Tips to calibrate your Tacx trainers (Flow, Flux, Neo)


If you own a Tacx Smart trainer, this article will be of interest to you. As a general rule, smart trainers need to be calibrated to provide an accurate power value.

In this guide, we will see if you need to calibrate the different smart trainers from Tacx (such as Tacx Flow, Tacx Flux, Tacx Neo). But also, how often and how to calibrate them. I will also detail the most common reasons calibration might not work and how to sort these issues.

Why do smart trainers require calibration?

As a general rule, smart trainers require calibration to reproduce the resistance with accuracy whatever the use of the trainer, the temperature, or the tire pressure (for wheel-on trainers). Calibration is important to get accurate watts when training. It is essential for ERG mode.

Tire pressure and temperature have an influence over resistance. By doing the calibration, your trainer can make small adjustments to consider these its resistance output.

Does Tacx Neo require calibration?

Tacx Neo Smart trainer does not require any calibration. It is the only trainer available on the market that does not require calibration. Its power accuracy won’t change through time because it doesn’t use any parts subjected to wear or temperature.

Does Tacx Flux series require calibration?

Tacx Flux series of trainers require calibration to be performed only once when you take it out of the box. As a precautionary measure, you should also do it every time you move your trainer. This calibration value will be stored and used by the trainer for the power data.

How to calibrate Tacx Flux series smart trainers?

1. Install Tacx Training app

Tacx Training app is available on Android and iOS.
There is also a desktop version compatible with Windows and Mac for this app. But be careful, the calibration can only be done with the phone apps.

2. Create an account for the app

3. Select ‘Settings’ in the menu bar

4. Turn on the bluetooth on your device

5. Select ‘Device Manager’

You will need to grant localization permission for the app the first time you do it.

6. Select your Tacx trainer

7. Select ‘Set Up Tacx …’

You will see written in blue ‘Set Up’ followed by the model of your trainer. For instance, if you are calibrating a Tacx Flux S trainer, it will say “Set up Tacx Flux S”.

8. Select ‘Calibrate’

9. Select ‘Calibrate now’

10. Follow the on-screen instructions to finalize the calibration

It will ask you to start pedaling. Then you will have to reach a certain speed (indicated in the app) and stop pedaling.

How long does it take to calibrate a Tacx Flux Smart trainer?

Calibrating a Tacx Flux Smart trainer takes less than a minute. It is a very fast process. You just need to pedal to reach a certain speed and then let the freewheel decelerate.

Does Tacx Flow require calibration?

Tacx Flow Smart trainers require calibration to get an accurate power measurement. This step should be done regularly as it depends on your tire pressure, the rolling resistance, and the room temperature. As a general rule, you should calibrate it once a week.

How to calibrate Tacx Flow smart trainers

A trainer tire is highly recommended. Make sure the rear tire is inflated to the max pressure recommendation printed on the tire before proceeding (Ex: road tire max pressure ranges from 101-116 psi).

1. Make sure your tire is inflated at its maximum (near 110 psi)

For the Tacx Flow to work best, you need your tire pressure to be the highest possible. The reason is to make your tire as hard as possible so it does not warp on the roller. It is best to use a trainer tire like this one. If you decide to use your normal road tire, verify the maximum pressure it can handle.

2. Install Tacx Utility App

Tacx Utility app is available on Android and iOS.

3. Turn on the bluetooth on your phone or tablet

4. Connect your trainer to the power

5. Launch the App

6. Your trainer will be paired automatically with the app

7. Select the menu button and select “update”

This step will make sure your firmware is up-to-date.

Example of the menu

8. Select the menu button and select “calibration”

9. Make sure your tire is gently pressed against the roller

There is no need to tighten too much the tire against the resistance unit. You should start the calibration by gently putting the tire against the roller.

