Trying to find a trainer in stock? A nifty alerting tool for you (US/Europe)

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TLDR: You can now get instant alerts when trainers are in stock, go here.

You know what I’m surprisingly good at? Pressing the refresh button on the Internet. Seriously, if someone gave me a task to find something in stock, I’m gonna eventually find it in stock. Albeit, in the least efficient manner – but by gosh, I can refresh a browser like nobody’s business.

And in fact, over the last few months I was manually tracking trainer stock for some of the more in-demand units. Things like the Wahoo KICKR, Tacx NEO, Stages Bike, Elite Sterzo Smart, etc… I was mostly checking US sites, but also a handful of European sites. From there I’d drop comments in the comments section of my review, or on Twitter, when things were in-stock. However, that wasn’t super scalable or timely. Mostly just a lot of luck.

Thus, introducing an automated version of me: The DCR Smart Trainer Alerting Tool (STAT?). That’s not an official name, because I’m horrible at naming/branding. It’s just a simple consolidated site that you can go to and check the stock of various trainers from various DC Rainmaker partner retailers, and then set an e-mail alert for a given trainer when it’s in stock. The frequency of the checking is pretty high, and in my and many other people’s testing if you click the link as soon as you get the alert – you’re able to nab that trainer (whereas if you wait till after making a pancake breakfast…not so likely to win).

In any case, it’s incredibly simple. You go to the trainer stock page, and then see which units are in-stock. For ones not in stock, you can set an e-mail alert to be notified the second it’s in stock. Note that we automatically check the appropriate stock for your country. Below, you can see the US:

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Yet when I check from Germany, I see appropriate local prices/stock/options there for the sites I’m currently checking. Same goes for other European countries:

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Simply click that little checkbox to enter your e-mail address and then confirm the sign-up.

Here’s an example of the e-mail alert you’ll get when something is found. Short and to the point (somewhat unlike a typical DCR Review):

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Right now I track the most popular (and hard to get) smart trainers across three main categories:

High-end models: Wahoo KICKR V5/2020, Tacx NEO 2T, Elite Direto XR, Saris H3
Midrange models: Wahoo KICKR CORE, Tacx FLUX 2, Tacx FLUX S, Elite Suito
Wheel-on models: Wahoo KICKR SNAP, Tacx Flow Smart, Elite Tuo, Saris M2

And then atop that, two more categories of things:

Smart bikes: Wahoo KICKR Bike, Stages Bike SB20, Tacx NEO Bike Smart
– Hard to get trainer accessories: Wahoo KICKR CLIMB, Elite Sterzo Smart, Saris MP1 Rocker Plate

Currently, this service is targeted at US and Europe, though it also covers Amazon Canada and a few other Amazon country sites. We do plan to expand it, but honestly like anything else, trying not to boil the ocean here in one go.

Same goes for retailers. Right now I’m just covering the retailers that support the site here, so that includes Wiggle, REI, Backcountry, CompetitiveCyclist, and Amazon (all Amazon Europe sites are covered). I’ve got a few more in mind to expand it to perhaps down the road.

A couple more notables about the alerts:

– Your e-mail address is never shared with anyone (period), it’s just used here to notify you of trainer availability for the unit you selected
– You can instantly unsubscribe to alerts using the well-labeled ‘Unsubscribe’ option within the e-mail, at any time
– It’s possible using this service will cause you to spend money on a trainer that may or may not be approved by your partner. If you get in trouble with your partner for buying a trainer without permission…that’s totally on you. Though, I do appreciate your support via the links. 😉

I initially rolled it out to DCR Supporters about two weeks ago, and then incorporated a pile of feedback from them. And more importantly for a number of people: They snagged trainers and smart bikes they’d been trying to find for weeks (or longer). Boom!

Behind the scenes we’re tracking lots of details about the trainers, including stock history and exactly how long every trainer stays in-stock, and even pricing shifts. It’s something we’ll likely be able to expand to other products down the road, and use in other interesting ways.

With that – go forth and enjoy, and good luck finding that smart trainer!

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45 Comments

  1. Rui Pereira

    First!

    Nothing to add…

  2. PI

    How about a short list of trainers (preferably smart) that will work with kids bikes, 20″ wheels, 24″, etc or small frames for 700/650c wheels? I’m sure the article will be short!

    • Frank Bauer

      Hi,

      I had three 28″ Road & TT bikes which would not fit onto my Tacx Neo. To my surprise, the 24″ Scott Speedster JR Road Bike of my daughter fits the Tacx Neo without any clearance issues.

