B2 High-Intermediate US 9 Folder Collection
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Introduced today at Eurobike 2019
An update from Tacx of their flagship direct drive smart trainer the Neo 2T.
This is the second update we've seen to the original neo unit in the last 12 months with the neo 2 being announced in October-November last year.
Cutting straight to the details on this one. Here are the updates that come today with the Neo 2T. First up, native thru-axle support
So no longer, do we need a quick release adapter.
You can use your thru-axle from your bike to mount on the Neo 2t
There's a more powerful resistance unit which addresses the virtual tire slip so more
power more resistance at lower flywheel speeds
Even quieter operation with the internal
neodymium magnets (that's where the word neo comes from) being aligned a little differently to quieten things down and finally the pedaling analysis on the
Neo 2T supports open standards
So it's compatible with your head units and other software
One of the key updates mentioned there with the 2T is the ability of the unit to apply more
resistance at a lower flywheel speed so you don't get that virtual tire slip. That was one of the things in the neo 1 and 2
that really got to me. This appears to be virtually eliminated. In early, July
I had the opportunity to visit the Tacx HQ to have a look at the Neo 2T being built
Here is a 2T on the test rig
Being calibrated or certified for calibration
In the factory
Now the one difference with the 2T and the 2 is the 2T has two little black strips on the
Armband there. It still has blue pants
Speaking of blue pants here is one of my favorite robots
bolting the blue pants onto the 2T
there at the factory
and
Now over to my favorite robot on the shop floor captain glue. Now captain will take the neodymium
Magnets from the stack where they're all pretty hard pressed together
extract those
Put a little bit of glue on each one
Then take them over to the flywheel and insert them in exactly the right spot and you can see them
They're a little offset in the flywheel.
I can watch this machine all day. It's fascinating stuff
And here's a close-up of the flywheels with the magnets offset for the Neo 2T
Not straight up and down anymore a little bit offset
Onto the unit specifications and on paper not a lot different between the Neo 1 and the Neo 2, they were ahead of their time.
So we have a direct drive interactive smart trainer erg mode, sim mode and more we have
Isotonic isokinetic modes with the Neos they can do some pretty funky things by compatibility
We have quick release 130 135 and now 140 - and 148 native through axle support
That's a good thing Shimano compatible free hub. It does not come with a cassette. Wireless protocols
ANT+, ANT+ FE-C Bluetooth smart Bluetooth FTMs the data transmission speed cadence power and trainer control
Which means if you're on Apple TV you get the trifecta.
Power accuracy claims less than 1% I guess that's one percent margin of error
So it should be pretty accurate when put up against other known good power sources, no calibration required
Excellent, Grade simulation up to 25%
max wattage 2200 watts
We also had downhill drive on the Neo 1/2 and 2T
which means if you are on a virtual downhill that flywheel will tick over for you.
It doesn't really help you move forward on Zwift or something like that
You need to generate power for that
But it just adds a bit more realism if you want to coast down a hill
Road surface simulation: So you get cobbles, gravel, ice, plank bridges, whatever they want to do with the programming of that. It's pretty nifty
You can feel that through the pedals flywheel weight in size
It's claimed mass inertia of 125 kilos, but the neo 1, 2, 2T has a virtual flywheel, so it's dependent on software
It can be a pretty big flywheel if they choose to seem you like that
Noise level really quiet
Yes, really because of those magnet realignments unit weight
That's the entire box as it comes is 24.8 kilos. And yes
My FedEx guy knows how heavy this unit is works with or without power without power
You'll get no downhill Drive
But you can pack this one up and take it to a race and use it as a full smart trainer with full
Capabilities without power being plugged in and a front wheel riser block is supplied .
On to the global pricing here
It appears the price of the Neo 2t stays the same as the Neo 2 so US dollars 1399, Australia
Which I'll pick out where I am 1899 and in the UK you're looking at
1199 pounds
Okay there all the details. Let's get this unboxed and have a closer look at that thru-axle support
Superb packaging here, maximizing all the space in a small box
Okay, everything you need to know about what comes in the box obviously the Neo 2T itself, front riser block,
We have some manuals, power cables, the kits to convert it to thru axel if needed and the power brick
There's the armbands that indicate that it's a neo 2T and
The unit comes with quick release as standard
So, he's me conveying it over to 142 x 12 through axle. Drive side first before we put the cassette on
11 speed Ultegra for what I use - just fine
And non-drive side
Sorted
Ok bike on with the thru axle that we use on our bike, that's what I mean by native or no additional adapter required
Ok powering up and call this the noise check. This is a shotgun microphone directed straight at the trainer.
Noisiest part of all, that is me changing through my gears and the DI2
So here's the soundcheck
You can hear the chain and the drive-train. The unit itself is virtually silent.
