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So, what's up with the shortage of turbo trainers?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

So, what's up with the shortage of turbo trainers?

Old 10-28-20, 10:19 AM
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So, what's up with the shortage of turbo trainers?

I thought there was a real shortage of bicycles in the industry this year when I was shopping for one, until I started shopping for a trainer.

First of all, the LBSs around sold all of their Tacx and Wahoo trainers and have pre-sold the ones they are expecting to receive in the first weeks of November. Customers who want to pre-order now are expected to receive their product in February 2021, which is 2-3 months into Winter and 2 months away from being able to ride outside again.

On their side, Merlin Cycle & CCC have removed some of their trainers for international buyers. No more Tacx or Wahoo can be purchased from Canada. Not sure if it's still an option for a buyer from the US of A.

I have a pretty good idea of what's going on (from both a logical and economical perspective), but I thought I'd open the discussion for others who would also be in my position.

There's one thing we can't refute: 2020 = the year where a lot of people started cycling.

Last edited by eduskator; 10-28-20 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-28-20, 10:37 AM
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This time of year in general is when people in Quebec(Montreal area in my case) start to think about indoor training. I bought my Elite Drivo 3 years ago about this time. I would have bought a cheaper alternative but none were in stock. When I went to the shop to pick mine up, they had 5 other Drivos out in the showroom, all sold. This year trainers are even more in demand with gym closures and many older cyclists unable to go south for the winter. In fact, last Friday I was out for what could be my last road ride for awhile and ran into a friend of mine who was in exactly this situation. He had recently bought an Elite Suito to be able to train this winter. I just checked the Damco website(they are one of two local distributors for Elite products) and all their trainers are out of stock so it is unlikely that local stores will have any unless the other distributor(Cycles Marinoni) has anything available. You could give them a call and find out

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Old 10-28-20, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil
This time of year in general is when people in Quebec(Montreal area in my case) start to think about indoor training. I bought my Elite Drivo 3 years ago about this time. I would have bought a cheaper alternative but none were in stock. When I went to the shop to pick mine up, they had 5 other Drivos out in the showroom, all sold. This year trainers are even more in demand with gym closures and many older cyclists unable to go south for the winter. In fact, last Friday I was out for what could be my last road ride for awhile and ran into a friend of mine who was in exactly this situation. He had recently bought an Elite Suito to be able to train this winter. I just checked the Damco website(they are one of two local distributors for Elite products) and all their trainers are out of stock so it is unlikely that local stores will have any unless the other distributor(Cycles Marinoni) has anything available. You could give them a call and find out
Thanks! CCC has the Elite Drivo on sale right now at 1000$ available to Canadian customers.

How's your experience with the product? I'm buying a Flux 2 soon, but transaction is not done.
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Old 10-28-20, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Thanks! CCC has the Elite Drivo on sale right now at 1000$ available to Canadian customers.

How's your experience with the product? I'm buying a Flux 2 soon, but transaction is not done.
Good experience so far(3 years), including a few months my son borrowed it to train for the Mont Tremblant Iron Man. It came back none the worse for wear
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Old 10-28-20, 04:49 PM
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Everyone is dealing with Covid and the cold weather. Buying a trainer is a good investment.
I look for a lot of the Peloton bikes to be on the market in the next year. As people get tried of spin classes and paying 50 bucks a month to do them. At least with a trainer you can actual ride indoors on many different apps.
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Old 10-28-20, 04:51 PM
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People started buying them up in droves when lockdown hit and the supply has never really fully recovered.

