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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-14-17, 10:03 AM   #1
chaadster
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Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt. How did I not hear this was coming?!

This is fantastic, IMO, and they nailed the price, I think. ELEMNT was attractive, but too big; BOLT is sleek. Yes!

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Old 03-14-17, 10:15 AM   #2
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Looks pretty well featured. The lack of color is a little surprising but probably not terribly important. When the next version has color, it might start putting some price pressure on the Garmins, which is good for everyone.
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Old 03-14-17, 10:18 AM   #3
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From what I understand the lack of color makes it more readable in all conditions. I am interested in these, but want to find out a bit more about the mapping and route capabilities.
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Old 03-14-17, 10:31 AM   #4
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For $249 I can buy 100 quarts of corn oil
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Old 03-14-17, 10:33 AM   #5
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I really like the look of the design and the high-contrast screen looks less 1995 than Garmin's offerings. However, the claim that the more aero design will offer less wind resistance seems optimistic.
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Old 03-14-17, 10:35 AM   #6
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I really like the look of the design and the high-contrast screen looks less 1995 than Garmin's offerings. However, the claim that the more aero design will offer less wind resistance seems optimistic.
True, but compared to the ELEMNT, which is huge, the claim is also believable.
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Old 03-14-17, 10:44 AM   #7
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I got to play around with one last week, and it seems really good. Definitely placed right to pick up some of the old garmin 500 users, or people that have been skeptical to make the jump to a GPS computer.

It has all the features of the regular ELEMNT except for the lights on the side, but in a much smaller package. The screen is a little different, it's black and white still, but not the paperwhite display like the ELEMNT has (like a kindle).

I do like the feel of the buttons on the Bolt better than the ones on the ELEMNT though. The little indentations are nice, and they push a little easier than on the ELEMNT.

Overall I think the Bolt is a home run. I still use a Garmin 1000 as my day-to-day computer, but for a large segment of the market, this thing is nice and small, easy to use, costs less than a Garmin 520, and does mapping - which is huge.

Another great product by Wahoo
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Old 03-14-17, 10:57 AM   #8
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I got to play around with one last week, and it seems really good. Definitely placed right to pick up some of the old garmin 500 users, or people that have been skeptical to make the jump to a GPS computer.

It has all the features of the regular ELEMNT except for the lights on the side, but in a much smaller package. The screen is a little different, it's black and white still, but not the paperwhite display like the ELEMNT has (like a kindle).

I do like the feel of the buttons on the Bolt better than the ones on the ELEMNT though. The little indentations are nice, and they push a little easier than on the ELEMNT.

Overall I think the Bolt is a home run. I still use a Garmin 1000 as my day-to-day computer, but for a large segment of the market, this thing is nice and small, easy to use, costs less than a Garmin 520, and does mapping - which is huge.

Another great product by Wahoo
The Bolt has the light bar at the top, but yeah, I absolutely agree with your assessment, and am, in fact, one of those old Garmin E500 users. I hate the Garmin UI (including for the website GarminConnect), so I've been avoiding getting another, but have had a variety of issues with other GPS offerings, such as the extremely large size of the ELEMNT. I give Garmin credit for the UI improvements on the 520 headunit, but still, the total suite of Garmin issues is unappealing.
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Old 03-14-17, 11:03 AM   #9
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The price is great for a unit that has mapping and full navigation.

I skimmed the DCR review but did not read it. Looks like you have to configure things like data fields through your phone, not on the unit? That would be a problem, but not a huge one.

The lack of color is weird. Color is useful with maps, and people want color displays. But Wahoo is fairly new in this space and I bet future units will have this.

Looks pretty solid for the price.
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Old 03-14-17, 11:17 AM   #10
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The computer will be perfect for me. I've been looking for something to replace an old Edge 500 that was lost in an accident, and have been using a RFLKT+, which is lacking for what I want. I do want BTLE, since the signal has been more reliable compared to ANT+ for me, and the price is just right here. I'll order as soon as the wife approves of spending the monies.
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Old 03-14-17, 11:21 AM   #11
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I saw the review on Bike Radar this morning. Neat gadget.


Hopefully Wahoo can drive Garmin into being better, or drive them out of business. Once my Edge1K dies I'm so done with them.
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Old 03-14-17, 01:38 PM   #12
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The BOLT is just an smaller, updated version of the ELEMNT. Funny how some give Wahoo so much praise, but let them pass for all the massive bugs and broken features that plagued the ELEMNT. Yet hate on Garmin to no avail... The ELEMNT is still broken and can't work with an SRM.
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Old 03-14-17, 01:58 PM   #13
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Lack of color display and a touchscreen are pluses to me. I think a color screen provides no benefit in a bike computer, and a touchscreen on one is just stupid.

My elemnt has worked flawlessly since I received it in Oct. I do not know about the SRM issues but for everything I use it has worked without a single issue. Plus Wahoo has been adding features and updates regularly so not sure I could give them issues.
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Old 03-14-17, 02:14 PM   #14
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Wait, it has maps but no touchscreen? Wow, that was a mistake!
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Old 03-14-17, 03:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
The Bolt has the light bar at the top, but yeah, I absolutely agree with your assessment, and am, in fact, one of those old Garmin E500 users. I hate the Garmin UI (including for the website GarminConnect), so I've been avoiding getting another, but have had a variety of issues with other GPS offerings, such as the extremely large size of the ELEMNT. I give Garmin credit for the UI improvements on the 520 headunit, but still, the total suite of Garmin issues is unappealing.
Agree about the Garmin UI (ugh). This looks pretty good. I like the display - the better contrast is going to be a good deal in both the sun and with backlight on. My Edge 1000 is annoying low contrast especially at low sun angles where there is a lot of glare (riding near sunset). Seems to fool the screen brightness circuitry into going to low contrast.

