Wow, I'm pretty blown away with this trainer. First, the set-up was easier than I expected. I had read some reviews that said getting it set up could be a little tricky. However, I found it went pretty smoothly. There is a little bit of time investment to download the Tacx app (and whatever other cycling apps you use) and then input lots of various bits of info. But the trainer synced right up with Zwift. Ok, for the riding itself, the Tacx Neo Smart is awesome 1) it does a great job of simulating different road surfaces such as wooden bridges, cobblestone, dirt roads, etc , 2) ascents and descents are also really well-simulated, and when combined with a more realistic road surface, it really reduces the monotony of riding indoors (even with Zwift), 3) it is so quiet! And I love not having to shred a rear tire. My only complaint would be that the power info with Zwift is laggy and also lower than the the reading I get on my Garmin from the Quarq meter on my bike- I don't quite yet trust Zwift to get it right, so I have my Garmin on for a back-up. But this might be an issue more with Zwift than the trainer. I have not used the Tacx software to make any comparisons. Overall, if you are stuck inside for the winter and need to train and get prepped for early spring races, this is a great trainer to find some motivation to ride indoors.
This is my 3rd trainer over last 8 years or so. My first connected or smart trainer.
Paired with an app like Zwift, it actually makes riding a trainer not so miserable. Ive been averaging 5 hours a week on this one over last 3-4 weeks. I never sustained any near that amount of time on my previous trainers.
Im not sure if the spec, but it can put up incredibly large amounts of resistance. So much so that if you try to start out in the big ring up front and small cog in back...it feels exactly like it would on actual pavement and 2 wheels. The simulated pedal feedback when you ride over cobbles or dirt in your app is a pretty neat feature too.
This has transformed winter training for me. The direct drive with Zwift compatiblity actually makes working on the trainer an enjoyable experience. The flex in the trainer is nice, Unit feels stable. Was concerned about quality issues described shortly after release, but have ridden about 40 hours without problems. Only thing I would say is that the Tacx software is not the most user friendly and the unit is cumbersome to carry around
It is expensive, but well worth it. Let me first say that I was not a fan of trainers. I have had a few and tried others and found them to be unrealistic in the resistance and not smooth at all. Until I got these, I preferred rollers. Now I like both for different reasons. The Neo is smooth and really quiet. You bike makes more noise than this trainer does. The box and the styrofoam were badly damaged when I got mine, but the heavy unit was intact and is working well. I mounted a 10-spd Shimano cassette (with 11 teeth) using the provided lock-nut and a Shimano cassette tool. It pairs with my Garmin and provides speed, cadence, and power data.
I love my Tacx Neo Smart trainer. I am an older rider who raced thirty years ago and now loves to go on winter-time hard rides indoors using Zwift. It is very cool to feel that feedback from riding over wood planks, gravel and cobblestones. I feel that the Tacx Neo Smart is also nicely responsive to uphills and downhills. As for the downhill assistance, I found it very useful when setting up my index shifting. Under resistance, it is hard to pedal by hand while adjusting your index shifting. But with this trainer, you go into the Tacx training app on your iPhone and start the trainer with a negative slope. This causes the Tacx Neo Smart unit to turn by itself which essentially takes away all the resistance while you turn your pedals by hand and index your derailleur. I have the W 2017 version of the unit. I don't know if it's because this unit allows different brands of cogs but it allowed me to put on two of my Shimano 10-speed cogs backwards. This was a brand new set of cogs that I installed exactly as Shimano packed them. I kept getting chain skipping on those two cogs even after I installed a new chain, a new derailleur cable and spent a lot of time indexing my derailleur. I then removed all the cogs to re-install them and found that those two cogs had the number of teeth stamped on what was the inside of the cog. I re-installed them with the number of teeth stamped on the outside (as were all the other cogs). Now everything shifts fine. The Tacx Neo Smart feels very stable even when I'm out of the saddle climbing a hill or going in to a hard sprint. Maybe I'd be just as happy with a less expensive unit but I'll never know and am very happy that I bought what I feel is the top-of-the-line smart trainer. As an added bonus, by buying my trainer from biketiresdirect.com (and it was on sale at the time!), I accumulated enough points to get the Tacx mat, three months of Zwift and a Cyclops sweat guard in a follow-up order for almost nothing! Thank you biketiresdirect.com for a super deal.
