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Hands-on: Tacx NEO 2 Smart Trainer

Squeaking in just under the wire for the 2018 Trainer Guide is the just announced Tacx NEO 2 Smart Trainer, the successor to the top of the line and now three-year-old Tacx NEO Trainer.  This new model brings a handful of improvements, including new pedal stroke analysis, left/right balance transmission, and better internals, including components that are supposed to open the door to new features in the future.

Albeit, unspecified new features. But like seeing unknown wrapped presents under a Christmas tree, it’s still a present nonetheless. Or feature(s), as it may be.

The unit maintains all the things folks have loved about the NEO in the past including the virtually silent operation and the beast of a virtual flywheel to be able to replicate just about any wattage or incline. Though, as you likely visually noted by now – the color scheme has changed slightly to adopt the usual Tacx blue as the underside of the TIE-fighter trainer.

If you want the one-stop shop video, then look no further than my first test ride on it. From unboxing to riding with pumpkins, it’s all here:

With that, let’s dive into all the differences.

What’s different:

DSC_2386

In many ways, as is the theme of most new trainers the last few years – the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary. In fact, it’s somewhat difficult to show any of the major changes visually at this point.  A lot of them are setting the stage for future features/changes, some of which are unannounced.

To start, let’s recap what the NEO is – since none of these things change:

– Direct drive trainer: This means you remove your rear wheel
– Flywheel: It has a virtual flywheel up to 125kg, the largest of any trainer on the market.
– Cassette: No Tacx trainers include a cassette, which will set you back $50-$60, plus $10-$20 in tools to install.
– Sound: Identical to the original NEO, essentially silent. Only the sound of your drivetrain is heard, and a very faint hum of internal fans/electronics.
– Handle and Folding: This unit lacks a handle, which continues to make it slightly awkward to move around. It does have foldable legs though for easy storage.
– Protocol Compatibility: ANT+ FE-C, ANT+ Power, Bluetooth Smart Trainer Control, Bluetooth Smart Power
– App Compatibility: Every app out there basically (Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy, Road Grand Tours, SufferFest, Kinomap, etc…)
– Skewer Compatibility: All the skewers and adapters you could ask for: Road 130mm, MTB 135mm, 142x12mm, 148x12mm
– Max Incline: 25% simulated grade, the highest of any trainer out there
– Max Wattage: 2,200 watts resistance
– Stated Accuracy: < +/-1%
– Power Cable Required: No, it can operate powered or standalone sans-power.
– Pricing and Availability: $1,399/€1,299/£1,199 Shipping next week.

Ok, so as seen above, that’s the baseline and basically the same as the NEO 1.  However, here’s what’s new/unique on the new NEO 2:

Added pedal stroke analysis: Will plot out full pedal stroke, akin to some power meters. This was added to a degree last December in a firmware update for NEO 1 users, however, the internal changes for NEO 2 makes this more accurate. Additionally, this will also be broadcast to 3rd party apps for NEO 2.
Added left/right balance information: Will show distribution of power between legs, as well as broadcast this to 3rd party apps.
Increased cadence accuracy: Uses new magnetless object detection (more on that in a second)
New microcontroller and additional memory: This will improve ERG control Tacx says, and reduce vibrations
New communications controller: This will improve firmware update, and allows faster communication with apps (which would likely be used for real-time pedaling analysis)
Added extra axle adapters: A full bag of them as seen in video
New underside color: Blue versus previously black, also changed frontside text logo color to blue
Added internals for future features: None of which have been announced

As you can see, most of the changes are internal. Kinda like this year’s new iPhone’s, the changes aren’t really in new or exciting features, but mostly updating internal tech. The one big notable change is around the new pedal and stroke analysis features. The aim for this is to be able to create the various stroke analysis plots that you may have seen with certain power meters as well as some older trainers like the CompuTrainer.

DSC_2364

To do so the company has created a magnetless cadence detection system inside the NEO that can detect objects passing by both sides of it. While it can detect all sorts of objects, the strongest object that passes by each pedal stroke is the spindle of the pedal, which allows them to start tracking the stroke and exact angle measurements. See the right side below of this screenshot from Tacx.

