Stephen Loftus, CEO of Wattbike


UK-based indoor cycling company Wattbike is a mainstay in elite training, found in over 3K health facilities in the UK, with partnerships with countless sports teams across the world.

But, according to CEO Stephen Loftus, the brand must look beyond Britain – and the gym – to secure long-term growth. Taking a hybrid approach, he shares how AI-personalised programmes and a pilot in-gym concept with Zwift are taking Wattbike into new territory.

What are the latest happenings at Wattbike?

Stephen Loftus: Wattbike, like all brands in the indoor bike and fitness industry, has had a turbulent few years. From a peak in demand during COVID, supply chain issues due to Brexit and then the challenges we are all currently facing due to the rising cost of living, we have had to learn and adapt to rapidly changing dynamics time and time again, which hasn’t been easy.

However, our mission remains the same: to become the world’s leading training platform delivering performance and health improvement. In the past year, we have expanded our Hub training app to include a subscription Hub+ service with more tailored training programmes, and we are currently piloting a commercial club version for coaches and personal trainers.

Our long-term growth undoubtedly will come from making Wattbike more available and accessible across international markets.

The UK currently accounts for over 50% of our sales, and until very recently, we have not been offering our Wattbike Atom to home users outside the UK. Back in the summer, we opened up availability across the US, and in recent months, we have opened up availability across our partners in Asia and Europe.

How do shifting consumer preferences shape your offering?

SL: The impact of COVID and the resultant increase of hybrid working has increased the expectations of immersive products and digital experiences at home. With people having more time and inclination to do their exercise at home, we’ve placed investment and focus into the development of our Hub+ app services and offerings.

This expectation for immersive experiences has also risen within the commercial fitness space as people returned to gyms, especially the younger generations. So, as well as piloting our Hub+ for clubs, coaches and personal trainers, we also are looking at how we can work with partners such as Zwift to bring the full potential of the Wattbike experience to life.

How do you maintain your value proposition as expectations shift?

SL: We continue to invest in product innovation – for our bikes but also our digital experience offering. With the latter, we see personalisation of training programmes as a top priority for at-home and in-gym users but also other key B2B sectors including healthcare, military and elite sport.

Tied into this innovation, along with our marketing strategy, we believe we have a significant opportunity to reach new audiences internationally and into broader customer types.

To date, Wattbike has been very UK-dominated, very male-oriented and, until recently, our Wattbike Atom has been focused on competitive cyclists. We’re working on changing this, repositioning to an image of accessibility to all and driving performance improvements as well as long-lasting health benefits to any user, whatever their goal.

How do you approach marketing and growth efforts to reach more consumers?

SL: Our investment is focused on digital marketing, ambassadors and PR. We are looking to amplify the stories of inspiring “Wattbikers” around the world and aim to utilise digital marketing to continuously learn and adapt our content so that it appeals to our target customers.

Brand partnership will be an important platform for the future, and we are always on the lookout to work with companies that share our goals and values – such as Zwift. Together, we’ve recently partnered for our Black Friday offer, as well as trialling a pilot in the UK for an integrated “Wattbike x Zwift” gym experience.

Outside the UK, our brand awareness is very low, reflected by the fact that most of our sales to date have been to elite sports. Beyond making the at-home Atom bike available, we have a big opportunity to leverage our elite sport credibility.

In the USA, Wattbike is used within the NBA, NFL, NHL and USA Cycling, but despite that, we are only in 150 gyms in the US. When you consider the US is the biggest gym market in the world, versus our position in 3K+ gyms in the UK, we have a lot of opportunities ahead to maximise.

What developments are on the roadmap for the next six months?

SL: As mentioned, we have a continued focus on enhancing our bike and digital proposition, as well as launching our Atom to the home market across China, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia.

What consumer trends are you most excited about in 2024 & beyond?

SL: There are some really interesting innovations set to make big steps within the fitness industry.

The power of AI is shaping new directions in fitness and health, and this power will enable us to personalise our training programmes in even more depth for an enhanced customer experience.

There’s also a macro focus on the crossover importance of both physical and mental health, and the use of accurate, real-time, reliable data and measurement to deliver a step change in performance and long-lasting health goals. This is what we are built on, so we are well-positioned to play a valuable role.

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