Tacx Road Feel

Tacx Introduces Road Feel for Neo Smart

Tacx has taken the indoor riding experience to a whole knew level and has brought it closer to the experience of riding outdoors with the release of a new update for the Neo Smart: Road Feel.

Road Feel simulates a variety of road conditions from cracks in pavement to cobblestones, wooden planks, and even ice.  Road Feel brings the feeling of riding outdoors to your indoor training.

According to Tacx: “The unique design of the NEO, with its permanent motor and smart electronics, allows us to control the exact position of all rotating parts a 1000 times per second. By doing so, the NEO simulates the vibrations of different kinds of roads, from heavy cobblestones to muddy mountain bike trails and everything in between! Being the only ‘real’ direct drive trainer, the Tacx NEO differentiates itself from all other trainers by bringing this experience to your home.”

No input is felt through the bike with Road Feel.  Instead by moving the rotating parts of the Neo Smart, various road conditions are simulated through the chain.  This requires tension on the chain so if you have dead spots in your pedal strokes, you will experience dead spots in the simulation with Road Feel.road feel

Road Feel currently works with all Tacx Films through the Tacx Cycling App as well as in the virtual world of Zwift, where its application seems the most promising and exciting in my opinion.

Road Feel brings back that “wow” factor everyone experienced the first time they road a smart trainer and felt the grade change.  Imagine that initial surprise you’ll get when the smooth pavement ends, the cobblestones start, and a big, childish grin creeps across your face.  And it brings that sense of relief every cyclist has felt at the end of a rough section of road inside, further enhancing the indoor training experience.

In my opinion, Road Feel sounds a little gimmicky and is not something I would have thought of as being important for improving the indoor riding experience.  But I would definitely jump at the chance to try out Road Feel on the Tacx Neo Smart but loading up a section of Paris-Roubaix and riding those fabled cobbles without buying a plane ticket to France.

(What’s cheaper?  A Tacx Neo Smart or a plane ticket to France?)

Matty Haymen did it this year but will we see more Zwifters winning Paris-Roubaix thanks to Tacx’s Road Feel?  Train on cobbles from the comfort of your own home.