If you want to do cycling workouts at home, there are two ways you can go: get a proper spin bike or a pick up a cycling trainer that you pair with your bicycle of choice. If you want a trainer that can mimic the feeling of riding in the outdoors, you’ll definitely want to check out the Garmin Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer.
Touted by Garmin as “the pinnacle of indoor training,” the device vows to deliver a more immersive riding experience than before, giving you the feel of the road without actually having to venture out of your home. Since it’s a trainer, you can also ride it with your favorite bike of choice, whether it be your daily commuter, a sporty road bike, or a hardy mountain bike, so you can feel like you’re barreling through a mountain trail.
The Garmin Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer takes the previous iteration of the Tacx cycling trainer and makes substantial improvements for better function. It gets a redesigned rear axle, for instance, to make it compatible with an even wider variety of bicycles, while redesigned magnets on the fly wheel increase the overall stiffness and reduce internal air displacement, promoting both better stability and quieter operation while you pedal with all your might. Seriously, this vows to provide maximum stability even when doing the kind of explosive sprints that has you standing up and clenching every muscle in your body.
It uses a 2200-watt motor that, the outfit claims, delivers more power even at lower speeds, resulting in a very realistic ride feel, regardless of how gently or furiously you’re hitting the pedals, while dynamic inertia controls compensate for weight, speed, and incline angles to accurately simulate the minutiae of changes that happen at every moment of a ride. This allows it to simulate road elements like inclines (up to 25 percent gradient), downhill trails, and various types of road surfaces (it will vibrate accordingly when you’re pretending to ride on cobblestone, for instance).
The Garmin Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer has built-in sensors that can measure power, speed, and cadence, among other stats, within a one percent accuracy, with no calibrations necessary, so you can just plop down, start riding, and compile a log of your cycling metrics. It even has a sensor that can measure leg position, which it uses to analyze each pedal stroke you perform, so you can get a detailed appraisal of how efficient your actual movements are.
The device isn’t compatible yet with Garmin Connect (Garmin acquired Tacx just last year), although the outfit promises to change that sooner than later. It is, however, compatible with many popular training apps (e.g. Zwift, TrainerRoad) and comes with access to a training library of over 100 real-life road simulations with accompanying first-person videos for realistic riding. Don’t like fiddling with a ton of settings and apps? Not a problem, as the trainer can be used in standalone mode, albeit it’s restricted to simulating flat roads in that setting.
The Garmin Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer is available now, priced at $1,399.99.