Indoor training upgrade: from smart trainer to Tacx Neo Bike Smart

Jana and I recently decided to change or rather upgrade our indoor training and say goodbye to our previous smart trainer. In the past years, we trained with a Tacx Flux S Smart Trainer and an old road bike and were satisfied with it at first. But at some point, more and more problems arose.

Problems with our old smart trainer and road bike

Our smart trainer repeatedly had problems properly controlling certain training programs in ERG mode. This mostly occurred when a specific power output combined with a specific cadence was to be ridden. Also, the road bike fit both of us about equally well/badly. This didn't bother us much before, but after having our Gravel bikes fitted during bike fitting and realizing how much better it feels to be on a bike that fits perfectly, sharing a bike was no longer realistic.

At first, we gave Björn's Canyon Grail a try, but the seating position never really suited either of us and the constant back and forth with the settings was simply impractical. We knew it was time for a change. We decided to buy a Smart bike, and we can tell you it was the best decision we could have made.

female cyclist on an indoor trainer

In search of the right smart bike

But before we decided on a bike, we first had to see what the market had to offer. And wow, there are plenty of smart bikes on the market that are suitable for indoor cycling. Some of the most popular and frequently used models are the Wahoo Kickr Bike, the Tacx Neo Bike Smart, the Peloton Bike, the Wattbike Atom and the Stages Bike.

Smart Bike Comparison: Wahoo Kickr Bike vs. Tacx Neo Bike Smart

We mainly focused on the Wahoo Kickr Bike and the Tacx Neo Bike Smart and can say that both devices have their own advantages and disadvantages. The Wahoo Kickr Bike can adjust the incline angle of the entire bike to the currently ridden incline in real time. A really cool feature, but ... do you really need it? We didn't think so. Also, the app that helps adjust the bike is certainly a very cool thing. However, the higher price was an argument against it for us. We had set ourselves a budget, and it didn't fit in there.

Our decision for the Tacx Neo Bike Smart

We can now go more in-depth on the Tacx Neo Bike Smart (who actually came up with this name? Why not Smart Bike?), that we have been using it since October 2022.

The Tacx Neo Bike is quiet, precise and realistic. Exactly the qualities you expect from a smart bike.

Even at first glance, you will notice how flexible you can adjust the bike. You can adjust the pedals, the saddle, the handlebar and the crank length to suit your outdoor bike. The second thing you might notice is the display. The bike has a 4.5-inch screen that displays your data such as heart rate, cadence, power and the currently selected gear. If you like, you can charge your smartphone or tablet, or even both, with the two USB chargers built into the bike.

What's also exciting about the bike is that you don't necessarily need electricity to use it. You can power most of the bike's functions simply by pedaling. Plugging it in will give you the descent feature and power for the USB ports. If you use these two features regularly, we recommend that you leave the bike plugged in while you train.

This smart bike allows you to adjust the saddle (tilt angle and forward/backward) and the handlebars (up/down and forward/backward). The crank is very flexible. It can be adjusted from 170 mm to 175 mm, so you can find the perfect setting. This is also very convenient when you have multiple users at home.

The front of the bike has the bike console with the display and a small tray for your cell phone, food or other things. Inside the flywheel there are lights that light up when you pedal, for a little bit of disco feeling ...

On this bike, the shifters are on the handlebars, just like on a normal road bike. The brakes work, and you feel resistance on the flywheel when you pull on it. You won't feel a difference when shifting on this smart bike, but the bike's technology mimics the feel internally. The bike decelerates the motor for a fraction of a second, almost like an outdoor bike. The gear change is indicated to you on the bike's display. Unfortunately, the shifters don't feel as realistic as they do on a road bike (which has been improved on the second generation of the bike that just launched).

The dynamic moment of inertia function is worth mentioning in detail. It is difficult to simulate all parts of the ascent and descent on an indoor bike. However, this bike mimics riding uphill almost perfectly. The bike gives you a sense of acceleration as you go down the hill.

The Tacx Neo Bike Smart supports most training apps and is compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart to display your data and store it in your favorite training app.

