Are There Benefits Using Tacx Neo 2T in Zwift Races?

I’m planning to move from a “dumb trainer” set up (Kinetic Road Machine with Inride sensor) to a direct drive smart trainer. I have a little cash right now and have been using the trainer quite a bit living in northern Minnesota, so I’ve been looking at the top smart trainers. I’m leaning toward the Tacx Neo 2T or the Wahoo Kickr v5 2020. The Neo has little features I find intriguing - particularly the downhill drive simulation. I also like that it flexes a bit and has the responsive virtual flywheel. I’m wondering if the downhill drive provides some advantages for racing. It seems being able to rest a little more on the downhills would be an advantage. More importantly, I’m assuming the responsiveness of the power and flywheel may be an even greater benefit for racing going from a dumb trainer to a good smart trainer. I’ve gotten pretty used to racing with a dumb trainer and powering up little inclines, trying to rest a little by backing off on the downhills, but you’re always pedaling, there’s really not really much time to rest on a dumb trainer, but I can make up some time on the downhills. Plus, I’m a really poor racer. Maybe a smart trainer could help me improve?

So, any advice for someone going from a dumb trainer to a smart trainer for racing? What things are easier on a smart trainer and what things might be harder on a smart trainer as opposed to a dumb trainer? Which trainer do you feel might be better for racing on Zwift - the Tacx Neo 2T or the Wahoo Kickr? Or, is there another smart trainer out there that’s even better for racing on Zwift? Any help with any of this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I’ve owned both Kickr1 and Neo1. I currently own a Neo. I only got ride of the Kickr due to noise complaints from a neighbor. At the time, the Neo was the quiet solution. Nowadays, the Kickr v5 is also very quiet.

Kickr is typically priced lower than the Neo. If you’re interested in the Kickr Climb, than you need/want the Kickr.

Neo has the flex you mentioned as well as the “road feel”, both of which are nice. The “road feel” in Zwift is pretty cool!

While I loved my Kickr, I do love my Neo even more. I’d recommend the Neo, then Kickr Core, and finally Kickr v5. Why Core over v5? Well, price is less for same internals. For the extra $$, you get the new compressive feet, which I’ve been told by multiple friends doesn’t really feel any different along with the foldable legs. IMHO, not worth the $$.

Those are the main differences. Since Covid, you might be limited to getting what is available. Don’t know if the stock situation has improved, but for a while trying to find a trainer to buy was an issue. Perhaps try them out at a local shop or friends house. Nothing like a first hand experience.

I had a Neo and the downhill freewheeling was great. But it does make you lazy. For unfortunate reasons I had to switch back to an older wheel-on Tacx where you need to pedal on downhills to keep the flywheel spinning. In terms of training effort it’s actually better even though it’s not mimicking what you could do on a real ride. So don’t discount models that don’t have downhill simulation.

Keep your old setup if you can. Whatever you buy may not be quite as reliable as what you have now.