That's as I said, shotgun mic directed straight at the trainer. And this does pass the sleeping baby test.
One thing to do with the Neo units is to open up the Tacx utility app and first of all check for new firmware
So there was a firmware update from 26 to 27 with this
I'm now on 28 I suspect there's going to be a few more revisions very soon. But here's the process with that
So definitely make sure you have the Tacx utility and do that update
Just takes a few minutes to get that done and now once that's done make sure you go to the settings of your Neo 2T
Which you can see just here and update the default body weight
Now this is a required for Bluetooth because bluetooth doesn't have the ability to set your body weight to deal with the inertia calculation
So if you set it in here, bluetooth will be happy ANT+ has it covered in your software
With many many hours on the 2T clocked up
It's time to talk about the ride feel, the user experience, the on bike, on pedal. What's it like to ride?
Well, first of all, it's definitely a NEO it has Neo characteristics. I guess you'd call it
It has a little wiggle side to side which is welcome little bit of flex
So it's not like riding a brick fence with a saddle on it. That's a good thing. It's virtually silent. By virtually silent
I mean you'll hear your drivetrain and you'll know when it's time to oil your chain
And that freewheel does make a noise. It's funny how they make silent trainers
but as soon as you stop pedaling
It starts ratcheting up. We'll have to do a video on how to quieten that all down
High powered Sprint's appear to be sorted. I could not trip this unit up
There's an easy way to trip up a neo 1 a neo 2. Go up a gradient, lower gear, punch the pedals and you'll slip
Out pretty easily this thing held on so good stuff there. Appears to be virtually solved with that one
Erg mode on the 2T will come at you like a freight train
Well, probably more like a mini bus after some feedback we provided Tacx
it was just punching way way too hard into those resistance changes and you really had to slug things over before it came down and stabilized.
That's been updated with a firmware update just the other day and it's more
Yeah, a little tamer on the pedals. Same goes for the steady-state Erg. It was just a little harsh on the pedals because it was just
Overcompensating with its extra power I guess or under compensating when it dropped off. A little bit jagged now, it's been smoothed out
So the user experience in steady-state Erg was pretty good. So overall in regards to the on bike on pedal
What's it like experience? This is definitely a step up from the neo 1 and the neo 2 in particular
There was Sprint's really pack a punch and those Erg resistance changes. You're going to know about it pretty quick
But hey, that's what training is all about. Now. Here's where things go a little off piste
So to speak now, I've spent a lot of time in the neo 2t in recent weeks
Typically a trainer will arrive I'll do my research. I'll schedule some time. I'll unbox it
Get it set up, do a llama lab test, maybe a few rides, have a look at the data
Job done, make a video, happy days!
Wasn't quite the case with this unit.
Look, my trusty Neo 1 still takes pride of place in the llama lab for power meter testing and I really wanted to put the Neo 2T
to the test to see if it could replace the Neo 1
Well...
The inverse was true. The Neo 2T tested me, the Lama lab, and I think every power meter I had access to.
It's been quite the journey! What I try and do is have the true user experience in the llama lab.
So if you're watching these videos, you know exactly what to expect when you unbox something, jump on, ride your bike,
Look at the numbers... and it's happy days
Hopefully you even have a better experience than I, because you watch me make the mistakes first
You have a bit of a giggle - away you go. You do it better!
So look
Let's move gently into this by first acknowledging that a few things are yet to be implemented namely cycling dynamics and a pedaling dynamics
It's not there. Not there. It's in the spec sheet, but it's not implemented at this point in time
It may be a firmware update away, but it's currently not there. So we know this is a work in progress
Next, the original Neo.
It's a pretty trusted source of truth for power and there's a few edge cases that we can you can fool it.
But, there's a reason why I use it for the llama lab test for steady-state stuff. It's reliable, dependable,
Go-to it any time of the day, in almost any temperature, with any other power meter and if the power meter is good the Neo 1 will agree
It's happy days! The Neo 2T has that potential but that potential still yet to be realized after 10 Lama lab tests
(It's been a lot of training rides the last few weeks), I'm still seeking that potential in the 2T.
That search has involved being sent a new firmware just this week, so that potential again still being realized and it's still a work in progress.
Look, I won't spend an hour going through the 10 Lama lab test data sets,
They're all over with Tacx for review.
But what I'm going to do now is go through the Neo 2T versus the Vector 3 pedals. Vector 3's are owned
By Garmin. Garmin own Tacx, that that's what they've been using internally.
So I thought to give it the best chance of working and replicating their tests internally. I'll have a look at the Vector 3 data.
So as always my favorite website on the internet the DCRainmaker analysis tool where we can compare multiple power meters
and their .fit files as an overlay and see how things stack up.
So Neo 2T vs the Vector 3's. Now the first ten minutes I will throw away
Because we're recently installed angles and getting everything calibrated, a few stomp sprints. It's all good!
