The things I´ve found out with this roller so far are…: TACX VORTEX SMART:
It is not that accurate… power readings vary from up to 10%… actually from my crank power meter (sram Quark) … and the cadence… I don´t know!!! some days exact some days not… I prefer to use the bike cadence sensor mounted on the crank.
Pairing to Zwift it is very easy!! I use an iPad 6 new generation… with BLE only by bluetooth pairing… and works fine.
The Vortex eats literally the rear tire…!!! in just 2 months my pirelli potenza finished like F1 car tire…and have to throw it away… I have not tried the specific roller taCX sells … but will. Smokes everywhere…and the kids and wife noticed that… prepare to do the riding out at the garden or somewhere else or the house will smell like hell !!! and obviously you should check the pressure and calibrate with the Tacx utility app every ride. And the tire will not wear evenlly, I have to use a rope to constantly clean and remove debris so I can ride “smoothly” during the session.
Training: Specific Workouts you build… work fine… but here are the tricks so far I use: when you are riding for example at 220 W cad 95… and you need to jump or about to reach an interval or hitting higher wattage… you have to slow down you cadence 5 secs before hitting the wall… like 80 or 85 depending on the targeted wattage… like 300 so the Vortex can adjust the brake (obviously ERG mode ON)… automatically…then rise your cadence again to 95 or 100 in order to maintain the watts and works excellent… I tried the NEO taCX roller and the same thing and also a Wahoo … same trick… for all !!!..
Zwift riding: When hanging around the Watopia roads… or doing a race or group ride… same tricks work…
Sprints: while racing…on the Vortex the thing is when you are going to do a sprint… cadence will blow your legs and the watts not (sadly)… its very hard and disappointing to get past by another rider that could push really hard and the wattage increased accordingly to the effort… and you just not !! once in a race I was frustated because on the final sprint the max I could reach was (over a cadence of 177 rpm !!!) 583 watts max, had to put all my smallest ring on the cassette… my legs exploded… and lost, the Vortex did not applied the resistance on time and the cadence flew… I need to find out what to do in those sprints…
In some intervals training, if they are built whit a really short amount of time and huge changes… it is better to do them with the ERG mode OFF… but not recommended above 300 Watts or they are going to be very hard to do them or the Vortex won’t have the time to adjust… specifically if they are done in less than a minute … although I think it is just a matter of cadence or pace… like for example if you are riding at 175W 95 rpm … and suddenly there is an interval at 280W the Vortex just brakes like crazy and becomes too hard to keep it at 95 rpm or more because you have in deed have to push more and rise the cadence… so in reality feels like 450W !! but in zwift just 280W and saying “rise the power”… and your legs blow, the cadence falls and frustration grows jajaja… but if you do the trick stated before… you eliminate this… but it works better for longer intervals… because if you don’t maintain the wattage targeted the ERG goes OFF.
The finale resume: you get what you paid for… the Vortex and Zwift is really good but not perfect… buy the taCX Neo smart and solve all the issues, and also not perfect but much better… one relies on the tire and the other on the cassette… resistance changes better but for rides around 0-300 Watts with a good tire will make the fun out of it.
Doc Gerry (México)