Hammer H2 vs Tacx Neo 2 - Buy now or wait?

Hi all,

I’ve been wanting to get a direct drive trainer for ages. My personal setup is a mix of 2 setups; 1) a feedback sports roller stand with a powertap g3 hub power meter that allows me to do up to 800 watts of effort. 2) Elite Nero Rollers that allow me to have power and practice bike handling and roller skills. I love both and would suggest anyone starting out to get that first setup I have since I can roll indoors and outdoors with power.

However, I really need a direct drive trainer as I need to 1) do sprint intervals beyond 800 watts and 2) I’d like a bit of a quieter trainer as the roller + power meter can get quite loud because of the tyre sound.

I’ve come across a sale for the Hammer H2 (around 650 british pounds) and I’m thinking this is a really good price. However, I’ve had my eyes on a Neo 2 for a really long time and think it would be perfect given its functionalities. I know that the 2 is mostly the same as the 1 (but with better internals etc) but the 1 is hard to come by and the current used ebay price is about 600-650 pounds. If I sprang for a Neo 2, this would be double the price of the H2 so I’d have to wait for a while before I’d feel comfortable laying down the coin (like 2-3 months)

Since many of you have experience with H2 and the neo 2, what are your thoughts? What are things you’ve liked / not liked about each? Is the Neo 2 worth a wait over an H2? What is your personal “good deal price” for each (thats subjective but I’d like to hear from people.

Finally, no, I’m not interested in Wahoo given all of the problems I’ve read on the forum. I may be convinced with Elite Drivo 2 since I love my rollers but reviewers seem a bit luke warm about it.

I have both of those trainers (and a Kickr17).
CycleOps H2:

  • The thru axle support is easier and better than the N2.
  • It’s not super quiet, but it can be very tolerable when used with lower gearing. Keeping the overall “wheel speed” down makes it as quiet as my fans and music.
  • The massive flywheel is my favorite of any trainer I have used (those above plus PowerBeam Pro, Vortex, Magnus, Road Machine).

Tacx Neo 2:

  • Is amazingly quiet, but the bike’s drivetrain still makes noise with higher gearing. And as above, the other noise in the room pretty much exceeds the trainer noise in many cases.
  • The virtual flywheel is interesting and good in ways, not so good in others. It’s hard to put into words other than it is “different”.
  • I do love the absence of calibration. (counterpoint, the H2 only needs calibration about once per month if you leave it in the same place, and with a bike installed)

There are likely other attributes to discuss, and I’m happy to answer specific questions to address the stuff I didn’t mention (which is lots :stuck_out_tongue: )

For the right price, I think the H2 is a pure winner. It is a great trainer that is highly underrated IMHO.

To add, since you mention sprinting, I would plan on adding a rocker plate to your setup if you want to do high power sprints, especially out of the saddle. Trying to do that on a rigid setup is not recommended.


I feel a little different about the thru axle support on the H2 vs the Neo 2. I’ve got a Trek Emonda with disc brakes. I did not like the clearance on the H2 for “L” shaped thru axle for the Trek, you can’t turn it 360. You have to release pressure, turn backwards, rinse, repeat. I have had no issues using the through axle provided by Neo 2, you don’t use your own thru axle like the kickr or H2. H2 is louder and if you came from a kickr or neo, you’d notice the difference. H2 definitely has the price and flywheel advantage. I’ve switched from Kickr 18 to Neo 2 with very little noticeable difference. Yes, you loose the flywheel but no belt, power needed or calibration is a winner in my book. I don’t miss the flywheel. I’ve owned the kickr 18 for 9 months, H2 for a day and Neo 2 for two weeks so far, it’s my current.


I was hoping to get your attention! Thanks for the quick reply

I don’t need super silent as I am lucky to have a dedicated room. I do need quieter for sprints than my current setup as at speed it sounds a bit like a jet engine right now (as I was just failing Cockscomb right now I scared my mother in-law with the bike sounds).

Speaking of sprints, which feels nicer? You mentioned that the Neo felt “different”, is it something that throws you off during sprints? How does that compare to an H2? Does a beefier flywheel make sprints feel better / more realistic? I’m also really keen on a rocker plate in the future (the demo from cycleops a few months ago looked cool and I have an affinity for them since all of their stuff has been rock solid) but I’ve heard comments from some that its not how you actually sprint outside (GPLama comes to mind)

As for other questions, I was also curious about route simulations. I’d really like to use this direct drive to do virtual recons of some races and routes for practice, enjoyment, (Crush my enemies). Have you tried this in both trainers? Which app environment feels more seemless / less difficult to do something like this in?

