Opinion: New STRYD Live Pricing – and a bit on Zwift

The release of a power-free STRYD, called STRYD Live (effectively STRYD Light) intentionally coincided with the announcement from Zwift that their running platform is open for free access throughout 2018.

STRYD Live Zwift


The Zwift Run announcement leads nicely into the $100 STRYD Live footpod. DCR says the price should be c$50 (which is coincidentally the price of the GARMIN footpod). Maybe he is right for the price that people will pay to use a footpod for Zwift Run at a GYM and maybe he is right for the medium-term view as to where prices will end up if and when there is more competition.

Personally I don’t think that there will be a huge market for people buying footpods for power-free gym/treadmill use.Sure there is a MASSIVE market for runners. Just not for treadmill runners who want to gamify their experience, I would contend.

Readers of this blog who have expressed their opinions and people I know will for sure spend $100 on STRYD Live but only as it is a calibration-free, super-accurate source of distance and live pace for outdoor use over BLE and ANT+. they don’t wnat to play a game they want to incrase the precision of the training. And that includes 17 minute 5k runners as well as 25 minute 5k runners.

Sure they’d like a cheaper one, we’d all like cheaper stuff, but many of you balked at $200 if you had zero interest in running power. I’d say ‘Fair Enough’. Of course, many also did NOT balk at $200 for STRYD just for non-power use. I’d include myself in the crowd that initially started using STRYD just for accurate pace.

The truth is that there will be a spectrum of prices that people are willing to pay. That’s true in many walks of business life and one of the tasks of business people is to devise strategies that suit issues from across their whole business that maximise profit whilst taking into account customer behaviour.

Personally I would guess that the sweetspot price is somewhere between $80-$100. That seems like a price that people are prepared to pay for ‘useful stuff’. Useful stuff might include the new Wahoo Tickr Fit, for example. Advocates for cheaper prices could then say “bike sensors are cheaper than that”. Indeed so, but not cheaper by much and the degree of accuracy and hence true usefulness is not so hard to achieve with a bike sensor and that would be why ‘anyone could make one’ (well…almost, hopefully you get the thrust of the point).

Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices typically $/£/Eu25 and UNlikely to fall.

Arguments for like-for-like pricing of STRYD Live to MilestonePod and Garmin pods are flawed as the latter two need: calibration at different paces; and don’t currently offer joint BLE/ANT+ compatibility. Furthermore the displayed pace stability of STRYD is just simply better than the MilestonePOD and Garmin’s pods. Sure you can eventually calibrate a Garmin pod to match your treadmill’s pace but: is the treadmill pace right (probably not); if you change pace, will either the treadmill or the footpod still be ‘right’ (probably not); STRYD ‘just works’ in these scenarios…an extra $50 is worth how much of your time calibrating and faffing around?

Note: In the UK the price of the MilestonePOD was around £20 but has increased to around £30 as everyone realised what a great deal it was for those wanting reasonably accurate pace over BLE. Prices can go UP as well as DOWN.

And, yes, I have quite happily used Garmin’d pod for races in years gone by. And, yes, it was annoying that I used to configure it for ‘race pace’ before each race. Just sayin’.

Penny/Dime for your thoughts?



Moving on to Zwift. Here’s my argument as to why it is no big thing and then I shall sweetly end by saying why I’m wrong 🙂

Zwift for cycling is obviously a great fit and will grow and do well. It should become a nicely profitable business. Extending the platform to running clearly must be more straightforward (cheaper/quicker) than creating an online running platform from scratch.

New functions such as custom workouts, group workouts, pacing features and run specific routes are just a few things that will be coming out in the period leading up to summer 2018.

Whilst there are way-more runners than cyclists, I am not so convinced that this will translate into Zwift run subscriptions en masse. That would be for several reasons including: treadmills are more expensive and larger than bike trainers; I would imagine that the penetration of treadmills to the domestic/home market is relatively low; runners are less likely to spend money on tech than cyclists; treadmills and running pods each have their own inaccuracies, compounded when used together; and people often run OUTdoors in much lower temperatures than those who cycle. ie treadmills are not needed as much as bike trainers are needed in lower temperatures.