I have a nice little stockpile...
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Old 10-28-20, 04:58 PM
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The Kickr and reconditioned Kickr Core and Kickrs are in stock on wahoo's website.
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Old 10-28-20, 06:35 PM
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Things appeared to be getting tight here in mid-Michigan a few weeks back...fall will do that...a friend of mine bought a kickr and for the first time, i was interested...have always avoided the hamster wheel, but I'm no racer.
I had to drive an hour to get a lightly used set of cycle ops rollers and I'm glad I did. Still not a fan but I'm using it, so maybe I can come out of winter with a little conditioning this time.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:50 PM
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I bought a used Kurt Kinetic trainer in late spring for a great price that looked like it had never been used. It doesn't pay to wait till the first cold day to buy a winter trainer.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:25 AM
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I was just lucky that I purchased my smart trainer before the pandemic hit. Best investment I ever made. I just sold two dumb trainers, Cyclops and Kurt Kinetic and they sold within 30 minutes of posting on Kijiji. The price was not pandemic pricing so that helped to sell them quickly. Toronto for reference.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug
People started buying them up in droves when lockdown hit and the supply has never really fully recovered.

I have a nice little stockpile...
Reported. Hoarding.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:34 AM
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A lot of people bought bikes as a way to exercise without going to the gym. It's not really surprising that trainers are in high demand as we move into colder weather.

I'm hoping to get through this winter with my rollers and dumb trainer, and after we kick COVID in the nuts maybe I can find someone looking to offload a barely used Wahoo Kickr in the spring for a discount.
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Old 10-29-20, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser
Everyone is dealing with Covid and the cold weather. Buying a trainer is a good investment.
I look for a lot of the Peloton bikes to be on the market in the next year. As people get tried of spin classes and paying 50 bucks a month to do them. At least with a trainer you can actual ride indoors on many different apps.
More likely you’ll see more cheap commercial real estate on the market from gyms closing than cheap Peloton bikes, people are going to be working out at home with indoor bikes, smart mirrors, and online classes and not going back to the gym for many years, if ever.
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Old 10-29-20, 10:26 AM
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People are happy to spend 60-90% of their time at the slopes sitting on a cold bench in the air to just ski/board down a hill but aren’t curious about learning to ride a road bike on winter roads.

I consider myself an ex-skier and a winter cyclist who sometimes rides when it’s not winter. Pearl Izumi AmFib pants rule.
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Old 10-29-20, 10:29 AM
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I know I'm late to the party, but, like everything else, demand exceeded supply.

By the way, you should try rollers instead of trainers.
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Old 10-29-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser
Everyone is dealing with Covid and the cold weather. Buying a trainer is a good investment.
I look for a lot of the Peloton bikes to be on the market in the next year. As people get tried of spin classes and paying 50 bucks a month to do them. At least with a trainer you can actual ride indoors on many different apps.
The actual amount is $39.00 which works out to one regular spin session a month. Peloton has the highest customer retention numbers ever in the sports/fitness industry so not sure what you are basing your prediction on? These other apps you mention also have fees attached so the cost differential is minimal especially when taking into account all the features and services included in the Peloton ecosystem. I am not a Peloton user rather purchased a Kickr Bike however no need to denigrate a transformative product that has extremely high customer satisfaction levels.
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Old 10-29-20, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by velopig
The actual amount is $39.00 which works out to one regular spin session a month. Peloton has the highest customer retention numbers ever in the sports/fitness industry so not sure what you are basing your prediction on? These other apps you mention also have fees attached so the cost differential is minimal especially when taking into account all the features and services included in the Peloton ecosystem. I am not a Peloton user rather purchased a Kickr Bike however no need to denigrate a transformative product that has extremely high customer satisfaction levels.
I am in many other types of forums with people who are not “bike” and have purchased the Peloton due to Covid. Because they can not go to a gym. I have several friends who have had them for several years now and have drifted away from spin classes after being into it for a year. There has been a surge in all home exercise equipment. We will see a shake out in the market once the Covid situation passes and people will be able to go to gyms again.
I have always spent time in the winter riding indoors. People will spend 12 to 14 dollars a month on a cycling app. Bumping it up to 39 dollars a month. Will separate users when they can go back to gyms.
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Old 10-29-20, 12:33 PM
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It's funny to see people slamming the cost of Peloton a forum where $8k+ road bikes attached to $2000 trainers run through $15/mo Zwift are a common thing.

Pelotons + monthly membership aren't that expensive when you're simultaneously cancelling your monthly memberships at Equinox, Orange Theory, SoulCycle, PURE Barre and the yoga studio up the street. I don't think any of that stuff is coming back for a while.
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Old 10-29-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
It's funny to see people slamming the cost of Peloton a forum where $8k+ road bikes attached to $2000 trainers run through $15/mo Zwift are a common thing.

