Neo Track /Blacktrack

http://www.tacx.com/en/products/software/ant-open

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SSI SSI
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Neo Track /Blacktrack

Post by SSI SSI » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:33 pm

Hello. Can someone with a Neo Track confirm that the device appears to be measuring actual angle of the wheel, versus just knowing left/right/straight?

When running with the Tacx VR software, does it feel like small changes in angle are reflected in the simulation, or does it feel like it only registers large changes in wheel direction?

Has anyone seen any projects where this device has been used in custom software?

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Re: Neo Track /Blacktrack

Post by mcorn » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:32 pm

The Blacktrack steerer (like the previous Fortius/Imagic steerer) provides continuous steering information (not just right, left and center). So, on the VR courses there is the ability to make steering changes of various amounts. The Neotrack steerer appears to be a very similar device to the Blacktrack, so I would expect it to be the same. I think the main difference between the Blacktrack and Neotrack is Smart capability.

Before you buy a Neotrack, you might want to talk with some users about its performance and usefulness. I found all of these steerers to have very limited value. Use of a handlebar steerer does not very accurately simulate steering on a bike in real life, which is done mostly by leaning and not be turning the handlebars. Many users of the Blacktrack, including myself, have also found that it was subject to fairly rapid wear due to the poor bearing design. As a result, it wears rapidly and becomes quite sticky within a short period of time. The older Fortius/Imagic steerer was actually better in this regard. There have been a number of reported attempted home fixes for the Blacktrack, including filing the plastic and using silicone greae, which I found to be of only very limited value.

The one application where the steerer comes into play is free riding in a VR course where you can choose which way to go when you come to an intersection. I found that when I first tried it out, it is kind of an interesting novelty. But I also found that over time, I did not spend much time doing this. Most of my riding is on the video courses, but even when doing VR riding, I was usually content to simply pick a course that had already been laid out rather than do free riding.

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Alex Masalovich
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Re: Neo Track /Blacktrack

Post by Alex Masalovich » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:53 pm

mcorn wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:32 pm
I think the main difference between the Blacktrack and Neotrack is Smart capability.
The communicative abilities of these two devices are exactly the same: only ANT+ and only TTS4.
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Re: Neo Track /Blacktrack

Post by mcorn » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:45 pm

Alex Masalovich wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:53 pm
mcorn wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:32 pm
I think the main difference between the Blacktrack and Neotrack is Smart capability.
The communicative abilities of these two devices are exactly the same: only ANT+ and only TTS4.
Thanks for the clarification. I saw the Tacx description "The NEO Track is only suitable for the NEO Smart in combination with the Upgrade Smart (Tacx Trainer software 4, Advanced and ANT+ antenna required)." and wasn't entirely sure what that meant.

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wasupwitdat1
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Re: Neo Track /Blacktrack

Post by wasupwitdat1 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:16 am

I agree with what mcorn said in general about steering. I had the steering unit I bought with the Fortius trainer a long time ago and it was a good thing in those worlds or terrains because you could make up custom routes. Also what I liked about it was it eliminated riding through the avatars if you would steer around them when passing. That old steering unit is still working good for the guy I sold the Fortius to. I opted not to have a steering unit with the NEO because the terrains suck in TTS4. I now use Zwift and I kind of like the idea that 2 little windows pop up before you get to the intersection and ask you which way you want to go. Just click on it and you're on you way. As far as riding through other avatars when overtaking, in Zwift it automatically moves you around the rider you are passing. Pretty cool huh? Why couldn't Tacx do it that way? No, we need to buy a steering unit for a few hundred dollars if we want that option. Tacx is becoming so old school.
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mcorn
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Re: Neo Track /Blacktrack

Post by mcorn » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:35 am

I used Netathlon2 for many years to participate in online multiplayer rides and when you passed another rider it also automatically jumped into the left lane to go around. I thought that worked pretty well. And again, rotating a handlebar on a bike hooked up to an indoor trainer feels nothing like steering a bike in real life and is actually kind of an irritation or distraction. It is more like turning the knob on a video game rather than exercising.

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