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Using and living with the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt

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Old 11-03-17, 05:50 AM
  #26  
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Thanks Steve. It does make me feel better. I was leaning towards unistalling the app then reinstalling it, and I still might if it keeps acting up. Wahoo are heading towards getting some feedback too, considering this is my first week with the thing.

Funny, the hydraulic disc brakes on my new bike are giving me grief too and my son's new bike even worse. What is it about modern technology that they can't get right?
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Old 11-03-17, 04:18 PM
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A few things mentioned are contrary to what i see with my Bolt. First, my bolt shows its folders and files when linked to my laptop usb. I see the fit ride files but the routes folder is empty. I do have some routes on rwgps and theyre synced and show in elemnt app on phone. It only loads the route file to the bolt if i select one... so thats the 2nd contrary observation. Seems the rwgps routes are stored on your phone.. not the bolt itself. Correct me if im wrong...maybe i have hidden files flagged on my laptop so i dont see them.
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Old 11-03-17, 06:08 PM
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The rides you choose to transfer from the phone app to device store on the device. The device doesn’t reference the phone for map info or navigating, nor do you need the phone to be paired to use the device.
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Old 11-03-17, 07:04 PM
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Just so I understand what you're saying...

Originally Posted by dwing View Post
A few things mentioned are contrary to what i see with my Bolt. First, my bolt shows its folders and files when linked to my laptop usb.
Do you mean linked by cable?
My computer (Windows 10) doesn't see anything though it does charge so the connection is there.

I see the fit ride files but the routes folder is empty.
Is this through the Elemnt App? If so, mine's the same.

I do have some routes on rwgps and theyre synced and show in elemnt app on phone.
I agree. This seems contrary to my experience where all the routes on rwgps are synced but none show on the Elemnt App on the phone. There is a + button, presumably to add routes to the phone even though you're seeing everything on rwgps.

It only loads the route file to the bolt if i select one... so thats the 2nd contrary observation. Seems the rwgps routes are stored on your phone.. not the bolt itself. Correct me if im wrong...maybe i have hidden files flagged on my laptop so i dont see them.
I don't understand how you've managed this, though it does fit with the incomprehensible instructions on the app itself.

May I suggest that people like me are doing it wrong (or 'less right' more likely). It seems dwing has found a way of trapping the routes at the app stage. Possibly there's something I need to turn off to achieve the same effect.

Any thoughts?
I'd play with it now but I'm heading out to mow the lawns and considering the grass is so long I'll be lucky to find the lawnmower, I'd better do that rather than play with toys.
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Old 11-03-17, 09:13 PM
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Yes, bolt teathered to laptop usb using the supplied usb cable shows up in windows explorer as external device drive, and it displays the divice name: "Elemnt". There are several folders that show under it.

I see all the *.fit files in a folder representing all my rides. No real need to keep those since i upload to strava so ill consider deleting. I expected to see files in the folder named "routes" but it was empty. Again, im looking at windows explorer on laptop there could b some have hidden flag that prevents files from displaying (ie ; dont show hidden files). So, i started the Elemnt app on my phone and paired to Bolt. Checked Win Exp , still nothing in the routesfolder or other folders related to RWGPS routes. I opened the Routes view on the cell app, selected a route, and synced to the Bolt. The bolt acknowledged and was ready for my ride to start...so, i looked in the folders on my laptop and i still didnt see any new files. I expected to see a file somewhere and maybe i was looking in wrong folder?

The fact i have to select the route from the cell app kind of tells me the routes are stored on the phone itself, not the bolt,... and the route downloads to the bolt only when u select it.

I work in IT mfg, so, my programming hat tells me; "the bolt can only have
X amount of storage, and its meant to be a data accumulator...so why would i want the bolt to store possibly hundreds/thousands of route files data when i can simply use the cell phone (16/32/64gb) as the storage device and be the go-between to download the selected route (one at any given time) as needed.

To possibly prove routes are stored at cell only: select and ride a route. Dont take cell phone. Partway into route, stop, cancel the ride route. Can a NEW route be selected and be ridden to without using cell phone? Yes, would indicate all routes are synced, stored available on the bolt itself. But My guess is, u cannot select a new route because they dont exist on the bolt. You have to have your cell with you to pair and download a new route.