      Brgds, Frank

    • Frank Bauer

      Hi,

      I had three 28″ Road & TT bikes which would not fit onto my Tacx Neo. To my surprise, the 24″ Scott Speedster JR Road Bike of my daughter fits the Tacx Neo without any clearance issues.

      Brgds, Frank

    • Virginia

      Kurt Kinetic Road Machine-my 650c road bike is on there now, but it’s worked with every bike we’ve tried in my home (26”, 24”, 700c) and the website says it will go down to 22”. I’ve had it, 10 years? Just added the Bluetooth/ANT+ speed and power thingy and like that in theory I could add the controller mechanism to the frame of the trainer I already have.

  3. Tuure Laurinolli

    If only 4iiii Wiiiind was in stock somewhere!

  4. DB

    This is amazing! Is there any chance you could add power meters to your alerting tool, or are they too varied with the different crank lengths/ring combos/etc?

    • It’d be tough. For straight-forward ones like the Favero Assioma or Vector 3 or something where there’s basically only one product sold (minus the left-only editions), then it’s easy – in fact, we’re already tracking and alerting for it today to some e-mail addresses, namely…mine.

      Where it gets messier is all the variants you noted. We do have tie-ins to exact SKU’s, but I’ve only recently started handling/tracking that, and only on a handful of products.

      Still, once we get this all settled, then we’ll figure out what makes sense beyond this. Cheers!

  5. Matthew

    Ray,

    This is a great new feature. Please, please, please expand this to include sports tech on sale deals

    • Yup, definitely! We’re tracking prices today. It’s moderately fascinating, though less exciting in the US due to MAP (Minimized Advertised Price), and then of course, more complex in Europe.

      I suspect we’d roll it out in the US first, merely to catch all the random Amazon deals on sports tech gear when they decide to ignore MAP. Whereas in Europe, any retailer can sell for any price, and I wouldn’t really want an alerting system that sends out an alert to a hundred people for a retailer that has one unit on-hand to game the system.

  6. Zane

    Can you make one for graphics cards? Impossible to find and never in stock.

  7. fisao

    Ray, in case you didn’t already know, you are awesome. Thank you!

  8. Hi….howncan i get listed? As a elite dealer? With stock

    • Hi Armin-

      At the moment I’m still working out the kinks with the larger sites and seeing how viable it is to expand to smaller ones.

      But, in the meantime I went and fixed the URL in your comment so it points at your site, for Germany folks that are looking for Elite units or rocker plates.

      Cheers!

  9. andre

    Where I am (Netherlands) smart trainers are out of stock since the summer. I left my email address with one of the bigger stores, to be notified when they were back in stock again. But that list is simply too long so I heard nothing. Half of januari I saw reviews appearing from people who got their trainers. I bookmarked the page and refreshed it at least 10 times a day. Two weeks later it said 10+ in stock (Tacx Flux S). I placed the order, when I was finished and got the confirmation I checked the site again and they were all gone. The more expensive models were gone a few minutes later. So if you want one, you will have to act quickly.

  10. jww

    This is really really smart for an affiliate marketing model. Win win!

  11. Tiaan

    If only this was available a week ago it would have made my Saturday much easier, luckily I got one in stock eventually (after reading your trainer guide, very helpful btw!) and happily pedalling away since yesterday! 🙂

  12. Oskars

    Nice tool, however it gave me an alert to another product, not the one I was subscribed to.

    • Well that’s less than ideal…and the first I’ve heard of that in all the people that have signed up.

      I’ll follow-up with you via e-mail for more details. We’ve got tons of logging, so we can look into it.

      In the meantime – hope you got a deal on the other trainer instead. 😉

      Thanks!

  13. Bernard

    If ever a sign of times…

    I was looking for an Elite Suito as of march last year. That took quite a bit of effort (and even more patience). At least back then I encountered a couple smaller online retailers that would list the item as stocked, take my money and only then give notice of redicoulus delivery times. Hope the DCR STAT is smart enough to deal with those sites.

    • Yeah, that’s a core reason why for the moment I’m starting with retailers I have direct partnerships with, which in turn happened after a lot of vetting. We’ve been stock tracking for months now, aiming to flush out inconsistencies and such – and I think we’re in a really good spot.

      Which isn’t to say there aren’t good smaller shops. Two of my local bike shops that I use are awesome, and I often refer locals to for getting a trainer or such, as they have accurate timeframes and waitlists. But it’s just hard with thousands of local bike shops across Europe (or dozens upon dozens of smaller online bike retailers in Europe) to separate good from less than honest.

  14. Chappo

    Good to see an Australian website (Amazon.au) on there!

