Climbing issues with Tacx Vortex Trainer

(James Falconer) #1

Hi there. Having some issues when climbing using the Tacx Vortex.

For whatever reason, I can be in the small ring, or big ring, pedaling at minimum 70RPM or over 100RPM, and I always end up traveling around 3-4MPH. Doesn’t matter what I do. Some notes:

  • I have the vortex properly calibrated, if anything it’s a little too ‘tight’, because if I loosen it, the rear wheel slips.
  • In the big ring the RPMs often drop off to zero readings.
  • I’ve tried keeping wattage between 150-200W in different rings, on inclines of ~6%, but the speed remains the same, even if I increase cadence.
  • My average is 2.0 - 2.5W/kg when I ride. Not a newbie, but certainly no expert!

Hoping someone with experience on the Vortex can help. Do I need another sensor? I’d like to make progress on improving my times on the Epic KOM - but no matter what I do I always end up riding around the same speed up the mountain!

Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give!

(James Carr) #2

This seems very similar to my issue:

The speed going up hills seems to be completely independent of the power i put out.

In my case the power shown by swift (reported by the vortex) drops very low even if i ride in the same gear at the same cadence as on the flat where the power looks ok?

Could it be the vortex cannot measure power and apply a breaking force at the same time?


(James Falconer) #3

That’s really interesting. Glad to know I’m not the only one!!

Really eager to get a solution here, it’s soooo strange to do the whole Epic KOM using different strategies (gears/cadence/power), and end up with an almost identical time at the summit!!

(James Falconer) #4

FYI I’ve contacted Tacx on this direct as well. *fingers crossed*

(James Carr) #5

I’ve done another ride and it seemed to work ok. It was a flat course with a few short 4% inclines and the power didn’t drop on the hills this time.

I ignored the tacx utility calibration app and tightened the roller onto the tire more than you would if following the tacx app.

You could try tightened the roller and seeing what happens.



(James Falconer) #6

Just cleaned it and tightened it. Ran the calibration and it is right at the top end of the ‘too tight’ zone… Will give it a spin on the Epic KOM to see if any difference…

For what it’s worth, I AM using a training tire too!

(Rachel Jacobson) #7

I am having the same issue as well, curious to know if tightening the roller helped? 

It does feel like the Vortex just can’t handle the inclines. 

I also had difficulty on a sprint today, power was between 143w-152w (cadence 143-163) but I only got to 23km/hr. Other days I have had a lower cadence and have gone 26 km. I thought my bike calibration was off but according to the Tacx app it is right where it should be.

Curious what you find out!

(James Falconer) #8

I haven’t tried a major climb yet, but it does ‘seem’ better on flatter roads. I tightened it up right to the far right edge of the ‘ok zone’ in the Tacx utility.

On sprints I’m now able to get up over 600W (very rarely could before), I shaved 2 seconds off a previous best time. Also seems like I’m pulling more power on slight 1-3% inclines.

True test will come when I attempt the Epic KOM…

(Rachel Jacobson) #9

I tightened up the roller this morning and noticed a difference riding. I still have a bit more room to tighten too. 

I did the Watopia Hill Route and on the one climb I was able to get higher speed and noticed the cadence wasn’t flickering it was reading consistently.

My PR went from 13:07 minutes at 4.1km/hr to 7:19 minutes at 7.3km/hr. So quite a noticeable difference!

(James Falconer) #10

Wow - that’s a HUGE difference! If it’s Watopia today (think it is), going to try the Epic KOM to see for myself… :slight_smile:

(Rachel Jacobson) #11

Good luck! I look forward to hearing how you fair! It will be nice if the solution is this simple.

Curious if Tacx ever replies, I also submitted a ticket to Zwift.

(Sarah Smith) #12

Hi I have this issue too. When I go uphill it feels like my tyre is slipping and my power and speed drops right down. My rpm sometimes shows as zero.

I have the vortex tightened so that it is at the end of the ok zone. Any looser and the vortex wheel doesn’t contact. It seems ok on the flats but it’s annoying asclombs are basically impossible.

(James Falconer) #13


Tightened the Vortex to the far right side of the ‘ok zone’. It’s tight, but still in the zone.

Did the Epic KOM tonight.

Previous best time: 55 mins
My time tonight: 38 mins

Avg speed up the mountain before: 3-4mph
Avg speed up the mountain now: 6-8mph

Tightening the unit has definitely made a real difference. I don’t notice any difference on downhills, that remains about the same.

I’ve contacted Tacx and they asked me to check if the trainer firmware was up to date. It was… now they’ve asked me to open their training app and do a short workout. Will let you know once I’m able to do that!