Trainer Quandary: Bike or Direct Drive

A couple of months back I decided to give my beloved Wahoo Kickr Core to my dad and to purchase a Tacx Neo Bike (on holiday discount) with the hope that I could avoid some wear and tear on my bikes and possibly interest my wife into cycling on something that looked more like an exercise bike.

So far, I’ve found the Neo bike to be disappointing. For some reason, I can’t generate the same amount of power on it (20-30 watts less) as on my road bike hooked up to the Kickr. Things feel less fluid. On ERG mode, the bike won’t track very well, oscillating between 20 watts on either side of the target power. Finally, the pedal stroke is not particularly smooth and it feels like there is a hitch in the stroke toward the bottom of the NDS (Left) downstroke. Weird.

Unfortunately, the Neo Bike would be difficult to sell. It weighs a ton and wouldn’t be able to be shipped to anyone. I could try to sell it locally. It could also be that I have a bit of a lemon.

I still like the idea of a separate training bike. Has anyone tried the Wahoo Kickr Bike and been able to compare it to the Neo Bike? Should I just cut my losses and try to sell the Neo at a steep loss locally and go back to a Kickr? I do 90% of my biking indoors due to my job, so it’s an extremely important decision.

sorry i can’t be of more help, but that’s disappointing to hear. I am really interested in an upgrade to my current standalone bike (cycleops phantom 500), which does work well with trainerroad but is not without it’s hiccups like spiral of death and locking up every so often, plus the same oscillating behavior you describe, though it’s been a lot better recently that I’ve connected my google pixel 2 phone to it. I think you should try running on a different platform (different phone/tablet/pc if you can) and see if you have any better luck before going the nuclear option. worth a shot.

DC Rainmaker has a comparison of all the new smart bikes. I also think he’s said on here that the erg issue is known and everybody is waiting for a firmware update. So there is hope that it will get better. Apart from that, this is deffk out of my price range :joy:

It was a stretch for me financially, but it’s really important for me to have the best indoor experience possible. Hopefully it will get better. There was some noise under load today which was concerning.

There are some things I do like about it, by the way. Mainly, though, not thrilled so far.

Given that the resistance module should be very similar in the Neo bike to their direct drive trainers, I’d hold on to it see if the firmware updates fix things. It may also be worth calling Garmin/Tacx support to ensure that their isn’t anything else not right with your bike.

The Neo 2T had some launch issues that seemingly have gotten ironed out with updates.

The Kickr bike is really hard to get right now.

This is a good idea. I had tried to get in contact with them, but to no avail. I’ll try again. It’s possible something’s wrong with the crank arms.

I do wish they’d update the firmware. The ERG issue is pretty annoying during structured workouts.

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Spoke with Garmin. They were surprisingly helpful this time and said it’s probably a belt issue. They will replace the bike. Good for them!