I made a November 2017 purchase of a Tacx Neo primarily for it's touted quiet drive. It performed as advertised except for a high pitched resonance when driven at gearing and cadence equivalent to 20 plus MPH. Considering buying? Please Google tacx neo whistling noise and watch the 22 second uTube video that matches my experience. Tacx offer no phone or interactive customer support other than email to Netherlands headquarters. They promise to answer within 6 working days. Their response- This sound that the NEO makes is created by air that flows trough the trainer making this whistling noise. So to speak it is perfectly normal When I responded that I didn't see this as an acceptable answer on a premium product sold based on quiet operation, I received no further response from Tacx. I return the Neo and replace it with a lower priced overall quieter unit from Cyclops. BIke Tires Direct was very helpful in processing this exchange.
I made a November 2017 purchase of a Tax Neo primarily for it's touted quiet drive. It performed as advertised except for a high pitched resonance when driven at gearing and cadence equivalent to 20 plus MPH. Considering buying? Please Google tacx neo whistling noise and watch the 22 second uTube video that matches my experience.
Tacx offer no phone or interactive customer support other than email to Netherlands headquarters. They promise to answer within 6 working days. Their response- This sound that the NEO makes is created by air that flows trough the trainer making this whistling noise. So to speak it is perfectly normal When I responded that I didn't see this as an acceptable answer on a premium product sold based on quiet operation, I received no further response from Tacx.
Bike Tires Direct was helpful in allowing me to return the Neo and replace it with a lower priced overall quieter unit from Cyclops.
The reason I bought this was that it worked without electric. I really like it for you can ride for hours and not notice that you are on a stationary bike.
I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to a smart trainer from my Kinetic Rock & Roll and I must say indoor training has gotten a whole lot more interesting. There's no two ways about it this is one pricey unit but the features really set it apart. When riding on Zwift it's very responsive to gradient changes without lag time. The road feel feature is a game changer as well. Feeling as if you are actually riding over cobbles, gravel and boardwalks is really startling at first because it does feel realistic. The unit is motorized and it actually simulates downhill riding, at least up to a 5% decline, So you can actually freewheel on a descent. I also enjoy doing workouts in ERG mode where the trainer controls the resistance and eliminates the need for shifting during intervals.
That is not to say the Neo is not without issues. I had to return the first Neo I received. It was defective right out of the box. I set it up got on Zwift and started riding but after less than 15 minutes the resistance dropped out and just stopped working. Contacted Tacx and was told to return it to the vendor. BTD was great about the return process. I decided to give it another try and asked for a replacement rather than a refund. The downside was a new unit would not be sent until BTD received the defective unit. Understandable but since they are located on the west coast and I am on the east coast the process took close to 3 weeks. Another issue is the Tacx software which is buggy at best. I generally use Zwift and Trainer Road with great results.
The final verdict is that when the Neo functions as advertised it is an awesome piece of equipment but I think as far as quality control is concerned Tacx has some work to do. Considering the price I think Tacx owes the customers a more reliable product.
I had an older Tacx smart trainer and decided to upgrade this year. I do lots of GPS rides of routes in the Texas Hill Country and this one is much more realistic than the old one. It's also much quieter, all around just a huge improvement. After using it for 2 months I'm going to upgrade my wife's trainer as well.
Very quite trainer. Using with Zwift. I like the simulated hills, and rough roads. The first time I went over coblestones, I was not paying attention and was shocked at how realistic it was. I went from basic rollers where it was tough to keep from going mad from boredom after 10min, to easily riding for an hour fully stimulated. Only issue is overheating, so I need to invest in a larger fan. Pretty expensive, but I figure it will keep me in shape through winter so hopefully it pays for itself in the long run based on my life expectancy .