Tacx NEO Bike Smart: $700 off, Scratch & Dent Sale

[Story time: Simply skip the end of you want the deal]

You know when you hear a story, raise an eyebrow, shrug, and then continue along your day? That’s roughly what happened back about a month ago when I heard that a huge shipment of Tacx NEO Smart Bike’s got delayed after having already arrived in the US. But not your average delay – rather, the slightly quirky 4-6 week delay. Also known as “The time it takes to ship something again across an ocean via container including extra logistics and padding time at both ends” delay.

It was odd to me because at the time this occurred right about when I dropped my Tacx NEO Bike Smart In-Depth Review. And while Tacx is taking some of my feedback and making changes already, I had wondered if perhaps that spurned something else. So at the time I fished around a bit and poked at the right folks for an official answer. Sometimes I’m good with unofficial answers to get quick things for people’s mostly innocuous questions, but this time enough of you had been impacted and I wanted something I could fairly confidently put out there that wasn’t going to start a whole pile of mess in either Olathe or Wassenaar. Though, I seem to be specializing in that this year.

A few hours later I got a response that shipments had been delayed due to a “cosmetic issue”, which was the exact same thing they were concurrently telling retailers as well. That the bikes were being held due to a “cosmetic issue”.  Keeping in mind that at this point Tacx had already been shipping bikes for about a month or so (since mid-late September). So this wasn’t a delay to entry, just a delay for new units.

Still, at the time I just raised my eyebrow in the general direction of Tacx with a bit of a ‘Uh-huh…sure you had a cosmetic issue’, just like when my toddler tells me she only ate one cookie while the entire bag is now empty. But it was merely one question in a slate of other technical items that were more pressing. A day or two later, customers in the US and Europe were notified about delays of units, pushing new deliveries mostly back to early December (roughly 4-6 weeks).

Given the inability for just about anyone to make a bike on time, these delays had become the norm. So again, welcome to just another Tuesday.

Now…fast forward to this weekend. A reader tweeted me a picture from a single local bike shop in California that was advertising a brand new Tacx NEO Bike Smart…for $700 off. Except it had tiny little writing at the top of the banner: ‘Blemish’.

Well that’s awfully interesting.

A quick exchange of a bunch of e-mails later, and turns out there’s an entire boatload of ‘blemished’ Tacx NEO Bike Smart units. No, really, an actual boat-load. As in, a shipment off the boat. No metaphorical things here. After arriving in the US, this entire shipment was found with these blemishes. Or basically, small scratches. Here’s the official pictures of what to expect (there’s a couple more linked on this page):

image image image

As you can see, some barely visible scratches on the lower portion of the frame, and then some sort of abrasive scratches on the seat post collar. Thus the ‘cosmetic issues’. Don’t worry, I suspect Instagram will still take your photos despite the imperfections.

Either way, this sounds like this was a production issue that somehow wasn’t caught in QA (though, it also sounds like that has been solved too).

Of course, fixing this issue on these bikes would frankly cost another boatload. Transporting 120 pound (50kg) bikes is not cheap. And that’s just shipping them down the street. Shipping them from Wassenaar (near Amsterdam), across the ocean, to Garmin’s distribution center in Olathe (Kansas), and then shipping them all back again to Wassenaar, and then back yet again to Olathe would be a deal killer (and an environmental waste).

So…Tacx and Garmin are doing the next best thing: Offering a scratch and dent sale.

You can pick up one of these perfectly functional but slightly scratched units for $700 off. Simple as that. I don’t suspect this deal will last long, mostly because it’s a smokin’ deal.

If you’re not sure if you want to hold-out for the Wahoo KICKR Bike (those units just started shipping on Friday, and the first real-world human customer got theirs last night), or if you’re looking at the also now shipping in the US Wattbike Atom – you can dive into my complete Indoor Smart bike showdown post. Everything there is still the same and accurate, across all three units. And now that Wahoo has shipped the first units, I’ll be looking to push out my KICKR Bike post within the next week. I’ve got more than enough miles on it (though again, you can basically read my mini-review without that shootout post).

