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Should I buy the Wahoo Roam or the Garmin Edge 830?

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Should I buy the Wahoo Roam or the Garmin Edge 830?

Old 09-07-19, 07:21 PM
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Koyote
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Should I buy the Wahoo Roam or the Garmin Edge 830?

Thread title says it all. All opinions welcome.
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Old 09-07-19, 09:05 PM
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Ford vs chevy really.

I use garmin and really like their stuff. Some like wahoo and that fine too.


Compare the pros and cons of both and what your looking to get out of a computer for your needs and go for it. You will get many opinions each way so this will be a thread that actually make the choice harder.

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-19, 09:21 PM
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I don't have experience with either of them, yet .I went from a Garmin 520 to a Wahoo Bolt. What I really like about the bolt is that all of the settings are through the app instead of multiple keypresses on the device. Really makes it easier to setup. I'm thinking about the Roam but haven't seriously researched it yet.
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Old 09-07-19, 10:12 PM
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I have the same question.

I already own eight Wahoo sensors so I'll go with the Roam first.

My concern is how the Roam displays heart rate zones while riding. If it isn't acceptable then I'll try the 830.

Either way, I will buy from REI as they have 90 day no question returns on electronics.

I have a friend with an 820 and the battery seems to have gone bad or is out of calibration - he only gets seven hours out of it at this point.

Needing a phone to configure the device is a drawback for me. I'd rather configure the settings on a website and sync the device as Polar does.


-Tim-
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Old 09-07-19, 10:35 PM
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If you haven't already, check the DC Rainmaker reviews. I'm pondering the same choice. +1 for REI.
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Old 09-08-19, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Either way, I will buy from REI as they have 90 day no question returns on electronics.
-Tim-
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
If you haven't already, check the DC Rainmaker reviews. I'm pondering the same choice. +1 for REI.
Definitely purchasing from REI.

I've read the DC Rainmaker reviews, and they are...thorough. (Info overload!) He really is even-handed, laying out all pros and cons; but doesn't make a final decision. Hence my interest in other BFers' opinions.

Thanks, all.
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Old 09-08-19, 06:22 AM
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The ROAM is a bit of a tough value proposition in 2019, given the competition that on paper is very good in . But....4 different Garmin GPS units over the course of a bit over a decade has made me swear off doing business with that company again. It comes down to how much you subconsciously grumble when the word "Garmin" is uttered.

The ROAM is priced rather high for all it does...OTOH the Garmin won't be "stable" for another 12-18 months.
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Old 09-08-19, 11:00 AM
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This isn't a common opinion and you're welcome to disregard it, but I'm much happier with a GPS watch than I ever was with a bike specific computer.
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Old 09-08-19, 12:00 PM
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I'm pretty happy with the 830. One of the things that annoyed me about my 800 was that it is so slow. The 830 is lightning fast. And the battery life is really good. It worked fine on a 600km course, which was the other thing that the 800 could never do. The connectivity with Android seems solid. I have heard that there are problems with connectivity and iOs. My friend was threatening to throw his 830 into a ditch because of that, but he figured out a workaround. Having said that, I haven't messed around with the garmin app much on my phone, just let it upload activities to strava. That part has worked fine so far.


I feel like I'm jinxing myself, because garmin is always screwing up something important. The truth is that Wahoo does too, but they are constantly updating firmware, so it isn't as annoying.
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Old 09-08-19, 02:00 PM
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If you are not navigating or needing maps, then Wahoo.

I didn't like and could not read the Turn-By-Turn white text on black background of the Bolt I used. Could not read it while wearing sunglasses and hated having to stop or take off my sunglasses. I much prefer the Garmin color maps with white arrow screen that pops up for TBT. As well maps from Garmin are superior and there's a variety of different free maps that can be loaded to garmins, including Topo's if you are off-road. I find Wahoo maps to be mostly road centric.

OTOH, you could write a friggin book about all the issues with Garmins and I had to recently return a 1030 as it was just flaky and useless from the get go. The 2nd unit I purchased is rock solid.
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Old 09-09-19, 02:29 AM
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Locally I'm hearing as many complaints about the Roam as with other Wahoo and Garmin devices. Generally I hear fewer gripes about Garmin. One friend hasn't been able to get the Roam to sync at all despite following all of Wahoo's instructions. She's about to fall back to her Bolt and either return the Roam or wait for Wahoo to fix the glitch.

