Trainers with the ability to drive the virtual are becoming more and more available, but it’s quite common knowledge that training indoors is tough, there is no scenery, no rush of climbing that hill and charging down the other side, or just cruising having a chat with your friends. I know I’m one of many dreamers whom has the full intentions to buy a trainer and use it every week, but instead gives its a couple of hits and now finds its sitting high up on the shelves collecting dust in the garage. One of the primarily reason I bought the trainer was to build strength, and squeeze more rides into to my busy week. What I found out that like all riders we prefer to be outside and will find any excuse to not set up that trainer and use it. Well this trainer might change everything.
Tacx i-Vortex is taking indoor training to a new level, by creating a Virtual Reality trainer. The trainer has been designed for riders who want to have the possibility to add more entertainment to their training sessions, it can be used as stand-alone ergotrainer for serious training but once you connect the trainer to your PC and use the Tacx Trainer software you can then have the ability to ride in virtual terrains or in films of famous cycling classics and mountain stages, such as the climb of the Mont Ventoux. What separates the Tacx i-Vortex from the other trainers is the i-Vortex will automatically change the residence based on the gradient of the hill, like real life conditions.
The software starts with the basic version and is an excellent starter. It contains two designed Virtual Reality terrains: the Valeggio road terrain in Italy and the Velodrome and there is also the possibility of cycling in Tacx films. This benefit of the Tacx films is the training sessions become more enjoyable and adventurous. With Catalyst you can train on heart rate, power output and slope. The software can also work as Multiplayer up to 10 riders, so you can compete online against real opponents.
The Tacx i-Vortex features a handlebar computer with a display that makes all relevant training data visible at a glance. The electro brake consists of 8 permanent-magnets, 8 controllable electro magnets and a 2 kg flywheel. The maximum resistance is 950 Watt. The system is wireless, there is no cable running between the brake and the handlebar computer. A cadence sensor is no longer needed either, although power is. The i-Vortex includes the Skyliner front wheel support. The manoeuvrable BlackTrack steering frame also fits perfectly and is available optionally.