Im a new bolt user so im only guessing. I found the topic interesting because im trying to learn how to use more features of the bolt.
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Old 11-04-17, 01:22 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by dwing View Post
Yes, bolt teathered to laptop usb using the supplied usb cable shows up in windows explorer as external device drive, and it displays the divice name: "Elemnt". There are several folders that show under it.
Thanks for that mate. I'd already tried this and failed HOWEVER, knowing you made it work, I tried again. You don't need the Wahoo cable - I was able to do it with my mobile phone charging cable, so there are no secrets there.

However, the real secret is to have your Bolt turned on!

If the Bolt is turned off, it only charges, but when it's turned on, your computer recognises it - on my computer, it's shown as an MTP USB device. It takes about 30 seconds to show up and will connect while the Bolt is still booting up. It doesn't seem to matter if it's connected to your phone either.

Knowing that, I now have to sort out what to do with the knowledge but I suspect it'll allow me to circumvent the need to tie myself to online services (yes, I'm a curmugeon)
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Old 11-06-17, 08:15 PM
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Well, over the last two days, my Bolt has been flaky connecting to my phone. This morning it refused to. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app made no difference. So I went back to the shop, were we unistalled and reinstalled the app (no difference), restarted the phone (no difference) and tried lots of other stuff. Eventually, the shop rang Wahoo support who...
Claimed they'd never seen this sort of problem (yeah, right),
then said something about the Wahoo not liking Android (so write your app properly in the first place). Then they tried to say my phone was too old (Sony Experia bought late last year)
The shop assistant then tried to pair my Bolt with his phone - it did, of course, work perfectly. So we tried again with my phone - it did, of course, work perfectly.
As I climbed back into the car to drive away, I turned on the Bolt and, after a long long time, it connected to my phone.

I really like the head unit, utterly unimpressed with the rest of the process.

Last edited by europa; 11-06-17 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 11-07-17, 12:28 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by europa
..... then said something about the Wahoo not liking Android (so write your app properly in the first place). Then they tried to say my phone was too old (Sony Experia bought late last year) .....
Over the years, I've noted that most cycling apps that use third party hardware seem to work much better on the iOS platform than on an Android. It's one of the main reasons that I went with the iPhone although I'm not a big fan of Apple's business practices.
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Old 11-07-17, 04:29 PM
  #34  
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Thanks John.
As I feared, the Bolt did not connect to my phone this morning. It seems the whole connection thing can only be regarded as spasmodic.
I think I have enough information now to work it regardless of the phone. A project for the weekend.
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Old 11-07-17, 06:17 PM
  #35  
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Further digging in my phone's settings shows it isn't seeing the Bolt at the moment. Considering it has sometimes, that suggests that whatever the problem is, it's intermittent.

For the record, my phone sees and connects to other devices quite happily.
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Old 11-07-17, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dwing View Post


To possibly prove routes are stored at cell only: select and ride a route. Dont take cell phone. Partway into route, stop, cancel the ride route. Can a NEW route be selected and be ridden to without using cell phone? Yes, would indicate all routes are synced, stored available on the bolt itself. But My guess is, u cannot select a new route because they dont exist on the bolt. You have to have your cell with you to pair and download a new route.

Im a new bolt user so im only guessing. I found the topic interesting because im trying to learn how to use more features of the bolt.
I think this is incorrect and I believe *some" of the routes are on the device. I recall the following:

1) You can do a manual transfer of routes from the app to the device, which would imply that the actual route info is on the device.

2) You do not need the app to use the device and to navigate as I recall and this has been noted on other threads I have seen about Wahoo devices, but as I returned my Bolt to REI I've no way to verify.

I also think that the app "see's" all the routes you've created in RWGPS (if that's what you've linked to) but possibly does not send/sync all those routes to the device unless you manually send them.

Perhaps someone with a Bolt/Elemnt could verify.

I posted this on the Google Wahoo group;

"As a topic in BikeForums.net, the question came up are all the available RWGPS routes sync'd to the device ?, are all those routes resident on the device ?, or are the routes on the phone app and are you required to have a functioning BT connection in order to navigate ?"