Above is a screenshot of how it looks in the Tacx Desktop Software, though the company says other 3rd party apps will support it soon, and some of the metrics will also show up in protocols that support it (like the ANT+ power specification, likely including the new cycling dynamics specification).  That means it’d work on your normal head units as well. Both Garmin and Wahoo have plans to support that updated specification once released.

Finally, there are features which aren’t yet announced (I don’t know them either) that Tacx plans to implement using the updated technology inside the NEO 2.  If you remember, Tacx actually rolled out pretty substantial features to the NEO 1 over the course of the years.  First was the road feel components about a year later, and then quite a ways after that was the Isokinetic modes.  So the company does have a history of interesting new features later down the road.

First Ride:

DSC_2377

Now, I just got this trainer. Like…yesterday dinner-time type “just got”. It’s breakfast time now. So my time is limited to a single ride since then. And Tacx also noted before they dropped it off that there’s some final software bits coming in the next few days that’ll improve accuracy in certain high power scenarios. Also, they noted the fan gets its software updated to reduce the noise and run-time length.

DSC_2363

Still, with that out of the way, I got things all hooked up and plugged into Zwift…for what would be my fourth trainer ride of the day.

DSC_2332

Within Zwift, I went ahead and paired up the trainer. Quick and easy via Bluetooth Smart since I was on a Mac. If I was on a PC or with a bike computer I could have used ANT+ easily as well, via ANT+ FE-C.

vlcsnap-2018-11-01-12h43m15s349

Once that was done, off I went. Watopia was the course du jour. Pumpkins included.

vlcsnap-2018-11-01-12h43m48s367

From there it was riding time. And to be honest, it basically just felt the same as any other ride on a Tacx NEO 1, except now it’s called NEO 2.

Like with the original NEO you get the road feels as well. So when I hit the wooden planks I got the feeling and slight sound of wooden planks.  As with before, it’s super cool.

vlcsnap-2018-11-01-12h43m33s668

There is a small software bug where the road terrain for ‘dirt’ doesn’t do its thing correctly, so the sound/feeling is off. In talking with Tacx, that’s simply a software timing item that they’ll be correcting shortly. The way the NEO’s work to simulate various road terrains (cobblestones, wood planks, concrete sidewalks, etc…) is by ever so slightly stuttering the flywheel by a few milliseconds. When done correctly, it’s fantastically cool. But timing is everything, so a minor software bug simply just sounds weird if the timing is off.  Again, I’m definitely not worried about this.

vlcsnap-2018-11-01-12h44m34s546

Anyways, moving along I threw in a few sprints, to the best of my legs’ abilities. No issues there from a feel standpoint. However, later on in the ride, I did notice the usual NEO slip if you go from a complete stop to sprinting.  Meaning, when I was sitting on the side of the road and applied a crapton of force, you feel a tiny bit of slip.  That seems the same as previous.  But normal, on the road, sprinting is fine.

vlcsnap-2018-11-01-12h44m51s639

Essentially, this is the NEO you know and love, just with some new internals and features that aren’t yet available or announced.

Sound-wise, it’s just as quiet as before as well. The only nuance is that Tacx warned the fans wouldn’t turn off as fast as they should, and I noticed that after I stopped pedaling. They said the next firmware update (which sounds like a few days away) already fixes that.  Thus, the only sound you hear while pedaling is the drivetrain sound and then a very low barely audible sound of the internal fans like before.  Again, it’s why people have flocked to the NEO prior to other quiet trainers coming on the market.

Overall though, from a road feel and riding standpoint – it’s basically just like the previous NEO.

Looking very briefly at the accuracy, I slotted it up against the SRM EXAKT power meter pedals, and the Stages LR dual-sided crankset. Here’s the data from that quick initial test ride (again, this isn’t a full review, just a quick first look):

image

As expected, there’s a bit of variance in the high end sprints. They warned me about this firmware version doing that prior to sending the unit over (and interestingly, the variance is really only seen on the Bluetooth Smart side rather than the ANT+ side – both are shown below, with BLE recorded via Zwift). They say it should be fixed in the next version in the next few days.  But otherwise, things are pretty darn close:

image

Remember, the NEO line doesn’t do or support calibration. It’s designed to ‘just work’, and beta spikes aside, it does exactly that. In my mind, that’s ultimately where all trainers should be at.

image

Looking at the new cadence sensor bits, that’s also very very close. You see a couple minor spots where it varies by 1-3RPM’s for a few seconds, but not too shabby.

image

When I asked the company about those variances, they said they believe they’re actually showing the true cadence since they’re doing it at a higher refresh rate than their competitors. I don’t actually have a good way to test/validate this at the moment that I can think of (with respect to nuanced changes like this). So I’ll have to take their word for it.

