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Wahoo Bolt Review Wahoo Elemnt Review

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Wahoo Bolt Review | Wahoo Elemnt Review

In this Wahoo Elemnt Review, I’ll pull together all my hands-on cycling time with the Elemnt over the last 4 months and try to be as succinct as possible in summarising what was a highly pleasant experience.

Edit: Updated September 2018…LOTS & LOTS of usage

Background

Wahoo Fitness started selling the Wahoo Elemnt in Q1.2016 and the smaller Elemnt Bolt followed in Q1.2017. They are almost functionally identical. Apparently, the Elemnt had some early teething issues but I’ve only been using it recently so all I have experienced is a seemingly bug-free product. Initially, I used the Elemnt/Bolt in conjunction with other devices but after a couple of months, I switched to using the Elemnt (or Bolt) as my main cycling computer.

Sometimes it’s disingenuous for someone to say ‘I have 4 months of using the Wahoo Elemnt‘ if that has been effectively just as a data gatherer distractedly alongside other devices. It’s different if something is my main device. I go out quite a lot with only one device and the Elemnt has generally been that device, sometimes it was the turn of the Elemnt Bolt. And I’ve probably used the Elemnt Bolt mostly on turbo trainers.

This will be a relatively short review as I come to the Elemnt rather late in the day!

Take Out & Opinion

It’s a definite BUY RECOMMENDATION.

There are only a few niggles I have with the Elemnt. However, it’s only a BEST BUY recommendation for a certain kind of cyclist. For example, there would be better navigation-focussed options – although the larger Elemnt is perfectly fine for navigation – indeed I like the clarity of its display when following a route. Maybe as a ‘tourer’ you might prefer the Edge 1030 or as a commuter maybe the Bolt is a little more precious than other, sturdier options.

For someone like me, the ELEMNT is great and the Bolt is fine for a TT.

The Elemnt is good enough for the odd navigational experience and great for my long mornings riding the Surrey Hills or a few laps hacking around nearby parks. All the performance metrics are there. It’s supports connecting to pretty much every sensor it needs to. It becomes your cycling workhorse to do a job without the pretty niceties of other products. I suppose the looks are “alright” or “quirky-in-a-pleasant-way” but I don’t really care what it looks like for the thousands of miles it has to work perfectly for. And that’s what it does. It just works. Ask your cycling buddies who already have one…they will say the same thing.

If there ever could be a ‘Best Cycling Computer‘ then the Elemnt is most certainly a candidate. Here’s a link to a more general view of cycling computers for different kinds of cyclists…like you.

Best Bike Computer 2020|Top 10 Recommend Cycling

The Wahoo Elemnt ecosystem is fundamentally wireless. You only need a USB cable for charging. Even firmware updates are pushed from the smartphone app and the app is also used for configuring the Elemnt.

Firmware: WF46-1815 and earlier

Wahoo Elemnt Review – PROs

This could well be a long list, I’ll try to include some of the more unusual features.

Wahoo Elemnt Review – CONs

 

Issues

Wahoo Elemnt Review – Resources

Official Specifications

My Bike Computer

Since I originally wrote this Wahoo Elemnt Review, the ELEMNT has become my main cycling computer. I use it all the time (training and racing). I recommend it to friends. Sometimes I forgive them if they ignore my advice and, instead, buy the ELEMNT BOLT.

Now you know.

Futures

We are seeing Garmin moving away from sports-looking watches to 24×7 style watches. This leaves a gap for people like me who JUST want a sports watch…for whatever that sport it. There are rumours of a Wahoo Tri-Watch at some point in the future (from the CEO!). Which would be awesome.

If the past can indicate the future, then Wahoo will release a new major product in Q1.2018 (edit…October 2018, ahem!). Other than a prettier screen and better battery I can’t really see any point in refreshing what is an excellent product in the Elemnt.

The Elemnt MINI filled a gap at the lower end of Wahoo’s range. Maybe that offering could be better tailored with a refresh? Even though it is their latest head unit.

Maybe there are other gaps in the Wahoo range that might include a better ‘touring’ type computer in a larger format competing with the Edge 1030. That’s possible. There seems to be a lack of a cycling device that can really, really, really do mapping and routing properly and comprehensively from route creation through to execution. The problem with thinking that Wahoo might do that is that they would most likely prefer to integrate to a third-party provider who has done all that work.

Shop Wahoo – Choice of Retailer Partners

Pricing, Discounts & Availability

These Wahoo products are now well-established in retail outlets but Wahoo is selective about who it allows to sell their product – I don’t see the Bolt on Amazon.com for example. Generally, Wahoo’s own site is more expensive BUT there are occasionally great deals at the usual annual sales times. The best prices I’ve EVER seen were US$228/GBP£177, both on Amazon for the regular ELEMNT. But those were special Black Friday sales so if you can get anywhere close to that you are doing well. The Bolt and Elemnt are equally recommended but the ELEMNT MINI is a very different product.

 

 

Best LOCAL Amazon price is linked to. $330/Eu299/£250 and will discount by over 25% at times.

 

Buy ELEMNT/BOLT  by selecting the image below or selecting here: link to wahoofitness.com

Shop Wahoo – Choice of Retailer Partners
Shop Wahoo – Choice of Retailer Partners

 

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