VO2max on Tacx Neo

I just did Taylor -2 on the trainer and it was a bit disappointing. My heartrate rarely exceeded the endurance level and the perceived exertion was like 7 out of 20.
My threshold is set at 225w as it was the results of the ramp test I took seven days ago.
My outdoor FTP is significantly higher and sits around 270w (I am using three P2Ms on different bikes; all give me the same results: summertime FTP at 290-300w and down to 270 after a four week break because of sickness). I have always been weak indoors (was using a dumb trainer with one of the P2M equipped bikes before, FTP was 20-30w lower inside), but the Neo takes it to another level. What I don‘t get: lousy ramp test, but far too easy VO2max workout. Did anyone experience the same dilemma?

Questions to step back and clarify.

  1. Is the Neo ‘new’ to you, and which exact Neo do you have (Neo 1, Neo 2, Neo 2T)?

  2. What exact device was reporting power for the ramp test?

    • Have you validated the power data on the trainer vs one of your power meters?
  3. You said the test was ‘lousy’. Is that because you got numbers lower than your outside power numbers, or did you really have a “bad” test for any reason?

    • It’s common to need to make adjustments to FTP after any test, especially if there were oddities in the testing.
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It’s a Neo2t. Power was reported via the Neo (Ant+). The test was lousy because of the low power readings. Last step was at 300w. I do this for an hour on a steady climb outdoors. But that is not the point. The number is just a number (It annoys me because it messes up my TSS chart). What surprised me is how easy the VO2 workout was. This left me a little bit afraid of actually detraining on the indoor trainer.

Well, there are literally dozens of threads about peoples results in the Ramp Test and how the do or do not lead to “correct” training intensities upon stepping into the following workouts.

Looking at the individual workout Duration, Intensity Factor, and TSS, you may be able to get an estimate of the expected effort. This all depends on your training history (inside and outside).

If you know the effort on the last workout is lower than it should have been, you can do a couple of things.

  1. Go into your next workout, with review of the expected demand, and increase the workout intensity setting as needed during the workout (assuming it’s too easy).

  2. Make a direct adjustment to your FTP based on a guess (2-5%?) and do the next workout, with similar review and expectations.

Either way, you can see how the next workout goes and adjust. The Ramp test (or any FTP test methodology) is not gospel. We need to review it and adjust as needed. Maybe you just had an off day for the test (which is possible and even the mental side of testing can really mess with people).

So, review your workouts and FTP at all times, and make changes as needed.

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Outside what Pm you using to get that 300 watts when climbing for 1 hour? Also, I am sure you know but you can edit or delete ftp numbers in the account settings if needed if it really bothers you in the chart/calendar.

Sounds like the Neo is new to you. I have a Tacx but a flux. Something I’ve noticed doing ramp tests and workouts really is gearing. While they say selecting the proper gear is not necessary with erg mode (assuming that is what you are using), I’ve found it to be quite critical, especially in a ramp test. I can’t seem to effectively spin over 280 watts without gearing up three or four clicks from my easiest gear. my typical gearing is small chainring up front and as power increases in workouts or ramp test, i click a few gears harder as power increases. Perhaps this is what you are experiencing? I definitely had a bad ramp test the first time i did it . it was only when i realized if i clicked up gears it became easier to keep a steady power output and thus a better test of my true FTP.

That is a blanket statement, and does not apply to all trainers. Your Flux in particular, does often require shifting to hit max and min power due to issues with wattage ceiling and floors.

Those issues are not typically present in the Neo, no matter what gearing gets used. It and other top end trainers are more capable than the mid and low end smart trainers.

Point being that there is almost not chance of wattage ceiling/floor issues being at fault here.

There may be an issue with gearing in general. High vs low vs mid gearing can yield different results from the variation in flywheel effect. It is particularly different with the Neo, since it is a virtual flywheel.

That leads to 2 questions for the OP.

  1. Have you made sure you have your proper weight entered into the trainer setup via the Tacx app?

  2. Are you on the latest firmware?

  • Notably, there are also some comments about the Neo 2T reporting lower than expected and comparative data from actual power meters. It could be related here as well.

Something does not make sense.

If your “outdoor FTP” is around 270W after being sick while typically in the 290-300W range, but you only tested at 225W w/the Neo, something is wrong. I too have P2Max on multiple bikes. The bikes and my Neo all match up fairly well, typically w/in 3%

  • Is your Neo2T firmware updated to the latest and greatest?
  • Did you have a bad test?
  • Did you do the test in ERG mode?
  • How much does your Neo2T power differ from your on bike p2m power (i.e., record one w/Garmin and one w/TR for a workout)
  • 20-30W indoor vs outdoor FTP difference seems like a lot. No fans or cooling indoors?

As for Taylor, to be honest, that’s an easy VO2max workout. Think of it as an introduction to VO2. It might be VO2 power, but your HR and RPE are unlikely to get to solid VO2 adaptation levels.


The first thing I would do is re-do the ramp test. (Or, if you want to be slack about it, a short workout that has some sustained time in the endurance, near-FTP, and VO2max zones.) In addition to using the same TrainerRoad + Tacx Neo setup you used previously, record the output of a power meter. (I’m assuming here you can put a bike that has a power meter on your Neo.) Record heart rate in at least one of the two places.

What you’re looking for is the difference between the Neo power and the PM power, and also how your heart rate / RPE behaves.

You could also try just setting your FTP to 270 W and doing something that has a ~10-20 min FTP block or do Taylor -2 again and see how the RPE is. (Or, for a less “permanent” change, just set the workout difficulty to 120%. That’s the same as temporarily upping your FTP from 225 to 270.)


when i ride with my Neo 2 and Vector 3 my Power Output is arround 10-15 Watt higher as with Power measurement of Neo 2 himself, i always ride indoor with my Vector 3 and indoor i have a fine power curve, outdoor it’s different because you ride different, but FTP is the same.

i record every indoor Session with third party software (Zwift, soon with TR) and Edge, the third party software controls my Neo 2 and Edge is only recording, so you can record third party software with Powermeter A and Edge with Powermeter B to see the different.

  1. My weight was not correct. It was set at 75kg; my weight is closer to 65kg.
  2. I was not on the latest firmware. Just did an update and will report how it worked out when I am back home (at work right now).

Thank you so far!

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What gear were you in for the ramp test? Neo’s can underreport power at high flywheel speeds… if you were small ring/middle of the block as usually recommended for erg mode you’ll be fine but might be causing issues if you were in a big gear.

Conversely if you used a really small gear then the inertia might be different to what you were used to outside and cause you to not perform as well.

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