Tacx Flow Smart T2240 Limited power?

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Richard1970
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Tacx Flow Smart T2240 Limited power?

Post by Richard1970 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:11 pm

Hi,
I'd appreciate some Help and advice please…

Tacx sales Website suggests 800 watt @ 40 km/hr for the Tacx Flow smart, and I get a starting base power of 200 watt @ 40 km/hr.
This would give me a really good range of resistance for structured training sessions.

However, I only get a max of ~485 watt @ 40 km/hr.
This means I need to change gear a lot more to reach the low & high power targets, especially when mixing it with a mix of low and high cadence work.

I plotted a graph (attached), showing power when on min resistance (base) and max resistance (max) and the figure Tacx state on their sales blurb (800w @ 40 km/hr)

In my calculation, To hit 800 watt, I’d need to spin it up to nearly 70km/hr

Has anyone else found this? Am I just expecting too much from this trainer?
It’s not that I need the high power, I’m not that strong, but it does limit the usefulness of the “smart” function to automatically adjust resistance whilst riding structured sessions.

Many Thanks
Richard

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Alex Masalovich
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Re: Tacx Flow Smart T2240 Limited power?

Post by Alex Masalovich » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:42 pm

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mcorn
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Re: Tacx Flow Smart T2240 Limited power?

Post by mcorn » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:42 pm

As stated in my other post, you won't achieve 800 watts with the Flow Smart until you are going 60 kmh (with maximum resistance on the brake, such as a 5% slope). On most bikes, you would need to be in the highest or second highest gear to being going that fast. And it needs to be uphill, not downhill. Otherwise, the brake will not have its braking coils fully energized.

I recently acquired a Flow Smart brake for a reasonable price that I was able to install on an old Satori-type frame with a few modifications. I previously had a USB type Flow/Imagic brake and liked it a lot and had a similar design. But it is not a high power resistance unit and has never been advertised as one. It is an eddy-current brake (like a Racermate CompuTrainer) and does not achieve the resistance levels that some other designs do. But it is also among the smoothest and most reliable brakes sold by Tacx.

For ordinary indoor training and riding, having a brake that produces 100 to 300 watts within normal ranges works fine for me and I suspect for most cyclists, so I don't think it matters much to be able to achieve very high wattage levels unless you are a fairly unusual rider.

Richard1970
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Re: Tacx Flow Smart T2240 Limited power?

Post by Richard1970 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:59 pm

Hi mcorn,
Thanks for the info. I agree with pretty much all you say. It IS a great trainer.
I've been using a Tacx Swing Mag trainer for many years, and the Flow Smart was a treat for myself this Xmas. I am now sold on the interactive ERG and power reporting side of things. It adds more interest to the long dark evenings in the garage :)
However, Tacx do market this unit at being able to produce 800 watt at 40km/hr, and for these sort of tools, Numbers are important in making decisions on what to buy. Also, as my unit wasn't getting close to the expected power, it left me feeling that my unit must be faulty and searching for answers. Not great after splashing the cash on this new toy.

The only real downside for me is a reduced resistance range - so have to change gear more often to hit the targets.

Out of curiosity, do you know if the Vortex smart makes its 950 watts max at 40km/hr or is this one also optomistic ???

Cheers
Richard

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Alex Masalovich
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Re: Tacx Flow Smart T2240 Limited power?

Post by Alex Masalovich » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:09 am

On the old version of the site, the information looked like this:

Flow Smart:
Max brake power (10 sec.) 800 Watt
Sprint power (1 min.) 700 Watt
http://ttsapi.tacx.com/en/products/trai ... mart#tab_1
Vortex Smart:
Max brake power (10 sec.) 950 Watt
Sprint power (1 min.) 750 Watt
http://ttsapi.tacx.com/en/products/trai ... mart#tab_1
I assume that the max brake power is the power at peak short-term acceleration.
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mcorn
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Re: Tacx Flow Smart T2240 Limited power?

Post by mcorn » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:45 am

Richard1970 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:59 pm
Tacx do market this unit at being able to produce 800 watt at 40km/hr
I think that is a typo or mistake as it is not consistent with the power curves. And you have to look at the power curves carefully and probably discount the displayed performance at the extremes as not really corresponding to what is done in typical use.

The Vortex Smart (I also have one) does produce more resistance than the Flow Smart, but enormously so.

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