10. Select ‘Calibrate your trainer’

11. Follow the app on-screen instructions

You will need to tighten the knob following the instructions in order to reach the correct pressure between the tire and the resistance unit. The goal is to reach the green line. If it is “too loose” you need to tighten it by doing 2 turns of the knob and then calibrate again the trainer.

Calibration instructions

How to calibrate Tacx Flow smart trainers (alternative solution)

To calibrate your Tacx Flow smart trainer you can use Tacx Training App rather than Tacx Utility App, if you prefer. This is important to know if you get an issue when calibrating.

1. Make sure your tire is inflated at its maximum (near 110 psi)

For the Tacx Flow to work best, you need your tire pressure to be the highest possible. The reason is to make your tire as hard as possible so it does not warp on the roller. It is best to use a trainer tire like this one. If you decide to use your normal road tire, verify the maximum pressure it can handle.

2. Install Tacx Utility App

Tacx Training app is available on Android and iOS.
There is also a desktop version compatible with Windows and Mac for this app. But be careful, the calibration can only be done with the phone apps.

3. Turn on the bluetooth on your device

4. Connect your trainer to the power

5. Launch the App

6. Select ‘Settings’

7. Select ‘Device Manager’

8. Select ‘Set Up TACX Flow’

9. Select ‘Calibrate’

10. Follow on-screen instructions

How long does it take to calibrate a Tacx Flow Smart trainer?

Calibrating a Tacx Flow Smart trainer can take 10 minutes the first time. Every other time, it will only take a minute unless you completely disassemble your trainer to transport it.

Can I calibrate my Tacx Smart trainer with Zwift?

It is always recommended to calibrate your Tacx Smart trainer with the Tacx trainer app. Zwift proposes an option to calibrate most trainers but it won’t be as accurate as with the Tacx trainer app. Calibration with Zwift does not always work. If you have a Tacx Neo you don’t need calibration.

When pairing your trainer on Zwift, you get prompted with the option to calibrate it. It comes in the form of a little tool button below the power source in the “paired devices” menu. This tool can work fine for many trainers, but if your trainer can be set up with a manufacturer’s app it is always better.

Zwift calibration tool is proposed in the pairing device menu with the “tool” button

In the case of Tacx trainers, Tacx has a free app to calibrate and update the firmware of your trainer. There is no point in using Zwift calibration tool with Tacx trainers.

Solutions to common issues when calibrating a Tacx smart trainer

My Tacx trainer won’t pair

The trainer can only pair to one device at a time via Bluetooth. If it doesn’t want to pair with an app, check that you have exited previously connected apps correctly by unpairing your Tacx device from the app. This will allow your trainer to pair to another app such as Zwift and vice-versa.

Calibration timing out on Tacx Flux series

If you are having issues with calibration timing out, I am guessing you are using Zwift to calibrate your Tacx Flux trainer. As mentioned above in “Can I calibrate my Tacx Smart trainer with Zwift?”, you should always do your Tacx’s calibration with Tacx Training App. Avoid using Zwift, it is not as accurate and sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Tacx Flow calibration not working

Here is a list of possible reasons you are struggling with the calibration of your Tacx Flow:

  • Resistance unit is not set-up properly

On the Tacx Flow manual, there are different positions to set up the resistance unit on the frame of your trainer. It depends on your wheel diameter. For most bikes, the resistance unit needs to be set up in position 1 (such as road bikes and 29” mountain bikes).

Garmin Tacx Flow Instructions to set up the resistance unit

For position 1, you need to make sure the resistance unit is attached to the top holes.

Garmin Tacx Flow instructions on how to set up the resistance unit
  • Tire pressure is incorrect

Always make sure your tire pressure is at its maximum. It is recommended to use a trainer tire. But it should work with a normal tire at around 110 psi.

  • Tire is tighten too much against the resistance unit

When beginning the calibration, you need to press the resistance unit against your tire. If it is tightened too much you will struggle to calibrate it. Always start with the loosest set-up you can do and tighten it little by little the knob until your reach the correct calibration value.

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