Tacx Neo 2 observations

I made the switch this year from a 1st gen Kickr to a Tacx Neo 2 and I wanted post some things I’ve noticed. (All done on Windows 10 PC, Tacx 0.0.18 firmware, Kickr 1.5.68 firmware, no power meter and additional Ant+ cadence sensor on crankarm)

  1. This has been addressed before and not an issue, but power differences between trainers are significant (Kickr measured ~40W higher).

  2. The Tacx Neo 2, while much quieter than the 1st gen Kickr, isn’t close to silent. On the plus side, it doesn’t transmit vibrations through the floor like the Kickr.

  3. Random power spikes occur more often on the Tacx than the Kickr. I have both Ant+ and BLED dongles and the spikes seem to occur more often while using Bluetooth, but only by a small margin.

tacx_power_spikes

  1. While on Bluetooth, I get regular Workout Stopped/Started messages on the screen, though there is no change in power cadence or any other measurement I can see, nor does it affect the workout.

  2. The Neo 2 has a much different “feel” than the Kickr. Pedaling on the Neo 2 seems like more muscular work than the Kickr. For threshold and sprint intervals on the Kickr, I’d often pedal between 105-115 while on the Neo 2 this just seems much harder. Also, the Neo 2 has some lateral movement that the Kickr did not, making it feel more like a regular road ride.

  3. Even using the Tacx Desktop software with the BLED I haven’t seen the left/right power breakdown anywhere. I’ve read on other posts about using the Tacx Desktop and TR simultaneously and I’ll likely try that this week.

All in all, I’m happy with the Neo 2 and while I’d like to see the power spikes disappear, in the meantime I’ll view them as character building exercises.

I’m interested to hear other Neo 2 users’ experiences with TR, particularly if you’re having (or not) the power spike issue. Also, I’d love for TR to be able to read and display the left/right power that the Neo 2 (allegedly) outputs.

Thanks!

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I have the original Tacx Neo Smart, use Ant+ with the laptop. I too have issues w/ #'s 2 & 4… Also finding I cannot use my hardest gear or I track 10-20 watts higher than target wattage (relatively spot on in 2nd highest gear)

Great feedback! I’m moving into an apartment complex soon and am thinking of getting a Neo because I have heard it’s the quietest direct drive. I currently have a kickr gen 1 so anything will be quieter relatively

I had 1st gen Kickr for over a year. Have been riding a Neo for over a year.

1st gen Kickrs are/were notorious for reading high. I have two bikes each w/their own power meters. Kickr was always anywhere from 10-20W higher than either bike. No amount of spin downs made a difference. On the other hand, my Neo and on bike power meters are all within 3%.

If you are in ERG mode and using the small chain ring, your drive train and fans should be louder than the Neo. I switched to Neo due to noise complaints from downstairs neighbor. Neo w/double trainer mat is/was the cure :hear_no_evil:

Are you feeling random power spikes or are you referring to the way the graph looks? If the latter, the Kickr has an “ERG mode power smoothing” function which made the graphs look perfect. Otherwise, I would probably make sure your Neo firmware is updated and then perhaps open a support case w/TR.

I see this on ANT+ as well. While it does not seem to cause any problems, odd none the less.

Yes. I think it is the difference between the virtual flywheel of the Neo vs the actual XXlb/kg flywheel of the Kickr. Some prefer the Kickr feel. I noted it was different and got on w/riding. As for the slight lateral movement, it does feel nice!

+1 to this. Still working on cracking an old 5 minute power PR from my first gen Kickr :persevere:

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You could edit Kickr rides to exclude them from your PRs. Or you could set up a season or time range that starts post Kickr and only compare against that one.

Yeah i’ve already done that. My brain remembers it though!

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Lol - I have a bunch of legacy power records from when I used my 1st Gen Kickr. My reads ridiculously high but works fine with powermatch. My Neo is much quieter though.

Don’t forget about lubing your chain. This will also significantly cut down on noise.

The power spikes are definitely real and not just graph artifacts. I’ve got power-smoothing on and set to 3 second interval. That image is what my graphs look like. Firmware is 0.0.18 (newest on app). I’ll give it a few more days before I consider opening a case with TR.

Initially I didn’t like the pedal feel of the Neo 2, but then I realized it was because of the (perception of?) increased muscular involvement. Once I recognized that I embraced it as another way to improve my fitness and now I prefer it.

The Neo is a lot quieter than the 1st gen Kickr and KickrLin is right, the drivetrain is the loudest part of the equation with the Neo. I use a wax lube, but it still makes some noise. Unless your walls are paper thin, I’d be surprised if neighbors could hear.

Trying to get back to a previous (aberrant) FTP should provide me significant motivation for the next 6 months or so.

Thank you all for the feedback!

The answer to the power spikes is to ride in a lower gear. Last year when I started using my Neo1, I had spiky power charts like yours, and I even noticed it felt like I would fight the pedals a bit mid-stroke. Back then, I’d be in the big-ring. I now do my rides in something like 36x15 and the charts are almost smooth as butter.

I think the reason is it can only make resistance corrections so often, and when the “flywheel” is moving quickly it has to respond “harder” and it ends up way under or over-shooting, which interrupts your cadence some, and then you get into this really vicious cycle +/- 10 watts. When the cassette spins slower it seems to make much softer touches.

