Tacx NEO 3M

Garmin unveils the Tacx NEO 3M: A powerful indoor smart trainer with multidirectional movement.

Garmin says the Tacx NEO 3M is “its most accurate and powerful direct-drive trainer“. This new trainer builds on the previous Neo 2T, which was highly rated. It takes those features, improves them and adds some more!

The Tacx NEO 3M keeps its Star Wars imperial shuttle look
The Tacx NEO 3M keeps its Star Wars imperial shuttle look

The Tacx NEO 3M keeps its innovative electromagnetic motor braking system. This virtual freewheel allows it to not only be super quiet, but it can simulate different road conditions. It does this by stuttering the motor to give the effect of riding over cobbles or gravel. While this isn’t a necessity when virtual-riding, it is a cool feature that might help you keep engaged on long sessions.Tacx NEO 3M

That electromagnetic motor will also allow you to use the Tacx NEO 3M without a power supply. Start turning the pedals and you’ll be supplying your own energy. That could be handy if you want to take the trainer with you for a pre-race warm-up. However if you do choose to run it off your own steam, you will lose one feature. That’s the ability to simulate freewheeling downhill. As long as you’re plugged in the Tacx NEO 3M will simulate a descent, allowing you to rest just like in the real world!

Carry handle included!

To make it easier to haul the Tacx NEO 3M into position, it now has a carry handle built in to the design. Many people mentioned this as a negative point on the previous model. For me this wouldn’t be an issue, as my trainer sits in the garage and doesn’t move. However if you were going to use it regularly to warm up on at races, then you’ll appreciate the addition.

The Tacx NEO 3M now has a carry handle!
The Tacx NEO 3M now has a carry handle!

Motion plate now built in

Another new feature are its built-in motion plates, which were a separate add-on with the Neo 2T. These allow 5cm of back and forth motion that combines with its “natural side-to-side flexion“. The idea is to create a more realistic feel when training indoors. Tacx says the idea is “to give cyclists their most realistic indoor ride yet.” However, if you don’t like it, you can toggle the motion off via a lockout on the feet.

Connecting to the Tacx NEO 3M is done by the usual Bluetooth or Ant+ protocols. Some riders may bemoan the lack of a built-in WiFi connection, not something I’ve ever needed, but some may prefer to connect that way. Tacx have added a WiFi/ethernet dongle to get around this that can be bought separately.

Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice President of Global Consumer Sales said, “Our goal is to make indoor training as realistic to their outdoor rides as possible and we’re proud to do just that with the introduction of the Tacx NEO 3M—the only trainer to offer built-in multidirectional movement, a virtual flywheel and a magnet motor. Now, cyclists can take advantage of features and technology they won’t be able to find anywhere else and, as a result, level-up their training like never before.”

Tacx NEO 3M features and specs

  • Multidirectional movement: Built-in motion plates complement the natural side-to-side flexion of the trainer by adding front-to-back movement, letting cyclists ride in a more natural position to train more effectively. The plates can even be toggled on and off as desired.
  • Real road feel: The virtual flywheel simulates the feeling of riding on different road types – like cobblestone and gravel – to help cyclists train on a variety of terrains3.
  • App integration: In addition to integration with the Tacx Training app, connect with other popular training and virtual riding platforms, like TrainerRoad and Zwift, then automatically upload ride data to the Garmin Connect app.
  • Simulated inclines: Crush the toughest climbs by training on realistically simulated inclines up to a 25% gradient—and experience descent simulation too.
  • Power accuracy: Performance measurements including power, speed and cadence are accurate to within 1% across a broader range of power outputs to meet the demands of cyclists of all levels.
  • Sprint-ready: Get maximum stability, even during explosive sprints—up to 2,200 watts.
  • Dynamic inertia: Maintain a sensation of forward motion based on a cyclist’s weight, speed and gradient.
  • ERG mode: Power targets are automatically adjusted during workouts in this mode.
  • Exceptional design: Magnets minimize vibration, making for an extraordinarily quiet trainer while a built-in LED indicator changes colors to show how hard a cyclist is pushing. Cyclists can also ride without plugging the trainer in and a new integrated handle makes for easier transportation.
  • Maximum power: 2,200 watts
  • Claimed power accuracy: +/- 1 per cent
  • Maximum simulated gradient: + 25 per cent
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth or ANT+
  • Weight: 23.6kg
  • Price: £1,749.99 / €1,999.99 / $1,999.99

Check out the Tacx Neo 3M

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