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Tacx NEO Bike Smart In-Depth Review


Two years and two weeks. That’s how long it’s been since Tacx first announced the NEO Bike Smart. And in my mind, I keep thinking that by now I should be calling this the NEO Bike 2. And in some respects, there’s actually a lot of truth to that. When it was first shown in 2017, it was modeled after a Tacx NEO (1) trainer. But going on two years now, and we’ve seen last year’s release of the Tacx NEO 2, and this year the Tacx NEO 2T. Thankfully, the NEO Bike is more akin to the NEO 2T; in fact, the NEO 2T is designed after the bike.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. While Tacx may have shown their cards a bit early in the development cycle, the reality is that all companies have elongated development release timeframes. Wahoo has been working on their bike just as long as Tacx, but simply weren’t public about it. The same goes for Stages. So ultimately these are all new bikes with new components, it’s just you happened to hear about it well before the Tacx bun came out of the oven.

Lastly, in the case of the NEO Smart bike, I have a media loaner. Well, technically I’ve had five different media loaners since this past spring, various minor iterations and such. The one I have now has been the same unit since June, with only firmware updates since then. Once I’m done with it here in the next few weeks (after some comparisons to other bikes) I’ll return it back to Tacx and figure out how to con ‘The Accountant’ into getting my own for the DCR Cave.

As always, if you find this review useful, hit up the links at the bottom of the site, especially in this case, as they help convince The Accountant/ The Girl/ The Maker Family COO, that such purchases aren’t totally crazy.

Unboxing & Setup:


One of the more unique aspects of the Tacx NEO Bike is actually the box. No, it’s not the exterior, but rather the fact that Tacx has made it all fit the same dimensions as a normal bike box (121cm x 29.5cm x 80cm). That’s notable for a lot of reasons, but mostly ones around shipping.

By keeping to these dimensions, Tacx is able to avoid having to deal with being classified as ‘freight’, or with more unique custom carriers (such as how the Wattbike Atom is). The entire weight comes in at 50kg/110lbs.

In any case, here’s what that box looks like. More or less the same styling as existing Tacx products, though, you’ll notice the little ‘A Garmin Company’ detail under the Tacx logo now.


In a funny twist of things, the blue box actually held up shipments for everyone. Fun tidbit for you: Tacx actually shipped containers of bikes to Garmin’s Olathe distribution centers in the white boxes, and then Garmin re-boxed them last week into the final boxes. So in my case, I had a non-final white box initially for unboxing, and then Tacx shipped me an empty final box for the photos above. Like receiving coals in your stocking on Christmas morning.


In any event, once you crack it open, here’s what’s inside:


For each of the numerous times I’ve assembled/unboxed a Tacx NEO Bike, I averaged about 30 minutes all-in, including taking photos and video. My guess is it’ll take you about the same amount of time to assemble. None of it is hard, it’s just following the instructions.

I’d classify the parts into two piles: The big parts, and the small parts. Here’s the big parts, which include the main frame, two sets of legs, seat, fan, and handlebars:


And then if you take those two blue boxes and unpack them, you’ve got all the small parts. Here’s the first blue box:


Above you’ll find the contents of the first box: Manuals, tools, handles (the things in blue wrappers), bolts, power supply, crank length pods, and the tablet holder. Here’s a mini-gallery of those parts with a closer up view:

Whereas below you’ll find the contents of the second blue box, which includes a Tacx NEO BIKE water bottle, the water bottle cage, a towel, and a bike sweat protector thingy you won’t ever use:


Next, let’s assemble the whole thing. This will take less time than getting all the parts out of the box. You’ll start by putting on the front leg with two bolts and the included wrench:


Then you’ll flip the thing up on its nose and do the back legs:


Next the manual has you attach your pedals. You’re going to use these little pods that allow you to specify one of three crank lengths depending on orientation: 170mm, 172.5mm, and 175mm:


They go into the backside of the crank arm, and then you apply a little plate to the front side and thread your pedal through like normal. Don’t worry, we’re gonna chat more about this a bit later.


Next, grab your seat and slide it onto the bike:


Then, you’re gonna have two bolts of sorts which you place one on the seat forward/back rail, and one up front. They essentially are used to tighten the forward/back component. You twist them upwards and it locks things in place, and twist them downwards and it loosens it to slide the seat foward/back. Below at left is the rear seat post, and at right is the front handlebar holder.

DSC_1541 DSC_1542

Now’s a good time to mention that out of the box there are no adjustment handles on the unit. Those are the wrapped blue things that you see below:


Instead, you can use the larger hex wrench to adjust the different components, such as seat post height below:


Or, you can remove the bolts and instead install the handles for easier adjustability on the fly, which is what I did.

Moving forward to the front, we’ll slide on the handlebar attachment:


Then we’ll add in the dual fan & tablet piece, it slides on and bolts in place with four screws:


You don’t have to add the fans if you don’t want to. You can just use the base tablet holder instead:


Next, go ahead and plug in the fans and display cord. One of my semi-big complaints is that these cables are too long, so they dangle around and take away from the $3,200 motif that is this bike. Walmart bikes for $199 have better cabling routing/management than this (and mind you, I have the same complaint about the Wahoo Bike). There’s no excuse for it here, though there is a barely acceptable reason on the Wahoo bike as they allow you to adjust the handlebars, so they need the extra length.

DSC_1549 DSC_6857

Then go ahead and attach the little rubber clip that holds the tablet in place. It’s adjustable and is surprisingly secure. I’ve had no issues using my tablet with it.


Finally, go ahead and remove the display sticker:


With that, you’re done.

The Basics:

Now that we’ve got things all in one cohesive piece, let’s run through it all from back to front. I find that’s the easiest way to approach these bikes. So, the furthest point towards the back is likely going to be the power supply:


For those keeping score at home, it’s actually a very slightly different power supply than the NEO trainers. So if you happen to have two, while they look similar – the NEO bike one has a bit more power to it.

Now – you don’t actually need to plug it in at all. However, by plugging it in you’ll get downhill drive (where it essentially spins the flywheel forward to simulate going down a hill), as well as you’ll get always-on power for the two USB ports. So I’d recommend leaving it plugged in, so that your iPad or whatever is always nice and charged. But if you don’t plug it in, then the power from your pedaling will still power everything up just fine.


Next, you’ll find the crankset, and in particular the creatively engineered crank-length adjustment system, which allows you to flip the pod inside to go from 170mm to 172.5mm to 175mm depending on the orientation.


Now, compare that to the Wahoo KICKR bike crank arm below, which has a bear-paw looking system with individual crank lengths from 165mm/167.5mm/170mm/172.5mm/175mm:

I point this out, not to say one is better than the other. In fact, it’s a bit of a ‘pick your poison’ scenario. With the Wahoo setup you get function over form (meaning, it mostly looks hideous). Whereas with the Tacx setup it looks clean, but is a pain in the ass to get everything perfectly aligned initially, especially with the pod-caps that go on the other side of the crank arm (more on that later on). So again, you can choose beauty or functionality – not both.

I suppose I’m likely a bit unusual compared to most in that I’ve swapped the pedals on this bike countless times for testing, so I’ve had to deal with that finicky-ness. Whereas most normal people would do it once and be done forever.

Just to the inside of the entire crank arm situation are lights that illuminate under the trainer based on power output. The more you throw down, the redder the lights get:


These same lights are also on the inside of the flywheel too. Also, note that the less than bad-ass looking sticker is now being applied to the other side after I pointed out that it looked fugly there.


The below-frame lighting mirrors the same functionality as the Tacx NEO 1/2 trainers (in terms of overall lighting, the flywheel light is new to the bike). Realistically it’s unlikely you’ll be training power zones by looking at the light show below your crotch, but hey, it does make you look bad ass. The underside lighting functionality on the Tacx Bike isn’t configurable by apps at this point (nor has it been since the NEO trainer days). Though, I could see some potentially fun integration options there for certain apps (akin to what Philips Hue lighting does).

Next, let’s talk adjustability. The Tacx bike can be adjusted in the following areas:

– Saddle tilt angle (standard saddle rails, but also secondary tilt adjustment)
– Saddle forward/back movement on marked slider
– Saddle height up/down movement on marked slider
– Handlebars/display height up/down movement on marked slider
– Handlebars/display forward/back movement on marked slider

As you likely gathered by the above, each one of these includes a marked ruler with specific numbers that you can memorize or write on a random sticky note.

However, there are two ways you can set up your bike in terms of adjusting all those things I noted above. You can choose to:

A) Set it up with handles (included) to make on the fly tweaks
B) Set it up with no handles using the bolts that require a beefy hex wrench (included)

Having the handles is ideal when you have multiple people using it, or are too lazy, like myself, to get the positioning right the first time, and keep tweaking it until it’s right.


Whereas the bolts are better if you enjoy giving the middle finger to anyone who wants to even think about touching your bike’s setup and configuration. Thou shall not dork with my bike fit!


That said, I’d argue on my list of ‘annoyances’, I’d put the handles pretty far up there. It’s mostly a horrible design that requires you to pull the handle out and then rotate to tighten/loosen. That piece is fine, what’s annoying is that it only ‘snaps/locks’ back into a few spots on the rotational clock if you will. So this means that the handles are usually sticking out at odd angles, or otherwise don’t look clean.

DSC_6847 DSC_6846

It’s not the end of the world, but it’s just annoying for a $3,200 bike. Again, other companies have annoyances too – you’ll see those in my review. You’ll also see me being more and more critical of things like this because of the cost factor. It’s one thing to be annoyed at something on a $500 product, but $3,200 is a different ballpark.

Finally, when it comes to the fit side of things I will point out that those with larger thighs might run into a scenario where your thighs touch the seat post frame casing (so, across from the water bottle holder):


This is a bit of a thicker section that, depending on how far back your saddle is, may result in some light touching. I’ve found a specific position that doesn’t touch, but I did have a position at one point earlier this summer that did touch. Again, I’m also the height of the Space Needle and can only presume it’s my Wattage Bazooka-alike legs causing that. Normal humans probably don’t have this issue. Here’s a quick video showing it while pedaling:

I’ve got no doubt that I could probably find a slightly different position that might not touch, but I suspect this will still be an issue for some. With all the non-moving things covered, let’s get on and start dorking with stuff.

Shifting & Riding:


Up towards the front of the unit we’ve got the entire display console bit. First, there’s a small tray for stashing any goods you want. Phones, earbuds, M&M’s, EPO, etc… Whatever you need space for, it maybe will fit.


The tray is in fact a rubber insert, so if you spill gels in there, it’s easy to clean:


Behind that is the display itself. This has two modes. When an app isn’t controlling the trainer, it’ll show all your stats, including your gearing:


Meanwhile, when an app takes over controlling the trainer it’ll just show your gearing, and depending on the app it may also show heart rate. It gets your heart rate by pairing to your HR strap automatically via ANT+:


Which takes us to shifting. On the handlebars you’ve got two blue shift buttons on each side, plus an incline button on the inside of each side (incline on one, decline on the other), plus brakes on both sides.


Here’s the inside, where you can see the blue incline/decline button:


The shift buttons don’t make any feel themselves, however, the bike will replicate the feel of the shift internally. The way it does this is to briefly stutter the electromagnetic motor for a few milliseconds, which crazy-realistically replicates the outside ride feel when you shift your bike and for the briefest of split-second there’s a slight bump in the drivetrain pressure. It’s super cool and is a huge deal compared to riding a bike without such an effect.

When you shift, you’ll also see your gearing displayed on the small display in front of you. Note the difference between the two showing the cassette in the back shifted from the 12 to 14:

DSC_6734 DSC_6732

At this point, gearing is not displayed on Zwift or any other app to my knowledge (as it is on the Wattbike Atom, though that lacks a display).

The act of shifting is instant with zero lag whatsoever. When you shift, you better be ready for it. Meanwhile, if you’re not in an app you can use the incline/decline buttons on the inside of the handlebars to increment the virtual gradient in 0.5% increments. This isn’t changing the position of the bike like the KICKR CLIMB, but rather, is just incrementing the otherwise flat road that you’re riding along without any apps connected. You can see the incline shown above (1.0% and 0.0%).

From a gearing perspective, you’ll configure that to whatever cassettes & chainrings configuration you want via the Tacx Utility app. This is a less glamorous but completely functional version of what Wahoo has done with their KICKR Bike configuration app functionality, and allows you to specify things like the number of chainrings you want in a ‘virtual gearing’, as well as the exact chainring and cassette specifications:

2019-09-12 17.59.18 2019-09-12 17.59.08

The difference here between Tacx and Wahoo is more around shifting itself, whereby Wahoo can replicate SRAM eTAP, Shimano Di2, and Campagnolo. Tacx at this point cannot (though, certainly could via a firmware update if Tacx were to decide to). Ultimately, the gearing selecting you choose will impact how well you climb and such on various apps.

You should also update your weight while you’re in the app as well, as it’ll ensure the correct road feel.

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The app is also where you can configure the default fan strength. For some reason they leave it on the middle setting, which has about as much fan strength as a butterfly flapping its wings towards your face. So I’d recommend changing that to ‘High’. While you’re here you can also tweak the power display averaging shown.

2019-09-12 17.58.53 2019-09-12 17.59.01

As for the fans, it’s probably not going to replace your main fan, but isn’t horrible when set for ‘High’.


You can adjust the position of the fans to get the angles just right as well:


Before we go onto brakes and such, let’s take a brief moment to talk triathlon/TT/aerobars. In short, there aren’t a ton of good options here for a fully integrated setup, whereas there are fine options for just clip-ons. The unit uses a standard handlebar, so any sort of clip-on system will work, and there’s space in that region of the handlebars to do so. Where you run into issues though is the bars extending towards the front display. You’ll need to either ensure your aerobar spacing/fit is wide enough to account for that, or that it’s short enough that it doesn’t hit the front display. All of which might be slightly awkward. Still, as an update to this post I’ll try and add some of my RedShift aerobars to the setup and see if it works. Note that Tacx doesn’t sell any accessory integration bits, so you wouldn’t get shifting or brakes from said aerobars.

As for brakes, these will stop the flywheel when pulled. You’ll have to give them a fair bit of force to get things to stop, but they do indeed stop. And if you try and pedal against it, you can do that too – but it’ll spike the wattage up (as it would outside, to a point anyway). However, there’s no connection with Zwift or other apps here. So your avatar in Zwift will continue to do as it does, as it doesn’t have awareness of braking.


So what about ride feel? Well, it feels like a Tacx NEO series. Because, it is. Technically the NEO 2T is built atop the NEO Bike unit. So the two units are virtually identical. And in fact, that’s something I noticed when it came to things like responsiveness, but also accuracy too. Like I always say though, when it comes to ride feel I can’t easily separate the reality of staring at a wall from outdoor riding. Inside is still gonna be inside. Still, you’re looking at bits like inertia and how it feels when you roll into a sprint and how it reacts.

And again, it feels just like a NEO. Which is to say it’s pretty darn good. Though, having toyed side by side with a KICKR18, I’d give that a slight edge for road feel in this case. Note however that the KICKR Bike is *not* built atop the KICKR18 internals, but a new electromagnetic system almost identical to that of the Tacx NEO series. Of course, the two companies can reach different levels of road feel, and I’ll be putting those to the test side by side in an upcoming shootout.

And how about the noise? About the same as a microwave. In fact, the fans on the NEO Bike itself are louder than the underlying bike. To demonstrate this, check out the following quick video I made. This is totally shown on the on-camera microphone, about 2-3 meters away, in the concrete echo-chamber that is the DCR Cave.

Lastly, I didn’t mention it in complete detail earlier, but there are two USB ports on the underside of the M&M holder:


These are both capable of 2 AMP’s, so enough to keep an iPad or such charged. Also, you can use your smartphone to update the firmware on the bike as well.


Now, to wrap up this section I’ve got a quick little summary of things I do and don’t like about the bike. I hesitate to call this a pros and cons list, though that’s more or less what it is. I’m sticking it here in the middle of the review so people that just skip to the end without reading will miss it (and thus hopefully read the whole review to make an informed decision – nuance matters on products like these). I’ll ignore any accuracy likes/dislikes in this section and keep it more on practical things. Basically, this is more of a list of likes/dislikes than pros/cons:

Things I like:

– The bike feels solid and stable
– Responsiveness is instant, and powerful
– The gearing display is awesome, works for any app since it’s not app dependent
– There’s a place to stick your phones/devices/Haribo
– There’s two USB ports and both can power 2.4A (so an iPad can charge)
– Downhill drive is cool on downhills (just like past Tacx products)
– Road feel is cool on things like cobbles (more on that Tacx NEO series function in my older post here)
– There are brake levers, maybe someday Zwift will use them

Things I dislike:

– The loose wiring upfront doesn’t look classy/price-appropriate
– Installing pedals is somewhat clumsy
– The shifters don’t feel like a real bike, buttons that don’t audibly click
– The adjustment handles are clunky to deal with
– The width of the seat post can rub depending if you have thunder thighs and specific positioning
– Only one water bottle cage/position

You’ll see the same list formatting on all my indoor bike reviews, including the next indoor bike review which will be the Wahoo KICKR Bike – likely later this week or early next week. With that, let’s dig into the app aspects.

Apps Compatibility:


The Tacx Bike follows most of the industry norms as you’d expect from most trainers these days.  As you probably know, apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, SufferFest, Rouvy, FulGaz, Kinomap and many more all support most of these industry standards, making it easy to use whatever app you’d like.  If trainers or apps don’t support these standards, then it makes it far more difficult for you as the end user. And while I used the term ‘most’, the reality is that the leftover bits not yet following the industry standards (Bluetooth Smart FTMS) are handled by most apps supporting Tacx’s own Bluetooth Smart protocols anyways.

The Tacx Bike transmits data on both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart as well, allowing interactive resistance control across both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart.  By applying resistance control, apps can simulate climbs as well as set specific wattage targets.

To be specific, the Tacx Bike supports the following protocol transmission standards:

ANT+ FE-C Control: This is for controlling the trainer via ANT+ from apps and head units. Read tons about it here.
ANT+ Power Meter Profile: This broadcasts as a standard ANT+ power meter, with speed soon to be baked in as well.
ANT+ Cycling Dynamics (Limited): This is within the ANT+ Power Meter profile above, but includes some extended cycling dynamics metrics. Note: This feature is coming in October, and is currently being trialed on the Tacx NEO 2T firmware prior to being released on the Tacx NEO bike in October 2019. Once released, it’ll be a slightly reduced set of features compared to Vector pedals, since it can’t measure platform center offset (PCO).
ANT+ Speed/Cadence Profile: This broadcasts the speed and cadence portions as a standard ANT+ speed/cadence sensor. This is handy for those that have devices/apps that may not support power meters, but still get some basic cycling data.
Bluetooth Smart Tacx Trainer Control: This is Tacx’s private method of controlling the trainer. At this point it does NOT yet support FTMS, but that switch-over is planned, according to the company. Most apps support this Tacx method, so it’s not a huge deal at this point in time. The main reason they haven’t switched yet is that the FTMS standard doesn’t support a way to configure the rider’s weight, which is important for correctly applying the ride feel.
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Profile: This broadcasts as a standard BLE power meter with speed soon to be baked in as well.
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Profile: Same as the ANT+ variant above.

