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Wahoo RFLKT Plus Bike Computer

Old 09-28-14, 12:35 PM
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Wahoo RFLKT Plus Bike Computer

Anyone here use or know of someone that uses a Wahoo RFLKT Plus bike computer? After three years, my Cateye Strada Double Wireless finally went kaputz. I use my iPhone with Cyclemeter and the RFLKT would be perfect since it connects to the phone and uses Ant+ to connect to other devices, such as the Garmin speed/cadence transmitter that my wife no longer uses. I've read several user reviews and most of the complaints are that the Wahoo drops the signal with the phone during the ride. But reading further into the review, I found out that almost all of these incidents occurred when the iPhone was placed in a jersey pocket. On their web site, Wahoo explains why you shouldn't do that. Since my phone is mounted on the handlebar, I don't see any issues with dropping signals.

My main concern using the RFLKT would be battery life on the iPhone. Wahoo states that their testing has shown that they get 7 hours of battery life on an iPhone 5 series using Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to the RFLKT. With the setup I have now, I can do a five hour ride and have 70% battery life left on the phone (5c) but nothing is connected to it and only Cyclemeter is running.

I know all about the Garmin computers and have done a lot of research on them, especially the 510, and have eliminated them for several reasons. So right now my choices are the RFLKT or the Sigma BC 16-12 STS/CAD that my wife uses on her trike. I would certainly appreciate any info good or bad about the RFLKT.

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Old 10-08-14, 12:18 PM
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Update:

I bit the bullet and bought the Wahoo RFLKT+ last Thursday. Since then, I have done a 22 mile ride, a 35 mile ride, 2-45 mile rides and a 63 mile charity ride. On the 63 mile ride I ended up with 74% battery life left on my iPhone 5c (optimized for extended battery life and with all background apps shut down). With the extended stays at the SAG stops that ride was 5:28 total time. My riding buddy used a Garmin 510 with a 100% charge and ended up with 68% charge on his Garmin for the same time period.

The device connects to the phone using BlueTooth 4.0 (low energy) and will only work with a 4S or any 5 or 6 series iPhone. It also works on any version of Android that uses BT 4.0. Nothing was mentioned about Windows Phone 8. The RFLKT is not a bike computer but rather a display unit and shows the ride data from your cycling app. It is also an Ant+ bridge that converts Ant+ signals to BlueTooth and sends them to your phone. Since it is a bridge, the converted signals use the current BT connection to your phone, therefore, saving you connections and battery life. You can use any Ant+ speed cadence and/or heart rate monitor with the RFLKT. You can also use any BT sensors but they will be directly connected to the phone and will use up more battery power. The RFLKT works flawlessly and since my iPhone is mounted on my handlebar, I don't have any problems with dropping a signal.

The paring went quick and flawlessly. My iPhone 5c saw the device as soon as I hit the button on the RFLKT. I am using my wife's Ant+ Garmin speed/cadence sensor and even that was immediately detected by the phone. However, you do have to select Ant+ as the type of sensor you are going to connect rather than BT. Once pared it downloads all of the custom screens and displays them in the order that you selected. If you change screens, the RFLKT will recognize the change and download the new set of screens as soon as you are done with the changes. You create the order in which the screens display and they can be easily changed via your ride app and immediately downloaded with the changes.

With the right iPhone cycling app, you can set up as many screen pages as you want (some apps limit the number of screens and data fields). You can also use the Wahoo Fitness app that is freely available from the AppStore or GoogleApps. I use Cyclemeter and it will allow up to 99 pages of data using 57 different data fields. I think Garmin only allows up to 9 pages of data. The screen pages are completely customizable using predefined pages, page templates or a blank template where you can create the page however you want. Even the predefined pages and templates can be customized with any field you choose. The data on a page can be one or two fields per line, four lines per page, with customizable font sizes, captions and icons. You can even customize the four buttons on the RFLKT to do specific functions. The buttons move the screen pages left or right (no touch screen), start/stop the ride or can be used to manage your playlist in your phone. The buttons are easy to press and response is quick.

