new Wahoo For January 2024 – what to expect?

Wahoo: What’s New For January 2024? ie very very very soon

Wahoo’s CEO, Chip Hawkins, recently interviewed with the dcrainmaker Youtube channel and right towards the end of the video (link), the talk turned to a new product for January 2024. This is a speculative post about what that could be. I’ll give my ideas (and I really have no intel) and if you all add comments with your ideas we might be able to deduce what it is by consensus. Or not. Probably not 😉

From the video:

Hawkins: “it’s coming 0ut in January, so wont have to wait too long”

Hawkins: “hopefully game-changing”

dcrainmaker: “last time i visited here a decade ago you were working on it,” and then added “i would agree” in relation to its game changing nature

Context

Generally speaking, Wahoo is now debt-free, so there could have been a significant investment in this product over the last few months to get it to market.

Wahoo’s focus is on products that support triathlon and indoor cycling ranging from bike pods, to training desks to state-of-the-art indoor bikes. From the interview, we can assume that this new product has some degree of technical difficulty (rather than it being a desk gen 2) and we can also assume it will be targeted at the same consumer base and sports.

Wahoo tends to reimagine existing product categories with novel replacement products or accessories. Whether or not you like its products KICKR Steer (I don’t) or KICKR ROLLR (I do), you have to admit in each case they are novel.

Suggestions and Rebuttals

  • Wahoo Elemnt Rival Gen 2 – This is NOT happening. Wahoo is not progressing with more watches in the short to medium-term
  • Wahoo Elemnt Bolt/Roam next-gen – these are almost certainly going to happen but I don’t think this new product for January is a new head unit
  • Yet another novel indoor trainer – nope. They would be released before the Christmas holidays and we’ve just had Kickr Move in any case.
  • A stryd competitor – I doubt it. I believe Stryd has primary patents for running power footpods. In any case, it would seem unlikely to create a new product category as an accessory for a non-strategic product (Rival)
  • Wahoo RADR – a Garmin-like Varia Radar taillight. I think this is worth exploring. Standards exist for this and its a growing and popular accessory sub-segment. Competitors are only just starting to enter the market and include Bryton, Magene and other lesser-known brands. Presumably, the technical components that all the brands use for RADAR are now produced in volume, are reliable and are readily available. RADAR can be shortened to RADR so nicely fits in with Wahoo’s off-beat product naming convention 😉 So RADR looks like a good bet. However, it would hardly meet the game-changing moniker given by both Hawkins and dcrainmaker. For that reason, a RADAR cannot be the new product. That said, Wahoo often has quite innovative takes on existing products and we could be talking about that, so if Wahoo were to release RADR as a mesh-RADAR network where all our RADR’s worked together during a group ride then that would fit the bill as a ‘game-changer’…of sorts. I reckon that’s it.
  • Bike Power Meter – Don’t forget that Wahoo already makes the excellent Speedplay POWRLINK Zero power meter pedals. However, the cleats are neither Shimano nor Look compatible so few people buy them despite the system being loved by many high-level pros and bike fitters. I reckon there is an outside bet that Wahoo has made a Shimano-compatible pedal power meter in some clever way (nah!). Perhaps more likely would be a novel way of easily adding a power meter to an existing crankset. That’s hard to do from an engineering perspective but if they’ve been working on it for 10 years, then maybe. Just maybe. But then…why buy Speedplay in the first place?
  • Indoor training Rocker plate – again this is a possibility to add to lower-end trainers. Remember this feature is effectively already included in KICKR MOVE. It would certainly be a product that Wahoo could have realistically thought themselves capable of delivering at the company’s stage of development 10 years ago.
  • Heart rate monitors – nope I don’t think so, not even a novel one. Wahoo already has these. Sure they could be improved but that’s hardly revolutionary
  • A Recovery/Sleep tool for triathletes – maybe. Perhaps something like EMFIT QS wouldn’t be too difficult to improve on for nightly HRV/recovery data capture, although Eight Sleep already has done that very well.
  • A fancy novel sensor eg for Lactate – nope. Wahoo wouldn’t be able to do that, it doesn’t have the R&D skillset.
  • Indoor training software – the new product is unlikely to be here as Wahoo is cutting back on peripheral indoor training services, including those it recently bought.
  • A super-connectivity product – Perhaps something like NPE WASP or NPE WYUR but on a more all-encompassing scale. A product that links all your sensors, TVs, WiFi connections, LAN connections, and then rebroadcasts anything and everything, anywhere (all at once). They could even make a film out of that one 😉 and certainly could have conceived of the concept of it 10 years ago in a way that it could adapt to new standards as they subsequently emerged.
  • Vision-related HUD for cycling – nope. Too complicated.
  • Perhaps some other novel handlebar display unit that complements your main head unit ie a secondary display that only has one page with your key metrics and you leave the other metrics for your main head unit – or you could press the PAGE/SCREEN button, which would be cheaper 😉
  • 3rd party app store – IDK. I guess Wahoo must be thinking of something in this area regardless of what is released in January. All the main players need this. But would Wahoo have thought of that 10 years ago? Maybe?????
  • 3rd party support – I think Wahoo have implemented support for GreenTEG Core, the SmO2 ANT+ profile and  Supersapiens in a reasonable enough way. Perhaps ubiquitous sensor support could be somehow standardised and the platform made more open for novel next-gen sensor integration. Again, 10 years ago, were there ANY novel sensors? Probably not IIRC, so maybe Wahoo wouldn’t have considered this option over that timeframe.
  • A swim trainer like the VASA ERG or Zen8? I guess the humble Concept II rower is generic enough for Wahoo to modify with but Vasa has already done that. Again, not a game changer.