  15. nick

    Great initiative, thanks Ray!
    I just received my first notification, but this was from rei.com which only seems to ship to the USA (based on checkout address options). As I live in the Netherlands, in general I would only want to buy a trainer in the EU, because of lower shipping costs, certainty of two-year warranty, and less hassle in case the unit breaks and needs to be sent back. So I was wondering: would it be difficult to provide a feature where the user can indicate from which region(s) (e.g. USA, EU) they want to receive offers? Cheers!

    • Hi Nick!

      Interesting, you actually shouldn’t even be offered/shown the REI options (nor Backcountry or CompetitiveCyclist or Amazon US). If you’re the Netherlands you should only be seeing or receiving alerts EU sites (Wiggle/Amazon EU’s). Interestingly, if I look at your record behind the scenes it shows ‘EU’ versus a specific country (normally it’d say NL/etc…).

      Any chance you were using a VPN? In any case, if you can forward me the alert (just ray at my domain), that’d be great, and then we can dig into it and see what the root cause might be.

      Cheers!

    • nick

      Hi Ray,

      thanks for your offer to take a look. I forwarded to you the alert email and provided some more details. Hope that helps.

      Cheers!

    • Thanks Nick-

      And just as a quick follow-up for others, we tracked this down to a weird parsing issue in how we were handling certain Switzerland users that weren’t showing up in the geo-tool we leverage as CH (proper code for Switzerland), but randomly EU (which isn’t a ‘country’ per se). All fixed within a few hours of Nick mentioning it.

      Thanks!

    • nick

      Hi Ray,

      great to read you got it fixed. For the record, I didn’t intend to confuse your nifty tool by using a VPN tunnel to Switzerland 🙂

      Thanks!

  16. Igor

    Judging from a few sites, it seems Elite retired the Suito from its lineup for the foreseeable future. The Suito-T remains tho, so I guess they just gave up on waiting for cassettes that never come.

    FYI Bike-discount.de has them in stock these days.

    BTW, Ray, any chance the script you used is in Git? I wanted to do a similar scraper (I guess this is a scraper) to monitor some components and would be curious to get inspiration.

    • So they are still producing the Suito, in fact, a bunch just came into stock this morning at REI. But they’re also making the Suito T. Essentially, the global shortage on cassettes has driven them to still to offer/make both versions. The only difference is the Suito T doesn’t come with a cassette.

      As for the script, it’s actually part of a much larger product suite that the development team I hire works on. Sorry!

    • Igor

      Interesting. My commend was based on the fact that both BD mentioned above as well as B24 recently unlisted the cassette-fitted Suito. And I don’t mean like “flagged it as unavailable”, they removed its product page altogether.

    • So generally speaking, but also for Elite specifically, retailers/distributors have placed orders for the entirety of 2021 inventory already. So a retailer like REI or Wiggle for example, would likely have placeholder orders for the entire year already – or a large chunk of it. Those are tied to specific delivery timeframes and quantities – such as 500 units of the Elite Suito in February, 500 units in March, etc. Obviously, quantities vary from company to company. A multi-thousand unit order delivery for a larger retailer is 100% the norm.

      Whereas other retailers might not have done that yet, and thus, may be locked into alternative products – such as the Suito T.

  17. Dan

    Any chance of adding inventory if buying direct from manufacturers?

    • I’m not horribly opposed to it down the road, though I’m currently focused on those partners that support the site here. And since I have a policy against partnering directly with any manufacturer for anything (including giveaways), I won’t do direct referrals there for affiliate link type stuff. But, would just do general links there if so.

      That said, I totally get that the value for people is also including as many inventory sources as possible – hence why I’m not opposed to it in general, but for now I kinda want to get stabilized on the partners first.

      Hopefully that makes sense!

    • Dan

      Sure does.
      Thanks!

  18. Magene T100 is also in stock for 360 Euros on amazon.de link to amazon.de

  19. Pawel

    Kickr v5 and Kickr Core are in stock on Wahoo EU website for a week or so. Just sitting there…

  20. Henni

    Seeing US prices from Germany. Too bad.

    • Hi Henni-

      That’s super weird. The only reason you should see US prices is if we fail to recognize your location, which is pretty weird. Or, if we think you’re in the US.

      Any chance you’re using a VPN?

  21. Hey Ray,
    how can one register into your “search engine” – friend of mine has a shop where he’s got Tacx trainers. Czech republic.
    BR
    Mike

  22. Luis

    Any thoughts on the cheap direct drive trainers? I’ve seen the Magene T100 and I’m wondering if it’s ok (350€ more or less)