Female cyclist training indoor on a smart bike looking at an iPad screen with the indoor cycling app Zwift running

Advantages of the Smart Bike over a Smart Trainer

One of the biggest advantages of the Smart-Bike over the Smart-Trainer is that we now no longer have to switch bikes, but can quickly and easily adjust the riding position to suit us with just two/three quick-release adjustments. Another advantage is that the Smart-Bike is much quieter than the Smart-Trainer. Since it has no chain and no "real" gears, there is less noise when riding, which should please both us and our neighbors. We live in a small, light-sounding apartment and the noise level was already a problem. The smart bike is also built a bit smaller and more space efficient than a bike smart trainer option, which is especially handy for us since we don't have a lot of room in our apartment. The ERG mode now works smoothly, and we have additional data in our evaluation, as the Smart-Bike also measures the power transmission and does so without additional watt measurement pedals.

All in all, the Smart Bike is a big step up from our old Smart Trainer, and we are excited about the new capabilities and benefits.

The Smart Bike offers many functions and options that we particularly like. A very simple one is the possibility, Zwift to use via the iPad, without additional mounts or the like, because the mount is integrated into the bike. Everything is simple and practical. Another feature we like is the Tacx Neo Bike Smart's "Road Feel" mode. This mode simulates on Zwift how it feels to ride over cobblestones or similar and you feel a slight vibration in the pedal and have to pedal significantly more watts on such a surface. We also really like the Gear Feel mode, which simulates the shifting of the chain, so that you have the feeling of shifting, although there is no real gear shift. This makes the riding experience very realistic. Another advantage of the smart bike is that you can completely customize it to your own needs. In just a few steps and in under a minute, we can adjust the bike's geometry settings to suit us. We also like the small fans that can adjust their strength in different strengths and, for example, depending on the speed ridden or heart rate. They provide a pleasant cooling during the workout and it's great that you don't always have to set up an additional device.


All in all we are very happy with the Smart-Bike, we got it in October 2022 and have noticed that we spend more time on Zwift than before, not only because it is so much more convenient than our "bike on Smart-Trainer" solution before, but because it is just so much fun and works so precisely. Since the smart bike is much quieter than our previous solution, we no longer feel guilty about riding the trainer for an hour at 7am before work. We also no longer get frustrated with the annoying back and forth with the bike's settings or problems with sensors not being recognized.

In the end, I can say that switching from a smart trainer to a smart bike was a great decision for us. We finally have the flexibility we needed and training has become much more enjoyable and effective.

If you're thinking of doing the same, remember that it's an expensive purchase, but if you have multiple cyclists in the household, it may be worth it. Also, if you live in an apartment and are worried about the noise of a regular roller, a smart bike can be a practical solution. And please keep in mind that there are older models of the Tacx Neo Bike Smart that may be less expensive and have the same functionality as the newer models.

We are happy that we decided to switch from a smart trainer to a smart bike, and highly recommend it if you are looking for a better training experience. It's an investment that has really paid off for us.

Cycling beyond stereotypes: Find your place in the cycling world

Have you ever felt unsafe getting on a bike because of your body shape or size? You're not alone. The stereotype that all cyclists must be slim and fit can make it difficult for many people to feel comfortable in the world of cycling. But what if we told you that cycling is a sport that should be open to every* person, regardless of their body shape or size? Join us as we explore the idea of diversity in the world of cycling and how it relates to the principles of Body Positivity and Body Neutrality.

Understanding the principles of body positivity and body neutrality

Body Positivity is a movement that aims to promote self-acceptance and self-love, regardless of one's body shape or weight. It encourages people to accept their bodies as they are and reject societal beauty standards that promote a narrow definition of what is considered "beautiful".

Body Neutrality encourages people to treat their bodies with kindness and respect, rather than emphasizing whether they are "good" or "bad." By embracing these principles, we can learn to love and accept ourselves, regardless of our size or shape, and focus on the things that really matter.

The principles briefly summarized:

Body Positivity Body Neutrality
Promotes self-acceptance and self-love regardless of body shape or weight Encourages people to treat their bodies with kindness and respect, rather than viewing them as "good" or "bad"
Rejects societal beauty standards and encourages people to accept their bodies as they are Focuses on the treatment of the body neutral and without judgment
Emphasizes the importance of self-love and acceptance Emphasizes the importance of kindness and respect for one's body
Encourages people to love and accept their bodies, regardless of size or shape Encourages people to respect their bodies and see them as tools that support them in their lives.

