Tacx trainers - Upgrade Smart required?

(Greg Thompson) #1

I’m considering getting either the Tacx Genius or Bushido. Do you have to purchase Upgrade Smart in order to use Zwift with these?

Any comments on which trainer is better? Thanks.

(Alex Suppini (WPW)) #2

Hi Greg, only the “smart” version of the Tacx trainers (Satori, Vortex and Bushido) released in September 2014 are compatible with Swift because the software talks to the trainer using the new ANT+ Open protocol.

That means that older versions such as Tacx Bushido “non smart edition” or the Genius "Smart (despite the word Smart the Genius is NOT compatible with ANT+ Open protocol) won’t work with Swift and simply purchasing the Smart Upgrade (which is only the TTS4 software, the ANT+ USB antenna and the handlebar joystick) won’t do the trick because it won’t enable the ANT+ Open protocol (it requires a different hardware in the trainer).

In order to have the Bushido talk to and be controlled by Swift you need it compatible with the new protocol ANT+ FE-C ( https://www.tacx.com/en/products/software/ant-open ) that is only the Bushido Smart T2780 (or the Satori and Vortex Smart and the Neo).

I bought a Tacx Neo which I’m enjoying a lot but it is quite expensive. If you are on a budget I’d say the best value for money at present is the Tacx Vortex Smart


(Greg Thompson) #3


Thanks for the detailed response. I think the “Upgrade Smart T2990” (https://www.tacx.com/products/software/upgrade-smart) is NOT required to use Zwift, as long as the trainer supports ANT+ FE-C? This upgrade costs almost $200, so I want to make sure I don’t need it before I buy a TACX trainer.

(Ewan Morrison CAPPO) #4

You definitely don’t. I have a Vortex Smart and all you need is an ANT+ USB dongle for your computer. A USB extension cable to position the dongle near the trainers head unit is also a good idea. You might also need to update the firmware depending on how old your dealers stock is - I didn’t. For completeness my setup is a macbook pro, iphone with zwift app and I use an iPad with tacx app and bluetooth connection to calibrate the trainer. I also bought a tacx trainer tyre since I run 25mm tyres in real life and zwift is optimised for 23s. Works well. 

(Greg Thompson) #5

Great, thanks. Now I just need to figure out which Tacx model to get.

(Greg Thompson) #6

Good discussion here (http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/11/2015-2016trainer-recommendations.html). It seems the Vortex might have enough features, and it’s hard to argue with the $300 price tag from the referenced German website.

(Tom Coudyzer (TK.be) B) #7


I can confirm the Vortex works with Zwift although the firmware needed to be updated (at least on my model T2180). Update was only possible via an iOS device (iPad, iPod, iPhone) 

Could ofc be that the trainers going out from the Tacx factory nowadays already have the update applied. 

Only thing you need in addition is an USB ANT+ Antenna.

Hope this helps

(Greg Thompson) #8

Good information, thanks. It’s inconvenient as I’ll have to try and borrow an iOS device, but things could be worse.

(Tom Coudyzer (TK.be) B) #9

It’s indeed inconvenient certainly because Tacx has also a trainer application for Android so it’s a pitty they don’t allow firmware upgrades over that OS platform.

But like told earlier could be that the units purchased today already have the correct firmware installed. Version needed was 3.1.7 or something like that.

(Doug Wilson) #10

I just set up my Vortex Smart yesterday coupled with Ant+ FE-C to my macbook. Seems to be working, although the wattages from my Vector pedals differ a bit from what the trainer is saying. Otherwise, all ok without upgrading firmware.

(Erik Nekkers [Team X]) #11

Last weekend Tacx brought the Tacx Utility app, you can download it from the Play store. So you can upgrade your firmware now with an Android device!!

(Pete GameCock WBR (D)) #12

I can confirm that the Android update was pretty painless with Tacx utility app. I bought the Vortex Smart simply based on price. I was initially disappointed buy how cheap it looked with the small roller but after using it a couple of times I realized it was fine. I also use a Powertap and Garmin as a backup for my training data and the Tacx ran ~30 watts low for the first few rides. For some reason it fixed itself and the watts between the Tacx and Powertap are within 1-3 watts consistantly.

I used an MacBookPro before and I just wasn’t enough. I took my son’s gaming rig (he’s off at college) hooked it to a 50" Plasma, used a 6ft USB extension to get the “Garmin” Ant+ doggle" (I actually use a $9 knockoff from e-bay) close to the bottom bracket of the bike but away from the sweat flow. Overall it works great. Oh and I have been using the Mio wristband for heart rate. Overall it has worked well.

(Tom Coudyzer (TK.be) B) #13

Great to hear that Tacx trainer firmware can now also be upgraded via Android.

(Steven Ferrie) #14

What about the i-Genius Multiplayer ? Zwift list this as compatible. 

However im having trouble even getting Zwift to detect it



(Doug Wilson) #15

Peter, good to hear that the Tacx / Powertap wattages normed out. I’ve got the situation where my TACX is showing lower wattages at the low end of efforts then higher wattages at the high end. I’ll give it a few more rides (only 1 so far for just 15 mins) before I go updating firmware.

(Greg Thompson) #16

I see that the Tacx Utility app for Android was recently updated in the Play store. The reviews aren’t very good, but I guess it’s worth a try.

(Frank Burkhardt - WBR (B)) #17

Steven, the “normal” older i-Genius(T2000, T2020 etc.) ist not ANT+ FE-C compatibel. Tacx told us that there MAYBE is an upgrade available in 2016…

But there is a Genius Smart (T2080) available which works with Zwift, because it supports ANT+ FE-C.

(I had an I-genius before and bought an Genius Smart 3 weeks ago)


(Dylan de kok) #18

Tacx now does have the possibility to upgrade I genius trainers who are not “smart” I did it. It costed me 181 euros. It took 4 days to send my old electronics and receive the new electronics. Mounting and dismounting the electronics is very easy. Now I can use swift with the program controlling my trainer