TACX FLOW SMART? POWER DROP? Try this fix

Does this sound familiar? Hi. I’m sharing this because it’s taking me months to look in the right place for the problem, and someone may find it helpful.

For quite a while now, I’ve been experiencing bluetooth/power/resistance dropouts mid races/workouts. It normally happens when climbing or in longer races mostly. Lots of other people seem to be posting the same issue, and the discussion has centred on ANT/Bluetooth overload/proximity etc. I’ve tried all of the potential fixes over the past 18 months, but still get intermittent issues. It can go numerous times in one session and I have to wait, re-pair and hope it doesn’t happen again… before having to ditch the session in frustration. Sound familiar?

This week, halfway up Alpe Du Zwift, it happened BUT after re-pairing several times, and spitting a few swear words, a thought occurred - could the turbo unit itself be overheating? (I know I was.) I trained a fan on it - and didn’t get the problem again. All this time thinking it was a more technical issue. Here’s a forum on Garmin (only just found) that speaks of the same issues… :+1:

https://forums.garmin.com/sports-fitness/indoor-training/f/tacx-flow/219757/flow-smart-overheating-at-low-rpm-and-high-power

Hi @_Dazzler

Thanks for posting this, I think it will be helpful to a lot of riders.

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Pleasure! @Gerrie_Delport

Thanks for posting the link Dazzler. I too have a tacx flow smart and have been moaning at zwift about multiple drop outs. I switched from using a laptop to just an iPad this week and it worked perfectly. However, the weather is cooler too, so that could well explain it.

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OMG - THANK YOU. This started happening to me more and more on Alpe rides (and only Alpe rides), but didn’t used to. But my basement is getting warmer and warmer as the summer progresses. This makes perfect sense.

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Thanks for the post Dazzler. I’ve just started experiencing the exact same problem myself on long sustained climbs - first after 30 min’s on Ven-Top, then a few days later around turn 17 on the Alpe. It felt like overheating straight away. The connection wasn’t lost, it just stopped giving any resistance and my wattage fell straight down to 0 (rather than the “–” displayed when signal loss occurs). I had posted my issue on Facebook and a team-mate told me he’d had exactly the same problem. It was him who found your forum post - thanks again Steven!
I’ll try the fan on trainer solution to see if it helps but I’m not convinced it’s going to be a great long term solution. Fingers crossed though!

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Cheers for the reply, James (and Steven). Nothing more annoying - and exactly as you’re describing. Good luck with the fan. Very pleased to say that since that post in June, and with a fan trained on it (for climbing races/workouts) it hasn’t gone wrong since. It works! But we shouldn’t have to do it anyway of course. Good luck. It’ll work!

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Thanks for sharing the solution @_Dazzler much appreciated.

Have exactly the same issue and very frustrating.

I was the original poster on the garmin forums - and so far a fan has done the trick.

Whats interesting, is it appears to be a very small window when the error happens, as I’ve forgotten to put the fan on and it went RED led, as soon as I stopped peddling and put the fan on, straight away it went back to Green LED and I could continue the ride.

Still should me RMA’d by Tacx as its not fit for purpose.

I’m having exactly the same problem! So frustrating. Once last week going up alpe du Zwift, then tonight halfway through the cycling weekly time trail on the Bologna course. Drops out on the climbs and flashes red. I’ll give the fan a go and hopefully that’ll help. Haven’t had any problems since I’ve had the turbo (2 years) any other suggestions?

It’ll 100% be the heat & fan solution :wink:

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