Though it doesn't boast the eye-popping specs of Tacx's Flux 2 and Neo 2 models, the Flux S Smart Direct Drive Trainer has all the capabilities that most cyclists will require for off-season training. Its watts ceiling, simulated incline, and accuracy are all lower than the more expensive models listed above, but it's still able to reproduce pretty much any conditions you could want. It tops off at 10% inclines, but climbs like Alpe d'Huez do, too, with the famed ascent only hitting 11% for a kilometer or so. The Flux S also provides up to 1,500 watts of resistance, which is admittedly lower than the Flux 2 (2,000 watts) and Neo 2 (2,200 watts), but still more than the 1,200 watts it took for Greipel to attack the field at the 2016 edition of Flanders. The Flux S also features all the functionality you'd expect from a smart trainer, including ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity to apps ranging from Tacx's own software to heavy hitters like Zwift, TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, and Strava. If you're not into the social or virtual training modes, though, the Flux S is smart enough to function in a vacuum. When used without a device and training app, the Flux S provides a progressive resistance curve to match the effort you're putting out and mimic the experience of riding on a flat road--no additional software or set-up required.
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Tacx Flux S Smart Direct Drive Trainer
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