None of it inspires enough confidence in me to spend much on any device that lacks solid customer support. Wahoo has always seemed sketchy, like an overextended, under-manned business, with clever ideas but not enough employees to handle customer support. I haven't bought anything newer than their 2012 era sensors and iPhone 4s pack. It was promising but the USB port broke almost immediately, so the phone had to be removed to recharge every time. They didn't even bother to archive support documents for older devices where customers can access them easily.

Most companies catering to cyclists seem to be pretty much one-person operations with a handful of employees and no time for customer service. They'd do well to turn over customer support to Amazon, even if it meant an exclusive deal allowing only Amazon to sell their devices. Then the bike doodad makers could focus on R&D and not worry so much about alienating customers.

For now I can't see spending more than the $50-$80 a Bryton costs, which isn't much more than any Cateye or comparable "dumb" bike computer, but adds most of the features promised by Wahoo, including compatibility with Wahoo sensors.
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Old 09-09-19, 06:50 AM
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The garmin users just suffer from learned helplessness. Why complain when it's not going to fix anything? Wahoo gives hope, and then takes it away. My impression is the CS people at Wahoo know there are software faults and fixing people's problems just means waiting for the software guys to fix them. Firmware development is expensive, so it's not surprising that it takes a while to fix things. What's unconscionable is not trying to fix things, like Garmin does.

I have heard of a lot more hardware failures with Wahoo than with Garmin. Not sure if that's really representative, but I have never known anyone with a bad Garmin device. I know a couple of people with bad Wahoos.
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Old 09-09-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
s.

I have heard of a lot more hardware failures with Wahoo than with Garmin. Not sure if that's really representative, but I have never known anyone with a bad Garmin device. I know a couple of people with bad Wahoos.
Sometimes a Garmin is just bad to the bone, out of the box. Not necessarily a killer hardware issue, but repeated and different OS issues that I assume ultimately points to a subtle hardware issue. I had this with a recently purchased 1030, ended up sending it back (mail order) after 2 weeks of problems, including doing a complete system reset on boot. I replaced with a 2nd unit from my LBS, new unit works fine, it has the same OS.
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Old 09-09-19, 10:10 AM
  #14  
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Holding our nose and taking a chance doesn't sound appetizing.

Is there an alternative?

What happened to the Hammerhead Kangaroo? Was that ever any good? Haven't heard anything about it since initial release.


-Tim-
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Old 09-09-19, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Holding our nose and taking a chance doesn't sound appetizing.

Is there an alternative?

What happened to the Hammerhead Kangaroo? Was that ever any good? Haven't heard anything about it since initial release.


-Tim-
Started out pretty rough but I guess they've been improving. There was a pretty long thread somewhere here about it for a while. There was also a lot over on DCRainmaker.
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Old 09-09-19, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Holding our nose and taking a chance doesn't sound appetizing.

Is there an alternative?

What happened to the Hammerhead Kangaroo? Was that ever any good? Haven't heard anything about it since initial release.


-Tim-
One of my coworkers (who does gravel) has a Karoo...It is a completely different computer since release (he pre-ordered IIRC) is what he has to say about it. Reminds me of Wahoo's OS which was a rough buggy effort in the RFLKT but by the time the Bolt rolled out was polished and worked great. DCR or someone should do an updated review of from what he says. I think the price is now down to $399US.

As for the ROAM, with Wahoo's history it'll be bug patched fairly quickly
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Old 09-09-19, 10:43 AM
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I have used an Wahoo Elemnt for many years and recently switch to a Garmin 830 because I really wanted the Radar support and Wahoo at the time had no mention of ever supporting it (that is no longer the case). However now that I have switched I like the 830 much better for a few specific reasons that most reviews do not get into.
1. Di2 support, it is much much better on the 830.
It does a better job letting you know the battery level, allows you to assign the battery level to a field if you want.
It gives you an interface to show you want MODE your Di2 is in and allows you to change it, wahoo does neither of these.
And most important is if you have Di2 in synchronous mode the 830 will make a chime and pop a notification warning you that the NEXT shift will be a big ring shift. This make using Di2 sync mode possible in my opinion, until I had this I did not like the sync mode because I did not like the surprise big ring shifts.
Also unlike the Wahoo, Garmin lets you define what the top buttons on the Di2 do, including support for short-press, double-tap, long press.
2. I already had the Garmin Vector pedals and naturally the 830 had better support for them, more importantly it would calibrate them reliably. The wahoo it was always a hit or miss on calibration.
3. Third party fields and apps. At first I did not think much of this but they really can be nice. I personally really like the Wind Field, it requires your phone for data but it shows you semi-realtime wind and direction so you can look down and see yes in fact I am going into a headwind.

