The best trainer for TrainerRoad, changing resistance quick

Hi

I am using TR with my Elite Direto. But I think it is very slow to change resistance, I have read that other Elite owners also is having issues regarding resistance.
Is it a bug in the trainer or just something I need to accept?

What about other trainers like Tacx it wahoo, do they change resistance quicker?

I have a Direto, as well. I have been eyeing the H2. Per @GPLama it is about the best for changing resistance quickly. Check out his YouTube vid review, paying special attention to the Over/Under section.

I have a Tacx NEO and the answer is no, it is pretty “slow” at changing resistance (roughly 7-15 seconds depending on the size of the change. I have not found this to be much of an issue with intervals of a few minutes or longer. But, obviously it is a bigger issue with short sprints. What I have done to deal with this issue is to import the workout into WorkoutCreator and added a ramp to the interval. Depending on the length of the interval, the ramp usually varies from 15 to 30 seconds.

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Something’s shagged if that’s the case. The Neo 1-2 will change resistance pretty damn fast. Faster than any mechanical ‘stepper motor’ trainer where the size of the wattage change matters as the motor has to move the magnets further.

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It’s a summer 2018 model (I don’t recall if it is a 1 or 2). I contacted TR support at the time. They looked at the data. My recollection is that they said this was pretty common. I’ve learned to deal with it as described.

FWIW: Tacx have less than helpful on technical issues. For example, my Quarq and Tacx Neo were reporting numbers that were varying too widely for my liking (I’m not willing to do power match - separate discussion). So I did a workout and tracked the wattages of 3 sets of 10min intervals, put all the #s on a spreadsheet and did the calculations. Average variance was 6%. Since both Quarq and Tacx claim to have an accuracy of 1.5%, and for a number of reasons I know the Quarq to be accurate, I called Tacx. They insisted they were accurate, pointed at Quarq and wouldn’t provide any more assistance. I’m hoping that Garmin straightens them out.

I am with GPLama here. My 1st gen NEO from 2016 goes from 40% to 150% within 2 seconds or so.
Previously when using Zwift, it was almost like a leg ripping effect, but the current 1-2 second ramp is extremely pleasant when doing high intensity intervals.

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I agree I have found the Neo 2 to be quick. A lot quicker than 7 - 15 seconds. I think the cadence you sustain just prior to the start of the interval can make a difference. e.g. start to get your target cadence set in place 4 seconds prior.

I had the Kickr 18 before and that was faster still than the Tacx in my opinion. It seemed to lock in on the target power and not deviate as much as the Neo which goes up/down 5-7 watts

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Neo1 – 3s max for any type of interval. Doesn’t matter if I’m on BLE or ANT+. A key factor for short intervals w/large power swings (i.e., VO2) is to get your cadence stable before the interval begins. For example, if you are going from 50% to 120%, set your cadence at least 15s before the interval begins. Otherwise, the system has to compensate for your varying cadence as well as the change in power. But even then, 7-15s is still out of the range of normal.

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Switch off ERG Mode Power Smoothing on the Kickr to see you real watts. It’ll bounce around a like this too.

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Have Neo gen 1 and gen 1 (v2) here and they’re both pretty good. Laggy resistance change issues I think are usually more bluetooth related. Bringing laptop/tablet closer helps if it’s really slow changes you’re experiencing. Can get dongles too if you really want more leads around the place :smiley:

If only they could master sprinting in ERG mode. Maybe some auto detect feature that turns ERG off just before a sprint and sticks it in high enough resistance for you to smash it. Maybe even gradually increases resistance for the first few seconds as you spin up to power. Quasi-ERG mode, something like that.

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KK Road Machine, resistance changes as fast as you can change gear :wink:

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I’ve got a Kickr Core and the resistance changes on that are very fast - I’ve been very happy with it.
I got one of the early models and it very quickly developed a knocking sound, but Wahoo replaced that quickly and the replacement unit hasn’t had any issues. My experience is that wahoo support are much more responsive than Tacx, but that could just be because they realised they had released a product that had major problems and were firefighting that (my understanding is that they had to replace a large proportion of the early units within a couple of months).

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My Tacx Flux S changes fairly quickly if I let TR control it. I’ve had issues with powermatch though and stuck with resistance mode most of my time.

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There’s a software effect too. I’m using a free Tacx subscription up on a Neo 2. Their programs have sprint intervals. It could suddenly shoot up when your legs are in weak parts of the pedal cycle. I actually wrote to them & asked them to adjust the firmware, but they said it was actually their PC software & they would sort it.

I think the customer support varies with location. I’m near enough to Netherlands to get their head office & it’s always been excellent. I think they should bring it all in house, even if that means people waiting for replies until NL office hours.

