Tacx Flux Smart Trainer Review
Welcome to the Tacx Flux smart trainer. This is Tacx’s newest edition direct drive smart trainer aimed at being lighter on your wallet than it’s big brother the Neo but not on features.
The Tacx Flux smart trainer is Tacx’s second offering to the direct drive turbo trainer market. Leading Tacx’s excellent Neo the Tacx Flux smart trainer appears to have all the advantages offered by a direct drive system at a much more consumer-friendly price.
Lifting the Tacx Flux smart trainer from it’s box the unit needed minimal assembly time. It was simply a case of slotting in the stabilizing leg attachments to the main body and fix in place. The Flux, unlike the Neo, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same easy fold away system. This means that due to the heavy weight of the unit, a room where it can stay in situ permanently is what’s needed ideally.
Tacx have neglected to add a carry handle on the unit too which only leads to further compound the immovability of the unit. Luckily it’s a sleek looking piece of kit and shouldn’t cause too much of an eye sore to other members of the household.
The Tacx Flux smart trainer has been fitted with Edco’s MultiSys freehub body. This allows use of cassettes from all three main brands Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo. If you churn out big indoor mileage this is also a good thing as replacements will be easy to come by. Edco freehubs also use quality sealed bearings for excellent functionality. Spacers are also supplied meaning you can run a 9, 10 or 11-speed cassette.
Currently, the Tacx Flux Smart trainer is only possible to use with regular quick release frame set ups and not those that have a thru axle configuration.
As with nearly all other top smart turbos, the Flux Smart trainer also uses electromagnets to modify resistance. Meaning that the unit must be plugged into a mains electricity supply for it to work.
The Tacx Flux Smart trainer allows the user to kick out 1500 watts of resistance whilst sprinting, hold 850 watts for one minute and 450 watts over 20 minutes. These stats are not as great as it’s bigger brother the Neo but should be more than adequate for most non-professional riders.
The minimum software requirement needed to use the Tacx Flux smart trainer is the Tacx training app. Simply download to your phone or tablet then, using blue tooth, you’ll be able to control power settings and record all your training sessions. You can also hook up your heart rate monitor as long as it runs on Bluetooth.
The downside of Tacx’s training app is that your workouts can’t be synced to the likes of Strava and Training Peaks. However, it is possible to link the Tacx Flux to any ANT+/Bluetooth device and upload data that way.
It’s pedaling where the direct drive system of the Flux trainer really comes into it’s own. Resistance is butter smooth and it’s easy to see why direct drive trainers are set to become the future of turbo training. When compared to a standard wheel driven trainer, powerful starting efforts offer instant power with no lag or feeling of the motor being overloaded. Very impressive.
Like most direct drive turbo trainers available on the market the Flux offers a nice quiet ride. Even whilst hammering out hard intervals the noise generated was kept at a minimum. If noise is a major factor in buying for you then the Flux could well be the answer.
If you’re serious about your training you’ll be pleased to know Tacx has made the Flux compatible with 3rd party training software like Bkool, Zwift and Trainer RoadTrainer. Of course, both apps cost money but if you’re really looking to get the most out of your trainer then subscribing to one or more of these services comes highly recommended.
The Tacx training app offers a large library of computer created and TRUE TO LIFE courses allowing users to ride and experience some of the most famous climbs and races from around the world. The Tacx Flux Smart trainer offers up resistance equivalent to that of a 10% climb which may lack a little for some of the steeper stuff compared to the Neo which offers up to 25%. As mentioned before the Flux can be used with Trainer Road and Zwift and works great, the only let down being a slightly noticeable lag when doing short hard intervals such as 40/20’s.
My only real gripe with the Flux is that when doing full gas sprints I feel that I’m putting too much stress on my actual bike frame. However, I should also point out that this is the same with every other direct drive smart turbo trainer I’ve tried. Also, make sure you’ve got the Q/R well tightened if you’re the kind of rider who pulls hard on the bars during full on efforts!
Summing up it would appear that, Tacx has done an excellent job at creating a competitive entry level direct drive smart turbo trainer. It may not have quite the real life feel that the Neo does or offer up a matching amount of resistance with a price tag that’s $700 cheaper who can fault it.
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