Pelotons + monthly membership aren't that expensive when you're simultaneously cancelling your monthly memberships at Equinox, Orange Theory, SoulCycle, PURE Barre and the yoga studio up the street. I don't think any of that stuff is coming back for a while.
The thing that hurts my sensibilities is when someone that doesn't have a nice bike buys a peloton. I guess that route is easier for the uninitiated, but you could get a trainer and a snazzy bike, that works inside and outside, for the same price. My clubmate was recently driven batty when his sister expressed interest in a Peloton and he couldn't talk her in to a real bike.
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Old 10-29-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
The thing that hurts my sensibilities is when someone that doesn't have a nice bike buys a peloton. I guess that route is easier for the uninitiated, but you could get a trainer and a snazzy bike, that works inside and outside, for the same price. My clubmate was recently driven batty when his sister expressed interest in a Peloton and he couldn't talk her in to a real bike.
I'm with you... I would never buy a Peloton (or any other "smart bike") because I'd rather spend the money on an actual bike that I can also ride.

That said, I don't think road cyclists are the target demographic for Peloton sales. Most of the people I know who are into Peleton are women who have zero interest in serious road cycling, but really like high-intensity group workouts, and are tired of "the scene" at their gyms and/or spinning studios.
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Old 10-29-20, 04:34 PM
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This is a view that I was referring to.

This is not new and why people go to gyms is to get out of the house and all the distractions that trying to exercise at home does.
I am retired so I get up before my wife for a couple hours anyway. This allows me to get in a ride everyday. When this covid is over will add weight training to the mix to.
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Old 10-29-20, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
Reported. Hoarding.
It's just a Hammer for me and an H3 for her... and a slightly-broken Stac... and a KKRM...
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Old 10-29-20, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
It's funny to see people slamming the cost of Peloton a forum where $8k+ road bikes attached to $2000 trainers run through $15/mo Zwift are a common thing.

Pelotons + monthly membership aren't that expensive when you're simultaneously cancelling your monthly memberships at Equinox, Orange Theory, SoulCycle, PURE Barre and the yoga studio up the street. I don't think any of that stuff is coming back for a while.
None of my bikes cost $8k, and I'm barely aware of any trainers that cost $2k. The most expensive semi-common one is the Tacx Neo at $1400, and more people use the Kickr at $1200 or the Hammer at $1000.

Really though, it comes to perceived value - cyclists don't perceive Peloton bikes as having much value. We're not the target market. And I pay $79/year for Rouvy. Zwift can DIAF.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug
None of my bikes cost $8k, and I'm barely aware of any trainers that cost $2k. The most expensive semi-common one is the Tacx Neo at $1400, and more people use the Kickr at $1200 or the Hammer at $1000.

Really though, it comes to perceived value - cyclists don't perceive Peloton bikes as having much value. We're not the target market. And I pay $79/year for Rouvy. Zwift can DIAF.

Okay, but even if you revise the numbers to $3,000 bikes and $1,000 trainers my point is that a $2200 Peloton and a $40/mo subscription is not an outrageously expensive purchase in the context of Road Cycling, which is a fairly expensive hobby.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:35 PM
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I got a cobwebbed Kinetic fluid trainer and riser block for free in May, at the beginning of good weather season in the PNW, because the woman giving it away had bought a Peloton. Hope she's finding their workout videos more compelling. She had to take down her Craigslist ad an hour after posting because she was inundated by emails from interested parties.

My wife uses the Kinetic. I use a reconditioned Kickr that I bought in March when Wahoo had them discounted, with the Kickr Climb, and a Kickr Mat that was actually the most difficult piece to acquire at the time. I'm pretty satisfied with the timing of my investments on the trainer front. I still ride outside when the weather is crap, because I've accumulated a lot of foul weather kit, but without a commute, I only do so if I feel like it. During the workweek, it's a lot less fuss to just hop on the trainer after dinner.
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