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Wahoo buys RGT Cycling virtual training platform... and lays off 50 staff

"The strategic changes were made to support the growth and development of Wahoo," brand says...

Wahoo has defended the decision to lay off 50 staff, news which broke as the brand announced the acquisition of virtual cycling platform RGT Cycling.

The launch of the Wahoo X subscription service will give users access to all training content in the Wahoo SYSTM and RGT's virtual cycling routes under a single login.

Wahoo RGT

However, the announcement came as news circulated of around 50 redundancies at the company, something Wahoo said was part of "strategic changes".

"The strategic changes were made to support the growth and development of Wahoo," the brand told road.cc.

"We didn’t take these decisions lightly, but made them to ensure Wahoo can maintain focus on new innovative products and services. The needs of our athletes are evolving and our approach to providing solutions needs to do the same.

"We greatly value the contributions of our talented colleagues and are committed to supporting impacted team members in their transitions."

A source told road.cc that employees have been laid off across all departments, including device, firmware and Wahoo SYSTM, and were notified last Thursday.

Wahoo had ramped up its employee numbers over the past few years, in part fuelled by the surge in demand for online training equipment during Covid lockdowns, but now cites "strategic changes" necessary to continue its "growth and development".

What's changed?

Wahoo is launching a new premium subscription service — Wahoo X, which will give subscribers access to both Wahoo SYSTM and Wahoo RGT (formerly RGT Cycling) under a single login, and for the same price ($14.99/£11.95 a month or $129/£103 a year) as the previous standalone SYSTM subscription.

Current subscribers of either Wahoo SYTSM or RGT Cycling will be moved across at no additional charge.

Wahoo has celebrated the acquisition and says adding to its portfolio of performance software will give athletes "unparalleled choice in how they train".

Wahoo X subscribers will have access to RGT's virtual cycling platform, including routes on real life roads and parcours made famous by professional races, such as the Tour of Flanders.

The platform also has a Magic Roads feature which allows users to upload their own GPX file from any route in the world and let RGT build an accurate virtual version.

Wahoo SYSTM

"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," said Mike Saturnia, CEO of Wahoo.

"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.

"And while the benefits are best realised through the Wahoo ecosystem, we're committed to ensuring that our expanded offering of comprehensive training and virtual cycling software remains open and compatible with key industry players and standards. Athlete choice and freedom will continue to be at the heart of everything we do at Wahoo."

In 2019, Wahoo acquired The Sufferfest indoor training platform (last year rebranded to Wahoo SYSTM) to offer users personalised workouts paired with customisable training plans. RGT Cycling's virtual training platform has now been added to the package, under the new Wahoo X banner.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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10 comments

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Kadinkski | 2 years ago
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This is great news (the bundle of systm and RGT, not the redundancies). Makes the platform a very tempting alternative to Zwift. I think I'll give it a trial.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 2 years ago
1 like

Random thought... if you only ever rowed on a concept 2 trainer, would you still be seen as a rower... for instance, if I popped down to the local rowing clubs meeting house and retold stories of my concept 2 rowing exploits, how would they be received? 

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PRSboy replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 2 years ago
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Depends on the rowing club.  If you performed well on your Concept2 I'd hope a forward-thinking club would invite you to try out in a boat!

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Drinfinity replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
1 like

There are whole competitions for dry land rowing, so yes, probably. I'm not a rower, but regularly used the same bars as rowers, so talking loudly about your erg performance would be perfectly normal.

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joules1975 | 2 years ago
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I looked into RGT a couple of years ago and was really interested in giving it a go, but you HAD to have a power meter or smart trainer. For me at the time this was too much of a barrier to entry to the virtual training world.

As a result Zwift was the only option.

I have becme more interested in the idea of splashing out on a smart trainer, but I can't quite justify it yet. I hope Zwift doesn't remove that dumb trainer support, as otherwise a lot of people could be priced out of the virtual training market (or at least much less likely to try it out).

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Secret_squirrel replied to joules1975 | 2 years ago
1 like

You raise an interesting question.  I wonder what proportion of Zwift users use a "dumb" turbo?

Personally once you go Smart its pretty inconcievable to me that you'd go dumb again.

Smart turbo's start from £200 for a wheel on one now so reasonably priced imo.

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Rendel Harris replied to joules1975 | 2 years ago
3 likes

Don't know your budget, obviously, but Bkool wheel-on smart trainers - my first smart trainer and perfectly adequate - sell for as little as £15 on eBay and seem to average about £35. If you want a direct drive, the Elite Muin can be picked up for as little as £50. Really recommend the investment, I started with a dumb trainer and a cadence/speed meter but a smart trainer really does make for a much more interesting and motivating experience.

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Drinfinity replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
0 likes

I've got a dumb trainer and use it with virtual power on Sufferfest, so interested to see what it can do on RGT. I've just checked the RGT website and I can use virtual power on RGT, but not for racing. Which is fine by me, as I'm rubbish at racing. 

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EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
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Ah, nice. No doubt there was huge optimism around the company as they announced the acquisition...then boom!! 
 

Thanks for everything now bye bye!!!

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
0 likes

Everyone loves the venture capitalists....

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