I haven’t listened to the podcast yet. I see it’s 2.5 hours, so…whew…that’s going to take me a few days.
I might change my comment after listening and hearing all this in context, but I think it’s important that people who complain about grandfathered pricing remember that people have been paying these prices every month for multiple years. Yes, the price is lower today, but the investment people have made over time is substantial. Also, if you remove the grandfathering, I think people will go to paying for the months they use it, like they do with Zwift, rather than locking people in and providing guaranteed income 12 months a year for many years.
Plus there is probably a group of people like me: the last new feature that TR added that I use is the calendar.
I have a coach, so I’m only using TR to execute custom workouts that my coach gives me, and none of the enhancements that would help me - like a modern Workout Creator - are going to happen. I’m okay with this given my legacy pricing. Would I stay with TR if I lost my legacy pricing? Probably not. I would probably end up switching to either TrainerDay or Zwift. Zwift is less expensive that TR is today, has the same ability to do custom workouts, and the ability to ride in Zwift if I have a long endurance ride and the weather sucks so I’m doing it inside
Part of the issue with Strava was that they took away features (Leaderboard) from people. Sounds like this won’t take anything away, just freeze the current features they already have.
I’m also a big fan of the idea of the TR Basic. Like @AlphaDogCycling I have a coach that creates workouts in TP for me that I run on TR while also running Zwift as it’s something that makes my indoor training less boring. But that being said I really like the blue bars! (Stockholm syndrome???)
Anyways I’m all for them freezing the current features for the legacy pricing to continue their mission of improving the quality of training. Hell, I’m for this even if it’s just so @Nate can buy a Lamborghini. He’s earned it
I’m not a fan of some complicated tier pricing system. It always seems to cause too much confusion. I’m grandfathered in at $99/year but that’s the deal. I’ve been on TR for a long time. I love TR on my iPhone. It’s simple and works great. I love all of their workouts. Another challenge they have is people who have TR and subscriptions to other services. You raise the TR price too high and people start having to decide between 2 services.
TR would likely get less money from me overall if they moved to a tiered approach where the grandfathered plans are not at the highest level if I feel I want the features of the higher levels.
The reason why I keep TR even when I take extremely long times off from riding is the fact that I’m grandfathered in. Otherwise I’d be jumping in for short bursts during the winter season which is really the only time I’m using TR. And end up maybe not jumping in.
I’ve seen this with my wife where she was heavily into Zwift, dropped out for the summer and just never got back into it as now she has to re-signup, etc etc. Always having my yearly plan with TR gives me more reason to keep my bike on the trainer in case I want to jump in on a ride reducing the chance I drop it entirely.
don’t pay more and TR is limited in how much improvement to their product they can make
pay more and TR and invest more into devotement efforts to add functionality
I don’t really want to pay more but do want TR to improve faster and add more functionality so I’d rather go with 2
For all those asking why TR would change more money, this was after Nate announced lots of new functionality coming and said he’d like to be able to add a few more development teams if they had the budget for it
I’ve been locked in at $99 per year. I’m paid through Oct 22 so I’m here until then anyways. However, even before this past Oct, I was questioning whether I wanted to renew my membership.
I want to be careful because I intend for this to be constructive and not come off as bashing TR. I believe TR is comprised of very good folks. My own personal interactions with them has always been extremely positive. They have always gone the extra mile to answer my questions, etc. While I get the appeal of the Adaptive Training concept, there are too many other items that at least some of us have been waiting for TR to address. For instance, we still cannot import workouts from other disciplines into the TR calendar. And if we cannot import those into the calendar, how can AT utilize those activities in planning our future training in an effective manner? For us older athletes that find we do better with only 2 intensity workouts per week, Plan Builder still insists on treating us as if we were still in our 20s. Discover that you do better with a recovery week every 3rd week? Sorry, Plan Builder does not accommodate that, nor does Adaptive Training. Want to do a ride outside? Sorry, AT cannot interpret those results and adjust your progression levels appropriately. All these other improvements that many of us have been asking for, and that TR has been promising… these are the very things that limit AT’s real world effectiveness for far too many athletes. I love the enthusiasm of the TR leadership team. However, I believe they made a strategic error in releasing AT before addressing all these other issues that so many of their users have been asking for for so many years. In a sense, they have put the cart before the horse, at least in my opinion.