So far this psudo bike computer has been fantastic and definitely a keeper. There are several other units that do the same or similar things as the RFLKT but they all appear to have software limitations. Topeak has the PanoComputer and PanoBike series of BT sensors but they only work with the Topeak software. It also can't bridge Ant+ sensors to your phone. Cateye is releasing a similar device to connect to an iPhone but, again, only works with their software and is also BT only.

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Old 10-08-14, 01:58 PM
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Yep. That's what I found. Using the RFLKT+ I get between 10 and 15% battery usage per hour without doing anything special to my phone. That's with the display off and I control the bike computer aspects through the RFLKT+. I would bet that if I turned off a bunch of other stuff (wifi etc...) it would be even better and probably in the 5-10% per hour range.

I like the RFLKT+ a lot. I don't really like their mounts.

J.
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Old 10-08-14, 02:05 PM
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I hard one that I used during the winter with a Power Tap wheel with cadence and speed sensor. I also used it with a Stages Power Crank that is on my track bike. It worked fine when the bike was on a trainer and my iPhone was on the pool table next to me or mounted with a Wahoo case on the bike stem. Once outside when I put the iPhone in my back pocket the RFLK+ head would not transmit/communicate with the iPhone. I called Wahoo several times trying to sort it out with no luck and they offered to take everything back for a refund. Maybe they sorted out that bug.
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Old 10-08-14, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
I hard one that I used during the winter with a Power Tap wheel with cadence and speed sensor. I also used it with a Stages Power Crank that is on my track bike. It worked fine when the bike was on a trainer and my iPhone was on the pool table next to me or mounted with a Wahoo case on the bike stem. Once outside when I put the iPhone in my back pocket the RFLK+ head would not transmit/communicate with the iPhone. I called Wahoo several times trying to sort it out with no luck and they offered to take everything back for a refund. Maybe they sorted out that bug.
According to Wahoo, if you put your phone in your jersey pocket, it should be in one of the side pockets and should have something between it and your jersey. This keeps your perspiration from blocking the signal, especially if placed in the center pocket. Putting your phone in a saddlebag or on your handlebars will solve any dropped signal issues.
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Old 10-08-14, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
..... I like the RFLKT+ a lot. I don't really like their mounts.

J.
Mine came with a twist mount adaptor that allows you to mount it on a Garmin mount. I use the stem mount with an o-ring (not theirs). I didn't like their rubber bands.
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Old 10-09-14, 11:14 AM
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Anyone got thoughts on the calibration of the altimiter?
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Old 10-09-14, 11:18 AM
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Having to put the phone on a mount on your bars pretty much defeats the purpose of using the reflect. BT is supposed to have a range of 10 meters. Pretty sad that the RFLKT can't even handle 1 meter with only a small amount of structural interference.
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Old 10-09-14, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
According to Wahoo, if you put your phone in your jersey pocket, it should be in one of the side pockets and should have something between it and your jersey. This keeps your perspiration from blocking the signal, especially if placed in the center pocket. Putting your phone in a saddlebag or on your handlebars will solve any dropped signal issues.
That's what they told me when I called. Once I explained that I sweat a lot and don't use a saddle bag while racing and that I intended to use the electronics while racing in a skin suit they admitted it wasn't a good fit for me. Being able to finish a workout, then double click a button on the iPhone screen that would send power and other data to my computer at home or to my coach was a big reason I wanted it to work.
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Old 10-09-14, 12:23 PM
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I tried one but did not keep it because I use MapMyFitness to log all my ride information and you could not customize the display unless you used the Wahoo fitness app. It would sync with both but not at the same time. I bit the bullet and moved to a Garmin instead. Other than the custom display issue The RFLKT + connected and worked great with an Iphone 5S.
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Old 10-09-14, 03:48 PM
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I'm still testing because the last two days that I have had the Garmin Ant+ speed/cadence sensor connected, max speeds have been 123 and 113 mph. Need to borrow another sensor to see if that's the problem.
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Old 10-10-14, 05:53 PM
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I been reading reviews on the wahoo fitness sc blue sensor, From reading your review, I will get one and try it out!
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Old 10-11-14, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kini62 View Post
Having to put the phone on a mount on your bars pretty much defeats the purpose of using the reflect. BT is supposed to have a range of 10 meters. Pretty sad that the RFLKT can't even handle the 1 meter with only a small amount of structural interference.
The phone has been on my bars for about a year. The RFLKT is mounted on the stem where my old computer was mounted. As far as putting your phone in the middle jersey pocket, Wahoo says it's because of the poor conduction of your perspiration. Putting it in a saddlebag will also work without a problem.
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Old 10-11-14, 05:53 PM
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I ordered one today. Can't wait too get it.
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Old 10-12-14, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray Dockrey View Post
I ordered one today. Can't wait too get it.
Make sure that you have another battery for it. I've read a few customer reviews where the battery dies after a week or two of using it and it happened to me yesterday. The reviews also said that after replacing the battery, they have not had any issues with the unit and that the battery has been good since it's replacement. Apparently, they let these things sit on shelves for quite some time and run the battery down. I wish they would ship it with the battery out of the unit and let you put it in before you use it.
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Old 10-12-14, 07:21 AM
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Good advice.