Both Tacx and Elite lead the way when it comes to protocol standards support, with Elite having a slight edge over Tacx due to supporting FTMS already on their trainers. All companies these days transmit cadence within their trainers too, though on most other units this is a bit of an estimation. With the Tacx Bike (and the Tacx NEO 2/2T), this is actually measured though each time your leg passes by the frame of the bike, uses magnets to detect the crank arm.

Baked in cadence data is handy if you’re connecting to Zwift on an Apple TV, due to Apple TV’s two concurrent Bluetooth Smart sensor limitation (plus the Apple TV remote).  While you can use the Zwift mobile companion app for additional sensors, I find that can be sometimes a bit flaky.

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It’s these same standards that also allow you to connect via head units too. For example the Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT as well as Garmin Edge series support ANT+ FE-C for trainer control, so you can re-ride outdoor rides straight from your bike head unit to your trainer. For example, for my accuracy testing section, I recorded the data on a Garmin Edge 530 & Edge 830 as well as the trainer apps.  From there I’m able to save the file and upload it to whatever platform I like.


In addition to baseline power and cadence, the NEO Smart Bike also includes both left/right balance as well, which you can see on head units as well as in recorded data files:


For me, in my testing, I used Zwift and TrainerRoad as my two main apps (which are the two main apps I use personally). In the case of Zwift, I used it in regular riding mode (non-workout mode, aka SIM mode), whereas in the case of TrainerRoad I used it in a structured workout mode. I dig into the nuances of these both within the power accuracy section.

Here’s an example of Zwift paired on an Apple TV, you can see it shows the sensors as a controllable trainer, a regular power meter, and a cadence sensor:

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And here in TrainerRoad using Bluetooth Smart on an iPad:

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What you may notice though is that the calibration option is actually present. In reality, if you try using it, it’ll fail. This is by design, the NEO Bike doesn’t require any calibration (nor does it support it).

Now remember from above, where things get a bit different than other trainers is what happens when you have an app connect to it, in which case the display will go to a reduced metric mode.


This is mostly fine, but there’s some room for all companies to perhaps standardize on gearing display and give the option for the user to display it on the screen. For example on the Wattbike Atom, you’ll get this gearing display in Zwift at left (depending on how you connect it).  Now, of course, the Tacx Bike has the gearing display down below, whereas the Wattbike Atom doesn’t have any display at all. Still, I feel like this should definitely be a user-configurable option, and something Zwift and trainer companies need to come together on to standardize. The ball on this one is mostly in Zwift’s court, but it should also be applicable to any 3rd party app – including ones like Rouvy, FulGaz, and others (FulGaz just added it for the Wahoo bike for example).

Next, the Tacx Bike can simulate/replicate the feel of the roads as you ride them in the game. Cobblestones will feel like riding on cobblestones. Planks on a boardwalk will feel just like an actual boardwalk. It really is fascinating – and has been a draw for the Neo series since it came out a few years back. You’ll feel the same here as well on the Tacx Bike, and you can also test out this feature whenever you want via the Tacx Utility app:

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Now, there’s not a ton of training benefit here, per se. But that’s true of many things we do on trainers indoors. If it was all about training benefit we’d just be riding in ERG mode every day on perfectly structured workouts. Instead, we have a wide variety of apps that by and large are designed to keep us entertained.  And this feature simply adds to that entertainment factor. And I’ve always liked it.  It’s fun to have the feeling of the road kick in on certain sections of Zwift. Just like when you go from clean pavement to something dirty, there’s a realism factor there. No other trainer offers that today.

Next the Tacx Bike has downhill drive simulation, which means that as you go downhill the flywheel will forward spin the rear ‘wheel’ (cassette and flywheel since there is no wheel). This means that the bike will simulate the inertia of going downhill.  This is yet another little touch that makes things feel more realistic than they are. However, this seems to be hit or miss for me on the NEO Bike. I’m not sure if it’s a Zwift issue or a Tacx Bike issue, either way, it’s not consistently turning on. I expect this will be a minor tweak via software update.

Power Accuracy Analysis:

As usual, I put the bike up against a number of power meters to see how well it handled everything from resistance control accuracy, to speed of change, to any other weird quirks along the way. In the case of indoor bikes it’s a bit more tricky to have 2-3 other power meters, since you typically can’t swap out the crankset or rear hubs. So you have to rely upon other power meter pedals.

No problems, I’ve got plenty of those. I’ve set up the bike in three different configurations over the past many months:

Config 1: With PowerTap P2 pedals
Config 2: With Favero Assioma pedals
Config 3: With Garmin Vector 3 pedals

I’ve not seen any difference with those different pedals, however, I will give a word of caution. In fact, I’m going to bold this caution to other people doing reviews (or, if you read other reviews of the Tacx bike). Installing regular or power meter pedals on the Tacx bike is easy physically. However, for those odd ducks like me installing power meter pedals on the Tacx bike, ensuring the pedals are absolutely perfectly aligned for power meter testing/comparison is tricky. Trust me, I’ve screwed it up more times than I can count on this bike.

The reason is that you’ve got to ever so perfectly and carefully ensure that the small removeable inset plate that faces the pedals is completely flush with the rest of the crank arm. Perfectly flush, even a 1mm offset will impact your power meter pedals. Also, you need to ensure that it’s very strongly tightened so there is no play whatsoever in either the pedal to crank, or crank to inset plate. As you tighten the pod/washer combo will often become non-aligned – especially at the last second as you do the final turn or two of the wrench.


Any play or offset will result in inaccurate data from your power meter pedals (the Tacx bike itself will remain totally accurate no matter how you screw up pedal installation). How inaccurate you ask? Here’s a data set example of improperly installed power meter pedals:


And in fact, there may still be a bit of a settling period for power meter pedals on the Tacx bike, such as this – seen over the course of a first install ride below. It takes till about the half-way point to really settle in and lock. This isn’t actually that unusual for power meters in general, and again, has nothing to do with the Tacx bike accuracy.


The tell-tale sign that I’ve screwed it up over and over again is when there’s a weird semi-variable offset (either above or below the actual wattage). Every time I’ve had this happen I’ve realized it wasn’t perfect. However, it took a while to understand just how perfectly flush it needs to be. And again, this does *not* impact the actual accuracy of the Tacx NEO Bike, but rather of your power meter pedals (any of them), which are not designed to deal with incorrect installation.

You’ll also see that the small washer I’m holding is deformed, from tightening the pedals to the spec for power meter pedals.


This has no impact on normal usage, but if you put power meter pedals on there, there’s a bit of flux otherwise, which will cause inaccuracies in your power meter pedals (but have no impact on the Tacx bike/accuracy). Tacx says they’re going to address this washer with a stronger one that won’t bend. That’s an easy part that can be sent out to those impacted via a single envelope and a stamp or two.

In any case – with that caveat out of the way, I was looking to see how it reacted in two core apps: Zwift and TrainerRoad (Bluetooth Smart on Apple TV and iPad). The actual apps don’t typically much matter, but rather the use cases are different.  In Zwift you get variability by having the road incline change and by being able to instantly sprint.  This reaction time and accuracy are both tested here.  Whereas in TrainerRoad I’m looking at its ability to hold a specific wattage very precisely, and to then change wattages instantly in a repeatable way.  There’s no better test of that than 30×30 repeats (30-seconds at a high resistance, followed by 30-seconds at an easy resistance).

First, let’s start with a Zwift ride, this of the Titans Groove loop from the deserts. I’ve converted over to using this route this past summer for trainer/bike testing, because it’s so demanding on trainers in terms of responsiveness. While the early desert portion is flat, the hills and climbs up into the Titans Grove piece are relentlessly changing gradients, which means you not only test how fast a trainer/bike can respond to that, but also how effective indoor bike gear shifting is. Here’s that data set:


In the above case, that data set is with a PowerTap P2 pedal set (dual-sided). As you can see, it’s pretty darn perfect. There’s one blip at 40:30 when for whatever reason the P2 pedals momentarily lost connectivity to the Edge for a second, but that’s got nothing to do with the Tacx bike.

Let’s go ahead and look at the first sprint I did in more detail:


This is on the flats in Zwift’s Watopia desert, and you can see the tracking is super close. A bit of a 1-second difference as I come back out of the sprint, but that’s pretty normal anytime we’re talking multiple power meters transmitting and recording data to/from different sources and destinations. It’s simply a timing thing.

Let’s fast forward a bit to the rolling section a bit, and you can see it’s super close. There’s some slight differences in the valley’s and peaks of each acceleration, and I’m 99% confident that’s due to the flexible washer I noted above. With that tiny bit of flex it’s throwing off the pedals slightly as I press into the crank arm. The degree of that gap seems to vary on the luck of the install. We’re only talking a couple watts here, but from a comparison standpoint it’s clearly visible.


This is the first of two areas where companies need to focus less on automated testing and more on human testing. An automated test rig won’t likely catch this because the machine is applying extremely even and locked forces the entire time, versus my legs variability in power and acceleration. It’s why I haven’t bought/built an automation test rig. Still, the difference is small above.

Skipping ahead to the last sprint of this ride, you see that momentary purple dropout I mentioned earlier. So just ignore that, the Tacx bike data is clean throughout this and very similar/close to the PowerTap P2 pedals.


It’s notable that we don’t see any loss of power accuracy coming off the sprint. There are often cases in trainers these days where coming off a hard sprint it overshoots and takes time to catch back up again, as if the trainer lost its breath and needs a moment. That doesn’t happen here.

Next, just to throw the Zwift way-back machine on here – here’s a set from earlier this summer, this one a Zwift ERG workout. I don’t tend to do my ERG workouts in Zwift, but use TrainerRoad instead. So this is a rarity that I figured I’d include for fun. Full data set here:


The exact name of this workout is ‘Jon’s Mix’, and is something I occasionally use for Zwift workout mode testing. From an accuracy standpoint, there’s no issues here, the two units are virtually identical across the board. Even when zoomed in (and again, two minor PowerTap P2 pedal connectivity drops here):


What you do see though is a bit of wobble. You’ll notice it most in the longer 10-minute sections here:


It’s just not holding that number steady. There is a difference between the two units within this section, likely because of this oscillation. Though if you drag your mouse across the data set in the Analyzer, the max difference is about 6w, or within spec for the 250w this is.

Now, let’s move away from Zwift and show you ERG mode on TrainerRoad. In this case a workout from this past Saturday. This TrainerRoad workout starts off with a flat chunk for each interval, and then increases in 2% steps every 60 seconds.

2019-09-14 13.23.19

Once again, I was having connectivity issues with the P2 pedals – though that doesn’t keep you from seeing what’s going on here in the comparison data:


The actual accuracy itself is good, and the initial responsiveness in each set is normal/good as well. What is not good though is the overall ability for ERG mode to hold a given set point. It oscillates upwards of +/- 20w throughout the set, which is why you see this variation. It should be super firm and without much wobble.

(Minor note: Above you see the first two sets, and below is the third set. I had momentarily paused TrainerRoad to check a setting and it added a recording delay so the files didn’t line up properly for the third set, which is why I split it out below and show it without the delay.)

For example, on the third set you’ll see how it appears to slowly ramp up. In reality, those are steps, and we should absolutely be seeing the steps here.


I talked with Tacx about this and they agree it’s an issue. And is in fact the same issue as seen on the Tacx NEO 2T. The company says they’ve just about got it fixed on the Tacx NEO 2T trainer so that it doesn’t oscillate and hoped to ship that firmware update any moment now (maybe today, maybe tomorrow). After that they’ll circle back and get it applied to the NEO Bike as well.

Given it works just fine on the NEO2 (non-T), I expect they’ll sort this relatively quickly. They said the main issue was that the firmware ported from the NEO 2 didn’t expect the faster responsiveness/power of the NEO 2T/Bike, so it basically overcorrects constantly, which is what we see.

Speaking of that responsiveness, one final accuracy test for ya here, also on TrainerRoad, but the usual 30×30 workout test I do. There’s two ways to look at this.  First is how quickly it responds to the commands of the application.  So for that, we need to actually look at the overlay from TrainerRoad showing when it sent the command followed by when the NEO Bike achieved that level.  Here’s the levels being sent:

2019-09-17 14.40.28

From a responsiveness standpoint it seems to hit somewhere in the ballpark of the initial setpoint within 2-4 seconds. However, then the stability oscillations kick in. We don’t need to re-hash it, you can see it quite plainly above.

Looking at power accuracy though, there’s no issues here – it’s virtually spot on. Again, a few minor quibbles due to the washer, but otherwise good. Here’s that data set.


Oh wait, and for lack of anywhere else to stick it – I haven’t seen any cadence issues at all. This appears super solid, which makes sense given they’re magnetically measuring cadence. So there’s no real reason that won’t be perfect:


Ok, so, what’s the final scoop on accuracy?

Well, I think/suspect the power meter accuracy is actually quite good and solid – but it’s being slightly overshadowed by two issues that make it harder to see that. The first being the slightly flexible washer that troubles all the power meter pedals I’ve tried, due to the little bit of flex it gets, causing the slight variations we see. Sure, we’re only talking a couple of watts here – and again, it’s not the Tacx Bike accuracy that’s being impacted, it’s my comparison pedals.

The second though is a more real issue which is the ERG mode stability, for which we see this wobble in ERG mode (no matter the app). Tacx agrees and they hope to have it fixed very shortly with a firmware update. In that scenario, if that’s fixed relatively quickly, then I don’t believe there’s anything in the accuracy/responsiveness/stability realm that’s a problem.

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.)

Indoor Smart Bike Comparison:

In the coming weeks I’ll be doing a complete shoot-out between the Wahoo Bike, Tacx Bike, and Wattbike Atom. The three units you’re most likely to be comparing, and all three of which are now shipping or expected to ship in the coming weeks. This will include everything under the sun you can imagine, similar to my past power meter pedal shootout post.

Until then, here’s a blow by blow spec comparison between them – complete with some new data fields I’ve added into the trainer database to account for indoor bikes. I’ve also included the new Stages Bike in there, though that won’t ship till Q1 2020.

Function/FeatureStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 23rd, 2023 @ 2:27 pm New Window
Price for trainer$2899$2,599$3,199$3,499
Trainer TypeIndoor BikeIndoor BikeIndoor BikeIndoor Bike
Available today (for sale)YesYesYesYes
Availability regionsGlobalUK/South Africa/Australia/Scandinavia/USAGlobalLimited Initially
Wired or Wireless data transmission/controlWirelessWirelessWirelessWireless
Power cord requiredYesYesNoYes
Flywheel weight50lbs9.28KG/20.4lbsSimulated/Virtual 125KG13bs/5.9kgs
ResistanceStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Can electronically control resistance (i.e. 200w)YesYesYesYes
Includes motor to drive speed (simulate downhill)No (but kinda)NoYesYes
Maximum wattage capability3,000w2,000w2,200w @ 40KPH2,200w @ 40KPH
Maximum simulated hill incline25%25%20% (and -15% downhill)
FeaturesStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Ability to update unit firmwareYesYesYesYes
Measures/Estimates Left/Right PowerYes (actually measured independently)YesYesNo
Can directionally steer trainer (left/right)Yes (with compatible apps)NoYES (WITH COMPATIBLE APPS)Yes (with compatible apps)
Can simulate road patterns/shaking (i.e. cobblestones)NoNoYesNo
MotionStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Whole-bike physical gradient simulationNoNoNoYes
Can rock/tilt side to side (significantly)NoNoNoNo
AccuracyStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Includes temperature compensationYesYesN/AYes
Support rolldown procedure (for wheel based)Cross-references power meter dataNoN/AN/A
Supported accuracy level+/- 1.5%+/- 2%+/- 1%+/- 1%
Trainer ControlStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Allows 3rd party trainer controlYesYesYesYes
Supports ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control Standard)YesYesYesYes
Supports Bluetooth Smart FTMS (Trainer Control Standard)YEsYesYesYes
Data BroadcastStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Transmits power via ANT+YEsYesYesYes (added Sept 30th, 2020)
Transmits power via Bluetooth SmartYEsYesYesYes
Supports Multiple Concurrent Bluetooth connectionsNo, just oneYes, 3 Concurrent
Transmits cadence dataYesYesYesYes
Indoor Bike FeaturesStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Brake levers or buttonsYesNoBrake LeversYes
Shifting typeButtonsButtonsButton BasedNormal bike levers
Can customize shifting (Shimano/SRAM/Campagnolo)Yes (not yet SRAM)NoIn future updateYes (Shimano/SRAM/Campagnolo)
Can customize gearingYesMininimalYesYes (both cassette and chainrings)
Supported Crank Lengths165/170/172.5/175mm170mm170/172.5/175mm165/167.5/170/172.5/175mm
DisplayNoNoYesSmall display near top-tube
USB PortsTwo Ports (Fast Charging)No2 USB Ports (2AMP)1 USB port
PurchaseStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Competitive CyclistLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerStages Bike (SB20)Wattbike Atom V1Tacx NEO Bike SmartWahoo KICKR Bike V1
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Oh, and before you ask why I haven’t included some products into the above – here’s the quick and dirty answers:

Peloton Bike: It’s not a ‘smart’ bike in the sense of the above, it doesn’t allow you to set a specific power level (it does tell you the current power level). Rumors are Peloton is working on such a bike, but nothing today.

SRM Bike: I just don’t see this as a competitor in this space. At $5,000, it’s mostly for various research purposes and is designed in that realm.

True Kinetix Bike: They’re planning on dropping me a test unit next week, so I’m looking forward to getting some hands-on time on that, and then understanding what the actual shipping/etc timeframes and current state of the unit looks like for others.

VirtuPro: It could also get escalated into the above chart, I’ve talked about it in the past. But I need clarity on when they’ll (actually) ship it with ANT+/BLE support, and realistic timelines to that. Else, it’s a proprietary solution that doesn’t really fit what the tables are designed for (the rest of the bikes here are compatible with all industry protocols).

Again, I’m more than happy to add products into the database. In general, my rule of thumb is I want hands-on time (or butts-on in this case), and I want some realistic level of clarity on delivery time frames.



While the NEO Bike’s journey over the course of the last two years has been fairly public and rocky, the ultimate end product ended up rather polished in looks and functionality. Aspects like the display and related front-end functionality are a definite feature over competing units that don’t have that. When one steps off the exhibition show floor and into your living room for an hour ride and realizes you want to stash your phone connected to the USB charging port, these details become apparent. While other details are simply just more fun and cool – like the NEO bike lighting and road-feel on cobblestones.

Which doesn’t mean Tacx got it all right or perfect. In fact, I’ve outlined numerous things that aren’t perfect. Be it the cable lengths or ERG mode stability. Items like cable length or washer flexibility are minor for most people, whereas as ERG mode stability is a bigger issue. Luckily for Tacx however, every issue I’ve identified is either a software fix or an easy in-line manufacturing tweak (and even retrofit). New washers would fit easily in an envelope with spare room for M&M’s. Even new cabling would be trivial to get right-sized.

