“Wahoo is now offering its Kickr Snap smart trainer plus access to its RGT virtual world and Systm training platform for 12 monthly instalments of US$29.99. Best of all, this isn’t a lease or hire scheme – at the end of the 12 months the trainer is yours to keep.”
Shots fired, Form.
Interesting move for a $400 trainer. Makes me wonder what their margins are on Kickr Cores. This would seem like a very enticing offer if they could pull it off with a potentially-loss-leading Kickr Core paired with enticing users into their ecosystem. Downside for Wahoo would be users who get a year of System ‘free’ and upside is any additional months of service Wahoo can pull you into.
This is also mentioned in the DCR article, that is posted in the RGT topic, but sharing here since it relates:
Wahoo says that they plan to do other trainers in this model as well, including the Wahoo KICKR CORE and eventually any other Wahoo trainer, where you’ll just pick the subscription package and then choose your trainer.
Definitely an interesting proposition. I’m actually surprised Zwift didn’t beat them to the punch, but I’m sure it’s much harder to figure out for their new product and with what would probably be a global release.
Surely the Snap is just a gateway drug – and the goal is to get entirely new cyclists into the indoor-space, then quickly move them into a Core, Kikr, Kikr-Bike, etc… right?
Sometimes I am amazing the wheel-on market still exists. Yeah, I know there’s a use-case for everything, but it sure seems like wheel-on trainers will soon be as extinct as a flip phone.
If I had to guess, margin is not a driving factor in this equation…it is inventory.
You have an old trainer (introduced 4 years ago, I think) that uses a system that is on the brink of obsolescence (wheel on vs. inexpensive direct-drive) and Wahoo likely has a lot in stock (given the recent inventory trends of competitiors and the frequency of Wahoo sales).
If the above is a correct assumption, they need to get rid of these things as quickly as possible…and combining it in this package does several things:
- Avoid fire sale pricing
- Is appealing to consumers due to no large cash outlay
- holds the possibility to keep the customer in the Wahoo family through RGT and SYSTM after the first 12 months
The question is just how big the market opportunity is right now…there is a reason why companies are still sitting on inventory after months of trying to dump stuff.
This heads a bit off topic, but touches on something I marvel at today. Consider the landscape of trainers pre-Zwift.
I remember people thinking the Kinetic Road machine at around $300 USD was expensive, with many choosing less expensive options in the $100-200 range instead. The Computrainer held rarified air with its price ($1200 USD or so IIRC) and some of the other early smart trainers like the CycleOps Powerbeam Pro and Tacx Bushido filled a space between the RM and CT (middle to higher 3-digit prices).
People did start with some of those wheel-on smart trainers as Z took hold, but the Wahoo Kickr wheel-off quickly became the standard bearer at a price most would have dropped jaws at just a few years earlier. Add in the Tacx Neo that has nearly always cost more than the Kickr, but took similar hold at the top of the market. The prior comments of “my bike cost less…” became a bit less frequent, but I still see them a occasionally today
Anyway, it’s funny to see how perception of pricing & features for trainers has changed in the last decade or so.
Agreed. For many people, as the indoor cycling experience has improved over the last 5 years, so has the overall volume that many folks ‘ride’ in a year.
As Chad quoted from Ray,
so this isn’t just about the Snap and it’s margins/inventory. This is essentially bringing the Peloton model to trainers.
What’s funny and ironic, is that is almost is a return to what we had back in the day. When a trainer and the app were interconnected. CycleOps, Tacx, Elite, RacerMate and such had a very direct connection between the device and app. Those were sometimes locked in a sense, where the two were only compatible with each other.
The ironic bit was Wahoo as one part of the process to create an “open” platform that was accessible to all apps. As of now, it seems they are still keeping that aspect, but it seems we may be seeing some level of connection starting here (as you mention, apparently following the P path in part).
Everything old is new again
I’ve still got a gray KK and a computrainer I’ll take to my grave!
I considered buying cheap rollers to use with Spinnervals because the KK was so damn expensive! God I hated my Cycleops Fluid trainer and that trainer tire.
We’ll see how it plays out…that struck me as a little bit of marketing spin, TBH.
But I will say this…necessity is often the mother of invention. So it is very possible that the need to reduce their Snap inventory was the impetus for this model, but it is one they are hoping can be a sustainable one moving forward, just with different models.
Good for them. I bought a snap during the zwift sale for my daughter but mainly as a backup to my Neo Bike and sold my Neo2T.
This can kill two birds for them. Reduce inventory and get people into the ecosystem.
I bought my computrainer around 1997 for something like $900 or $1000. I rode it until 2021 when I upgraded to a kicker v5.
I feel like an idiot for riding it so long.
I bought a Snap in 2018…it was a POS. After 3 replacements I sold it.
Why? You got your money’s worth!!
Because, for me, the kickr/zwift was a gigantic leap in indoor/winter training effectiveness. It was an even bigger leap than when I went to the computrainer from rollers. Suffering all those years on a computrainer when I didn’t need to was idiotic.
Pretty solid business move here in my mind, we’re probably not the target audience for the deal as I’m sure it’s meant to get new users into their ecosystem. Price including hardware is cheaper than a peloton monthly subscription. Even if you want just the hardware it’s a deal…you’re getting a discount and a free year of their software essentially.
I actually am still rocking a Snap although looking to upgrade (interested to see prices for the core/Kickr). When I bought it (start of pandemic) I upgraded from a dumb-fluid trainer and at the time any wheel off trainer was $$$. Now, the wheel off Zwift is $100 more than this (H3 same price with discounts) so it clearly doesn’t make sense in today’s market. Wonder if they’re off-loading them as a result or simply giving them away to get people into their software with the hopes they’ll stick around and eventually step up through the trainer line.
I am that use case - wheel-on makes a lot more sense when you’re sharing it between people with incompatible set-ups. Otherwise I’d have to swap the cassette about four times a week…