The Fitness Tech Arms Race: How Data is Making Cyclists Faster with Chip Hawkins, Wahoo Fitness Founder

Chip Hawkins is the founder and chairman of the board at Wahoo Fitness (wahoofitness.com). The company’s stated mission is to “create innovative solutions to make hard fought goals attainable and lives better,” through products like smart trainers, bike computers, watches, and heart rate monitors.

We ask Chip:

  • Why did you start Wahoo Fitness? What were the limitations of existing fitness sensors at the time?
  • Before smartphones and GPS units, were you big on tracking your own fitness data?
  • What are the advantages of using a dedicated fitness head unit over the smartphone everyone is already carrying in their pockets? Why do we need another device?
  • How important are accuracy and precision when it comes to fitness data tracking?
  • Do you think the existing fitness software that’s available to athletes does a good job analyzing workout data? Are today’s algorithms helping riders make significant gains?
  • Is tracking power output better suited to road training, or is it useful to look at it for trail rides too?
  • Can sensors help with nutrition tracking?
  • What can mountain bikers gain from riding a smart trainer? Does tech make the experience any less terrible?
  • How do products like smart bikes and smart trainers play into the evolution of sport and competition?
  • What’s next in the fitness tracking arms race? If everyone has access to the same tools, how can individual athletes use tech to gain an edge over competitors?

This episode is sponsored by Jamis Bikes. Singletracks is psyched that Jamis Bikes has come on as a sponsor of the podcast and is also a supporter of the website.

Jamis has been designing and building quality bikes since 1979, and they were among the first to produce mountain bikes beginning in 1982. 

The brand has brought the world some iconic and award-winning mountain bikes over the past 40 or so years, and The Dragon has been the soul of the brand for decades. Introduced in 1993, the Dragon hardtail delivers the feel that only comes with high quality steel, and it’s done so for nearly 30 years running.

The newer Jamis Portal and Hardline full suspension bikes feature the innovative and race-proven 3VO suspension platform, built into both carbon and aluminum frame options.
You can check out this year’s all-new Dragon and 3VO bikes, along with the entire lineup of Jamis high performance mountain bikes at www.jamisbikes.com.


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