Last week Racermate announced it is shutting down Computrainer sales. The parent company, Racermate, and sales of the Velotron bicycle ergometer, will still keep going, as will its sister company Floscan. Just, the legendary Computrainer smart trainer was set to cease as a model.
There may be life in the old girl yet. Computrainer is set to announce a very compelling variation on the extended warranty. In consideration for $100 paid, and for a 3-year term from the date of payment, contract holders will be able to purchase any of the parts sold by Computrainer for half the listed price. Users will receive a code, according to Computrainer’s Chuck Wurster, Presumably typing in the code at checkout would reduce the cost by half.
The value to Computrainer is that the program would generate seed money with which Comptrainer would purchase parts in bulk. How many people might avail themselves of this program? Hard to say, but about 3000 returned faulty flywheels during a recall over the last 2 years, and that flywheel was last produced 9 years ago. Computrainer has been selling units steadily since then. The number of units in use now is certainly in the tens of thousands, especially when taking into consideration the good – or bad, for Computrainer – fact that this product is known for its hardiness and longevity. This program could keep the product limping along for quite a few years.
Since Computrainer would stock all the parts, what if someone simply wanted to buy a new Computrainer, that is, the sum of all the parts? Yes, conceivably they could. Does this mean the rumor of Computrainer’s death as a model may be exaggerated? What this program won’t do is ratchet back up development of future products or software, though Computrainer’s owner Chuck Wurster did say he’s got a wireless version most of the way through development and testing. He was circumspect about whether this program, were it wildly successful, might push the wireless development over the finish line.
It’s not simply end users who would be interested in the program. A number probably north of 1000 owners of fit bikes that use the Computrainer as the bike’s resistance unit, as well as the many Computrainer studios in existence, would also be candidates.
Computrainer seems to have made the decision to go forward with this program, but the work on the website to capture the money and archive users’ accounts has not yet been built out. The announcement that the site work has been completed, with the program ready for sale and open for business, should be forthcoming.