Power Pedals or upgrade from Tacx Vortex?

I did search extensively but can’t find a definitive or recent answer and things have come on in the last couple of years including power meter and trainer options.

I have a cheap bike that I love, a Btwin Triban 3 and a Tacx Vortex. I’ve been on TR for about 4 years, 2 of those on a Tacx Flow Smart and the last 2 on the Tacx Vortex. There are some amazing deals on trainers and pedal power meters have come down somewhat so now I’m at the quandary of which would be “better” to invest in? The Vortex seems to be “fine” I don’t have any issues with it and from what I’ve read in the 200-300W ranges its pretty close to true power. I don’t race, I don’t train outside I just ride in the sun on the road for fun (MTB is my cycling passion).

So, Tacx NEO or Garmin Rally RS100? (If I get the NEO I can sell the Vortex and bring the price down to very close to the pedals).

Or should I not even bother and save myself a lot of money?

I’d go for the pedals and use powermatch with your current vortex if you are happy with the feel. Then you have power inside and out :slight_smile:


For me I would save the money if the vortex is working and reads consistently.


Best option.

If you want one or the other, the pedals.

  • With this specifically in mind, I’m not sure there is a “need” to buy anything.

Unless you are trying to train and track TSS outside, there is not much need to add power for outside use. Also, since you mention MTB is your passion, is that from a purely “fun” standpoint or is it more of the interest and reason behind your training?

The reason I ask is that if you really care more about that, I am surprised you are considering road pedals instead of MTB ones. But that is just an observation with the limited info, so there may be good reason for the directions you shared.

  • This is my thought unless there is something else more important hiding between the lines above.

I have a Tacx Vortex. Mine worked fine but was wildly inaccurate. It really screwed up my head because my real FTP was like 40 watts lower than what the Vortex said.

But if you only do a couple of power based workouts per week inside and then ride outside and smell the roses, then training to the same inaccurate power meter is fine.

I picked up a used Kickr from a team mate for $400. I would have never bought a $1200 trainer - no way, not ever. I already hated riding the trainer and hardly used the thing anyway.

Fast forward to moving to a place with a real winter and I find myself on the trainer 3-7 days per week in the winter. I found that I LOVE a direct drive trainer. I don’t even use any of the fancy features. I take power from my bikes power meter and ride the Kickr in resistance mode. I change gears on the bike to change resistance or sometimes change resistance in the app.

The direct drive Kickr with a big flywheel just makes riding indoors tolerable. It’s my time to binge watch tv shows that my family will not watch. I go down to my cave for an hour or two of me tv time and some intervals.

If my Kickr died I’d probably go straight for the $700 on sale Kickr core but probably most any direct drive trainer would be good.

I might even really love Zwift and erg mode but I haven’t even tried it.

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I’m not sure there is either, I guess sometimes we like to treat ourselves when the chance comes up.

Nope. :slight_smile:

It is yes, but I’m an “Enduro bro”, not a racer, or at least not one where power will be of any use. I primarily train to just be…better/faster/stronger than the next guy :grin: I also fear that MTB power pedals would get quickly destroyed!

I guess the spark in the mind was “it would be nice” to have a “better” trainer or “it would be nice” to have pretty much useless outdoor roadie power data. And “maybe” the power pedals would provide improved/more accurate numbers on the vortex while giving me ultimately useless outdoor power data (other than pacing up one hill on my ride that I want to beat a few mates on Strava :flushed: :laughing:)

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So I could never fathom that kind of money either. But at the moment NEO 2 SE is on sale for £699 and I can get £200 for the vortex on ebay. That puts it down to the price of power pedals and makes it more appealing.

I use my trainer 3-4 times a week and LOVE it, and have done for the whole time I’ve been doing it.

A couple of other items my brain is using to justify it is the Vortex is out of warranty, so if it breaks I cant replace it or sell it for good money and a Neo is much quieter, more accurate and “better” :smile:

Based on that, my only other thought is the general trainer use and experience. The Vortex is a fine trainer, but it has it’s issues:

  • Noise is notable from my experience. The Neo you mention, or just about any other trainer in that price point, is significantly more quiet in use compared to the Vortex. It may not matter in your case, but the nearly silent function is great for many.

  • The flywheel on the Vortex is anemic compared to the other trainers. “Road feel” for general use, but also for simulation stuff like Zwift, Rouvy, Fulgaz are vastly different.

  • Wheel slip may also not be an issue, but the direct connection via drivetrain is a set it and forget it aspect compared to dealing with tire pressure and roller pressure. Once done, adding in a “dumb” front wheel with no inflation necessary is one less consideration to deal with, and a nice convenience for my use.

Those are different directions or considerations, but can be real improvements in the experience at the very least.

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Then go for it. You’ll love direct drive even more. I’d just research the reliability of the Neo 2 SE. I seem to recall some unrepairable Tacx stinkers but that may all be in the past.


Really appreciate all the replies :slight_smile:

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I guess I’ll throw my recommendation out there, fwiw.

I’d split the difference. Buy a KICKR CORE for $720 on Zwift’s site right now, and Favero Assioma Duo for $750, which puts you roughly at the same price point as a new NEO 2T. You sell the Vortex for a few hundred or what-not, and donezo, you’ve got an awesome trainer, awesome power meter pedals, and all for the same total price as the NEO or Rally pedals.

Just my two cents…


Really appreciate your input and if I was surfing on a $1500 budget that would make total sense. However, I’m in the UK and currently can pick up a NEO 2 SE for £699, or the Assioma Duo for £559. Budget doesn’t stretch any further really.

As someone who started with a Vortex, then got Assioma Duo to use with Powermatch and now has a Kickr Core. The Vortex is a great trainer for the money but i would not say it is accurate unless you keep the tyre pressure consistent and calibrate it after it is warmed up. I was in the same predicament to you and ended up buying Assioma Duo when they were first released. For me having reliable and consistent power readings both inside and outside was more important to me than a better trainer. I would be surprised if you FTP is the same if you do decide to buy the Assioma as my Vortex was reading around 30 watts higher than the pedals. I used the Vortex and Assioma together for around three years but then decided to upgrade the trainer last year and went for a kickr core.

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