Tacx Neo Smart Bike (dedicated bike)

unfortunately it appears to use a different type of belt than the Gates carbon drive or the kind you see on motorcycles.

Almost all of the belts you see in trainers these days are the “tooth” style like the Gates. Wahoo and Saris use them.

The Neo Bike has a multi “v” belt like the alternator/accessory belt in your car

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Hope I just got a bad one somehow, but I’ll admit that my confidence is a bit shaken. Perhaps someone with a better engineering background can chime in.

This definitely was a max torque type situation. Previous hard efforts and sprints from higher flywheel speeds were fine.

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Maybe they’re using the same dodgy supplier as Wahoo is for the climb? There should be no reason for a belt to fail in a human powered application.

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The max power is known, the rpm range is known, the gearing is fixed, so all parameters to determine max belt tension are known, and it’s not like adding a large safety coeff is going to change the cost of a product in that price range. I mean - there are a few bike chains out there.

I’d bet on a bad batch.

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Quick update: Tacx/Garmin got back to me and they are working on getting me a new belt and some other stuff to install.

Hopefully I can help equip them with some info so that other people can avoid this issue :slight_smile:

I’m still impressed that a trainer selling for 4000 CAD and has been in development and “almost shipping” for what feels like decades can blow a belt in the first week of usage. Presumably the belt was part of building the very first protos way back when, and should be one of the parts that has ween the most testing so far.

Most belts are designed around longevity parameters within a range of expected HP/torque/RPMs. The belt looked brand new and it didn’t look like it was “wearing out”.

I’m guessing that I exceeded the torque capabilities for the specified RPM range.

What is the “and other stuff” that you mention? Something other than the belt?

I believe it’s a tool to have the correct belt tension, which I assume I’ll return to them afterwards.

Had a call with Garmin today to explain the issue in detail, so far I’m impressed at how seriously they are taking it :+1:

Hopefully I found an edge case and they can solve it in line going forward so that way no one else runs into this :slight_smile:

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This was the reply I got from Garmin regarding UK sales.

Tacx is a recent acquisition and we are still working on integration activities, at this moment we are unable to support your query at Garmin Product Support Centers as training is still ongoing.

To get support for Tacx products please send an email through the form you can find on https://support.garmin.com/en-GB/ , alternatively you can call the Tacx team in the Netherlands in English only on:

That is the form I filled in yesterday. I would have expect Garmin to know if I could buy it :slight_smile:

My Neo Bike arrived today. Setup was easy. The thing is built like a tank. I rode Ansel Adams +4 as my first workout. No overheating, no broken belts. Everything worked as expected. As mentioned by Ray Maker, the erg mode performance is currently only so-so. The is a lot of oscillation around the requested value. The average value is dead on in long steady state intervals but wanders around by about 5-10%. In my 360W 50 second intervals the power would overshoot up to about 25W too high when the setting changed. Looking at the graph it looked like the power never went below the programmed value. It would overshoot when the power setting changed, come back down to the programmed value, go back up to a lower value,… until it settled near the programmed value. Overall it looks to me like the feedback loop is not correctly tuned right now.

Other things I noticed- I have huge thighs and noticed a teeny bit of rubbing on the seat mast at some power levels. Usually when going easy. For me is disappeared when I went harder. Also, the fans are more effective than I would have thought. I still need a second fan but they move a fair bit of air on the face and head. The little display is basically worthless is you are connected to any software. Which is basically all the time. It only shows heart rate in those times. Tacx could have left it off. This also would make it easier to fit aerobars.

Right now I am happy with the bike. I am sure that erg mode will be fixed in short order

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Got a call that I could be getting one in about 2 weeks. Fingers crossed for no belt issues :slight_smile:

Well, after 3 days I am sending the Neo Smart Bike back. Not due to any performance issues but due to ergonomic issues.
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See the photo. The problem is rubbing on my inner thighs at the points indicated. My thighs are fairly large. The tops of my thighs rub on the front end of the fixed part of the bar that allows the beat to slide forward and back. Near my knees rub at the top of the “seat tube”. It is enough to be quite annoying for me. I am 6’ tall and 185 lb. Thighs are about 21.5" in circumference. I use a Specialized Power saddle with 9cm of setback (about the same as ~6cm of setback on a traditional saddle). With a setup that matches my real bikes I get the rubbing. This doesn’t happen on any of my real bikes. So, it is something to consider in the buying decision. People would be best advised to try one of the bikes out before riding with the bike adjusted to their regular position. I am going to try the Wahoo Kickr bike next. It does not have the bar right under the seat and the dimensions I got of the “top tube” are quite close to my real bike. So, I am hoping that all will be well. It’s a good thing that the vendors take returns.

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another possibility is that water bottles can drip or leak, and if with additives can leave residue behind. Perhaps the placement of the 2nd bottle may drip onto areas that don’t want to be wet and they didn’t want the probability of something going wrong with age.

just a guess. I haven’t seen the bike and don’t know if there’s anything around that area that might be problematic with corrosion or fluids or mineral deposits.

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Got a new belt from Garmin/Tacx today and we are back in business!

No big deal to install, hopefully won’t run into this issue again.

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More sprints please!

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Hard to say about corrosion. I worried about that as well because I sweat a lot and there are cracks between different parts of the plastic housing where sweat could get inside.

Honestly if they haven’t built the things to withstand having water and hydration mix dripping onto them there are way bigger concerns than water bottle holders

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Agreed. The expectation and “plan for the worst” better include sweat and drinks dripped on the frame and other components. Anything less is poor design, and I doubt that Tacx would have missed that consideration.

I disagree. The best engineering practice is to design for the worse…within the cost structure…And the expected MTBF…and don’t invite problems that needn’t be there. That is additional exposure.

There are hundreds of examples of failed seals or incorrect seal selection in all sorts of areas across all sorts of products, from autos, bikes, to bearings. Even things like the type of metal and the exposure to materials happen as well, accelerating wear and corrosion, happen. There are examples of this in our lifetime.

The water bottle would sit above the crank and drippings would run down the body and through any number of things eventually reaching a moving part where a deal must exist.

It is very smart of them to not invite problems. Seals need replacing. Time will tell what they offer as far as rebuild kits go. I’m sure they are gathering data from the field and examining wear points, over the course of a year l, two, three, etc.

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