Hammerhead Karoo 2 – Ditch Your Garmin Edge For Riding in 2022?
Must Read: Hammerhead Karoo 2 Review
If you’re looking to upgrade your Karoo 1, or if you are actively looking to get away from Garmin (Edge), or if you are looking for a new, sweet-looking bike computer then the Hammerhead Karoo 2 is probably going to be a good choice for you and your 2021 cycling goals. It’s been a hard year…you probably deserve a Karoo 2. Most likely you are mulling over the choice of the Karoo 2 vs. Garmin’s Edge 830 as they are both top-end, touchscreen bikenavs packed with many features.
Practice What You Preach – Will I Ditch My Garmin?
First off, I can’t see myself ever ditching my top-end Garmin tri watch (Garmin FR 945), whichever that might be at any given time over the next few years, I’m a Garmin realist and not a Garmin-hater; although I’m perfectly happy to seriously use some of the competitors’ products for extended periods like the Polar Vantage. But when it comes to BIKE COMPUTERS then I have already ditched my Garmin and I used either the Karoo 1 or one of the three Wahoo ELEMNTs as my main bike computer since mid-2019(ish).
There’s very little wrong with the Edge 530/830/Edge 1030 Plus range, I’d just rather keep it reliably simple with my Wahoo Element ROAM in 2021 now that the Karoo 2 has come to the end of its 3-month turn as my main bikenav. The Karoo 2 WILL have its turn again maybe towards the end of this year.
Nevertheless, I probably used the Karoo (v1) more than most other reviewers over the last few years as I got into the Karoo on the crest of the wave of its continued improvement rather than experiencing some of the trials and tribulations of the initial launch. So I’ve always been impressed with the Karoo and I’ve always been impressed with the continual addition of new features. The Karoo 2 has the same base product features as Karoo 1 but in a smaller, equally-as-pretty shell.
What are those 10 reasons to ditch your Garmin? It’s an interesting list because there probably isn’t a single feature that will wow you, as your current Garmin Edge probably does them all in some fashion.
Instead, what will wow you with Karoo 2 will be the usability and aesthetics. Surprisingly that doesn’t always sell sports products, it’s that pesky 100-item feature-list that tends to shift products off the shelves. You know, those 100 features that made you buy your last Garmin? Remember those? Yep, there were probably only about 10 of them that you ended up using !!
I reckon that at least 90% of you will have all your key features covered in the Hammerhead Karoo 2.
- Battery – 12 hours is the official figure but the real-world 10 that you will get were fine for me.
- Screen – It’s got perhaps the best touchscreen. It works and it looks fantastic.
- In-ride re-routing, using the onboard maps, refresh the upcoming elevation/hill profile
- Varia – It has an excellent implementation of Garmin Varia, perhaps even better than Garmin’s
- Strava Live Segments – Again, an excellent implementation. Perhaps the best on the market.
- Route management & workflow – Getting a route onto your Karoo 2 is a highly streamlined and impressive process with several innovative ways of ‘just getting’ a route that works for tomorrow morning’s ride
Di2 Support – Some nice gear graphics plus the ability to switch between shifting profiles via the Karoo 2.
- Customisable pages and many novel data field formats.
- Sensors – yep, it supports your sensors and has clever ways to prioritise the order they are connected coupled with the ability to disable ANT+ or BLE.
- WiFi – It ‘just works’ and syncs your completed to the cloud when you get home adding in some clever featurettes where you can choose if/how Strava will display your efforts. Garmin ‘just works’ here too…but Wahoo doesn’t.
- IMPROVEMENT: If you want to control your smart trainer in lots of exciting and varied ways then Hammerhead is ‘working on this’. For now, buy a Wahoo instead if this particular set of features is for you.
Need more info? these are all good bike computers.