And to be fair – I’ve seen cases like this in the past when technology advanced forward and the bar gets raised. I don’t know if that’s the case yet, but I don’t have anything that says it’s not.

Overall though, aside from the known beta bugs, accuracy seems like before – solid. Obviously, I want to see the beta power surge thing fixed – but given they’ve done that for the past NEO 1 units, I don’t expect that to be a stopper here. I’ll update this post once I’ve got a firmware version that shows that corrected.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy sections were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Trainer Comparisons:

I’ve added the Tacx NEO 2 into the product comparison tool, though honestly, you won’t see much differences here compared to the NEO 1, since for the fields I track, they don’t cover more of the nuanced changes.

Nonetheless, here’s how it stacks up against the Wahoo KICKR 2018 and Elite Drivo II, which are the two trainers I’d mainly compare it against. For fun, I also tossed in the CycleOps H2, though I don’t really view that in the same league as the KICKR 2018 and Drivo II from an accuracy or quietness standpoint.

Function/FeatureTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 2nd, 2018 @ 12:04 pmNew Window
Price for trainer$1,399$1,199$1,199USD$1,199
Attachment TypeDirect Drive (no wheel)Direct Drive (No Wheel)Direct Drive (no wheel)Direct Drive (no wheel)
Available today (for sale)YesYesYesYes
Availability regionsGlobalGlobalGlobalGlobal
Wired or Wireless data transmission/controlWirelessWirelessWirelessWireless
Power cord requiredNoYesYesYes for broadcast, no for general use
Flywheel weightSimulated/Virtual 125KG16lbs/7.25kgs20lb/9kg13.2lbs/6kg
ResistanceTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Can electronically control resistance (i.e. 200w)YesYesYesYes
Includes motor to drive speed (simulate downhill)YesNoNoNo
Maximum wattage capability2,200w @ 40KPH2,200w @ 40KPH2,000w2,296w @ 40KPH / 3,600w @ 60KPH
Maximum simulated hill incline25%20%20%24%
FeaturesTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Ability to update unit firmwareYesYesYesYes
Measures/Estimates Left/Right PowerYesNoNo9EUR one-time fee
Can rise/lower bike or portion thereofNoWith KICKR CLIMB accessoryNo
Can directionally steer trainer (left/right)With accessoryNoNoNo
Can rock side to side (significantly)NoNoNo
Can simulate road patterns/shaking (i.e. cobblestones)YesNoNoNo
AccuracyTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Includes temperature compensationN/AYesYesN/A
Support rolldown procedure (for wheel based)N/AYesYesYes
Supported accuracy level+/- 1%+/- 2%+/- 3%+/- 0.5%
Trainer ControlTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Allows 3rd party trainer controlYesYesYesYes
Supports ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control Standard)YesYEsYesYes
Supports Bluetooth Smart control for 3rd partiesYesYEsYesYes
Data BroadcastTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Can re-broadcast power data as open ANT+YesYesYesYes
Can re-broadcast data as open Bluetooth SmartYesYesYesYes
PurchaseTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Amazon LinkN/AN/ALinkN/A
Clever Training - Save a bunch with Clever Training VIP programLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save a bunch with Clever Training VIP programN/ALinkLinkN/A
DCRainmakerTacx NEO 2 SmartWahoo KICKR 2018CycleOps HammerElite Drivo II
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

And remember, you can mix and match against all trainers I’ve poked at within the product comparison database here.

Wrap Up:

DSC_2360

Many of you know that I’ve long used the first generation Tacx NEO as my go-to trainer, mainly due to the silence aspects combined with the lack of needing calibration. I like the idea of just jumping on and going (and getting accurate data), and it appears the NEO 2 will likely deliver on that as well.  Oh, and I know it’s silly, but I like the road feel bits in Zwift. Hitting the wooden planks on the piers just adds to the realism.

For the most part, the new features as released today won’t likely impact me too much as a major driver, at least until head units and 3rd party apps support them.  And not knowing what new magical features will come down the road via firmware update means it’s harder to assign value to them in choosing a trainer.

