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Tacx Flow Smart Plus bike trainer, Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ FE-C controllable, planetcyclery.com, $299.95

$299.95
+5 Deal Score
1,999 Views
https://planetcyclery.com/accesso...rt-trainer

This bicycle trainer is a great deal and the lowest cost smart trainer at its $379 retail price. At $300, it's a steal. The typical entry point for a smart trainer is in the $450-$550 range. This deal includes a riser for your front wheel and a USB ANT+ adapter for connecting to a computer via ANT+. It has been available in Europe for a while and is well-regarded despite a few compromises. It has only recently been widely available in the US.

A smart trainer such as this one is what you want for a interactive training experience using applications like Zwift and TrainerRoad. The "smart" elements of the trainer serve two main functions:

1) The training application on your computer/tablet can control the resistance of the trainer, so when you reach a virtual hill or increased power interval, the resistance of the trainer automatically increases.

2) The trainer measures the power you produce (in watts) and sends that information to the application on you computer/tablet, so application knows how hard your working, can adjust the resistance accordingly, and record the data for analysis.

This trainer is pretty small and light for a smart trainer and folds up. Noise is average. It makes a fair amount of whirring noise, but I can easily hear my computer over it at regular volumes, and the sound does not disturb folks in other rooms of our house.

Compared to more expensive trainers, the Tacx Flow has these drawbacks:

1) The resistance goes up to 800 watts, which is on the low side for a smart trainer. However, 800 watts is only achievable by very strong cyclists during sprints. I am a reasonably strong but lightweight cyclist (150lbs), and I don't come anywhere close to 800 watts (maybe in the 600s during an out-of-the-saddle uphill sprint). Big, strong cyclists might want something beefier if very intense sprint intervals are important. You know who you are.

2) Because of the limited range of the resistance mechanism, some users report that shifting is sometimes necessary to maintain optimal cadence between hard and easy intervals, even in ERG mode where the trainer is supposed to adjust resistance without you shifting. I'm still getting a feel for the trainer and am not sure whether I'm personally seeing this or not.

Happy riding!
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$299.95

5 Comments

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Joined Oct 2008
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#2
Pretty good deal for that tier of trainers as most will cost you over $400 when on good sales/coupons.
And planetcyclery is good. They seem to only stock select popular items which is how they probably keep their costs down.
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Last edited by siggydawg December 14, 2017 at 12:24 PM.
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#3
Seems to be a very good deal
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#4
Thank you! Excellent deal. Just got it. It is very similar to Tacx Vortex that goes for $479, according to Tacx [tacx.com].
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Joined Mar 2010
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#5
Back to full price. Frown I should of of got one. Next time I won't hesitate.
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#6
Quote from subzerobear
:
Back to full price. Frown I should of of got one. Next time I won't hesitate.
It's been going up and down over the last couple of weeks. I suspect it will go on sale again soon.
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