Jonathan Hayduwrote a review of Tacx Neo Smart Direct Driver Trainer on February 7, 2019
Familiarity: I've used it several times
Update (March 2019) - 5 Stars:
Backcountry really helped me out and got a new unit sent out (seriously, additional 5 stars to the customer service team). This one appeared to be brand new, and so far it’s been working great. Using it primarily with Zwift, and it’s pretty cool to ride over wood bridges and cobblestones and feel the vibration. It actually feels pretty realistic. Works well on climbs to simulate riding up a hill. For days with crummy weather, or if you just don’t feel like going outside for a ride, this is a really great alternative.
One thing to note is that the unit is HEAVY and while it folds up, it’s difficult to maneuver around when putting away.
I also read on a forum that it’s recommended to leave the unit plugged in for a while after use to allow the fans to cool the unit down. Not sure if that’s accurate, or if it was part of the issue with the previous unit, but I have been leaving it plugged in until the unit is cool to the touch.
Original Review (February 2019) - 1 Star:
Hard to know where to start.
When the unit arrived and I opened it up, it was covered in a thin layer of dust and what looked like dog or cat hair (attached a photo of the unit right after I removed it from the box). The power strip was somewhat scuffed and was tied together with what looked like an aftermarket zip tie. Basically, what I'm saying is that the unit appeared to be used. However, I cleaned it up, got it set up and it worked fine.
I used it with Zwift and it was really cool. When you ride over cobblestones or wooden bridges it provides pretty realistic feedback. It gives pretty realistic resistance when doing climbs. Overall, pretty great. Way better than just riding a standard trainer.
I was only able to use this thing for 2 hours. I did two 1-hour rides this week. Today when I went to plug it in and use it, it was dead. Fan would spin up for a couple of seconds, then quit. The indicator lights (power, bluetooth) didn't turn on, and the color-changing LED on the front of the unit wouldn't turn on either when I pedaled.
If you do a Google search for this issue, there are a lot of reports on forums. Many of the reports mention melted wires. Several posts also mention leaving the unit plugged in for a while after use to allow the fans to fully cool the unit down.
I called up Backcountry and they sent out a replacement unit at no charge (thanks guys, 5 stars for customer service). If the new one works better, I'll certainly update this review.