In my personal experience, I know few UK triathletes who have a home treadmill. And that includes some good & wealthy athletes. Those that use treadmills, on occasion, all use the gym treadmill. Indeed many of them have a ‘favourite’ treadmill at the gym whose calibration is known.

Don’t get me wrong there IS a place for ZWIFT RUN…I’m just not convinced it’s a big place outside of the formal gym setting.

According to Zwift, triathletes make up approx. 22 percent of their cycling membership base – which now totals over 250,000. For easy maths, let’s say that represents a generous 50,000 triathlete Zwift-bike users. I reckon that only a generous 1 in 5 will use Zwift for running. So that makes 10,000 triathletes who will use Zwift run. Then add in a few thousand pure runners and gym members who use also Zwift run. Let’s say another 10,000.

That’s a maximum total of 20,000 Zwift run users @$15pcm or $3.5m pa, in my opinion. Although, in reality, I would expect that the actual subscription rate per annum will be lower than $15 for triathletes who would buy a joint subscription for say $20? $25pm?…that level of pricing is starting to get quite expensive.

Actually $3.5m is not too bad when you count the $$$s. Even if the reality of needing to charge lower prices for Zwift run and/or Zwift bike+run make the amount lower and Zwift get $1m pa I guess that will cover the dedicated run component of R&D and platform costs.


So what do  you think?

When do you expect to see $10 accurate footpods? and when will Zwift Running take over the world?

You’re a shy lot. So do these anonymous polls 😉


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15 thoughts on “Opinion: New STRYD Live Pricing – and a bit on Zwift

  1. Stryd live pricing: I find it way to expensive. Around 40-50 ($|EUR) I would find okay.

    Treadmill: A good/solid treadmill is (unfortunately) very expensive – around 3000-4000 (EUR). And they are noisy. But nowadays I would tend buy one, as being outdoors can be difficult and risky. Heavy guys/sweaters (eg. Sanders) can really benefit from structured indoor training.

    1. Eu4000 for a treadmill that is GOOD. but you’d only pay $50 for a garmin footpod that is less good than the treadmill (i guess those treadmills broadcast pace in any case)

    1. Surely you’d would buy a footpod for either accuracy or gaming (Zwift). Perhaps historically you would have bought one to deliver cadence but that is now available from wrist movements for many watches

  2. I love Zwift for biking and have enjoyed it for running. But if running isn’t included in the bike price, there is no way I’d pay for it. The experience between the two just don’t compare. Zwift running is at best like using a dumb trainer with ZPower on the bike. I’d say it’s even worse since it wouldn’t take into consideration the treadmill grade*. Without a “smart” and accurate treadmill, I just don’t see how the competitive, or even social, aspects of Zwift bike can translate to running. And I believe you’ve pointed out that you’re never going to have a “smart” treadmill in a gym because of the liability.

    *I wonder if Stryd or RS+ could somehow detect the grade with their myriad of sensors and the path of the foot during the foot strike period.

    Also really hoping RS+ can achieve at least the accuracy of Stryd for pace. I’ve shelved mine for now since I have found they aren’t useful for pace or distance without the promised new f/w. No amount of “calibration” seems to help.

  3. What concerns me is that you don’t fully disclose your relationship with stryd. You went to great lengths to berate DC when you own poll suggest in 13% if the people would pay $100 for a footpod only. The constant attacks on garmin and MilestonePod are getting old. The differences for the vast majority of runners is negligible.
    Not to mention accurate instant is virtually meaningless. Newsflash – people are robot and have variations on pace even with the best measurements.