And I think we’ll likely see this across the board from companies as they go through growing pains on 1st gen smart indoor bike products. That kinda comes with the territory of buying a first gen unit – whether it’s Tacx, Wahoo, or Wattbike. We’ve seen Wattbike for example take these two years to optimize their product with a pile of minor tweaks that ultimately make for a markedly different unit than two years ago, and also sets the stages for their future products.

Still, for Tacx’s first go at things, it’s pretty darn good – and I suspect most folks would be pretty happy with it. And once they sort out the ERG mode stability via firmware update – it’s a very strong option that’s in the market now, and actively shipping to folks.

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

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

If you're shopping for the Tacx NEO Bike Smart or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

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

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

Basic Trainer Mat

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

I use Apple TV for Zwift the vast majority of the time, but also just for watching YouTube/Netflix/etc on the trainer. The Apple TV remote sucks though. This $8 case fixes that, it's a silicone strap that makes it easy to grab, but also has a strap to easily place on the edge of your handlebars. Boom! Note: Not compatible with 2021 Apple TV Edition.

Honeywell HT-900 Fan

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

Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617)

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

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

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

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

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

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  1. Dave Lusty

    Not even contemplating this until they sort out their support around Neo 2 cadence issues! I’ve been ignored for over a week on a support ticket where I’ve shown the latest firmware broke cadence on my unit. I’ve been told they are working on metal crank extenders which I’ve demonstrated won’t work and all I get is the sound of silence. No emails, no calls, no tweets, nothing.

    At least Wahoo were responsive and merrily swapped out trainers until you got a good one. I’m sick of these expensive toys not working as advertised or even being tested properly.

    • Tacx support

      Hi Dave

      Tacx support checked your email but they were waiting for a reply on some test. Tacx support replied for an investigation exchange on your trainer.Tacx will then fix your problem for you

    • Dave Lusty

      I replied on numerous occasions to that email with results from the test, and from further tests I did showing the cadence sensor to be disabled on current firmware but working on the previous firmware. I also replied on several occasions chasing up a response to no avail. Perhaps your mail systems have issues as well as your trainers?
      Unfortunately you don’t provide any direct method of contact, making this a wholly frustrating experience.
      FWIW the Facebook forum is full of people on firmware 0.0.15 who are scared to update their trainers and will therefore never benefit from fixes and new features. This issue is much more widespread than you seem to believe, and that’s a result of your terrible support mechanisms which have led to a third party website (Tacxfaqx) being set up to provide baseline support to your customers. This is not a premium experience to match the premium trainer. It has taken me dragging this issue into the limelight to move this forwards which is very disappointing for an issue first raised in February this year.

      Perhaps now you’ve finally engaged we can actually get this sorted for myself and the wider community of users also having the same issue.

    • simon

      Tacx support showing their normal level of ‘helpful’ support (blame the customer) – they’d have probably have been better off not replying in this thread – doesn’t make you feel quite so confident about spending $3,200 !

    • Dean Dunn

      Hey Tacx, listen to your customers feedback. I am in the market for a indoor bike trainer and based on info like this I wont currently consider Tacx.

  2. Florian

    Hi, is or will there be an aero-bar possibility?

    • I know there’s long been discussions around having accessories there. Certainly, you can add clip-on bars, to the extent that they’ll fit around the display (meaning, might be a bit wider for some). But it’ll work fine. Just no electronics there.

      Wahoo plans to offer tri bars sometime later this year, though those details are equally fuzzy.

  3. Pantster

    The front end seems to wobble a fair bit when you were sprinting. Was this noticeable and how does it compare to the Wahoo. I’m now holding off making a decision until Ray does a side by side video

    • A tiny bit, it honestly depends on how much I remember to really crank down the handles. But it’s not something that’s really impacts anything – and moves about the same as a normal bike on a trainer would (less really). You can see in that video that’s including the iPad on there too, as well as fans. The fans have a bit more play to them, so I suspect that may be contributing to things. You can also remove the fans if you want.

    • EV

      The wahoo seems to wobble quite a bit in the videos I’ve seen. Seems like the entire bike pivoting on one axle would make it hard to be as stable as the tacx design, especially after a year or two of hard use.

    • Eli

      Do you really want the bike to not move at all? Going by all the ticket plate discussions send like a bit of movement can be a very good thing to add comfort

  4. Tyler

    Maybe I overlooked it in the review, but do you see this as replacing your current bike-on-trainer setup?

    • Honestly, not sure yet. I wanna see what the Wahoo bike is like. I could see a scenario though where one of the bikes ends up at home as the go-to late night option for a ride, versus leaving the studio for everything else. We’ll see…

  5. EV

    Thanks for the review Ray. As detailed and informative as ever. Convinced me to keep my order in place, and now I’m going crazy waiting for this thing to arrive.

  6. EV

    I was thinking that sometime in the future, if Tacx thought people would really want a climb feature, they could offer a climb replacement for the front legs since they seem to just bolt right into the front. Maybe some kind of piston hydraulic thing. I doubt I’d personally be interested enough to pay much for it, but at least it seems doable if the market indicates strong interest.

  7. greg

    As these thing are becoming more common and you are reviewing more, I notice that on none of the reviews have you mentioned or measured q-factor. Any chance you could update those? I suspect that many of these stationary trainer have q-factors much wider than your road bike attached to the trainer. I know many people don’t care or notice, but for those of us who do, it matters.



  8. Richard

    I’m curious. Did you test the outdoor ride / route function with a wahoo elemnt / bolt?
    That functionality is currently not working on the Neo. The sim mode does not operate with the gradients.

  9. Charlie Hey

    Excellent review, Ray. Based on what I read, I’ll find it hard not to buy one of these at some point.

    A few questions:

    1. What size tablets can the tablet holder accommodate?
    2. Is there a guide for maximum height of rider the bike can me made to fit?
    3. I’m 192cm, and although I expect the Neo Bike will cope with that, I’m wondering if sliding the seat back to accommodate me will put me at risk of my leg(s) brushing the casing, per your video example? With no “display models” available anywhere to try out on, this could involve taking an (expensive!) punt…

    • 1) I don’t see a practical screen size max – way bigger than my regular iPad. However thickness I’d say 1.5x the regular iPad 2018 I have (that’s 7.5 mm, so my guess is easily 11mm or so would fit).
      2) None that I’m aware of. Seems a common question, I’ll try and get clarity.
      3) I can’t imagine at 192cm you’d have any issues. I’m 6’2″ (1.87m) and it easily fits me with plenty of vetical room.

  10. johannes Horner

    Hi Ray–great review, thank you!
    Regarding the tablet mount, do you know what the restrictions are? (e.g., would a 12.9in IPad pro fit, say)?
    Hoping that they fix the erg issue soon, seems to be major, for those of us using the bike for regular training.

    • The max limiter is really thickness. My 2018 iPad fits easily (7.5mm), and appears that I could fit another half of that width. The iPad Pro says is 5.9mm thick, so you’re good to go. I don’t see any practical length/height restriction, I wasn’t even using half of the height strap for my iPad.

    • Jeroen

      Hi Johannes,

      Did it worked out with an iPad Pro 12 inch at the Tacx NEO Smart tablet holder? Did it fit?



    • CowRob

      It fits landscape perfectly, aside from being a little thin.

      One thing that I found that makes phone and tablet usage for the Tacx bike better is the Hoverbar Duo from Twelve South. It allows the device to be closer, and reach over the fan and stand assembly so it’s easier to reach, and see. I had to put a weight on the stand to counterweight the iPad, but it works wonders, and keeps the iPad right were I need it, but can swing out of the way for other riding entertainment.

      3M makes a ‘Gripping Material’ (TB400) that I have put in the grove on the tablet stand on the bike, if the width of the gap bothers you. It has worked well to take up some of the huge gap in the groove, and keeps the iPad from moving too, but in my opinion, nothing beats the HoverBar for holding a tablet while biking, with the added benefit that the device isn’t moving if the bike does. But it won’t hold the 12.9 inch iPad Pro horizontally.

      link to apple.com

      link to amazon.com

    • CowRob

      Oops, the HoverBar Duo link with DC’s Amazon affiliate tag should be:

      link to amazon.com

    • Jeroen

      Thanks for replying me. What duo you mean?

      1. That the iPad Pro 12.9 inch will fit the Tacx tablet holder?
      2. I only have to fixate Tacx tablet holder more with 3M griptape?



    • Jeroen

      The length of my iPad is 220mm. I hope this size will fit between the airfans. Can somebody check?
      The height is 305mm, I hope the strap is long anough? Pro is 6.9mm thick so that will be ok.
      Hope somebody will check for me?


    • CowRob

      The ‘Duo’ is in the name of the Hoverbar as it allows two different ways to mount it. One is a large base, the other is a clamp. It is called the ‘Hoverbar Duo’.

      Does the iPad Pro fit the holder? YES. It is thinner than the holder allowing it to slide around, but the front of it is not too wide to fit between the fans. It actually fits very well.

      The griptape is to stop the iPad from sliding when in the holder on the Neo. I do not use the strap to hold my iPad down as I was usually charging it. Adding a thin strip of the tape to the bottom of the groove holder, helped stop the iPad from sliding. I do not use the griptape to hold the iPad down.

      Sorry if I confused you earlier.

    • T Lo


      3 years down the line, would you still recommend this purchase? I have the option to purchase brand new for £1600, but a few bits are putting me off – thigh gap rub, erg mode issue and the lack of steering on Zwift.

      I’m currently using Wahoo kickr but with a crap bike, so the setup is not as good as it could be. I’m worried that the 2nd generation must be on the horizon and I will regret making the jump. Do you recommend holding out for version 2, or will it be twice the cost of the current unit?

      What’s more immersive for Zwift – Road feel of the tacx Neo or the gradient rise and fall of the kickr bike?

      Thanks for your help,

    • CowRob

      I would. I haven’t been disappointed with the Smart Bike enough to be sorry I bought it.

      Thigh rub wasn’t a thing for me until I had a hip replacement and they put me together more normally. I hit the top tube of my outdoor road bike now, not that it’s annoying, I find it interesting, never having experienced it before and seem to rub on all my bikes now (again, not bothering me, except the bottle cage on the Smart, took it off). I’ve had some issues with ERG mode on the Smart, but they have nearly all been fixed in a previous update. I was annoyed that the power set point was treated like a maximum, under the earlier incarnation rarely went above it. My plots all looked like that was a hard ceiling. Now it drifts more naturally above the demand. Steering is supposed to be added ‘at some point’. I found it rather interesting on the Kickr Bike, but not enough to make me want to but one over the other.

      Second version (of either)? Who knows. Usually they start having people get sneak looks at new products and sometimes little tidbits slip out like ‘there is another version in the works’. Not that I’m connected or anything (I certainly aren’t) I haven’t heard anything. I don’t really care, as the current one is working well. Holding out for version 2 could be a long wait. You could upgrade the bike on your trainer currently and see what happens in a year or so. (Maybe DC knows, but if there is, an NDA would likely stop any leaks (here at least).

      Road feel?

      I hate it. It’s a gimmick I find annoying. I turn it off because it just sucks power. Sure it can feel like a foot massage on a really long ride which is nice, but it’s otherwise a useless feature, to me. It also would trigger early, or late, or not at all, and sometimes stay on far too long.

      I did have a Kickr Bike, and the first time the ‘climb’ feature kicked in (it doesn’t work on ERG mode) it made me nauseous. Sea sick basically. I did get used to it, but didn’t miss it in ERG rides. Would I buy it again as a feature on another trainer? Nah… It had issues, like lags and sometimes became a bucking horse than a ‘natural bike feel’. And the Kickr that I had experienced incredible ERG mode issues. I had it setup same ‘gears’ as my real road bike, and it wasn’t even close as I progressed through the simulated cassette. I also had a number of replacement bikes too. I lost count.

      More immersive? Maybe wearing AR goggles and headphones? It’s hard to feel immersive/authentic when it’s obviously a cartoon. Maybe the other apps that use actual video could be more immersive. (Of the two, the ‘climb’ feature seemed to be the more ‘immersive’, but it was still just a feature of a cartoon)

      But you do you. People have been waiting for a ‘new’ Kickr Bike for years, and there might be some tweaks from one rev to another, but it’s probably mostly the same. Tacx/Garmin have made some tweaks to the Smart Bike which were nice as well. I guess if you have to have the latest wait, but you might be waiting a long time…

      Buy now. either one likely has a phenomenally higher resale than a Peloton bike. Then you can decide. They both open a whole new world, so to speak, and offer their own perks. Personally I’d checkout the separate Climb attachment, and get a better bike for the Kickr trainer. The upgraded bike would be nicer to ride outside too, and you would have the best of both worlds.

      Ride on…

    • David

      I live in Austin and “road feel” would have to include numerous flats, heat coming off the roadway at 100 degrees plus and constantly worrying about idiots on mobile phones hitting you as the drift from their lanes.

    • CowRob

      And Armadillos. I hear they are everywhere depending on the area, and hitting them isn’t pleasant. And dodging bullets, snakes, the occasional scorpion, fire ants, and cactus. But every place has their issues… Here it’s potholes the size of small cars on the roads. And pavement cracks that rip ligaments in your hand elbow and shoulder, which means lots of flats here too. And that’s on the rail trails!!

      I’d love a ‘flat tire simulator’ feature. Talk about ‘immersive’… 😧😁

    • T Lo

      Thanks Cowrob, very detailed and useful reply. Funny you should mention the kickr climb as, after I posted, I thought the same thing and have been looking into it and getting a better bike too, which as you say would give me better riding in the real world too. I’m going to weigh up new bike and kickr climb vs tacx Neo bike, see what is more value.

      I love Internet shopping, but really wishi I could try all the gear out first. Thanks again for your advice

    • JA

      Hi TLo,

      I’m also looking to buy this bike. All prices on the net have them around £2,200. Have you found a good deal somewhere or are you just using the work cyclescheme?


    • T Lo

      Hi JA,

      The deal is via Blue light card discount, comes up £1609.99. I felt the issues I listed put me off, so am settled on kickr climb. I wonder if a new tacx upgrade is coming soon, since Wahoo announced its revisions.

  11. Daniel

    Excellent, many thanks Ray. What’s the total length of the assembled bike, incl. tablet holder?

  12. Rob

    For those of us at the far edges of the sizing bell curve, can you check the max/min seat height? I read in your old review comments that the Neo Bike can go up to a 90cm seat height… Is that accurate?

    I’m on the fence between this and the Wahoo bike. Wahoo’s “fit’s up to 6’4″” isn’t very descriptive. I’m hoping that they will allow access to the fit app so I can know for sure if I’ll fit.

  13. Thanks ray for the in-depth review!

    In the sound demo video you can hear all sort of vibration and resonances noises instead of quiet.
    Timestamp: 1:08.

    It seems like some panels or other elements are not attached correctly, not what would be expected.
    Have all the successive units been like that?

    • I suspect you may be hearing more into it than is actually there. By using the on-camera mic it’s a risky game because it’s hyper-sensitive, including to echos and such.

      I think the reverb you’re hearing is actually the vibration bouncing against the panels on the wall, not within the bike.

    • Ah, you couldn’t notice it in person?

      More precisely it’s in the video from 1:09 to 1:12
      238W, 70 to 74 RPM cadence (less apparent later)
      There seem to be a resonnance with flywheel speed, which is tied to cadence I suppose here.

      Full disclaimer I’m an acoustics nerd, and the main raison I’d buy this vs a trainer is lower noise and vibration towards neighbors 🙂

    • Yeah, I hear the resonance you’re hearing, but it’s definitely not what it sounds like in person. You can swing by if you want. 😉

    • Haha I’d love to come by, unfortunately my location is another one of the Nordics capital.

      In the meantime, if it becomes relevant to compare noise more precisely and in a repeatable way between the new trainers and smart bikes I’d be happy to help to build a measurement methodology.

    • Chris

      Exept this is exactly the sound previous generations of NEOs made. I had 4 (fifth incoming) NEOs and at least 2 of them had this resonating sound. And yes, it is as bad as it seems in this vid. I thought maybe Neo2T will be free of it, but it looks like not really…

    • Gregor

      It sounds to me the same as in this video: link to youtube.com (1:56), according to which you hear such a noise also in person. For me such an annoying resonance/vibration is a huge disadvantage. I don’t hear such a resonance/vibration noise in the Ray’s video about Wahoo bike.

  14. Gustav

    Is it possible to use this thing without all the crap in front, like the small display and tablet holder? I rather use my TV than a tablet and I think that stuff will be in the way of my tv. Also considering TT bars

  15. Bruno

    Amazing review as usual! I was waiting for it while trying to decide between the bike or the Neo 2T. I guess the bike will win!

    I don’t see it on the Tacx (mobile) site yet. Aren’t they selling it yet?

  16. John

    I had a few minutes on the Tacx Bike in a shop display a few weeks ago and was amazed how much more smooth it was than my Tacx Neo 1. Do these trainer bikes all have a belt drive inside rather than a metal chain?

  17. D low

    Just a few questions: 1) Have they figured out how maintenance (I don’t know if there is a regular maintenance schedule either) will be carried out? Thinking about things like length of time it will take to get a tech to your place; 2) warranty info and 3) I assume people who upgrade annually (like me) and still get very good value for their units are going to have to take into consideration that the market at this price point is limited and you’ll either have to cut the price substantially or use through numerous upgrade cycles so hopefully future upgrades are limited to software or as you mentioned pieces that can easily be swapped or added.

  18. Thomas Burton

    Hi Ray. Thanks very much for the review. Do you know the max rider height for the bike?


    • I suspect the rider positional aspects is probably more important than height per se, for example if someone had longer legs but a short torso might fit more or less better than someone the opposite. For me, I’m 6’2″ and there’s plenty more height I can go before I run out of space.

      I haven’t seen any metrics from Tacx, but I’ll see if they can do a sweep of questions in the morning.

    • Thomas Burton

      Thanks for the response Ray

      I was trying to work out how much more there was left on the adjustable stem from your photos. I’m just shy of 6’4. Like you say. Rider position geometry is probably more relevant.

    • EV

      Tacx provided this graphic a while back.

    • Thomas Burton

      Many thanks EV

  19. Qeker

    I’m hoping for a Bkool Smart Bike 2.0 review, that just was announced and is shipping. My budget doesn’t stretch for these other bikes.

    • I don’t see anything on BKool’s product page about it?

    • Qeker

      They seem to have restricted it by region. It’s in the last few pages of the PDF catalog listed at the bottom of their home page.
      Also from the home page, choose Experiences and then Fitness. If you have a VPN with Spanish site, it has 3D pics and pricing. On Twitter they responded to someone that they are available locally to buy already in the UK too.
      Compared to the original version, it is an all black design.
      Specs look OK (hefty 14kg flywheel) but unclear if BT FTMS is supported.

    • EV

      Isn’t the BKOOL bike usable just with the bkool app?

  20. Maik

    Hi Ray, thanks for the review.
    There seems to be a saddle included, can you say something about the quality? Is it worth a try? Or is it likely one needs to buy another saddle with the bike?

    • I’ve been using it without issue, seems fine.

      On the flip side, one of the things about doing this as a job, as I’m constantly dealing with loaner/etc bikes and have honestly gotten far more tolerant to errant bike saddles than I used to be. I used to swap my saddle to a temp bike, but these days if it’s under 3hrs or so, I can put up with almost anything without noticing.

