Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Tacx or KK?

Old 10-29-08, 09:43 AM
  #26  
Erik B
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Originally Posted by New to the Road View Post
it looks like i have a 64mb video card in my laptop, which is possibly unupgradeable, do you guys think this means i should be looking or a cheap desktop with the specs to run the tacx software? also, sherbornpeddler, do you think most of your problems related to the trainer are related to using an underspec'd computer?
I just built a dedicated cheap win XP box to run mine and have had zero issues. I don't know if they sorted the Vista issues yet so you'll either want to check or stay with XP.

If you want a fortius get it and try it on your system, but have the funds budgeted to upgrade your system if it doesn't work properly.
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Old 10-29-08, 10:36 AM
  #27  
Rob P
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Originally Posted by New to the Road View Post
it looks like i have a 64mb video card in my laptop, which is possibly unupgradeable, do you guys think this means i should be looking or a cheap desktop with the specs to run the tacx software? also, sherbornpeddler, do you think most of your problems related to the trainer are related to using an underspec'd computer?
Your video card will not be able ot handle the VR game. You can buy a cheap desktop for about $300 somewhere, maybe even used with a better video card then that.
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Old 10-29-08, 10:43 AM
  #28  
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As said above, video card performance is important and can really spoil your enjoyment if it's under spec'd. Fortius needs a 256Mb Direct X9 capable card, and usually any on-board shared memory video drivers are a bit dodgy.
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Old 10-29-08, 10:55 AM
  #29  
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Well, I'm checking out two desktops on craigslist for around $400. These are the respective video cards they come with, and as I've been using exclusively a laptop for the last 3 years I'm not very in the know when it comes to this stuff... does anyone know if these are shared memory cards, or would they be sufficient?

PNY Verto Geforce 6200 AGP 8x graphics card w/256 mb ddr2 graphics memory

NVIDIA GeForce 7100 graphics card 256MB
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Old 10-29-08, 12:06 PM
  #30  
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Mine's working fine with only 32mb of vram- I only do RLV though. Tacx admits in their forums that the requirements might be system dependent-so what works for one might not work for others. I've had mine for over a month and I really like it--no malfunctions...
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Old 10-29-08, 06:59 PM
  #31  
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Tacx isms

Yep, my Fortius problems fit into three catagories:
1. underpowered laptop but manageable. When I compete via internet or too many virual riders I crash and reboot.
2. a few whacky software things solved by trial and error and a very helpful Tacx forum. I struggled to get my English measurements in metric data. Problems soved and available in their forum.
3. the oh so famous 60Hz problems with downhill handicap and uphill jitters. Like others my real gripe is the lack of a more apparent continuous improvement campaign. Tacx community is incredibly loyal. I dream of community participation in next generation product development.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:34 PM
  #32  
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Kurt does Netathlon now. I don't know anything about it, but it looks like
a video game you race with. Been trying to decide if it's worth getting.
http://www.kurtkinetic.com/kinetic-n...-130-l-en.html
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Old 10-30-08, 05:54 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Rob P View Post
Your video card will not be able ot handle the VR game. You can buy a cheap desktop for about $300 somewhere, maybe even used with a better video card then that.

I've been told the same before. Could you go on the Dell or Hp site and spec out a suitable machine? When I do this I don't seem to come in below $600 or $700.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:41 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
I've been told the same before. Could you go on the Dell or Hp site and spec out a suitable machine? When I do this I don't seem to come in below $600 or $700.
On TigerDirect I can get a new computer for you for $440 (with 256 video card) - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...p?Base=3942715

Ideally what you want to do is pick up an off-lease computer for about $200 and add a good video card for $50-70.

You can look into who sells off-lease computers in your area. I had a great place bookmarked but I lost it when I transferred computers. There are a tone of off-lease computer places though.

Key things
-have a decent CPU (No Celeron)
-Meet the min video card requirements (256)
-have about 40GB of drive available for your game, so look for 60GB drives and larger

The rest, well any computer built in the last 5 years will be there.

