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Old 03-09-16, 08:40 AM   #1
Spaghetti Legs 
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Tacx Smart Trainer opinions

I thought I would post here as my age, if not my legs qualify me as a Master. I just bought a Tacx Genius Smart trainer and it arrived DOA with a problem, according to Tacx, in the bearings. I'm trying to decide to pursue warranty repair or just return for refund to the seller in Germany. The Tacx forums are rife with people having all kinds of problems with the smart trainers, it seems both mechanical and firmware/software. I realize that unhappy people are more likely to complain on the internet, rather than the quietly satisfied so I would like to hear from all you Tacx smart trainer users. Are you happy, sad, angry with your trainer? Glad you got it? I plan on using mine with Zwift. If I decide to return, I will likely avoid another Tacx altogether and go with the Wahoo Snap.
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Old 03-09-16, 11:07 AM   #2
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100% happy with my Vortex. Several months on it now, no issues, great price, Zwift and Tacx software both seem to work just fine with it. Did need to do the firmware update, which was easy. Friend has the same unit, no issues. Did clue me in that once it's acquired by a device, you need to shut it down for another device to see it.
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Old 03-09-16, 04:26 PM   #3
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I have a Bushido TDF, probably from the same vendor. No issues. The firmware update lets my SRM control the power. Works great. I did have a situation where the flywheel half of the brake became dislodged from the frame, which lit up all red lights and no power output. I had to snap it back together. These things aren't like dumb trainers, they don't travel well. Once I fixed it, I haven't had a problem since.
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Old 03-09-16, 04:48 PM   #4
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Thanks, that's helpful. Keep 'em coming!

I wonder if a lot of the problems out of the box are from shipping. My outer shipping box was beat up pretty good.
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Old 03-21-16, 03:39 PM   #5
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I took delivery of a Bushido Smart T2780 today, and it's basically DOA and supporting documentation is utterly sh!te.

While setup isn't rocket science, the "Quick Start" manual consists of 8 short sentences.

The "1,2,3" wheel-size setup is a joke. The expected #2 /Race setup for my road bike crushes the tire while the lever is in the UP/OFF position. Setting #1 prevented me from mounting the QR into the trainer and setting #3 didn't touch the tire, even with the lever pushed DOWN/ON. OMG. Then I'd have to disassemble the trainer to change to a bike with a different wheel size. WTF?

The improperly named "utility" app (required to update firmware) is the most unfriendly mobile app I've ever seen. Despite this, I managed to pair the unit and update the firmware, only to discover that no matter what I did, the speed, rpm (cadence) and power readings are locked at zero.

While pedaling;




While NOT pedaling;



Furthermore, here's no explanation for what the Calibration, Alignment and Testing Dashboard features do (or when to use them), since all were effectively dead, regardless if I pedaled or not.

Despite the above, I was able to pair the Bushido to my previously working Zwift setup (after un-pairing my GSC-10 speed/cadence sensor). However, it soon became apparent that Zwift was also not getting any speed, cadence or power readings from the Bushido; my avatar failed to start riding. Un- and re-pairing the Bushido failed to remedy the problem.

I don't see any obvious status LED's on the Bushido, when pedaling or not, and with the basically non-existent documentation, I'm forced to wait 3 days for a reply to an email to Tacx service dept.

I'm completely underwhelmed by this, and already considering dumping this POS back to the retailer and ordering a KICKR.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bushido1.jpg (43.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Bushido2.jpg (43.8 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by apn; 03-21-16 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 03-21-16, 06:48 PM   #6
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Regarding the tire settings, I too wasn't getting the tire pressure I wanted until I realized there is an adjustment knob under the lever.
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Old 03-21-16, 07:03 PM   #7
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I have a vortex smart. I like it overall, but I have had issues with it. The first one started making a clicking sound on spin down after it was warm. It wan't super worrisome but I let the Tacx people know and they sent me a new brake. The second one worked for a while but started making the same noise. This is the noise it makes https://youtu.be/OuhPnbSxUxM

I just e-mailed them again last week and they promptly let me know that they were going to send me a whole new unit.

Other than that, it works fine with zwift for me. Hopefully the third time is the charm as far as the noise goes. The customer service from Tacx has been good for me so as long as they stand behind it I'm not too concerned.
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Old 03-26-16, 09:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for the additional replies.
@apn - Check the placement of wheel guide carefully. When setting mine up it was very tricky to get on to the #2 setting. I would line it up carefully and it would seem right, but then looking closely, it had actually gone into the #1 or # 3 slot. Also the adjustment knob on the back of the unit should be loosened a lot before engaging the wheel.

Charlie, mine made the same sound out of the box and now is frozen up entirely. Here's a video from a few minutes after I first set it up: https://youtu.be/iYH_y9eBI_A

It's interesting to see people getting replacements directly from Tacx . They have been very good in responding to emails but keep punting to the seller, bike-discount.de, who has been near comatose in response, only grudgingly offering a return after I opened a Paypal dispute. My suspicion is these smart units are somewhat fragile and prone to getting borked by the usual bouncing around of shipping.
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Old 03-26-16, 11:07 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tip, @Spaghetti Legs

I'll be sure to carefully check that once I get a replacement unit.

Since my day job involves product development (engineering), I'm still concerned about the fragility of these products i.e. not holding up to shipping, despite being cosseted in styrofoam.

Tacx support was a little underwhelming. They sent me a pdf explaining how to clip the brake back together. After I provided a couple of screenshots from their utility app, they agreed that my Bushido was likely DOA and referred me back to the vendor. After some poking, the vendor has taken the unit back (I shipped collect ) and will ship a replacement once they've received and confirmed the device is defective. This could take another week
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Old 03-28-16, 02:50 PM   #10
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Yeah, I didn't want to have to deal with bike-discount for exchanges in fear of high shipping costs sending things back. I e-mailed Tacx the first time and explained my predicament, and after several back and forth questions, proof of purchase, and a video of the problem they offered to send a replacement brake direct to me. This time I sent one email and they sent a whole new unit, which I just received today. If this one dies on me I'll probably move on to something else, but for now I'm happy.

One of these days I'll take apart one of the defective brakes and see what exactly was wrong with it. Maybe a shot of grease in the bearings or something simple like that would fix it...
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Old 04-01-16, 08:04 AM   #11
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Finally got bike discount to Roger up and mailed the Genius back to them a couple of days ago. I fished for a replacement from Tacx one last time but no answer. BD is going to reimburse for the return shipping. Think I'm going to get a Wahoo Snap instead. The Genius is great on paper, too bad I couldn't get Tacx to step up.
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Old 04-04-16, 01:25 PM   #12
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I received a replacement Tacx Bushido Smart late last week, and thankfully, this one worked right out of the box.

I've been doing a lot of outdoor riding and finally got around to setting up and calibrating the Bushido. At a given wheel speed, I notice there's a lot more resistance than my old mag trainer, but I guess this is a good thing

I've done a couple of test rides on Zwift and had a frustrating experience trying the Mountain 8 loop; ANT+ disconnections every couple of minutes.

Since I didn't have a USB extension cable handy, I wanted to try the Suunto ANT+ dongle in another USB port, but unfortunately, Zwift didn't detect the port change in-game, so I had to abandon halfway up the mountain and start over.

Moving the dongle from a USB2 port on the right of my laptop to a USB3 port on the left side seemed to do the trick. I did a couple of flat test laps and didn't have a single dropout.
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Old 04-05-16, 07:59 AM   #13
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Glad the Bushido is up and running. It's kind of funny how we make simple bike riding more complicated with all of these gizmos.
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