Quote:
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The price is great for a unit that has mapping and full navigation.

I skimmed the DCR review but did not read it. Looks like you have to configure things like data fields through your phone, not on the unit? That would be a problem, but not a huge one.

The lack of color is weird. Color is useful with maps, and people want color displays. But Wahoo is fairly new in this space and I bet future units will have this.

Looks pretty solid for the price.
DCRainmaker really liked it. Made the comment that he thought he might be switching over to this from his Garmin head units.

Quote:
But with the BOLT, I see it as incredibly likely that I might make the switch. And when I say ‘switch’, I mean to having four concurrent BOLT’s running on my bike concurrently. There are some minor nuances that I have when it comes to doing product reviews (such as power meter or trainer reviews where I validate data across 3-4 power meters at once) that make my workflow easier on Garmin devices, but ironically some of these same tiny quirks are blockers for Team Sky as well.
Hmm. Looks like they have a winner here.

J.
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Old 03-14-17, 03:16 PM   #16
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I can understand why you'd design the UI that way if you were using a low-power e-ink display, which would be outstanding in daylight. Anyone know if that's the case?
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Old 03-14-17, 03:26 PM   #17
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Wait, it has maps but no touchscreen? Wow, that was a mistake!
Why is that? The button system they have works fantastically, and touch screens don't work well when it's rainy out, or if its cold and you have full finger gloves on, or even sometimes just if your fingers are sweaty enough. As someone who has used (and still uses) plenty of touch screen cycling computers, this isn't one of the things that arises as a major issue for a new computer. Especially for a budget computer.
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Old 03-14-17, 03:31 PM   #18
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Wait, it has maps but no touchscreen? Wow, that was a mistake!
Not at all. Why do you need a touchscreen?

Internally, this is the exact same thing as the Elemnt. The only differences are in the packaging - smaller body, LEDs only up top, aero design/mount, 0.5" smaller screen, and only shows 9 data fields vs 11

However, it is $80 cheaper, the buttons are easier to push, the screen is slightly different (friend who has the Bolt says it's very slightly easier to read), the LEDs are brighter (ones on the Elemnt get washed out in direct sun), and the beeping for notifications is much louder (you can't really hear the Elemnt beep when you're moving at any decent speed). Great updates for me for a fantastic price.

I'll agree that the Elemnt was pretty rough in the beginning but I've had mine since last April and Wahoo have been great with updates and adding features and fixing bugs. I'd take on over a Garmin any day now, especially with what I hear about Garmin support. The screen is great (no need for color), buttons rule compared to crap touchscreens, and the mapping is great as long as you know what to expect.

I'm definitely gonna look into selling my Elemnt and picking up a Bolt.
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Old 03-14-17, 03:55 PM   #19
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Tried to buy BOLT, but website is having problems, saying "try again later." Swamped with orders, I suppose!
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Old 03-14-17, 05:36 PM   #20
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The lack of detail in the maps seems very weird. not having street names would be a step down from even the Garmin 800.. GF is looking into it though so maybe i'll get to see one
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Old 03-14-17, 06:10 PM   #21
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The lack of detail in the maps seems very weird. not having street names would be a step down from even the Garmin 800.. GF is looking into it though so maybe i'll get to see one
It's actually not that bad. I've been using them on the regular Elemnt since last year and the map is detailed enough to tell which street to turn onto without a problem really (at least where I ride). Also, if you import routes from RidewithGPS you do get street names that pop up on the turn-by-turn directions (and in the cue sheet).
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Old 03-14-17, 06:14 PM   #22
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Will it "re-find" the route if you say miss a turn and then take the next block down and get back onto it? I do this once in a while when i choose to go a different way out or on the way back. My garmin will say "off route" then still show the route line and it will "route found" once i get back on track. same thing if i miss a turn and u-turn and get back to it.
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Old 03-14-17, 07:12 PM   #23
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Will it "re-find" the route if you say miss a turn and then take the next block down and get back onto it? I do this once in a while when i choose to go a different way out or on the way back. My garmin will say "off route" then still show the route line and it will "route found" once i get back on track. same thing if i miss a turn and u-turn and get back to it.
I'm thinking of getting the Magellan because it reroutes, since I want it more for navigation. I still don't see any point to powermeter for a non-competitive rider other than e-peen, so it just needs to do cadence and mapping.
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Old 03-14-17, 07:34 PM   #24
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Will it "re-find" the route if you say miss a turn and then take the next block down and get back onto it? I do this once in a while when i choose to go a different way out or on the way back. My garmin will say "off route" then still show the route line and it will "route found" once i get back on track. same thing if i miss a turn and u-turn and get back to it.
Yes it will. If you go off route it will not guide you back or re-route you, but if you find your way back to the pre-programmed route it will continue on just fine.
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Old 03-14-17, 07:40 PM   #25
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Yes it will. If you go off route it will not guide you back or re-route you, but if you find your way back to the pre-programmed route it will continue on just fine.
nvm i read wrong
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