Therefore I really see this more as a minor update that removes doubt in people’s minds about choosing the NEO only to have it replaced by a new NEO days/months later. Many people have asked about a NEO refresh going into this summer, so this resolves that. Ultimately, the conversation is pretty much back to NEO with road feel or KICKR+CLIMB. Both are silent, and both deliver unique in-ride realism features to keep you distracted from the fact that you’re pedaling facing a wall going nowhere.

Like comparing iOS to Android, folks have their favorites between the two. Some prefer road feel of one versus the other. I suspect most wouldn’t be able to tell which one they were riding if they were blindfolded. Ultimately, you won’t go wrong with either. And I’d be happy to ride either as my main trainer this winter.

With that – thanks for reading, and feel free to drop any questions below.

Note: The Tacx NEO 2 should be available to pre-order by the end of the day from most places. I’ll add links once those go-live.

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102 Comments

  1. El Siciliano

    Hi Ray!… any news on the price of the Neo 1 officially dropping? Or it’s gonna be discontinued? Thanks!

  2. Bertrand

    Hi Ray, thanks for the multi-trainer-rides day! I guess the Neo 1 will be heavily discounted now that the 2 is (almost) out until they empty their stocks… From what I understand of your review the difference is not huge, at least for the main features. Do you think the bet on the “unknown future features” is worth the price difference?

    • Thanks! See above comment about the same time as yours on pricing plans.

      In terms of benefits, it honestly depends on how much you’re saving. Also worthwhile keeping in mind Black Friday type sales are just around the corner, so that could impact things (on either new or old unit).

      Ultimately, the Neo 1 is still a really solid trainer that easily keeps up with all other top-end 2018 introduced trainers this year. So I see the Neo 2 more as future proofing yourself for unknown newness than anything else.

  3. Matthew Quick

    Thanks for the writeup! Is there any word of whether any of the features introduced will be available in any capacity on the original NEO, or do they all require the new hardware?

    • Everything is all about new hardware here. Basically, things inside were physically changed with new hardware, new chipsets, new etc…For things like pedaling metrics, those are dependent on new sensors inside the body of the Tacx to detect passing objects.

      Given I don’t know what other unannounced new features are coming, I can’t say for certain if any of them would apply to the Neo 1. My guess is most/all wouldn’t, since Tacx made a point of saying that said new electronic internals were driving whatever new features they’ve got coming.

    • Jesper N

      Maybe a stupid question. But I wonder if an upgrade kit could/would be made avail?? In form of a new “CPU” pcb and a pcb with the new sensor….

      I’m mainly interested in :
      – New microcontroller and additional memory: This will improve ERG control Tacx says, and reduce vibrations

      and the vibration part in particular.

      Thing is, I don’t see the NEO as all so quited. I live in a multi-story apartment complex with 100 year old wooden floor construction. It’s pretty sturdy with 8″ beams and sand in the middle, but the vibration from the 32 magnets setup, is enough to make the whole floor vibrate… And this to a level, where I don’t dare to ride my NEO in the evening, out of consideration for the folks below.

      I don’t suppose my unit could be broken???

  4. Wouter

    Will all these features be present in the Bike Smart T8000 as well?

    • The NEO 2 smart is equipped with the same hardware as the NEO bike smart. Alle features (and more) will be available in the NEO bike smart also.

    • Wouter

      Thanks Martin! Now, logical follow up question: when can we expect the T8000 then? 😏

    • Eli

      Wish it had the ability to tilt the bike like the climb.

      There is also the problem of how to transfer a fit from your bike to the trainer so they fit the same. Velo Angle? https://www.veloangle.com

    • Dave Archer

      Eli, I like the suggestion, though I’m a bit biased. Yes, the three primary applications for which I developed VeloAngle out of frustration with what was available for capturing and transferring setup are:
      A. To/from fit bike
      B. New bike setup based on old bike
      C. Swapping or new purchase of the “touch” components

