BIG NEWS: Wahoo Acquires The Sufferfest

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You just posted this right before me!

Consolidation is starting up now. Garmin gets Tacx. Wahoo gets Sufferfest.

The b-skooler in me thinks that we are going to see less growth and innovation for the next year or so :frowning:

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Makes a ton of sense but aside from better integration, joint promotions and quicker rollouts which are all awesome, I’m not sure Wahoo has the capital right now to do anything bold with Sufferfest that Sufferfest would maybe have secret ambitions of doing - like a virtual Sufferlandria.

If it was Garmin buying SUF then I’d be thinking there’s a pool of cash to start hiring and do something really daring financially.

Shame because I’d love to see a virtual Sufferlandia. Zwift is next level brilliant, but the style of the platform is incredibly PC. I’d love something with more attitude.

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They are currently in their second round of PE funding. Clearly this type of acquisition is in preparation for some type of vertical integration or to gather enough of a user base to justify another round of funding.

So we should expect loud grinding and rumbling noises coming from the sufferfest app soon?

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What’s partly funny to me about this whole shift (combining hardware and software under the same roof) is that is it a return to the origins of the market.

It seems most of the trainer makers used to either offer or pair with a software offering, that was partly or fully integrated.

  1. Computrainer and RacerMate
  2. CycleOps and CycleOps Virtual Training (the origin of Rouvy)
  3. BKool and their app, which is still partly locked down for their stuff.
  4. Elite and their Real app.
  5. Tacx and their app.
  6. Kinetic and their Fit app.

Some of those were tied directly and only to their own devices. Others were more open and cross-platform capable. It seemed that Wahoo helped knock down that old profile when the Kickr came out as agnostic and capable to run with any app that was “open”.

I am hoping this re-consolidation doesn’t lead to restriction. I think the open market serves us all better to drive pricing and capabilities to be better. I doubt we will see the tight lanes of old, but I do worry that this could lead to some features or functions being restricted, in an effort to encourage people to pair devices and apps under one roof (to the benefit of the seller, of course).

Just some initial thoughts on this overall direction.

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@Nate - Will this effect the roll out of outdoor workouts to Wahoo head units?

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No more than they are likely already doing… but maybe branding and colors will merge into a WahooSufferfest of purple chevron badges :stuck_out_tongue:

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This makes me curious…
Has anyone ever tried to purchase/aquire TrainerRoad?

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Nothing I have seen publicly stated. But who knows what happens behind closed doors, as this type of move is usually kept exceptionally close to the vest until the official announcement.

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DCR take:

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We won’t ever know because this is a private company but I’m sure there have been offers. This platform is a pretty major competitor to other major training software out there and it is extremely well thought out.

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I know I’ll get shot down but I think TrainerRoad are ripe for an acquisition. They have done some great stuff recently. The calendar is really good. The analysis tools have some ok features but is very basic for data needs. But compared to their rivals I think they are losing ground. If you’ve been using the TR system… Base, build, speciality for a few years. The plans haven’t changed that much. The workout player is poor and lacks basic functionality such as being able to skip/repeat intervals with one click. No indication of what the next interval target will be. (although it does work without hiccup) Their workout creator is terrible and it’s still all based on %FTP when the better platforms are moving to individualisation. I love the guys, I love their ethos but they are going to get left behind without a significant transformation. Just my opinion and I know most won’t agree with me but I’m just saying what I think.

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Maybe I am not correct but to me TR and Zwift serve two different purposes. I pay for both but run Zwift in the background while I am doing a TR workout. I do a low volume plan most of the time and work in outside rides and Zwift group rides to increase my riding time. For some reason I don’t like the way Zwift does it workout mode unless it is a group workout which is quite engaging.

I have a wahoo snap and tickr which I have had no problems with but feel like they have lost there way a little with the most recent trainer problems and gimmick products (climb & headwind).

Great question - first thing I thought of

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  • That is totally true.

There is obvious overlap between the apps. They both have a workout mode, a library of workouts, a library of training plan, and a workout creator. That’s about the size of shared features.

  • Zwift heads into the 3D virtual world for free rides, group rides, group workouts and races.
  • The ZwiftCast interview with Zwift’s Jon Mayfield was telling in some ways about their direction.

  • TR adds a planning calendar, ability to import rides from outside, analysis tools, outside workout options, and more soon?
  • Comments from Nate about TR also give some hints about where TR is going (and not going).

Based on those bits, I think the two are still headed in more different directions than common ones in general. But there is no surprise to learn that Jon expects the workout side of Zwift to grow in the future.

  • TR is still hyper focused on the training aspect (with goals of improving the review and use of training data).
  • Zwift is looking to grow and be the one-stop-shop for most people (hits many features to suit a variety of needs).
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Just putting this out there right now…if Nate ever cashes out and leaves TR, then I’m out.

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At the end of the day, TR is still a tiny company. I come from a b-school background, and I generally agree with your take. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Nate sold the company soon. The stove clearly is red hot, and the team at TR has made tremendous strides as a startup in the past five years. I wouldn’t fault him at all for selling, and enjoying a nice century ride into the Maui sunset.

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  • I won’t say the same for sure, but I would watch the progress at TR close after any sale/acquisition. I love the people here and their mindset that leads to the direction of the product/service.
  • If that changed significantly (in a negative direction in my eyes), then I would consider a change to a different option depending on what would be out there at that time.

DCR hints strongly that we are likely to see some more news like this before the end of the year. That may or may not include TR and will be interesting to see where this all settles out.

Yep. I actually use TR to train for Zwift racing. The Sustained Power Build aligns awesome with the needs of a Zwift race.

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