Opinion poll: tacx vortex smart or elite qubo digital smart b+?

(Michael Claffey) #1

Hi all,

I’m on a budget and looking to enter the world of smart trainers to experience Zwift with resistance feedback and better power stats etc.

These are both priced around the same but wanted to get any user feedback on practical use of the trainers with pros and cons etc.

Any feedback and advice would be great as I try and make a decision!


(Xande Flag) #2

Hi have exactly the same question!

(Steven Gilbert (PACK)) #3

I have just bought the Tacx Vortex, and I am very impressed. Sturdy base and easy setup.

I had the same question as you, but went for the Tacx after seeing a friend’s trainer, and reading on Zwiftblog that it is the best budget smart trainer (obviously, a personal opinion, but you are asking for opinions)

(Eric Oshlo) #4

I have no experience with the Elite Qubo, so cannot offer any comparisons. I have both a Kickr and a Tacx Vortex (in two different places).

In general, I’ve been happy with the Vortex. It works well with Zwift, easily and quickly responding to grade changes, etc.; however, it’s no match for the Kickr. The primary difference (other than the obvious wheel-off design of the Kickr) is that the Kickr has a true strain gauge power meter that is consistent and accurate to with in a couple percent compared the Quarq power meter on my bike.

The Vortex is different in that it calculates and transmits power based upon it’s known internal resistance curves and wheel speed. In essence, it is doing internally pretty much what Zwift is doing online to calculate power with a standard “dumb” trainer. 

The power readings are very dependent upon tire pressure, temperature, trainer roller pressure against the tire, etc. I can fiddle with roller pressure, etc. to get it to eventually come close to the Quarq on the bike, but a good warm up to bring the trainer and tire up to temperature is necessary before the data starts to settle in.

In summary, the Vortex will give you the Smart Trainer resistance control in Zwift, through the Tacx app etc. but I think the power data is variable and not necessarily repeatable unless you are diligent with tire pressure, roller pressure, warmup etc… I don’t know what trainers beyond the Kickr (not the Snap) & Tacx Neo have true strain gauge power meters, but that’s the way to go if you want accuracy and can find one that’s affordable.

My 2 cents…

(A Tage (Kiss B)) #5

Well all trainers have pro & cons. I have the Qubo and not having to calibrate it everytime is  good and bad.

Quick search on zwift you will find people complain about wrong power readings on the Qubo B+ but also problems with other trainers.

The following is from the known issues page and i have asked zwift and this is also for the Qubo Digital B+

Elite Real Trainers Give Inaccurate Readings in Zwift
Jason K.
May 14, 2016 00:03

Our team has looked into this issue, and we’ve found that Elite Real trainers have a tendency to produce inaccurate power outputs. While there is a way to offset the power values within the Elite software, this unfortunately does not carry over to Zwift. It doesn’t appear that we’re doing anything wrong, so we’ll continue to speak with Elite to see if we can improve the experience in the future.

Personally my Qubo overall power readings for 30 seconds etc are the same as my gyms Watt bike and my zwift lap/kom times are consistant. Zwiftpower has me as a mid to low  B grade which is not real world but i find these better to race in anyway.

(Danny Eagleton) #6

I have the Tacx Vortex Smart and find it’s performance with Zwift to be faultless.  I’ve got the “trainer realism factor” (or whatever it’s correctly called) turned up to 100%, installed the latest firmware, and also invested in a decent non-slip trainer-only rear tyre.  The only little niggle is that the cadence from the trainer is not always completely accurate, so it’s sometimes a little irritating to see the avatar’s legs not pumping exactly in time with my own - one of these days I’ll connect to my bike’s own cadence sensor, but I never remember before the ride.  As others have noted, the power may not be totally accurate, but for feel and responsiveness it’s pretty good.