Wahoo Fitness debuts Wahoo RPM, shows off Android KICKR control

IMG_2796

Today at Interbike Wahoo Fitness announced their Wahoo RPM Bluetooth Smart cadence sensor.  This tiny pod attaches to your current crank arm and provides cadence (revolutions per minute) via Bluetooth Smart, to compatible applications.

This is similar to their Blue SC product with both being Bluetooth Smart and providing cadence, but different in that it doesn’t also provide speed – nor does it require placement of any other sensors or magnets (like a traditional speed/cadence sensor).

IMG_2811

The 7-gram Wahoo RPM uses an internal accelerometer to determine cadence, similar to how many power meters coming onto the market today are using the internal accelerometer to measure cadence.

IMG_2814

While the Wahoo RPM is currently designed for the cycling market, down the road if there’s demand they are considering enabling it to also act as running footpod as well (for treadmill/indoor use).  The physical hardware already exists in the unit to do so, it would just need a firmware update.

IMG_2809

Further, they’ve also been looking at taking the same pod and extending the physical hardware capabilities to include a barometric altimeter, compass and 9-axis gyroscope, which also would be connected via Bluetooth in the same ‘shell’. There isn’t however a timeframe for such a product, nor any specific name for it either.  It’s more of a ‘potential product’, likely appealing to hikers and those wanting more accurate altimeter data on their phone.

IMG_2812

To affix it to a bicycle you’ve got a few options.  You can use an included Velcro kit, included rubber band kit, or just simply glue (which is how all the ones here were shown).  The unit runs on a simple CR2032 coin-cell battery that should last at least a year.

Timeframe for availability of the Wahoo RPM is mid-October, with pricing at $49US, however they’re aiming to offer it as a bundle direct from them.

Next up I got a sneak peek of Wahoo’s work on the Android platform.

I got a quick demo of the new Wahoo Fitness Android app, controlling a Wahoo KICKR trainer using Bluetooth Smart.  Below you can see the pairing screen on the app, with the KICKR just being added and the ability to add further sensors down below.

IMG_2802

Wahoo Fitness announced a beta program via their Facebook page back a few weeks ago, but this was the first time seeing it in the wild controlling a KICKR via Bluetooth Smart.

IMG_2804

Now of course the central challenge with Bluetooth Smart on Android is still present, so the compatibility of this is highly limited right now to the 3-4 models of Android devices with full Bluetooth Smart support at the OS layer (not just having Bluetooth 4.0 hardware in them).  Within these demos you’re seeing it on a Nexus 7 tablet.

IMG_2807

IMG_2805

They’re optimistic they’ll be able to make the Android beta version more widely available (to you, consumers) in the coming weeks, though there’s clearly a lot of work to get it to the same point as the iOS versions they have today.

IMG_2808

It should of course be noted that the Android app isn’t just targeted at the KICKR, but really all their Bluetooth Smart sensors for any sort of fitness activity recording (and sharing to the usual 3rd party platforms).  Additionally, depending on how the ANT+ scene looks (such as on the new Samsung Note tablets), they’re looking at that as well for Android.

Finally, it’s probably worth noting that earlier today Wahoo Fitness hit their Kickstarter funding goal (with 48 hours to spare) for the RFLKT+ Barometric Altimeter version of their RFLKT cycling computer.

With that, thanks for reading!

Welcome to Interbike week! This week during Interbike 2013 I’ll be tweeting from the exhibition show floor quite a bit, as well as posting frequently. Here’s a quick and handy link to all Interbike-related posts.

30 Comments

  1. LV Bob

    I'm curious to know why the Wahoo RPM would be limited to indoor use as a footpod. Wahoo definitely needs an entry in the WiFI footpod market.

    Reply
    • KenZ replied

      It wouldn't be limited to indoors, just that many people use GPS for distance outdoors. But I use my Ant+ footpod for distance outdoors, and once calibrated, it's super accurate (like, I'll do a run with a friend with GPS, and I'll have 20.73 miles and his GPS will read 20.35. It's that good). I do think it's not a simple change though to get distance on a footpod. Cadence, yes, but distance is clearly a 3 axis issue as you have to adjust for speed changes, kick height, uphills and downhills, etc. My Garmin footpod does this reasonably (and surprisingly) well.

      Reply
  2. I would be great to use this as a gym exercise monitor. It would track repetitions, joints / body segments' range of motion, and concentric / eccentric muscle contraction speed. An app based system would tell athletes where to hang their sensor according to the activity being done and a great, portable system to track gym workouts would be invented. No more paper logs. Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Duane

    I'm curious if the Strava iPhone app would read this as a cadence sensor. You would need an iPhone 4 or later I would guess.

    Reply
    • Wahoo Murray replied

      Any app that supports a BT 4.0 Speed and Cadence sensor will support RPM as it uses the same Bluetooth Smart service. You would need a BT4.0 iOS device (4S+)

      Reply
  4. Greg Hamm

    I know Wahoo likes to make much of their products Bluetooth Smart and this looks like a great product. I, however, would love to have an Ant+ sensor that doesn't have to have a speed sensor like Garmin's. An Ant+ sensor that measures cadence that's this simple would be awesome!

    Reply
  5. Thor R

    I wonder, should it be appropriately water-proofed, there's also potential for the Wahoo RPM to provide swim data?

    Reply
    • Wahoo Murray replied

      It's unlikley that you could get good enough data via the accelerometer alone to detect any swimming activity with enough accuracy. It's something we discussed, but not something I think we will be engineering anytime soon.

      Reply
    • Thor R replied

      Thanks for the response Murray. Cool to know that you're already covering the "outside of the box" thinking.

