Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Bike Trainer review

The Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer features a silent, powerful and accurate direct drive delivering ultra quiet and highly realistic road feel. The Neo can be used with/without mains power and is suitable for training with apps on Tablets and Smartphones. The Neo can be used with/without mains power and is suitable for training with apps on Tablets and Smartphones.

Details

The Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer is their top-end, high-performance trainer to date. Extremely quiet, it is a powerful device to help your training and uses their latest technology and direct drive system to do this. Just like other Smart trainers, the NEO communicates using ANT and Bluetooth Smart, allowing it to be connected quickly and easily with Tacx apps. The trainer automatically communicated in all signals and can, therefore, be easily connected to a tablet, smartphone or GPS computer to have your training data in view.

Using a tablet even makes an interactive training possible, e.g. with training programmes or videos. The Neo Direct Drive Smart Trainer (T2800) is compatible with various open third-party software platforms, as well as the free Tacx software, that will help and make your training session much more fun and realistic.

Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer
  • Real direct drive trainer with a powerful motor placed directly onto the cassette, eliminating...
  • Low revolutions per minute, reducing noise to a minimum
  • Foldable and compact frame design, yet very stable
  • Can be used completely wireless or hooked to a power outlet
  • Works with Apple and Android tablet and smartphone

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The direct ride feel is generated thanks to the “real direct drive” concept, with no flywheel the magic happens with 10,000 communication transfers per second creating real-life inertia just like riding on the road. No high speed running noise and no vibration ensures the Neo is truly the world's quietest trainer! The lack of any physical transmission, and in turn any parts that could rattle or rub against each other, ensures this trainer is extremely quiet. In addition, this trainer requires no calibration and suffers no wear and tear.

Furthermore, the Tacx NEO features Plugin/Plug out technology and can, therefore, be used with and without a plug. When the plug is not in use, the trainer will act as a wireless motor brake. This means the trainer will not be able to speed up during descents. The NEO represents the ultimate in ease of use.

The Tacx Neo Direct Drive Smart Trainer comes with a hugely powerful motor, which can apply resistance up to 2,200W and realistically simulate slopes of up to 25%. For an all-round cycling experience, the Tacx Neo Direct Drive Smart Trainer even speeds up on descents!

The Tacx Neo Direct Drive Smart Trainer does not have a physical transmission, e.g. doesn't contain any parts that could rattle or rub against each other, which ensures this trainer is incredibly quiet so you can sneak in some early morning or late-night training sessions. Additionally, this Smart Trainer does not require any calibration and will not suffer from wear and tear. As a Smart Trainer, the Tacx Neo Direct Drive Smart Trainer communicates using ANT and Bluetooth Smart, which allows it to be connected quickly and easily via Tacx apps. Browse your performance data on several devices simultaneously to make sure you've hit your target zones.

ANT , Bluetooth and FEC compatible (basically automatically works with all wireless protocols)Brake power: 2000 WattMains: 110-240V/none, battery operated, comes with UK and EU plug onlyWheel: width of rear stay: Race – 130mm; MTB – 135mm.

More Details

  • Real direct drive trainer with a powerful motor placed directly onto the cassette, eliminating additional gearing
  • Low revolutions per minute, reducing noise to a minimum
  • Foldable and compact frame design, yet very stable
  • Can be used completely wireless or hooked to a power outlet
  • Works with Apple and Android tablet and smartphone

Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer
  • Real direct drive trainer with a powerful motor placed directly onto the cassette, eliminating...
  • Low revolutions per minute, reducing noise to a minimum
  • Foldable and compact frame design, yet very stable
  • Can be used completely wireless or hooked to a power outlet
  • Works with Apple and Android tablet and smartphone

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

User Reviews

Review 1

Best cycling purchase I've made in years. I've owned countless traditional trainers over the past 2 decades and get bored with them after a few rides. A. I could never get enough resistance on a traditional trainer. B. They were always too loud for an apartment setting.
Set up took a while and with a newer disc brake road frame, I had to remove the rear caliper as it was touching/rubbing against a moving part on the non-driveside and do a minor derailleur adjustment. No big deal really.
One thing to keep in mind, is that you'll want to download the Tacx Utility app on your iPhone and with your Neo plugged in and paired, upload all the updates. I didn't do this at first and missed out on the 'road feel' update on my first couple of rides on Zwift. This trainer works extremely well with Zwift right out of the box and with the Tacx updates even better. Note: I have this linked to Zwift on my iPhone and sent the Zwift app on my PC laptop and then to my television with an HDMI cable. This will be replaced later this week with the new update allowing Zwift to connect from the iPhone directly to the television via an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter paired with a long HDMI cable.