    1. First up I did not (or hope i did not) berate DCR. He’s probably a nice guy and has great things to say. He is often right. But I wasn’t aware that I was forced to agree with everything he says.
      On to your material points:
      1. My own poll: Yes when the results are in I may well choose to comment on that. So far the results show entirely what I suspected. Ie that there are a segment of users willing to pay a higher price ie broadly the current price. Will it sell more at a lower price?…probably: economics 101.
      2. Garmin – Yes I say what I think about them too much. For example this post on why the 935 is the best tri watch ever https://the5krunner.com/2017/11/23/garmin-935-review-best-tri-watch/. Cruel words indeed.
      3. MilestonePod – ?? I don’t think I’ve ever said anything especially negative about them?? I could be wrong? I use one from time to time.
      4. Differences in accuracy – yes I agree the differences in accuracy for the vast majority of runners are negligible. But there are market segments where accuracy is important for athletes. I try to make that point, maybe I could make it better. ACCURACY: DCR rightly makes a big play on the accuracy of POWER METERS for cyclists…it’s EXACTLY the same thing for running pace on the flat. So I could ask you why you have not queried DCR about his continual output of content on the accuracy of power meters as ‘negligible’.
      5. I absolutely *DO* disclose my relationship with STRYD on all the reviews and content I write that contains ‘buying points’, my relationship is very clearly explained. Do I make mistakes and omissions? Sure I do. I have a real job as well as well and not much time. I am always happy to consider changing my mistakes.
      You will now say that I should disclose my relationship with vendors for every COMMENT I make somewhere else on other BLOGS. Fair enough.
      **However I should point out to you that dcr has made well over 20 comments on this blog. In NONE of them has he EVER disclosed ANY of his vendor relationships. EVER. Check the evidence.**
      My point for you to respond to: So please address why he should NOT make full disclosure everywhere all the time but I should. Why do you hold me to a higher standard than him?
      Of course I would NOT expect DCR to make such disclosures and **he has done absolutely the right thing** when he comments on this blog including when he has been critical of what I WROTE.
      In response you may well then cite DCR’s ‘independence’. Fair enough. I will then invite you to **google what the word actually means**. DCR’s awesome and successful business model, in part, is HIGHLY dependent on privileged access to info and pre-release kit from vendors eg Garmin. Let’s take Garmin example: I have ABSOLUTELY ZERO relationship with Garmin, other than as a consumer like you so, on that basis, my thoughts on Garmin are vastly more independent than DCR’s. Just sayin’. Of course my thoughts might be wrong.
      **So now let’s turn to you**. Have you ever bought from DCR via CT and supported his site? or entered into one of his competitions? Likely you have (apologies if not). So why have YOU not disclosed your links as a DCR supporter before making your points here?
      Just a thought. PS I don’t expect you to!
      Just to be clear – I think DCR’s blog is awesome and I have ABSOLUTELY ZERO issues with him or the way he operates.
      All I’m doing, at times, is to provide an alternative viewpoint so that our intelligent readers can make up their own minds rather than being spoon-fed one set of opinions.

      1. Good thing there are multiple opinions out there… everybody has favorites and it is normal which is why we all go to multiple sites / blogs etc. I find both DCR and 5k very fair in their reviews and opinions in general. As to pricing discussions – in the end they are right to go high first and they can always go down later. They have the superior product by any body’s assessment apparently, they can test how much people are willing to pay for that.

      2. thank you.i certainly try to be fair in my opinions and reviews.
        I even try to be ‘right’ but I’m sure I am fallable.
        i’ll make the point again that I made to OOG…I don’t want to replicate DCR’s opinions. What is the point in that? Plus he’s not alwyas right either. If I see an alernate argument/viewpoint I will make it. And sometimes repeat it.
        Tech buyers and aficionados tend to be a clever lot on the whole. Very many of them have been burnt by misinformation and misleading ads in years gone by. I think bloggers in general (and I mean wider than DCR and me) are generally honest. I think the real current danger is in the mass media tech sites who produce reviews that are often rubbish and often wrong, and they are simply click-bait as their revenue is almost entirely advertising driven.

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