Direct drive trainer over standard trainer, any preferences?

(Karen Brammer) #1

(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #2

Do you mean direct drive over wheel-on for smart trainer?

Wheel-on trainers are cheaper but can wear down your tire. They can also be prone to tire-slippage.

Direct drive trainers don’t have those issues but tend to be more expensive and require a separate cassette (though the KICKR does come with one).

(Stef Levolger) #3

My personal preference goes out to direct drive trainers. In particular true direct drive models. The silence of the trainer, no problems with tire slippage and consequently stable performance, in addition to high level gradient simulation and wattage on most models considering they’re all pretty much the high-end segment is what convinced me.

I’ve tried standard trainers in the past, but was never really sold on it. The cycling feel just didn’t feel right. With my Tacx Neo I was instantly sold. And in combination with Zwift and a little bit of Tacx Videos and other cycling videos I’ve gathered close to 8000 virtual kilometers over the past 12 months. And with that seen a great improvement in my road performance as well.

(Karen Brammer) #4

Hi Eric and Stef, great responses and advice, currently have a standard trainer which I attach my rear wheel too and yes experience the problems you highlighted Stef. I am getting an Elite Muin Smart B+. I am loving Zwift and as someone who only rides with one leg, am a wheelchair user, I find it a more interesting way to do my physiotherapy. Need a more stable trainer due to my core stability being affected by using just one leg and hope to see an improvement with a direct drive trainer.


Thanks to you both


(Mark Hewitt) #5

Hi Karen,

It’s certainly possible you could have better stability with a direct drive trainer, but I don’t think it’s a particular feature of direct drive per-se. A lot of wheel on trainers are very locked down, some wheel-off trainers, like the Neo, have quite a bit of ‘give’ in them. 

The Kickr is known for being quite rigid if that helps. The Elite Muin Smart B+ is an outgoing model in the Elite range, you may want to check out the Elite Drivo first.

(A Suzu) #6

I recently upgraded from a Kinetic Rock and Roll to a Tacx Neo. While my Neo doesn’t have the huge amount of rocking as the Rock and Roll, it does have a little give to it. However, it’s still quite stable.


I will say that I’m extremely happy I upgraded to the Neo, I’m in love with this thing. 

(a Pensioner) #7

I used a Tacx Vortex smart for best part of a year and I had no complaints it worked great with Zwift. I then got an ‘itch’ to try something better and purchased a Tacx Neo (which no way can I justify !)  It is not a huge improvement on the Vortex smart but I am very happy with the Neo. Things I like ?  The sheer convenience of the direct drive  (I used to change wheels) The reduction in noise (no tyre whine) The lateral side to side movement of the Neo. Love the way if you stop pedalling when going downhill you continue to pick up speed (like the real thing)  I feel it responds quicker and better to gradient change than the Vortex. So to sum up expensive ? yes but the ‘pocket pain’ gets forgotten when you start using the Neo.