  21. Leon Evans

    I am disappointed in this review, not for what you covered (which is excellent as always) but because of what you did not cover: Time Trialling & triathlon positions with aero bars.

    The one piece of kit TT’ers and triathletes have been waiting for is a smart bike that can replace having to put our expensive trainers multiple days a week for inddor training and avoiding all the associated wear and tear on our race machines.
    Its disappointing you haven’t even touched on this as I don’t see how any smart bike manufacturer wouldn’t see TT/tri as a large part of their target audience!

    I had a twitter conversation with Tacx last year about this very subject and even emailed their support team photo’s and measurements of my TT setup as I had some fundamental concerns about whether my TT position would impede/or be impeded the out-front display module. While they were initially helpful and requested the pic’s and measurements it just went dead and they never responded.

    The one thing I was hoping for from reviewers of the new batch of smart bike was including TT/tri setup (even with 3rd party bolt on bars) as this is a viable use-case scenario and TT/tri is a large share of the market that I would assume these manufacturers are going after.

    • Yeah, sorry, I meant to make mention of that somewhere in text. I have it in my video review, but haven’t finished editing that yet. Usually they ‘ship’ together as one.

      Short version is there really isn’t a good solution. You can attach clip-on bars, but then you run into width issues with the front console, which for an aggressive fit won’t be awesome. And then it doesn’t solve shifting either, since there’s no accessory kit for that yet either.

      In some ways, Wahoo is the same for the accessory kit. They’re sending end of year, but I could also see that slipping too (since I haven’t even seen a prototype of it, or renders either). But good call, I’ll add some detail into the review. Maybe I’ll try sticking on my Redshift aero bars and see what it looks like: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Leon Evans

      I’m not too bothered about the shifting when in the aero position as I’m 99% in erg mode using TrainerRoad or Xert. When I am just riding on zwift doing a long ride I’ll be on the normal hoods so I dont think gear switching etc is really of primary importance in terms of making it a standard part of your smart bike review process. but thanks for any details you can add and maybe you can approach the manufacturers about this setup in particular as its a valid and important consideration which WILL make the difference between an expensive purchase and a ‘no thank you’.

    • James

      I agree with Leon on this – the lack of ability to add aerobars (other than in a wide position) to this setup is a deal-breaker for me.

      I was definitely looking forward to this bike, but it seems they’ve missed an opportunity with the front end of this bike. As the front computer/assembly can’t be removed, this limits options for aerobars.

      Also, warranty/longevity concerns are another concern with this bike. It’s expensive, so should last a long period of time, but a standard 2 year warranty is not acceptable for this bike. I’ve still got a 10 year old Cycleops 300PT bike, that has had zero problems, and is still 100% solid.

    • Damon

      One solution that I haven’t seen mentioned but I can vouch works on “real” bikes: install clip-on aerobars without extensions. Just the cups. That’s where all the weight is supported anyway, and you can just rest your fingertips together or whatever else is comfortable. It’s essentially “Merckx TT” position but with added comfort. If you’re not shifting using the extensions or using them to help steer, who cares about ’em? This solution wouldn’t run into problems with fitting the aerobars around the display.

  22. Matthew Gardiner


    One of my biggest issues with my Tacx Neo is the delay from when I start an effort to when the Neo actually reaches agreement with my SRM & PTP1 powermeter. I notice when you are analyzing data you line up the power graphs, but not HR.

    Could you shift one of these files to line up HR and share the link? In Zwift racing, that delay makes the Neo a terrible power source. 2-4s delay when responding to an attack or starting a finishing sprint is how you lose races.

    Thank you very much,
    Matt Gardiner

    • Hmm, I haven’t heard of 4 second delays on the NEO for Zwift, that’s definitely odd.

      I typically align on power for accuracy, but also cross-validate with HR in case there’s a situation where we see delays (such as we often see with trainers in a sprint scenario).

      The challenge with recording/displaying though is that sometimes there are nuances to the exact recording on multiple devices, though usually that’s only a second. For example, if I align on HR, then even between two recording sources for the Tacx Bike (Zwift via Apple TV, and Edge 530), I see a 1-2 second difference on them for recording. Yet the actual accuracy is the same. Seen here aligned on HR from the mid-point:

      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      The Favero shows in theory a 2 seconds ahead of that, but that doesn’t translate to what Zwift would be seeing either. It just means what the Edge 830 saw and how it synced against HR.

      (And finally, I presume you don’t have the default Zwift power smoothing still enabled, which would explain what you’re seeing.)

    • Thomas Burton

      It’s quite a well known thing amongst the neo community and is often mentioned on Facebook groups. Lots of people who race on Zwift with neo’s use a separate power meter because the reaction times are quicker between applying power and Zwift responding.

    • fl33tStA

      you checked timeouts with link to zwiftalizer.com
      i got a replacment for Neo 1 to Neo2 by my local bike dealer, had the same problems, gone with Neo2!

    • Hal Wye

      I get from 5 to 10 seconds delay on the Direto. So had been looking at the 2T as an upgrade assuming that it would be properly responsive (ie. less than a second), but from what you say above I’m having doubts. I find these delays can be exasperating at times, and make some ERG workouts a farce.

    • Wouter

      It’s not so much a signal delay, it seems related to how the Neo averages readings somehow (I guess a 3-4 second average), so that power ‘ramps’ up rather than hitting the target instantaneously (once the signal has reached Zwift), like with a kickr. I owned two Neos (first gen) and both had a similar “issue”. It takes some anticipating and terrain knowledge when zwift racing, especially on courses with short steep-ish hills. In any other context it’s not really bothersome.

  23. Steve

    Just want to say thanks to Ray for answering questions on the now-closed comments threads on the “First Look” that many of the pre-order folks have been frequenting for a long time. Glad this bike is finally out in the wild and it looks to be a solid unit from Ray’s review and should meet my needs pretty nicely.

    Looking forward to getting mine from Clever when it ships out!

    • Read

      I would like to second Steve and give Ray massive high five, for effort, diligence and last, but not least, tolerating/taking questions over a long, long, long period!!

  24. Regarding clearance since your legs are already touching the bike in some parts:
    How close do your knees or legs get to the front cockpit adjustment rail when out of the saddle, in a forward position?
    Is there some risk to get hurt that way depending the the user’s size and bike fit?

    On my road and gravel bikes (size S, 174cm) knees get sometimes scratched by the stem bolts; not that comfortable.
    The NEO bike seem very pointy and sharp in the same area.

    • They don’t seem to come very close there. I could shift everything forward a bit – and would still clear no issues, but then I’m a bit out of alignment with how my seat angle is comparative to the bottom bracket, to what I normally would be.

  25. Doug Mastroianni

    I have the Tacx Neo Smart Bike on pre-order. What is the the assembled height WITHOUT the seat post or handlebar post inserted. The Tacx website shows the assembled height of the complete unit at 46 inches. How much less would that be without the seat post and handle bar post assemblies? I need to know this for transport issues. Thank you!
    Doug Mastroianni
    Monroeville OH USA

    • If you pop off the seatpost rail (quick lever) and the front stuffs rail (quick lever), you’d need ~85cm of vertical clearance to load as-is. You could lessen than further by removing both feet (two bolts, pretty darn quick).

  26. Steve

    Thanks Ray, looking forward to the comparison review across the Wahoo and Atom.
    Any idea as to when Clever Training will add to their UK website at all?

  27. Kris Mays


    Thanks for yet another great review! When noting that the Tacx Smart Bike simulates cobblestones, etc….Is there any reason the Wahoo bike won’t have the same capability considering they are using a similar electromagnetic system? Just curious because it appears (I know I’ll find out more in your review of the Wahoo) the Wahoo bike is completely different from the Kickr18.

    Again, thanks for all the reviews!

  28. Adam

    Hi Ray a great review as always.
    A couple of things:
    1) This doesn’t look like it will really suit when two (or more) people of different heights want to share it. I share my trainer with my wife, but we are different ends of the height spectrum, and whilst I see the ability to change seat/bars position, the thought of changing pedal crank length, pedals and saddle every time would grow very old, very quickly.
    2) When you say “Technically the NEO 2T is built atop the NEO Bike unit. So the two units are virtually identical. And in fact, that’s something I noticed when it came to things like responsiveness, but also accuracy too.” Is this a reference to GPLama’s issues with the NEO 2T power accuracy (link to youtube.com), since your figures do not seem to show the same error, you appear to see a feed back control loop issue, he sees a delta of power that seems constant. It seems that you both have questions of the new NEO internals, either in the 2T or on the Bike, but perhaps not a clear agreement. Or am I misunderstanding something here.

    • Hi, thanks!

      1) I agree to a degree. I think that it’s probably the same work-effort to change positional bits as it is to swap out a bike, assuming you’re talking tweaking the four handles. If you get into crank lengths and saddles, then yeah, that’s a pain in the butt each time. Though I suspect you could actually buy a secondary saddle set, so then it’s within 5 seconds to swap (loosen with normal handle just like going forward/back, slide out, put new one in). I’m sure Tacx support has a way you can purchase an extra saddle bar.

      2) My understanding is they are on slightly different firmware tracks (and the versioning supports that). Also, there’s different calibration routines to them as well. Both Lama and I saw roughly the same issues with the NEO 2T, for which Tacx believes the upcoming firmware should fix (they’re still testing it, I don’t have it yet). That was both an offset and an ERG mode stability. In my note above, I probably should tweak the wording to be “…but also ERG mode set point accuracy”, since that’s more about ERG mode set point accuracy than power meter accuracy.

    • Adam

      Thanks for the reply.
      1) I wondered that myself, having a few swap items could make it work. Crank length hmmmm.
      2) Yeah that’s probably a bit clearer. Looking forward to seeing the firmware resolve this issue(s). Haven’t purchased yet, but like to see things settled before parting with cash. (Replacing a trainer that had “issues” that were mostly denied by the manufacturer)

  29. fl33tStA

    great review, great bike, would be nice when they offer the fans as accessories for other Tacx products too like bracklets or stand for tablets, same thing as KICKR Headwind

  30. Thomas

    What firmware is the NeoBike running? Is it the same as N2T, version 0.0.27? The accuracy results you show are truly great. However I can’t confirm that with N2T and Quarq Dzero (which is validated with Assioma Duo’s). I have 0-10W difference. Some intervals are spot on others a bit of. So I’m wondering, could it be a different firmware?

  31. Hrvoje

    I have few questions, not covered in review:

    – can you change the handlebars? What widht are original ones? I like to have 44cm, so I would like to change them since they are not adjustable
    – What kind of drive does it use? Is it a chain or a belt? How often should it be serviced?
    – What is the minimum saddle height? I have short legs 🙂
    – What are the overall dimensions of the bike compared to Tacx neo with a road bike? Is it shorter? Does it use less space?
    – Can it be used without external fan? I would like to put it in my living room, so I would like to avoid external fans

  32. Sir Tobi

    Hey Ray, what are the main differences between the Neo Bike and WahooKickrBike?
    Which would you suggest to buy?

    • Sir Tobi

      Any answer? I am really curious and think of waiting for the wahoo bike instead oh taking the Neo bike

    • Hi!

      I’ve got a big comparison of specs within the ‘Indoor Smart Bike Comparison’ section, including both the Wahoo Bike and Tacx NEO Bike, along with an expanded ‘indoor bike’ feature section in there.

      The main thing though is basically the Wahoo Bike goes up and down and has more polish around shifting. Inversely, the NEO Bike is shipping today, $300 cheaper (cheaper yet in Europe), and has road feel. One has a bigger display/tray table (NEO), the other a smaller display but more flexible for aerobars.

      I plan to do a full shoot-out in the coming weeks.

  33. Jason

    Excellent review as always. But discussing trainer bikes as a whole, has there been talks by manufacturers about modifying eBikes to provide Trainer Bike functionality? I’m sure the motor and battery setup on eBikes could be modified for that purpose.

  34. Dan

    Once you get the levers tightened to where you want them can’t you index them with a Allen key the same way many thru axles can be indexed? Loosen the Allen bolt, move the lever to the position you want it and then tighten the Allen bolt back up. From that point forward you should be able to install it to the same position each time…..the out of the way position.

  35. Neil Jones

    Any idea what sort of volumes Tacx are currently shipping? I was under the impression that they had warehouses full of them just waiting for the final certification, but my UK order (which was one of the first with one of only two UK companies taking UK pre-orders last summer) has just been delayed yet again till early October. I seriously thought now they were confirmed shipping I’d be seeing it this week, especially with talk of there still being some availability once all pre-orders were fulfilled. Or is this likely to be ZyroFisher (the UK importer/distributor) dragging their heels?

    Anybody in the UK been given any indication when to expect theirs?

    • Not sure on volumes, I think in general low volumes still.

      For the most part, when it comes to specific retailer availability, it’s those retailers that pre-ordered a crapton a year ago. Take Clever Training or other larger retailers for example – they’ll pre-order all the units they think they need for the first 3-5 months of a product’s life cycle. Amazon often exceeds 6+ months of inventory, so they can handle any MAP violations without having stock run out.

      It’s always hard to know exactly how a distributor distributes inventory among retailers unfortunately. And it’s even harder to know at the very beginning of the shipment queue where things are shipping to.

    • mf22433

      Here is the feedback from my dealer in the south of the Netherlands : “Tacx sent last week the first 10 Neo Bikes out to their customers. They expect to get new stock next week.”
      They told me that I can expect mine “very soon”.

    • I assume you mean first 10 bikes to that specific dealer. I know for certain they’ve shipped far more than 10 bikes. 😉

    • mf22433

      This dealer told me they didn’t get any yet and I am first on their list.
      Maybe it is from a specific distributor in NL??? At least that’s what they told me… but I am starting to doubt 🙂
      Anyway, for the moment I am happy with the “very soon”…

    • Yeah, it makes more sense for it to be a specific upstream distributor/dealer. I don’t know how many of those there are in the Netherlands, but my guess is that awareness is probably higher here (Netherlands) than in the states.

    • Thomas Burton

      Hi Neil. Ordered mine around this time last year from tredz. I’ve been told early October too. To be honest with all the hold ups, if I do actually get it early October I’ll be happy….

    • Xavier

      FYI, for the French market, Tacx shipped to their distributor 10 pieces for 15/20 ordered.
      Just happy for my customers to be in the premium list. ☺️
      Already 2 pieces sold.

    • Neil Jones

      Hmmm…. the distinct lack of YouTube unboxing videos makes me wonder just how many of these Tacx/Garmin has actually shipped. So far I’ve only seen one report of a consumer receiving theirs.

    • It sounds like we’re talking in the many hundreds out in the wild.

      I generally wouldn’t use YouTube unboxing’s on a product like this, just because the size/scale is a bit more cumbersome to film. Also, I think there’s reality here that people affording a product like this are likely going to skew to those that have less time to upload videos about unboxing their $3,200 trainer to YouTube. Just my guess… 😉

    • EV

      Yup, just got the package delivered message from fedex! I’ve never uploaded video to youtube and don’t plan on changing that, but I’ll be happy to share thoughts once I put in a few miles this week.

    • Thomas

      Looking forward to your initial thoughts 😉

  36. Minor random update for Clever Training US folks with current Tacx Bike backorders, I’m told the units are enroute to Clever Training’s distribution centers. They are slated to arrive Friday.

    CT says that assuming the semi-truck of them doesn’t break down, or crash into any alligators, and doesn’t decide to show up at 4:58PM after the other carriers have departed, then *all* existing back-orders will ship back out again Friday to folks. So you’d have them next week. They know folks are eager to get them and are doing everything in their power to get that truck full of them back out the door towards you on Friday.

    Enjoy…and thanks for the support!

  37. Chisholm

    In pics i see 11 -28 gearing small cog
    Big cog pics show 34-50
    Is that it?

    • Neil Jones

      I’m not totally sure I understand your question – but you can configure the virtual chainset to be whatever you want. So if you want a 52/36 on the front and an 11/32 on the back, then you can just set it to that on the app.

    • Chisholm

      I have had my bike for over a week. No u cannot configure it to whatever u want. I use a 54 11/25 on the outside. Closest i can get is 53 11/25 . I wish there was a 54. I am a low rpm rider 80rpm. Now when i stand up on this bike i am in 53/11 and peddling about 65 rpm putting out little over 330 watts. I wish my rpm when standing was upper 58. So for me i wish resistance would be higher. Hoping future they will have a 54 . That being said i fing love this thing. I am able to stand up peddling longer broke sprint records on my first race and now putting out over 1200 watts because this thing is so stable without any loss of effiency from the drivetrain chain etc. so many reasons why i prefer this over my tacx 1 on a specialized venge upgraded in everyway.
      Worth wait and money!

  38. Congostrino

    Hello I have an elite quick motion and I would like to change it for subject of noise. I roll on the terrace and would like to know how it would react to changes in temperature and humidity. Could you have this bike on a terrace or just inside the house

  39. tony

    Excellent fair review. I cannot use this trainer since I use 165mm cranksets. I am waiting for the Wahoo Kickr Bike review to jump on that one. Did the Tacx Neo Bike suffer from the virtual wheel slip? I really hated that feature in the Neo 1 and Neo 2. I sold both units anticipating the trainer bikes to come out this year.

    • Zero slip. The NEO slip issue went away with the 2T/Bike. Far more powerful system that doesn’t slip. In my NEO 2T post I showed a chart of just how much more powerful the motor is relative to slip situations compared to the previous NEO.

    • Thomas

      I did 4 x 10s @ 1 kW sprints yesterday on my N2T (same unit). The first two started at 50 rpm. The last two at 75 rpm (apprx). I had Z.E.R.O slip at all. Really really perfect. The N2T unit is very good. So must the NeoBike be too.

  40. Paul

    Ray, many many thanks for your detailed review! I’d been waiting for it for long time! 🙂 Even if I’m now surrounded by darkness, because of WAHOO Kickr Bike: which to choose? And which do you prefer?

  41. John D.

    Hello Ray,
    great job as always. Was waiting for it for a long time. Planning to buy stationary trainer cause my wife would like to train too and does not like swapping bikes all the time etc.
    could you please tell me, if the ride feel and shifting is really that better than wattbike atom? I was determined to get neo bike, but after this review I am considering wattbike since it seems it would be enough for us considering the price difference. I do not see that much of a difference. To be honest the wattbike seems more convenient since it has tri handlebar in the package already…
    Thank you very much for your effort you put in the reviews.
    Best Regards,

    • Yeah, it’s better than the Wattbike Atom. Faster is the main thing, but also the little bit of feel from the gear shifts.

      That said, it’s one of those things that if you rode the Wattbike Atom here in the studio (with all the current Summer 2019 firmawre) you’d be like ‘Oh, this is great’, and go off and life would be grand. But it’s when you ride the Wahoo or Tacx bikes that you’re like…oh…so this is what flying in a private jet is like!

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Wattbike, especially for the price. I do think the pricing holds far better in UK/EU than it does in US. As GPLAMA says, for the most part the price/features trendline is pretty linear between all three (but does fluctuate depending on currency).

    • John D.

