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Wahoo, am i being unreasonable?


Leith

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I am questioning myself - am i being unreasonable - keen to hear other view points?
I became a Wahoo Kickr convert about 7 years ago, when i was able to train in spite of a broken shoulder. When i finally got back onto the real bike i was fitter than ever - it was the discipline, and more structured interval training that made the difference.
So i spent a whole lot of money and bought one for myself - for the very occasional times that I wasn't able to ride outside on a real bike (a seldom occurrence in sunny South Africa).
Then for seamless connection i bought a Wahoo bike computer and heart rate monitor a year ago.
The service from the local distributors couldn't have been better - fast and efficient.
I was a convert, until 2 weeks ago.
The lightly used Kickr made a clicking noise, so i contacted the South African distributors, iKhambi Distributors, to ask where i must take it for a service, or repair.
I got an email back saying we are sorry, that model is no longer in production, we dont make the spares for it anymore, and there is no-one to service/repair them - basically throw it away. 

But, as a valued Wahoo user,  they will offer me a very sharp price on a new one.

The offer came through, and within a minute i found several local retailers offering the same price.

I have a problem with this for a number of reasons:

1. This is a bike trainer that retails for over R20 000. It has moving parts, bearings and belts. If looked after and maintained properly, it should last significantly longer than 7 years. My lawnmower still runs like new after 20 plus years - with regular servicing, and parts easily available.

2. No spares at all - it is a belt drive.....do you throw away when the belt wears out?

3.  How environmentally responsible is this? A belt or bearing gets worn, and you have to throw it away!

The bottom line is - as much as I like the local distributors, i believe it is their duty to push back at Wahoo International.  They are a standout new entrant in the trainer/bike tech field, but these things cost lots of money, and i believe you need to back your product for a lot longer than this (I doubt if my Kickr has 150 hours on it).
Wahoo International have lost me, if this is the extent of their product backup.

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9 minutes ago, Leith said:

Snip

I had exactly the same experience with them, mine was a V2 (even though they claim it to be a V1) there is obvious differences that my 1 year old can spot. I was fortunate to have the insurance pay a portion so I could get something else. But with that being said, I still have my old one and I am going to have it repaired. These guys claim you can't get parts and bla bla bla but most of the items used on the trainers are stock items you can purchase from engineering suppliers. You just need to know some folks. But to answer your question: no you're not being unreasonable, the main problem with these big international suppliers is the fact that they force people to buy new to push numbers rather than having to repair it for a fraction of the price. Shimano does exactly the same 

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Mostly common parts and are serviceable, there are a few people around offering servicing for units.
Unit should be ables to last 10 years or so. The likely issue could be a bearing or belt. 
I don't think it's unreasonable at all. 

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Not unreasonable at all. And worrying considering mine is 3yrs old and ridden 12k zwift kilometers. Never been serviced and still functions well but a heavy flywheel spinning like that must need attention at some point.

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So our options ....

 

1.  Disposable item 🙈 NO!!

 

2. Any private maintenance option ? 

 

3. D.I.Y repair of the mechanical stuff ....

 

4. Are the parts available in Europe or America?

 

 

5..... vote with our wallet when the time comes ???  But what are our alternatives - that offer a quality product AND backup ???

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Yip to all of you!

 

The bottom line for me - bearings and belts should be serviceable, and kept in stock.

I am not expecting the local distributor to carry spares for all models, but at least say to clients, yes, we can get the product from Wahoo International, but it will take 3 weeks for delivery - i have no problem with this.

This will stimulate a local person to start a business offering service and repairs - but he needs Wahoo's support and even training.

It is a conundrum for people getting to 3-4 years life of their current trainers - do they keep and hope for the best, or try and sell (to probably equally nervous buyers), before their model is discontinued and spares not carried by Wahoo International.

Let me also repeat the, the local distributor iKhambi was great and prompt with their service, but in my view they need to push back at Wahoo International

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On 6/30/2023 at 4:23 PM, cadenceblur said:

This brings me to wonder what kind of preventative maintenance should one do on these units?

I emailed them about this a year or 2 back, apparently nothing. I pull the covers off mine every few months, clean it all up, check the belt and bearings and clean the sensors. As with anything, keep it cleaned and lubed and it will go further.

On 6/30/2023 at 6:07 PM, Frosty said:

Also, someone with tools and time can look into repairing them, eg. belt and bearing replacement. #businessopportunity

Honestly, to change the belt and bearings will take any mechanic an hour or 2 max. The mechanical part is not hugely complex from what I have seen inside my gen 1.

On 6/30/2023 at 6:29 PM, corrie.kuilder said:

Go to your local Midas,get yourself a M.V timing belt. Remove your current belt and take it along. Replace the belt,set the tension,and trainer will be as good as new👍

You can order the drive belt online from wahoo if it fails. Bearing man will be able to source bearings as well.

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28 minutes ago, dave303e said:

I emailed them about this a year or 2 back, apparently nothing. I pull the covers off mine every few months, clean it all up, check the belt and bearings and clean the sensors. As with anything, keep it cleaned and lubed and it will go further.

Honestly, to change the belt and bearings will take any mechanic an hour or 2 max. The mechanical part is not hugely complex from what I have seen inside my gen 1.

You can order the drive belt online from wahoo if it fails. Bearing man (BMG) will be able to source bearings as well.

Belt and bearings. 

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OK, so I have done some repairs and maintenance of the V2, one very important thing is that you need a special tool to remove the free-hub ratchet that secures the bearings in the main pulley, there is a company in WC that would supply all the parts needed to convert it to the silent type(search facebook and youtube) that does not use the tooth belt, the rest of the bearings should not be more than R80 for NSK type bearings.

It is not that complicated.

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It is exactly the fact that this is not a hugely complex piece of machinery, so maintenance and basic repairs should be readily and easily available - and i am sure that a belt and bearing would be found locally.

My real grip is the response from Wahoo - they dont even carry the belt in spares. I would have no problem if they said go to Midas and get belt XYZ1234 and here is a link to a video on how to replace it.
But no they say, you dont fix it, you buy a new one at pretty much the going price of R20k

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