Tacx Smart Trainer Build Quality
Tacx has a couple new trainers, the Neo and Flux, and both are having problems.
This is showing the design flaw in the Flux. He has another video with a replacement unit that did the same thing.
So it's pretty well known that currently the Flux is a lemon of a unit, poorly designed, and it should be avoided.
The Neo however, that's supposed to be the best there is. Well, it has problems too.
First being a grinding noise that some units had:
I guess that's fixed easily with a firmware update and maybe some grease...
But there's a much bigger problem, Neo's are just not working at all when turned on. Seems to be a spreading problem.
TACX Neo Just Stopped Working - forum.tacx.com
TACX NEO not signal - forum.tacx.com
One person took their Neo apart to find the problem being caused by a melted wire.
Anyone else have their Neo just die on them, not work one day? Seems like I've killed my Neo, she's dead.
Anyone else torn up the inside of a Flux?
I have two acquaintances that had NEO's. They were both early adopters based on the initial media hype. While they had different problems, they both ended up with replacement units which also failed and were returned for refunds. I don't recall the specifics of their individual problems, but needless to say they weren't happy. I believe they are both on Wahoo hardware now.
Wahoo has generally been pretty good. Their support is good, and after that first rough batch of Gen 1 KICKRs, the newer hardware has been pretty solid.
The Kickr is a no go for me, I can't stand the noise. The Drivo is a more tolerable tone, I'd go with that before the Kickr for sure.
But I don't want either, I want a direct drive unit. Sadly the Neo is the only real one on the market.
Looking around it seems more and more are just up and dying. There's plenty of recent facebook and support posts about it. The only person I've seen diagnose it and fix it has claimed it was a melted wire. I suppose they could fix that easily with just a thicker gauge wire?
I really want the Neo to work. Well mine's dead and I'm pissed, but I want another one that works. I'm not very confident in Tacx though. I'm not confident that when I get a replacement it'll be different. And my looking around has shown me that the units are also backordered, delayed continuously and really hard to get a hold of right now. So that isn't helping anything. They're probably more concerned with pumping out units than anything. Do the new units have better wiring?
I've had my Neo since Oct 2016.. so far so good. No grinding and obviously still running. I have read all the horror stories and that's one reason why I got in from Performance because the warranty is pretty good from them (performance member).
Had the first gen kickr and the first unit died within 2 months... the second unit was good for awhile until I recently sold it.
MS... how long did yours last? did you have the 2017 unit ?
Well just a heads up, this is what happens:
Everything works great until one day you hop on and no lights light up.
The effort lights don't light, the little connection/power lights don't light, nothing. No response from the unit. It won't connect to anything via anything. Can't update, no nothing. When plugged in the cooling fans will power up for a few seconds then shut off, that's the only thing that happens.
So they work perfectly until they just suddenly die. And they die when they're not in use so you won't know until next time rolls around.
So maybe before you get dressed and put on chamois cream, if you do that, you should check it real quick to see if it lights up.
^ understood, but how long was yours ok and did you have the 2016 or 2017 version... I've heard 2017 quality is slightly better but not much.
New units are coming into the US distributor in the middle of March, if that info is useful to you.
Originally Posted by MMsRepBike
It ran for right about two months.
Originally Posted by spdntrxi
Not sure. There's no 17 in the serial number but there is a 16, so probably a 2016 one?
Yikes. Useful for sure but not nice. I won't need it anymore by then, my winter will be over. I won't accept that. Maybe I'll get lucky and maybe my distributor will have one on hand that'll at least last me another two months. Otherwise I have a full set of winter gear and I know how to use it so whatever. A refund won't upset me too bad.
Originally Posted by masont
the box will say 2017 on it... I don't remember where exactly near one of the serial barcodes or something.
Well I nearly have 4 months into mine.. hopefully keeps going.
There is a sticker on the box that has a 2017 on it next to a barcode. So that solves that. I never had any of the other early issues, worked fine until now. 2.5 months it was, was a pretty fun 2.5 months.