Computers aren't my specialty, hopefully it gets you pointed in the right direction.
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Old 10-30-08, 07:03 PM
  #35  
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Rob,
Excellent! Thanks!
SP
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Old 10-30-08, 08:20 PM
  #36  
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does anyone who experiences the problems related to the motor break (downhill max speed & choppy resistance on grades over a certain %) find that thoroughly annoying, or is it really just a small detail of an overall positive experience? i'm trying to figure out whether i'll get this thing and be stoked, or disappointed, and so far it sounds like everyone who has one seems pretty happy aside from these details.
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Old 10-30-08, 10:32 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by New to the Road View Post
does anyone who experiences the problems related to the motor break (downhill max speed & choppy resistance on grades over a certain %) find that thoroughly annoying, or is it really just a small detail of an overall positive experience? i'm trying to figure out whether i'll get this thing and be stoked, or disappointed, and so far it sounds like everyone who has one seems pretty happy aside from these details.
I believe there is a patch for this. I'm not 100%. It can be resolved though, as I've got it working so it doesnt pulse going up hills really slowly.

Last edited by Rob P; 10-30-08 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:54 PM
  #38  
Erik B
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Originally Posted by New to the Road View Post
does anyone who experiences the problems related to the motor break (downhill max speed & choppy resistance on grades over a certain %) find that thoroughly annoying, or is it really just a small detail of an overall positive experience? i'm trying to figure out whether i'll get this thing and be stoked, or disappointed, and so far it sounds like everyone who has one seems pretty happy aside from these details.
The downhill max speed is really only an issue if you are virtual racing against others that are on 220volt since they don't have the problem. Since I'm fat, I'm also not held to that same 26mph limit and routinely see higher than that on the dowhills if I'm pushing.

The choppiness issue is meh. I got over it. It isn't perfect but the ability to train hills during the winter is nice.

Another issue is that your recorded power output goes to zero on significant downhills even if you are pedaling your ass off.

The VR characters are also cheating *******s if you want to race them in the VR world.

I spend the majority of my time in RLV or catalyst mode and the only thing I regret was purchasing the VR velodrome game. I didn't "play" that nearly enough to justify the expense.

For me it better than sucked enough that I used mine to drop about 30 pounds last winter.YMMV

By no means is it perfect but it's pretty damn good.

IMO the steering frame is also a waste, but I got a damn good deal on my system with the steerer so I have one.
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Old 10-31-08, 05:34 AM
  #39  
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Erik! You da man! I agree with your perspective but like the steerer for a change.
I just went through a substantial software update adn will report if the annoyances are mitigated.
I bet a marketing pro understands why we remain fans when the product has problems and the manufacturer has a reputation for being aloof.

I have an early Powertap and have had problems but love Saris, the manufacturer. They are extremely customer oriented, listen and deliver.
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Old 10-31-08, 09:12 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Erik B View Post
The downhill max speed is really only an issue if you are virtual racing against others that are on 220volt since they don't have the problem.

The choppiness issue is meh. I got over it. It isn't perfect but the ability to train hills during the winter is nice.

Another issue is that your recorded power output goes to zero on significant downhills even if you are pedaling your ass off.

By no means is it perfect but it's pretty damn good.
I agree with pretty much all these points above and recommend sticking with the Catalyst and RLV functions. If you're interested in power based training, pick up a copy of the Allen/Coggan power training book. Overall, I think it was a great investment for my interests and brings more utility than a power meter would have. This thing is 95% realistic to me and when I want 100%, I just hit the streets.
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Old 11-01-08, 01:30 AM
  #41  
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Dusted off my Tacx Fortius from last winter, updated my software and road a 27 mile VR. Choppiness is virtually gone. I still don't get credit for downhill wattage (it reads much lower wattage than I really exert) on the downhills but this is of virtually no consequence, virtually.

I'll report when I ride other formats but choppiness seems solved.
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Old 11-05-08, 12:59 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by late View Post
Kurt does Netathlon now. I don't know anything about it, but it looks like
a video game you race with. Been trying to decide if it's worth getting.
http://www.kurtkinetic.com/kinetic-n...-130-l-en.html
Thanks for mentioning this...Has anyone Netathlon yet?
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