Tacx Flow Assembly with wider road tires

I guess this is obvious to most of you knowledgeable riders but I have some observations (rather than a question) regarding Tacx Flow set-up with wider road tires.

My road bike does lots of non-urban kilometres on less than smooth (but still sealed) surfaces and therefore has 32mm wide Continental GP5000 tires (and therefore also about 32mm high).

The Tacx Flow assembly instructions say to mount the resistance unit in the upper set of frame holes for 700C wheels and the lower holes for 26" (which seems counter intuitive unless they assume that 26" wheels will have larger tires so that the overall wheel & tire diameter is greater than same for 700C)

With my wheel on the trainer the fit using the upper mounting holes was very tight and the pedalling effort very high, had trouble getting up to 32kph to complete the calibration but it did calibrate. The tightness gave great high effort training but not very realistic feel.So I thought I would try the lower set of holes and this worked very well. Effort much less allowing a higher, more realistic feeling speed, calibrated ok .

Given the increasing popularity of wider road tires especially on "gravel" bikes this must be a fairly common situation and maybe Tacx/Garmin should amend their assembly instructions.

All good now, the on trainer ride speed is pretty close to my outside experience for flat riding although the trainer is a bit optimistic about my climbing hills ability compared to following known and previously done climbs Hopefully my training will move me closer to what the Flow reckons I am doing.

  • The Tacx Flow Smart is not new. Though, it might be to a lot of people. It’s the least expensive true smart trainer on the market – at least by any of the major players (or even medium players that I can find). Sitting mybkexperience at 249EUR/$369, it has full smart trainer connectivity and can control the incline and resistance based on what apps like Zwift and TrainerRoad relay. Still, despite this, it doesn’t tend to get a lot of attention.

    So I decided to give it a whirl the last few weeks, riding structured workouts on TrainerRoad, and Zwift too, with a side-dish of GCN atop Kinomap too. Obviously, at that price point it’s not going to equal a $1,000 trainer. We’re not going to pretend that. But – is it ‘good enough’ for a lot of people? Or perhaps, does it even exceed my expectations (spoiler: somewhat). And key of all: Where does it suck?

  • As a followup on this there was a new update to the TACX Trainer (& utility) app in the last week and it would no longer calibrate for me, too loose, too loose even when it was screwed up as tight as it would go !

    So I pulled it apart and reset the resistance unit into the top holes again and it calibrated first go ? Still feels good, maybe even better but have to give it a fuller test.

    Given the comment by @8331069 I am still pretty happy with the Flow, the 6% max gradient simulation is a bit of a limitation especially as I now know it is speced for a 65kg user and anything heavier will not even get to the 6% level and therefore the Flow reckons I am much faster uphill than I really am on the same climbs in real life. The next higher spec TACX (Flux I think) is more than twice the price giving 10% and I am not going to buy a trainer which costs more than my bike!

    A suggested workaround is to increase my weight setting in the Garmin so that all hills are harder at lower grades even though it will still max out for the higher ones?

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