Garmin acquires TACX
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  1. #1
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    Garmin acquires TACX

    Pretty big news, considering the direction the industry is going.

    It will be interesting to see if they keep all of TACX product lines, and what they do with branding.

    It's a pretty big blow to Wahoo

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    Pretty big news, considering the direction the industry is going.

    It will be interesting to see if they keep all of TACX product lines, and what they do with branding.

    It's a pretty big blow to Wahoo

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    Interesting comments about the possibility of Zwift trying to get in the trainer hardware biz and lock out competitors from the Zwift platform

  3. #3
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    To be clear, he didn't say Zwift was actually doing that (attempting to lock out other hardware). He stated the he's pretty sure Zwift is looking into it's own hardware platform, and that some folks in the industry were worried about it.

    I talked with the CEO of a large tech company (that I happen to work for). He's a fitness enthusiast (marathons, endurance cycling). He suggested that Zwift would do better if they had a plug and play hardware model similar to Peloton, where you buy an exercise bike/computer/display combo that you just plug in and use (he cited the 'Toaster' theory about being simple and 'just working'). The conversation got a little more complicated when discussing whether the platform should exclusively allow only this hardware (like Peloton does) or allow the use of a standard dumb trainers/rollers and Smart Trainer/PersonalBike combo.

    The challenge comes for Zwift. If they do develop a plug and play hardware option, and made it exclusive, it would make their platform more legitimate for the racing/competition community if everyone is on the same hardware, but they would do it at the risk of alienating the more casual users who are members of social groups, or are just riding for off season winter fitness and don't need a dedicated bike taking up space in their home during the off-season when they aren't riding.

    Personally, I could see Zwift's interest in developing and selling a hardware platform, most likely in conjunction with a partner like Wahoo or Stages, but still allowing "ZPower", and standard Smart Trainer users. I think they have too much to lose by going with exclusive hardware ala Peloton.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    To be clear, he didn't say Zwift was actually doing that (attempting to lock out other hardware). He stated the he's pretty sure Zwift is looking into it's own hardware platform, and that some folks in the industry were worried about it.

    I talked with the CEO of a large tech company (that I happen to work for). He's a fitness enthusiast (marathons, endurance cycling). He suggested that Zwift would do better if they had a plug and play hardware model similar to Peloton, where you buy an exercise bike/computer/display combo that you just plug in and use (he cited the 'Toaster' theory about being simple and 'just working'). The conversation got a little more complicated when discussing whether the platform should exclusively allow only this hardware (like Peloton does) or allow the use of a standard dumb trainers/rollers and Smart Trainer/PersonalBike combo.

    The challenge comes for Zwift. If they do develop a plug and play hardware option, and made it exclusive, it would make their platform more legitimate for the racing/competition community if everyone is on the same hardware, but they would do it at the risk of alienating the more casual users who are members of social groups, or are just riding for off season winter fitness and don't need a dedicated bike taking up space in their home during the off-season when they aren't riding.

    Personally, I could see Zwift's interest in developing and selling a hardware platform, most likely in conjunction with a partner like Wahoo or Stages, but still allowing "ZPower", and standard Smart Trainer users. I think they have too much to lose by going with exclusive hardware ala Peloton.
    I wasn't saying that they were doing this or plan to but in the article Ray suggested that the fear is they could do this. Right now the platform is pretty open. Anyone with ANT+ and BLE can play. But, Zwift has a received a tremendous amount of venture capital, and those folks aren't giving them money because of their love of cycling. If investors push for more ROI, there might be pressure to do this. I certainly hope it doesn't happen

  5. #5
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    I was just wondering to myself a couple weeks ago why Garmin wasn't in the smart trainer market.
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  6. #6
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    Zwift going to a closed ecosystem would be corporate suicide. If they wanted to do that, they should have done so in the beginning. They already have millions of users with desperate equipment, I would hazard a guess that most won't go out and buy the new closed equipment, resulting in a significant loss in capital. The investors won't accept that.

  7. #7
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    I imagine that Garmin will let Tacx pretty much remain Tacx. If they're smart, they won't mess with a successful brand and product, and just reap the profits. I never heard anything of tacx struggling financially or anything, so is likely quite profitable, and Garmin just wants to take advantage of that. I may be wrong, but that's my thinking.

    As far as Zwift, they will not close their program off to other hardware, even if they do get into the hardware game. Their WHOLE point has been the social aspect. Many people who race on the platform complain because Zwift does nothing to verify people's equipment. Zwift does not want to do anything that would disable someone from using their platform, and so leaves any verification process to third parties who take an interest in pursuing it. So if they do start producing their own hardware, I seriously, seriously doubt they would make it mandatory to use their hardware to continue to use their program. As it is, they've gone out of their way to make their program usable with everyone else's hardware ad much as possible.

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  8. #8
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    I can see how this is defensive and with Wahoo in mind. I also believe Garmin has their eye on ZWIFT and is trying to figure out how to deal with this potential threat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle View Post
    I imagine that Garmin will let Tacx pretty much remain Tacx. If they're smart, they won't mess with a successful brand and product, and just reap the profits. I never heard anything of tacx struggling financially or anything, so is likely quite profitable, and Garmin just wants to take advantage of that. I may be wrong, but that's my thinking.
    I'd bet there will be new things coming that leverage integration with other Garmin products that will be proprietary unique to their ecosystem. I will be interesting to see where this goes.
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  10. #10
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    I wish Apple, Samsung, or Google acquired Garmin so we could get a product that operates like it was designed and manufactured this century.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolite View Post
    I wish Apple, Samsung, or Google acquired Garmin so we could get a product that operates like it was designed and manufactured this century.
    Haha, perfect. It always feels like somewhere in the 90s when using Garmin products...
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