Any other things about either trainer that people don’t talk about that you’ve noticed?

Thanks again!

Thanks for the reply. What made you fully commit to the Neo 2 vs the H2 after that day switch? Was it the convenience of no calibration and noise? Maybe something else?


It was the opposite, I was committed to the kickr until about the fifth failure. The noise of the kickr was quite a bit quieter in my opinion. I didn’t like hearing the H2 over my headphones. After the second failure, I took the kickr and swapped it for the h2. It was loud enough that I took it back and and tried another kickr. The Neo 2 is just as quiet as the kickr. I like not having to worry about the flywheel or the belt.


5 failures? Even the Buddha loses patience after 3 insults or hits… Glad you’ve found your setup :slight_smile:

  • I think the H2 feels more “realistic” to me on sprints. Winding up the heavy flywheel seems more natural to me.
  • I haven’t done a ton of sprinting on the Neo 2, but I have done enough to get the “smelly fish” issue. It also seems a bit odd as you overpower the resistance initially, and it reacts to add more. It must all relate to the control of the virtual flywheel.
  • People have different experiences. Much of it relies on setup of the rocker, and some comes from technique. I have dialed in my setup and use to be quite close to “real” sprinting for my needs. It’s not a perfect experience, and I am working on designs that I hope will address the differences. But I find it way better than rigid, as sprinting on a fence post is anything but natural.
  • I have not done any ride replays or rides of other people’s GPX files, or other apps like FulGaz, Rouvy etc.
  • I have only used Zwift for any simulation usage. For Zwift, both are great really. The “Road Feel” on the Neo 2 is a surprisingly convincing feature. The cobbles in particular were a shock when I hit them the first time. It was so cool that I flipped around and rode it again to feel the impact. Those and the wooden bridges are fun addition that adds to the immersion.
  • Other than that, I think both do a great job of giving the impression of climbing and descending. On the descending, the powered downs are also very cool on the Neo 2. That and the Road Feel aren’t essential by any means, but I can see the benefits from a sim perspective.
  • The “rocking” that you can get with the Neo is better than rigid, but far from what most people get with a real rocker plate. It is a nice taste, but not enough for me with my prior experience.
  • I have noticed that my pedaling (dropping heals a bit when fatigued) may be leading to some shoe contact with the Neo 2 legs. I need to test with my shoe clipped in to see if my guess is right, but there is less clearance than I expected. Likely just an issue from my crap use, but something I have noted.
  • I like that the H2 has a lower front wheel block. It makes it easier to mount than the Neo 2 (which has a taller spacer for some unknown reason).
  • The Neo 2 sticks forward enough that it may not clear tighter chainstays on some bikes. I couldn’t mount a friends Tri bike because they stepped down so much after the dropout, that it hit the case. The H2 has more clearance in the same spot and worked fine in that case.
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@killroy123 after 4 kickr failures, I was at a crossroad like you. The through axle on the H2 is a real crap design. The noise it puts out is not bad at all. Matter of fact, I like it. I can workout in the AM next room to my sleeping beauty wife, and that gorgeous thing doesn’t wake up. The H2 is simple and,…it works! I’m not sure where you’re located, but seeing how H2 is an American company, I went that route (along with the other great reviews), and I’m glad I did. The other reason I went H2 over Tacx is I’ve heard bad things about their customer service (don’t shoot me for those who’ve had great customer service). After my debacle with Wahoo, last thing I wanted was to ship this thing overseas (they may have a hub here in our wonderful United States???). I can tell you, the people who have Tacx generally are very happy customers, and so are H2 owners. The H2 is a stink beetle. Give it a beating, it keeps going. Unless you’re getting a great deal on a sale, for me, the Tacx isn’t worth the extra money. Some others may disagree. I love my H2, and I’m a very happy customer


I’ve found all of cycleops equipment to be built like a tank. My G3 hub has been absolutely bulletproof over a year and I’ve had zero problems with it. At 450 pounds for a wheel set, it has been an absolute steal. Hearing Hammer and H2 users gush about the trainer sounds a lot like me and the love for my cycleops equipment

One question that did spring to mind with the H2 was campy compatibility. From the website, it says they don’t have (and appear to have no intention of having) a campy compatible freehub body. Has anyone tried an 11 speed campag drivetrain with a Shimano 11 cassette on the H2?

