At Tacx, we’re on a mission to create the most realistic indoor cycling experience imaginable. With Road Feel we recreate the complete spectrum of surface textures on the bike trainer. From cobbles to cattle grids and everything in between, you can experience it all from the comfort of your home trainer.
Experience the thrill of hitting the cobbles at full speed, without worrying about crashing. Or power along the white gravel roads of Strade Bianche after work, without having to fly to Tuscany. Road Feel brings the feel of the iconic races right to your home. It’s as close as we’ve come in the indoor training world to recreating that outdoor feel.
Road Feel explained – Feel every imperfection
Road Feel was developed by Tacx to recreate the sensations of riding over a variety of road surfaces. Designed exclusively for our NEO Smart trainers, a permanent motor and smart electronics recreates these different feels. The exact position of all rotating parts on the smart trainer are controlled 1000 times per second, resulting in supreme precision and control.
It’s this precision that allows us to recreate the subtle imperfections and textures of a variety of surfaces. Road Feel recreates it all with amazing accuracy by producing vibrations of varying intensities.
It helps bring an experience to home training that was never achievable before. One that provides a complete immersive experience, where the physical bodily sensations match what is visually represented by the software.
With Road Feel you can now experience those unforgiving cobbled segments of the Classics with amazing realism, all without running the risk of breaking your bike! Let’s take a closer look at how it works.
Recreating the Feel – What can Road Feel simulate?
Road Feel adds an element of spice to your rides. It renders a variety of surfaces that feel real and authentic on the home trainer. Some of the surfaces which can be recreated include:
● Concrete plates
● Cattle grid
● Cobblestones (hard)
● Cobblestones (soft)
● Brick road
● Off road (compact dirt)
● Wooden boards
When on the home trainer and connected via your prefered app, as soon as you hit a new section on the road, the characteristics of the surface are automatically induced on the trainer.
Without Road Feel, there is no way to create this effect. It requires imagination and most accept the trade-off. They train indoors in comfort knowing they are not getting the full immersive experience.
Feeling the pain – How realistic is Road Feel?
But with Road Feel it’s different. And now when you hit those cobbled sections or gravel roads, you’ll immediately feel those vibrations shoot up your legs. It leaves you with no choice but to drive on, as you get the wake-up call to grind harder!
In cycling, to train effectively and push your limits, sometimes you have to go to a dark place. Oftentimes it comes down to deceiving the brain as you push through the pain barrier.
With Road Feel, as you remove that disconnect between what you visually interpret but physically feel, the experience becomes ever-more immersive. It simply feels real, as it recreates what it’s like to ride those surfaces on race day – short of the driving rain and a howling wind of course!
Every vibration that shudders through the drive chain and frame up into your body is expertly recreated by the electronics. Controlled with precision movements 1000 times per second, these micro vibrations represent the subtle textures of uneven surfaces. The 3D nature of the surface is transmitted through this series of vibrations which provides an amazingly realistic sensation.
Integrating Road Feel with existing platforms
To get the best out of Road Feel, you’ll want to make use of the existing tech solutions. Road Feel can be used with several apps including Tacx Films, Tacx Training software and Zwift. App developers enable the Road Feel features via both an ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth Smart API.
Tacx films incorporates many famous routes and races, both cobbled and gravel, where you can experience those real-life sensations in the immersive environment it creates. Somehow that intense feeling of hitting a new surface at speed coupled with the relief of coming back onto a paved section never gets old. It recreates the highs and lows of road cycling with an unmatched precision that can now be experienced indoors on the smart trainer.
Zwift has been specially adapted to maximise the benefits Road Feel, and it’s the preferred choice for many. On Zwift, as you glide onto a new surface, the trainer will react accordingly and recreate those surface imperfections with the added bonus of providing sound effects synced for maximum effect.