Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front -

One of the most pop­u­lar new mod­els to hit the mar­ket, the

Tacx FLUX Smart is a main­te­nance-free, com­pact, in­ter­ac­tive di­rect-drive trainer. Tacx has com­bined di­rect-drive tech­nol­ogy with an elec­tro brake to of­fer a value-priced “smart” di­rect-drive trainer. The swift re­sponse of the smart elec­tron­ics and the seven-kilo­gram fly­wheel trans­mit the slight­est fluc­tu­a­tions in re­sis­tance di­rectly and ac­cu­rately to your legs. With a fly­wheel cre­at­ing 22.8 kilo­grams, an am­ple amount of re­sis­tance, the FLUX pro­vides a re­al­is­tic road feel.

Eight per­ma­nent fer­rite mag­nets and eight elec­tro­mag­nets pro­vide up to 1,500 watts of re­sis­tance, and with the abil­ity to mimic a 10% slope, the FLUX pro­vides good, con­sis­tent power feel to the in­door ride. From an easy spin to all-out-ef­fort sprint­ing for a vir­tual fin­ish line, dur­ing the test, the FLUX gave more than enough re­sis­tance, with a road-like feel that saw the hours rid­ing in­doors speed by. Au­to­mat­i­cally cal­i­brat­ing, the FLUX power mea­sure­ment is ac­cu­rate to within a claimed 3%.

Out of the box, the FLUX is com­pat­i­ble with 130mm and 135mm quick-re­lease axles, and it will also work with 135x10mm, 142x12mm and 148x12mm axles with an adapter that is sold separately. The uni­ver­sal EDCO Mul­tisys body fits all Shi­mano and SRAM non-XD cas­settes, and will also work with some Cam­pag­nolo driv­e­trains. Set-up was rel­a­tively easy, as a small amount of base as­sem­bly is re­quired.

All Tacx Smart train­ers use the Blue­tooth Smart and ANT+ FE-C pro­to­col for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, which al­lows them to be con­trolled by such third-party soft­ware as Zwift and Train­erRoad. Pair­ing the trainer with the iPad to use with Zwift was very easy and con­sis­tently re­li­able each and ev­ery ride. The soft­ware re­ceives the speed, ca­dence and power from the trainer and con­trols the brake. Con­nec­tions are con­firmed by LED in­di­ca­tion lights on the side of the trainer, mak­ing it easy to con­nect third-party apps. The FLUX can also be used in stand-alone mode – when no apps are con­nected, the trainer will sim­u­late a flat road. The Tacx Util­ity app en­sures that the lat­est firmware for the FLUX is in­stalled, as the app sends no­ti­fi­ca­tions when an up­date is avail­able. The ERG mode is also avail­able for all your in­ter­val needs.

The foot­print of the FLUX is 670x650mm, and was more com­pact and a lit­tle less sturdy than other train­ers in this cat­e­gory, though not enough to cause any is­sues. The FLUX trainer is low to the ground, thus no wheel block is re­quired, an added bonus.

The 142x12mm and 148x12mm bi­cy­cles will re­quire a spe­cial adap­tor axle that is avail­able separately, and the FLUX Smart in­cludes a two-year war­ranty. The SRP is $1,199.99.

Tacx FLUX Smart

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