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The TacX App in 2020

Published by marco on

Updated by marco on

I wrote the following about a year ago when I first got my TacX. I have struck out the items that no longer apply.


The TacX App is a joke. It barely does what it needs to do.

  • It doesn’t remember your login for more than a few days Now it remembers the login, but randomly shows the log in page with a loading circle on it between some screens, looking very much like it’s going to log out and then catching itself just before it does and proceeding to the next screen. It’s like watching a drunk lurch from one side of the street to the other and back.
  • [New]: Now the web site also shows “there are no workouts” for a few seconds while it rummages around in the database for your data. It’s like no-one has ever heard of a loading screen at this company.
  • You can’t paste into the username/password fields with hotkeys (you have to right-click and paste from the shortcut)
  • It doesn’t remember any of the pages you were on (e.g. it always defaults to the same page in Workouts)
  • You can’t edit workoutsYou can only edit workouts in the online software even though the desktop software looks for all the world exactly like the web site (i.e. it’s probably the web site running in an Electron app).
  • You cannot clone workouts (to make one like another, but slightly longer/shorter/harder/easier)
  • It can’t display your activities (you have to jump to the web page and log in again)
  • The web site can sync with Strava, but not Garmin (the parent company of TacX)A year later and the site is finally integrated with Garmin (see below).
  • Your activities don’t sync automatically
  • Just that TacX is a completely different web site than Garmin Connect almost a yeartwo years after acquisition is embarrassing
  • The FTP workout is a mystery. It’s called FTP but just defaults to 14 minutes at 200W. There doesn’t seem to be any way to measure FTP and have it remember it. You have to create the FTP workout yourself. There’s a new section called “Tests” that has an FTP test in it. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks promising.
  • The desktop app asks every damned time if it can have permission to share personal data so I can enable “Live Opponents”, something I’ve never asked it to do. I say no every time, but it doesn’t remember my choice.
  • In the new software, another dialog has joined it, overlapping two requests for extra data that I have to reject every single time I start the app.


Here we are, a year later, and I’m inspired to write again.

Garmin finally got around to integrating their account with TacX. TacX is still, for some reason, a separate web site, but it now uses the same authentication provider as Garmin Connect.

The procedure of transferring to the new system was, as expected for Garmin, smooth and intuitive and painless.

  • Open TacX
  • It offers to “bind accounts”
  • I follow the instructions and it seems to work
  • TacX proceeds
  • There is no data in my account
  • I write “bind accounts fucking broken” in my notes[1]
  • Restart TacX
  • Watch its dance of login boxes and refresh glitches and lack of progress indicators until, suddenly, my workouts are back.

Now, for whatever reason, the (again, from my notes) “stupid cunt of a thing doesn’t show up as bluetooth device”. For whatever reason, the trainer was no longer recognized by TacX. It “needed a fucking device reboot to recognize the cunting thing again”[2].

I was forced to reboot the laptop completely in order to get the device back in TacX (boundless joy, as I’d wanted to have been working out on the trainer for ten minutes already and was, instead, doing software support for a device that literally has one job and for a company that also pretty much has just one job and fails to be able to do it adequately, to say nothing of well, year after year after year).

On reboot, I see that the TacX trainer is “special” in that it is connected via BlueTooth but doesn’t show up as a connected BlueTooth device in MacOS. I’m sure this is totally standard and not at all indicative of hacks built on hacks in the TacX software.

After having nicely elevated both my heart rate and blood pressure, I was actually able to get a workout in and moved on to the “save activity” part of the competition.

To say that the software has timing issues is an understatement.

  • Save activity to cloud?
  • Yes, please.
  • Go to cloud?
  • Yes, please .
  • Activity not there.
  • Refresh
  • Activity not there
  • Open new page
  • There it is
  • Click it
  • It’s there. Click “view Workout” in the toolbar.
  • The corresponding workout has been deleted
  • Go to Garmin Connect manually
  • There it is
  • Go back to TacX
  • Refresh
  • The corresponding workout has been deleted
  • Now it’s stuck on loading data and can’t show the workout in TacX
  • Reload the page
  • Stuck on loading…

Garmin is a huge software company with literally a single web site to run. They bought a competitor in February 2019 and, almost two years later, have finally integrated the authentication. They have not managed to integrate the web sites, though. What they did manage was to bring their special “Garmin Cloud-expertise polish” to the TacX site. Unbelievable though it may seem, it’s now even worse and more stunted than it used to be.

The TacX app itself is unchanged and feels like someone made a desktop app out of an iPad app. It doesn’t remember any selections. It takes five clicks to do anything.

To end on an upbeat note: you can now only export from TacX to Garmin (Strava export as well “Save TCX” have been removed). However, the sync works as expected and the Garmin activity now takes the name of the TacX activity, by default. I know, right? As if that weren’t already enough engineering prowess, they’ve also changed the default activity type to “Indoor Cycling” (it used to be “Cycling”). It’s like a Christmas miracle.


[1] As you can imagine, I was actually ready to start a workout and was delighted to find that I would be delayed in doing so because my devices and software—for which I had paid money—had decided that I was not the master of my own schedule and that I would, instead of using my trainer, be doing software maintenance instead. My joy was boundless.
[2] Again, apologies to those with more delicate ears, but I feel that it’s important to properly capture how angry this type of thing can make users.