      One aspect I think DCR readers will find interesting is the use of point-to-point polar measurement (length and angle vs. X-Y). The accuracy benefits of a single direct measurement rather two (horiz, vert) are nice, and the the digital inclinometer can adjust the zero plane so the bike doesn’t need to be leveled. However I think the real conceptual benefit is thinking of the bike setup as we do fitting and even frame geometry. That is, using angles as the primary parameter to convey efficiency/performance/handling. The angles of the BB/Saddle/Cockpit triangle should be able to convey a setup more succinctly than a number of coordinates that are size dependent. For example, conventionally one might talk about a 100 mm handlebar drop. The meaning is strongly influenced by the size of the rider, whereas a 10 deg. drop is more informative.
      However just as we grey-hair engineers that spent a career working in units that were archaic but familiar, it will take a while to evolve from the gravity-based measurement language of the bubble level and plumb bob. In recognition the VeloAngle App converts between polar and X-Y coordinates.
      Dave

    • Lars

      But will NEO 2 support long deraliure? And can a 135mm disc bike fit In now?

  5. Eric H.

    Is the clearance any better on the left side? The Neo is really tight for some disc frames. It looks as if the flywheel has a bit of a ridge on it in the new version to push the cassette farther out (avoiding derailleur rub in the largest cog).

    Also, do you have a sense of any structural changes? The Neo can get a little creaky.

  6. Sean

    The most fascinating thing about the new update is the improved memory or performance with ERG mode. I have had the Neo1 for over 2 years now and occasionally the trainer will have delayed changes in resistance for ERG mode or road feel on Zwift. I’m not sure if this is an issue with Zwift or with the trainer messing up the ERG mode/road-feel queue. Any insight on that? The Neo seems to hit resistance targets in ERG mode between 3-5 seconds which is reasonable and from what I understand, typical.

    I think the road feel update for the Neo was a game changer – it’s pretty cool. The isotonic mode was also really useful, however I have yet to find software aside from the Tacx phone app that I can use it for trainer workouts (ie. set my ERG intervals to do isotonic – I realize isotonic gets rid of the flywheel but setting it at a percentage resistance and modifying cadence to target a wattage would work).

    Looking forward to see if there are any new killer features they release down the road that compels me to upgrade. The pedaling metrics are cool just like the isotonic resistance, however there isn’t a good way to utilize it outside of Tacx software…

  7. R Ingersoll

    Can a long cage RD be used on the new unit? NEO 1 has a plastic ridge in the housing that blocks the largest cog. Hard to say from your pictures, but it looks like the housing is the same aside from the new colors.

  8. Sean

    No calibration is THE feature why i can not go back to Wahoo. Still happy with my Neo one. Nothing compelling here to make me wish to update.

  9. Ronald

    Hope they solved the plastic squeezing sound.

  10. stu Hibbert

    neo cadence refresh rate far higher then many apps creates what i call super cadence spikes, dont have the issue on tacx training or trainerroad but common on zwift sufferfest.

  11. Hi Ray,

    Do you think it would’ve been cool if Tacx added the rotating dropouts that would’ve made it compatible with the Wahoo Kickr Climb?
    Or even adjustable feet, to allow centering on sloping floors.

    None of the new features are interesting, …or anything to write home about. 😀

    Regards,
    Luke

  12. Andrew

    Thoughts yet on the pedal stroke analysis? I assume any strain gauges must be in the body of the trainer… so there is no way that they can be true L-R is there?

    In essence are we looking at a form of reverse engineering, so single figure + position in pedal stroke + clever algorithm = some kind of disaggregated read out.

    Don’t know much about these things, but can that really be any more that an approximation, and poor cousin to strain gauges in the cranks?

    • They’re using a blend of known position plus speed (and power of course).

      I haven’t ridden that piece yet, nor had a chance to compare it. I’m interested in perhaps comparing it against a duo of the Pioneer power pedaling metrics with either Garmin or PowerTap atop it. I suspect all those pieces will come together later this month.

    • Eli

      As far as I know strain gauges always need calibration. (neo can’t be calibrated so no strain gauge)

      For pedal stroke analysis, it wouldn’t know about the forces on the pedal that aren’t in the direction of movement. So wouldn’t know if one leg is pushing and one leg is pulling, or if any force is not going in a tangent to the circle of the cranks. I do wonder if it processes the data fast enough to get data similar to the Dead Stop Score Leomo captures (see: link to leomo.zendesk.com)

    • Andrew

      Look forward to seeing that

    • Andrew

      Of course the question that immediately follows is for this kind of analysis (the WattBike peanut), does the algorithm give any less USEFUL info for training purposes, even if the scientists can show the absolute values are 3.852663% out

  13. Kirk Wemple

    Ray;

    I bought and returned a NEO 1 last year because of slippage during climbing. You mentioned the same thing when going from a complete stop to sprinting. There is no such slippage with the Kickr I use. Is there any improvement with the NEO 2 regarding climbing?