      Ok, thank you very much. In that case, we’ll go for the neo then 🙂 Thank you for your help and have a nice day 🙂

  42. Nick V

    Ray, fantastic review….very helpful. We have one on order, and will be using it in a multi user household. Can you provide a little guidance on what virtual settings we will need to change as we swap between riders? Also what are the consequences of not changing them (in terms of accuracy etc). Finally, how does the need to modify these change as you move between using Zwift and using it standalone? Many thanks

    • The only thing you’d need to do is set the weight via smartphone app (aside from physical things like saddle height/etc…). My understanding is this isn’t being set by Zwift to the bike today, though I could be incorrect there.

      The implications of that are road-feel, and that’s true on the Wahoo bike as well. Beyond that any preferences you want for chainring/cassette, but it’s all on the same page in the app. Two-second tweak.

    • Nick V

      Thanks for the quick reply. That all sounds very straightforwards. I had assumed that in standalone mode the incline buttons would add on load at a greater rate for a heavier rider. To be honest we will probably both use it with Zwift, so it won’t really matter anyway.

    • It does, sorry, that’s all tied in my brain to ‘road feel’, meaning, it’ll feel incorrect relative to your weight.

      It’ll take longer to open Zwift though than to change the option in the app. Super quick.

  43. In the table it says the Neo Bike Smart can directionally steer with an accessory, but this is not mentioned in the review. How does it work?

  44. Jeff Stucky

    Hey Ray, thanks for the great review. The bike looks like a great step forward, my only real concern is the leg rubbing. I’m 6’3″, with really thick legs. How would you describe the annoyance level of the rubbing and is it something you think will affect pedaling form? Any further thoughts on how to avoid?

  45. Hey Ray,
    do you know what’s the weight of the heaviest part only? In other words – could the bike be split in few packages each under 32kgs? I’m thinking to bring one from AU to NZ, but the maximum airline weight is 32kgs.


  46. Andreas Klitou

    Just wanted to ask whether the bike works with TTS4 advanced,
    I know that TTS4 is considered dead for TACX but many of us prefer it, due to the fact that you don not depend in an internet connection whenever you want to ride 🙂
    Just wanted to know whether it works.

  47. David R

    Great review as always. Can you confirm that Tacx haven’t allowed for any sensible method of securing/bolting down the bike? If I bought something like this or the Kickr Bike it would have to live in an outbuilding where I would be looking to implement some kind of theft deterrent. Thanks.

    • EV

      150 lbs should be a pretty good deterrent. Really though, what trainer has ever had this as a design requirement?

    • David R

      What trainer has ever been worth £3,000?!

      I am perhaps being overly cautious but was curious since the Kickr Bike does at least have an obvious way of looping a chain or cable through the base.

  48. paul howard

    Keep up the good work, you are my go to site to follow and select new kit!

  49. Thomas Petersen

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks for the excellent review. I am very intrigued and interested in this relatively new segment of smart indoor bikes. Currently I am still rocking a Tacx Genius Smart trainer, which I will eventually upgrade to either a wheel off trainer or maybe an indoor bike.
    One thin I keep wondering though, what’s the added value in having everything integrated into one unit? A Tacx Neo2T+cheep alu road bike is around 800 euro cheaper than the Neo Bike. The upside to having a seperate trainer and bike are:
    1) They are much easier to store (the trainer folds up, the bike can be put on a wall)
    2) Fit. You could get a bike that mimics your road/tri rig, and even fit it out with the same (perhaps cheaper versions) of your favorite bar, shifters, aerobars etc. Plus that Q-factor/legs touching the bike discussion would be gone
    3) Feel. A real bike just feels more like a… real bike…
    What do you think the integration of spinning bike and indoor trainer actually brings to the table that is not achievable with a trainer?

    • David R

      I’ve been thinking about this too and reckon that buyers of the new smart bikes will broadly fall into two camps:

      1. ‘Serious’ cyclists who live by the N+1 equation of bike ownership, have the funds to support the habit and who have dedicated training spaces – i.e. no need to pack the bike away. These people probably already have road, mtb, gravel & TT bikes and see a smart indoor bike as simply serving another niche of ownership.
      2. Fitness enthusiasts who might be considering a Peloton bike, Concept2 rower, treadmill, etc, who, again, have the money and space, who like the idea of cycling and have been caught up in the buzz around Zwift.

      One thing is fairly certain – these bikes are not aimed at cash-strapped enthusiasts who don’t have a truly dedicated training space at their disposal.

    • Thomas Petersen

      I agree, and think you are right on the money. The only real advantage would be the adjustability in a multi-user scenario, where simple saddle up-down wouldn’t do.

      Otherwise, I think a bike+trainer package would make more sense, regardless of budget and space restrictions.

    • Hrvoje

      I have Neo1 and I am considering smart bike due to following reasons:

      – some smaller footprint than trainer+bike
      – better adjustability – I like higher handlebar position on trainer than on my road bike
      – no open chain – no need to adjust gears and no chain maintenance

    • Paul S.

      The multi user segment they’re completely missing. My wife has a Nordic Track recumbent exercise bike that is getting old. I use a STAC Halcyon in the winter and Kreitler rollers for the occasional indoor ride in the spring/summer/fall. I sort of have a space for the STAC, so that once I put my road bike on it in November/December it’s not being taken down until March/April. (If there’s a chance of riding outdoors, I’ll take it and use my gravel bike, which works much better than the road bike in the crap that PennDOT throws down on the roads in the winter. Even better for me is if there’s enough snow on the ground to go cross country skiing). So in the winter two slots in the basement are taken up. It’d be nice if it were only one, but apparently no real effort has gone into making these multi-user, and I’d rather not spend more than any of my bikes cost (by a substantial amount) for a “bike” that doesn’t go anywhere just for myself and that can’t be stored away in the summer.

    • mf22433

      Same here, moving from Neo1 as well. Also no chain means silent. Ideal setup for me, and possibly my family, they can use it … but they can’t touch my bike 🙂

    • EV

      I imagine this also addresses the needs of well off apartment dwellers who’s buildings won’t let them cart bikes up and down the elevators. Lived in NYC years ago and this would have been perfect since we had to keep bikes in a bike room. This will also be a lot more quiet than any chain driven combo. I think the multi-user is fine. The levers look usable and I’ll just leave pedal length at 172 which is fine for my entire family. Could already get another seatpost if we care, but I doubt that will be required. Multi-user is one of the big benefits of this investment for us. Sure will beat what we do now.

  50. Steve

    11 months and 2 days after I pre-ordered, it’s finally shipped!

    Can’t wait.

  51. Jeffrey W.

    Might want to consider adding a “Max Rider Weight” to the table.

  52. Niels


    What is best method to determine the saddle setback and saddle height?
    Not like a normal roadbike.

  53. Rob

    Mount it in a gimbal with some gyro-forces (aka spinning wheels) and it could be interesting.
    Anyway of testing if there are any stray signals from the bike causing the pedals to drop-out?

  54. John

    Mine arrived today, a day earlier than expected (Dallas TX). Took about an hour and a half to assemble. Only hiccup was that one of the plastic pieces (decorative end cap) on the seat slide was off center and I had to file it down to get the seat piece to slide on; that was a disappointment. Used the handles because my wife and I will be swapping in and out, and agree that the handles sitting at wonky angles is a bit annoying (or so my OCD tells me). Otherwise, very solid, stable and looks great. I slid the excess cord up front back into the frame which made things look a lot better at that end. Ne pedals arrive tomorrow and I can give it a try.

  55. EV

    Wow. That was the smoothest, most quiet and pleasant Zwift ride I’ve ever had. It was worth the wait, and once I get a few thousand miles on this baby, the per mile cost won’t hurt so bad. Set up was super easy. Took about twenty minutes after I managed to drag the box in the house. Yes, the box is pretty damn heavy, but it is pretty cool that they managed to fit it in a regular bike box. Set up would be easier with two, but it’s not hard to do alone if you tilt it over to get the legs on. Really quite simple. Installed the handles and honestly they are fine. Just like dtswiss axle handles. They are strong and I had no problem snapping them into perfect alignment with the bike. I don’t see any problem with these at all. Legs only touch the post if I try, so not an issue for me, but it is close. My legs are probably a bit bigger than most. Rides like an absolute dream. Shifts are immediate and feel great. Erg is quick. Motor is awesome on downhill simulations. Plenty of range for all sizes, and sturdy as an ox. Feels like it will last a good long time. Yes, it’s a ton of money, but for me it’s going to be worth it. Very happy with initial impressions.

    • Thomas

      Great stuff. Keep posting your impressions. Although I’m very happy with the N2T, I am considering the NeoBike. But I need more impressions from all of you out there to convince myself 😉

    • RSTL13

      Hey EV – have you run it on Zwift? Ray’s table indicates directional steering via “Accessory.” I’m assuming that is just a phone or similar running a companion app, but can you confirm? I’m new to the game and to the smart trainers (as everyone is I suppose), and would love to know the little details of what it can and can’t do yet.

    • EV

      Yes, I ran it entirely on Zwift. Best ride on Zwift to date. Personally, I have no interest whatsoever in steering, so I haven’t paid much attention to it, but the front end of the smartbike is entirely fixed, so you can’t do the phone on the handlebar thing if that’s what you’re asking. They’d have to implement via some other accessory, or maybe they could use the two elevation buttons on the shifter pods.

    • RSTL13

      Yeah, I was more curious on the turn left, turn right options via a button/pod. I don’t really see a need for the new beta steering they are doing on mtb, etc. It’s a small thing, but still curious what Ray meant by “with accessory.” Thank you for the feedback!

    • Thomas

      How about that stability? I can imagine it’s rock solid. But when comparing with the Neo that has a +/-5 degree sway build-in, how would you say the NeoBike is? Is it harsh?

    • Thomas Burton

      EV thanks for the feed back.

      Is there any side to side movement like the neo?

    • EV

      Not sure I would know what harsh would feel like with an indoor bike, but yes, it’s rock solid and very comfortable and smooth pedaling. There is no sway at all–which I like. I tried a ghetto rocker set-up with my old trainer at one point and I didn’t like it, so for me rock solid is perfect. I don’t think it would be all that hard though to put a rocker under the smartbike for those that are so inclined.

    • Thomas

      Thanks for your feedback ?

    • Thomas

      And I’m asking since I used to ride a Kettler racer for years. That too is rock solid. It’s not that it was as problem, but coming over to a Neo was a great thing. But then again, it wasn’t such a problem on the Kettler… Hmmm need more feedbacks I think…

    • EV

      Yeah, I think the whole rocker thing is an issue of personal preference. I thought it sounded like a good thing so I tried it, but found the rocking motion to be distracting and not at all like the motion of a real bike, so I ditched it. Others seem to love it, and I bet all it would take would be a couple of 2×4’s, PVC pipe and some rubber balls to make this thing into a rocker.

    • Thomas

      I have seen all the rocker plate stuff. But like you I don’t think it’s my thing. So I’m not buying unless something that truly mimics real world comes up – if that ever happens?! Have you tried a 2 hour+ ride on the NeoBike ? I wonder how the comfort world be after that?

    • Scott

      Any of the power oscillations Ray described (as the unit seems to overcompensate after changes in power level)?

    • Turning will happen via the inside buttons, once enabled in some apps. It sounds like that’s in the works for Zwift, though the timing is a bit fuzzy. I’ll tweak the database language there a bit to make that more clear.

    • EV

      Haven’t done a two hour ride yet, but I was impressed with the saddle after an hour. Not bad at all.

    • EV

      I didn’t really notice the power oscillations, but then again I’m used to a Direto which bounced around a bit in terms of numbers on the screen, but which I never really felt in the legs. I just focus on cadence in erg mode, and the neobike felt great. Maybe oscillation would show up on a graph, but I sure couldn’t tell.

    • Thomas

      EV, can I ask you to measure how high the seat is placed above ground? I know this measure is of course related to your height, so please add this too – if you don’t mind. It could be really helpful for me in order to see how a NB would fit into my current setup with fans on a shelve, monitor height etc.

      In advance thanks 🙂

    • RSTL13

      Thanks for the clarity!

    • EV

      Thomas – Top of my saddle is just shy of 42 inches off the ground. Center of bottom bracket on these bikes is just below 12 inches off the ground. I’m just below 6’2″ and there is plenty of range both larger and smaller on the bike. Fits my 5’6″ wife and 5’7.5 daughter just fine.

  56. Johannes Horner

    Got the box from Clever Training yesterday, it’s for real 🙂
    I am the only one struggling to get a bluetooth connection with zwift (or the computer, for that matter)? Ray seems to have had no problem at all ?? (My “old” Tacx Neo 2 appears as always, but the bike just doesn’t want to…)

    • EV

      Popped right up for me. Have you turned off bluetooth on your phone and any other computers nearby? Usually if it doesn’t show on zwift it’s because some other device has grabbed the BT connection.

    • Yup, as EV notes make sure that you don’t have the Tacx app on your phone grabbing the BT connection. It can only handle one concurrent BT connection at a time.

  57. John

    Received Bike from Clever on Tuesday. Major kudos to Clever for providing free shipping on a huge, heavy box. And their patience with customers waiting on this product.
    As others have noted, ride is super smooth and shifting is virtually instant. For the group,
    1) Is the 12 speed cassette working? I can’t move mine off of “disabled”
    2) anyone else tested the power from the USB ports? When I plug into IPad for Zwift, the “charging” icon appears, but it’s providing very little charge, i.e, battery continues to decrease even while plugged in.

    • Thanks for the support via CT, much appreciated!

      1) Will have to try tomorrow when back at the office
      2) Double-check that you’re plugged in. If you aren’t plugged in I find the power ports will only provide marginal power when pedaling (in my case for an iPad it’s net neutral, except in Zwift, and then it becomes negative). Whereas if plugged in, there’s more than enough power.

  58. Steve

    Got my bike today and assembled. One thing I’m struggling with is being able to grab the Ant+ signal for the power meter. Am I missing something here?

    I can only get it to pair via ANT as a “fitness” device on my Wahoo rather than just grabbing the power. I’d like to be able to control the trainer via TR or Zwift but record the power separately on another device.

    • Neil Jones

      Please let us know if you resolve this.

      My current indoor training recording setup is Zwift -> Strava and Fenix/MARQ -> Garmin Connect which is how I want to carry on once my Neo Bike (hopefully) turns up next week, so I need that ANT+ power output for the second bit as I don’t want to have to put my Vector 3s on the smart bike.

    • Steve

      Okay, I figured out part of it. Turns out that if you pair via ANT+ to the Element as fitness equipment, you can put it in “Passive” mode, which basically just takes the Ant information (power, cadence, speed) and you can pair to another device over FE-C (like TrainerRoad or Zwift).

      I’m still not getting the power only channel on TR, but I’ll ping those guys about it.

    • David W

      I find the Ant+ with a smart trainer somewhat confusing. With my Neo I see a controllable trainer, power meter, cadence, and speed as 4 devices on Zwift. In TrainerRoad I only see if show up as a smart trainer but all of the data fields show up anyway. So, I am confused about how many things it is actually broadcasting.

    • Thomas

      On my N2T I don’t use the smart trainer to my Garmin. I found that slightly confusing. Instead I have this setup, which works great:

      – Connect to TDA via BT – Zwifts connects via ANT+ with FEC profile
      – I connect N2T Speed sensor via ANT+ (as normal SPD/CAD sensor) to get riden dist.
      – I can connect N2T Wattage via ANT+ (as normal PWR sensor)

      I use my Quarq for data on the Edge, but I have several times riden with Tacx as power source (did this to compare wattage difference). It works perfect everytime. Maybe this can help…

    • Off-hand, I believe on TrainerRoad that it will auto-consolidate the FE-C/FTMS signal atop the regular power signal to minimize confusion on which one to choose (so that you only choose the controllable one), which is why you won’t see it.

      Zwift separates it all out…because…they haven’t got around to making it easier for users.

    • Steve

      Good point, that actually makes sense. I’m just one of those weirdos that likes to do my workouts in “non-Erg” mode and with the gearing and gradient on the Neo Bike, I’d prefer to control my power that way, since I can replicate specific scenarios.

      It’s not a big deal for now and I’ll work with the TR guys to figure out a solution that makes sense. Probably might be as easy as having a passive mode for the Neo Bike like the Wahoo headunit does.

    • Thomas

      You’re not alone 😉 I do 98% of all my intervals in non-ERG-mode. I just like feel the control of doing my work and I’m telling myself it’s more a true feel (I have no idea of this, but it’s fun). This is also why I do almost all of my intervals in TDA.

    • Thomas

      Which is – BTW – hard to do in Zwift. Unless you go ERG-mode. But that’s just so damn boring! Then I much more prefer to ride a lovely filmed video which suits my intervals.

    • Steve

      I’m also not getting road feel in Zwift for some reason…not exactly sure why

    • John

      I have the same problem…no road feel.

    • Damon

      There’s a toggle in the “testing dashboard” menu of the Tacx app to turn on road feel. But it doesn’t seem to stay turned on.

    • The testing dashboard toggle is just to do one-off tests for fun.

      My rough understanding of the lack of Zwift road-feel issue is that Zwift isn’t correctly seeing the Neo 2T as a NEO in certain protocols.

    • I also have no road feel on Zwift. Love the bike so far (after one ride).

    • Malcolm

      Also Still not getting it despite using iOS and Bluetooth.

  59. Hobe

    I have had this in the house for 2 1/2 days now and have not been able to ride for more than 10 min consecutively using Zwift without the bike losing all resistance and giving a (Load) error accompanied with a bad smell. I am a rec rider whose power rarely exceeds 200, so it isn’t me. Waiting to see what I Tacx has to say. I have updated firmware and tried making sure connections were either all BT or all ANT+, but still no good. SN is in the high 400s, so maybe early production issues?

    • Hobe

      It seems to be clear the bike is overheating, and my cave is air conditioned but not an ice box. One of the reasons I got this was to be quiet so I didn’t wake up the family so hoping not to have to have hurricane fans blowing.

      Also shipped to me with three offset pedal washer and only on centered, so I cna’t mount the pedals at the middle distance until that gets fixed.

  60. Tiffany Moerk

    Hi Ray,
    We got the trainer set up yesterday. My 6 foot 1 husband loves it.

    I, on the other hand, am not in love.
    1. At 5 foot 4 I ended up with the saddle in the lowest position possible. It is close to my bike saddle height- but having no possible adjustability in case I change to a taller saddle is scary. (for reference I ride a 51cm Cannondale and a size small Liv Mountain bike)
    2. Reach for the shifting buttons is just that- a reach
    3. Inner thighs rubbing on the frame. Due to the seat being in the lowest position I fear this will always be annoying
    4. I seem to have got one of the trainers with the grinding noise- A quick google says its fixable- but how annoying.

    So my question- can you put your wife on this and the Kickr bike and see how she fits on both? I am very interested to know if the Kickr bike fits a smaller person better.


    • Steve

      My SO is about your height and we are at the very bottom of the range on the saddle. She has shorter legs and rides a 46cm Surly Midnight Special (just for geo reference).

      Part of the issue with the shifters is the bar design and the hoods. I’m not happy with them and I need to figure out how to solve this long term, since I also find them to be in the wrong position.

