TACX VR Trainer or Roller advice needeed

Apr 1, 2009
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Anyone own any of these? Im thinking of getting one as the winter is truly ridiculous here & i simply cannot get out due to work & darkness. I like the look of that "Training with the Schlecks" video you can get. I believe this can only run on a pc or laptop etc? What models does this pertain to in the TACX range? I was on the TACX website but the info is minimal. Do they have a customer support contact phone number? I dont want to spend a fortune either, maybe around 300 to 400 Euro.
All info welcome & thanks in advance.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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Kerbdog said:
Anyone own any of these? Im thinking of getting one as the winter is truly ridiculous here & i simply cannot get out due to work & darkness. I like the look of that "Training with the Schlecks" video you can get. I believe this can only run on a pc or laptop etc? What models does this pertain to in the TACX range? I was on the TACX website but the info is minimal. Do they have a customer support contact phone number? I dont want to spend a fortune either, maybe around 300 to 400 Euro.
All info welcome & thanks in advance.

The idea behind the fortius - to send the energy you produce into the electric grid - is great. It means you heat up the training room less. And it means they can adjust the resistance easily - even to the extend of simulating downhill. But, I read on several forums - including Tacx own forum - that there are tons of technical problems. A major issue seem to be a jagged resistance, which must be truly annoying. Others seemed to be noise and wear from the part in contact with your wheel. Having read those, I decided not to get it and get a conventional trainer instead.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Kerbdog said:
Anyone own any of these? Im thinking of getting one as the winter is truly ridiculous here & i simply cannot get out due to work & darkness. I like the look of that "Training with the Schlecks" video you can get. I believe this can only run on a pc or laptop etc? What models does this pertain to in the TACX range? I was on the TACX website but the info is minimal. Do they have a customer support contact phone number? I dont want to spend a fortune either, maybe around 300 to 400 Euro.
All info welcome & thanks in advance.

Try a Blackburn Magstand. Simple and approximate to the road feel. You'll need your own video stimulus and some imagination but it will be a reliable training tool.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I have a Tacx Fortius.

It is correct that there were a lot of issues raised in the first year or two. Mainly these seemed to be linked to the different power adapter needed in the US and subsequent issues with hitting a 'Wall' when you got up to certain speeds.

Bear in mind that the fortius adjusts the resistance on your wheel based upon the gradient of the road in the video on your PC (I am talking about VR here) so if you are climbing then it increases and if you go down a slope it reduces. Where it gets interesting is when you are carrying enough speed down a sufficient slope that you would just 'roll' when out on the road. The awesome thing about the Tacx is that when this happens it actually 'drives' your rear wheel so you freewheel the descent.

in the US though when it got to about 50kph it would require a lot of force to push but would not accelerate.

I never suffered any of the issues that are described online and I have usesd mine extensively in the UK and Australia. My biggest gripe with it are two things:

1) If you don't have a fixed location for it then set up and tear down are seriously annoying - it weighs a lot and there are a number of cables etc.

2) A safety mechanism is that if you stop pedalling for a few seconds then the device will brake hard and stop your wheel. Fine you say? well the problem is that if you finish an interval and sit up to drink or something like that then if you dont pedal then all stop. Also, if the cadence sensor loses contact at any time then bang you stop no matter what you are doing.

That said, I have developed a fix for this. Put a magnet on the rear wheel and mount the cadence sensor to pick that up. You lose the ability to graph your cadence against the other data but you never have to stress about the cadence cutout again.


Overall the device is awesome. You can 'ride' all the major Tour dF mountains, parts of milan san remo, parts of classics, tye Etape, and now you can do power training with Rabobank and the Shlecks.

Rollers are okay but for indoor motivation, riding with sceneray and variation kills them!
 
Mar 13, 2009
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This Tacx looks amazing - I hope one day it'll be available at a more affordable price.
I know this souns lame but I wish they also did something like they do in the Playstation soccer games - where you play a 90 minutes game in 10 minutes. They could do it that 1 km in real life would be 10 km on the screen - that way you could ride all the great stages and still get a decent workout. That would be more appealing for lesser talented riders like me, or younger kids and senior citizens!
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Computrainer...it works and has lots of data.
Pretty much flawless operation and set-up...will make you a ripper.
I sell the Tacx products...well made, but the set-up can be challenging.
I have a customer who purchased two systems and continues to have issues (he's not tech saavy)
If you want 3d graphics and all the mapping features, gradients, power, spin scan etc...the computrainer is the choice.
Rollers are good for form and can help you develop your line holding skills, but that's about it...they are boring.
Even a fluid trainer with some of the new DVD's is a better choice.
Cheers
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Stephen D Aalderink said:
Computrainer...it works and has lots of data.
Pretty much flawless operation and set-up...will make you a ripper.
I sell the Tacx products...well made, but the set-up can be challenging.
I have a customer who purchased two systems and continues to have issues (he's not tech saavy)
If you want 3d graphics and all the mapping features, gradients, power, spin scan etc...the computrainer is the choice.
Rollers are good for form and can help you develop your line holding skills, but that's about it...they are boring.
Even a fluid trainer with some of the new DVD's is a better choice.
Cheers

Hi Stephen,
Can you tell us more as you sell Tacx products and obviously know the strengths and weaknesses of similar systems. If I am interested in things like simulated racing, real life DVDs of famous climbs or TdF/Giro stages, and accurate simulation of climbing gradients, would you recommend the CompuTrainer, Tacx or Elite systems? What about people like me that have Macs and not PCs (and my Mac laptop doesn't have the juice to run Parallels)?
 
Dec 14, 2009
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elapid said:
Hi Stephen,
Can you tell us more as you sell Tacx products and obviously know the strengths and weaknesses of similar systems. If I am interested in things like simulated racing, real life DVDs of famous climbs or TdF/Giro stages, and accurate simulation of climbing gradients, would you recommend the CompuTrainer, Tacx or Elite systems? What about people like me that have Macs and not PCs (and my Mac laptop doesn't have the juice to run Parallels)?
I have zero experience with the Elite systems - I have heard little to nothing about them. I would go towards either the CompuTrainer or the Tacx Trainers.
You will need a robust and powerful machine to run either system.
The Tacx (Fortius and i-Magic) is not as stable as the CompuTrainer and there tend to be more crashes when running the Tacx, (in my experience) especially if you are running at the minimum system requirements. For all that you want to do the Computrainer is the machine that will deliver, with a lower level of frustration and set-up time.
Your Mac won't have the power, you'll have to upgrade...
In a side by side comparison, the Computrainer wins hands down - very robust and overbuilt system, commercial grade.
The Tacx VR is just not to the level in its design and quality, it may be ergo and minimal with nice colors, but the amount of time troubleshooting makes me disinclined to recommend it. The Bushido (as mentioned in the thread) is a slick system and runs really well, easy set-up and relatively flawless operation. It really depends on what features are most important to you.
If you can do with less of the features the Bushido is the choice...and its wireless.
To do everything that you listed with 3D acceleration, you'll want the CT.
The CT has been around for a long time and has been a leader in electronic ergometers.
Anyone who has used a Computrainer will tell you it's the real deal.
My CompuTrainer is over ten years old and still going strong...

Check out the sites:
http://www.racermateinc.com/default.asp (they sell direct to consumer)
and for the Tacx specifics: http://www.tacxvr.com/en/products/home
Let me know if you have anymore questions.