    –Kirk Wemple

  14. Charles Morgan

    I wonder if a deciding factor between Kickr and Neo is that those residing in the U.S. should go with the Kickr and vice versa for those in Europe because of the possibly better support from a “local” manufacturer respectively?

  15. Robert C

    I wonder how the trainer will know between left and right legs since, as far as the trainer knows, it is just power applied to the cassette though the chain.
    When I ride, I dont have a preference on what leg starts pedaling when I am start to move or start to pedal after coasting for a bit. I just use the leg that is in the best position.

    • Eli

      If the trainer is detecting mass passing it to tell cadence I’m guessing that same sensor can tell which side of the neo it is detecting that cadence (notice how the cranks overlap the trainer and the feet will overlap it even more)

    • Giles E

      Given the semi flexible nature of the Neo itself, which tilts by a few degrees, they could probably ascertain which side is being pedaled from high speed tilt sensors.

  16. John Davie

    Hi Ray, any word on Bluetooth FTMS support on the original Neo?

  17. Steve

    Hi Ray,

    Something which is never talked about on these new product reviews is the build quality and life expectancy of the units. There is a lot of mechanical force and manipulation of mechanical forces utilized on these devices. How long should you reasonably expect one to last?

  18. Jeremy Waldrop

    I thought that pedal analysis and left/right power was added with the latest firmware on the NEO 1?

    link to smartbiketrainers.com

    • My understanding is the differences here are accuracy changes as well as being able to integrate with 3rd parties, plus transmission of that information for left/right balance.

  19. Lowell J Anderson

    When the bike is in the trainer can you lift it and pivot it like it would need to to use a “Climb” type unit? I mean doing this without machining your dropouts away. Just kind of interested in seeing if they are interested in making their own unit eventually.

  20. Eli

    Does the neo allow the bike to move up and down while clamped in like the kickr? I know it doesn’t support the climb as the climb is controlled by the kickr but allowing rotation instead of there being friction and wear on the frame where it clamps to the trainer could speak to future functionality (assuming there isn’t some patent that prevents them from creating their own version of the climb)

    As to cadence, wouldn’t any magnet based cadence sensor be good enough to use as a baseline? The original cadence sensors from garmin or a pioneer power meter with magnets on the frame and configured to use the magnets.

    • For Climb, I’ll give it a shot tomorrow.

      As far as cadence sensors go, sure, though it doesn’t sound like there’s any need for the magnets. They were talking about even being able to detect the changes going past with your feet or hands.

    • Eli

      I know they are claiming the neo sensors don’t need a magnet, I’m talking about what to compare the neo sensors too as they seem to be claiming their sensor with its much higher refresh rate is more sensitive then accelerometer sensors which is what you were comparing to above. But guessing you have access to magnet sensors to compare to

    • VesaP

      I asked that CLIMB feature couple of weeks ago from Tacx Support and atleast then they told me that they have not working with CLIMB or any similar system to Neo trainer. But maybe they not just told me the truth. 🙂

    • Lowell

      Any results on the “Climb” experiment?

    • Markus

      I’d be interested in your Climb experiment, as well. Have you tried it?

    • While I didn’t hook up a CLIMB today to it, I did validate it goes up/down without any issue. So now it’s just up to Tacx/Wahoo to work it out.

      Of course, it’s more complex than than in reality. There’s validation of more frames than my sample size of one, as well as longer term wear items. Plus things like implementing in software.

      The good news is the Neo hub system is super modular, so that gives a lot of leeway for flexibility if needed.

  21. Chris

    Hi Ray,

    is the mount of the bike still fix or can it be turned and lifted by the Kickr Climb?

    Thx
    Chris

  22. Thomas

    Hey Ray

    Is the neo bike incorporating the new neo 2 inners and two sided pedal strike analysis, or is it the same as neo 1?

