The Tacx T1960 Vortex Trainer provides all you need for a training session at your fingertips. With no onboard memory, this trainer gives simple training data on the readout with the possibility of adding further parameters as you go. Although the data is not recorded, it does give averages, for example cadence, at the end of the session. The electric brake is wireless, so there are no annoying trailing wires between it and the handlebars and there is also no need for a cadence sensor. In fact, the only things you need to use the Tacx i-Vortex VR Trainer are your bike and a power socket. With its white frame and Skyliner front wheel support, this is a very good looking piece of kit at the right price.
First things first… let’s face it, not having any memory to record data is a bit of a negative with this trainer because it makes tracking your progress and fitness levels over a period of time much harder if not impossible. Sure, you can manually write your stats down and upload them to a website after each session, but in this day and age, who really wants to do that? Especially, when there are so many other trainers out there that have this functionality built in for the same price.
If that is not a dealbreaker for you and you are willing to look passed this, the trainer itself could be considered a good buy especailly when upgraded to a Virtual Reality trainer. As a Virtual Reality trainer, your training sessions instantly become more interesting and entertaining with one of the Tacx DVDs (which are all sold separately). Connection with your PC is completely wireless because of the ANT+ dongle and like the i-Genius, the i-Vortex uses the Tacx Trainer software 4, Advanced which is the most elaborate version.
This trainer features a white frame and a handlebar computer with a display that makes all relevant training data visible at a glance. You can set the computer for heart rate, cadence, slope, etc. manually while training.
Also, with the Skyliner front wheel support, it is not necessary to break down the bikes fitted to it, meaning that down time in a training schedule is kept to a minimum. This trainer packs down small so storage really isn’t a problem at all! In fact, the front wheel support becomes a carry handle when the trainer is folded up – nice one!
I must also point out that the Tacx i-Vortex VR Trainer cannot be used at 110v. This is not likely to be an issue in the UK but if you try and plug it into an American socket for example, the unit will blow and will be unrepairable. As I say, not a major problem, but it needs to be mentioned.
The Tacx i-Vortex VR Trainer is certainly easy to use and the time taken from set up to training is pretty quick. However, not having any onboard memory is a bit of a disappointment although the Virtual Reality possibilities are a great feature.