I’ve used TR’s plans, and I got faster to a point. But, as I’ve gotten to know my own body better, I’ve discovered that I got even faster devising my own workouts and own training plans. I will still be rooting for TR as a team and as a company. They’ve played such a large role in my development. I deeply appreciate them. However, I do not see myself renewing next year.
If TR raised prices on grandfathered subscriptions, or if they changed anything, they’d probably lose half of the subscriptions over night.
Nobody knows this except for Nate and the TR management team. It may not be that they need money so much as they have a development budget and aren’t willing to hire more people. If they get 1000 more users, are they hiring more developers or putting more money in the bank? Or are they spending more on marketing or customer support. We just don’t know.
Nate said in the podcast that maybe they’d look at a model of requiring existing users to re-sign at a new price if they want new features. To be clear, it was just an idea, not something they definitely will do. But he also said if he did it that way, he’d be keeping the pricing promises he’s made to existing users.
I disagree with that interpretation. If things need to change for business reasons, then so be it - that’s reality and I think most of us would accept that. But I do believe it would be a backflip on promises made. It would be better to stand up and admit that it was a promise that can no longer be kept. Don’t try and pretend otherwise.
On legacy yearly pricing here and been using TR since 2013 if I remember correctly. Love what TR and team has done. Have not used the platform for a few months now as I am enjoying just riding.
I did not listen to the podcast and have not for some while now due to the length of them but seems like pure speculation. I am sure if Nate needed more funds they would be up front and come up with a fair solution. While some people probably would not like it I think most would understand.
I’d ungrandfather myself in a heartbeat. I think it was unwise for @Nate_Pearson to give this promise and I would have no issue paying more. I can understand his instinct that he wants to keep his promise, though, now that he has given it.
I think no matter how TrainerRoad goes about this, people will be upset, and I’d recommend to just accept that some people will get upset. I’m not sticking with TR, because I’m still paying $100/year (I think that’s my rate — see the problem, I don’t even know how much I am paying). But I’m sticking to TR because it has evolved significantly over the years. The latter should be the hill to die on: earn your customers with new features, not by being cheap.
If I were in charge, given the constraints I’d do the following:
Create a classic version whose features are frozen to that day. Preferably, I’d do that just before the release of a major new feature.
Stop grandfathering in new users now.
Next time a grandfathered-in member opens the TR app or TR webpage they are confronted with a dialog box where they have to choose between (a) classic with no increase in subscription fees. Or (b) stick to the current version where subscription fees are not locked in.
A pro version of TR
This is easy: the pro feature I’d pay for in a heart beat is proper performance analysis tools. You correctly wrote that most people would be overwhelmed and might not interpret the data correctly. But for the “pros”, please give us a bit more rope with which we can hang ourselves with
A few ideas: let users set their own goals. One goal that came up recently was left/right balance. Say, my goal was to go from 45/55 to about 50/50 after an injury — let me track that. Show me my progress or lack thereof in pretty graphs.
I understand that there are all sorts of issues, e. g. if you gave access to raw data or so. But I’d say that the value of the raw data isn’t so much about the raw data of an individual, but the raw data of tens of thousands of users in aggregate.
Here is what I would not do:
I would not create a pro version of TR and use Adaptive Training as the feature for the pro version. Adaptive Training is your crown jewel and should be the reason why people stick around. Just imagine if only a tiny fraction had access to that. Not a good idea IMHO.
