CES 2013: The Loot I’m Bringing Back

I’ve got 12 minutes until my flights departs here from Vegas to Chicago (and thus onwards to Paris), so this is gonna be super quick.  I’ve got lots more content than this, but I figured people might be interested in all the stuff that’s on the immediate docket.  Plus, the next post I’ll cover all the other stuff that’s being shipped to me next week.

But for now, here’s what’s in the belly of the plane sitting below me.

Wahoo Fitness:

Probably the most anticipated item, the Wahoo Fitness KICKR.  We’ve been playing shipping tag for weeks, and this ended up being the most efficient and simplistic way to get a trainer to me.

I’ll be starting to use the trainer, but don’t expect an immediate review on it.  The reason being that while KICKR does include a straight forward app for controlling resistance, creating workouts, and simulating Strava segments – it’s ultimately the larger ecosystem of 3rd party apps that will rock it.  Folks like Trainer Road, Kinomap, Golden Cheetah, and others are hard at work on stuff.

If you fall into the ‘others’ camp, and haven’t reached out to me, please do.  If you fall into the ‘have a kickass idea for a KICKR app and are a developer’ camp, then I’d highly suggest reaching out to the Wahoo Fitness folks.  Just sayin’….

As far as shipping and pre-orders go, they’re still holding the line that they won’t accept pre-orders until the container is loaded on the boat.  Said container should be loaded on the boat from Taiwan to the US within about two weeks.  Then there’s roughly four weeks until it arrives in the US.  No word on the international story or international pricing (US pricing is $995).  The units are final, and it’s just a case of having the scheduled factory time.  That said, I’m not certain that they’ll be able to meet initial demand with their first shipped container based on the quantities.

Next up from them, the RFKLKT bike computer.  I’ve talked about it quite a bit here.  No need to rehash that.  Definitely looking forward to all the folks working on apps.  Again, I know who some of you are – but if you haven’t reached out there, drop me a note.

They have these already in stock in Atlanta (plenty of them), and are just pending final release of the App to the Appstore, and then in turn, Apples approval.  They suspect that’ll all happen within the next two weeks.  At that point they’ll ship immediately.

Garmin:

These are the Edge 510 and 810 ruggedized rubber cases for the units.  There are more colors than this, including an upcoming pink edition.

O-Synce:

This is the O-Synce Navi2Coach unit, which is a cycling GPS unit.  The unit has now made its way into the market over the last month or so, both US and European.  I’m pretty excited about the unit, in particular, the software suite behind it, as well as the customization of the unit itself.  I wrote up a fair bit about it before here in this post.

It’s also got this wireless lap remote that attaches to your handlebar via industrial bands (like the quarter-turn mount), but they’re sending me that.  The wireless model is the one to the right, the wired is the one to the left in the below photo.

ANT+

While not directly made by ANT+, they were the ones that gave me the below.  It’s a small micro-USB to USB dongle that enables Android phones to load USB devices.  And in particular, the ANT+ USB stick (any ANT+ variant of the stick, from Garmin’s to Suunto’s).  The adapter is generic, and there are plenty out there on the interwebs (Amazon) that work.

This is interesting, because it shows the below scenario – which is the Android version of the Wahoo Fitness app (Beta version, not yet available).  This app will connect to Bluetooth Smart sensors (without the below adapter on certain supportd phones), as well as ANT+ sensors with an ANT+ adapter.

(The random Christmas tree just happened to be behind us leaving the convention center waiting in a incredibly long taxi long, sorry for the slightly rough photos there – the tree was the only solid light we could find.)

Hitcase

The below sports iPhone case is unique in that’s its fully waterproofed to 10 meters and mountable on bike handlebars and tripods.  The scenario though that I’m actually interested in here is how well it would work as a simple swim technique analyzing system.  It’s priced at $100, and they’re aiming to undercut folks that want the functionality of a GoPro, but at 33-50% of the cost.

I’m going to take it with me to Perth next week and poke around with it a bit.  It seems pretty beefy, so it’s definitely not a ‘walk around town with it’ kinda case.

Tate Labs (Barfly):

Last but not least, met up with these guys at the airport a few minutes ago.  I’ve used their Time Trial ones (for triathlon bikes), but haven’t tried out their non-TT ones.  So they handed over a couple to try out.  I don’t expect a full review, mostly just integration into other reviews.

The Redacted’s:

And of course, there’s some that fall into this category as well.  But more on them as the time is right… 😉

Ok, gotta run – more posts soon!  So much cool stuff to cover that I had a chance to go hands-on with.

Thanks for reading!

DC Rainmaker :

View Comments (54)

  • This is the best news about the RFLKT. You said there are plenty in Atlanta... I'm so desperate for this device, I'll call whomever is carrying it and order it from them. Can you share what stores have them in stock?

    • Atlanta is the headquarters of Wahoo Fitness. ;)

      I suspect you'll see it open for ordering (the RFLKT) within about a week, and it'll essentially ship the same day likely.

  • rainmaker; any new impressions/thoughts on the kickr now that you have one at home? is that still the one you'd get if you could only get 1 trainer and had the budget for it? any concers with reliability, noise, or otherwise?

    • I would say it's falling into the category of 'It just works', which is nice. And yeah, if I had $1K to buy a trainer that would last me a long time - this is probably it.

