Home trainer goes back to Garmin

It served well for a year and a half. Then it started: the overheating, the burning smell, ERG mode disabled, loss of resistance.

Truth to be told, it has not seen much use over the summer period.

First, we were asked back to the office. No more 100% work from home aka télétravail. Now it is 3 days a week back in the "factory", and then other duties on the remaining 2 odd days - and all that means no more usual lunch training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

No more of that.

Summer weather was relatively good as well, which called for real world rides.

So when the autumn came, together with cold and rains, and I decided to hop on the trainer again and restart my Zwift training sessions, it welcomed me with a burning smell during the first ride. And then complete loss of resistance during the cooldown at the very end of it. And a blinking red power light, which I noticed after getting off it.


Gave it another try 2 days later, but the smell started in the middle of the warmup already this time, and I didn't even wait for the loss of resistance again, just stopped right then. The red light was already blinking at me angrily, and when I had a closer look at the trainer it turned out than none of the 2 fans that were supposed to cool it down were spinning. A-ha! Problem right there.

Pretty popular one to it, as various internet forums are full of people experiencing the same issue, with lots of them complaining about no support received from Garmin once they acquired Tacx, or the crazy-high flat rate for even simple repairs.

In spite of all that I dropped a quick email to Wiggle where I bought it from originally, not really holding my breath for a favourable resolution - especially that I wasn't really sure whether it is still under the warranty or not - Garmin UK pages say they offer 2 years warranty, while their French version talks about just 1 year. In theory EU laws dictate 2 years warranty period by default, but hey, trying to enforce it might probably be somewhat tricky.

Anyway, Wiggle Support first asked for photos of the trainer and the serial number, and copy of the invoice, which I dutifully sent, then forwarded my ticket to their Warranty Team, which in turn told me I should contact Garmin directly. So it starts, I thought.

My Neo 2T in all its burnt glory.

But kudos to Garmin - their response was pretty fast and unambiguous:

Nous allons procéder au retour de votre produit.

Woohoo! What a relief.

They were also nice enough to provide me with a pre-paid return label, told me to keep all the accessories (axle, charger, cassette etc), and to send back just the trainer.

So I did.

The box was a bit damaged from a flood in the basement after one of the heavy summer rains, but it was still usable. Even though their demande d'intervention document said (literal quote, including all caps):


Not sure how was I to send it without putting it in the box?

So all 24 kg of the trainer got packed in the box anyway and laboriously taken to the post office, and are now on their way to Garmin HQs in Nanterre.

Lots of duct tape to keep it all together.

Now let's wait and see what happens next, and when I am going to get my (hopefully new) trainer back.

Update 1 (Friday, 2 days later):

The trainer has arrived at Garmin. Unfortunately it's Friday already, and I guess I will need to wait until next week for any news from them.

Update 2 (Monday):

New email from Garmin:

Cher Client, Nous vous informons avoir clôturé l'intervention sur votre produit celui-ci sera expédié dans les meilleurs délais


Commentaires du technicien: échange sous garantie


Also got new invoice, and email from UPC with numéro and lien de suivi - saying the new trainer should be with me this Wednesday. Happy days!

Update 3 (Wednesday):

UPS's Suivi page still shows me "Étiquette créée", but not yet even "Expédié". Come on!

Update 4 (Wednesday evening):

UPS status has finally changed to "Expédié". Unfortunately estimated delivery date has also changed, to Friday. Ffs.

Update 5 (Friday):

Mr UPS came and brought a brand new trainer with him. New box, all accessories included new too. Happy days!

Update 6 (Sunday):

Firmware update and a quick test ride - everything seems to work perfectly fine again.

Update 6 (Monday):

Mr Postman brought a letter from Garmin, with paper invoice. Guess my 2 years warranty starts again?

Bottom line:

I am super happy with the whole replacement process. Big kudos to Wiggle and even bigger to Garmin for handling it all without any hassle and very quickly.

If not for TacX's dispatch delay, everything would take exactly one week.

But even with their delay, 9 days (7 working days) is fantastic turnaround!