We had to do this with both of ours. Otherwise it's a great addition.

J.
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Old 10-12-14, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
As far as putting your phone in the middle jersey pocket, Wahoo says it's because of the poor conduction of your perspiration. Putting it in a saddlebag will also work without a problem.
FWIW, I routinely put it in my center jersey pocket with no problem.

What I attribute problems with some user's phones is the relative quality of bluetooth in their particular phone. I have had a number of phones and I've noticed a pretty wide variation in bluetooth range between them. That said, my last phone was an iPhone 5 that was replaced last month with an iPhone 6 and both phones can carry a connection to bluetooth headset for 30' or so. Those are the first of my phones to be able to do that.

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Old 10-13-14, 06:37 AM
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So on yesterday's ride, I set the screen to display my speed information (speed, avg speed and max speed) before leaving the parking lot. We were doing around 16 mph with a max speed of 17.5 through a subdivision next to the MUP when I looked down at the RFLKT. Because I was looking down, I didn't see this bump on an expansion joint in the road. I hit the bump and suddenly the max speed went from 17.5 to 42.6. Looks like the Garmin sensor I have is sending out some weird stuff when I hit a bump. It must have done it again because my ending max speed was 61.61 mph. When I uploaded the TCX file to Endomondo after my ride, the max speed was correctly displayed at 23.8 mph. A friend of mine has a Wahoo Ant+ SC sensor that he is going to let me borrow for a few weeks to see if that solves the problem.

Originally Posted by JohnJ80
FWIW, I routinely put it in my center jersey pocket with no problem.

What I attribute problems with some user's phones is the relative quality of bluetooth in their particular phone. I have had a number of phones and I've noticed a pretty wide variation in bluetooth range between them. That said, my last phone was an iPhone 5 that was replaced last month with an iPhone 6 and both phones can carry a connection to bluetooth headset for 30' or so. Those are the first of my phones to be able to do that.

J.
I think that on my ride tomorrow, I may put the phone in my middle jersey pocket just to see for myself if it really is an issue. I've been mounting my phones on my handlebars long before I started using phone apps for cycling, so there has not been a reason for me to carry it in my jersey pocket. It would be interesting to see how many people that have had connection issues from putting their phones in their middle jersey pockets are using an iPhone vs a Droid powered phone. Unfortunately, I don't know of anyone else that has a RFLKT to ask them where they stash their phone during a ride.
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Old 10-13-14, 06:58 AM
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I have my I phone on the bars, using cyclemeter, and the Wahoo sensors.

On one ride I heard a thump, like a rock flew up and hit something. It did, the spoke magnet. Cyclemeter lost the signel and hung up. Corrupted the database for that ride. I emailed the file to Cyclemeter, and they examined it and told me how to troubleshoot the sensors. Awesome support.