      As for the grinding noise, I had that at first, but after a good 1 hour session with some higher power and some sprints, it’s gone. I got the thing good and heated up to burn off some of the residue and that seemed to help.

    • Tiffany Moerk

      I guess I just need to ride faster 🙂 We have about an hour and 45 minutes on it and it keeps sounding worse and worse.

    • HI Tiffany-

      Hmm, doesn’t sound good on the grinding – I’d definitely reach out to Tacx support now to get that ball rollin’, they may have some suggestions, though grinding isn’t something I’ve heard in any of the five units I’ve had (nor the Tacx 2T). So that’s a new one for me.

      As for putting my 5’2″ wife on it, that might be a wee bit tough. She’s likely to have a baby the weekend – so…convincing her to jump on the bike might be tricky. Still, if the opportunity arises and she’s at the Studio/Cave tomorrow, I’ll see if I can convince her!

    • Tiffany Moerk

      Thanks Ray! I forgot she is about to give birth. I doubt she feels like sitting on a bike 🙂 I will reach out to tacx.

  61. Zach May

    Got mine set up last night. Per the mention of grinding in some of the posts, for the first ten seconds or so I rode it last night, it sounded like there was a clicking in the housing, both while pedaling and when I let it spin down. It went away almost immediately, though. Have done two Zwift workouts now, and it’s working perfectly otherwise. I haven’t tried ERG mode yet, though.

    One item that is concerning, though, which I called Garmin about today is that my handlebar horizontal adjustment lines are completely absent. Garmin couldn’t quite believe it when I told them, and i had to send them pics. Seatpost horizontal and vertical adjustment lines/numbers are there, as is the handlebar vertical. Very odd. They assured me they’ll figure something out. My unit is in the low 500s. Anyone else have this issue? Pic attached.

    • Zach May

      Hmmm . . . trying a pic again . . .

    • Malcolm

      Just received mine. No horizontal measurement lines on my handlebar fore-aft slide either. Guess I have to log a ticket with Garmin about it? Not sure what they can do about it short of replacing the entire handlebar unit.

    • Malcolm

      FWIW, contacted Garmin and they have, without fuss, agreed to send a replacement section to me (no return of the existing piece required). So as painless as could be hoped for.

  62. Mark

    My NEO Bike overheated on the first ride.

    250-300 watts for 5 minutes on the 1st Zwift Yorkshire climb is all it took. Then again. Then again… I finally made it over the climb soft pedaling and it overheated on the first sprint of the Yorkshire course.

    I let it cool and updated the firmware (it shipped with 4(?!?) pending updates) and it cooked itself on the Epic Climb.

    I have a ticket in to Garmin/Tacx support, but I bet I’ll be selling this to a 100-200 FTP rider before winter.

    • Thomas Burton

      Some of these wary reports aren’t exactly filling me with confidence… mine is due to arrive next week. Mark what do you mean by overheated? I know it’s sounds like a daft question but does it have some type of a thermal cutoff or something when it gets too hot?

    • Thomas

      On DCR’s thread about the N2T there are a few reports about the same issue – overheating. However I have a N2T that just works (except some minor wattage diff., but that’s supposed to get fixed in next firmware). I have done several 300W 30 min session without any thing at all. So not all units are faulty… Just saying 😉

    • EV

      Why would you sell it? It’s clearly a warranty issue. Mine works fine for what it’s worth, so at least some of them are without issues.

    • Ihsan

      Oh what a wonderful person you are. You will “unload” a defective product to an unsuspecting Fred.

    • Hobe

      Assuming it happens the way mine does, you lose resistance and “error” starts blinking on the screen. If you can get it to connect to the Tacx utility app, it will show the error as a “load” error with a thermometer icon. I usually have to unplug/power cycle the bike to get it to connect to the app.

    • Sorry, a bit confused on two things:

      A) “4 pending updates”: When the Tacx bike (like all Tacx products) has a firmware update, it goes straight from the version you’re on, to the final version. It just has one firmware. Can you clarify the four updates? And what version it shows now?

      B) How do you know it’s overheating? I’ve never seen such a message before – and curious what it looks like.


    • Hobe

      Ray, Not sure about the other writer. I get an “error” message on the Bike Smart’s Screen. When I go to the Utility App, the thermometer icon (usually greyed out on top left of the cluster of symbols) is red, and sometimes says “load” next to it. It also comes with a melted plastic/burnt transformer smell.

    • Hobe

      Pretty sure mine shipped with firmware .4 something before updating to .9 something. Might be what Mark is talking about. I have a case with Garmin support now. We shall see. I made it a whopping 1.75 miles in Zwift on the Yorkshire course starting uphill. At 8 mins and 36 seconds at 204W, the resistance quit suddenly and the screen began flashing the error message.

    • Thanks for the detail on the error message – never seen one before (only the text around firmware updating).

      For the jump in firmware levels, keep in mind that Tacx was building and stock-piling units while waiting for certification. During that time period they were continuing to tweak the software. Roughly an iteration every week or two, which is normal for companies pre/post a major release (and good for everyone, especially consumers).

      Obviously, the issues a few people are seeing are definitely not good. However, i’d *strongly* caution folks against assuming the other side of the fence is any greener. I think all companies here are going to have some teething pains initially.

    • Hobe

      Agreed, this is what it means to be an early adopter. (eyes his old MiniDisc player and ReplayTV) I am not particularly worried about the smell and I am used to the cook-off of high heat items treated for shipping, I was hoping that the resistance issue could be fixed with firmware, but perhaps not. I know CT and Garmin will make it right. It just sucks to have it after 14 months and not be able to use it as intended.

    • Mark

      Hobe, we had a similar experience. Blinking “error” on the bike display and a red thermometer on the app.

      When it started to overheat, the resistance backed off enough that I was able to big-ring a 7% climb (52/14 or thereabouts). The avatar was still moving forward. Then, the resistance dropped out completely less than 30 seconds later and the avatar put a foot down.
      No, I’m not going to dump this on someone else (a little hyperbole). Garmin/Tacx first reply to my email contact was a request for the unit’s serial number and proof of purchase. They also offered to swap it out with a new bike.
      I should have hung onto the box.

    • Emre Konukoglu


      any update on the error? I have received the same this morning and couldn’t even get the power or resistance going.

  63. Dennis

    If you are tall and have big legs (6’4”; 203lbs) this bike is a problem. My legs rub so bad at the top near the saddle I have my setback at 10. I have the setting as close to my road bike as possible, I even “cheated” and move it up more. The rubbing is an issue….
    Wahoo bike doesn’t seen to have that slider which would make for a better experience.

    • EV

      You might try tilting your seat back a bit. My legs were a tad close and occasionally. Just touching, but a slight tilt back of the saddle somehow keeps the legs straighter and. I touching anymore. The post is the same width as my frame bag when full and I don’t hit that so I figured I’d experiment with position and the seat tilt did it.

  64. Niels

    Ihave a problem when im pedalling. There is a feeling there is something loose. But there isnt. Im having this also with new pedals and other shoes.
    The same feeling when standing on a climb.

  65. Guilty

    I am so torn. This year was perhaps the worst outdoor riding season ever. I won’t go into details but I am looking at moving indoors permanently. I have it narrowed it down to a smart bike and right now its between the TACX and the Wahoo. I am so torn between the two. Nothing really stands out in the comparison.
    DCRainmaker – since you have rode both which in your opinion is the better of the two?
    My main things I am looking for is for least noise and most mimics a outdoor bike. My concern right now being in the Chicagoland area is if something breaks I could potentially be down for weeks.

  66. ScottinTexas

    As always Ray, great info. Is the bike quieter than the 2T? If so, can you quantify it? How would you compare the overall experience on the Smart Bike vs your wn bike on a 2/2T?

  67. Steve

    Snapped the belt this morning on a standing start type sprint.

    Talking to Garmin support. Should hopefully be an easy fix.

    • Steven

      Garmin referred me back to Tacx since they have no spare parts. Glad I hadn’t thrown out the box yet…

      Hopefully I can get Tacx to send me a few spare belts just in case.

    • Thomas

      Hmmmm….! Slightly concerning…!

    • Steve

      Things are in motion with Garmin/Tacx at this point and I have a few people in touch, so I think it will get sorted.

      Hopefully I can equip them with some info to help avoid this problem in the future.

    • Steve

      Closing the loop on this, I got a new belt from Garmin/Tacx and we are all good!

      Pretty easy to install, they just had to send out a tool to help release the belt tensioner

  68. Neil Jones

    If only they hadn’t rushed this to market. Oh, wait…

  69. Thomas Burton

    Is anyone else in the uk and ordered through tredz? I was told last Thursday by them that my unit was ready to be dispatched by Tacx. But since then Tacx haven’t been in contact to confirm dispatch. Just wondering if anyone’s has more luck. Cheers

    • Malcolm

      I got a DHL tracking message on Thursday to say the “parcel” had been collected, only for the status to change on Friday to “Delayed. Please contact sender for further information”. Nothing since. As I think it’s being sent directly from either the distributer or Tacx themselves, I am not sure whether Tredz will be any wiser.

    • Thomas Burton

      That’s my understanding too Malcolm. It’s being sent direct from Tacx. But they’ve told tredz they are ready to dispatch last Thursday. And now gone silent again by the looks of it. I think at this point it’s just one more of many marks already against Tacx as a company. They’re just handling everything about this release so badly.

    • Neil Jones

      I’m in the same boat – Tredz contacted my last week (Wednesday I think) to say that bikes were in the country, but as they were so heavy they were going to be delivered direct by the importer (ZyroFisher) who they said would shortly be in touch to arrange delivery. Having heard nothing by Monday I contacted Tredz again and they said that the “supplier” (I assume the importer) would be in touch with me soon.

      As I’ve been typing this I’ve had an blank email from “Direct Home Delivery” with the subject “Confirmation of Depot Transfer for Delivery Order 340xxx” which is also cc’d to DPD, so I wonder if this is it finally moving?

    • Neil Jones

      ^Actually the email isn’t cc’d to DPD, it’s cc’d to DHD, i.e. themselves. I’ve just Googled DHD and they’re a specialist 2-man delivery company, so unless I’ve ordered anything else large and heavy that I’ve forgotten about, this must be it.

    • Neil Jones

      ^^So I called DHD and they advised me the ‘consignment’ (which I’m assuming is the bike though she didn’t have the details) is now in the process of being delivered to my local depot, which won’t happen till Monday, after which the local depot will call me to arrange delivery maybe next week.

      Wow, this is frustrating! Tredz tell me that I was their second pre-order, and as there was only one other UK retailer taking pre-orders I must have been one of the earliest UK ones, yet here we are weeks after release…

    • Malcolm

      I think I was told I was Tredz’s first pre-order. I’ve not had any contact with DHD about delivery at all, so you’re a step ahead of me now 🙂 Frustratingly I’ve packed away my old trainer and bike in the expectation I need the space for when this arrived this week. Looks like I’ll either need to ride in the rain and dark for some time or unpack everything again if we are back to “delivery some time soonish, but not sure when”.

    • Malcolm

      FWIW, I got a call from the delivery company today to arrange a date of actually delivery. Seems it’s really on its way. I woudldn’t be surprised if other who ordered from Tredz in UK get similar calls.

    • Thomas Burton

      Mine is being delivered tomorrow. Fingers crossed we don’t get one of the duff ones!

  70. Tiffany

    Ray, thanks for the helpful review, and keeping up with our questions/comments.

    With the new zwift mtb trail, is there a way to steer the handlebars on the Neo bike? Any suggestions to makeshift this ourselves?

    • Thomas Burton

      The courier company have rung me this morning and arranged for mine to be delivered a week on Friday. Which is what it is I guess. For what’s it’s worth I was told by tredz they had 7 units at that point. So if you guys were near the top of the list I assume you’ll be getting the same call at some point to hopefully!

    • EV

      No way to turn the handlebars now. Tacx would have to do some kind of mapping to the inside shifter buttons, or maybe they come out with a swivel adapter to replace the part of the bike that clamps onto the handlebar. Or you could just hold your phone in your hand and see if you can steer through the course. I suppose it will depend on whether steering catches on as more than an occasional diversion. I have my doubts but could be wrong. Seems like something I’d use once or twice and then never again.

    • The inside buttons are/were designed for steering. Like Wahoo, and Stages, and even True Kinetix. And Elite with their steering accessory. And JetBlack too.

      However, everyone is waiting on Zwift to integrate with the things Zwift asked for two years ago but is now playing silent on. No, these companies aren’t frustrated at all to see Zwift release a feature on smartphones that’s kinda finicky after Zwift asked these companies to do a bunch of work on native integrations and then left them hanging at the dance. No, definitely not at all.

    • RSTL13

      i just got the bike from CT yesterday and started putting it together before work this morning. To enable handlebar steering would require a hardware upgrade. The bars are mounted within a railing that moves forward and backward for adjustment of reach. I could see a potential for a pivoting mechanism to be built in there, but I would say that would more likely be the result of a next generation version rather than an add-on to the current bike.

      As DC indicated below, steering is supposed to happen via the inside buttons if Zwift gets around to it. I, for one, hope that they do it sooner rather than later. Interestingly, looking at the Tacx desktop app, there are a ton of great video rides already built in (dare I try the Angliru?). I want to give those a try too before dedicating solely to Zwift on this bike.

    • David W

      I ended up sending my Neo Bike back. It worked ok with the same power issues as Ray saw. However, I have big thighs and I had rubbing problems it two places (see photo):
      1) The front of the bar that the seat mounts to. Not the sliding part but the fixed part rubs against my upper thighs every pedal stroke. Using a Specialized Power saddle with equivalent (for a standard saddle) setback of 6cm.
      2) The top few inches of the “seatpost” rub down near my knees.

      I am 6′ tall and about 185lb. But my thighs are about 21.5″ in circumference. It you had smaller thighs this wouldn’t be a problem. But if you have large thighs or use a lot of saddle setback you might have a problem. Something to be aware of and consider.

    • mf22433

      As I am also quite tall (188cm, 6.2″) with big thighs (64cm 25.2″), I am now quite worried with this as there are now several reports of people having this rubbing issue.

      My Neo Bike should soon arrive at my dealer but I am now considering canceling my order, I shall have to decide before end of next week whether I switch my order to the Kickr Bike (knowing that my dealer already told me that they do not expect the Kickr Bike before Feb/March…

      I hope Ray’s report comparing the Neo Bike to the Kickr Bike will soon be available!

    • David W

      A couple of other things I noticed in my brief time with the bike- 1) the “slip” at high torque you can feel on the Neo 1 and 2 seems to be reduced. The bike feels “notchy” instead. Like you can feel teeth on a gear or something like that. I was also able to get the drive belt to slip and squeal on the pulleys in a couple of low rpm efforts. A guy on TrainerRoad actually broke his belt. Mine just slipped and made a squealing noise when I stood on the pedals when I was dying and my cadence dropped too low.

    • EV

      I’m 6’2” and thighs are 24”. If I try, I can easily touch the frame while pedaling, but if I just pedal and don’t think about it, my thighs are at least half an inch away from the frame. Different people might move their legs more inward in which case I could see it being a problem. For others, like me, it’s not an issue even with 24” thighs. Keeping the seat level to slightly tilted back keeps my legs straight. I would try it out and see. The frame is no wider than my frame bag and I don’t hit that while pedaling, and it’s narrower than a water bottle, so I can see why they settled on the design, but maybe the placement could have been better. It would be interesting to see how wide the center bar is on the wahoo. Looks just as wide. As far as overall performance, I guess I’m lucky as I’ve had zero slip, no overheating, and pedaling is butter smooth and certainly not notchy by any sense of the word.

  71. Read

    Good Day

    Anybody in Switzerland having received a Taxc Neo Bike yet?

    Had it pre-ordered in November 18 through a Tacx Bike Dealer.

    He got a call early September from the new distributor announcing shipment “in the weeks ahead”.

  72. RSTL13

    So I’ve managed a couple of shorter rides (30 minutes each) on my bike since I got it together last evening. Here’s my thoughts:

    It looks great in person. Easy to put together. I can get the handles on the adjustment bars to line up perfectly straight with the bike. I find them easy to use. They are just like DT Swiss ratcheting quick release/thru axles (which I happen to have on two of my bikes). So I would argue that’s a non-issue for sure. The bike feels solid. I have had no issues with weird smells or grinding sounds (as of yet, fingers crossed). It just worked right out of the box.

    The cord that dangles down in the front can be pushed back into the frame some which makes it much less unsightly. There’s another plus.

    The TACX ecosystem seems pretty cool at first glance. I biked around Rome this morning. There are a lot more courses to download and the bike responded to the inclines perfectly. Not a lot of other users out there though that I noticed. Plus it’s a pay to play after the first month if you want all the features (live opponents, most courses, etc).

    The tablet holder held my 10.5″ tablet perfectly. The fans I had set to adjust with speed which was nice, but I will probably switch that to heart rate in the future.

    Now to the concerning parts:

    I’m 6’1″ tall and weigh 165 pounds. I do not have large legs at all – in fact people make fun of my skinny legs at times (chicken legs, etc etc). And…. I have rubbing issues. I have no issue where the frame meets the seat post like Ray had. I have issues with the seat adjustment rail. My set back is far enough that I rub against the little edge of the framing where they beef up the frame rail about halfway back. I have tried moving the adjustment back and the saddle forward and all other possible setups. I even swapped out saddles. I found that the saddle with the tallest rails (ie the ones that lifted the saddle up from the mount the most) actually helped quite a bit. If I sat on the tallest part of that saddle I would get no rubbing but that is not a suitable riding position. Otherwise, no matter what, I get minor rubbing. It’s not to the point that its chafing me (at least on shorter rides) but it’s extremely distracting.

    I noticed some small slip when hammering out of the saddle. I only pushed up to around 700 watts. The bike caught up quickly though, so it wasn’t enough to really annoy me at all. And that will probably settle down over time.

    My wife is 5’7″ and 120 pounds. It doesn’t look like she will have any issues. But for anyone who is 6’0″ or taller OR has big thighs OR both, this is going to be a problem.

    The solution to the rubbing on the seat rail will not be an easy fix. A saddle with significantly taller rails could help those who are rubbing on the seal rail potentially. Or they could make a much thinner rail profile, but that would mean a new seat post as well as that’s all one piece (and probably the rail that the seat attaches to will need to be re-done). It won’t help those who are rubbing on the frame though. That’s a permanent issue.

    Now i have to determine whether I can stomach a constant rub on for the next few years. The bike is perfect for my wife – easy to adjust, a visible screen for metrics, tablet holder, phone holder, two charger ports, etc. But I will be the primary user and don’t know…

    • RSTL13

      Oh and one more point… the hoods are ridiculously small compared to normal shimano hoods. It’s not easy to get a good hand position on them. Smaller hands will be fine, but larger hands may be struggling to find a good grip.

    • David W

      And the braking function takes a huge amount of hand pressure and the “lever” is horribly non-ergonomic.

    • RSTL13

      I found the level and buttons to be perfectly fine for me. They worked and the buttons do click slightly, which is nice. And the ability to see your gearing without having zwift or anything is a huge plus.

      I agree the brake lever takes a ton of force to use, but I think most will rarely use it.

