Tacx Flow Ergotrainer



I've been using one for nearly 2 years now, and I'm very happy with it. Do you want to know anything specifically?
 
AndROOb said:
I've been using one for nearly 2 years now, and I'm very happy with it. Do you want to know anything specifically?
Wow I'm glad.

Well, can you tell me about the pros and cons?

Is it noisy? What about the computer, is it well calibrated? The number of watts, do the numbers look realistic? Do 2 hour rides feel good, a roadlike type of feeling? What about the higher resistance, does it feel good? Is it easy to have your heart rate going high?

I haven't tried it yet, guess you could tell:D
 
I bought the 'Flow' because I wanted a trainer with a display(mileage, cadence, HR, and power). The disadvantage is that this relies on mains power. That said, the trainer can be used anywhere but without a working display, which means without variable resistance.
The 'Flow' does make some noise, but as this is my first and only trainer, I have nothing to compare it with regards to noise. I always have music playing(head-phones) when I use the trainer, and the volume has to be quite loud to competely drown out the 'turbo whine'.
Calibration is dependent initially on how the unit is constructed, as this determines which wheel size you will be using. Once the unit is constructed, all bolts tightened, and cables attached, when powered up the calibration is based on accurate bodyweight and tyre pressure on the roller. I have found that the tyre pressure on the roller should be set every time the trainer is used for best results. The set-up is really quite straight forward.
Resistance is -4 to +9 and feels pretty good, and feels different to using higher gears. Having said this, I am looking to buy a powertap in order to get some power readings out on the road so that I can transfer the information onto the 'Flow' for more precise training.
I generally train on the 'Flow' for between 1 and 2 hours, and I could only do this with music as turbo training is monotonous. The more varied you can make your training, the longer you will stay on it.
The speed calibration is good, as I run it along side a bike computer and they show the same readings.
HR is good, although sprints tend to display slightly erratic readings compared to my Polar monitor.
It does not feel like the road, and this is because 1. it is dead smooth(no bumps or changeable rod surface), and 2. I can accelerate in 53/12 from a standing start and sprint 500m in 25 seconds(on the 'Flow'). When I try to do this on the road I have to change through the gears and it takes a lot longer!

Even taking into account what I have mentioned in the last paragraph, I still really like the 'Flow' trainer after 2 years, and still find interesting ways to train on it.

Hope this helps.
 
Thanks for the input.

My main concern now, is noise. Do you think it is too noisy to be used in an appartment?

I would use in the morning (around 6am).

Is the noise a show stopper you think?
 
SolarEnergy said:
Thanks for the input.

My main concern now, is noise. Do you think it is too noisy to be used in an appartment?

I would use in the morning (around 6am).

Is the noise a show stopper you think?

I've got one .. sure it's noisy, but it's nothing compared to my rollers! If you were looking for shortcomings of the unit, I wouldn't have put noise down as one.

Overall, great to use, but a PITA to put together the first time (terrible manual). Also, I downloaded some of their training sessions from the site - plenty of typos and errors in timings etc. etc. In other words, for me, the unit is great but the support and info that comes with it leave something to be desired.

Sure great having cadence, HR and power on one unit though.
 
I couln't comment about the noise levels in an appartment, you see, my trainer is in the garage. The only thing I have to cotrast the 'whine' with, is the music I listen to. Sorry I cant be of any more help with this issue.
 
bing181 said:
I've got one .. sure it's noisy, but it's nothing compared to my rollers! If you were looking for shortcomings of the unit, I wouldn't have put noise down as one.

Overall, great to use, but a PITA to put together the first time (terrible manual). Also, I downloaded some of their training sessions from the site - plenty of typos and errors in timings etc. etc. In other words, for me, the unit is great but the support and info that comes with it leave something to be desired.

Sure great having cadence, HR and power on one unit though.
Thanks!

We can really download data from their web site? I thought that the computer unit on the "Flow" was closed. That we could not download, or upload data in or out of it?
 
SolarEnergy said:
Thanks!

We can really download data from their web site? I thought that the computer unit on the "Flow" was closed. That we could not download, or upload data in or out of it?

No, not data, just workout sessions. There are a heap there from recovery to endurance to intervals to .. well, you get the picture. I just printed them out, and put up whatever I want in front of the bike and away I go. They need to be adapted for your own level of course, but are a good starting place.
 
bing181 said:
No, not data, just workout sessions. There are a heap there from recovery to endurance to intervals to .. well, you get the picture. I just printed them out, and put up whatever I want in front of the bike and away I go. They need to be adapted for your own level of course, but are a good starting place.
You got me confused:confused: I'm not even sure we're talking about the same unit.

The model I'm refering (Flow Ergotrainer) to comes equiped with a very small, yellow computer that looks pretty much like a Cateye. From what I know, it calculates and display RPM, speed and power. But I did not know we could connect a printer to it?
 
SolarEnergy said:
You got me confused:confused: I'm not even sure we're talking about the same unit.

The model I'm refering (Flow Ergotrainer) to comes equiped with a very small, yellow computer that looks pretty much like a Cateye. From what I know, it calculates and display RPM, speed and power. But I did not know we could connect a printer to it?

Go to http://www.tacx.nl/ ... training .. training programs .. Ergotrainers ..

They're listed by category.

B
 
i fancy a tacx flow but have no mains electricity in the celler where i will be using it. it it still possible to use without elec or would i be better with an elite super crono digital wireless fluid elastogel trainer
 
BILLYHOLMES said:
You really need electricity to get the all the benefits, long extension cord perhaps?


Thanks but i live in an old mansion that has been split into 5 and the massive cellar is accessed by outside steps therefore i would need a VERY long extension cable and most of it would be outside. reagrds Bill
 
wsmitham said:
i fancy a tacx flow but have no mains electricity in the celler where i will be using it. it it still possible to use without elec or would i be better with an elite super crono digital wireless fluid elastogel trainer
I'm not sure under which constraint you are exactly, but if you it doesn't add an unbearable burden, you may train using a portable power pack unit, like those used to boost cars.
 
I've been using one for 3 years and think its great value for money, not too loud I watch a TV while using it and have to turn it up about 50% from normal to hear over it and 2 pedestal fans. Speed is irrelevant to me as its power I use for the workout, HR works well but not with a TV going close by, I was recording HR onto polar HRM anyway. I do a roll down calibration before every w/o and check tire pressure is the same, the power when calibrated to zero and with zero slope is about 32W less than my powertap in the 250W range on my unit (I was gutted to find this out too) and this varies with power ie is not linear. It is however very consistant which is the most important thing. I now just use my new powertap for all data on and off the trainer. Heres a good review I based my purchase on but my unit way overestimates power. Team MWC, FTJ, NGT: Tacx FLOW review
 
chikinlegs said:
Heres a good review I based my purchase on but my unit way overestimates power. Team MWC, FTJ, NGT: Tacx FLOW review
Well, it's a review but I'm not sure it's a good review, even for 2005. He says he mostly uses the Flow in ergo mode but the ergo mode is where the Flow works worst. BTW, that very first plot he linked to was a comparison of an SRM with the Tacx Grand Excel, not a Tacx Flow.