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 10-27-08, 01:20 PM
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Tacx or KK?

Alright, here's the deal.
Last week I was all ready up to buy my first trainer, a KK Rock and Roll w/ the Pro RU. My plan was to buy a few Spinerval's DVDs and use them as my winter training program. I figured I could get set up for between 650-750. Then I just happened to read a little bit about the Tacx VR trainers, and now I feel like I'm back at square one. I've read the threads about Tacx v. Computrainer, but I'm wondering about the Tacx VR v. a standard trainer? Thoughts? Experiences? Also, can anyone tell me the differences between the Tacx Imagic and the Tacx Fortius?
Thanks a lot
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Old 10-27-08, 01:26 PM
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bdcheung
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If I could do it all over again I'd get a Kurt Kinetic maybe with the R&R base.
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Old 10-27-08, 01:41 PM
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What do you have now BD? That R&R looks very interesting, but I don't know if it would be worthwhile to switch from the Fluid2 I have. No complaints with it, but being able to move side to side sounds, well, interesting.
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Old 10-27-08, 01:44 PM
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bdcheung
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I use a combination of PVC rollers and a Blackburn Trakstand Ultra. The trainer is fine - totally silent - but the resistance curve is way too high for my puny legs.
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Old 10-27-08, 01:58 PM
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My bro-in-law has the Tacx VR. It's much more fun. Depends whether you want to use your trainer to strictly do intervals following DVD's, etc.; or if you want to simulate road riding (automatic resistance change based on course/uphill/downhill), racing against yourself and others online.

I almost got the Tacx VR when shopping for a trainer, but at the end just got a regular one because I'm in SoCal and can still ride outdoors in the winter. If you're getting the Tacx VR, skip the fork steering mount.
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Old 10-27-08, 02:12 PM
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I have the Kurt R&R. The adjustment can be finicky,-if the tension is improperly set it tends to lean one way or the other- but once you have it dial in, it's great. I really like it now that I have it set up right. The rotating riser/crown adds to the movement of the unit too. The stationary riser may help with the 'leaning'. It weighs a ton and has long, extended legs. If you want to take it for warm ups, it's a bear.

I thought I would have prefered the road machine just for the sake of simplicity, but I have never been on a "stationary" type trainer. I would defer to BD's opinion and get the R&R.

Good luck.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:30 PM
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I watched some videos of the Tacx VR and it seems kind of gimicky. Not sure as I have never tried one.
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Old 10-27-08, 05:03 PM
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I use a trainer w spinerval dvds. I did a mountain stage of the Tour di Giro in a friends garage with the Tacx. It was awesome, if I had the coin I'd switch
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Old 10-27-08, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSANYYZ View Post
My bro-in-law has the Tacx VR. It's much more fun. Depends whether you want to use your trainer to strictly do intervals following DVD's, etc.; or if you want to simulate road riding (automatic resistance change based on course/uphill/downhill), racing against yourself and others online.

I almost got the Tacx VR when shopping for a trainer, but at the end just got a regular one because I'm in SoCal and can still ride outdoors in the winter. If you're getting the Tacx VR, skip the fork steering mount.
I'm the bro-in-law and the TACX is great - but I'm still lazy and try to ride outside as much as possible.

Fortius = much higher resistance with motor resistance, and so going downhill means you can freewheel like on a real bike

Imagic = magnetic resistance. So, lower resistance and no freewheeling.
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Old 10-27-08, 05:18 PM
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I bought a Tacx Flow in January, and I love it. I do NOT have the VR option (it can be added for about $300 + PC). Even without the VR, I have a Tacx DVD (which tells me what manual resistance changes I need to make), and it makes the training sessions much more interesting. Also, it has power and heart rate measurement.
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Old 10-27-08, 08:26 PM
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I have a Tacx Satori - an upgrade from my Blackburn beginner's trainer.

I got a deal on it - but if the price were the same as a KK - I'd get a KK.
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Old 10-27-08, 11:28 PM
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I have a Fortius and use it for power based interval training programs on weeknights and RLV programs on weekends if I can't go outside to ride. I don't do any online racing or use any of the virtual course features. I haven't used a Computrainer enough to really comment on how it compares. The Fortius uses a DC motor as the resistance unit and is connected to a PC via USB; I have mine setup so that the datalog portion of the ride outputs to a 24" LCD with the video portion of the ride to a 55" plasma tv. There is a design issue with the 110V version AC/DC converter electronics that renders it less than 100% realistic above about 25mph and 7% grade, but I find it more of a minor annoyance than a major issue and they are reportedly working on a fix. They are also in the process of releasing a new beta version of the software that will integrate some type of google earth flyover feature into the RLV videos so that you can see where you are on the course and releasing new RLVs in HD resolution. It's not perfect but I don't have any major gripes.
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Old 10-28-08, 03:50 AM
  #13  
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I have a Tacx Satori Pro too. This is my first trainer so I can't make any comparison. It is very easy to set up, it is quiet and the trainer is built enough to do power intervals, extensive training etc. All in all I am very happy with it.

