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Tacx Satori Smart Bike Trainer Review

tacx satori smart bike trainer review
tacx satori smart bike trainer review

Tacx is not a new name to cyclists. The story started way back in 1957 as a bicycle and repair shop in the Netherlands. Being ambitious and determined, the founders started manufacturing their own products in 1964. It officially became a factory in 1969.

From there, they started taking big strides in the industry and started their smart series in 2014. They have been in the limelight for various good reasons like manufacturing of the first real direct drive trainer.

Today, Tacx is a well-known brand with its products being used by pro athletes across the globe. Tacx products have been tried, tested and proven; they are high quality.

The Tacx Satori is a user-friendly interactive trainer that measures power, speed and cadence. It is the trainer of choice for anyone looking for great resistance.

So what is the Tacx Satori smart bike trainer? The Tacx Satori is a user-friendly interactive trainer that measures power, speed and cadence. It is the trainer of choice for anyone looking for great resistance. Using powerful a Neodymium magnet, it creates an outstanding amount of brake force. The blue/black classy trainer supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart to help you break free from the shackles of boredom while riding indoors. It is ideal for all skill levels and is affordable compared to most smart trainers which make it a great choice for just about anyone.

Quick Summary Of Features and Specifications

  • ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity for connecting to devices and apps
  • Folds flat for storage and transport
  • Compatible with 700c and 22” to 29” wheel sizes
  • 10 resistance levels; maximum resistance is 950 watts
  • Mounted handlebar lever for manually controlling resistance
  • Measures power, speed, and cadence
  • Has a powerful Neodymium magnet
  • Quick release bicycle mounting
  • Steel spindle with noise reduction rubber compound
  • Maximum slope: 15%
  • Flywheel weighs 1.6 kg (3.53 lbs); flywheel effect is 16.9 kg (37.26 lbs)
  • Unit weighs 7.75 kg (17.1 lbs)
  • Power measurement accuracy is +/-10%
  • Comes with a quick release and front wheel support
  • Shape of trainer is optimized for stability

Closer Look At The Features And Specifications

tacx satori smart trainerThe Tacx Satori is lightweight and folds flat for storage and transport. The only room you need to make is the training room. As for storage space, it can fit anywhere when folded; in the closet, under the bed etc. In addition to using it for indoor training, it can be a great warm-up for races because it is portable. The legs are meant to hold even on uneven surfaces.

The Satori supports both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ connectivity. The protocols enable it to pair with your computer, smartphone, sports watch, and tablet. It allows for connection to third parties because the protocols are open. The Tacx Training app works well on both iOS and Android—something you cannot really say for most training apps out there.

Although the Tacx Satori is smart, it is not “fully smart” in that, it will not automatically change resistance according to the virtual road, for instance, when doing Zwift hill climbs. However, the hand lever is very handy and you can easily adjust your resistance to match the gradient. Given the price and other cool features, this should be a compromise you can happily make.

The Tacx Cycling app is free but there are selected workouts that you have to pay for. If you use your smartphone or tablet or phone you will find that it is very cost-effective. Using this app makes calibration more accurate and lets you set the roller pressure. The app offers a wide variety of pre-programmed training apps and the option of creating your own.

Like any other smart trainer, the Tacx requires you to perform a calibration for the most accurate results. Air loss in your rear tire and other factors that change every day can affect the accuracy; that is why calibration is necessary. The simpler way to calibrate is by using the Tacx Cycling app until you find the sweet spot.

The unit comes semi-assembled. The process of setting it up is very simple and the provided skewer ensures a perfect fit. This is a good time to mention that the electromagnetic resistance is self-propelled so you can choose not to hook it to the mains.

It is always hard to make a conclusion on the noise of trainers because everyone has their own preference. However, it is safe to classify the Tacx Satori as a quiet trainer. Of course, you will hear some noise but it will be coming from the bearings. The noise will not bother you and you can gladly listen to music.

Why You Should Buy This Trainer

tacx satori smart bike trainerFirst, the Tacx Satori comes with a quick release skewer and a front wheel riser. The quick release makes your set-up process a little easier and ensures perfect fitting. The front wheel enhances stability and makes you ride comfortably as opposed to feeling as though you are constantly riding up a hill. With many trainers, you have to buy the riser separately but the Tacx guys are nice.

It is stable. When you receive the trainer, it is folded flat. However, the legs unfold widely giving you a stable and sturdy training platform. The frame is made of durable and state-of-the-art materials to hold you and your bike as you are doing the hardest of workouts.

The Satori is a quiet trainer. Obviously, everyone says that their trainer is the quietest in the market. That is not the claim being made here. There are quieter trainers, obviously. Fluid trainers, especially, won that title. However, this trainer does not make any noise that could bother you. For even quieter sessions, use the Tacx trainer tire. The main point here is that you will not have a problem with noise.

tacx satori smart bicycle trainerIt is affordable. Smart trainers are ridiculously priced—maybe rightfully so.  It is a good thing to be able to have an interactive trainer that gives you access to apps and lets you train with power. But why would you dent your savings account when you can have all that for less? Apart from the automatic change in resistance during climbs, the Tacx Satori will give you all the benefits of a smart trainer for less money.

The Satori smart bike stand supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity. This feature opens a whole door of options for you. The protocols are open which means you are not limited in terms of which apps to use. Trainers with closed connections only allow you to train with the allowed apps. With the Satori, you can use whatever app you want. There is no way you are going to get bored.

The power measurement accuracy is great. The Tacx app guides you through the calibration process ensuring you find the sweet spot. From there you can enjoy accurate power output.

Its Downside

It does not automatically change resistance based on the virtual gradient. This is a bummer because hill simulation is supposed to be one of the perks of a smart trainer. It is what makes it feel more like riding on the road. However, there is a hand lever (mentioned above) that you can use to change gears and match the gradient. This is not too big a sacrifice—if you think of the price.

The flywheel is not very heavy at 1.6 kg. It is heavy enough but compared to the competition it falls a little short. If you do not know this already, a heavier flywheel offers great inertia and smooth pedal strokes. Nevertheless, Tacx claims that the flywheel has a 16.9 kg effect.

One last downside is the small diameter roller. A large diameter roller reduces the temperature of rotating parts and reduces wear on your tire. The smaller Tacx Satori roller, therefore, means more slipping. The issue can be solved by using the Tacx trainer tire.

What Users Are Saying About The Tacx Satori

tacx satori smart bike trainerStarting with the positive reviews, most of them seem to emphasize on the easiness to set up the trainer. The technical assembly is easy as is the connection to phones. The resistance is amazing and the users promise that your legs will suffer and your heart rate will reach maximum.

They have also mentioned its stability. The Satori is sturdy and no one is complaining so far. An added bonus is the riser block that comes in the package that eliminates any chances of the trainer rocking. It does measure speed, power, and cadence very accurately and extra gadgets may not even be necessary. If you have read the reviews of other smart trainers then you know this earns the Satori a good number of points.

The trainer works as advertised and connects to Zwift (the most popular app judging from the reviews) effortlessly.

The main disadvantage is the fact that it does not change resistance automatically. Many users have, however, said that it is not a big deal as they can do it using the hand lever.

My verdict

The Tacx Satori is one of the best smart bike trainers. It is suitable for all skill levels and is compatible with most bikes. It is the perfect choice for any cyclist that wants a smart trainer but does not have lots of money to spare—because seriously some smart trainers can milk your account dry. Its resistance has been praised repeatedly in the reviews and connects to apps without trouble. On top of that, it is very accurate; which is not the case with most smart trainers. This is the ultimate trainer for any cyclist.