PS: There are no trademark, patent or FCC hints when I briefly checked.

Wahoo KICKR RUN | smart treadmill | opinion

Take Out

OK, you’ve rumbled me. I’ve got no idea. Edit it’s a smart treadmill – Wahoo KICKR RUN

I like the idea of Group Radar, ‘something to do with digitised swimming’ or some kind of mass/generic/future-proofed connectivity solution. I thought Garmin would have done that by now.

Any thoughts? Get them in quick as it could be announced this Wednesday! (or not)

Wahoo KICKR RUN | smart treadmill | opinion

 

 

Reader-Powered Content

This content is not sponsored. It’s mostly me behind the labour of love which is this site and I appreciate everyone who follows, subscribes or Buys Me A Coffee ❤️ Alternatively please buy the reviewed product from my partners. Thank you! FTC: Affiliate Disclosure: Links pay commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

18 thoughts on “new Wahoo For January 2024 – what to expect?

  1. I’d say a treadmill, because it fits Wahoo “mechanical” competencies, and i believe there’s probably room for this to be game changing amongst the treadmill market, something that might require 10 years of working on it… But…I’m not buying it as I feel it’s a bit too much of a niche product.
    I’m almost certain it will be a “mechanical” unit (as is a trainer or the Climb for instance) rather than a pure electronics thing (watch, whoop).

    One thing is for sure: Chip Hawkins knows how to create some buzz.

    1. I really like the treadmill-related idea. I guess it would either have to be like RUNN or a complete treadmill, neither are game changers. how about a smart version of one of those slatted banana shaped treadmills?

  2. Deep Apple Watch integration with the Wahoo eco system? They talked about Apple Watch when the original watch was released almost 10 years ago. When +200 million users find out that the Apple Watch is not a good bike computer, and having a 1000€ phone stripped to the handle bar is not a good solution either, there is a good opportunity to sell some Roam/Bolts.

    Remember that Wahoo more or less started with Apple/iPhone accessories (ANT+ adapter, RFLKT, Bluetooth HRM) and clearly it worked. And yes, I started with Bluetooth HRM for my iPhone and the Wahoo fitness app, went further with the RFLKT…and now I have KickR, Climb, Bolt, Wind, Steer (not so useful anymore), and bunch of Wahoo sensors (really loved the RGT, but left Wahoo X after the demise of RGT, never liked the SysteM/Sufferfest – felt like a mess).

    But I like the treadmill idea, there is room for innovations there. And a Wahoo lactate sensor would also be great, but I also think that would be far-reaching.

  3. A hoverbike! A mechanical hover bike. Fall under 25km/h average and you crash! Haha.

    Maybe a home swim ergometer? But how big can the market for that be? But it would fit their triathlon and niche MO.

  4. Wahoo Treadmill, they did dabble with this very early on. Just google Wahoo Treadmill and you can easily see their early projects. Which would tie in with the Chip Hawkins statement….(eg it’s been worked on for a long time) and tie this in with their new collaboration with Zwift. I just can’t see it being anything else. However they do really need a radar light….like 4 years ago…!!!

    1. i’d forgotten about GymConnect
      i only briefly google Wahoo Treadmill and didn’t find anything???

      I like your logic! This has to be my favourite option so far. but yes they do need a radar light!

    2. Definitely seconding here, as my previous comment attests 😀
      It has the « mechanical » aspect of wahoo products, it’s something that can easily require a decade worth of working and prototyping, and the market seems ready – I’m totally unable to give an estimate of treadmill users but looks like there are way more than I thought. Or maybe that’s my triathlon focus those last years that biases my judgement, versus my trail running background. But many triathletes are shown running indoors…many wahoo sponsored athletes…is it a long term strategy to build the indoor running image in people’s subconscient ?
      The5k, do you have any sales numbers for treadmills?
      Or a rowing machine. Oh YES ! A rowing machine !
      (Nope, too far from wahoos core sports…but could be cool. ROWR. Roar. Grahou in French

      1. Generally, I would say that the running market is bigger than triathlon, cycling and swimming combined.

        But Wahoo does not have the essential recording device for running. Aka a sport watch.
        Try recommend the 4 year old Rival to relatives and colleagues and see how the wrinkle their noses.

        So what will they do? Team up with Garmin?!? Deep integration with Apple would make sense but what about the non fruit crowd?

      2. hi
        ty for the comments
        no, i have no numbers on that sy.
        anecdotally too from my experience, there are many more people who train indoors that I think. even in the UK there are MANY riders who might, say, do their weekday sessions at home in their flat and onyl venture on the road at weekend (if the weather is nice)
        similarly it depends on when you live. if you lived in the south of france you might imagine that everyone is out on the road/trails. In Canada…less so!

      3. Yep for rides, I’m pretty sure that the market is huge.
        But for running…this sports is far less impaired by weather than riding, IMO, and a treadmill is quite demanding from a space point of view.
        We’ll see, we’re already half january 😉

  5. The treadmill experience is overdue for a reimagining and enhancement a la Peloton and/or Zwift. Would love to see something in that space.

    Coming 1/30…

    The Wahoo TRED

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

wp_footer()