Wahoo acquires RGT Cycling, putting the hardware brand in competition with Zwift
Wahoo adds to its indoor training portfolio while trimming its workforce by 20 percent.
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Wahoo announced Tuesday the acquisition of RGT cycling, the virtual racing platform that hosted the 2022 USA Cycling national esports cycling championships.
The rebranded virtual cycling environment is now Wahoo RGT, which has been added to Wahoo’s indoor training toolset, SYSTM. The Wahoo training suite is now branded as Wahoo X, and includes the Wahoo ELEMNT companion app, Wahoo fitness app, and wahoofitness.com.
Also read: RGT vs Zwift: A fluid mechanics professor (and Cat. 1 racer) compares the two
With the addition of a virtual racing platform to existing indoor cycling training software and hardware products, Wahoo looks to be taking on Zwift for indoor cycling.
“The acquisition of RGT Cycling and the launch of the new Wahoo X subscription service gives athletes more options, more convenience, and more control over how they train,” Wahoo CEO Mike Saturnia told BRAIN. “With a single subscription and one account that works across the entire suite of Wahoo products, we’re able to deliver unprecedented value and a best-in-class experience that seamlessly integrates the Wahoo ecosystem of hardware and software solutions, allowing athletes to get the most out of their training, whether indoors or outdoors.”
The monthly subscription to Wahoo X including Wahoo RGT, is $15, which the same as Zwift’s monthly fee. An annual subscription to Wahoo X drops the price to $10.75 a month.
Also read: RGT Cycling’s James Vickers on virtual cycling experience
The Atlanta, Georgia-based Wahoo recently laid off several dozen employees, and trimmed its workforce by 20 percent, according to the BRAIN report.
“Last week strategic changes were made to support the growth and development of Wahoo,” a Wahoo spokesperson told BRAIN. “We didn’t take these decisions lightly, but we made them to ensure Wahoo can maintain focus on new innovative products and services. The needs of athletes are evolving and our areas of emphasis need to do the same. We greatly value the contributions of our talented colleagues and are committed to supporting impacted team members in their transitions.”
Wahoo launched the SYSTM indoor training platform in late September 2021. SYSTM incorporated the well-known Sufferfest training program into a suite of immersive training tools.
The brand also continued its hardware development, launching the Speedplay PowrLink power meter pedals, and the Kickr Rollr earlier this spring.
For its part, Zwift has expanded its involvement in cycling, not only creating the most widely adopted indoor cycling environment but also signing on as presenting sponsor of the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift.
Zwift is widely believed to be working on its own hardware — smart bikes and smart trainers — which if launched would compete directly with Wahoo products, which now are quite popular for use with Zwift.
Zwift had been developing in-house hardware for several years and has even sent out user surveys, complete with drawings and conceptualizations — “often display a mix of real and hypothetical options” — of what Zwift-branded hardware could look like. At this time, however, Zwift would not provide details.
“I can’t reveal specific product information or release dates but we will be sharing more information later this year,” said Zwift public relations director Chris Snook. “Regarding the status of where we are with hardware: There’s not much more that I can elaborate on until launch except to say that we are on track with plans.
“We have been developing Zwift hardware in-house for a number of years. We’re excited to share more about the design and engineering story at the time of launch,” said Snook
Wahoo is a co-title sponsor of team LeCol-Wahoo, which had previously been racing as DROPS.
VeloNews reached out to Wahoo and RGT Cycling for comment but has yet to receive a response.