Wahoo Fitness wants your attention and, if you grant it, is prepared to deliver. This brand has punched above its weight in a slew of categories and has packaged its software into what it believes is a compelling offer: $14.99 per month for all its stationary training platforms. This suite of platforms bundled, with a common login, for that monthly subscription price is called Wahoo X.
Wahoo has already prevailed in the stationary hardware wars. The KICKR and KICKR BIKE own a better than 50 percent market preference among Slowtwitchers, a community already indoor-training crazy. Then there’s the KICKR ROLLR, on which I do all my stationary riding if I’m not on a smart bike. But this launch today, of Wahoo X, is all about what you do on that hardware.
Wahoo’s platforms are SYSTM – which started as Sufferfest – and RGT. SYSTM was the subject of a lot of augmentation to create a competitor worthy to take on TrainerRoad, the king of structured training. We’ve written a lot about these enhancements, which now consists of more than 750 workouts of length, breadth and type. RGT is the new kid on the block for Wahoo and Zwifters are their target customers. Let’s talk about Wahoo X’s value proposition.
SYSTM’s workouts, whether or not you’re under roof, are gauged and underpinned by 4DP® rather than FTP. This is its proprietary “Four-Dimensional Power®” model to more discretely test rider strength and index workout intervals to a rider’s limits for sprint (neuromuscular), attack (anerobic capacity), climb (maximal aerobic), and endurance (functional threshold) power. Cyclists in particular need a balance of all four performance metrics to stay in a group or pack. Therefore, SYSTM has a potential advantage for cyclists who want to train for well-rounded strengths.
Inside or Outside
One way to make the folks at Wahoo bristle is to limit Wahoo X to indoor training. SYSTM feels that it’s got TrainerRoad matched and perhaps bested in the outdoor workouts each platform offers. It is impossible to describe all the content without attaching many pictures or video clips. It feels like a living cycling and touring documentary where every workout is something new. This aspect of SYSTM is peerless.
Beyond this, SYSTM has features that are often overlooked, like Wahoo Virtual Speed. This solves a little problem that is annoying for most people who train in ERG mode – speed and distance are meaningless. This may seem minor until you train in ERG mode and then it’s not minor.
The problem with SYSTM is that it doesn’t offer group rides or races. Enter RGT, which Wahoo acquired in April. There is Zwift, which is the big one of course, and then there are Rouvy, Fulgaz and RGT. And others. But those platforms come to mind and RGT has been an early and muscular competitor to Zwift with its own cult following.
RGT is a riding and racing platform. Beyond the 13 real roads from around the world (e.g., Durango, CO, Paterberg, Belgium, Canary Wharf, UK, Dundon Scotland), RGT may offer more freedom to create the group experience you want than does Zwift. Let’s talk about what I think are some pretty interesting features.
RGT now has a native, embedded capacity for voice chat. Yes, that means you don’t need Discord. You can control who’s invited to chat. This ranges from conversations during social rides to a “race radio” feature that mimics what occurs in pro outdoor events.
Dunoon Crossover is a brand new MTB and gravel road based on a popular real road in Scotland. Dunoon Crossover offers singletrack and gravel road, and the resistance changes as road surface changes. Also, riders must time their passes just like in outdoor offroad and gravel racing.
I confess I haven’t tried this, and I just have to experience this to see how much this will integrate into my riding. Let’s say I build a route in RideWithGPS. I can upload that GPX file into RGT and ride that ride virtually in RGT’s immersive experience. This can be the subject of a solo or group event. I can make a race out of it. I could imagine triathletes using this to prep for upcoming events. It doesn’t match what Rouvy offers, which is the graphics to match the route, but that route has to be in Rouvy. With Magic Road any route can instantly be uploaded into RGT.
RGT is less restrictive than Zwift has been when it comes to allowing users to schedule their own races and rides. Zwift users have seen this as a pain point and Zwift has been trying to cure this. RGT just has taken the tack of giving users that freedom.
Finally, Wahoo X does have a free option. It’s feature-limited. A starter drug. On the other end, there’s Wahoo X’s all-in-one membership at $29.99/mo and this is for the person who has no smart trainer and wants to get going at an affordable price. What you get is a KICKR SNAP to get you up and running, along with 12 months of Wahoo X.
This will take you directly to Wahoo X if you want to learn more, or to sign up.