      Reply
  6. Matthew Cortez

    Greg, i was wondering that too. Would the rpm sensor "talk" to my garmin for runner?
    Then upload to strava? Is this right?
    Or instead can I use it on my non wahoo trainer next to my computer?
    If so its a great inexpensive way to track trainer workouts, especially if you have something like a travel trac.

    Reply
    • Wahoo Murray replied

      Hi Matthew,

      The Wahoo RPM is a Bluetooth 4.0 cadence sensor. It is for cycling only and needs a BT4.0 device such as a newer model iPhone, iPad or Mac.

      Reply
  7. Marky

    If it had a magnetic back or a velcro strap it would be excellent for the gym. Interesting to see cadence when you're on the bike in a spin class.

    Reply
  8. Roger Dennis

    Extremely useful for odd bike types (me) with recumbents, etc

    Reply
  9. Anthony A.

    Ray,

    Is that an orange 910xt strap?

    Reply
  10. bobby

    is this a better cadence option for mountain bike than a combined cadence/speed sensor? I havent tried my GSC-10 on the mountain bike cause I dont want to fiddle with the magent/sensor set up after bumps.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Traditionally speaking mountain biking and non-smooth roads are areas where accelerometer based cadence sensors run into trouble, if they run into trouble. I don't have any data at this point on what that looks like for the RPM. But, it's something I'll be looking at. I've got cobbles for that. ;)

      Reply
  11. Just discovered this website and Ray your efforts are massively appreciated. It's a wonderfully informative and honest site. It's also good to see this being backed up with correspondence from wahoo Murray, shows wahoo care about there products and user feedback. Reading the article you state that if there's demand they would consider enabling it as a footpod, for indoor running this would really benefit me so I'm lodging my interest. With an iPhone 5 I've gone down the bluetooth route and have Blue SC & HR for my indoor cycling and really need a footpod for my new treadmill which I hope will arrive next week, the polar stride sensor doesn't seem to have much support outside of polar and so I'd be more inclined to use a wahoo footpod. Is anyone able to let us know if there has been much demand for this. Thanks guys and keep up the great work.

    Reply
  12. Martyn

    Hi Guys,
    First off, thanks Ray for all your work. Best reviewer on the web without doubt.
    Secondly, having soaked up all the reviews and comments on the kickr I still have the option of using Stages with an old Tacx Grand Excel I currently train on. As I don't have a bike based power meter yet I just wonder whether the flexibility, ride quality and development potential of the Kickr is worth an extra £350 and no power outside?
    Would much appreciate all and any opinions.
    Cheers,
    Martyn

    Reply
  13. Kev Javid

    Come on Wahoo release an updated version of your beta application already, and let me loose on my Kickr!

    Reply
  14. Konstantin Papushin

    I was looking for some place to post my review of Wahoo RPM Cadence sensor and couldn't find one so I'll post it here so people are aware, I hope you don't mind...

    The issues with it:
    - BTLE only, so no way to connect it to PC since I have only Ant+ stick and I don't have Windows 8 on my laptop
    - It works ok until your cadence goes above 100. At this point centrifugal force becomes overwhelming for accelerometer and it register anywhere between 20 and 120. If you're really spinning and trying to see how fast - good luck - it shows that you're stationary...

    I got mine "for free" with KICKR so I don't mind it too much but it's not for any serious use. Really only usable to maintain constant tempo in the pace line.

    People are asking about using it outside. I took it outside in somewhat wet conditions (we had whole discussion whether it's "wet" or "damp" during the ride but it ended up raining at the end) and it survived OK. Mine is in a sleeve though - not sure whether it makes any difference...

    Reply
  15. Boro

    Hi,

    Is it possible to change battery in Wahoo RPM?

    Regards

    Reply
    • Wahoo Murray replied

      Sure can. Its just a standard 2032 battery (watch battery)

      It should have come with a little tool to separate the black and blue parts but its easy to do with your finger nails, you will see a little groove on one end.

      Reply
  16. scott

    I am looking for an inexpensive cadence sensor. I don't need speed. However, I am looking for something that will do both ant+ AND BT. Does this exist?

    Reply
  17. Roger Dennis

    now being shipped

    Reply
  18. Mihai

    Hi Ray and Wahoo Murray
    I saw that today the new dual (Ant+ and BTLE) version of the RPM sensor became again available on http://eu.wahoofitness.com

    @Wahoo Murray: I assume you are from Wahoo Fitness. Please can you tell me to whom (at Wahoo Fitnesss) can I e-mail to find out why the sensor cannot be shipped to some countries in Eastern Europe, and if actually there is any way to buy this product online and be shipped in Eastern Europe. The http://eu.wahoofitness.com website doesn't allow me neither to place an order, nor to contact the website support staff.

    @Ray: Awesome review !

    Thanks and regards,
    Mihai

    Reply
  19. Ernesider

    I will probably buy a Wahoo KickR in the next few months.

    My Motorola XOOM pad is showing its age so I intend to replace it in the next few weeks.
    My shortlist has narrowed down to:

    (1) Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4"
    (2) Apple Mini iPad with Retina Display.

    One important use of my new Pad Computer will be attaching it to the bike handlebars to control resistance and study training data - power, speed, cadence? Etc.

    So my questions are:

    (1) Is my idea feasible with either or both computers? And if so -
    (1) Which of the two computer is better suited for my purposes?

    Reply
    • Wahoo Murray replied

      With regards to KICKR usage, iPad mini is much more suited for the purpose.

      We (Wahoo) and our partners currently only have 1 App that will run on the Galaxy tab but several that work on the iPad mini already with at least 3 or 4 new apps before the end of the year on iPad.

      Reply
  20. Ernesider

    Thank you Wahoo Murray for the quick reply. So iPad Mini it will be after many years of stubbornly refusing to submit to the "Apple Way Of Life."

    Reply

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>