Review 2

I've been using Tacx Neo now for almost 1 month and almost everyday. I can say that I'm a Tacx user. I've been using only Tacx product since 2009. I own Tacx Fortius, Satori, i-Vortex and Vortex Smart. All of them are wheel based trainer (meaning you attach your bike to your trainer with rear wheel on). Besides Satori, the 3 of them are smart trainer. So all these years, I've been dealing with each of this trainer issue, from blow-up power, to blow up break. And yes, I've been sending back and forth my trainer for service and buying a replacement part for brake and power supply. Now it's time to upgrade. First, I actually was thinking about buying Wahoo Kickr because I got tired of blow up power supply or brake. But I have invested on Tacx product for long time (I own TTS 4.0 advance and lots of Tacx film) and upon reading that Kickr isn't totally compatible with TTS 4.0., I decided to buy Neo. (And also because I read that Neo has been designed differently than the previous Tacx lines up).

First and foremost, I love Neo because the bike connects directly to the cassette on the trainer, so no more back wheel. That means, NO wheel slippage. That means NO more fiddling with the resistance knob (to make sure the wheel contacts with the break properly), NO more pumping the tire to the right specification before each ride. and that's also means; NO calibration before each ride.That's to me are the biggest changes of all.

Second, no more problem with brake and power supply blow up. Everything in Neo is compact. There's no moving thing like the other Tacx product I own.

It transmits Bluetooth and ANT . So I can train with TTS 4.0 (on desktop) or TTS app on phone/tablet or using Zwift. So far the connection to Zwift is flawless via ANT . I haven't quit successfully to use Bluetooth with Zwift. (but I read that Zwift doesn't support the bluetooth trainer yet). People who are using Zwift sometime are complaining about the signal drops. Since I use my Neo and subscribe to Zwift (happens at the same day), until today I haven't had any signal lost whatsoever.

Since I ride in am around 5.30, the fact that the trainer is so quiet does help. My music probably is louder than my trainer. So for those of you who lives in apartment, this might be some feature you are looking for.

The quality of riding is awesome. It simulates real feel of outdoor riding, including freewheeling on the descent. I have already had a smart trainer from Tacx, and most of them has a great simulation of road feel (that's the reason why I buy Tacx smart trainer). The differences is that Neo can simulate a real feeling on a lot steeper gradient (I think up to 20% or something). Out of my 4 smart trainers, I love the feel of Neo (it's a bit smoother than the other 3 I have) and the fact that I don't need back wheel anymore.

The cons? it's pricey. This isn't a cheap trainer for sure. And on the top of that you have to buy a cassette. (But since I have so many cassette laying around, this one isn't such a big deal for me). You also need to buy a campy cassette remover. So if you are a Shimano person like I do, that means I have to buy a campy tool just for attaching the cassette to the trainer. The process of attaching the cassette itself is pretty simple. It comes with spacer for 10 speed cassette, and if you use 11 speed you don't need to add anything. People are having a hard time putting the cog one by one to the hub but I don't. As long as you find the marker notch, you can slide the cog one by one without fiddling too much. Once you install the cassette, attach your bike, you are ready to ride. No calibration needed.

Review 3

This is a great trainer, quiet and smooth. With the right Tacx RLV film, it can supply road feel, same with it when using Zwift.

Do yourself a favor and a) lubricate the axle/cassette body, many were shipped with inadequate lubrication and either lost freewheeling soon after starting to use it or made grinding noises. Google “Tacx Neo lubrication”. Do this before you assemble everything and b) the lockring uses a Shimano spline tool if you use a shimano cassette, you will need a Park chain whip and a Shimano cassette tool, the confusing part is that the hub can fit EITHER a Campy or a Shimano hub, I had a Shimano cassette, so that's what I ended up using. Also, download the Tacx update app and update the firmware in it, they have had several releases.

As to the Tacx TTS 4 Advanced app, I was a beta tester for years, don't ask the number of problems ! And before you ask, they screwed up the Google Earth integration on the latest releases. Sigh. They are really nice guys, I email them and they reply, it's just their SW development-release-QA-Alpha-Beta process is a problem, on the other hand everyone in SW flips beta code over the transom these days, so they are not too unusual.They are better now with the latest releases, but do yourself a favor and stay away from using the VideoPlayer 2 while setting it up, go with Player #1, they have never solved the lagging, out of sync issues with Player 2. I switch back and forth from TTS Advanced on a PC Win 7 to Bkool, for variation, it's slick. Bkool has 250K routes, Zwift has 3, I got bored with Zwift really quickly.

Conclusion

This Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer offers the very best in power and intelligence whilst also being able to boast that it is the quietest indoor trainer currently available on the market. Road feel is simulated in a highly realistic manner via the Tacx Neo Direct Drive Smart Trainer and impressively, there is no loss of power.

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