idea that you could potentially brake one side or the other to turn the bike.”
    While brake levers are L/R, brakes themselves are F/R, squeezing one brake lever doesn’t turn you on a real bike; does it do such on this one?

  27. mattv

    What it really needs is some programmable buttons somewhere that can activate different zwift (or alternative) view modes, or other zwift commands like a gaming keyboard/mouse have.

    I especially want a button to “summon wife for water refill or plug in the fan”

  28. Pmprego

    In you in-depth review (and an update to the storm review) it would be nice to have a part focused on the noise of the bike. As it was referred, in many countries, living in a flat, having a bike creating a lot of noise is a big no-no. In your reviews it would be a nice improvement to have the amount of dB created at, let’s say, 100 rpm (for comparison across bikes).

  29. Kris Mays

    Watching for the window to open to preorder. Thanks for all you do! Your reviews are great.

  30. Jared

    Does it have leveling feet? I think that’s one of the biggest things missing from the NEO

  31. Craig T

    I think they’ve found a good niche to fill here. Spin bikes lack road bike feel. What I would like to see is this with a front end that raises with incline like the Wahoo Kickr Climb.

  32. Ken Nakata

    To me, the biggest selling point to a smart trainer is that I can finally keep my bikes in the garage and out of the house. No more black stains on the walls and doors from bumping my tires against them!

  33. Hobe Scholz

    @ Jared, if you watch the video closely you can see leveling feet on the front. Or at least some knobs that look suspiciously like them. Also hitting F5 for a chance to preorder on CT. Wife is convinced!

    • Fear not – I’ll drop a comment with the links here as soon as there’s a listing available on CT (so if subscribed to comments, you’ll get notified immediately).

      That said, I’m a bit concerned with some of the pricing updates/details I’m hearing post-Eurobike…

  34. Leon Evans

    This would be an insta buy for me as a time trialist as it means I can save 10-12 hours of wear and tear on my time trial bike when training indoors if they can provide satellite gear shifters that you could add to tribar extensions so I could change gears without getting out of position.

    I will definitely be following this product with interest and with a high interest in purchasing.

  35. Just as a quick update – Tacx has confirmed final USD pricing for the bike…and it’s gone up a bit.

    It’ll come in at $3,199. EU pricing remains the same at 2,599EUR.

    Personally, I think this is too high. Given most US buyers will still have to pay local sales tax (another 5-9% likely), that puts the total price upwards in the $3,500 price bucket.

    That’s about 50-70% higher than the Wattbike Atom, if of course Wattbike ever got around to shipping their units in the US.

    • Paul

      Woof. That’s steep. That’s about US$1,000 more than I paid for my Neo, a used carbon 105 bike off ebay, cassette, install tools and sales tax. People will pay for convenience though and this type of product is aimed at the “Peleton” crowd. I have two non-cyclist friends that would love to start zwifting but the complexity barrier of buying all the right parts (trainer, bike, etc) and putting it together (for non-cyclists) is too steep. $1,000 is a big margin though, especially since a Peleton Bike is only $2,200 with california sales tax (despite its clear inferiority in terms of control-ability). US$2,500+tax seems a lot more competitive. Hope Tacx doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot and lessen the success of this important product avenue with such pricing.

    • Henrik Isaksson

      As I wrote some days ago, Wattbike Atom now ships go Sweden. The price is 2111 Euro.
      So a Tacx neo smartbike is not that far away on europeian pricing. What I have read about the two I would put my money on the tacx.

    • Paul

      Fair point. For 500 euro/dollars more I’ll take the Tacx any day.

    • Jared

      If Tacx gave me the MSRP of my Neo in trade in value towards the smart bike I think I’d go for it.

    • Joshua

      I checked with Tacx and nope, no trade in. I think it’s a silly long term move, as I don’t see how most people’s flywheel and circuity will accumulate enough wear as to make them unrecyclable.

    • Ack! I was all-in for $2500. $3200 has me in the “wait for the 2nd gen/a price drop” category and that’s without sales tax (Oregon). I suppose it’s another season on the G1 Kickr.

    • credo

      Mike, Ray already dropped the preorder info on this thread. With 10% off and free shipping, order comes out to $2880 fully delivered. May be worth a relook if you were considering at $2500!

    • Yep, slightly more compelling, but still a touch more than I’m willing to drop without serious thought.

  36. Great pre-review, I think I’ll want to buy one of these!!

    I can’t find any mention of the bike on the Tacx website, do you have a link?

