Tacx is a company continually pushing the boundaries in home training systems. Stemming from an everyday cycle shop in Holland which was founded in 1957, the Tacx family based their business principles on innovation, quality and a great passion for cycling. After initially manufacturing bicycle components Tacx produced its first roller cylinders in 1972 which saw the Dutch company take its first steps into the world of cycle trainers.
It’s not just the cycling enthusiast who benefits from Tacx products with eight Pro Tour teams using the famous blue trainers and rollers as a staple part of their training and preparation for races including Lampre, Rabobank and Team SaxoBank SunGard. From its humble beginnings as a family run bike shop, Tacx has grown into a market leader pushing the boundaries of cycle training. The latest products in the Dutch company’s portfolio feature the new Virtual Reality range which have just arrived at PBK.
The Bushido Ergo Turbo Trainer
The Bushido ergo trainer is Tacx’s latest ultra premium computer controlled trainer to hit the market. The main stand out feature of this trainer is the completely wireless capabilities. The Bushido gets its name from the code of honour and morals developed by Japanese samurai warriors and the technology that this trainer utilises is just as sharp as any samurai sword. This self sufficient trainer doesn’t need a power cable with the power generated by the resistance unit creating power from the on board generator. This frees up the possibilities of places you can now train with a plug no longer dictating your location. This feature has proved very popular with those who race including big dogs such as SaxoBank who have been involved from day one in the development. The resistance unit has a whisper quiet sound compared to older turbo trainers with a faint noise evident from the enclosed fan every now and again which kicks in when the trainer starts to heat up. ANT+ connects the resistance unit to the handlebar mounted LCD display and to your laptop or PC via a USB dongle. This connection to your computer allows you to choose from a library of different films (sold separately) from TdF stages to training rides with pro teams. These Real Life Videos give you a sense of riding through distant foreign scenery without leaving the safety of your home. The gradient based real life videos are designed to interact with the resistance unit which then applies resistance automatically using your trainers motorbrake. Synchronising the visual aspects on the screen with an increase in power creates a real life challenging climb. This in turn forces you to change down gears or increase your power output creating a realistic experience designed to get your heart pumping and your legs turning. Perfect for overcoming those winter blues and spicing up your indoor winter training.
Vortex Ergo Turbo Trainer
The Vortex is the mid range option from Tacx. The white Satori frame colour scheme differs from the usual Tacx blue which we have all come to know and love, although it’s not for the worse. The handlebar mounted computer shares this colour scheme with subtle hints of lime green also seen creating an aesthetically pleasing look. The Vortex isn’t just easy on the eye, with the custom display mount housing a number of innovative functions to customise each training ride. The large display allows you to check your performance quickly and easily whilst feeling the burn on your ride. Unlike the Bushido, the Vortex does not have a memory system which means that you have to set programmes for gradient, power or heart rate manually for individual training rides. This manual feature gives you the ultimate control over your training, allowing you to tweak different aspects before embarking on your ride. Similar to the Bushido, the connection between the electric braking system and the handlebar unit is wireless. A cadence sensor has also been done away with for this new generation of trainers. Mains power is still needed for this model however this trainer is also compatible with the Real Life Videos and Ergo Videos sold separately.
Flow Computer Turbo Trainer with Skyline Support
The Flow Computer Turbo Trainer is the entry level model to the world of Tacx Virtual Reality. With its simplistic looks this redesign of the old Flow trainer opens the doors of Tacx’s new Virtual Reality range to the everyday cyclist, combining value and performance. The frame offers a slight rebound during rides which offers a realistic feeling of being out on the road while rubber feet offer the safe guard of stability. A handlebar mounted sweat resistant display provides information at a glance to monitor all the essential elements of your training including heart rate, power, speed and pedalling with the frequency of these vital statistics being displayed in an easy to read format. These four training variables will provide you with the information needed to develop routines and push your training to the next level. The Vortex is also designed to adapt your program for specific power or slope resistance training. The electromagnetic brake which is the basis of resistance control is managed through the computer unit mounted on the handlebars. Like the other ergo trainers discussed earlier, this trainer is compatible with the collection of Real Life Videos and Ergo Videos offering you the virtual reality experience in your living room. If you’re looking to walk before you run in experiencing the new Tacx Virtual Reality range this is the trainer for you.
Tacx offer 25 different films to spice up your indoor training regime. The videos on offer range from competing in a classic race to scaling a world famous climb in the relative comfort of your own home. There’s also the option of riding with several different pros and pro teams. This not only gives you that extra motivation to ride yourself into the ground, but also helps you learn from watching their pedal technique for an extended period of time.
The two main types of videos are Real Life and Ergo. Ergo videos are designed with power profiles in mind with you trying to match the power output by the rider(s) on the video with the motorbrake adjusting the resistance you experience. You will generally stay in the same gear throughout the ride allowing you to concentrate on the figures being produced. The Real Life Videos are a set of gradient based films applying resistance automatically using your trainers motorbrake when climbing, creating a challenging ride. This forces you to change down gears and/or increase your power output creating a realistic experience designed to simulate a hill climb. All movies are shot in a wide screen format and can be linked to Google Earth 3D maps when connected to a laptop or PC that is online. With such a large collection of films, there’s something to suit everyone. Check out the complete collection here.
So there’s a quick round up of the new Tacx Virtual Reality range. With this being an exciting time for the world of home training don’t get left behind, join the new cycle trainer revolution. Check out the whole range of ergo trainers and accessories now available at PBK.