One of the nice things about riding on a turbo trainer, besides sheltering from the horrible weather, is the smooth feel of the tyre on the roller. But if you want a more realistic training experience, you can now ride simulated cobbles, rough roads and even muddy mountain bike trails with the latest update by Tacx to its Neo smart trainer.
Introducing a feature that we didn’t know anybody could possibly ask for, it's called 'road feel' and Tacx allows to you ride different road surfaces from the comfort of your own home. Could be an interesting way to prepare for riding the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix events?
Tacx says this new feature is possible due to it being able to control the position of the rotating parts in the Neo trainer up to 1000 times a second, simulating the vibrations of different roads.
You can access this new feature with a Neo trainer, which costs a cool £1,200, and through the Tacx Cycling app, Tacx Films or Tacx Trainer Software 4. You can even do it in Zwift. You’ll need to conduct a free firmware update to enable the new feature called ‘road feel demo.’
“The NEO is the only trainer with road surface simulation, allowing you to experience the feeling of riding on cobblestones, gravel, off road or other types of roads, all while you are indoors. You feel the vibrations of the road surface in your legs, exactly the way it would feel outdoors. This entirely new feature can be used with some Tacx Films when you ride in our virtual worlds and with Zwift,” says Tacx.
If you’ve got a Neo trainer do let us know if you’ve tried this update, we’d love to know what it’s like.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.