Tacx trainer gives up the ghost


This is a little disappointing to report, seeing as I was so excited about getting my Tacx i-Genius cycle trainer. It arrived as described, set up with no issues, and then worked like a dream for all of six weeks. I purchased some films, enjoyed riding the tough Milan to Sanremo route, recovered on flatter rides through France, tackled the Amstel Gold race route in Holland (the alarmingly hilly part near Luxembourg), and nearly died of exhaustion trying to climb an Alp or two.

It was both enjoyable and beneficial, as it gave me an invigorating workout in the comfort of my home; perfect for the cold winter evenings when cycling outside is for lunatics only. In fact, I waxed lyrical about the whole set up in my breathless review post outlining the Tacx i-Genius benefits.

Broken: Tacx i-Genius
Broken: Tacx i-Genius

Then it broke. I plugged the brake into the mains one morning and turned it on. There was a weird, loud hissing noise, then plumes of thick white smoke started billowing out. I unplugged it sharpish, and dared not touch it again. Wiggle, the online bike store was very understanding. As soon as I spoke to their efficient support team about the problem, a courier was arranged to pick the whole thing up. I was now £850 out of pocket, and with no winter training aid.

Two days later, the £850 was back in my bank account as no-quibble Wiggle (they could use that as a marketing line!) refunded me in full. No fuss.

While I thank Wiggle, I can not say the same about Tacx. I should have listened to the hoards of people who have had issues with the Tacx i-Genius before. But I took my chance, thought it had paid off, and then it went up in a puff of smoke.

So I now have to recommend you do NOT invest in a Tacx i-Genius. The concept is brilliant, if only Tacx could improve reliability. The idea of resistance on your rear wheel increasing or decreasing as you ride real life routes on your computer screen makes for an extremely realistic experience. Far from losing the cycling bug through winter, and suffering a fall in fitness levels, the Tacx trainer kept the interest, hunger and fitness up.

Oh well, it was not meant to be. With my home office now bereft of the trainer, I went out on the road this week for the first time in ages, a 50-mile haul to the Suffolk coast and back.

It was hard but it lifted the spirits. And I realised that perhaps there is no substitute for being out in the real world after all.

5 thoughts on “Tacx trainer gives up the ghost

  • December 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Simon, join Ipswich Sports Club and come spinning twice a week. Come out with Fisherman and myself when the sun shines. So much better than turbo training

    • December 13, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Hello, sir

      Unfortunately, working in London wipes out the nice-sounding evening spin classes (I don’t gt home until after 8.30). However, the occasional winter trip out is deffo an option – so long as a we get a hot toddy at the end :-)

  • January 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I’m a little confused. Your unit gave up the ghost – which can happen to anyone with any product, unfortunately – and Wiggle refunded you pretty much immediately (not sure why you didn’t go for a straight replacement if you liked it so much?). Did you actually engage with Tacx’s customer support before stating your opinion of their customer service? I don’t have a vested interest, I’m just curious in the interest of fairness.

    • January 5, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      I did actually ask Wiggle for an exchange as I was prepared to give Tacx another shot, but they just gave me my money back straight away. Perhaps they are used to Tacx returns (no pun intended).

      My statements about Tacx reliability were based on a multitude of issues reported across the internet, including the product’s own forum. My own experience rather bore that out.


  • January 17, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Same thing happened to me. 1st ride on the TACX and it went up in a cloud of white smoke…I can still smell it in the air. So disappointing! Thanks for the post…it made me feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one…I guess misery loves company.

    Take Care,

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