Of course, now the stakes have changed. Instead of being $3,200 (Tacx NEO Bike) vs $3,500 (Wahoo KICKR Bike), it’s $2,500 vs $3,500. Essentially it comes down to: Do you pay an extra $1,000 for CLIMB functionality and better shifters. With the scratch & dent sale, I don’t see the Atom competing in this specific race (once these units are gone, of course it’s back in action due to the lower price) The NEO Bikes are available today (or in December again for squeaky clean ones), the Wahoo bikes you won’t get until January or so if you don’t already have an order in. Neither unit is ‘perfect’ in my opinion.

The $700-off cosmetically imperfect units is here – I have no idea how long it’ll last. Probably not long. It’s like an unplanned Black Friday sale. Remember kids, always practice safe Black Friday planning. Oh, and don’t forget to read my Tacx NEO Bike Smart In-Depth Review first.

With that – thanks for reading!

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42 Comments

  1. DJH49

    So you think they are fully functional(seat post will slide up and down okay)? really and same warrantee too?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Time to start making some calls to yer friendly LBS. 🙂

  3. Tim P

    I ordered one of these from mybikeshop.com. So far so good. The scratches are pretty minor and don’t bother me much considering the savings. My unit works great save for a loose power cable I’m having addressed by Garmin. I was going wahoo until I couldn’t pass on this deal. Cheaper than a Wattbike!

  4. Cycling Cecil

    This sounds great but I have no idea where to find them… is this scratch and dent thing applicable to the UK?

  5. TimP

    Btw, my bike had some of those abrasive scratches on the main body as well. While I’m normally picky, for the price, it’s no big deal. If someone is looking at this deal, you should expect that the scratches may be different than in those pictures. I wouldn’t say the pictures are misleading and the description of the blemishes as “light” is fairly accurate. But if you are picky about these things, they may bother you.

  6. Samantha

    I am hoping my boyfriend is getting the Waoo bike for christmas! This will be so exciting

  7. Bernard Louis Carroll

    Where does the Stages Bike stand in all this. Would you wait for a Stages of opt for the Tacx Neo Bike? Or, do you think the Wahoo will blow out the Stages Bike in features. I’m not sold on the hill climb because that could be another thing that could break(I’m a big guy).

    • Stages confirmed to me yesterday they’re still on track for early Q1 – and that they’re simply working on the app side of the things (basically the same as back in Eurobike).

      I suspect what we’ll see is that the Stages bike is a better mechanically designed experience, but that the Tacx bike is a better software experience. But again, we’ll have to see there.

      The Wahoo bike has more mechanical features (namely CLIMB and way better shifting), but I think we’re going to see some more teething issues there. Tacx is largely through those teething issues (I think, hopefully). Wahoo had their first people arrive Monday, and the first person that posted has already noted some mechanical sound/wobble issues (just like me). Whether that’s a one-off or not, it’s not entirely clear.

    • Bernard Carroll

      Thank you

  8. M Abernathy

    Thanks, Ray. I was preparing to order the TacX unit when my local bike shop owner called to say he could get a ‘blemished’ TacX for $1800. And that’s what I paid. I see no scratch whatsoever on the unit, and my first fifty miles have been terrific. Don’t know if they have now lowered the discount, but as of last week it was $1400.

  9. Bruno

    I’ve been checking Tacx website since about mid October and the bike is unavailable. They are not even accepting back orders. Ray, do you have any info about it?

    • Odd, it’s been shipping since mid-late September to folks in Europe/US (and maybe beyond, but I’ve only heard from people on those). And have been accepting backorders for a year now.

      However, I wasn’t aware that Tacx sold the bike on their website. You have to go to any bike shop that carriers Tacx trainers (which, is basically every bike shop these days – especially now that they’re owned by Garmin, they can place an order for you).

    • Bruno

      Thanks.

      Yes they (used to) do, like other trainers. But the bike is showing up as unavailable for UK/EU for several weeks now. I will check with my LBS

  10. Juan Manuel

    Good morning, at the moment in Europe or at least with shipment to Spain to me it is impossible to find any available unit. It looks like we’re going to have to wait a long time to buy one.