Advantages of a dual approach

Although the "body neutrality" movement was originally designed to overcome the problems of the "body positivity" movement, there are also benefits to incorporating both approaches when considering your own body. This type of dual approach allows you to reap the benefits of both approaches.

These benefits include:

Body positivity can help improve mood and reduce negative thoughts. It also allows us to be happy with our bodies, regardless of what society says about them or despite negative messages we may have received in childhood.

Body-Neutrality is a good approach when positive behavior doesn't feel real or is too big a step to take. It takes the pressure off of loving your body when you may not, and only asks that you accept it for who it is and appreciate it for what it can do for you.

We are humans who are constantly changing, which means that some days we will love our bodies, while other days self-love can feel like too much to ask. By incorporating both Body Positivity and Body Neutrality into our lives, we can choose the approach that best fits our mindset on any given day.

About losing and rediscovering my enthusiasm for cycling

On my journey as a cyclist, I will share with you my experiences and challenges with being overweight and not being fit. I didn't feel like I belonged in the world of cycling. Yet, I have found a sense of belonging, freedom, and self-acceptance by advocating for Body Positivity and Body Neutrality. Come learn how to overcome stereotypes and find the right bike and community. Join me on this tour, and let's break down barriers together.

As a long-time avid cyclist, I've always been attracted to the freedom and independence that comes with riding a bike. For years I was heavily involved in the fixed gear scene where I found a sense of belonging in the community of outcasts and misfits. Due to a bicycle accident that caused some problems for me as a self-employed photographer, as I was unable to work for a few weeks after the accident, I lost my passion for cycling for a few years and became a pure commuter. As I moved less and sat more, I eventually gained weight. As I began to struggle with my weight and fitness, I experienced firsthand the fear and trepidation that can come with the thought of getting on a bike and entering the world of cycling. The stereotype that all cyclists must be thin and fit made me feel like I didn't belong.

Exploring the roots of the stereotype

First, it's important to understand where this stereotype comes from. In professional cycling, lean, fit athletes dominate the sport. These athletes train for hours every day and must maintain a certain level of fitness to compete at the highest level. For most recreational athletes, however, this level of fitness is not required. Instead, cycling is a great way to improve overall health and fitness, regardless of the individual's starting position.

Embracing body positivity and body neutrality in cycling

By embracing the principles of Body Positivity and Body Neutrality, you can learn to love and accept yourself, regardless of your figure or weight, and find a sense of belonging in the world of cycling.

One of the best ways to practice Body Positivity and Body Neutrality while cycling is to focus on the benefits of cycling for overall health and wellness, rather than fixating on a specific body shape or size. It's important to remember that cycling is a low-impact sport that is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. It's a great way to improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength and endurance, and even help with weight loss (if that's what you're aiming for). It's also a fun and social activity that can be enjoyed alone or with friends and family.

Finding Inclusive and Welcoming Communities

Another aspect of feeling excluded from the world of cycling is the experience of being left behind on group rides. For heavier or less fit individuals, the physical demands of group rides can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. This is especially true for those who do not have the same fitness level as the other rider:s in the group. Fear of being left behind can be a significant barrier to participation in group rides and can make it difficult for heavier or less fit individuals to enjoy the social aspects of cycling. However, it is important to remember that cycling is a sport for all, and there are many inclusive groups that provide support and encouragement for cyclists of all abilities. Further, there are also opportunities for group rides where the pace is adjusted to the different abilities of the rider:s, which contributes to an inclusive experience.

Find out about inclusive and welcoming groups that promote diversity and reject societal beauty norms. Joining a cycling group or club can be a great way to meet like-minded people who share your passion for cycling. There are welcoming communities such as the "All Bodies On Bikes" community ( or the "everyBODY Rides" in London. Such communities offer support and cohesion among like-minded people who share your passion for cycling, and can help you overcome stereotypes and barriers that may have held you back.

In summary, cycling is a sport that should be open to everyone, regardless of their body shape or size. By internalizing the principles of Body Positivity and Body Neutrality, you can learn to love and accept yourself and find a sense of belonging in the world of cycling. Whether you want to improve your health and fitness or simply enjoy the freedom and independence that cycling offers you, cycling is a great way to do so.

So don't let clichés stop you. Go out and try it - you might surprise yourself!