What to buy ?

You`re thinking about buying a Tacx trainer, but don`t know witch one.

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magc77
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:53 am

What to buy ?

Post by magc77 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:25 am

Hi, I am new to the Tacx community and would like to buy a home trainer to do some specific training during the our snowy winters. In fact I would like to buy 2 … one for me and one for my wife.

1 home trainer will be a simple magnetic brake for base cardio, the second a more advanced to be able to train in watt / time or frequency / time modes

The point is … I do not know which Tacx home trainer to buy. Your experience and feedback would be of a big help.

Some info about us:

Me … 37, 90 kg … coming from cycling … went to bodybuilding … back to cycling (don’t ask why)
Mrs … 35, 65 kg… beginner in cycling

The reason to buy 2 home trainers is to be able to train together … and VR is not something we are interested in.

I was thinking about Booster and Vortex but I am not sure if the max power is either too high or low and if the software with the vortex allows us to train in watt / time or frequency / time modes

Any advice ?

thebigoneinfront
Posts: 2817
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Ludwigshafen/Rhine, Germany

Re: What to buy ?

Post by thebigoneinfront » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:27 am

Congrats to your decision to joint cycling! A few thoughts from another cycling couple and Tacx users.

There isn't much that is more boring than base cardio training. Keeping oneself amused during the hours of HR training is key. I'm not sure whether the Booster fits that bill unless you have some other distraction. Doing your training together in one room isn't a good idea - if one of you wants to do HR, is bored and has all the breath to chat while the other is gasping, doing high intensity intervals, you're in for some intracouple emotions. If you don't do the same type of training at a time, by all means put the trainers in separate rooms. Further, you will always need to swap bikes when you swap trainers. The power specs aren't much different and I see the Booster for 200€ and the Vortex Smart for 330€, so I would tend to spend those extra 130€ and get two Vortex Smart (provided the two of you have smartphones or tablets to run the Tacx app).

One advantage is that you could upgrade both trainers and ride RLVs once you wish more entertainment. I'm not much into VR, but RLVs are what keeps me on the trainer for hours. (To my constant bewilderment, the Mrs. wants to see the altitude profile all the time, not necessarily the video.)

The power ratings of Vortex and Booster are enough to drive the sh...weat out of anyone, except very high intensity sprinting exercises that are beyond average cyclists.

As Tacx Trainer Software user, I have no own experience using the Tacx app to control the trainers. (Just not yet....) The app offers both power/time and heart rate/time trainings. I sure hope the heart rate/time algorithm of the app is more adequate for humble amateurs than the one used in the Tacx Trainer Software - TTS assumes a heart that adapts within very few seconds to power changes, ie a pro's heart. Power will always overshoot. But the Smart trainers can be controlled by other apps, too, so I'm sure there is at least one out there who is ok.

magc77
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:53 am

Re: What to buy ?

Post by magc77 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:54 am

Thanks for the reply and advice. You’re right … was not thinking about the “conversation issue” … I already hear her asking why I am not answering :mrgreen:

We will anyway train in the same room but doing the same type of exercise.

I got a nice deal on a demo Genius T2020 … and I think I will then look for a Vortex. Now the point is … should I get a i- Vortex or a Vortex smart. With the i-Vortex it will be easy for my wife to set it up … with the smart version I do not know.

thebigoneinfront
Posts: 2817
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Ludwigshafen/Rhine, Germany

Re: What to buy ?

Post by thebigoneinfront » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:56 pm

The iVortex comes with its own specific handlebar unit plus an ANT+ stick and the Basic Version of TTS (please check exactly, there are stripped down versions on offer). The Vortex handlebar unit is a little computer on its own, with a display. So there's always the choice of firing up the PC for some RLVs or let the Vortex handlebar unit control the trainer on its own without add-on distraction. Caution: The Basic software is a bit limited, eg it cannot export training data if you like to collect and analyse those. Tacx doesn't list the iVortex any more, so you might catch a good deal on one of the last in stock somewhere. The Basic Software can be upgraded to Advanced.

The Vortex Smart comes without any software or handlebar unit, but can be controlled by the App on smartphone or tablet. In essence, this resembles the standalone operation of the iVortex with smartphone instead of handlebar unit. You would probably buy the "Smart Upgrade" that consists of Genius handlebar unit, an ANT antenna and the Advanced version of TTS.

So it boils down to whether you want to use smartphone/tablet or Vortex handlebar unit, plus the deal you get on either iVortex plus upgrade to Advanced or Vortex Smart plus Smart Upgrade. Plus a second PC if necessary. I hope to have an idea of setting up a Smart trainer vs. one using TTS in a month or so.

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