Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer Review of 2018

Tacx Neo Smart Bike trainers are among the most convenient and effective fitness equipment in the current century. Tacx, one of the leading manufacturers of indoor bike trainers unveiled their first trainer about four and half decades ago. Since then, the company has utilized technology advancement and innovation to introduce machines with advanced technical capabilities to meet customer needs and raise the performance levels of their existing models. Tacx has utilized cutting edge technology in design, fabrication and operation of their trainers. They have invested in robots for automation and also integrated computer electronics to their trainers. This move has entirely changed the way of training and given indoor training enthusiasts a golden chance to enjoy the digital revolution.

Computer electronics brought in new features on trainers. Some of these included: screen for display of crucial data during training, direct drives and virtual flywheel. The screen is user friendly and it shows data concerning heart rate, power, speed and cadence. It’s therefore easier to monitor training sessions and make a conclusion accordingly.

Tacx recently introduced interactive smart trainers equipped with an advanced mode of communication. This system has made it easier for users to collect, receive and even share data. It comprises of the following:

  • ANT + and Bluetooth technology
  • Tacx apps on tablets and Smartphones
  • Third party software

After introducing the smart series, Tacx’s giant leap has been witnessed yet again after developing a new model, the Tacx Neo Smart Direct driver trainer. This machine has proved that the Tacx team is dedicated in providing solutions to the unfulfilled issues in the industry. The Tacx Neo has come with fresh and unique features. In its direct drive design, physical transmissions have been eliminated. The electromagnetic resistance unit makes it more powerful. Tacx Neo is silent and accurate due to the omission of most mechanical parts such as chains, crank arms and flywheel.

This review will discuss the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer into detail. Stay calm and be ready to digest all the useful information about it. The next few sections will let you know why Neo is trending in the market. Features, specifications, benefits, pros and cons of the Tacx New Smart Direct Driver Trainer will be listed below.

Features of the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

Indoor trainers serve a similar purpose, but their performance varies depending on their capabilities. The Tacx Neo has a wide of features that make it a perfect match for both novice users and fitness gurus. It can be used for sports, weight loss, leisure and general fitness. Below are some of its design and operational features.

  • Road surface simulation: Road surface simulation is a new feature that is only found on the Tacx Smart direct driver trainer. With the help of its unique design, smart electronics and a permanent motor, the moving parts of the Tacx neo can be controlled a thousand times in a second. These technical capabilities help you to simulate the vibrations of all imaginable road profiles. The simulation gives a realistic cycling experience. You can feel the bumps, wooden planks and the sensation of cobblestones while training indoors.
  • Firmware Upgrade: The Tacx Neo Smart direct driver trainer can be updated using the Tacx utility app. This helps you enjoy the benefits of the latest firmware and also connects you to other users. Updating your trainer also improves its performance as new features are added.
  •  Connectivity: The Tacx Neo’s communication system uses ANT + FE – C protocol and Bluetooth Smart technology. With this system the trainer can be connected to compatible devices such as trainer road, Zwift, Garmin Forerunners or any other compatible bike computer. Third-party software installed in these devices receives data, such as cadence, speed and power to control the trainer accurately.
  • Direct Drive Design: The Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver trainer does not require manual transmission for operation. It is directly attached to the bike without the rear wheel using a dedicated cassette. This design guarantees faster response time, more resistance, higher wattage and optimal overall performance. It is also quieter and does not require calibration as it is often in the wheel-on trainers.
  • Universal Multisys Cassette body: The Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver is not designed for a specific bike. It features a universal cassette body that is compatible with all SRAM, Shimano and a good number of Campagnolo cassettes. Thus, you have the freedom to use the brand you like most. For Campagnolo cassettes, compatibility is restricted to 9-11 speed systems.
  • Intuitive power indicator: The Tacx Neo has a red light feedback system that measures your performance during training. The light intensity changes depending on your pedaling power. The intensity is directly proportional to your power input.

Additional Features and Specifications

  • Cleverly Foldable: wings forms a handle shape when Neo is folded. They can be used for lifting the trainer.
  • Big stable footprint: The 575 by 750 mm footprint makes Tacx Neo More stable and able to accommodate heavy weights.
  • Ideal bike posture: The Tacx Neo Comes with a perfectly engineered support that lifts the front wheel to create a natural cycling position. Rubber stoppers are also provided to keep the front wheel in the right place.
  • Plug in/plug out Technology:  Enables users to train anywhere, even without mains power.


  • Maximum Slope                                             25%
  • Maximum Power                                           2200 Watt at 40kmlhr
  • Maximum Brake force                                250N
  • Max. Torque                                                   85Nm
  • Transmission                                                   None
  • Electrical Requirement                              10-240V, optional
  • Connection Indicator (ANT/BT)              2 LEDS
  • Weight                                                                47.3 lbs

Tacx Neo Smart Benefits of the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

The Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer changes your indoor cycling experience. Its features clearly illustrate its capabilities. If your intention is to burn fat, build muscle strength or to cycle for fun in the comfort of your home, Tacx Neo will help you achieve your ambitions. Below are the benefits that you enjoy from the features of the Tacx Neo Samrt Direct Drive.