  37. Mark

    Ray…from your brief test ride does the Neo Bike feel the same as a regular bike on a Tacx Neo in terms of inertia?
    As opposed to a spin bike which doesn’t feel like riding on a road at all.

    • Felt the same to me (and my brief test ride).

    • Levin Lawrie

      Ray, how does it compare to the Wattbike Atom? Does it have the “spiral of death” where resistance gets ultra hard if you stop pedaling? and overall which you you buy? Thanks!

    • I didn’t run into the spiral of death, but I also wouldn’t say I had a ton of time to get myself into that situation either.

      At this point, the Tacx bike is coming in substantially higher than the Atom, and the Wattbike folks sound like they’re getting fairly close to some major firmware updates too. So might be worth a revisit there.

  38. Marcel

    Wow… this is pretty far outside of my affordable price range, unfortunately, but it looks (and sounds!) amazing… here’s to hoping my gym will get them at some point. Great video, Ray, finally subscribed to the channel 🙂

  39. Blackadder-

    Hi Ray,
    Tacx have announced the Tacx Flux 2 as well as this Tacx Neo Bike Smart but they have nothing announced about a new Tacx Neo trainer on the 2018 Eurobike – Do you still expect a new version of the T2800 Tacx Neo Smart direct drive trainer in the near future or is it ‘safe’ to buy the current T2800 model? As they use the current Tacx Neo model in this Tacx Neo Bike Smart I assume that we can be pretty confident in the support (software updates…) of the T2800 model.

  40. Thomas

    Great write up as always many thanks. I’m just wondering if you know the best way I can get my hands on a unit as soon as possible after reslsease. I live in the UK.

    I’ve just sold my wattbike atom after being left disappointed by its failings. This looks like it ticks all the boxes the atom failed to.

    For me it just depends whether I can get one in time for the winter.

  41. Mark

    A few people have asked about the crank lengths namely sizes outside of 170-175mm which come as standard.
    I use 165mm cranks to alleviate pain from a hip impingement so I would need that option if I was to purchase the Neo bike.
    I imagine many others will have reasons for needing cranks either bigger or smaller than 170 – 175.
    Could you maybe ask Tacx if the cranks can be replaced or if they are considering it as an after market add-on?

  42. Tiffany

    Is the girl excited about this? I am with her- hate moving my bike on and off the trainer…..

    • I asked, and she responded with: “Is it pink?”

      Serious.

    • Tiffany

      OK- my first thought is “wow DC Rainmaker responded to me.” Second- I read somewhere that The Girl wants a Peloton Bike and I think I would like one also- but I don’t like the proprietary stuff– so I have been waiting for a good substitution. Is this that bike? I am sure a pink saddle and bar tape could be installed…..

  43. switch486

    Hi Ray,

    i wonder if You could please repair the tags You have created for the articles about the Tacx neo smart bike, actually there are 2 articles which have different ideas for tags, so in case I want to find them – i google them.

    The tags actually look like this:
    tag/tacx-neo-smart-bike
    tag/tacx-smart-bike
    tag/tacx-neo-bike-smart

    Regards
    Switch486

    • Thanks, I’ve now made both articles have the same Tacx-focused tags.

      The reason there’s actually two sets of tags:

      Tacx Neo Smart Bike
      and
      Tacx Neo Bike Smart

      Is my way of correcting for a weirdly worded name. The official name is ‘Tacx Neo Bike Smart’, whereas in English, nobody would say that – we’d say ‘Tacx Neo Smart Bike’, because the word ‘Smart’ will always go in front of whatever we’re describing as smart (smart home, smartphone, smart etc…).

      The number of times I’ve had to correct myself writing or verbally…

    • Wouter

      FYI – the word order is also non-sensible in Dutch, should you wonder.

  44. Tony

    Does the unit simulate climbs?

  45. Phil S

    Hi Ray
    When I Google ‘TACX Neo Smart Bike’ the only recent posts I see are this page and yours and Shane’s YouTube videos.
    Nothing on the TACX website.
    Any idea what’s going on?

  46. Pants

    You mention the first units will be sold out so there will be a wait at launch. Any idea how to actually buy/pre-order? I’ve googled this and can’t find it anywhere except your reviews

    Thanks

    • Yeah, in short Tacx has been super-slow at getting ‘official listing information’ to retailers. Basically, the exact wording and pricing so that retailers can properly list it. Said wording has to be standardized, else things like features can get muddled when one retailer might got and say something that’s incorrect.

      Normally, manufs have this ready on Day 0…but apparently some things were in flux here (no pun intended).

      The split second that I hear it’s listed, I’ll definitely post here!