As I said, this is one data set of ten
But it represents pretty much the experience that I've had so far to date with the current firmware.
Ok, diving into the steady-state stuff, there's a few dropouts.
So I will stop the drag (about there).
Okay, 224 versus 228
with a few interesting spikes there from the Vector 3's
Not too bad for what's off pedals. For what's higher? Look that's not too bad. Not too bad.
The Neo 1 and Neo 2 [Vector 3] are within 2 watts ... 4 watts.
Again, I'm nitpicking but this isn't the next level this is going the other way. So
That was something that was a bit of a concern. Diving in a little closer here. We had some drop outs
So, now I blame this on the [Garmin] Edge 1030 that I've been using with beta firmware
(I shouldn't be testing this with beta firmware), but what we can see here is the peak power. It gets up to within
40 watts at eleven hundred. Forget the drop out there, that was not...
Not very handy. I have done a tonne of other sprints though. It's been okay. I just wanted to use this data set,
So I just excuse the sprint dropout there. That's looking okay now
Into the just riding along, just riding along.
And we have a separation of 10 watts there. Now, this is 125 on the Neo 2T and 135 on the Vector 3's
That's not within 1%
that's a little bit too far out for my liking, just riding along.
Diving in here to the "overs and unders" and
look close but you can see that there is an offset there by it's about 10 watts the whole way across so
Typically a power meter if it's off
It'll be off at a higher range and not the lower range
This is just consistently off both at the 350, 150, 350, 150, 350, 450. Sorry! 150
So, it's just a little bit off comparing this to the Neo 2 similar, but you can see here
This is with the Neo 2 - with the Vector 3 275 vs 273. They're within 2 watts for that test.
Here at 266 vs 273. It's just a little bit farther out than I would like. You can also see the purple spikes there the little devil horns
That's the Neo [2T]
Kicking in really hard and that's better than what it was last week. So it's still a work in progress there.
And then more just riding along I suspect there's going to be about 10 watts off, just here at easy [pace].
89w vs 99w. There you go at 10 watts difference and then
More riding on Swift in sim mode away from Erg, just in case Erg was a problem
256 vs 263, again not within 1% of each other there and
maybe like let's say within 2% or 3% Still, not quite Neo 1 or Neo 2
accuracy that I am seeing in this particular test.
And then there's also the edge case where you spin the flywheel up above 40 kilometres an hour and the power
Starts to separate. So we've gone (if you know Zwift we've flying past Henks on the downhill)
275 vs 292 for this little section here for around a minute
That's a big big difference there
But that's a known edge case where the Neo 1, Neo 2 and obviously the 2T now. Just can't hold accurate power. So gold-standard?
Not quite there yet.
I've noted a number of left/right balance issues with the
Calculation from the 2T as well. Now all this data is over to Tacx for review
But the 4 power meters the 4 independent left-right power meters that I've used
Don't line up with what the Neo 2t is reporting. It takes the total power splits it at a certain point
I don't think that point is correct. Well, it's definitely not correct for my pedaling. What that does to cycling dynamics
Well, it makes that data not very useful. If the left/right isn't correct with cycling dynamics, then it's no use using cycling dynamic at all.
So at all stay tuned for an update on that.
I hope.
That's one data set and I wish that's all there was but look
There's a number of rabbit holes there. And as I said, it would take me an hour or more to go through them all
It's been a lot of fun
But what happens is when the trainer is out just a little bit
That's when I have to question everything that I do. If the trainer is out a lot,
For example, it's 50 watts out at 250 watt that's easy
You just pack it straight up and send it back and that has occurred recently
This one is just out a little bit. So I was searching, and searching, and searching, but at the end of the day
Unboxing this and getting on the pedals wasn't what I expected wasn't up to the standard of the Neo 1 and the Neo 2
At this point in time with the current firmware.
Look and this is why I've entitled this video the initial review because we're not quite done yet
So, it's clear the Neo 2t does need some
Refinements and hopefully we'll see those ones rolled out very, very soon because I'm looking at retiring that Neo 1 that workhorse is now tired!
But after my experience with the 2T, I'm now tired as well!
Okay, in summary and wrapping this one up for today. Tacx have addressed a few of the issues
We've raised with the Neo 1 and the 2 that is the thru axle support
It's now native thru axle and the on bike ride experience, especially in regard to that virtual tire slip has been virtually eliminated. That is excellent!
There's just a bit of a question around the power accuracy and getting that in line with the previous models
Okay leaving it there for today. Thanks for watching another episode of GPLama causes training companies headaches
It's been quite the journey and we're not there yet. Now, where's that Neo Bike?
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Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer: Details // Unboxing // Initial Review

9 Folder Collection
Henry 楊 published on June 7, 2020
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