  • Silent Machine:  Noise is a common flaw in most indoor trainers with transmissions. The Tacx Neo is quite as it has no physical transitions. The common sound from the working trainer comes from the chain of the bike.
  • Ease of use: The Tacx Neo is easy to handle due to its compact design. It is foldable and requires minimal space for storage. It is easily mounted to the bike with the right cassette available.
  • Compatibility: The Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer can be used with all Shimano and SRAM bike brands. It also fits in most of the Campagnolo brands. It has a universal EDCO cassette body for this purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary to spend more on a new bike if your model is compatible with the trainer.
  • Compact design: Tacx neo is solid and sturdy with few components. It has an impressive look from its unique geometry and cool color matching.
  • Realistic road feel: Road surface is a unique feature found only on the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer. It provides an actual road feel while training indoors. Compatible software such as Zwift, Garmin Forerunners and Trainer road are used to communicate the road profile to the trainer. The trainer’s smart electronics and a permanent motor constitute to an advanced control system that enables you to simulate road vibrations to match any imaginable road profile. You can therefore enjoy cycling experience of your choice.
  • Safe to use: Some design features of the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Drive Trainer improve its safety. First, it has a wide and stable base measuring about 575mm long and 750mm wide. This size maximizes stability even when heavyweight users are riding on the trainer. The direct drive design eliminates the use of the rear wheel, thus the risk of slippage is very low.
  • Minimal maintenance: The only maintenance required on the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer is that of the EDCO module attached to the cassette. Furthermore, it is not a frequent maintenance practice as it is done only once within a year.
  • Easy to set up: The initial steps before using the Tacx Neo are easy and straight forward. You need to unbox it, unfold and fix the cassette, then finally attach it to your bike. Upgrading the firmware is also straightforward with the help of Tacx Utility app. The procedure has been described in the next section.


After assembling your trainer and connecting it to a power source, the next step is downloading the Tacx utility app. You can use a phone or tablet. Make sure your operating system is android or iOS. The next stage is to update the firmware to get the latest version. Below are the three steps:

  • Start the Tacx app – ensure your Taccx Neo is connected to power.
  • Search for Tacx Neo on your Bluetooth devices.
  • Once you are connected, go to update on the menu. The latest available firmware will be searched.
  • Click update to start the process

The update will start after you have confirmed that the trainer is not connected to any other devices. The process takes a few minutes and you are done.

Pros of the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

  • Quiet: Most of the physical transmissions have been eliminated
  • Plug in/plug out Technology: Mains power is optional when using the trainer
  • Road Surface Simulation: It is the only trainer with the ability to simulate ascents and descents with fantastic cycling experience
  • Accuracy: no calibration is required and power loss is minimal
  • Highly stable: the wide base and sturdy frame accommodate heavy weight
  • Locking Feature: once the wings are unfolded, they lock in place immediately
  • Automatic resistance adjustment: controlled via compatible devices
  • Preset training Workouts: Set depending on training goals

Cons of the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

  • ExpensiveThe price tag is slightly higher than other brands, but Tacx Neo performs extremely better.
  • Poses a danger of trapping fingers when unfolding – The space between the wing can cause injury while folding

Tacx Neo Smart Missing Links of the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

A lot has been said about the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer. Now that this is an honest review, you need to know the negative side of this machine. There are some flaws spotted that I would like to share with you. It’s unfortunate that the cassette is not included in the package; you have to purchase it separately. However, this is not an issue because the EDCO freehub body is universal and compatible with various cassettes as mentioned earlier.  Some users have complained that it is tedious to detach the rear wheel every time you need to use the trainer. But, do you know the returns of a direct drive system? It enhances power transfer efficiency, boosts resistance and also improves safety as there is no risk of slippage and worn-out tires. There is no single blemish flaw that surpasses the benefits of the unique features that Tacx Neo possesses.

Final Verdict of the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer

Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver trainer is a unique indoor training machine with incredible features that offer wonderful cycling experience.  It is perfectly engineered to offer the best results as compared to any other stationary trainer in the market. With its wide range of connectivity options, you can have a well planned, managed, controlled and monitored training program. You can as well use virtual training programs to customize your training experience. The Tacx cycling app enables you to create personal training sessions based on various protocols such as specific output power and heart rate. You can also download films on famous climbs and other road profiles. Workouts can also be downloaded and be practiced for achieving specific set goals.

While cost is the biggest Tacx Neo’s drawback, that should be a personal decision. Purchasing the Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer is a one time investment. Don’t forget the sturdy design, easy connectivity, stylish look and road fell experience. The machine is durable and does not require frequent maintenance. Buying guides sincerely tell you to know what you want and how much you are willing to spend on it. Click here to check out this bike trainer.