Zwift Secures $120m Investment - What does it all mean Basil?

This is a pretty amazing development for the indoor training industry, but what does it mean for the future?

@Nate … earmufffs.

Is TrainerRoad next? I can see plenty of positive developments from additional R&D budgets, but will those investors demand profits at the expense of our pure-bred training plans? All the data they’ve been accumulating is execptionally valuable. How will it be monitized?

Full disclosure, I am all for the TR team making lots of money for their amazing product. It’s just fun to speculate the future of this business if valuations are truly in the 100’s of millions.

What does your crystal ball see?

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Specialized buys them out. @Nate wants a tarmac to go with his veng.

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I think we need to see the competitive stuff separate from the training stuff. The investment is fueled because e-sports is getting huge, there’s a ton of money in that (apparently). I’m 38 so I grew up in the video game age but the popularity of people watching other people gaming is oddly fascinating, and I know there’s stuff like overwatch, fortnite that have become organized in this competitive e-sport realm. In looking at the zwift investors, one part of it is a group led by Boston Celtics ownership and I know just from hearing stuff locally that Boston area sports team owners are getting in on the e-sports craze. So it makes sense that there’s a natural market to make zwift (or any bike racing platform) into something more “legit” and monetized.

Anyhow, a lot of rambling without a really clear thought, but my uninformed hunch is that strictly training platforms like TR won’t be getting this kind of cash. Gaming is really hot, if it can get kids into cycling , even virtually, I think it can be a good thing

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Meh. Apples and oranges.

As a business owner myself, the suggestion I’d offer the TR team is this: “run your own race

The cycling world is more than large enough for all the existing players, and more to enter the space on a regular basis. Being the biggest doesn’t always equate to being the best. Zwift and Strava are perfect examples. They might have huge user counts, but they probably have insane churn rates compared to TrainerRoad.

TrainerRoad has a very specific value proposition and brand. Let the other players do their thing, but keep your core values, core mission, and core competencies . Everything else is just noise.

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They must have plans beyond cycling.

There is not a cat in hell’s chance that thousands of geeky gaming kids are suddenly going to start racing around watopia for real.

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They already have running. Rowing has been tested. They apparently have some golf stuff, and who knows what else?

Zwift is aiming to be the big dawg in the space and cover all of the bases, as far as I can see.

e-sports is certainly where they are going to pile a bunch of this. They have already indicated as much in past press releases and discussions. Developing a formal racing series along with the required things so that they can cut down on people cheating so that they can see about luring conti-pro and potentially higher level pros to race online and further build the brand.

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@Nate Where are the TrainerRoad shares to invest in the business. I’m a believer, convert and fully vested. I already have an annual membership. I can’t give referrals because all my cycling friends I race against. Sooo… I’m kinda stuck, I can’t help grow TrainerRoad :confused:

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…including data analysis, merchandising, e-racing series rights owner, marketing, advertising, etc. They’re going for it all which is a good thing because it will grow the industry. TR is a niche product, no reason to chase Zwift, I think most will think like us and see real value in TR’s product, especially since Zwift is trying to rationalize a price increase at every turn. So if Zwift pull people into indoor riding hopefully there will be a follow on effect for TR subscriptions.

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Unless they obtained a huge stake in Zwift this seems overvalued to me. Who actually wants to watch Zwift racing, its more boring than road racing which is a pretty boring sport to watch for the general public to begin with.

Also, the barrier to entry is very high compared to video game esports, so you wont have a huge base of die hard 13 year old Zwifters watching the races.

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As a gamer of e-sports since I was a kid, Zwift is among the most boring games I’ve ever seen. If I had to make the choice, I’d rather just look at my power numbers than goof around in Zwift.
Neither do I see how Zwift could ever get rid of cheating, and as long as cheating is possible, any competing is totally pointless. Playing Zwift locally to avoid cheating? If you’re meeting up, you might as well do the real thing (higher resolution, better road feel, stronger fans and so on).

