If you are looking to train for a big race or just improve your overall fitness the Tacx Vortex Smart Trainer can get you moving in the right direction. It is compatible with popular app Zwift and even the Garmin Edge 520 so once you have it set up you can jump right in and make sure you are getting a great workout every time. Smart trainers are a perfect for people that want all of convenience of a high quality stationary bike but can't justify the couple thousand dollars for a Peloton.
I bought the Vortex Smart Trainer from Tacx so I could still make use of my bike during the snowy months. And I couldn't be happier with it! The set up is straightforward and simple. It took about thirty minutes to put it together and get everything set up properly.
The trainer comes in three major parts:
- The turbine
- The stand for the front wheel
- The base
Instructions are included and are far from complicated. If you have ever attempted to build a piece of IKEA furniture then you are overqualified for this particular job.
Now for the fun part, actually using it.
First things first, you will have to calibrate the machine so it knows what level of resistance you are looking for. They provide an app for this and it is a quick and easy process. I personally didn't have any difficulty getting it to set up but there have been a few people that complained about getting the correct fit on their tire so it didn't have too much pressure or that it didn't slip during high resistance sections. Overall the process should take a few minutes. Then you are ready to ride.
I personally pair this trainer with Zwift for quick and easy workouts. The bluetooth connectivity between the Trainer and my laptop was great and I didn't notice any major lag between the course and the resistance. But if you are looking to make some more specific workouts or train a particular course I would suggest utilizing a different program or app. That being said, the Trainer should work with a variety of different applications, but and I cannot stress this enough, Always Check Before You Buy! Nothing is worse than getting your smart trainer all set up and realizing that you can't start training.
The Vortex is also one of the quieter resistance trainers out there but it will still make some noise. I have mine set up in the garage but you could probably get away with using it in an apartment or a room in the house without a problem. For a quick comparison it sounds like you are running a small hand vacuum. Not terribly loud, but noticeable.
This is a great Smart Trainer if you have never had one before. The simplicity of the set up and all of the integration options make it perfect for someone just getting started. Most of the complaints come from people that are training for serious competitions or looking for a Trainer with much more versatility than what a regular rider will need.