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Wahoo Kickr 4 vs Tacx Neo


Lalie2208
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Thx for the quick response.. hmmm. I am leaning more towards the Wahoo, but the “no power cable” Neo design might be a swinging factor. The only really big problem is that it is so heavy and bulky and not easy to move around. Are you happy with your purchase?

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Yes, extremely happy. The unit has been absolutely trouble-free. I had to obviously purchase a cassette to fit to it but I purchased the same cassette as I have on my wheel. It has pedal stroke analysis, needs no calibration, can be configured and updated through the Tacx software interface and so forth. I find it folds up into a package which is reasonably transportable (for me anyway). I like the fact that there is a little bit of "flex" in it which helps to simulate real riding. I came off a trainer which didn't have that – and I think it is unique to the Neo - and I find I really like it. It makes the bike feel "more natural". The virtual flywheel works very well. You may have read about a bit of "slip" with it. The only time I feel any "slip" is when I have come to a dead stop and then I get going very hard again (as opposed to starting up gradually). Then it seems to take a split-second to "think about it" and "catch up with you". But that is the only time you will notice it. I find the pedal stroke analysis quite useful. For reasons of past injury, my left leg is stronger than my right leg and being able to watch the pedal stroke analysis helps me to "teach" my right leg to work a bit more. I find it works very well with my Garmin bike computer as well. I also think because it is now owned by Garmin, we are likely to see better integration and upgrades over time. But I could be wrong about that. Another feature that I quite like is the lights underneath the unit. So you will see when you pedal, that it starts off with a blue light and then it goes through a series of colours, up to dark red, as power increases. So you can get an idea of the amount of power you're putting out through the variation in the light colours on the floor as you look down. The unit doesn't need power to work either. You don't have to plug it in. It also has a "downhill feature" which works properly when you are riding virtual rides on Rouvy and the like. In other words, it actually spins "the back wheel" (in reality the flywheel) as would be the case if you were going downhill. It needs to be plugged in to do that but it does work properly. If you want to ride competitively on Zwift and the like, it could be a significant advantage. I don't but my mates rave about it. It also has "virtual road feel" by which I mean it can actually create the impression of riding over cobblestones or the like. This is because of the virtual flywheel and how it works. The other thing is that the unit is not too difficult to assemble to do your own maintenance on (cleaning and lubing, et cetera). It takes a little bit of practice at first but once you get used to it, getting a bike on and off is quite quick. The Neo 2 comes with the necessary fittings for both quick release and thru axle. I find that the unit is very quiet – it seems to be 100% silent. What you hear is the drivetrain of your bike (chain, chain ring and cassette). Nothing else. I really don't regret buying it.

 

The only thing I battled a little bit with in the beginning was I put a used 11 speed cassette on it and it wasn't "happy" with that. I think there was a mismatch between the cassette wear and the chain wear and then you end up with a kind of "grrr" noise coming off the system. But I soon found the problem explained on the Tacx support videos and when I put a new unit on, it solved the problem. I haven't had to change them since then and so am good to go. I even took the unit on holiday with me down to the seaside where we have 100% humidity (quite literally, 100%) on some days and I had no problems with it. In fact, the humidity was so bad that our microwave went "bang" and blew its main fuse because of a short arising because of the humidity in the air. But no problems with the trainer.

 

Overall, it is a very well thought through and very well built product. If you're going to purchase one, the 2 may be a better buy than the 2T. Not for pricing reasons but the 2T seems to have more "start-up slip" than the 2. That is what I read on the web. Certainly, I have no issues with my 2.

Edited by snutkin@gmail.com
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I've got a Kickr 3 and it's been epic so can certainly vouch for the Wahoo unit. 

The local support (for questions about cassette sizing, compatibility etc with my MTB) have been amazing.

 

I like the idea of the accessories (Climb etc) that Wahoo are bringing. 

 

Either way, I'm sure you'll be happy with either unit you get. As long as it gets used, you'll be better off!