Just give me Trainerroad and podcasts/Netflix. When I feel like gaming, I’ll play a real quality game.

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I am a huge fan of Zwift. The opportunities are endless. The racing I find is both great fun to do and watch. It’s different from gaming in that you know that there’s someone actually riding a bike powering the avatar on the screen. The efforts required are no less intense than racing on the road. Indeed my highest 90 minute power on Zwift was greater than that of the hardest road race I did last year!!

There’s a different skill set required to race on Zwift. You have to be both really strong on the bike and understand how to play the game well. You regularly see pro-riders turning up to races and getting dropped!!! The guys winning the big Zwift races have massive 1 and 5 minute power.

Yep, there’s always going to be the cheats. But the majority of strong riders are for real. All the live events have proper weigh-ins, and for the people that are putting in unreal or elite level efforts there’s CEVA Z. They need to provide real life data to back up their Zwift performances.

As for results - I ignore the Zwift results and only look at the Zwiftpower results. Most folk that are serious about Zwift racing only use Zwiftpower for results.

The new meet-up function is superb. Only this week I organised a “club run” on Monday night. We usually have a development/recovery run on Monday nights, and we are now able to have the same thing on Zwift now, and safely maintain the social aspect of our real life club.

There’s a lot a neagtivity on this forum toward Zwift, and it’s almost seen as an inferior platform or those using Zwift aren’t serious about training. It’s almost got the the point that I’ve considered pulling the plug on my TR subscription.

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I think that’s a bit ridulous tbh. I doubt if you went to the zwift forums talking up TR you’d probably get a similarly negative reaction.

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I’m not sure that you would to be honest. It’s simply an opinion I’ve formed based spending time on this forum.

I tried to sideload zwift for WW DIsaster Day, but couldn’t get it to work on my android. I’ve been looking to try it, but it’s been in beta in android for months at this stage, and limited beta too (my phone at least should work, if it was available).

The minimum specs for PC are way above what I currently have. While I’d like to try it, I’m not getting involved with apple TV’s, PC Upgrades etc to give it a go. This I think is a big selling point for TR, and one I always point out.

After that, I see plenty in my club training on zwift, but the people I’ve seen apparently racing don’t really seem to stick with it.

I’m one of the negative ones but I wouldn’t say it’s inferior or non-serious - it’s just very different from TR or other power based training plans. To most people I know, including club mates, I recommend Zwift. In my view, TR doesn’t even compete with Zwift, why it also for many people makes sense to subscribe to both.

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They’ll need to spend that full investment upgrading the graphics to something that doesn’t look like it was developed in 2003. :wink:

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I do my Zwifting on a Surface pro 4. I’ve play a lot of games via steam, things like Elite Dangerous and The Witness. I’d say the graphics are on a par with the Witness from 2016, to say they are on a par with 2003 is another example of the negativity Zwift gets. I’m continually impressed by the road surface, especially times when the moon reflects within it. I’ve looked at other platforms, bkool and grand tours and think they still have a long way to go to achieve the same fluid game play of Zwift.,

If I wanted photo realistic graphics I’d run DVDs or cycle outdoors. Watopia has enough detail and depth to be very immersive, New York trees and leafs feel real, IMO the graphics are up to the job and are very good. I don’t want to have to run a dedicated gaming PC to run Zwift, the fact apple TV has enough processing power to look impressive has shown they do invest in getting the best experience for your buck.

Zwift is used seriously for training by many and to say otherwise does your fellow cyclist a disservice. Its what got me into cycling workouts. Visually seeing how many others are out there training is very motivating. I just found the plans and workouts limiting and want something more serious and structured.

Some of us feel, I believe, that we get the best of both worlds, running TR within Zwift.

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I’ve actually found the opposite tbh. When I started on this forum I expected it to be really tribal with regards to TR vs Zwift, but I’ve been surprised how positive most folks are about Zwift on here.

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How many wink smilies does it take these days to signify that the comment is flippant?

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