      Overall I think this is a fantastic bike for those that are under 6’0″ tall. It’s a few hundred less than the wahoo, includes a very stable platform, full digital readout, fans, tablet holder, 2 usb ports, the accessory tray, and road feel. Above six feet tall, and it’s going to be hit or miss on rubbing issues. Some seem to find a sweet spot, others not so much.

    • Steve

      I have the opposite situation where I don’t have any rub, but my SO does. I’m going to wait it out for a few weeks to see if its an issue for her, but otherwise I’ll have to return the bike sadly.

      fingers crossed.

  73. Does anybody know of any UK availability?

  74. Steve Quennell

    Just received a Neo 2 smart bike, as soon as I pedal immediatley goes up to extreme high watts cannot figure out what I am doing wrong, any advice would be appreciated as I cannot get anyone from Tacx to respond

  75. Thomas

    Can anyone tell me whether the handlebar can be swapped with my preferred one?

    • Steve

      Not easily, from what I can tell without unwrapping the bars. They attach easily enough with four bolts underneath the cover, but the shifters themselves use a different type of attachment to the handlebars (they use bolts rather than straps). So you can easily rotate the handlebars, but not easily attach the shifters to a new handlebar

    • Thomas

      So moving the hoods is also not easy?! Unless you move the handlebar? Hmmm that kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

    • Steve

      It’s hard to tell without actually unwrapping the bars, but the shifter/bar atttachment location appears to be fixed on the bars.

      I’ll see if I can get some better pictures.

    • Thomas

      That would be great – thanks 🙂

    • Thomas

      So I took the plunge! I bought the NeoBike. However it’s on pre-order since the expected ones where not delivered…?! Anyway’s I got it with grand opening discount, so it’s ok. I have just emailed Tacx about the handlebar change. I’ll post their feedback 😉

  76. Chutz

    Hello everybody
    I tried my new bike today. All in all, very good thing, quiet, supple, and very pleasant to drive. However, I have found that it is far from accurate in ERG mode at low watts. Mostly around the 40Watt above the desired value. For watts over 200w it was mostly accurate. does anyone else have such a problem? greetings from Switzerland

    • Thomas

      How did you validate that? The difference?

    • Philipp

      Well, i did a workout in trainerroad with erg mode, and in the low watt parts with the target of 120 watts i had approx 160watts all the time..

    • Thomas

      That sounds strange?

    • Douglas

      Ray mentions issues with Tacx Neo Bike ERG deep in his video review. I have experienced some minor problems and have been in touch with Tacx support. I never had a problem with my Neo 2 in ERG. Generally speaking ERG is fine. I use ERG most everyday for workouts in Zwift via Apple TV. All my workouts were fine this past week, xcept one that I failed. I have never failed a workout before. It seems there was some “increased watt creep” that eventually put me in the ERG death spiral. On the plus side, it seems the watt targets are “loose”. I really haven’t used the bike enough to get more data on this issue.

    • javier

      For my opinion there is something wrong on the erg mode in this bike. I seem to have the wattage all over the place and all trainings in erg mode (both on zwift and trainerroad).

      As well, my bike gives me errors all the time, not sure what it is…..

      As well, my pedals develop a cluncking noise after 2-3 rides, i need to uninstall them and install them again and noise is gone, Then after 2-3 rides clunk clunk clunk comes back…

      NOT uber happy at the moment……

    • javier

      here is the errors on the screen and noise of the pedals…

    • Thomas

      I have a feeling that TACX are reading along this thread. SO TACX – please do something about it. Please entlighten us that you are working on this…!

      I have a NeoBike on pre-order, but I’m seriously thinking to change that to KickrBike. Read an initial review and heard a few words on Zwift from owners of the KickrBike – so far they’re pretty blown away…! Not exactly the same can be said about NeoBike…

    • javier

      just in case anyone thinks i am lying, here you have a video with the error on the screen and the clunking pedal noises.

      link to youtube.com

      i have created a ticket with tacx, hopefully they will get back quickly.

    • That doesn’t look like the right LCD screen – something is amiss there, it should be showing some basic data. Any chance you’ve somehow paired as a power meter, and not as a smart trainer? That’d explain why the wattage is wonky.

      As for the clunking, would have to defer to Tacx support on that.

      Finally, when comparing against KICKR – there are no *production* KICKR bikes in the wild today, aside from (as far as I know), two reviewers: Myself and GPLama. And I don’t believe either of us have talked about anything beyond setup of the bike.

      My sense – after having one now a few days – is that this fall is going to be a ‘pick your poison’ sort of affair with the different units. All of them are going to have some teething issues, some…maybe a bit more substantial than others.

    • Javier

      I am pretty sure is selected as electronic trainer (actually there is no other way to do it).

      When using zwift i can see some basic info like gears, but in erg mode everything sissapears.

      Attached another video, i have tried trainer road and zwift in erg mode and in both cases wattage is all over the place!

      Attached video to prove i am not crazy!

      link to youtu.be

    • javier

      Regarding the pedal clunking, i will try tomorrow some mounting grease on the threads and on the pods itself.

      I have seen Ray your other post regarding “The software is falsely shutting down the unit, which the next firmware update is set to fix”, i think that is the error popping up on my bike, hopefully it will be just a firmware fix as well… Cross fingers on tacx support!

    • RSTL13

      From wahoo…
      The Kickr bike sold out on pre order for the first 100 units. At this time they have no updates other than they expect word in December on the next batch. That batch could start going out between January and March, most likely the latter.

      If you dont have rubbing issues and dont need the climb feature, the Tacx is a really solid bike.

    • javier

      FYI My bike has to be sent back to Tacx…. let’s see how everything unfolds…..

  77. saltydog

    I realize I’m getting old and slow, but my indicated speed on the Bike Smart is about half of what the readout is on either Zwift or Rouvy, much slower than if I were actually riding a real bike. Anyone know what gives?

    • Paul S.

      Since you’re on a trainer, your actual speed and distance are zero. (Glad to help.) What Zwift and Rouvy do is probably have a detailed model of terrain, wind resistance, etc. along with your weight and the numbers from the trainer (power, cadence) and compute a “distance” traveled. What the Bike Smart is doing is anyone’s guess. All of them are making it up, and apparently none of them are close to correct for you.

  78. Ralph Sigg

    I have a problem with Road Feel. I do not get the turn on/off bottom for Road Feel on Zwift settings. I do get it with my old Tacx Neo 1, not with the Smart Bike. Is there a solution for this problem?

    • I believe the issue here is something on the Zwift side not recognizing the Zwift Bike in certain protocols as a NEO series. I’d say it’s worthwhile to create a support ticket.

    • Ralph Sigg

      Thanks Ray, I will do that.

    • Ralph Sigg

      Here the answer from Zwift support:

      Hi Ralph,

      Thanks for reaching out to Zwift support!

      The new Tacx Neo Smart indoor bike will work with Zwift, but at this moment does not officially support​ the road feel setting that the regular Tacx Neo does. Our team is working on this but at the moment we don’t have any updates on when it will be implemented.

      We also encourage you to share your thoughts and vote up support on our Community forums at link to forums.zwift.com.

      The forums are a great place to get more community support for an idea and attention from the dev team. The more attention an idea gets, the more likely it’ll get implemented into Zwift. You may find many members have the same thoughts and ideas as you!

      If you have any other questions, please let us know.

      Ride On.

      Eric W.
      Member Experience Agent

    • Ralph Sigg

      Here the answer from Zwift support regarding missing Road Feel:

      Hi Ralph,

      Thanks for reaching out to Zwift support!

      The new Tacx Neo Smart indoor bike will work with Zwift, but at this moment does not officially support​ the road feel setting that the regular Tacx Neo does. Our team is working on this but at the moment we don’t have any updates on when it will be implemented.

      We also encourage you to share your thoughts and vote up support on our Community forums at link to forums.zwift.com.

      The forums are a great place to get more community support for an idea and attention from the dev team. The more attention an idea gets, the more likely it’ll get implemented into Zwift. You may find many members have the same thoughts and ideas as you!

      If you have any other questions, please let us know.

      Ride On.

      Eric W.
      Member Experience Agent

    • Neil Jones

      Oh, that sucks. Road Feel was one of the Tacx USPs that worked for me – it may be a bit gimmicky, but it was a bit of fun that broke up a long ride. I don’t really understand how it wouldn’t work with the Neo bike when it works with the Neo trainers (presumably including the 2T on which the bike is based) – I would have expected the feature to be exposed in exactly the same way to Zwift or other platforms.

      I don’t see a quick fix coming from Zwift either – there’s already areas on some of the newer additions to Watopia where they’ve clearly forgotten (or not bothered) to invoke Tacx’ Road Feel so I don’t think that Zwift see this as a high priority – which is probably evident from them suggesting you add it to their forums and up-vote support on it. Given this is a fairly niche product, I don’t see it getting enough momentum on the forums to push it anywhere near the top of their “things to fix” list.

    • EV

      Here’s the link to the actual forum post where you can upvote.

  79. Hobe

    Today I was able to recreate the overheating, resistance loss issue with the unit unplugged doing a TACX app heart-rate workout. Garmin is still taking their sweet time and have not yet offered a replacement. In the meantime the longest ride I have had before resistance dropout and overheating on my $3K bike is 13 minutes. Sigh. Just need them to make a decision so I can go to the next step and engage with CT if necessary.

    • I’d press Garmin support again. I talked to them about the overheat/dropout issue, which basically boiled down to two camps:

      A) Units that might actually have a legit issue (a small number)
      B) The software is falsely shutting down the unit, which the next firmware update is set to fix.

    • Thomas

      An ETA on that particular firmware would be nice… Can you ask them?

    • Hobe

      I’m patient(ish) I already have 14 months of waiting on this thing. The important part was that I was able to recreate it without Zwift, and without it plugged in. At first I thought it was just going to be a Zwift compatibility thing. Either way I had to finish my episode of Mr. Robot on the couch. I suspect you meant legit hardware issue. I would say having a brand new product of this price shutting down unexpectedly is still a legit issue, even if they can solve it without paying return freight. I understand it is important for TACX/Garmin and their shareholders if they can fix it without having to touch the bike but to the consumers whose goodwill is fading, it matters a lot. I am more interested to see if it is an early production issue or if the problem is going to scale as more get into the wild.

    • Marcin

      Same problem here.
      The first 15 minutes are ok than/or if i got more then 400 watts the Bike is shutting off and on! In this time I see “error” in the display as well the ventilator are stopping and the electrical support for my tablet is off.

      By the way if I put the main plug into the bike there are coming some electric sparks. Normal?

      The tray for a mobile is ok but if you have a “normal” TV control as well you need to find another place for it. Not enough space on it. A pity! 🙁

    • Hobe

      Have a return label but looks like they won’t have a replacement to ship me until after 5 November. Maybe they will kick in another couple months of premium for the TACX app, I might be able to download a whole video by then.

  80. Johannes

    Hi there,

    I received my Tacx bike last week and completed a few rides (ERG and Sim mode).

    While I am generally quite happy, I noticed a few issues:

    1. The adjustment scale for the horizontal adjustment of the handlebar is missing. They probably skipped printing the scale on the slider in the manufacturing process.

    2. Power control in ERG mode feels and looks pretty rough. Sometimes I am way under and the way above the target output. And resistance drops down a second or so before the end of the interval. Definitely not happy with that since I use ERG most of the time with Sim mode being the exception.

    3. The pedal stroke sometimes feels a bit rough/notchy as if there is no resistance for a split of a second. I am not sure why this is happening. Could be power control in ERG mode (e.g. motor is accelerating to much???) or a mechanical issue with the pedals or flywheel. Did anyone experience this as well?

    4. During sprints, the handlebar does not feel super sturdy and makes a creaking noise.
    I am wondering whether some of you encountered the same problems and know what to do. Perhaps, Ray, if you have time to respond, I would be very happy to hear your thoughts, especially on the issue with the “notchy” pedal stroke.


    • EV

      Don’t have any of these issues on mine, but the handlebar can easily be tightened. Just remove the screws holding the plastic cover and you’ll see the clamp screws holding the bar. Tighten those up and it should fix it. I rotated and tightened my bar clamp and it’s like a rock in sprints.

      Don’t have the other issues, but I guess check if road feel is on or not. Pedaling should be buttery smooth otherwise.

      My erg bounces around but no more than my Direto and usually within the range box on Zwift, and I certainly can’t feel it. No drop off before end of segment. Yours sounds off. Have you updated firmware?

    • Johannes

      Thanks for your reply!

      Yes, I saw that the handlebar clamp can be tightened. I will give this a try tonight and see if this fixes things.

      The handlebar is the most minor issue though. I am most concerned about ERG-mode and the notchy feeling I sometimes get when pedalling. I feels as if there is either some movement or as if there is no resistance for a split second. Very weird.

  81. Niels

    About the notchy feeling.
    My unit is on his way back to Tacx for this reason. They sending a new unit when this arrive.

    • Johannes

      Ok, thanks for the info! Too bad that this seems to be real concern not something that can be software-fixed. Did you contact Tacx Support to claim the exchange?

    • Neil Jones

      I just wondered if the ‘notchy’ or ‘rough’ feelings that people were experiencing could in any way be related to Road Feel? I guess the best way to test would be to run the Tacx Utility app, change the Road Feel settings and see if it makes any difference.

  82. Thomas

    FWIW – Tacx support just confirmed to me that the handlebar can be exchanged to a preferred one. It’s straight simple and like you would change any other handlebar.

  83. KevPT

    Hi Ray

    Nice review

    I notice Bkool have released the Smart Bike 2 now and you’ve not mentioned this on the alternatives list.

    I was just wondering if you’d ridden the Smart Bike yet?

  84. Emre Konukoglu


    what is the update on your error? I just had the same errror this morning. could you solve the situation?

  85. Christian

    Hi DC Rainmaker,
    any ETA on the Wahoo Kickr Bike review? Eagerly waiting since i am trying to decide on one of the two…
    Thanks lots !!

    • I received it last week and have been getting rides in on it roughly every other day.

      I’ve had a slew of issues, but I think they’ve either:

      A) Solved most of them
      B) Or have them solved on other units coming out of the factory
      C) Or have them planned to be solved in upcoming firmware

      I think by next week I’ll have a bit more clarity on where everything stands.

  86. Thomas


    With fw 0.0.31 for N2T – are there any news on the firmware for NeoBike? Sounds to me that some issues where the same – wattage offset – and has that been fixed for the NeoBike?

  87. Flo

    Hi everyone, I hope someone can help me out.
    I really want to get one but space in our apartment is kind of limited. I have some space that is about 110 cm in length behind a door to store the bike when not in use.
    I found the following specification on their website:
    1390 × 750 mm (54.7 × 29.5 in)

    Can someone that already has one at home check for me if that is the length when fully extended? Or rather when not extended at all? What is the shortest one could get the bike to?

    Also: is the width of 75cm correct? What is the widest part? The feet? The handle bars?

    Thanks a lot everyone! Wish you a good weekend!

    • cycomanic

      Hi Ray,

      I was wondering if you (or anyone else here) ever tried the kettler racer s? The 2019 models are available at pretty reasonable prices at the moment, so wondering if it’s worth going for one of these instead of the tacx (link to indoorcycling.org). They seem to do all the right things (real Campa shifters for one)


    • RE: Kettler

      No, my main reason is that my line in the sand is basically whether or not a bike supports ANT+ FE-C & Bluetooth Smart FTMS. In other words, the industry standards. Otherwise, it’s just a mess to deal with for all the apps out there (those today, and those to come).

      RE: Sizing

      Somewhere around here someone either posted or linked to a measurements guide from Tacx. I’ll see if I can find it, or failing that, when back in the studio on Monday measure it all.

    • Thomas

      I’ve been using Kettler bikes for years until 2017. They’re qute solid and very quiet. However they’re not a smart bike and Kettler World Tours is their own software. They will not pair to Zwift or anything alike – only KWT. KWT is ok, but it’s like riding ERG-mode all the time. I’d argue that their technolgy was state of the art 10 years ago. Now with the development of indoor cycling, they’re doing a “Nokia”. A shame since their build actually is good.

    • cycomanic

      Ok thanks, considering that it said Zwift compatible I assumed it can do at least either one of ANT+FE-C or Bluetooth Smart FTMS. Unfortunately the Kettler website is very sparse on exact technical information.

    • Thomas

      In their forum you can still read about Zwift hacks. It works – so I’ve been told from my friend – but not very good. Kettler hasn’t done anything in that direction yet. Actually – though some years ago – I wrote with their devs. Afterall I have been riding A LOT on Kettler before. However they replied Zwift is a compeditor, hence they wouldn’t (at that time) make their bike compatible.

      Their software – KWT – is actually so-so-ok for RLV’s. It’s quite easy to set up sessions all can ride together. But then again – it’s only Kettler bikes. I believe they use BT to communicate with PC and this is a closed protocol. They don’t support any widespreed BT or ANT. So that’s kinda bummer.

      Like I mentioned earlier; they may have their own community with a lot of fans. But eventually they are heading into a NOKIA. Finally – if you’re riding to see great RLV’s – Tacx IS the reference. No one else has videos on the same quality level – period. And with a Tacx you can also ride everything else: Zwift, TrainerRoad what ever…

    • Flo

      Thank you Ray, that would be super appreciated if you would find the time.

      I found this one: https://media.dcrainmaker.com/wp-content/cache/comment-plus/3317919-1600×1200.png?1568748577

      Although it is really hard to judge the total length of the bike from that.

    • Perfect timing on the message, sitting next to the bike:

      My Rideable Length: ~150cm (very close to max, you could put it out a couple more centimeters if you went even higher as when you extend the front post it angles ever so slightly forward, but this is with the handlebars all the way forward and at 17cm of height).
      Min setup without removing any parts: 126-127cm
      Min collapsible length: ~116cm (front feet to back feet, with front handlebars removed – removing the front handlebars takes 5-7 seconds, putting them back takes 15-20 seconds inclusive of plugging back in the cable)
      Width: 75cm (the rear feet width, which is the widest part of the bike)

      Hope this helps!

    • Flo

      You are simply the best, Ray! Thanks a lot! This definitely helps.

      Next step is to find out if there is anywhere I could store it properly. 😉

  88. Thomas Burton

    I got my bike on Friday. So far generally all is good. Smooth, silent, I’m lucky I’m not getting any rub from the seat post etc. I’ve done a race on zwift full tilt and no overheating shutdown thing happening.

    One thing I have noticed is I’m not getting any of the feedback from the bike when I’m shifting gear. Or the little feedback I’m supposed to get when I’m at the end of the cassette. Anyone else got this problem? Just wondering if it’s a common thing that is awaiting update or I should get in contact with Tacx.

    • EV

      The feedback is very subtle at the end of the cassette and less going one way than the other. It’s subtle but there. Seems just about right to me.

    • Thomas Burton

      I’m not getting any at the moment. I’m sure if that. Thanks for the response though. I’ve sent Tacx an email.

  89. Tim P

    Hi, has anyone with this bike been able to compare it to the Atom? I’m debating whether this is worth the extra $700 or so the Atom will cost in the US.

    • EV

      Ray compares the two in his review and in some comments above.

