Strengths: Precise feedback of wattage, speed, cadence and heartrate.
Weaknesses: Difficult user interface to master. I have a later model, the Flow, which has a great user interface but doesn't have the computer interface capability. Becuase of poor documentation and terrible company support it takes a while to get up to speed with this unit.
The software, a perenial weakness with Tacx, uses a propriatary format for the data files and doesn't appear to provide an exchange format with other programs. The basic ride analysis is OK but management of user data, especially if you have more than one person using it is nearly impossible. Even cut and paste from the tables provided by the program isn't possible.
At half the cost of a Computrainer this unit provides the same basic functionality.
This product is still offered for sale but Tacx seems to think pulling customer support will somehow increase sales of their new products (the latest of which isn't even available yet in the US). With legacy support this would be a great product rather than being the Beta Max of wattage based trainers.
from Mid-atlantic, USA
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2003
Strengths: TACX BASIC MODEL ERGOTRAINER--The basic is a scaled down verson of the EXCEL model--The best feature is WATTAGE measurements!! Also, has easy to use and very sturdy mounting system. Excellent quality of contruction--heavy flywheel.
The BASIC model is least expensive way to introduce wattage into your training. It has been very durable over 2 years, and I have no complaints!!
Similar Products Used: Minoura, Kurt Kinetic, Computrainer
Bike Setup: Mountain and Road bikes work great.
from Quebec City
Date Reviewed: November 1, 2001
Strengths: Quality, information available from the system, possibility to download/upload data, possibility to race against your past performances or opponents.
Weaknesses: Instruction manual weak, complexity.
TACX GRAND EXCEL: Very nice unit, the charts that you can produce are very informative and can help you a lot understand what happens in a race if you start to quick etc. You can set it to maintain a fixed heart rate which is very good on recovery training. The watt charts really helps to develop max power at your Lactate threshold. Very entertaining to race against your past performances for a given training program or against an opponent you can download from the TACX internet site. This is a unit for professional racers and it shows. It is somewhat complex to operate; so if you are the kind of person who can't program a VCR you should stay away from it an go for the BASIC unit. Also the instructions manual could be more clear on some functions. Well worth the price.
from Columbus, Ohio
Date Reviewed: September 9, 2001
Strengths: Tacx GRAND Excel: Provides all the functionality and feedback that you could demand from a home trainer: wattage, cadence, all cyclometer functions, heart rate, memory, competition options, upload and analysis capability.
Weaknesses: Navigating all of the features is cumbersome and takes a while to get accustomed to - a bit like learning to use a high-end HRM
A great trainer for anyone interested in carefully measuring their training sessions and fitess progress. Sure it's more expensive than most trainers but you'll get a lot more out of it too. I disagree with the former review that described a lack of power. The trainer allows the user to adjust to many power levels and "slopes" and even when doing intervals at max effort, there is PLENTY of power to spare (and I'm also a large rider).
Similar Products Used: Blackburn mag and wind (fan) trainers, Cateye Cyclsimulator
from Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Reviewed: July 5, 2001
Strengths: The Grand Excel product provides excellent data capture and printout information when downloaded to PC. Power output, cadnece, heart rate and speed are all useful measures every 5 seconds during the ride.
Weaknesses: Download process a little awkward. Friends of mine who use Macs can't buy this product as it is PC only.
This provides an excellent indoor training option. With the option to compare your own rides to monitor improvement and to race against other pre-programmed "riders" it gives some variability. As with any indoor training aide, variety to keep it interesting is always an asset.
Excellent feedback instrument, with computer integration it allows true management of your training.
Bike Setup: Devinci road bike with Tiagra road group - dedicated training bike.
from Canyon, CA
Date Reviewed: December 31, 1999
Strengths: Stable, informative, smooth, quiet
Weaknesses: Limited resistance
Overall a nice product. Provides feedback on power output, heart rate, cadence and a variety of other useful information. Customized, storeable courses. Quiet operation and very smooth. Results of workouts can be printed on an HP or compatible computer printer. My only gripe is that with a 53X13 gear, the resistance isn't quite enough - and I'm no pedal-masher (6'4, 140 lbs.)
Hello all, first time here, I'm rebuilding my bike, a '99 GT saddleback color: white/blue
I think the frame is a 20 or 21".
Excel SYNC 515 suspension fork.
Anyways The shocks are fubar, they don't rebound after being compressed.
I took it to a bike shop, and they want 125$ for the suspensi ... Read More »
This sounds like a crazy idea, but I thought that it is possible to use Excel to design a beam shape and then to have an optic designed that will produce this beam shape.
So my idea is to have a 1 XM-L optic which will produce a road-friendly beam. Why 1 XM-L only? Because a more efficient use of ... Read More »
Just curious if I am the only dorky one to do this...
I keep an excel of all my rides, routes, miles, climbing, times, average, etc...
So far I am at 1,013.6 miles, 93,305 feet of climbing, 64,514 calories, on 78 rides so far this year. That's the MTB... not the roadie, which I recently sold. ... Read More »
hey guys, i'm trying to make an Excel spreadsheet but i'm kind of excel retarded. what i want is this...
i want to have a parts list and then a new part that it lighter, my columns are as follows
Part weight gr weight lbs
B ... Read More »