Written by Daan

Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer vs Tacx Neo Smart T2800

For an indoor bike training with the most realistic resistance and seamless response to applications, choose between the Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer and the Tacx Neo Smart. These Direct Drive bicycle trainers offer you all kinds of possibilities for interactive training in your own living room. Although you purchase a top class product with both devices, there are some differences. I will explain this to you in this article.

In short

Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer Tacx Neo Smart T2800
Noise level Relatively quiet at high speeds Relatively quiet at low speed and while keeping your legs still
Accuracy percentage About 2% Less than 1%
Resistance and slope 2200 watts and 20% 2200 watts and 25%
Transport and outdoor use With handle and compact folding Can be used without power cable
Interactivity Wahoo Fitness and ao Zwift, TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, KinoMap, BKool Simulator Tacx Trainer and ao Zwift, TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, KinoMap, BKool Simulator

Noise level

An important difference between the Tacx Neo Smart and the Wahoo KICKR is the flywheel that simulates the resistance. The Neo Smart has a virtual flywheel, which means that the resistance is computer-controlled. The Wahoo KICKR has a physical flywheel that gives resistance. Because of this, the sound that both devices make is different.

With the Neo Smart you hear the coil of the magnet system, while with the KICKR you hear the flywheel turning. Despite that, the noise production of both bicycle trainers is minimal. Where the Wahoo KICKR is a little louder at low speeds and if you keep your legs still, the Tacx can be heard a little better when cycling at top speed. However, these differences are minimal.

Accuracy

If you like to train on wattage, you want the built-in power meter of your bike trainer to be accurate. In that respect, the KICKR and the Neo Smart are very similar. The accuracy percentage of the Neo Smart is just below 1%, where the KICKR is around 2%. This means that the measurement of your power at most deviates by 2% from what you actually pedal. This means that you keep a very close eye on the intensity and effectiveness of your effort with both bike trainers.

Resistance and slope

With the latest update of the Wahoo KICKR, the device has made a small jump in terms of resistance. That means that both the Neo Smart and the KICKR now have a maximum resistance of 2200 Watt. The Tacx bike trainer does offer you a slope that can go up to 25%, where the Wahoo trainer simulates up to 20%. Despite the fact that the average cyclist has a lot of trouble at 20%, you opt for the Tacx Neo Smart for a very tough climbing training.

Move and warm up

To be able to cycle hard while standing on the pedals, a Direct Drive bicycle trainer is quite heavy. Both devices therefore weigh 21 kilograms. Although you fold both of them after use, the KICKR is a bit more compact and handy. The handle on the device also makes it easier to transport and store. The Neo Smart is therefore less easy to transport. You use this trainer without mains power if you want. So you can use it just as easily for warming up when you don't have a power outlet.

Interactivity

Both the Tacx Neo Smart and the Wahoo KICKR can be used in combination with the most popular applications on the market. You can combine the trainers with Zwift, TrainerRoad or Kinomap, for example. Both devices respond almost seamlessly to the applications, so that you also feel subtle differences in resistance almost immediately in your legs.

Conclusion

The top-class bicycle trainers from Wahoo and Tacx are extremely close in terms of performance and possibilities. Both trainers are very quiet, offer interactive possibilities and a maximum resistance that will make professional cyclists sweat. Even the price of both products is close together. You choose a specific bicycle trainer when you have an important requirement that the device must meet. If you also like to use the trainer without power outside for your warm up or are you looking for a very steep slope, choose the Tacx Neo Smart. If you want to compactly store the trainer and transport it easily, choose the Wahoo KICKR.


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