Fortius T-1940 Multiplayer is the most advanced, realistic Virtual Reality (VR) trainer available, using a maneuverable steering frame and powerful engine brake to simulate climbs and descents and generate a life-like cycling experience in your home.
Weaknesses: Vary poor software vary poor sevice you spend far more time working on it verse riding it
they have a great concept but they can not get a handle on software come with new ideals but they do not work. pay for google software but you can not load it. buy there vidios but hard to get them loaded Online service is poor take forever to respond and the fix is not the answer, ! have tts3 & tts4 and not been ablle ride for over a month tts3 crashes support has no fixes tts 4 waiting to validate lic
why I do not know & and they don't. It is time consuming. (should be bought out by someone to better organise) sad
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2013
Strengths: Quite feature rich (if and when it works)
Seems reasonably accurate in terms of power
Weaknesses: TOTALLY sucky customer support. Probably not helped by the fact that they all seem to be Dutch and their English is sometimes not great
Software crashes frequently
Handlebar interface unit (T1932) is extremely poor at picking up heart rate
Tacx are tight fisted and just plain mean when it comes to helping fix issues
Where to start! Before I get into any kind of detail, I should offer to save you time; you do not have to read my review. Long story short: DO NOT BUY THIS TRAINER OR ANY TRAINER THAT RUNS ON TACX TRAINER SOFTWARE.
It's an expensive system and, to be fair, if it worked I might go so far as to say it's worth it. But it rarely works. It takes a loooong time to set things up and once done you need to go through multiple patch downloads (which take a loooong time to download and install) to bring your system up to date. Some of the downloads don't work and you have to contact the dreaded Tac 'support' staff to get them to send them to you as zipped files. You have to apply these patches because Tacx release extremely buggy software then multiple patches to progressively attempt to fix the bugs (except they don't really fix the bugs...).
I could go on for days about how flaky and buggy the software is, but won't. Because firstly it's really boring, but also because I find it quite depressing to reflect upon the amount of time I have wasted trying to get it to work and not training or spending time with my family.
The handlebar mounted interface unit (T1932) is extremely poor at picking up heart rate. Tacx 'support' will string you along with all kinds of yarns about radio interference or blame your heart rate strap, but having spent a long time troubleshooting this issue in various conditions, replacing batteries, trying new straps and even having replaced the T1932 interface, I can confidently conclude it is simply a badly designed piece of kit. I have had to accommodate its poor function by mounting a time trial bar on my handlebars backwards and attaching the unit to the end of it, so as to bring it closer to my chest. Utterly ridiculous to spend thousands of bucks and days of wasted effort on a supposedly high end system such as this only to have to resort to jury rigging and duct tape to get something as basic as hert rate working. Tacx 'support' have known about this for years and seem content to do nothing about it whatsoever.
As I said, there is much more to it than this, but I won't bore you with the details. Just don't buy one. Although you could buy mine if you like. $50. Or free. I don't care.
I have my suspicions that this is some form of international plot by the Dutch to hinder the progression of cyclists outside of the Netherlands to improve the chances of their cyclists doing well. It has certainly put a huge dent in my training schedule!
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2012
Strengths: With the Real Life Video you can ride some impressive virtual rides and keep the boredom down.
Weaknesses: Along with the original one I purchased, I have been sent 2 replacements and none of them worked. I had calibration problems and the resistance unit would constantly lock up. I tried 3 different computers (one with XP and 2 with Win 7, 32 and 64 bit) and none of them worked, including a core i7 950 with a high end nVidia graphics card and 8 GB of ram. I coudn't get my money back either as they strung me along with replacement bits that the warranty expired. I did finally solve the problem though. I bought a computrainer. Never had a problem since and ErgVideos (3rd party software) are fantastic.
While the vast collection of virtual terrain, including sections of le Tour, the Spring Classics, etc, is really enticing, Tacx trainers are extremely problem prone. I have never had more than about 25 minutes of trouble free riding with mine. The computrainer I bought to replace it is so much better. Not as cool looking and the software doesn't look as modern but it always works. I eventually took my Tacx unit to the local metal recycler and cheered as it got crushed. I could have sold it to some hapless shmuck but I would never feel good about ripping someone off like that. I don't know how Tacx can keep doing it.
Similar Products Used: Computrainer, Cycleops Electronic (another huge failure)
Date Reviewed: October 29, 2012
Somebody else payed for it.
Weaknesses: Unstable software
Have two of them in the gym at work. The concept is good, but the build quality is just terrible.
Hardware is flimsy. Poor connectors comes loose, plastic pedal on brake is badly designed, and doomed to fail after a short time.
Software is terrible unstable and crashes all the time. If you try to update, the updater crashes.
If you get it to work, the real life video is quite fun, however on many tracks, the synchronization between video and brake response is bad. The measured speed seems quite right, but it doesn't always correlate to well with the video speed.
The VR trainer is also a fun idea, but it looks like something from the late '90. Simple vector graphics, decorated with sprites. However, even though , the software draws a lot of memory and CPU, so you need a fairly new PC to run it.
