What separated Wahoo Fitness from a number of its stationary trainer competitors was the lack of a in-house training platform. Wahoo Fitness, while a robust software company, wasn’t on par with Tacx, BKOOL, Kinetic, Saris (CycleOps), which all had training platforms. With the acquisition of The Sufferfest the Wahoo Fitness ecosystem now has its own structured training platform.
On the plus side, a user can buy a Wahoo Kickr and this popular brand now has the capacity to immediately market a structured training option. The Sufferfest app provides subscribers access to a comprehensive library of structured cycling and running workouts, and training plans, designed by Neal Henderson and other coaches of his caliber. Both The Sufferfest and Wahoo Fitness each have customers who will immediately become candidates for the sister brand's corresponding good or service.
On the flip side, Wahoo Fitness has always been the industry’s Switzerland precisely because it didn’t sell a training platform that competed with TrainerRoad, Zwift, Golden Cheetah and the rest. The release included a quote from Wahoo founder Chip Hawkins, who said, “Wahoo remains committed to the growth of the indoor training and fitness sectors and will continue to integrate and collaborate with as many leading software providers as possible.” Wahoo has always been among the most adept at forging great relationships with training and racing platforms, and this acquisition will require Wahoo to pay special attention to those relationships.
Wahoo said today that, “There are no planned changes in The Sufferfest business offering or structure as a result of this acquisition,” but that is the boilerplate statement for all acquisitions. The only constant is change. Multiplayer is where the action is these, so (for one example) were Tour of Sufferlandria morph into multiplayer (I have no evidence that it will) I for one would not consider change to be unwelcome.
David McQuillen, founder of The Sufferfest, said of the acquisition of his brand that the new arrangement will mean, "fantastic new concepts and training solutions for our customers." We shall await!