Thank you for all of this. Really great info and I appreciate the write up.

As an update, I called cycleops and the H2 isn’t compatible with campagnolo. It doesn’t look like it will be in the future. They did mention that an 11 speed shimano cassette should be fine. However, I’m not going to take the risk of buying a trainer and hoping that it works given the price.

Not all is lost. I managed to get an ex-display tacx neo for around 600 pounds so thats good. Hopefully if someone is looking to compare these two in the future, they will stumble on this page.

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Double update…

So I got the original Neo for very cheap. Very long story. Short version is that Ebay sucks but Tacx is awesome and refurbished it for a low cost. So for anyone wondering about Tacx neo generally, their warranty and support is amazing.

I’ve now ridden the neo and…oh god its good. So good. If you have the coin (or thinking should you upgrade to it) I think just get it. Its an end-game trainer and I don’t see myself buying anything else in the future. Maybe an H3 if it has Campy support


I got Elite Nero rollers , but i can’t sync it with trainerRoad .
Nero resistance doesn’t changing according to target power on TrainerRoad.(I can see the power)
I have Tacx Neo too and it working fine
How did you sync it ?

Have you tried it with bluetooth? I have been able to sync it no problem out of the box.

Message TR directly, they have been very helpful in getting the rollers on support.

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Yes, contact support@trainerroad.com for best results.

I have the Hammer original and cant say enough about it. I use it a lot too. It def got a bit louder the more I use it but I just took the cover off and put some belt condition on it and it is now quieter than when I first bought it. I actually enjoy using it so much that I don’t ride outside anymore other than to race.


Isn’t the season for when all of the new models roll-out starting in about 6-weeks or so?

I am in the same boat wanting to upgrade my from my Tacx Galaxia rollers to something with more resistance and ERG, and I have been debating between getting the Nero or the KickR Core, but both seem to have issues (for the Nero it is that the ERG is not great, and for the Kickr it is the quality control issues). I am trying to convince myself to be patient and just wait to see what hits the market in the next few months, or for the pricing in the old models to drop. The flaw with this plan is that patience is not my strong suit, and there is a non-zero percent chance I just say eff it and buy a KickR on my lunch break.

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Tbh, wait. It’s hard I know as well :grinning:

The first signs are the new elite direct drive trainer. That looks solid, at a great price, and elite is know for its accuracy. I’m sure a lot of other things are in the pipe. Wait till mid September after interbike and make a decision.

As for erg on the Nero, there is baked in lag because, well, spiral of death on rollers is much scarier and more impactful. I have had great success with the Nero as a zone 2 trainer with zwift and it makes zwift really enjoyable. As for TR, I need a bit more time with it but I think a direct drive is better. My TR sessions are all about creating accurate stress for adaptations and not being stressed while trying to build my pedal stroke. I get the logic of doing both but, for me, I think it’s too much

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  • More or less. Elite just revealed their new mid-range Suito.

  • Eurobike 2019 is the first week in September, and that is a common point for release of new products, and times well with the coming Fall indoor training/racing season in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • So, I would hold off on major trainer purchases unless you have an immediate need or get a screaming deal on current models that you know will meet your needs for the foreseeable future.

There is an opening for a mid-level, wheel-off trainer from CycleOps, and/or a new H3 (or something else entirely that could incorporate motion?), and who know what else from them. They are behind the curve a bit right now and need to fill some gaps.

Tacx still needs to release the Neo Smart Bike, and who knows if they have immediate plans for others. Their Neo 2 is still fresh, and the Flux 2/S releases aren’t that old either. No telling if they have new models coming.

Elite could have more arrows in the quiver as well.

And Kinetic might just have a handle on their released/stopped/re-released R1 that is not seen much.

If you haven’t already done so, I would review the Kickr threads here to review the relatively common issues seen in the Kickr18 and Core models. Not trivial or rare as one would hope. Many people with several replacements before jumping ship to other brands.


Makes sense. However, I am fairly new to cycling (injured former runner) and thought spending more time on rollers would be beneficial (i.e. I assume I can get a lot gains from form improvement alone, etc) — which is why an ERG roller seemed perfect. If the ERG on the Nero is not great for anything above steady state rides then I am somewhat confused to its value versus something like the cheaper and simpler Elite Quick Motion rollers.

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