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2012
Strengths: Hey...It's fun! Makes workouts a blast. I race against my buddy who I train with all summer and it is spot on.
Weaknesses: a bit expensive and there is a learning curve to all the stuff it can do. But when i look out my window and it is raining or snowing and i can ride in sunny italy or france. I will take it!
It's a blast.
a All Mountain Rider
from pleasant grove, utah, usa
Date Reviewed: February 9, 2012
Strengths: Awesome product, takes the boredom out of using a trainer
a Weekend Warrior
from Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2011
Strengths: Keeps me motivated, wide variety of rides to choose from. The real life video's are fantastic.
Weaknesses: If you don't have the power to maintain a speed of greater than 15 Km/hr on a climb grades over 10% get a little choppy.
I was leery after reading many bad reviews about software/hardware problems with the Tacx fortius. They seem to have many of the problems worked out with the latest version software (3.6). I do have a descent computer that I'm running it on (windows 7 is recommended) The desire to keep training over the winter out weighted the possible problems. It keeps me on the bike for hours at a time without the boredom associated with standard trainers.
Bike Setup: Specialized s-works roubaix Campy chorus
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2011
Strengths: Durable frame, really stable, videos are a good distraction when they work, virtual reality is fun when it works.
Weaknesses: It absolutely will NOT work reliably!!! You truly have to be more of a computer tech then a cyclist to make this work (or you will be by the time you get it working). Customer service is non existent. The bug fixes don't help and suspiciously there is a new update every 6 weeks or so...
I'm so feed up with this thing after 2 years of monkeying around with that I really don't even want to take the time to write this review. But, I am morally obligated to make certain that no other cyclist fall into this terribly disappointing and expensive trap. I've done every upgrade and paid for the 3.0 bug fix. But still no reliable trainer. Don't get me wrong. It does work for a little while and it is fun when it does. I've even done a few 4 hour rides on it. The bottom line though is that every negative comment in the other reviews is pretty much right on. I have experienced them all. What Tacx is trying to do would be a great step forward for home training but realistically it is probably 5 years away. So, to recap, read all of the other reviews, read the forums, and under no circumstances should you buy this product. And yes, I know it's painted a really cool and tempting shade of Euro blue.
Just tried my new Tacx Fortius VR Trainer. What a disappointment. I'd assumed since it used the same method of resistance it would be as smooth as the CompuTrainer. It isn't. It feels cheap and rough.
My recommendation: try the Computrainer before you purchase the Tacx.
Live and learn.
Strengths: Immersive, interesting, the real life videos are fun and excellent quality. The interface is reasonably good. You get to coast down hills, which is fun but pointless from a training point of view.
Weaknesses: Reliability. These things are notorious for being probmematic. Tacx product support, at least in the US, is non-existant. The distributors and dealers don't really know anything about them, technically speaking. They are known to have problems with locking up beyond 450 to 500 watts, can be fussy to set up, resistance motors are prone to failure, cadence sensors are prone to failure, software updates almost always add as many problems and they fix. I ended up getting rid of mine after 3 months of exchanging parts and not doing a lot of training.
If you are serious about training spend a bit more and get a computrainer. It will last for years, it's a better training tool, if you have a problem and ask a question on the forum, you will likely get an answer from someone at Racermate (Computrainer) and they don't lock up if you push hard.
If you are not a serious cyclist and don't put out a lot of wattage then it is pretty cool, provided you get one that works.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2011
Strengths: If you can get it working properly, it does releive the bordom fo trainers. Very big IF you can get it workiing!!
Weaknesses: Unless you are a computer expert, it is virtually impossible to have this product work as advertised. At best I would describe it as a early stage beta version. It is full of bugs and the support is non-existent.
Do not waste your money, unless you would rather spend more time working out the bugs, than riding your trainer.
I have been on their forum a lot and no one can just load it as is out of the box and ride...you will need to spend hours and hours reloading and updating and trying to trick your computer into letting this junk work.
from Finleyville, PA., USA
Date Reviewed: December 23, 2010
Strengths: Frame and hardware stand up to a beating.
Weaknesses: The program to run it stinks. You'ld be well served to go read the forums but be prepared for a shock. It will take weeks to get through all the complaints that have been written there. The TTS 1,2,&3 all seem to share most of the same issues. Each time Tacx decides to rewrite the software they have the gull to charge more money for it. There seems to be alot of suckers buying too. I only purchased version 2 and decided not to buy anything else from this company again after trying to get help from their technical support. There are some people on the forums really pushing this thing, I don't understand what their motivation is, but bottom line this trainer does not work as stated and extreme caution should be used before you decide to buy.
Be prepared for a huge dissapointment if you buy this trainer. It's a nice concept but that is as far as it goes. You will most likely end up spending all your time for training trying to actually get it working and therefore have no time left to actually train.Also, hardly anyone is actually using the multiplayer feature. I would guess it's because they can't get it to work. So there again you are paying for something you won't be able to get working.