I had an Elite Direto. It was awful changing power as you have discovered. Sometimes taking up to 10 seconds to level out. Made intervals really diffficult. I even demonstrated it to the UK distributor on their machine on their bikes. When I showed him he was astonished. It is a bug with the trainer. Add in that there is no way to do firmware updates and you are caught. When you change cadence goes all over the place becasue the machine is slow and chasing itself.

I returned it and swaped to a Kickr Core. That has been excellent. I highly recommend it. It is chalk and cheese compared with the Elite Direto. (If you look on teh Elite forum you can probably find me explaining teh problem and complaining about it).

Bear in mind that TR actually sends its “Change power” signal 2 seconds early to try and compensate across machines. Even that did not fix the Direto. It was even worse on Zwift intervals where they do not send teh signal early, and Elite’s own intervals.

With the Kickr Core it chnaged smoothly and quickly and feels just tight and quite real. No faffing about - just increase power for the next interval and your cadence naturally sits where you want it to be.

(If you really want to show the Direto problem up, make a short 30x30 interval session where the power rises from 100w to 300w and back again. It really shows up the Direto. Try that with a kickr and it is perfect.)

You have my sympathy. Swap it.

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To the OP, my Hammer, H2, Kickr17 and Neo 2 all swap quickly and with minimal delay. The Neo 2 may be the quickest and it makes sense considering the method of resistance adjustment when compared to the other trainers.

As to bobmac’s issues, I presume PowerMatch is in play (since he mentioned a power meter too), so that could be impacting his results. I’m not intending to address his issues directly. I only mention it as a consideration when people start discussing adjustment times.

PowerMatch adds a bit of time and complexity to the overall picture compared to using the trainer for power data.

There is lots of good feedback/thoughts in this thread. Thank you! Another confirmation of the value of the Forum. Related to the Tacx NEO . . .

BlueTooth: That seems the most logical for me to try. My setup is that I have a MacBook Pro sitting on a Wahoo Training Desk in front of my bike. It is connected to a Tacx Antenna that uses a USB cable from the Mac and sits on the floor. The cable is about 5ft long so there’s about 4-5ft between the Tacx Antenna and the Tacx NEO. I will try adding a USB extension cable to get it a lot closer.

Cadence: That’s a good thought, and I tried it. I have lots of cadence experience well above the TR protocols, so I tried everything from steady ramps to fast ramps (e.g. up to 165) and even going into the ramp holding various steady states from 100 to 160) and none had any effect on lag time.

PowerMatch: @mcneese.chad I don’t use it. I only used the Quarq on my bike (that uploads data to the Garmin 1030) for a single training session I did to compare the power level recorded by TR from the Tacx NEO vs power level reported by the 1030 from the Quarq.

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  • Just confirming since it isn’t directly stated, but you have been connecting via ANT+ for your use up to this point?

  • If your goal is to switch to BLE (Bluetooth), you ditch that USB ANT+ device entirely and just use the native BLE from your MacBook. So, you don’t need any USB device or extension cord installed at all.

  • Maybe you are planning 2 different tests to see which performs better?

    1. Test with BLE as the first option.
    2. Test with a longer extension for your USB ANT+ device as the second option.

Overall, I know that I have seen better results when connecting my Neo 2 with BLE.
I have seen power data drops in ANT+ with relative consistency.


Good to know on the PowerMatch. Without that, there must be something else leading to your atypical results. The testing above may prove interesting. Report back when you get some results.

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I haven’t used a bazillion smart trainers, but DC Rainmaker reports the STAC Halcyon responds very quickly:

Actually, it was scary-fast spot-on. It responded way quicker than I expected, and I’m pretty sure faster than any other trainer I can remember testing in recent memory. I was impressed!

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@mcneese.chad Excellent observation! Yes, I have been using the Tacx Neo antenna (your first link). I wasn’t separating ANT+ vs BLE in my response as an issue since both operate in the 2.4GHz frequency range so I assumed they would operate similarly.

I did not know that the Tacx Neo supports BLE, but I went straight to the Tacx Antenna solution due to:

  1. Prior [lousy] experience with Garmin’s USB antenna (i.e. a solution that sits at the Mac itself)
  2. Lots of positive reviews about the Tacx Antenna (Amazon, TR FB and other cycling forums; the TR Forum didn’t exist last summer)

I have the USB extension, so I should be able to test both solutions. Thanks!

Interesting comment. I have had the same experience. But I just assumed it was “the nature of the beast” when dealing with 2.4GHz wireless. Have you experienced less dropout with BLE?

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