Edited by Muttley
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Neo 2 FTW! :D

 

Cannot fault the unit it is so easy to set up/pack away and with there being no need for power it has been an absolute winner during load shedding. Put the bike outside on my patio and go for a spin while everyone else sits in the dark... You could even take it to races for a pre warm up ride if you wanted to.... Im not that serious however

 

I havent experienced any slip but I keep it up to date with any software upgrades which are a breeze to do.

 

Integrates with all the apps etc, used zwift, rouvy and trainer road and very easy to set up.

 

I like the "flex" while riding just seems to give a better overall feel.

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I'd say that with load shedding here for what looks like a while, not needing power is a HUGE draw card.

 

 

I'd have thought so too, but two things that keep me on the IDT are the fan and music... music can be a bluetooth battery powered speaker, but the fan needs to be industrial... I'm better off riding outside during loadshedding. Also, the notebook I run Zwift on has little over an hour battery

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I have the Neo1 and Kickr4, the wife and I like to IDT together.

 

Wahoo support is excellent locally.  I assume that with Garmin SA taking over Tacx support that experience should also improve, but Wahoo is still on another level that Garmin can't touch.

 

Having said that...  The Neo is superior.  I used to have a more balanced opinion, but no longer.  For the Kickr doing spindowns can become a pain and it definitely has more ANT+ dropouts than the Neo.  Basically you have to run BLE or your data will have many gaps.  The Neo suffers no such issues.

 

The Neo is fire and forget, the Kickr just isn't quite there.  I end up having my wife's bike on the Neo because she'll never need to troubleshoot anything.  I have to "fiddle" (spindowns, unpairing and reconnecting) with the Kickr often.  IDT should be simpler!

Go for the Neo.  Worth the extra cost.

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Have a Wahoo Kickr4 no issues thus far. Local support is brilliant.

No issue with Bluetooth connections and linking Garmin etc. Using the Wahoo Tickr Hr strap works brilliantly with Kickr.

Calibrating it weekly which is not a major issue takes less then min to do.

Can’t speak of Neo

Either one u get should so the job

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Happy Kickr4 owner here. No issues and has been working flawlessly. As mentioned above, you only really need to calibrate once a week and can be done during a workout or Zwift ride, but just pausing and either doing within the software you use (Zwift, TR, etc.) or switch to Wahoo Utility app and do spindown there (recommended).

 

Don't think you'll go wrong either Kickr4 or Neo2, both top quality trainers.

 

I can't comment on Tacx local support but Wahoo's local support is top notch.

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I have a Kickr4 and, as mentioned previously, the local support from Wahoo is excellent. After 8 months of use it developed a bit of a vibration - I thought the unit just needed a service - took it in to the local bike shop and a few days later they let me know I can come pick up my new unit (this based on local bike shops feedback to Wahoo - so no need to have waited for it to be shipped it for a full assessment).

 

I don't have any issues with the Ant+. Had a few issues with the Bluetooth (lots of other devices in the area) and decided to buy an Ant+ dongle - works perfectly.

 

I like the idea of using an IDT without power and not needing to calibrate it - that would add value. The other Neo benefits are more nice to haves that I'll happily give up for the level of service I've received from Wahoo. 

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If I was shipping for a top end trainer, I would say Neo. But, I ended up with the Kickr Core - it is so good it will cater for 95% of the population. I most certainly don't put out >1800W, nor do I need the ability for the trainer to handle inclines greater than 16 degrees.

 

When the Kickr/Neo launch, they were the benchmark for direct drive trainers, and still are, but it was easier to justify their price tags. The difference is there are now cheaper options that are so good they are actually viable.

 

The Kickr Core is not some quick slapped together half baked trainer - the accuracy is right up there, build quality incredible, compatible with everything, has all the various axle types, and is essentially silent.

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I'd have thought so too, but two things that keep me on the IDT are the fan and music... music can be a bluetooth battery powered speaker, but the fan needs to be industrial... I'm better off riding outside during loadshedding. Also, the notebook I run Zwift on has little over an hour battery

Good point on the fan. I use Bluetooth speakers so that's taken care of. And the laptop I use lasts longer than I do. But the fan is a real thing.....

 

Edit: I'm on a kickr1 and have lost a few sessions to load shedding.

Edited by madbradd
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