A few weeks ago I had the privelage of purchasing a Tacx Neo Direct Drive Turbo Trainer. Since then I have been riding it several times a week and to say I am impressed is an understatement. This turbo has turned indoor training from something I used to dread into something I now look forward to. Below I will outline what I feel are some of the best features of this trainer.
Easy Set Up
Considering the complexity of the machine, the tacx neo was surprisingly easy to set up when I took it out of the box. It was very straightforward to unfold the unit, attatch a cassette and plug it in. There is also no fiddling around with special turbo quick release skewers like you would find on a more traditional turbo trainer. All that needs to be done is to take the rear wheel off your bike before slotting the bike onto the turbo.
Once you have the turbo set up you have the option of hopping on and pedalling, staring at the wall (like you would on a regular trainer) or connecting the trainer up to one of the several applications it was designed for use with. Mostly I have been using an application called Zwift, where you cycle on a virtual course online with other cyclists from all over the globe. I had downloaded Zwift onto my iPad, so connecting it to my turbo trainer was really easy, all I had to do was turn the bluetooth on my iPad on and start pedalling.
As soon as I started pedalling, I was blown away by how realistic this turbo trainer is compared to cycling on the road. Becasue the turbo trainer is direct drive, it controls the resistance for you and when using it on Zwift, adjusts the resistance depending on the terrain you are virtually cycling on. Cycling up hills increases the resistance, forcing you to change into an easier gear and sitting behind another rider decreases it for the same speed just like it would on the road. There is also a small amount of flex built into the unit, which allows you to stand up out of the saddle and rock the bike side to side, which adds a surprising amount of enjoyment and realism to the experience.
Accuracy of Training
The tacx neo is not only very enjoyable to use, but also allows for extremely accurate and structured training sessions. Firstly, the unit gives highly accurate power readings. Tacx claims the unit has a power deviation of less than 1%, which makes it as accurate, or more so, than any other other power meter commercially available. This makes it great to use for testing to set up training zones.
There are also a variety of functions which increase can increase the structure of your training sessions. On zwift, or also many of the other applications available for use with the neo, there is a huge variety (over 1,000 on zwift) of pre-made workouts to choose from, depending on your time available and training objectives. You can even make custom workouts for yourself. All the workouts are tailored to your fitness level, and there is also a variety of training plans which schedule different workouts on different days of the week to get the best possible training effect.
In conclusion, I would have to say that the Tacx Neo is one of the best investments I have made with my cycling, as it has completely changed indoor training for me. I would highly reccomend the Tacx Neo for anyone who spends a large amount of time training indoors.
If you are considering purchasing a smart trainer or have any questions, don't hesitate to come into Adrenalin Sports and Cycles. You can test ride the unit on zwift in our turbo area and Chris, Samuel or Eamonn will be able to answer any questions you may have.