      It's built like a beast (no, really, it's really heavy). I've been meaning to measure it. I was trying to use my hanging scale to measure a bunch, but then I realized I don't actually have anything to hang from yet. I may try and balance it on a scale, but that could be sketchy. But it's built like a CompuTrainer - a rock.

      Obviously, there are a few minor bugs since it's still beta firmware/software, but I was able to successfully complete one of my workouts without issue on it. Same goes for The Girl.

      Noise, as you saw in the video is roughly on par with others. A touch bit higher pitched, but it didn't bother me to work in the same room when The Girl was using it, and it didn't bother me too much. And she was able to watch TV (across the room) without any headphones or anything, while she was on it.

  • if i want to complete a strava segment, i just select the segment via the wahoo app (which i assume links to strava) and w/o having to pay the strava premium or any other monthly fees... the trainer will simulate the given segment (i.e. set resistance to correspond with the hills) and time me?

    • Actually, a bit simpler than that.

      There's a separate app - called 'Segments' - which allows you to search for any Strava segment. Today it does that via location primarily (I can enter in a town/spot/address, or zoom to a location). And then I simply just enumerate the Strava segments nearest it and ride (it'll simulate resistance as you noted).

      At present, no Strava Premium subscription required - in fact, I'm not even signed into Strava at all (today, it may change, no idea).

      Of course, all this is subject to change before release. Both Wahoo and Strava are working out the exact way the app will be 'branded', etc... I don't expect functionality to change, just how it all shows up, if that makes sense.

  • I am not seeing "Segments" app on the iOS app store? is it subset of the wahoo or strava apps by any chance... or in non-public beta... or only android app for now? Is there an iOS app that controls the resistance and also measures/graphs/stores the HR, cadence and power data? can all of that data be automatically linked and uploaded to garmin connect?
    lastly, the "And yeah, if I had $1K to buy a trainer that would last me a long time – this is probably it." makes me wonder what other trainer is in the running for the top spot for you... and which one you'd get for yourself (i.e. if you didn't have to spend any predetermined amount or rank within a predefined $ category, but rather if you were optimizing the cost/benefit equation like most of us do).
    thanks

    m.

    • Hi M-

      Segments isn't released yet on the App Store. You can see a few screenshots of it in my 'Queue' post (upper corner), or the KICKR post from August (video there). It's iOS only.

      The other app that does all the controlling of resistance for KICKR is the Wahoo Fitness app. The variant today in the app store doesn't include the resistance control, but the app will be released here shortly (it includes the RFLKT pieces too). And yup, today is uploads to GC as well. Stores all the data, etc...

      For me, at the moment, if I were to drop $1K on a trainer, yeah, I'd likely go this route. Primarily because of the open nature of it - and the fact that I know folks are building cool apps for it, and I can't wait to see what people think of 6, 8, 12, 24, 36 months down the road.

      In that same camp, I'd stick the Bushido and the CycleOps trainer. The challenge I have with the Tacx trainers is that in general the software is buggy. On the flip side, the CycleOps is more expensive than the KICKR - but generally more solid than the Tacx.

  • I'm a little surprised that Wahoo is quite SO focused on the IPhone aspect ("IPhone-powered bike trainer" on the box, front and center on their web site, etc), especially for a company promoted an open platform. Yes, I obviously understand that IPhone has the market share but I wonder if Android and (in my case) Windows Phone users instinctively "look away" when they see such a firm focus on the IPhone and just assume it's not relevant.

    I assume the open framework doesn't prevent third parties from developing Android or Windows Phone apps. Personally, I am also eager to see Windows 8 / Windows Phone apps pop up over time. It will certainly be interesting to see how third party apps appear over time. And, for now, I'm going to assume I don't need an IPhone, as implied by the tagline :)

    • They've promised (per their Tuesday FB update) to provide some sort of update by the end of the week.

  • Hi,
    First of all, wow! I really like your reviews, they're great!

    I'm looking into this ANT+ thing, wanting to connect it to my Samsung Galaxy S2, and then using say the GarminFit app and the app registers my heartrate from my Garmin heartrate belt. Would that be possible with the small micro-USB to USB dongle that you write about above?

    And, if so, does it matter what type of Garmin watch I have? For example the FR 210? Or does it have to be 310 and up which have the wireless transfer to ANT+?

    // Veronica

    • Hi Veronica-

      At the moment, things are a bit muddled still. I think we'll see more clarity later this month.

      That said, I wouldn't expect the Garmin Fit app to work with this solution out of the box, it's going to take some work on Garmin's part to update their app to understand the dongle. But, what you describe is the theory.

      On the watch side, it will end up having to still be a watch that transfers via ANT+. Today that's the FR310XT/910XT/610/60/70 and a few others (the FR405/405CX/410 don't fully fall into this category, as they use an older ANT transfer method that isn't open).

  • For all wondering what apps support RFLKT at this time, here's the link on the Wahoo site. http://www.wahoofitness.com/Apps/Apps/RFLKT-149-CL.aspx

    As of late Feb. (launch of RFLKT) there are two apps supporting RFLKT: the Wahoo Fitness app and iMobileIntervals (http://imobileintervals.com/app).

    iMobileIntervals RFLKT display has HR, watts, speed, cadence, total elapsed and interval/lap times, current music selection or current/next interval activity, and live data telemetry status. iMobileIntervals also has control from the four hardware buttons on the RFLKT to pause/skip music, toggle backlight, restart the interval workout, skip forward/backward the interval, or take a lap split.

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