Create complicated rules and lots of tiers. Pay $10 more for feature X and $15 for feature Y. All you’ll get is customers who feel milked (as if they have to pay for floor mats for their new $60k BMW) and a customer support nightmare.
This also includes freezing features at the time people join*. The asterisk is deliberate, because it isn’t really about the features when people joined, but when TR decided to stop grandfathering in people. This will be a communication nightmare.
Overvalue grandfathering in people.
That’s a very good idea. People make mistakes and making that promise was probably a mistake. Many people would get upset, but it’d simplify your problems.
… the entire concept of grandfathered in is/was that you get locked in at that rate at that time, no matter what development/features are added after, that was the deal. so yes I def also want the extra features, and by agreement features can’t be withheld from grand fathered people, or it be demanded from them that they have what they have and now need to upgrade to a new ++ plan to get access to additional features. thats goes against the original agreement with these members.
If it needs to be changed, then it can be change with new members joining now,
Understand, our exchange rate is a disaster, I joined like 7yrs ago… I simply can’t pay more and I'm sure there are loads more people like me.
I pay for me and my wife. For her, I already had the “whammy” we paused her payments for a couple of months a couple of years back, when we re-sumed it got re-patched at the new rate, aka did not continue at the original.
My N=1 take, being someone that’s grandfathered at $99/yr is that I’d be more than willing to spend more money for future features because the program is great value. I’ve been using TR since 2016, though I had a coach for 3 of those years and rarely touched the program. I kept paying during those years because I was a podcast listener and thought the company was doing great things and wanted to keep supporting them. In all actuality, TR is so much cheaper than having a private coach and gets you most of the way there, especially now with PlanBuilder and Adaptive Training. Even at a hypothetical price of $240/yr you’d only be paying $20/mo, which is 1/10 of what you’d be spending on a cheap coach. So IMO price increases as the feature suite grows are more than fair and still offer really good value when compared to the alternatives.
I think this is the agreement you’d like to have in place. I don’t think this is a reasonable expectation to have nor can I ever remember that this particular promise was given.
Now if TR gimped a version and gave that to people who want to stay on the grandfathered tier, you’d have more of an argument. But I think it would be entirely consistent with the spirit if you just had access to all features introduced up to a certain point (after you have joined).
Legacy here! I just keep my subscription on autopilot whether using or not. I certainly could have taken so many, many months off here and there. Thank you TR (Nate) for Grandfathering our long loyalty! If it goes ungrandfathered, I won’t be mad. However, I will probably have to become conscious about when I am training vs when I am not to make decisions. I hope they leave it be. My advice is to get more people using it and keep prices down. I think it would be honorable of TR to recognize newer members after a designated amount of time with uninterrupted annual subscriptions to not just keep them at their entry rate but even bump people down to $99/yr granting legacy after they “catch up”.
Yup, and I reply that TR should earn your continued subscription even in months where you (for whatever reason) aren’t using it.
Say, you predominantly do unstructured outdoor rides in the summer and only train in the winter. This would be one scenario that’d fit your description. Then good ride analysis tools could sway some to stick to TR, for instance. Or other fitness tracking tools (e. g. estimating your FTP and other fitness indicators) from your ride data.
Plus, I think they could still entice people to stay subscribed by giving discounts to users who pay yearly.
Just two of multiple direct quotes, none of them with qualifications about future feature updates:
“I also want to mention that we’ll never raise your price if you stay subscribed as long as I’m CEO. Everyone who’s still subscribed will be grandfathered in.”
“Current subscribers don’t have to do anything and will be locked in at their current pricing as long as their subscription stays active.”
I actually agree that’s it’s not necessarily reasonable for us to expect this, but we didn’t set that expectation. Nate did. And he did it in the aftermath of previous price increases. I think he was speaking off-the-cuff on the podcast and will come to the same conclusion when he thinks it through. Personally I can live with a change if it’s needed, but it’s not something that can be wiggled out of, it needs to be explained honestly and with a mea culpa.