Strengths: The hardware seems robust. At least it works as it should. Brake unit can provide a good deal of resistance, and it can be controlled pretty easily.
Weaknesses: The software is a joke. It is not just crappy, as the software that comes bundled with your laptop. It redefines instability. Worse yet, you are made to pay for the upgrades that supposedly fix the BUGS of the previous releases. This is daylight robbery, as the new software does not work much better. Read TacX forums and stay clear for another few years.
The braking unit is pretty loud at high speeds - compared to other trainers.
The ergotrainer is about VR and PC integration. If you want just the trainer, you can get a perfectly good one for less than half the price. In fact, you can get a very decent one, which will last a decade, for as low as $200. Unfortunately, it is the VR and PC software that TacX simply cant do right, and it has been so for the last 2 years or so.
The software is as bad as it ever gets, or in fact worse - I do not recall a single production application that would suck that much, that consistently, an in that many a ways. It freezes, it acts randomly, it can refuse to save your ride parameters if you ride for too long (!), you name it, and chances are the thing can fail at it. Annoyingly, it still does not support Windows 7 64 bit editions, or at least not fully. Just do yourself a big favor and check Tacx's own support forums before you even consider buying a Fortius, Bushido or I-Magic. If this is the PC integration and data analysis that you are after, look elswhere.
Worse yet, the software 'upgrades' (hard to call it 'fixes', as with every fix they introduce something else is broken) are actually expensive. Yes, you don't get the 'fixes' for free. They run for something close to EUR 100, which is astonishing considering how buggy the original versions were. They sell you a defect product, and they charge you for a fix (which does not fix it, btw). If this is not a robbery, I dont know what is.
On a plus side, the hardware itself is reliable and works as it should. My previous TacX trainer worked well for 6 years, with no performance deterioration. It was a simple unit with magnetic resistance and I was stupid enough to buy into this VR training stuff. As some other reviewer wrote here, it will be a cold day in hell before I spend anything on TacX. They should fix the software and offer it for free for everyone who had to endure they faulty products in the last 2 years. And then apologize, and apologize more.
Again, check the support forums before considering purchase. Do yourself a favor.
Similar Products Used: Some previous TacX trainer, don't remember the name. Simpler and cheaper, and withstood 6 years of fairly regular riding.
Bike Setup: Cannondale w/ XTR, Industry Nine wheels
a Cross Country Rider
from Ottawa, Canada
Date Reviewed: July 28, 2010
Strengths: Good construction quality. When it works, you get a good workout .
Weaknesses: The software is horrendous bad from a user interface point of view. As someone in the software development business, I cannot believe how bad this is, it barely qualifies as a beta product, more like alpha. It is not intuitive, it has logic loops, and some of it just plain does not work. Also, the english translations are weak, compounding the negative user experience.
Glitchy, glitchy, glitchy. This is basically an unfinished software product, so at times it just explodes for no reason.
Do not buy this product unless you are relativley computer savy (and you will still be annoyed even if you are). Read the Fortius forums to get a sense of how bad it is.
Heart monitor sensitivity is weak - you practically have to be lying on it to get regular readings.
It could be a really good product - but it is not.
The actual trainer hardware is robust and well manufactured. I have not had any of the motor/brake problems that you read about, so my expereince with the trainer itself is positive.
The software, which is the primary selling feature of this product, SUCKS. Oh yeah, the other thing they don't tell you is it only runs on XP and there is no clear plan for an upgrade to run on Windows 7.
As "sexy" as this product might seem, do not buy it until Tacx has sorted their crap out. Quite frankly, given the way this company has behaved, it'll be a cold day in hell before I ever buy another product from them.
Date Reviewed: June 29, 2010
Strengths: Possibilities exist to get a challenging workout. Provides the data most serious cyclists would want to monitor progress.
Weaknesses: Does not install easily. You take the trainer home, get it assembled and think you're going to ride but the software has glitches. So you need to work with support from a company on the other side of the planet and people that don't speak English well. Answers usually don't make sense. There is a Forum on the internet but it gets even more confusing from there because the recommendations always led to you becoming a computer whiz and doing things that can harm your expensive computer. By the way, having a expensive powerful computer doesn't change or improve the performance of the software. The TTS program is flawed, Tacx has admitted to this and is in the process of a re-write ( Version 3 ).
Stay away, or if you think you must have it, do your homework. Make sure you are computer literate. You must have alot of patience. Read the forums so you know what you're getting yourself in for.
That said, Tacx customer service stinks. There is no refund and Tacx does not make good ( without additional costs) on flawed products. For example, TTS2 is flawed to the point where it will stop working. Tacx is not going to help by offerring version 3 as a replacemment, unless you pay more. Tacx is sneaky about hardware and warranty issues. Unless you stay informed on the forums you can miss an opportunity to get a replacement, lets say motor for instance.
I said I used this product for 2 years. That is the Fortius software which is no longer offered. Now there is TTS and I've only had it 6 months. It has had troubles since day one. I finally got tired of the program's issues and failiars and removed it form my computer. I only use the old Fortius program, like so many others have done.