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I am a Tacx Neo first generation user and here is some feedback.

In my case. this used to happen when I am training from my MAC. Make sure your mouse is not over the active screen. As you may have paid attention, the software is not stopping reading power inputs or the workout, it basically asks if you want to pause the workout, this is because mouse.
I do my workouts on 2 screens and had the same issue and wondering what was causing it :slight_smile: Once I started keeping mouse on inactive screen, problem disappeared.

Put it in small chain ring and middle gear. Zero noise. My fan is much noisier then my trainer :).

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I had an interesting (frustrating) experience with the Neo 2 during a ramp test. I put my Cervelo S5 RAT axle on the trainer for the first time. It works with the thru-axle adapter on the non drive side and the quick release cap on the skewer on the drive side. I did a ramp test for the fist time in 2 months, and even though I was coming off of a 2 week layoff, I had been doing some cross training and some unstructured riding during the time frame (prior to that I was in the throws of CX season). The ramp test came in nearly 30 watts below my previous effort on a KICKR 2017. Usually I use a power meter and power match, these happen to be extenuating circumstances where my Vector 3’s were having battery technical difficulties on the Cervelo. I must have had a non power meter bike on the KICKR having just moved, and I probably had not bothered to switch.

To say the least, this was quite disheartening to put out a power number that low. I though I would be a little bit off my previous after the break and the wind down of peak form, but this was extreme. I knew I could have done a little better on the test but maybe only 10 watts better. I was also thinking while I was doing it that it just felt too hard for the power numbers the Neo 2 was kicking out, even during sub-threshold efforts.

So the next day, I hooked up my P1 pedals and power matched to my IPad while I recorded the Neo 2 via my garmin. I got some interesting results. First of all, I ended up only 10 watts below my 2 month prior, which seemed more correct (although some of this was an improved effort). But most importantly the P1 pedals were reading a higher wattage than the Neo 2.

This was most drastic on lower wattage numbers. 175 watts and below (P1 wattage) the Neo2 was showing wattage numbers 35 watts below the P1. When I got to 200 watts, it was 25 watts below. 225 watts, 20 watts below, once I was over 260 watts it stabilized at 8 watts below.

So the error was not massive on the higher watt efforts, but it would definitely make easy workouts way too hard, and I would say it ruined my initial ramp test by making the early efforts too difficult and tiring me out on the ramp early. For gearing reference, I was in the big ring in the front and 19 in the rear. Also, for those who will say, how do I know the P1 was correct. Well I don’t, but the power numbers were much closer to every other power meter I have used (KICKR 2017, Pioneer, Stages, Vector 3) and when my vector 3 wasn’t dropping out, it was reading significantly higher and lower numbers than the Neo 2. Looking back, that was probably because one of the pedals was losing connection and when both were connected, it was reading the proper number 30 watts higher than the Neo 2.

Interesting, not sure why that is the case on the Neo, but I feel better about diving into my plan now having validated the differences.

In the last week my Neo II has started acting up? In the mist of a interval it will “self pause” as I am still pedaling. This is quite frustrating, and pissed me off enough I did not finish my workout out tonight. And I am also getting “workout started” but that doesn’t seem to be effecting anything. I was thinking maybe it was a Wi-Fi issue? I had my laptop running the workout, tablet running tunes, wife was on her laptop and tv going, son was on his laptop? Not sure if that has anything to do with it.
Also, how do you do power matching with the Neo II? I’ve looked for the info, but I might have missed it somewhere.
I also question my ramp test numbers on the Neo II

If you’re getting “workout paused” followed by “workout started” messages on screen during a workout, I would not necessarily attribute it to your Neo2. I have seen the same w/while running TR on my Macbook Pro w/both a Kickr as well as my Neo1. In my case, it does not happen often. it doesn’t affect ERG mode and/or the workout. Furthermore, you cannot see a dropout of any sort on the graphs :man_shrugging:

Powermatch requires a second power meter. That is, if you have a power meter on your bike (e.g., Stages, Quarq, Power2Max) and wish to use it as the power source to control the ERG vs using the power number directly from the trainer (e.g., Kickr, Neo, Hammer, etc…) Check the TR app settings to ensure it is enabled.

:joy:

Does anyone have issues with Neo II and Power Match?

I don’t know if it is due to Power Match, but on TR workouts with quick, high power spikes like in Clark, the resistance does not change fast enough to get to the target power. It seems that the trainer is hunting for the right resistance, is this due to Power Match?

I have been using my Neo for a little over a year now and think I remember seeing the same issues when paired to my laptop. However, I’m using my phone with a Quadlock mount now and don’t see any power spikes or issues with the workout pausing.

I don’t know if it applies to bluetooth devices but know that Windows has a power saving feature with USB devices where it cuts power to save battery if there’s inactivity. Might be worth looking into that and making sure you have the latest bluetooth drivers installed.

The changing gear suggestion is also a good one. I’m in the middle of my cassette with my smaller chain ring as well.

Neo 2 is more accurate than most power meters, since just using the Neo 2 over ANT+ Without power match have had 0 issues. Hope this helps.

The Neo notoriously reports low compared to other power meters. Consitently 15-25w based on the gear compared to my s-works power crank. The difference increases as you go to a bigger gear.
Other users have shared a similar experience on another thread with the assiomas and vector pedals.