    • Have you tried calling your local bike shop?

      I know the one that’s virtually next door to me actually has them (not for shipping, but pickup).

    • Bruno

      I did this morning. I was told the bikes are not shipping currently (and they don’t have any in stock), they are hoping its back before Christmas but past orders are overdue.

      It looks like they stopped selling it.

    • Yeah, just sounds like poor communication somewhere. They’re definitely still making them and shipping them. But they’re also definitely backordered in certain regions.

      Generally speaking shops had to place orders a long time ago. So some shops placed enough orders thinking ahead, which is why they’re able to fulfill them sooner. While others may not have placed their orders until just this fall (or today). In which case…Christmas is actually pretty good.

    • Bruno

      Thank you!!! I will keep my fingers crossed, I really want one.

      What is not clear to me is that they are “definitely still making them and shipping them”.

      The info from the bike shop is that Tacx is currently NOT shipping them. And according to their website they are also not.

    • Yeah, I often find the game of telephone between manufacturers and bike shops can make for interesting answers.

      I get my answers directly from the product manager over The Tacx Bike. 😉

    • Chris

      Can you please let me know what shop?

      Tempted to drive over from the U.K.

    • Here ya go: link to cormantel.nl

      They had them earlier in the week (normal units, not the scratch/dent ones – though maybe they have access there too, not sure).

    • Michael

      I have also one Neo bike on order in Germany via Fitstore24 in Austria. They already got. and sold two batches, But the promised Next one was suggested to be delivered end of October. Than it was dalayed with no new date since one they are missing a supply part and therefore not beeing able to deliver in EU?
      Similar issue on Neo 2T and this was solved few days ago. Hope this will be the case for the Neo bike as well. But i‘m not expecting anything this year…

  11. Darin Via

    Love my bro smart bike (without blemishes). Wife is amazed at how quiet it is, and for me, how it just works…..not always true of electronically connected devices. And that visual gear identification, yeah, it is nice to have where you can see it not to mention the M&M tray😀. I have even been a BIG fan of th fans…..no pun intended!! If in the market for a smart bike I would jump on this in a hurry!!

  12. Nemo

    Yes, but what’s up with the M&M bag? I feel a little cheated

  13. RTellis

    If this deal was going down this time next year I’d be on it like a duck on a June bug.

    But buying a new car last month and a Fenix 6 Ti last week has my bank account a little too thin to jump on this right now.

  14. Dennis Smith

    Hello Ray, I’m shopping for a new smart trainer. Which one of the trainer companies had a phone support system I can call and be walked through a problem? That to me is worth almost as much as the trainer.
    Thanks, Dennis

  15. Alan

    Does anyone know if there are production line differences between the factory blemish and squeaky clean new ones coming soon? Is it likely some of the early problems that people have posted are fixed in the new bikes that aren’t fixed in the fire sale bikes? Thanks!

    • Bruno

      I’m not sure, but I’ve heard they are having a lot of production/quality control problems, hence the severe delays in the delivery. As this product is probably quite difficult to return I’m considering staying away for a while

    • TimP

      I asked this question to my dealer and was told no hardware changes. Not necessarily saying it’s gospel but that’s what I was told. It seems like qc is the bigger issue.

  16. TimP

    Just a friendly heads up for anyone looking at this deal, clever trainings 10 percent cyber Monday code seems to be working on the blemished units. I was able to get the price down to 2250 in my cart. I paid 2500 for mine but 2250 is an amazing price.

  17. Wallingford climber

    Mine just shipped. I’ll post photos of the scratches so we can all compare when it comes next week.

  18. DJH49

    Hello Wondering how to manage two Tacx Neo Bike Smart(TNBS) and one Apple TV. Are there apps that will allow two TNBS to ride together? Can you split screen to show TNBS at the same time. Maybe one TNBS has to use an iPad and the other TNBS use the Apple TV? I guess I would like to have two riders ride the same ride and show up on the same screen in some app or device.

    Thanks for your help and experiences