Wahoo has said that “confusion” around its Black Friday deals, particularly around the inclusion of a year-long membership to Zwift, was due to a “simple human error”, after one customer complained that the ‘reduced’ pricing of the fitness company’s new Kickr Bike Shift was “misleading” and a “violation of marketing laws”.
In September, Wahoo introduced the new Kickr Bike Shift indoor smart bike, which at £2,699.99 represented a much more affordable alternative to the existing, original Kickr Bike, priced at £3,499.99.
“Looking to create an indoor smart bike with a lower price point, Kickr Bike Shift offers the unmatched ride feel of Kickr Bike and retains key features,” the US-based company said at the time of the bike’s release.
However, when perusing Wahoo’s website during the recent Black Friday sales, an extended period of offers and potential bargains, one road.cc reader noticed a discrepancy in the pricing structure of the Kickr Bike Shift and a bundle that included the new smart bike and what the website claimed was a free year-long subscription to online training platform Zwift.
The customer, Richard, told road.cc that Wahoo were marketing the smart bike as part of Black Friday at a price of £2,799.99 – down from the retail price of £2,829 – which they claimed enabled customers to save on the price of a one-year Zwift membership. However, Richard also noted that the bike on its own, prior to the sale, was priced at £2,699.99.
With Wahoo – which last month closed the rival RGT virtual cycling app – offering Zwift memberships (usually priced at £129.99) for an additional £100 when combined with all products in its Kickr range, regardless of the Black Friday sales, Richard argued that this ‘offer’ was “misleading”.
“I believe this to be in violation of marketing laws as they have increased the price of the bike to make it seem like a good deal,” he said.
However, when approached by road.cc, a spokesperson for Wahoo said that the “confusion” stemming from the pricing structure on the company’s website was an error.
“We’re grateful to the road.cc reader for bringing this to our attention. It was a simple human error which was then immediately corrected", said the spokesperson.
When closing its RGT virtual cycling app – which Wahoo acquired in April 2022 – in October, citing a desire to focus on its structured training platform SYSTM, the company offered users a 12-month complimentary Zwift membership to make the “transition smoother”, putting to bed a patent dispute that arose last year between Wahoo and Zwift regarding similarities between the Zwift Hub and Wahoo Kickr Core. The dispute was eventually settled in September of this year, with the two brands partnering up instead.
“With Zwift, you can continue to ride, race, and connect with fellow Wahooligans in the virtual world,” Wahoo said last month. “This combination offers you the best of both worlds: structured training excellence with Wahoo Systm and access to the world’s largest virtual riding community through the Zwift app —an unbeatable combination.”
Introducing their joint Kickr and Zwift bundles last week, Wahoo founder Chip Hawkins said: “Wahoo's new bundles will revolutionise the indoor cycling experience. Our goal is to provide customers with unprecedented options, affordability, and an easy, enjoyable onboarding process.
“Together with Zwift, we are thrilled to be able to offer the broadest range of choice and functionality in the indoor cycling category, helping to build the better athlete in all of us.”
Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.