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.

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.

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.