Battery life. I have an external battery in a water bottle, USB cable up to phone.
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Old 10-21-14, 05:45 AM
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Here's an update on the RFLKT for those that are curious. I've had the unit for about two weeks now and it's finally working without any glitches. I did have to replace the Garmin SC sensor, that belonged to my wife, with a new one. That fixed the problem with the erroneous max speed readings I was getting. I did have a slight problem getting the new SC sensor paired with the phone but after force killing the app and restarting it, the sensor paired instantly.

My big worry with the RFLKT was how much battery life it would drain from my iPhone 5c. Some of the guys I ride with use BlueTooth sensors and they really don't get a heck of a lot of battery life from their phones, even after optimizing them and killing all background apps. This coming weekend, I am doing a cross state ride and to prepare for it, some of the other guys doing it (who have never done one before) wanted to do two 60+ back to back rides over the weekend. The distances for the upcoming ride are 60, 80, and 70 miles. Over the weekend we did a 71 and 67 mile ride. We stayed within the speed of what the group is going to do on the actual ride, and including stopped time, the 71 mile ride took us right at 7 hours. The RFLKT was on the entire time, as was the GPS on the phone, and the battery life on the iPhone ended up with a 48% charge left. The 67 mile ride was a bit quicker and at the end the iPhone still had 58% battery life left. On my faster 45 mile daily rides, I'm only using up, on average, 12-15% of the battery.

This device is definitely a keeper. My only complaint is that the battery for the RFLKT is not a common CR2032 but a CR2450. Since these don't seem to be as common a battery type, they may end up sitting on a store shelf a lot longer and may not have a completely full charge when you buy a replacement battery. I purchased a three pack from Radio Shack and replaced the original battery and after 5 days of riding, it's down to 37%. According to Wahoo, the unit should run on a fresh battery for approximately one year. I don't know how they determined that but riding 3 hours a day, six days a week, I probably won't see that happen.
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Old 10-21-14, 07:51 AM
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I have been using mine for a week now and love it. I keep my phone in my bag under my saddle and have had no issues. With the Bluetooth SC sensor and Bluetooth heart rate strap (both Wahoo) I get about seven to eight percent drop in battery per hour. Much better then the twenty to thirty percent I was seeing before. I am using the twist mount that came with the RFLKT+ on a Sram Edge mount so it sits out ahead of the bars.
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Old 10-21-14, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Here's an update on the RFLKT for those that are curious. I've had the unit for about two weeks now and it's finally working without any glitches. I did have to replace the Garmin SC sensor, that belonged to my wife, with a new one. That fixed the problem with the erroneous max speed readings I was getting. I did have a slight problem getting the new SC sensor paired with the phone but after force killing the app and restarting it, the sensor paired instantly.
Sensors are another variable, for sure. I have been using the bluetooth sensors from Wahoo and I really like those. I think they are lower power than the ANT+ ones.

My big worry with the RFLKT was how much battery life it would drain from my iPhone 5c. Some of the guys I ride with use BlueTooth sensors and they really don't get a heck of a lot of battery life from their phones, even after optimizing them and killing all background apps.
I suspect this has a lot more to do with what is going on with their phone (probably using the phone display for starters - huge battery draw). The BT 4.0/BT LE sensors and technology in general is, IIRC, much lower power than ANT+. So the sensors should not be a problem.

This coming weekend, I am doing a cross state ride and to prepare for it, some of the other guys doing it (who have never done one before) wanted to do two 60+ back to back rides over the weekend. The distances for the upcoming ride are 60, 80, and 70 miles. Over the weekend we did a 71 and 67 mile ride. We stayed within the speed of what the group is going to do on the actual ride, and including stopped time, the 71 mile ride took us right at 7 hours. The RFLKT was on the entire time, as was the GPS on the phone, and the battery life on the iPhone ended up with a 48% charge left. The 67 mile ride was a bit quicker and at the end the iPhone still had 58% battery life left. On my faster 45 mile daily rides, I'm only using up, on average, 12-15% of the battery.
That sounds about right, maybe even on the low side. The power savings for the RFLKT/RFKT+ is really significant. In addition, I like the display of less information. The LCD style display is better in the sun than the TFT style on the phone. At night, the inverse is true.

