Eyeing the growing opportunity in connected equipment, Zwift is moving closer toward unveiling its own hardware, releasing a sneak peek of a smart bike and indoor cycling trainer.
For context. A fitness company born out of gaming, Zwift enables virtual training and multiplayer competition for cycling or running.
To date, Zwift has primarily focused on software development, creating an immersive, video game-like experience. But, the company has been working to expand into hardware:
- March 2020: Zwift laid off senior employees, restructuring to develop new hardware.
- September 2020: The company was valued at more than $1B in a $450M funding round, with the stated goal of bringing Zwift-designed hardware to market.
- December 2020: Asked when the company’s smart bike would launch, Zwift CEO Eric Min told Bloomberg: “I wish yesterday.”
In May 2021, while appearing on the Fitt Insider Podcast, Min reaffirmed the company’s ambition to develop connected equipment but didn’t share a timeline.
Ready to ride. Making its foray into connected fitness, Zwift recently teased a smart bike and indoor cycling trainer.
The Zwift Ride smart bike and Zwift Wheel connected trainer were revealed in a customer survey, according to DC Rainmaker.
- Zwift Wheel. Compatible with any bicycle, the smart trainer replaces the bike’s back wheel, syncing with the virtual racecourse and measuring output.
- Zwift Ride. Combining a bike frame with the Wheel device, Ride is a turnkey cycling experience, eliminating the need for manual setup.
While the survey speaks to would-be products, the hypothetical prices are telling. Ride is set at ~$2,300, and the Wheel was listed for ~$1,200. Looking at the endurance tech category, these prices are competitive with the likes of Wahoo Fitness, Wattbike, Tacx, and others targeting this growing market.
Coming summer 2022. Citing people familiar with Zwift’s hardware efforts, DC Rainmaker said the company hopes to officially launch its smart hardware in July of 2022.