Let’s speculate

Indulge me in my conspiracy theories… It’s surprising to see two price increases in a short period of time and citing value as the reason. TR is a business with cash requirements. Was this reactionary or strategic?

Possible reasons:
Unanticipated High costs
Unanticipated Lost subscribers
Needing higher cash flow for private equity
High debt service
Strategic move??

It’s hard to believe a silent price increase wouldn’t have anticipated this amount of discussion. The amount of damage control Nate is doing makes me think there are other issues at stake.

  • TR’s big plans offer more value to customer (us!)
  • Big plans require more resource (developers, PMs, marketing, support) to put them in place
  • More resources require more cash (in lieu of outside funding)

Sometimes it’s the simplest solution.

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The plans haven’t changed really at all in the 3ish years I’ve been using TR. The “bells and whistles” aren’t things I use a lot or particularly see a lot of value in either.

TR marketing team struck out big.

I agree, the secretive increase and lame excuse hint towards something else going on.

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Personally I’m loving the new updates to TR and am hoping that the increased pricing will only add to their development staff so that we can keep getting more features at an increased rate. @Nate_Pearson and the team have a lot of great ideas (and great ideas suggested to them from their user base!) that I would love to see implemented.

Also most importantly I would highly highly highly prefer if TR does not try to source outside funding. If upping pricing is one way to avoid that then I’m on board.

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Can I go off on a tangent, take Nate at his word that the extra money will be used to hire more developers to improve the product/service, and speculate on what those improvements will be?

What I know or am pretty sure we’re going to get:

  • Wahoo integration
  • New/improved mobile app
  • Swim and run integration, presumably with pace- and/or HR-based TSS estimates
  • Swim and run charts e.g. ability to look at the performance chart by different sports, maybe an equivalent of the power curve showing run/swim PRs over different distances

What I hope we’re going to get:

  • Integration with other data sources. Weight, sleep, HRV, diet, workout temperature, etc
  • Better charting and analytics.
  • More features for individualising plans. Some kind of data analytics/machine learning/neural network that picks out trends in my training and makes recommendations, possibly linked to my goals. E.g. identifies that I respond better to volume than to intensity, and recommends replacing a SS ride with a long endurance ride. Or spots that 5 minute power is a relative weakness compared to other metrics and recommends workouts that can improve it. Or can see signs that I may be overtraining and need more recovery

What I don’t think we’ll get:

  • Any move towards a virtual cycling environment or videos when completing indoor workouts
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Correct me if I’m wrong, but those subscribed, who stay subscribed, continue grandfathered on prior rates. That would mean this mainly targets new users or those taking a break and then signing up again.

@Nate_Pearson and the team would have likely done an analysis to predict what impact the price hike might have on new subscriptions. They likely determined the market could handle the increase but I guess time will tell for sure.

Ultimately if the resources are going into development, as @Nate_Pearson suggests, then it is definitely a good thing. I suspect there will be a discussion of this on an upcoming podcast after they all regroup.

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  • All correct, with the addition of “new” could include “returning” users who chose to stop payment for one month or more, and will be paying the new price as a result.
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I suspect that the increase IS related to bringing out more features. In the last few months TR has been advertising on the forum for more developers and marketing people. The developers had a listed salary of $110k each. So, three developers add up to close to $500k per year loaded cost. Add a few marketing/PM people and all of the sudden the payroll cost increase by about $700-800k per year. Paying for that requires an additional 4000 full price subscriptions.

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Have to think @Nate_Pearson and the team are very busy these days. Wahoo’s Sufferfest acquisition, especially after the eye-popping fundraising numbers for Zwift, seems like it may have put a lot of eyeballs on the various players in the indoor training ecosystem.

The question I’m really most interested in is who TR sees as their chief competitors. Are they trying to beat Zwift? Or are they trying to beat TrainingPeaks? Or do they think they can carve out their space somewhere in between?

I think the answer to that question would tell us a lot about the kinds of things we should expect from TR in the future. E.g., if TR sees themselves as competing with TrainingPeaks and coaching services, then I think @cartsman is correct and we should expect stuff like swim and run integration, but no move toward virtual cycling or videos.

(Also, it’s possible someone from the company has said something about this somewhere and I’ve just missed it. If so, apologies for redundancies!)

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Think where they’d be if that put $500k/yr into the coaching/sports science side of the business. . . .

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To me this is the direction I think they should be going as well but I don’t see it happening that way unfortunately. It’s why I’m fine rolling along at my grandfathered rate but if I were a new user it would be a difficult pitch for me. Even at a basic ask, all the workouts are FTP-based. I do think SUF 4DP is a little gimmicky but is a move in the right direction to more personalized training.

Since this is a speculation thread, I’ll speculate that the reason they increased prices are to reduce the lapses that happen during on/off season. I use TR much more during the winter than summer. I’m sure most are in a similar situation. You are probably now less likely to cancel in the 6 months you don’t use it if the you’ll be paying double when you get back. Obviously I have no idea what percentage of people come & go on membership but you did say let’s speculate :slight_smile:

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Care to expand on this? I don’t know what you are hinting at.

The same place? $500k/yr would run a single small non-conclusive study. I could see an argument for getting a sports physiologist with a stats background on staff to design studies against their data set. However I bet they can use the big brains on their programming staff and coaching staff to answer those questions already.

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Is this a planned move based on revenue expectations? As in was an increase written in to the budget last year when they sat down to create it?

Or is this just a marketing bungle?

Great. The first sub-thread to the price increase thread :roll_eyes:

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They’d get a platform slow to scale up with the size and needs of their user base.

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It’s none of these things. We think we’re worth the value.

We’ve got a really good roadmap and we’re planning on executing it.

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It was a poor concept execution. Nothing more. Raising rates slightly on new subscriptions is about modest development requirements. VC / private equity funding would be required to make anything more ambitious. This isn’t a star chamber situation here.

I don’t think they’re competing with Zwift. I think Zwift’s primary target market is people who want to ride indoors like they ride outdoors. Virtual cycling world, group rides and races, etc. Workout library is kind of secondary, people might pick and choose a workout or even a short plan, but those who are serious about structured training are likely bringing their own plan to the table, whether that’s from TR or from a coach.

I think they’re positioned between a coach and more analytical platforms like TP, WKO4, Golden Cheetah, Xert, etc. Much cheaper than a coach, more user friendly and accessible than the other platforms. Target audience is riders who are serious about improving their cycling (and maybe one day their running and swimming), don’t want to pay for a coach but also don’t have the time or inclination to go as deep into the science and analytics side that the other platforms offer.

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