  47. PS

    Here’s the email I got from TACX this week when I inquired about pre order and release date:

    Thank you for your message and great to hear that you’re interested.
    It is not possible to pre order the NEO Bike Smart.
    We hope to release the trainer end October or beginning Q4.
    Kind Regards

    Tacx Support

  48. Andreas

    Q-Factor is standard road-bike q-factor.
    Do you know how much millimeters? (145mm , 150mm)?

  49. Justin Riddett

    Thanks DC, great review.

    Knowing what you know today, which bike trainer set up would you recommend?

    Wahoo’s latest Kickr with climber, stand etc or the Taxi Neo Smart Bike?

    Cheers, Justin

  50. Bill Taylor

    Please notify me if/as the pre-order becomes available.

    Thanks!

  51. Hey Folks-

    Many of you have been asking for purchase links via CT for the Tacx Neo Smart Bike…and finally, those are here (for the US anyway, UK/EU links should follow very shortly).

    Here’s the US link: link to clevertraining.com

    The final Tacx retail price (as decided by Tacx is $3,199USD). There is no fee for shipping to you fwiw, which is somewhat notable in the indoor bike realm (most times it’s $250USD, such as Peloton).

    The official ship date for this is currently listed as ‘late November’, which is a bit of a blend of Tacx’s timelines, plus Clever Training being the usual very conservative with manufacturers dates and padding things a bit more.

    Note that you as DCR Readers can still use the DCR Reader 10% off coupon code, DCR10BTF to get 10% off. As noted, you’d already get free shipping on this item…this just makes it faster free shipping. Plus, you support the site and all the usual goodness.

    Enjoy!

    • Kris Mays

      Paypal isn’t currently a payment option for some reason. I’ve sent an inquiry. Large ticket item like this, it’d be nice to get interest free payments to spread it out. Very annoying that it’s not an option. If you have any inside pull would you mind asking if it’s intentional? Trying to get my preorder in as early as possible in hopes I’ll have it as soon as possible.

      Thanks again for all you do!!

      Kris

    • TL@

      You have a link for us Europeans too? 🙂

    • Kris: I just shot a note over asking. They do have Affirm payment plans available, but it doesn’t appear to be interest-free on this item. Sometimes it is/was, but I’m not sure how it’s decided.

      TL: Yup, Europe links coming shortly (I hope). They’re still waiting on Tacx on the EU/UK side.

  52. Joshua Tan

    Ray when you review the Smart Bike, please do devote a section to maintainability, e.g. how many parts do we have to take out and grease? Are there any actual gears/chain to replace? One of the biggest reasons I want this is because I don’t want to go through the hassle of maintaining my turbo-attached bike, and if it’s as simple as the current Tacx Neo setup of greasing the flywheel every half a year or so that’d be great.

  53. Leon Evans

    Ray,

    Please PLEASE test tri-bar extensions for your full review.
    I am a TT’er and would be purchasing this so that I can stop using my TT bike indoor and reducing wear and tear on it.

    I am concerned how TT bars would fit on this and whether TT bars would run into problems hitting or obstructing the display panel.

    If the bars themselves wont obstruct the display, would your hands, when training in the TT position simply obstruct the display and how will Tacx accomdate TT’ers/Triathletes who train in the TT position??

  54. Steve Catlin

    Hi Ray, do you have a date for publication of an in depth review?
    Thanks!

  55. Steinar Hansen

    The bike looks great, and is the biggest contender for an upgrade of my Pain cave. I had a Neo previously (with no problems at all) and wonder how the material and production quality feels with the bike. There is nothing that would be more off putting than spending all the cash on this bike for it’s awesome technical (and mechanical) features just to experience it to be creaking in it’s plastic panels and that it feels put together with parts that just ALMOST perfectly fit if you understand what I mean. Can you say a little about your experience around build- and material quality ?

    – Steinar

    • I think the build and material quality were great. Same as the Tacx Neo. Obviously, it’s not designed to be a gym bike with 10-15hrs of usage per day, it’s designed as a home bike. So it doesn’t need metal paneling, which they don’t have to save on shipping/etc…

  56. Thomas

    Hi there. Sorry if this has already been asked but any update on the uk release?

  57. Michael

    Meanwhile any news on availability ? Thx

  58. JIM C

    Question: The Tacx Neo allows a bit or rear wheel sway (side to side) this is important to me vs the dead rigid feel of some bikes locked into trainers. My knees actually feel less stress with a little give vs a rigid mount. I assume that is missing in this Neo Bike Smart?

  59. Great review.

    Do you have any information on the footprint / dimensions?

    — cheers
    v