- Recommended Reading: Hammerhead Karoo 2 Review
- Recommended Reading: Detailed Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Review
- Recommended Reading: Detailed Garmin Edge 1030 Plus Review
More Details: Check out my detailed review of the Karoo 2 or check out the details on the Hammerhead site.
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23 thoughts on “Karoo 2 – 10 Reasons to ditch your Garmin Edge 830”
How karoo2 can control smart trainer? I mean from where u can upload trainings etc
smart training controls features are being improved. limited control right now
“There’s very little wrong with theEdge 530/830/Edge 1030 Plusrange, I’d just rather keep it reliably simple with myWahoo Element ROAM in 2021”
Weird. I’ve ridden every ride in the last 3 years with both an Elemnt and a Garmin Edge and I can’t remember a time it failed me. The Elemnt on the other hand has had problems that cause data loss several times.
hmm. I can’t remember losing a ride on the wahoo…I’m sure there probably was one or two, tho even the ones on a flat battery were recovered IIRC. It’s simple. It’s reliable…in my experience.
before my main riding buddies converted to wahoo they were always complaining about something or other with their Garmins. admittedly older ones.
The edge 530 was a generally good experience when i used it for a couple of months, you link to the review and I’m guessing my criticisms of the complexity of the device still stand. I’ve not used one now for several months.
The worst disadvantage of the wahoo ROAM is the freezing of memory and GPS when you exceed 250-400km at 99.999% of the GPS freezes. Tested on many ROAM versions. WAhoo, this error is hiding and it is explained that it is a meter for driving us with one charge. WHAT if this distance is achieved for 12 hours. They recommended rebooting and connecting fit via apps. It is flustering and I am waiting for ROAM v2 without this fault.
Good for you the reason I swapped to wahoo is because I kept losing rides on my Garmin. Maybe we both just had flaky devices from both companies
Maybe, but some of the reasons for data loss were 100% reproducible and I reported them to wahoo support and wahoo support told me that was how their device was intended to behave (I seriously doubt this, I think it was just their very poor support team being confused, which is a serious problem when you can’t get to a non-confused support team member, pretty much teh response to any bug report was either “we don’t care” or “please do 1 million steps to debug this, and then those won’t work and we’ll do nothing further, so we just wasted your time even more). (The situation in question: have your power meter go to sleep while your elemnt is out of range (ie get a coffee in the middle of your ride), the elemnt will not reconnect to the power meter for the entire rest of your ride, and there is no warning or beep to alert you.)
on wahoo the solution to that is to press the left side button and then press it again. I agree it’s annoying.
that forces it to reconnect to sensors. karoo seems to have a similar problem (tho it may have been fixed in last few)
Oh yeah, I know I can get it to reconnect, but you don’t notice that it’s not connected (there’s no warning or anything, so if you don’t happen to be looking at your power numbers you won’t know) so you lose all that power data.
I recently bought a Karoo 2, hoping it will be the thing that will make me forget about Garmin cycling computers (had issues with loss of GPS on Edge 1030+)
Karoo 2 is still a work in progress, I’d even call it a beta. Firmware updates are regular but often introduce game breaking bugs. I gave up on it and sent it back due to the following:
-no on device route generation or address navigation without WiFi/cellular/mobile hotspot
-heaps of missing simple things like being able to discard a ride on the go or being able to calibrate attitude based on DEM info in the map
-no warning that sensors have disconnected after a 10 minute tea break- including power and HR!
-battery life not good for longer rides when sensors connected and mapping used
-no smart trainer support (now announced)
I hope that things get better but this is a rather expensive device for such a leap of faith. Good thing they offer a 45 day free trial.
yep that sensor thing is annoying. wahoo is exactly the same. i think the last firmware release may have fixed that
Sadly not.. I gave up after the latest update. Another massive headscratcher is no Galileo support.
I lost GPS signal on two occasions during my very first ride, while riding just outside of London away from any high rises etc. There was no warning that GPS was lost and the unit took 2?! minutes to reconnect.