This device is definitely a keeper. My only complaint is that the battery for the RFLKT is not a common CR2032 but a CR2450. Since these don't seem to be as common a battery type, they may end up sitting on a store shelf a lot longer and may not have a completely full charge when you buy a replacement battery. I purchased a three pack from Radio Shack and replaced the original battery and after 5 days of riding, it's down to 37%. According to Wahoo, the unit should run on a fresh battery for approximately one year. I don't know how they determined that but riding 3 hours a day, six days a week, I probably won't see that happen.
The 2450 has a lot more capacity than the 2032 - like more than 2x (550mAh vs 220mAh). Both of these are Lithium based cells so the shelf life should be more than 10 years. Typically for these kinds of batteries, you don't need to worry about them losing capacity on the shelf. I think they have a date stamp on them so you can tell.

I buy my coin cells from Battery Station. Prices are about half retail. So I paid $2 each for the 2450 compared to something like $4-5 other places.

J.
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Old 10-22-14, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80
..... I buy my coin cells from Battery Station. Prices are about half retail. So I paid $2 each for the 2450 compared to something like $4-5 other places.
Is this a local retail store/chain or is it an online store? We have Batteries Plus down here but the nearest one to me is not so near. I'll drop by and see what they have next time I go out in that area. I have a battery tester with an analog meter on it and I use it on every fresh battery before putting the battery in the device. The one currently in the RFLKT was on the border of being Bad when I took it out of the blister pack It's marked to expire in 2025. I also had an 8 pack of Dura Cell CR2032 that I went through pretty quick because the batteries were close to the Bad mark when I took them out of the blister pack. They were marked to expire in 2023. I just don't seem to have very good luck with getting 100% charged batteries lately.
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Old 11-25-14, 01:50 PM
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The office just sprung for a new iphone 6 and I'm considering getting the RFLKT as I can add cadence and heart rate to my 1 device. Right now I have a garmin 605 I picked up for about $100 practically new. I can connect it to my pc and download / upload routes etc, but the only drawback is it doesn't support ant so I wear a separate HR monitor watch and there is no cadence support at all.

Trying to stay on budget and it looks like the RFLKT with cadence is $140. If I went this route I would then have to spend $60 on a new HR monitor, but could use the phone for routes, calories burned etc etc. Would I also have to purchase a speed sensor?

Also on the music side how load does the RFLKT play music? Could I hear it in traffic?
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Old 11-25-14, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
The office just sprung for a new iphone 6 and I'm considering getting the RFLKT as I can add cadence and heart rate to my 1 device. Right now I have a garmin 605 I picked up for about $100 practically new. I can connect it to my pc and download / upload routes etc, but the only drawback is it doesn't support ant so I wear a separate HR monitor watch and there is no cadence support at all.

Trying to stay on budget and it looks like the RFLKT with cadence is $140. If I went this route I would then have to spend $60 on a new HR monitor, but could use the phone for routes, calories burned etc etc. Would I also have to purchase a speed sensor?

Also on the music side how load does the RFLKT play music? Could I hear it in traffic?

Actually, probably wouldn't have to update any sensors. The RFLKT+ has an ANT+ bridge built it. It will pick up the ANT+ sensors and bridge it to Cyclemeter (or other such app) on your iPhone. While I haven't tested it (I have all BT sensors now), it should be able to connect all your ANT+ sensors to the iPhone. Be worth a try and I bet it works. I know that Cyclemeter on the iPhone supports the ANT+ bridge.

Note that Wahoo Fitness offers a RFLKT and a RFLKT+. The plus version is the one that has temp, barometric sensor and the ANT+ bridge.

Neither RFLKT plays music, they can control the music on your iPhone that is stashed in your pocket. It plays the music and you listen to that anyway you can.

J.
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