Tacx Flow Smart Bike Trainer Review

Hi-tech indoor trainers are generally better than traditional models in terms of design, construction, and style. They promote more features and modern materials, making them more effective and durable. However, most of them are so expensive. That’s why we’re recommending the Tacx Flow Smart Trainer. It’s affordable and, at the same time, the best value bike trainer for many cyclists. Go ahead and check out the advanced features of this model.

Features and Specifications

Electromagnetic Resistance Unit

While other trainers use the typical magnetic or fluid resistance, this particular model is the electromagnetic kind. It aims for a more interactive training by connecting with apps via computers or phones. It’s compatible with popular simulation apps like Zwift, Training Peaks, TrainerRoad, and of course–the brand’s very own Tacx app.

However, in order to connect with software, smart trainers need wireless features or an ANT+ dongle available. Fortunately, this model is ready to work with Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ anytime you want. There’s no need for cycling computers anymore. You can even use a laptop or tablet if you don’t have the right phone for the activity.

Aside from state-of-the-art simulation, this bike trainer also promotes accurate and complete readings. It can provide you with thorough data related to cadence, speed, and power. This is important for creating a foolproof training plan to ensure faster progress.

Fluid Resistance Flywheel

Despite being an electromagnetic trainer, this model can still be used without other devices. To be more specific, it can also serve as a progressive fluid resistance trainer similar to models like the Sportneer Fluid Bike Trainer Stand and the Kinetic Road Machine 2.0 Fluid Trainer. This means the resistance can rely on your speed. What happens is that when you pedal faster, the resistance becomes stronger. The result is a more realistic feel so you may enjoy indoor training as much as you love outdoor riding.

Folding Frame

If you prefer keeping rooms inside your home spacious, we don’t recommend choosing a bike trainer without a folding frame. You should go for something that can be folded, especially this model. It’s also perfect if you’re planning to use a trainer during winter months only.

This indoor trainer has a wheel-on feature, too. In addition to easier storage, the wheel-on design is meant for faster assembly. Storing this equipment after every training session won’t be a hassle.

Additional Details

  • Actual dimensions: 26.6” x 25.6” x 16.1”
  • Dimensions when folded: 22.2” x 16.1” x 9.65”
  • Total weight: 20.7 pounds
  • Max resistance: 800 watts at 25 miles per hour
  • Slope simulation: 6%
  • Compatible with bike wheels measuring 26 to 29 inches/700c
  • Comes with free front wheel riser and quick release

The Good

Highly Compatible with Zwift

Most of the time, the Tacx Flow Smart Trainer works flawlessly with Zwift. That’s a big deal since Zwift is one of the most popular training apps nowadays. In fact, the popularity of that software isn’t surprising anymore since it’s known for its majestic virtual routes. Its graphics may blow you away, preventing you from getting bored while you’re pedaling nonstop. Using it will feel like playing an awesome game, which is important for some people to keep them interested.

Effective Leg Workout

With the powerful resistance of this bike trainer, you’ll be able to see and feel the results in just a few days. Let’s face it; it’s more satisfying to feel a bit of pain on your leg muscles after focusing on your workout. Without any effect on your body after a long training session, you may get discouraged about your entire workout plan. We know it’s cliché, but–no pain, no gain, right?

Can Be Used in Two Ways

Sometimes, it can be time-consuming to set up bike trainers with other devices. If you don’t have the time or mood to use smart features, the Tacx Flow Smart Trainer can still give you strong resistance with its fluid system. Just mount your bike on the trainer and let the resistance unit do its job. It can definitely be your go-to equipment no matter your training preference for the day.

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The Bad

Loud Grinding Sounds

If you’re living in an apartment or condo, we have bad news. This bike trainer can get pretty loud if you’re going to use it every single day. The common cause is a loose material hitting the fan. And, the worst part? There’s a possibility that you won’t be dealing with the usual buzzing or humming sounds that can be totally bearable. We’re talking about the annoying grinding noise you usually hear from clunky machines.

When it comes to quieter performance, we recommend the Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand Steel Bicycle instead. It has a noise reduction wheel you’ll surely love.

Flimsy Components

Buying a cheaper smart trainer isn’t always a good thing. Some affordable models have units with weak parts. Unfortunately, this indoor trainer isn’t an exception. From time to time, it has defective units with broken brake housings and levers. The damage can happen in just a few months of frequent use, especially if you’re the type of rider who likes to pedal hard during training.

Who Is It For?

The Tacx Flow Smart Trainer is one of the most highly recommended low-budget trainers with hi-tech features. It’s powerful and innovative without an outrageously expensive price tag. You’ll love to show it off because it has a modern appearance as well. It will look good in any room.

This bike trainer is also ideal for people who can’t decide between fluid and electromagnetic trainers. Without devices, it can still function perfectly with fluid resistance. You can use it any way you want.

Conclusion

As expected from an affordable hi-tech option, the Tacx Flow Smart Trainer is bound to have some faulty units. However, most of the time, it’s an excellent product for cyclists in training or people who just want to have an active lifestyle even at home. It’s one of the best choices for beginners because of its simplicity despite the advanced features.

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