  23. paul frayne

    I am in turmoil over Kickr v Core v Neo v Flux v Cycleops H2.

    I was all set to buy Neo after being spooked by bad reports about Core / Kickr 2018. Now put off Neo by fear of missing out if Neo 2 does something fancy that would transform my riding experience…..maybe not. Apart from pedal dynamics that I can get from my Assioma pedals so I am struggling to see what this new functionality could be.

    Ray – will the winter 2018 trainer summary be out soon to put me out my misery?!

    • Ian

      Hey Paul, just wondering if you could expand on the issues with the KICKR core you were concerned about. I’m on the cusp of picking up a core vs a STAC zero in the next few days.

    • paul frayne

      Yes that’s what I read and was in local bike shop and they’d had 2 Kickrs and Core back already. Surprised how honest they were!

    • jmv_colorado

      That link is full of incorrect information. Wahoo is on top of the situation and is shipping updated, tested units that do not have issues. The problem was an improperly machined “key” that allowed for some play (and a lot of noise) in the drivetrain internals. I have spoken to Wahoo’s support manager directly.

  24. Lars

    Happy NEO 1 rider
    But will this support long deraliure? And can a 135mm disc bike fit In now?

  25. Rahul

    Hi,

    Have you noticed any improvement in the latency between power applied (or cadence) and readings getting update on Zwift? There seems to be latency between road surface changes and effects being felt on the trainer.

    Thanks
    Rahul

  26. David

    Any word on adjustability of feet for uneven shed floors? I was hoping they might fix that in Gen 2..

  27. Markus

    My dream setup: Neo+Climb

    I would buy this immediately.

  28. Mihai Tintea

    Hi

    I did not find in this article any information regarding the rigidity of this NEO 2. When you stand up on the bike and push the watts, does the trainer bend right and left, does it squeak, as the previous version NEO 1 does ?

    Regards
    Mihai

  29. Adam

    Hi Ray,

    Is the Bluetooth control for the NEO2 the Tacx specific type or FTMS?

    I realise it’s a niche case but I use Xert and would love to use their IOS app to control my Neo. Apparently FTMS is coming soon, but it has been doing so for a good 6 months now so don’t have much hope considering the Neo1 will be phased out.

    Thanks for the write up.

    Cheers
    Adam

    • It’s currently the Tacx type, but all Tacx products will soon be FTMS, including both NEO1 and NEO2 (and virtually all other current/recent Tacx ‘Smart’ products). They’ve got beta builds already circling around for testing, so it’s not far away.

  30. Aar

    OK. Now that’s a trainer I might actually enjoy! Was hoping for a better carrying handle at a minimum and smaller/lighter if at all possible. It’s now on my wish list. Looking forward to the full review with comparison to Pioneer for stroke analysis and L/R balance. Really intrigued about the upcoming new features.

  31. Erik Wolla

    Cool to see you also rode the “Halloween” bike with the “skeleton” frame/wheel upgrade on Wednesday. Think maybe tacx/Zwift should enable the Neo to make bone creaking sounds when riding on Halloween … 😉

  32. MikeInEverwett

    On cadence and spinning things, wouldn’t a portable tachometer work? might also work on drone propellers too? Not sure how much $$$ to be more accurate than sensors attached to bike parts, especially for slower revolutions.

  33. Heirich Hurts

    Revolutions per minute = RPM
    What does RPM’s mean, RPM possessing something?

  34. NO handlebar for easy transport … DOH ! Otherwise thanks for making an awesome product

  35. Terrapon Denis

    Hi,

    Is there a difference between Neo 1 and 2 on the stand-alone mode? I mean, I like to trainer unplugged and the Neo automatically add more resistance without changing bike gears. Is the Neo 2 better (more realistic) in that way?

    sorry for my English

  36. Mihai Tintea

    Is plastic used in Neo 2’s frame ? Which parts are of plastic and which are of metal ?

  37. andis

    how many millimeters from the cassette to neo2 body?

  38. Markus

    How do you rate the Kickr Core up to this? Im on a slight of a budget, and is the Core a better deal for me then? I am also a Star Wars fan and the looks of the NEO is pretty damn awesome. And which of the three trainers, kicker, Kicker core and NEO vibrates the least end is the quietest?

    • I don’t think you’ll be upset (at all) with a KICKR CORE. No question there.

