Tacx Neo 2T direct-drive smart trainer review of reviews

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In September 2019, Tacx launched the latest iteration of its Neo high-end direct-drive smart trainer, the Neo 2T.

The Neo can be obtained for around $999, with the Neo 2T at around £1,200 / $1,400 / AU$1,900. Quick disclaimer – this price will probably have come down by the time you are reading this.

Here’s a quick bit of analysis and research on whether to pick one up.

If you’ve seen the overall review of the best smart direct drive trainers, the Neo 2 came out quite well against that top-end segment. Against competition like the Wahoo Kickr and the Elite Drivo II it held its own on, especially on incline and accuracy.

So what’s with the new Tacx Neo?

Comparing the specs the Neo 2T is broadly similar in terms of incline, power, etc. They even look identical – the Neo 2T trainer has a blue stripe on the inside.

So what is different?

Before we put together our Tacx Neo 2T thoughts, we asked Tacx for the topline.

It replied: “[There’s] less sound on 35 km an hour, much more Torque (resistance) under 10 km, you can use your own adapter, left-right balance on 3rd devices like Garmin.”

All well and good then.

DC Rainmaker put together its usual comprehensive review. It outlined how the above benefits have been achieved.

Improvements include stronger magnets for higher torque, thicker wiring to reduce heat, skewing of magnets to reduce sound, and a new magnet holder to lower vibration.

Probably one of the most interesting points in the review though is the focus on resistance simulation on the Tacx Neo 2T.

The trainer has a peak power of 2200 watts and can simulate a gradient of 25%. But few cyclists are going to hit 2200 watts and Zwift’s top gradient is around 20%.

Where this really matters is the response time, especially in ERG  mode. On DC Rainmaker said:

In this case, the Tacx NEO 2T responded exceedingly fast. In fact, I’ve argued for a bit now that it responds too harshly (due to the extra power). Meaning, it’s too good at its job and it feels like running into a brick wall for these types of big shifts in power. Read more…

But elsewhere in the review, it said the ERG performance was exceptional in terms of accuracy and response.

Set up and putting away – Tacx Neo 2T review

In terms of set up, Bikeradar said the Neo 2T was easy to put together and could be stored away easily. This is something that is especially important if you don’t have a dedicated training space. Bikeradar added:

After pulling the Neo 2T out of the box, it’s super simple to set up by simply unfolding the two legs. That’s it.

Unfolded, the unit’s footprint is 75cm long x 58cm wide x 55cm tall, and it instantly feels stable.

However, Titanium Geek had a different view on this, describing the trainer as difficult to move and needing a handle. It added:

Conclusions

DC Rainmaker describes the trainer as one of the best in the market. Apart from the issues with ERG it is incredibly strong in terms of cadence, power, and accuracy.

In its review, Bikeradar pointed out the virtual flywheel (125kg), which is one of the largest on the market.

What makes the Neo 2T stand out above the competition is the use of the virtual flywheel. This offers a ride feel like no other and makes training more fun and realistic than ever before. Read more…

So should you get one? 

If you have a Neo you should stick with what you have. We all know how easy it is to get ahead of ourselves on bike kit.

But unless you are looking to upgrade from a dumb trainer, or have a mid-range Flux 2, then you should probably leave it.

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