Peloton introduces Bike+ . . . a threat to TrainerRoad?

And 3 hours later here are the updates on our club’s Strava feed:

  • 20 outdoor and Bill said “felt like I smoked 2 cigars” and I’ll simply add the AQI took a turn for the better and went yellow mid-morning, but still gross outside :nauseated_face:
  • 3 Peloton and Ron rode with Christian Vande Velde and is top 15% of leaderboard (over 20,000 on it)
  • 2 TrainerRoad workouts (two ‘new to me’ workouts, don’t recall seeing those)
  • 1 Zwift workout
  • 2 unidentified indoor

While our in-real-life club is 600+ members, we’ve got some outsiders on Strava:

I recognize and have ridden with everyone but Santiago, he is some “FOMO must join every club” dude and interestingly hails from the Galapagos and is posting actual rides from Isla San Cristobal in the Galapagos.

Kinda interesting, and thats my last Strava bean counting as I’m not getting paid to analyze like some Morgan Stanley analyst 10+ years ago counting people outside Apple store during an iPhone launch.




$450M in funding will allow Zwift to make a nice piece of hardware.

Now this will put a significant dent in TR future growth. A “plug and play” piece of hardware that enables the immersive Zwift experience will make for an easy way for a new customer to onboard onto Zwift.

“The hardware will make Zwift a more immersive and seamless experience for users.”

This is a real threat to TR.

I could see myself buying a zwift machine if the price is right.

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Yep. It will be interesting to see their first release. Will they create a Zwift bike for the masses with modest pricing, or try go high end and create one that could potentially be used in e-sports style racing. IMO, the former is the way to go.

Peloton has proven there is a huge market for $2500 indoor bikes. When you look at that in the context of setting up a home gym it’s pretty cheap. We think of bike purchases as an N +1 cost but most of the people buying a Peloton are viewing it against a gym membership or classes which they can drop by getting the Peloton so the real cost to them over time is much less or even zero.

If Zwift were to develop a $2500 indoor bike coupled with their software, it would do quite well in both fitness and serious cyclist markets. Even at $3500, it would still be a great deal for a dual use household - great trainer for the serious rider and get on and pedal simplicity for the fitness rider spouse.

I know @dcrainmaker and @GPLama probably need to remain impartial but I can’t help but think if I was designing an indoor bike I’d be looking to get someone like that involved.

Not denying the threat, but I post my TR workouts via zwift since lockdown. It’s mainly nothing more than moving wall paper/ levelling up/ logging km’s!

Of course they’ll want to please the reviewers. But, no offense to those two but with $650 million in recent capital infusions, Zwift is playing in a much bigger game than just trying to please two social media influencers. Design will not be as much of a hurdle as actually making the thing in volume sometime soon. They’ll either hire 200 top flight engineers and designers then build a factory or (more likely IMHO) just buy one of the existing trainer companies and work off existing technology and manufacturing capacity as a starting point. The later is quicker.

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Dunno - the bike will need to have steering and climb functionality, in addition to the usual performance expectations of a smart trainer. It won’t be trivial to build a piece of hardware with those capabilities, and be robust and reliable enough to meet expectations of customers.

The press release that everyone [interested] should read is the official Zwift company press release (below).

In addition to what has been mentioned by others above about Zwift getting into the hardware business, there are at least 3 major items of note in the release:

  • Software Investment
  • Specialized’s investment in Zwift (see Chris Yu, head of the Win-Tunnel, comments)
  • 2.5M Zwift accounts opened since 2015 (probably 1.0 to 1.5M current customers)

Steering has been done, climb has been done. The trick is not designing that stuff but not tripping on someone else’s patents and making and distributing a shit ton of your new shiny bike.

A big pile of cash can take care of those issues faster than a big pile of engineers.

Another TR shorting thread…!

FWIW I am interested in where Garmin/TACX are headed. I think Peloton is aimed squarely at the Gym membership market, TR/Zwift/Sufferfest etc… are not there at all. GARMIN OTOH is already a big deal in this business, even though this is a niche for their overall portfolio. They are going big on the connected lifestyle hardware ecosystem: They have more wearables than anyone (probably could do with a prune there), they have scales and now smart trainers. There are pockets of deep value in their software holdings that have not been exploited…yet. They probably have the deepest dataset there is bar none. Once they have restructured from their acquisitions I am fascinated to see where they go. They can just squat and milk the product line (more than likely given their history) or plough some very interesting fields with relatively little exposure from their side but with a potentially massive impact on our little sandpit.

The point I would make, in defence(?) of TrainerRoad, the level of user investment needed to make use of the product is way lower than the other options, and obviously the prospective offerings of Smart Bikes!

TrainerRoad - quite likely nothing or minimal, and then grandfathered in.

  • You existing phone will most likely work
  • If your interested enough to train, you probably have a speed and cadence sensor
  • “Dumb” Trainer for virtual power

Zwift - €300+?

  • You may get away with a mid range phone, until you try to do a large scale event.
  • Chromecast or similar (again, until it crashes on a large scale event)
  • Not sure on ipads, but the Android minimum specs are pretty high for a tablet
  • Realistically, most people are looking at AppleTV* as the cheapest entry point for an effective device
  • Maybe adding a TV*
  • “Dumb” Trainer really isn’t getting the most out of zwift, I think realistically you’d be fairly soon factoring in a “Smart” Trainer.
    *this is my n=1 anyway

Smart Bike - €1,000’s

I’ve enjoyed Zwift since working remotely/ lockdowns. However, I was effectively using TrainerRoad on hybrid rollers, phone and bike with power meter beside my car in the work basement. No way would I be getting the full zwift experience on that set up, where as the only thing I was missing on TrainerRoad was erg.

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I can’t overstate this enough. I see some Peloton posts from acquaintances in which their power output is just unreal. No, I don’t think it’s likely that an overweight/obese person just starting with their Peloton is consistently averaging 320 watts over a 45-minute workout.

At best, it seems to me that Peloton bikes are probably +/- 10% against themselves and not against each other or real values.


Not only that, but their burned Calories are WAY WAY WAY over estimated.
There is a direct convertion between W and C

1 watt (W) = 859.85 calories per hour (cal/h)

But when you looks a Peloton… a 1hr ride a 125 w is 1000 calories! (I am exaggerating)

People are been fooled by this numbers!

Yep. There’s a big range. It’s unfortunate that Peloton places a lot of emphasis on their “leaderboard” given this range of accuracy.

If you ignore the leaderboard comparison across bikes/riders however, the Peloton bike does what it is designed to do - be a great spin bike, and allow people to gauge their own progress over time (I believe the power measurement is reasonably repeatable on a given bike).

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According to Ray of DC Rainmaker the new Peloton bike is very accurate for power.

“But so far, this is about as good as I could ask for in a smart bike. And actually, the most accurate first production week firmware accuracy I’ve seen on any smart bike, including from companies like Wahoo/Tacx/Wattbike/Stages.”