Wahoo Launching KICKR Run Reservations

“I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” was the golden phrase Wimpy used to say to Popeye.

Today, from Wahoo, it’s “please pay us today for a treadmill in the fall.” And to be honest, I don't mind it.

Why am I starting this article, announcing the WAHOO KICKR RUN reservation launch, this way? Simple – I'm trying to call out the elephant in the room and politely remove it.

I never really understood Kickstarter until more recently, and when I say recently, I mean the last couple of years. Over the last decade or so, we as a society have been trained to “BUY NOW, GET IT RIGHT NOW, AND PAY LATER.” Everything is NOW NOW NOW. We get our packages overnighted on the daily and we almost always have the ability to finance almost anything we buy.

Does that serve us? Does that serve the manufacturer? Or does it cause a future problem that we push off for the time being. Who really wins?

Kickstarter (to me) started to bring the relationship from customer, bank or (financial partner) and product manufacturer down from 3 parties to 2 parties. In my opinion It was a way for companies to showcase a safer approach to market demand, which, in a way, decreased risk and shifted focus on deliverables instead of variables.

And Wahoo seems to be taking the same approach.

Starting tomorrow at 8am ET, those that have signed up for early access (you can still sign up for that early access here) will have the ability to put their money where their month is and secure some of the first Wahoo KICKR RUN treadmills that will be delivered via “White Glove Service.” On May 2nd, the public will be able to do the same.

How much? It’s a $500 USD fully refundable deposit.

What does that give you? It secures your spot in-line (duh).

Why would WAHOO want to do this? In my opinion, it’s simple – they want to make sure they can build the right amount of treadmills. They want to make sure that they do their best to be financially responsible. They are a business and they are acting like they should. And in a time where our industry is seeing liquidation and consolidation, it’s a smart approach.

It’s not all perfect. The launch time frame seemed odd to me. At first I really didn't like it. Why would you launch this as we are starting to slowly come out of the dark age of Northern Hemisphere Winter? It seemed sort of silly to me. Do people really use treadmills often when they have the opportunity to run outside? How many can they really sell? Will the endurance athlete that now rides on ZWIFT 99% of the time start to do the same with running? When I was first told about this product, months before the announcement, I was firing off questions left and right.

But the more I have listened and thought about it, this is not only smart for WAHOO but also the consumer and industry. The questions above are all questions that no one really knows just yet. But they can be answered when asked and honestly answered by consumers. And I think that is what WAHOO is doing here, and I admire that.

What is a way to get someone to honestly answer whether your product is wanted? Have them put their money where their mouth is.

If you missed the launch announcement on the KICKR RUN, you can find that here. Or watch our video below.

Want to reserve your KICKR Run? (I’m going to be taking one for a spin).