    • TIm P

      Thanks – I guess I was looking for a bit more. Sounds like a comparo is coming. Wattbike has made this complicated by pricing the US version close to $2500. It’s so close to the Tacx it makes me wonder if going with the Wattbike would be foolish. And then the Tacx is so close in price to the Wahoo, I wonder the same about those. Of course, now we’re talking a full grand higher than the wattbike.

  90. EV

    Well, I was loving my Neo bike after two weeks of use until this morning when without warning it started making all manner of creaking and knocking noises from up front. Still pedaled smoothly and all systems and flywheel resistance fine, but after talking with support, it has to go back in the box for exchange. Seems like something went in the belt/front ring assembly. I really want to use it this winter so I don’t think I’ll just return it for the Wahoo, but I’m tempted.

    • Thomas Burton

      That’s not good…. I have a neo 1 as well as the bike. I intended to sell it on but I think I’ll keep it for the winter in case the bike keeps failing.

    • EV

      Yeah I still have my Direto for now. Kind of amazed that they could have tested these for so long and so many problems are popping up. Mine was really perfect and then not. I think I’ll stick with it though and get a replacement as I really liked pretty much everything about the bike while it was working.

  91. Wes

    Brand new bike. Got it assembled today and first ride. 3 min in had complete loss of resistance and burning smell. Tacx utility shows a thermal overheating. Riding about 250 watts during this period on a mostly flat track. Contacted Garmin and they are supposed to contact me to figure this out

    • wes

      the 3 min were very nice though. im going to try it again after has chance to cool down but still smells like burning plastic. Overall bike looks great, was easy to set up. adjustment handles work great and have a spring loaded design so once tightened can then adjust the handle to be inline with the frame. I didnt find the pedal inserts to be too much of an issue just have to make sure and match them up correctly.

    • Steve

      I’m wondering if you ran into the Styrofoam issue that GPLama ran into? where bits got into the fan area?

    • Thomas

      Same here…. brand new bike, got it assembled. Turned the freewheel by hand and guess what: rattle rattle rattle! Imagine the look on my face. I updated the firmware, but it didn’t change anything. I am so dissapointed. I thought that getting mine a bit later than many others was equal to a lot of fixes made by Tacx. Sadly this was not the case for me. Which also was “enough is enough” (I had a few Neo2 beeing returned earlier this year) so I returned the NeoBike a got a full refund.

      So for now I’ll stick to my 2T which ironically is perfect. But mann what a rollercoaster ride. I’m exited to see DCR’s shootout. All of a sudden KickrBike just moved a heck of a lot closer. Sadly but honestly I will not consider Tacx again untill we see a 100% fix for their most wellknown issues; the rattling noise and accuracy issues.

      PS sorry for beeing a bit harsch here. But I’m so dissapointed 🙁

    • EV

      Totally makes sense. I’m going to stick it out just because I really loved the bike otherwise. The ride quality is just so much better than any bike/trainer combo will ever be, and my family loved the ability to just adjust and go. I even started doing some workouts after bike commuting home because it was so much more convenient. Sent mine off today and will get the replacement in a week or so and we’ll see. I still view this as the cost of being on the bleeding edge and figure there will be some teething pains before it all settles. The quality of the ride will probably keep me on the bike even if it has to go back again I imagine. Now that I’m spoiled by how nice a ride this offers, it would be hard to go back to bike on trainer.

    • Thomas

      Not for a price like this. It’s NOT OK to be a guniea pig for a first mover on this equipment. This is supposed to be a HIGH END UNIT and so it should work like one. Just work, like in fit and forget. No fuzz no nothing. Just work perfect everytime!

      I do believe that Tacx eventually get there. But only time will tell when that happens. Untill then – I’m out.

    • EV

      Of course you’re right. But sh*t happens, and as long as they take the thing back for free and replace I’ll stick with it. The ride quality is worth it to me. I figure they’ll get it right eventually, and it took me all of half an hour to load it back in the box and car for the drop off at UPS. Pain in the ass, yes, and disappointing, and understandable that many would just send it back, but it’s a really, really nice ride, so I’ll give it at least one more shot.

    • Thomas

      Indeed the ride quality of my 2T is great too. Yes the chain and cassette is there and it makes some noise. But the ride feel is great – no doubt. Thing is – I’d bet the same can be said about that KickrBike too. That one has a completely new power unit. Yes there’s a risk that Wahoo was too fast here and not have it all right. But there’s also a chance that they actually did build a super smooth spin… Only few had had this unit in their hands, but smoooooth was defintely one of the words being mentioned a few times. Don’t get me wrong; like I said I love my 2T. But I don’t think Tacx are alone for long woth smooth spinning units. Just saying…

  92. Darin Via

    I’m loving the Tacx Neo Smart Bike. Smooth as butter, quiet as a whisper and I actually love the fans. I don’t have to worry about derailleur adjustments or tire wear, just get on and ride. I do find my inner thighs hitting the seat mount, not at the seat mount/seat post location but right below the nose of the seat. I think this might go away once I put my ISM saddle on the bike from my current saddle and either way, not a game changer. Also seeing my wattage output higher than programmed in Zwift in ERG mode (much more steady at higher wattage) but wondering if that is not a combination of me, the trainer, and the program. I adjusted the tacx power averaging after my last ride to see if this changes anything. Anyway, from my perspective worth the money due to the convenience. Not perfect, but the physical/mechanical issues are VERY minor, and any other minor issues should/will be fixed with software upgrades. I’m a fan and very happy. Also, cheaper than Wahoo and since I repurchased from TACX, cleaver training honored the original discount. Shout out to Clever Training for being so good at what they do!!

  93. Mike

    Have any UK bikes actually been delivered yet? I’m being told my order placed 12 months ago is now delayed until 14th November (at least….)

    Which countries are these going to if that’s right.

    • Thomas Burton

      Hi Mike

      I’ve had mine for a couple of weeks. I ordered through tredz. I think my bike was one of only seven so they received so I guess all the retailers are getting them in small numbers at a time.

    • Malcolm

      Got mine through Tredz too and have had it for nearly a week. Only one ride so far. Initial worrying rattle (more like a high-hat being played) went away with half an hour of riding. So far so good.

    • Malcolm

      FWIW I ordered mine in Sept 2018, so a few weeks/months before you did (if you literally ordered it 12 months ago).

    • Mike

      Maybe that’s it…hope the bikes better than Tacx PR when (if..) it turns up!

    • Neil Jones

      Tredz buyer too (their second pre-order) and have had mine a couple of weeks now with 150km on Zwift. I’ve not experienced any issues (so far!) apart from one of my fans tends to stick and there’s no Road Feel on Zwift (something that Zwift will need to sort out). Oh, and like lots of other people (everyone?), there’s no position markings on the handlebar adjustment rail.

  94. Has anybody raised the road feel issue with zwift? @Ray, is this something you have any gravitas with?

    All things considered, it feels like most of the problems are teething issues. In a few months when comparing the tacx with the wahoo bike, I think the Tacx will be the better value proposition with the price difference.

    • Neil Jones

      Zwift’s response has been to tell users to post it as a request in their forums, and the more people that up-vote it, the more likely it is to be considered.

      Not exactly inspiring when this isn’t a new feature that people are asking it for, it’s just for Zwift to recognise that the Tacx Bike is Road Feel compatible. I get the feeling that Zwift have lost interest in being a showcase for Tacx’s Road Feel judging by the lack of it on obvious places in recent new courses and additions to Watopia. The earlier courses (original Watopia, London, Richmond) almost looked as if they’d been designed to incorporate Road Feel sections, but that’s certainly not the case now (Yorkshire’s a real missed opportunity for a cattle grid!)

    • Thomas E. Riemer

      Sure thing – it’s gonna be interesting to see DCR’s shoot-out…

    • Thomas

      How is that shoot-out going 😉

    • I raised the Zwift issue again with Tacx, who are also raising it with Zwift. It sounds like it’s working on certain platforms already.

      As for the shoot-out, next week, likely Tues or Weds. I got the trainer recommendations guide done last night- so this is next.

  95. Thomas

    Thanks Ray

  96. Malcom

    Is there a setting on the bike or within Zwift to enable the downhill inertia on the bike? I can’t say I’ve noticed it at all, despite going down some long steep hills.

    • EV

      Just coast on a downhill and the flywheel should keep turning.

    • Malcolm

      I’ve increased the Realism setting of the trainer in zwift so a 5% hill really is seen by the trainer as a 5% hill. That seems to have made a difference both up and down hills now.

  97. Paul

    Ray, any news about the True Kinetix Bike? Have you had the chance to get your hands on it?

    • Yeah, I’ve had one in and out and back in the studio a few weeks now. It’s more of a prototype than a final unit. They grabbed it back today after some mechanical issues I was having.

  98. Marek Benes

    So I have just been told that delivery of my pre-ordered bike is delayed. Reason should be, that they (Tacx) are suppose to start to install new chip (cadence etc) in production. Anybody heard anything similar? This thing is real nightmare and I am now selling my Neo 2 hoping I would finally get the Bike…. I did the same before with Neo to purchase Neo 2 later as workaroud. Now it seems I will have to buy Neo 2T in the end. These workarounds are becoming more kind of standard now in my wifes eyes – she may start to think that I am using Neo Bike as exuse to justify annual upgrade of smart-trainer ;-)).

    • Hi Ray,
      Have you maybe heard anything about the new chip(set) being used in newer models? I was not able to find anything like this anywahere on internet. I read about issues with overheating, so one can think that this new chip could make sense, but bo one else seems to know about it.
      Thanks & Regards

    • Andrey R

      just got an email that my tacx is delayed till Dec 6th. Was supposed to be shipped Nov 1st. preordered in USA, CA.

  99. Steve Mieczkowski

    Any ETA on the firmware fix for Erg mode now that the 2T firmware has been updated?

    My SO is a bit annoyed that her 70w recovery intervals are currently bouncing around between 90w and 110w.

  100. Anthony Van de Pas

    Thanks for the review.

    Iv had one on order from the start of year. from Tacx dealers in NZ. waiting for 10 months.

    You have highlighted one of the problems I have come up with from looking at the images. that is the Thigh Gap problem.
    Like you i have no Thigh gap. In fact im so bad sustain bikes my thighs lightly brush the Top tube of my road bikes. also rub away on my Saddle rails.

    The question i have is. do you have a thigh/ in quad rubbing problem at the top of the seat post?
    talking about the area of the slider for going forward and back.


    Still looking forward to it turning. hoping for work arounds on the rubbings.
    i do send 6-12 hours a week on my current Neo during winter.

    • EV

      Other than a redesign of some parts there is now workaround for the rubbing issue. You either have it or you don’t, or if you have it, it may bother you or not. If I’m sloppy or think about too much, my legs might touch occasionally at either point in question. If I don’t think about it and ride normally, I don’t touch and/or if I do, it’s very slight and I don’t even notice. For me, the bike design is fine. Same for my wife and daughter. I’m 6’2 and have 24 inch thighs and my daughter is 5’8”. I did find that if the seat is tilted a bit too far forward that it promotes inward leg movement. Keeping the seat level or slightly back keeps my legs from rotating in where they might touch. I’m guessing for most people it should be fine.

    • I’m roughly in the same camp. If I think about it, I notice it. If I’m a bit sloppy (or, more specifically, easy pedaling) – I notice it.

      I noticed it more on the KICKR Bike than the Tacx Bike. None were show-stoppers for me though.

      It’s not at all present on the ATOM.

  101. Niels

    Just returned my second bike to the bike shop.
    The first unit returned to Tacx in the Netherlands. They send me a new one a week later. In that shipment they forgot some parts I’ve returned that first time. Like some bolts and the seat rails. I had to wait 1,5 week to collect that stuff.

    After 2 weeks of riding I was still feeling some ticking in the crank area. I’ve swapped my pedals. cleats for new ones, but still feeling some ticking. The first unit had this too.

    The second unit had within the first minute some metal ticking/sound/scraping. After a warm-up it disappeared.
    And then the rubbing. Every position on the bike which is comfortable for me gave me rubbing on the seat rails.

    This morning I’ve returned the second bike to the shop and gave my money back.

    The communication with Tacx is horrible. The telephone is broken for a week now, no reply on email for 2 weeks, no action with a direct message on Facebook.
    No more any Tacx product in my house.

    • Thomas


      I’m fully with you here. I returned mine too and got my money back. That’s about 10 days ago and I haven’t regret at all. May I ask; are you from DK (like I am)?

    • Niels


    • Thomas

      Thanks – your name just sounded danish 😉 That’s why I asked…

    • EV

      Sorry to hear. For others, the tacx support very clearly states that all customer support is now handled by Garmin. No point in trying to call tacx. I’ve had quick response from Garmin every time even though my replacement is now delayed. I suspect they are trying to figure out the bottom bracket issues.

  102. Robin

    Just returned my Tacx Neo Bike I got yesterday. It was making exactly the same noise you can hear in this YouTube video of a Tacx Neo
    link to google.com

    Great ending to this Tacx catastrophe…

  103. Flo

    Does anyone know of any availability in Germany? All the retailers I contacted did not have any and didn’t know about upcoming availability.

  104. Juanma

    Do you know when you are going to have neo bike availability? My local distributor canceled my order after having me for almost a month waiting and without giving any explanation. I think it’s a TACX launch disaster. He imagined that until the middle of 2020 we won’t know anything about this product.


    • EV

      Not sure what country you are from, but I just received a replacement bike here in the US and it’s working perfectly. They seem to have bikes available at least for replacements of faulty units here in the US.

    • Juan Manuel Gomez Guillen

      Spain, thanks.I don’t find any distributor in Europe that has the product available, at least online. It’s a shame, we’ll have to wait.

    • Hobe Scholz

      The replacement they sent me after I had the overheating problem said “refurbished, cosmetic blemishes” on the packing slip, and the handle bar bracket was bent so that it wouldn’t slide onto the rail. No QC or test fit before they sent it out. I’m not happy.

    • Hobe Scholz

      Update, front stem bracket of the replacement bike will not allow a handlebar bracket farther than shown before wedging tight. Both new and old bars slide fine on to original bike that overheats. At this point I can’t even assemble the replacement bike to see if it overheats. Hoping Garmin can tell me how to unhook the cable and switch stems so I can salvage this until they have an actual new bike to send me.


    • EV

      Did you completely remove the tightening nut and see if it still sticks?

    • Hobe Scholz

      This is without any tightening nut or friction post in place.

    • Hobe Scholz

      UPDATE: My case was elevated andI spent some time on the phone with Garmin today showing photos and taking measurements. Looks like the rail on the front post was bent in shipping. (not terribly surprising as it is inexplicably the only area not protected by foam during shipping.) Looks like I will get another replacement bike before long. The cable in the front post does not appear to be user serviceable so there is no way to just switch posts without opening the main chassis.

  105. Cycling Cecil

    Hugely helpful, typically insightful and detailed review DCR – thank you!

    Is there any update on the ERG mode stability fix? I have been using a gen 1 Kickr since 2015 and feel it’s time for an upgrade. I need my trainer setup to do the following:

    1. Work seamlessly with Zwift for group rides and races.

    2. Allow me to run very specific workouts with a stable ERG mode. I am a coach and racer myself, and I often use the turbo for VO2max and anaerobic work where precise wattage and interval length are critical – if ERG mode doesn’t find the right power very quickly at the beginning/end of an interval, the workout is ruined or impossible.

    3. Needs to be usable by my wife with minimum faff. I am 5’8 and she is 5’1 (i.e. pretty tiny), so we need a setup that can be changed quickly and easily (with simple but robust handles/levers) to fit either of us on any given day. I am not sure how small these smart bikes can accommodate?

    I’ve been leaning towards waiting for the Kickr Bike, but now my Kickr looks like it’s finally going to give up the ghost so the Tacx Neo Bike Smart may be the better option due to availability.

    Do you see any issues with the Neo Bike for what I want it to do? My main concern, based on your review, is the ERG mode stability thing. I think if they have solved that then it could be a go-er.


    • Steve

      There hasn’t been a firmware update yet to specifically address it like the Neo2T, but in TrainerRoad the ERG stability has been…better inexplicably compared to the first week? Not exactly sure why. Maybe the TR guys pushed through a modification on their end.

      Long term, I don’t expect any issues with #1 and #2 for either the Neo or Kickr bike. I’ve been using my Neo Bike on both Zwift and TR and they work well for both regular riding and ERG workouts and I expect the firmware updates in the future will only improve this.

      #3. Could be an issue for you. My SO is 5’4 with short legs and the seatpost is slammed. You’ll definitely want to find a Neo Bike locally to try because 5’1 might be too small.

  106. Hey folks – just a super quick big deal heads up. Garmin/Tacx are offering a pile of NEO Smart Bike’s at $700 off, with near immediate delivery. These were part of a shipment that has minor cosmetic issues.

    Full details/links here: link to dcrainmaker.com

  107. Christoph

    Received my bike. Everything works perfectly. The difference to my previous wheel-on trainer is enormous.
    Very quiet and smooth. I am very happy. Only complaint: The handlebar tape is awful 🙂

  108. Toni

    Seems like many people have teething issues with their product which is unfortunate. I will receive my unit in the next few days here in Germany and I am slightly worried after reading all of the comments on here.

    • Hobe Scholz

      I wouldn’t sweat it Toni. Most people whose bikes work fine are likely not coming back here to sing its praises (Christoph excluded). Presumably they are happily pedaling along. I suspect some of the issues may be with the increased handling during shipping of bikes that are going from container to depot, to retailer, to customer and at each level being loaded on and off trucks. Perhaps your proximity to the Netherlands will be a positive when you receive it. As I am currently waiting on my second replacement bike, I do have to say that Garmin has stepped up and taken full responsibility for the issues and is compensating me for my troubles fairly. When I pointed out that I could have gone back to Clever Training and ordered a refurb that worked and could be in the house within a week for a $700 savings, they agreed and made a nice offer to compensate.

  109. Mike

    Ordered my Neo Bike over a year ago and latest estimate is now 10/12 (UK) – having waited this long, i’m a little disturbed by rumours that the saddle will not go low enough for my wife to even use it which was the reason for replacing my Neo1!

    Can anyone confirm or deny that a 5’1″ lady is going to be ok on this please…..

    Thx Mike

  110. chass matters

    your the ( go to man! ) we need you to keep them on top of their game !

  111. Reinhard

    I’m extremely annoyed. The configuration app only connects to the trainer every 5-6 times. But that’s not the worst yet: I’ve driven three sessions so far. Each time my Edge 1000 lost contact with the bike after 20-25 minutes. The speed “measurement” fails every few seconds. Sorry, tacx (garmin), but that’s not acceptable. The bit too long cable that Ray is complaining about, is a joke against this.

    • Hobe Scholz

      The cable is also an easy fix if you aren’t going to constantly adjust the bike. Disconnect cable, pop the plastic cable guide out of the gooseneck, (push up from bottom) adjust cable length, reattach bars, reconnect cable, Bob’s your uncle.

    • Steve

      The Neo2T has the same problem I believe…something about the chip resetting.

      I hope it’s resolved in the next firmware update along with a lot of the other fixes we are waiting on.