My distributor is sold out, March is what they said...
Maybe I should just take it apart myself and try to fix it... wonder if Tacx would allow that? Doubt it.
Lots of snow and rain in the forecast, not really impressed.
Thanks for posting - while I like simplicity and have had zero issues with my Kurt Kinetic and it does everything I need for Winter training, I had been thinking it would be nice to have a 'Smart' trainer for the Erg mode to stay in a power zone during long intervals. The Neo was the top contender. Think I'll stick with the simplicity, just not enough to be gained from a 'Smart' trainer to be worth the risk and investment for me for now.
Nothing succeeds like excess
Niner RLT9 (Gravel Bike)
I bought a Tacx Genius last year that was DOA and ended up returning. Got a Kickr Snap and like it a lot, no issues and pretty quiet.
Those that own, or are considering owning a TACX trainer might be interested in listening to Simon/Zwiftcast's interview of the QA folks at TACX on Ep. 20 of the ZwiftCast.
I was a little .... surprised? at the responses to the questions about 'how did these defects get past your QA process?'.
The interview starts at about the halfway point of the Ep. 20 podcast.
I bought a neow about three months ago and the thing has been flawless. It is super Quite and accurate and I Love the road feel. I put a cassette on it and updated the firmware and it was up in running in less than 30 minutes. I've put about about a 700 miles on it on zwift and its been great. I formerly had a Tacx Vortex (wheel on trainer) and the neo is so much better. I bought a 2017 model which are suppose to be better.
The problems that they have had with the eo are greatly over blown. Failure rate has actually been very low, but when anything gets on social media it gets way overblown. Obviously because it is the cream of the crop for direct drive smart trainers the NEO does have a target to come after.
My experience has been great and I would highly recommend the unit.
I have a couple updates on the Tacx Neo issues. No updates on the Flux yet, still waiting on Shane Miller's third unit to arrive for destruction testing.
First being some good news for those that have the metal clunking sort of noise. It's either some extra epoxy or more likely some extra solder or something that's stuck itself to one of the magnets. The fix is very easy, only takes a few minutes, but requires a special puller tool to get at the magnets. All service centers have this puller tool and they're making more and getting them out there so the units can be fixed easily in the field.
Here is an unlisted video by Tacx showing how quick and easy the repair is:
The second is for those like me, who killed their units. Tacx isn't being so public or forthcoming about this one. Because we can't confirm anything, because they won't share anything yet, I can't say for sure, but it's almost certainly melted wires.
If you are like how I was, your unit is in trouble. If you ride the unit hard and put it away wet, which means unplugging it right after jumping off and putting it away hot, your unit may just not work one day. This goes for all generations, versions and whatever of the Neo. The problem is shown in the picture below, it's in the very thin gauge wires they use.
And just for giggles, this is what the PCB looks like:
All I can say about this problem is that they're on top of the replacements finally. A month and a half after returning my new but dead unit, I got a refurbished one in the mail. It was clearly refurbished and not brand new, but I don't care. It works fine.
Currently I leave the unit plugged in, so the internal cooling fans can work, until the unit is no longer warm to the touch on the non drive side metal. In addition to that, after I jump off and while I'm in the shower and doing laundry, I leave my big fan on and move it over to the Neo and have it aid in cooling the unit down. It usually takes the unit a full half hour or 45 minutes to cool down after I jump off.
good to know.. I've always left mine plugged in because of location with the cord is not an issue.
Many people unplug it because it has a very small power drain when plugged in and not in use. Like 1 watt or something. Used to be 3 but they improved it in a firmware update. So many will have it plugged into a power strip or something and flip that switch when not using it to prevent any power drain. I did that and still do that, I just wait now until it's cool before flipping the power strip switch.
Originally Posted by spdntrxi
It seems that the Neo Pulley Extractor tool should be available for consumers in a few weeks!
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