      Insofar as sound, here’s a comparison I did between exactly those three: link to youtube.com

      Vibration-wise, I haven’t done a test there, though, I suspect the Neo 1 would produce the most vibrations. I know Tacx did some stuff in the Neo 2 to reduce vibrations, but I haven’t figure out a good way to test that yet. Unfortunately, the exact flooring surfaces in your apartment/etc tend to dictate how things vary in terms of vibrations.

      Unfortunately the new DCR Cave is just a concrete beast (almost a foot thick concrete floors), and our home is on the ground floor. 🙁

    • Markus

      Thanks for the great feedback. In my paincave I had concrete before, but now i have a laminate floor. The reason for my question was that my neighbour (the person living above us) has complained about noise from my tacx sartori trainer. You say that the core is a great match-up then? being on a budget? 🙂 Keep up the good work, love your channel and site.

  39. Nick

    What happened to the tacx neo smart bike?

  40. Nick

    Do you know if it will have the updated internal hardware of the neo2? Thanks

  41. Scott Buchanan

    Hey,
    Looking to get the Neo 2 next week. Clever Training has It on its .com website but oddly no mention on .co.uk.

    Any ideas on U.K. availability?
    Cheers

    • JayBee

      I took delivery of the NEO2 yesterday (Glasgow) Yay, or so I thought, as the packaging had previously been opened and resealed along with a number of scuffs and a couple of chips on the outer metal flywheel casing? Emailed an enquiry and awaiting a reply to confirm if this is ‘normal’ for a brand new premium product. Ordered direct from Tacx too so I’m feeling fairly deflated on the customer experience side of getting a brand new thing. On the plus side everything else looked fine but haven’t used it yet just in case. And I’m champing at the bit to try it out so I’m currently stuck between the preverbials.
      As for availability, Tacx show limited Euro stock with all other areas weeks away. There’s a few UK sites now showing pre-orders for early next month.

  42. Andy

    Will this fit Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc frames? Wahoo tells me their direct drives do NOT. Thanks for the info!

  43. CAL

    There is no mention of Campagnolo compatibility in your reviews… any reason why?
    There are still plenty of campy users.

    • I often mention whether it is or isn’t compatible in my actual reviews, which this isn’t. This is a first-look style post, not a full review.

      It’s something I’ve been wanting to put into the product comparison database however.

  44. Morten

    Hi Ray,

    Ready to buy a new trainer. Difficult to decide between Neo 2, Kickr 18 and Core … I use ERG mode quite a bit. How would you rate Neo and the Kickr in terms of ERG mode operation?

    The idea of having a really accurate trainer with no calibration is attractive. However, having to spin down the Kickr every few weeks is not a big deal to me.

    Thanks,

    Morten

    • Pretty darn similiar between those for ERG mode. I’m sure there’s 1% type edge cases where one might be better than the other, but for the ERG workouts I’ve tried (including things like 30×30’s and such), there’s no tangible difference for ERG mode.

  45. Matt

    Wondering as well about clearance on the non-driveaide. Comparing pictures between the original Nep and the Neo 2, it looks like the “cutout” on the non-driveside is angled downward more on the Neo 2 and provides more clearance. On the original neo, the left chainstay on the non-driveside contacts the plastic on my P5. Hoping the Neo 2 can solve that.

  46. John Watson

    How fast can the Neo 2 change resistance for the purposes of ERG intervals? With my OG Wahoo KICKR it’s 2 seconds behind what’s shown on the screen but ends up to be the same time.

    How high can I set the ERG for a given interval? OG KICKR is 999W. Personal record was 20 seconds at that value but would like to see if I can extract higher wattages if I had an ERG trainer that could put on some serious wattage (for reference I’m 100kg so w/kg is still terrible).

    • I can try it tomorrow, but I can’t do more than 1,000w on my legs. Also, the KICKR 999 limit was just within the default app, you can set it higher for 3rd party apps like TrainerRoad.

    • John Watson

      The trick is to setup a workout with a mostly very low wattage. After a bit of warmup you spin your legs 120-150rpm right before the 1000 watts + interval happens. Try to hold the cadence as the pain happens.

  47. Eugene Chan

    Hi Ray, I heard the TA adapter set includes 1mm, 1.5mm and 1.75mm thread pitch endcaps now. Is this true?