Really the only downside to the Garmin over the Wahoo, is getting your initial data fields setup is harder since on the Wahoo you can do that on your phone. However you really only do that step once. If you want to fine tune it I think the Garmin is better since you can do that right on the device while on the ride. With the Wahoo I always had to make a mental note as to what I wanted changed and change it later.
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Old 09-09-19, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by hagak View Post
I have used an Wahoo Elemnt for many years and recently switch to a Garmin 830 because I really wanted the Radar support and Wahoo at the time had no mention of ever supporting it (that is no longer the case). However now that I have switched I like the 830 much better for a few specific reasons that most reviews do not get into.
Mirroring some of this I find the iQ Connect apps really, really useful. A weather app shows wind direct and speed as well as humidity. The RideWithGPS app makes painless the download of routes generated on RWGPS. I LOVE this function !.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by hagak View Post
...
Very informative post, thanks for this.
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Old 09-09-19, 01:25 PM
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Anyone pairing an 830 with Wahoo RPM speed and cadence sensors?


-Tim-
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Old 09-09-19, 04:50 PM
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hagak, your post was very helpful, in part because I have a di2 bike and did not know about some of the integration that is possible with Garmin.

But on the whole, these posts are kind of convincing me to stick with my Lezyne Super GPS. It's pretty bare-bones, and occasionally drops my HRM, but on the whole it works pretty well. Maybe I should just be happy with that.

If there's one thing that really bugs me, it's spending big money and then facing frustrations - like software glitches.
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Old 09-09-19, 07:57 PM
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If my 800 did what I want, I wouldn't have upgraded. No reason to spend $400 if you have something that does what you want.
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Old 09-09-19, 10:25 PM
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* People who have the Wahoos generally appear to like them.

* The level of navigation of the Wahoo units match the Garmin 520 but appears to be a better implementation (the Wahoos have a better map). The ancient 800 provides more-sophisticated navigation (so Wahoo hasn't caught up with something released in 2010, 9 years ago).

* I didn't have the issues with the 800 that some people had. It does have an issue with recording rides longer than 180 miles. Still, it doesn't make sense to compare it to new units. I don't think there were other units that did any thing near what the 800 or 810 could do when those were released.

* New Garmins often seem to be unreasonably flaky at first, unfortunately. The Wahoos don't do as much, so, it wouldn't be surprising that they had fewer problems. But the Wahoos still have problems too (looking at their forums). The probably don't (yet) sell as many units as Garmin does, which means there are fewer people reporting problems. It doesn't seem that the RFLKT was very successful.

* The 820 was a bit of a dog (probably, the 520+ too). It was slow and had poor battery life.

* It seems the 830 is much better for both (and probably the reason it was released was because the 820 was a dog).

* The 1030 is, similarly, an improvement on the 1000 (but which wasn't a dog). It might not be faster than the 1000, though. The 830/530 have a faster processor than the 1030 (the 1030 isn't too slow).

* The Garmin units have features over the Wahoos that advanced navigators might find useful. These include being able to load custom maps (including overlays) and display other courses as lines on the map. The also have on-device routing, which, while not perfect, can be useful. These are all features I use.

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Old 09-10-19, 09:43 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
The ROAM is a bit of a tough value proposition in 2019, given the competition that on paper is very good in . But....4 different Garmin GPS units over the course of a bit over a decade has made me swear off doing business with that company again. It comes down to how much you subconsciously grumble when the word "Garmin" is uttered.

The ROAM is priced rather high for all it does...OTOH the Garmin won't be "stable" for another 12-18 months.
Same experience for me. Garmin is garbage. I use Elemnt Roam (3rd one, dont ask), and I cannot see the value of the color Roam.
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Old 09-10-19, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
Same experience for me. Garmin is garbage. I use Elemnt Roam (3rd one, dont ask), and I cannot see the value of the color Roam.
Very provocative post and I'm going to ask.

Why three if they are not garbage?

Not trying to challenge or argue.

Inquiring minds want to know....


-Tim-
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