The Wahoo Kickr Run is not your low-end, $700 dollar treadmill. The only thing about this treadmill that is in the same ecosphere would be the red emergency stop cord – which isn't even available on every $700 treadmill.
This treadmill is large, bulky, and sturdy. It will take more than 2 people to move it and it will probably break your toe if you run into it. It's clearly built to last and it’s clearly not for the consumer that is looking to spend $1000 or less.
It’s been interesting to listen to some of the feedback from our community about “another $5,000” treadmill. “My treadmill cost me $700 and it works just fine.” I'm not here to argue with that. But I'm not going to “buy it” either.
I personally cringe when I hear about a $700 treadmill. And it has nothing with money. It has everything to do with the quality of that treadmill. I travel a lot for work. Over 1/3 of my year is spent on the road in hotels. There are two things that I look for when I'm traveling and picking a hotel. Number one, I don't really like wall mounted air conditioners in rooms. Number two, I always figure out what sort of gym equipment they have.
Gym equipment is important because I'm not sure when I will be able to get in a workout. It may be at 4am or it may be at 10pm. I'm not ever really sure. So while my favorite thing to do is go for a run and explore the city I am in, about half the time I find myself in some sort of hotel gym. That means I find myself on a treadmill.
And when I find myself in this situation, which is a good 60+ times a year, there is nothing worse at that moment than a treadmill that sucks! It’s like getting ready to go on a bike ride and finding out you have a flat and there’s no tubes or sealant to save you, or your electronic shifting is dead and you can't find your charger. It’s that crappy feeling you get when you step on the belt and you start to run and it’s already slipping or you are afraid you are going to wake up someone because it’s so loud. That’s it: your dreams of a run workout at that moment or during that stay are now over.
Now, if you have a treadmill that you paid $700 dollars for and you’re stoked on it, I am happy for you and please accept my pure joy for you in finding one that works. But this is not that sort of offering from Wahoo and it shouldn't be compared to it.
When you look at the features that Wahoo provides here and is trying to introduce to the marketplace, I don't want these things to be cheap, I want them to work. And for the most part, what I saw first hand is that they do just that. They work, and they work really well. I watched countless people walk, jog, run, and really run on the two treadmills they had in Boston. I watched all sorts of different runners, their form and their speed saw people sort of freak out (in a good way) at how responsive the new treadmill is. And that’s both manually and within Zwift creating a much more realistic running experience.
I tell our partners all the time. Triathlon is the hub for all endurance sports. If you want to launch a product in the endurance space, triathletes are the target market. Whether you like it or not, triathletes will give you all the necessary feedback you will need to be successful outside our little section of sport. So knowing that two companies – Wahoo and Zwift – that really understand triathletes working together on this project tells me they have a lot of time invested in the “What if’s.” It was also just good to see them working together again.
I, personally, didn't end up running a lot on the treadmill. I was only in-town for about 5 hours and I didn't want to take two slots and have someone that was a potential customer that wanted to run on it lose out. I did however take a 15 min slot to get on the treadmill a little and do some filming of it.
I'm a little disappointed that we have to wait so long to even order this – the beginning of summer is an odd time to get a new treadmill. But I appreciate Wahoo’s reasoning on generating buzz and seeing what initial interest will be. Now the company will know how to pivot into mass production and when to start ramping up – which they claim they can do very quickly.