The NEO Smart offers the best in power and intelligence and is the quietest indoor trainer currently available on the market. The lack of any physical transmissions means this is the first true direct drive. Road feel is simulated in a highly realistic manner, there is no loss of power. The powerful motor is able to apply resistance up to 2200 Watt and simulate slopes realistically up to 25%. It also speeds up during descents. This ensures the most realistic cycling experience, also during climbs.
The lack of any physical transmission, and in turn any parts that could rattle or rub against each other, ensures this trainer is extremely quiet. In addition, this trainer requires no calibration and suffers no wear and tear. Just like other Smart trainers, the NEO communicates using ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, allowing it to be connected quickly and easily with Tacx apps. Performance data can be viewed on several devices simultaneously, including your smartphone, bike computer and sports watch.
When the NEO Smart isn’t connected to a smartphone, tablet or computer, it behaves as a fluid trainer. This means the trainer behaves progressively: when your speed increases, the resistance increases as well. So it is possible to use this trainer in a “stand-alone” status. Furthermore, the Tacx NEO features Plug in/Plug out technology and can therefore be used with and without a plug. Use the plug for an optimal cycling feeling, especially during your start. Also the trainer will be not be able to speed up during descents. So you can use this trainer anytime and anywhere, even when you don’t have your smartphone with you.
Bullet point comparisons with the 'Tacx Flux'
Whereas the Neo has a maximum resistance of 2200 Watts, you have to make do with a mere 1500 Watts on the Flux – but this should be plenty for anyone but pro-level sprinters. Tacx points out that the best riders can produce 850 Watts for a minute or 450 Watts for 20 minutes.
Whereas the Neo can simulate gradients of up to 25%, the Flux tops out at 10%. This sounds like something of a relief, although unlike the Neo the Flux does not simulate downgrades, so there’s no respite when you reach the top.
The Neo folds easily for storage, the Flux does not
The Neo doesn't required to be plugged in to provide power, the Flux does.
Flywheel: The flux has a virtual flywheel at 22.8kg, compared to the 125kg of the NEO. But understand the NEO is really in a league by itself. Most flywheels are in the 5-20kg range. What that translates to is a more fluid feel to the riding experience; it feels less 'virtual' and more like riding on an 'actual' road; a big tick in the positive comparison box for those who train intensively on a trainer.
Sound Levels: The Flux is quiet but still audible compared to the virtually silent NEO. Note the flux is not super-loud, but in the 60-70db level range, which is on par with many other trainers and would be considered ‘good to normal’.