Final big gripe- while the HH team act like they take user feedback on board, there is no holistic approach to the their road map.
They work on things that got the most up votes in terms of features and have NO development pipeline.
Apparently not being able to discard a ride is in place due to feedback from their beta test group. In my three weeks of testing I got 3 empty rides on Strava that I had to manually delete. Headscratchers everywhere.
I hope that they succeed but they have a TON of work to do.
yes development is an ongoing thing with no end. HH are unlikely to ever catch up with Garmin but I’m not sure that is their goal.
I don’t know HH’s development plans. I would imagine that with a very significant amount of VC funding that they were required to produce detailed plans. Yes it would be nice to have that information publicly available which, as you say, they used to do a while back.
I can show you Garmin or Polar workouts where GPS is lost and not recovered for a while. These things are rare in my experience.
My biggest issue with HH is lack of transparency- I could not commit to their product without knowing if my bugbears will ever be addressed.
Yup, true. I have had lost GPS on my Fenix 6X Pro Solar. And on my Edge 1030 Plus (which I bought again since returning the Karoo 2); Don’t get me wrong- the Karoo 2 has heaps of potential.
I am just not confident it will be something I can live with until the introduce all of the things that need to happen for me to be able to have it as my single device. No offline routing is a massive bummer.
My single biggest gripe was the navigation side of things- the bit, where Karoo 2 was meant to be revolutionary. The only revolutionary thing I identified was the clarity and general quality of the screen they use.
Ι am not familiar with Karoo but I think there is no option for third party development like Connect IQ. For example I found some very useful connect IQ apps to control my Varia with several additional options for the light (brakes, flash only when car detected, night/day, etc) which improved the usage of the unit. Also I found some graphic data fields, smart integrations which all made my Edge unit work even better….The ability to have a huge developers community (working for free) to improve your device functionality is maybe the best advantage for any Garmin device
Karoo 2 is based on Android. thus it is possible to sideload entire APKs onto the device (check out the review where i briefly cover that)
for example you can run the android strava app or the ridewithgps app or the Xert app…and many more besides.
Garmin can never support this.
I agree CIQ is powerful. I use CIQ data fields a lot. I’m not sure how easy it will be for HH to integrate small screen tweaks from 3rd parties in the same way that Garmin integrates data fields.
I’m using the Karoo 2 a few weeks now and I’m very impressed with that gorgeous display and the simplicity of it’s menus.
Everything is working fine, Re-Routing to Next point of the route a 10/10.
Notification like WhatsApp instantly visible onscreen.
Perfect mount, even on my MTB, totally reliable.
Battery life is not the best on the market (due to the very bright display) but more than enough for normal use.
Tested the Garmin 1030plus before but send it back to the dealer after two days.
Display brightness not even close to the Karoo and that annoying”turn round”advice instead of creating a alternative route to the next point.
And the millions of menus and options a totally overkill for simple usage.
And also used the ROAM almost a year but technical wise lightyears behind the Karoo.
> 7. Di2 Support – Some nice gear graphics plus the ability to switch between shifting profiles via the Karoo 2.
How do I switch the shifting profile from the Karoo 2? I know I can view the current shifting profilke (M, S1 and S2) in a data field, but change it?
from memory it’s under the di2 sensor pairing.
I just tested my 530 on long ride, it could not recalculate navigation to saved location, so no climbpro… tried 3 times( each time close to destination), every time i get turn back…
Your first reason to ditch the Garmin 830, 10-12 HRS of battery life, which you said were plenty for you. Objectively, how is that better than 20 HR claim of the 830, especially when few reviewers claim the battery life of the 830 does not hit that mark? Doesn’t seem like an good reason why someone should ditch their 830. Several items on this list seems dubious at best.
“there’s very little wrong with the edge 530/830”
some competing computers have poor battery lives. the 10/12 hours on the karoo is fine in my experience.
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