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Old 11-07-17, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
Further digging in my phone's settings shows it isn't seeing the Bolt at the moment. Considering it has sometimes, that suggests that whatever the problem is, it's intermittent.

For the record, my phone sees and connects to other devices quite happily.
Do a support ticket with Wahoo. Given the plethora of different versions of Android as well as the ability of the phone manufacturers to create their own little versions of the basic OS, it's possible that Wahoo really just hasn't seen this problem before. They also may not do anything about it if the subset of Sony users is a very small portion of the users of their products. In other words, they may have never tested their app on that phone and may never do anything about it.

FWIW they are aware that on Apple devices with iOs 11, the app can drop the BT connection. Their solution on my complaint about this was to kill the running app and re-launch. That was OK when all I was doing was a end-of-ride dump to the web via the phone, I would just have to remember to manually kill the app and re-launch. It did not solve the issue of the device needing a functioning BT connection to remain on during a ride if you wanted text and call notifications as well as expected a track-my-ride to work.
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Old 11-07-17, 07:57 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Do a support ticket with Wahoo. Given the plethora of different versions of Android as well as the ability of the phone manufacturers to create their own little versions of the basic OS, it's possible that Wahoo really just hasn't seen this problem before. They also may not do anything about it if the subset of Sony users is a very small portion of the users of their products. In other words, they may have never tested their app on that phone and may never do anything about it.

FWIW they are aware that on Apple devices with iOs 11, the app can drop the BT connection. Their solution on my complaint about this was to kill the running app and re-launch. That was OK when all I was doing was a end-of-ride dump to the web via the phone, I would just have to remember to manually kill the app and re-launch. It did not solve the issue of the device needing a functioning BT connection to remain on during a ride if you wanted text and call notifications as well as expected a track-my-ride to work.
Note I have this issue with iOS11 and the elemnt. Have the same issue with my garmin fenix5. It seems to be a known issue in iOS11
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Old 11-08-17, 08:03 AM
  #39  
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The replies on the Google group confirmed that you do not need the phone connected to navigate a route and that the routes reside on the device.
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Old 11-08-17, 09:17 AM
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they made that mistake with the rflkt (mandatory phone connection), I'm sure they aren't interested in ever doing it again. Turned a lot of people against their company. It just didn't work, even in areas with good cell coverage.
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Old 11-08-17, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
they made that mistake with the rflkt (mandatory phone connection), I'm sure they aren't interested in ever doing it again. Turned a lot of people against their company. It just didn't work, even in areas with good cell coverage.
I had a RFLKT for over 4 years and had very little issues with dropping connections on iOS until two months ago when it dropping connections and/or locking up almost daily. I figured I got my money's worth so I got a Bolt to replace it.
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Old 11-08-17, 08:27 PM
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The current trick by mine, tested a few times at my desk this morning, is:
-turn on Bolt
-when it doesn't connect (which it won't), start the Elemnt app. The two connect within seconds.

With luck, this will keep working.

The downside is that today (and yesterday and Monday) it wouldn't upload the ride to rwgps. Eventually it did but only after so much mucking about, I don't really know what did the trick.

This weekend, I'm definitely going to work out procedures for storing my rides and routes on my computer and only loading them as needed ie, bypass the whole sync process.
Connections? Once I get a clear idea of what's happening, I'll send in a report to Wahoo as suggested above.
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Old 11-09-17, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
The current trick by mine, tested a few times at my desk this morning, is:
-turn on Bolt
-when it doesn't connect (which it won't), start the Elemnt app. The two connect within seconds. .....
This is the same startup order that I use. Since the Bolt doesn't need the phone in order to work, apparently, the app needs to find the Bolt rather than the Bolt needing to find the app. I should have posted this earlier but I was under the impression that you were having an issue with the Bolt making a connection to your phone's BTLE and not the app. My apology as it would have saved you a lot of grief.

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Old 11-09-17, 08:30 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The replies on the Google group confirmed that you do not need the phone connected to navigate a route and that the routes reside on the device.
I finally found where the RWGPS routes are stored and how to select. Somewhat burried, but, I'm glad I found it.

