Author Topic: Tacx Neo2 and Tacx Desktop Application  (Read 1360 times)

Tacx Neo2 and Tacx Desktop Application
« on: December 26, 2018, 11:23:41 pm »
The conjunction of my knee issues stopping me running, hopefully not permanently, and a work bonus led to me deciding to try and make indoor training work better for me again. In the past I’ve used Zwift, which isn’t really my cup of tea, and trainerroad, which is more like my thing. However, I also wanted to be able to ride virtual video rides as well as the interval sessions.

After some deliberation I bought a Tacx Neo2 and have started using the Tacx Desktop Application. Paired with a big TV on the shed wall and all driven by a tiny intel NUC box and a big old external hard drive, this has become a really excellent indoor training resource. For the first time I don’t mind staying inside when the weather is less than clement or I am short of time, or just need a focused session.

Some key positives:

- The Neo is superb. It rides very very well and simulates hills superbly. Roadfeel isbfun, albeit not necessary of course - interestingly, you do seem to need to put out a bit more power to sustain speed on the strata Bianca.

- It allows some movement when riding, but is superbly stable. Plus it looks like an x-wing fighter - what’s not to like?

- Neo power is supposed to be within 1%. Given it calculates using the flywheel mass, speed, resistance and acceleration I’m happy to believe this. It also doesn’t need calibrating. Suffice to say that Neo power seems to be, in general, lower than other well known power meters or trainers;) FWIW, I’m just relying on the Neo for training measurement and outdoor power just as a guide.

- Tacx Desktop Application (TDA) has become a really rich environment. The range of routes is superb and grows with new releases each month. These range from flat city tours and country routes through classic mountain routes. There are also a few Training with xxx videos. Yesterday I went for a quick two climb ride with George Bennet in Andorra https://www.strava.com/activities/2034694306

- TDA also has a number of tours, multi section rides that pick up complete routes. I’ve downloaded the 5 stage Tour of Gascony - 200kms finishing with Hautacam - and the first 9!stages of the 14 (so far) 400km RAID Pyrenees. There’s also an Irish Antlantic Coast ride in the works. It’s great to have some scenery whilst riding in the shed.

- Downhill simulation is funny. On a steep descent you can stop pedaling and it will hold 60+ km/h spinning away underneath you. As in real life the downhills don’t give much respite and the climbs form long threshold intervals.

- TDA also has a range of training plans and a lot of different workouts already available. You can also easily create your own workouts. Once you load up a workout you can select a video to play in the background if you want. Every workout or video starts and finishes with a free timed warm up/down, which you can skip if you wish.

Although I never wear headphones outside - I just don’t like it - I have copied all my music to the same HDD as holds the downloaded videos and can play stuff in the background. Working out how to get sound on hdmi was the hardest part!

At this stage there is a shortage of analysis tools, but that’s also true of trainerroad, albeit that is getting better. I’ve taken to using Strava’s analysis tools at the moment, although training peaks is also good and one day I intend to work out Golden Cheetah. For now though, I’m very happy with both the trainer and the TDA software.

Mike

Re: Tacx Neo2 and Tacx Desktop Application
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2018, 09:23:56 am »
That's interesting and good feedback on the device and software.

Why have you chosen the TACX Desktop Application over other options? I hadn't looked into this option as I contemplate my own indoor setup, but have now read up about what it offers. Previously I'd considered the following 4 options:
  • Zwift - initially discounted as I'm looking for performance improvement not just incentives to ride more, but may look at again if training programmes improve
  • TrainerRoad - too focussed on training
  • The Sufferfest - my currently preferred option, mixing the training focus with visuals and gamification
  • Rouvy - looks visually interesting but perhaps not as well-rounded as the Sufferfest
I'll try one or two options first before committing, once I get my trainer. But I'm interested in understanding what swayed you. I think Tacx and Zwift are the only 2 applications that make use of the road-feedback functionality of the Neo.

Re: Tacx Neo2 and Tacx Desktop Application
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 06:52:44 pm »
Hi, sorry just realised I hadn’t responded.

I stuck with TDA because once I tried it I found it is able to all I want and gives a very rich environment to work in. There have been new rides uploaded each of the last few weeks, Tacx are active on the Facebook user group and overall I liked it. Considering the others:

Zwift - tried a year or so back, but I’m not really into the gamification. I know they’re now introducing real world video (i don’t want the synthetic), but it will be crowded with avatars of the ‘augmented reality’ racers. Just not what I’m interest in.

Trainerroad - my subscription is suspended from mid Feb, but I might use it again as it has good plans and I like simple interval work. However, I think with a bit of thought I could do this in TDA or use one of the Tacx plans of course.

Sufferfest - didn’t actually try, but it seems to have developed a lot over the last few years. It’s still a bit ‘middle of the action’ race rush for though. Be aware it may not support the Neo as seamlessly as it ought.

Rouvy - I have a trial that I’ve not opened. I was intending to, but TDA was good enough. I think that Rouvybwpuld really want TR alongside and they’re also heading down the augmented reality route I believe.

Fulgaz - iOS only

Mike.


Re: Tacx Neo2 and Tacx Desktop Application
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 07:23:45 pm »
Thanks Mike, very informative. I'll heed your caution about Sufferfest. I plan to try both TDA and Sufferfest once my trainer arrives (mid-Jan).

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Tacx Neo2 and Tacx Desktop Application
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 02:11:54 pm »
Interested to see this as I'm thinking about changing my TT at the moment, I have a very old Tacx Fortius that is still working but massively out of date and a PITA to set up.

One question though - I bought a load of RLVs for it as downloads, are these still compatible with the new Taxc App as well the TTS4  which I'm currently using?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Tacx Neo2 and Tacx Desktop Application
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 06:24:02 pm »
Interested to see this as I'm thinking about changing my TT at the moment, I have a very old Tacx Fortius that is still working but massively out of date and a PITA to set up.

One question though - I bought a load of RLVs for it as downloads, are these still compatible with the new Taxc App as well the TTS4  which I'm currently using?

Hi ElyDave

I need to send you a pm now I'm back from Skye!

The RLV's for TTS4 are not compatible with the TDA (Tacx Desktop App!), but will continue to work with TTS4. They have stopped support (upgrades and development) for TTS4 now. I think, but am not sure - the Neo facebook group would be a good place to ask - that TTS4 will control the Neo though.

On TDA you pay a subscription and then download the RLVs to your computer for using whenever you want, whilst your subscription is current. The 1080p (HD) subscription is e140 per year and (I think) the 720p is e99. You can pay a bit more monthly. Quite a lot of the TTS4 RLVs have been converted, but there are lots of new films being made and uploaded as well. They've just added the first mtb ride. The subscription allows the download of up to 30 films per month.

TDA is bluetooth only, due to Windows 10 drivers not including Ant+, but the Neo also works on Ant+ with Trainerroad etc.

I think that TDA will probably only work with Tacx trainers, but am not sure.

Cheers

Mike