Tacx Satori Smart T2400 review£260.00

Mobile self propelled smart training at a bargain price

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Satori Smart does everything you need to hook up with the latest training software, or just tech up your sessions and it does it all very simply and intuitively.

The Smart sits right on the edge of what we’d call a true smart trainer, but that actually makes it more versatile in many ways. For a start, the electromagnetic brake is self propelled and the 10 different resistance curves (which rise to a 600-900W max) are controlled from the bar with a quick fit thumb lever. That means you don’t need to hook it up to the mains to get your work done which opens up a much wider field of use including pre/post event warm up/down. 

Portable potential

The fact it’s light, and flat-packs down easily, also makes it easy to bring along for a much more accurate warm up than a couple of sprints and a check of heart rate before you line up behind the tape. The two wide-splayed legs lock into place with the weight of you and the bike to make it pretty tolerant of uneven surfaces, and and it even comes with a front wheel levelling block so hand position and saddle angle aren’t affected.

The wide-splayed legs are decently solid on uneven surfaces:
The wide-splayed legs are decently solid on uneven surfaces:

The wide-splayed legs are decently solid on uneven surfaces

Once you’ve adjusted the metal-skinned roller tension to stop it skipping and slipping, the broad foot pedal makes it easy to engage and release, even in cycling shoes with wobbly post-session legs. The driveside adjustable axle clamp is cranked up in under half a turn with the big flat cam paddle on the offside too, so it’s no hassle to set up even if you’ve no spare space to leave it in situ between sessions.

Like most price peers the smaller roller makes it noisier and slightly more prone to slipping than larger diameter rollers though and we’d recommend Tacx’s colour-coded blue trainer tyre if you’re going to spend a long time leathering yourself indoors.

Intuitive smart capabilities

Up to this point, we could pick plenty of similar competitors at a similar price but the ‘Smart’ side of the T2400 is were it really opens a gap. For a start the Tacx Training and Cycling apps for iOS or Android devices are totally intuitive, impressively comprehensive in their multi line screen displays and free. It self-generates both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart signals to link with smartphones or tablets, or combine HR Belt or cadence sensor data into the mix.

Thankfully it hooks up easily and reliably every time you manage to lever yourself off the couch rather than leaving you cursing in the cold with dropped signals or lost syncing like so many other proprietary apps and interfaces we’ve used recently.

The satori folds flat and compact, making it an ideal companion on race days:
The satori folds flat and compact, making it an ideal companion on race days:

The Satori folds flat and compact, making it an ideal companion on race days

Cross calibration of wattage readings with our Stages cranks and other trainers showed it to be impressively accurate if not quite as fast to respond to load changes as the best trainers. The open source wattage communication means you can link it straight to interactive training software such as Zwift, TrainerRoad, Kinomap and Bkool as long as you have the appropriate dongle for your Mac/PC. While the 800W 1min max resistance might not be enough for garage Greipels, spin sustain is significantly better than most similarly priced trainers for a much smoother, more ‘realistic’ feel for you and your avatar.

The one thing it doesn’t do compared with a ‘fully smart’ trainer is allow the software to automatically change the resistance of the brake. It doesn’t take much imagination to ‘stick shift’ resistance to match whatever virtual gradient your pixelated person is tackling though and considering the price differential and mobility advantages over electrically tethered trainers it’s a disconnect that we’re happy to cope with.

  • Wattage deviation: -10
  • Roll down from 200W: 13 secs
  • Noise level (200W): 90dB

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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