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Old 11-09-17, 04:15 PM
  #45  
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Can you give us a hint please

Mine wouldn't connect this morning until I'd restarted the phone. Dead set, it's more temperamental than my cat... and he's a Siamese.
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Old 11-09-17, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
Can you give us a hint please

Mine wouldn't connect this morning until I'd restarted the phone. Dead set, it's more temperamental than my cat... and he's a Siamese.
At this point and with all the on-going problems, Iíd be returning and buy a friggin Garmin. The 520 is reported to be very stable and reliable, same price.
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Old 11-09-17, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
At this point and with all the on-going problems, Iíd be returning and buy a friggin Garmin. The 520 is reported to be very stable and reliable, same price.
The 520 is short on map space, doesn't accept micro SD cards, and doesn't navigate.

I returned my ELEMNT to buy an 810 then 810 to buy a refurbished Edge 800 for $170. New case, new battery, factory warranty, and a little over half the price.
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Old 11-09-17, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
The 520 is short on map space, doesn't accept micro SD cards, and doesn't navigate.

I returned my ELEMNT to buy an 810 then 810 to buy a refurbished Edge 800 for $170. New case, new battery, factory warranty, and a little over half the price.
The 520 can download maps and can navigate. The breadcrumb method is not quite as good as the Bolt, but the argument can be made that the color map on a 520 is easier to read then the chevron on a line method used by Wahoo. I personally found the B&W maps on the Bolt disappointing and somewhat less useful then the color Garmin maps.

And does the issue of lack of an SD card become somewhat moot possibly ?, as the map data is not that big a file and fits easily on the 520 for a reasonably large region.

And possibly my memory is incorrect, but the whole problem Europa is having is the Blue Tooth connection he desires with his Sony phone and I don’t believe the 800 ever had BT capability, which came along on the 810. Possibly the BT features Europa wants in GPS unit are not required with the 800, as they are with the Wahoo, so it might work well for him. I personally found that the BT connection made life easier to get maps to the device as well as ride data off and to the web.
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Old 11-10-17, 12:40 AM
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I'm not actually that fussed about the bluetooth but Steve's right, it does make life a lot easier - just sync the thing with rwgps and all your rides and routes are there. Plus it's part of the deal and I don't like things that don't work. Plus the very little information Wahoo provides only talks about using the phone and bluetooth, which is stupid marketing in my opinion - actually, the lack of any instruction manual is pretty stupid too.

There's one big advantage of the bluetooth - receiving notification of phone calls and SMS messages. I'm not wedded to my phone but being a single father and having a father who's very frail now (in hospital three times this year), it's a feature I appreciate... but if the phone and the Bolt aren't talking, well I'm back to hoping I hear the phone which doesn't always happen when there's traffic around.

Having the phone connected to the Bolt also allows you to create a route from your current location to one you specify. I know I can do this in the app, just don't know if I can do it on the Bolt itself. If the phone isn't connected however...

I'll be looking at setting myself up to do everything via the cable this weekend with rides and routes stored on my own computer. It's a bit more mucking about I guess, but I'm not a big fan of third party websites knowing everything about me and gives me more control over how my information is managed. This is possibly my retro-grouch tendencies kicking in (which is weird seeing we're talking about a gps).

But the biggest disappointment is that it's supposed to work and it doesn't... some of the time. Being a relatively simple beast, if something is supposed to work, and if the company defines it's whole method of operation around it working, it flamin' well should work.
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Old 11-10-17, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
At this point and with all the on-going problems, Iíd be returning and buy a friggin Garmin. The 520 is reported to be very stable and reliable, same price.
There are not any on-going problems with the Bolt. There is an iOS 11 issue that causes Bluetooth to drop (not a GPS issue), but simply stopping and restarting the app fixes it. There may even be a fix that causes it.
It sounds like there may be an issue with the Android app on the posterís phone?

Iím continuing to using mine 3 or 4 days per week, creating and loading routes through RWGPS, and uploading back to Strava. It just takes a WiFi connection and/or a smartphone to work near flawlessly.

I typically close the Wahoo app when not using it and restart it after turning on the GPS. Maybe that is how it always works for me?

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