By the way, I also use Spinervals DVD's with this trainer.


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Old 10-28-08, 05:09 AM
  #14  
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I too have Fortius, and living in the UK I have the 240V version, which means that it replicates climbs upto about 15% easily, above that the action can get a little choppy until you learn to pedal smooth circles, which makes that issue go away.

I really do rate the Fortius, I trained on the Ventoux RLV,and did the real thing using the same gears with the same cadence and within 5 mins of the time I did on the RLV.

The extra money for the Fortius over the I-Magic is well worth it, the extra resistance capability makes all the difference, and going over the top of a climb and feeling the bike accelerate away down the descent adds an extra sense of realism.

I have mine setup to output to a 32" TFT display and that really works well, a 55" Plasma must be awesome!

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Old 10-28-08, 05:24 AM
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I just got an I-magic. I was looking at the Fortius, but there were just too many bad responses about the US version for me to be confident. At some point when they get the kinks worked out I may switch, but for right now I am loving the I-magic. I can stand being on a regular trainer for about an hour tops. With the VR or RLV courses you lose that pressing need for the time to just speed by and you can stay in the saddle much longer. That and it is giving me a great workout. Not quite the real road, but for winter training it is the next best thing.
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Old 10-28-08, 03:24 PM
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That sounds like a lot of votes in favor of the Fortius, and it sounds like a blast. Does anyone have any experience running the video through a projector?
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Old 10-28-08, 03:28 PM
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The Fortius rocks. It can be a little fun to set up, but if you have the right video card you're rocking.

If you're attempting to get it on a projector all you need to ensure is that your project will support the connection your video card does. Otherwise the video is just plug and play.
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Old 10-28-08, 04:42 PM
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I'd be running it on my 3 year old Dell Inspiron 9300. What exactly are the video card requirements?
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Old 10-28-08, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by New to the Road View Post
I'd be running it on my 3 year old Dell Inspiron 9300. What exactly are the video card requirements?
www.tacxvr.com

I think 128 on board is or was the minimum it may be 256 now. Basically get as much as you can afford. I went with a cheapie ATI based card with 512 and haven't had any issues
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Old 10-28-08, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by New to the Road View Post
I'd be running it on my 3 year old Dell Inspiron 9300. What exactly are the video card requirements?
Recommended system resources
Processeur: Pentium IV
Memory: 1024MB
Hard disc space: 850MB
Graphics card: DirectX9 compatible 3D card with 128 MB of memory (GeForce FX or equivalent, not shared)
Sound card, DirectSound compatible
Various: 1 free USB port; DVD player (for use of Real Life Video only)
OS: Windows 2000, XP or Vista (32 bit)

http://www.tacxvr.com/en/products/fortius-vr-software

If you want to put the videos on your computer, which is better then running them off the DVD you'll need about 5GB/video in disc space.
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Old 10-28-08, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Erik B View Post
www.tacxvr.com

I think 128 on board is or was the minimum it may be 256 now. Basically get as much as you can afford. I went with a cheapie ATI based card with 512 and haven't had any issues
If memory serves me the i-magic was 128 and they made the switch to 256 on the Fortius. An on board video card doesn't seem to work well with this software - or so has been my experience.
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Old 10-28-08, 05:02 PM
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My Tacx is like all, quirky but "when she is good, she is very good". I wish the company was more forthright about mending and improvements but I like it.
NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 is integrated in my 3 year old low end HP 1.6GHz AMD Turion, .96RAM laptop, below the Tacx spec and it works....most of the time.

much discussion about what mix is truly required:http://tacxforum.ilink.nl/viewtopic....2ca6959cabfb77
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Old 10-28-08, 05:12 PM
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I'm not exactly sure what video card is in my i9300, and don't trust my technical skills enough to upgrade the internal card if necessary. Does anyone have experience with external graphics cards for laptops?
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Old 10-28-08, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob P View Post
If memory serves me the i-magic was 128 and they made the switch to 256 on the Fortius. An on board video card doesn't seem to work well with this software - or so has been my experience.
I was referring to the video card memory, not a built in card.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:41 AM
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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?
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