Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Karoo Hammerhead GPS

Old 02-12-18, 04:55 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
I got mine in the mail today. First impression... this thing is huge, and heavy. Twice the size of my 810 and about 3 times the weight. Worst case, might be good for self defense. You could probably bust out a car window with it from 20 feet.
That was the first thing that struck me when DCR unboxed it. Huge.
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Old 02-12-18, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
No. I t's a closed OS, will only run apps that are approved by Hammerhead. They've talked about having their own App Store at some point.

I got mine in the mail today. First impression... this thing is huge, and heavy. Twice the size of my 810 and about 3 times the weight. Worst case, might be good for self defense. You could probably bust out a car window with it from 20 feet.

Data field selection is... limited. We'll see how quickly that expands. But page setup looks to be easier than my 810.

Setup is pretty easy though. Very Apple like.

Haven't paired any sensors or taken it for a ride yet.

I'm sure I'll post more here and there as I get around to it.
I had an 810. Found setup to be a PITA. Switched to a Bolt which was stunningly easy. Didn’t like the nav. screen so returned and got a Garmin 1000 which I found to be as easy as the Bolt. Odd.

I’ve commented prior that with all the delays in manufacturing and getting the Karoo approved, the software needs to be really good out of the box. Sounds like it isn’t and that’s unfortunate.

Karoo hasn’t seemingly missed the boat on this and as we say at work “Late + Excuse = Late”.

Last edited by Steve B.; 02-12-18 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 02-12-18, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I had an 810. Found setup to be a PITA. Switched to a Bolt which was stunningly easy. Didnít like the nav. screen so returned and got a Garmin 1000 I found to be as easy as the Bolt. Odd.
Yea, I had hoped that I'd like the Karoo for navigation. I was happy with the 810, but it was having issues with crashing when I ordered, and I wasn't thrilled about the 820 being a smaller screen. I'm going to give this about a month and if I don't like it better than my 810, I'm going to return it and get an 820 or see if I can scrounge up the extra for a 1030.
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Old 02-12-18, 06:05 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
Yea, I had hoped that I'd like the Karoo for navigation. I was happy with the 810, but it was having issues with crashing when I ordered, and I wasn't thrilled about the 820 being a smaller screen. I'm going to give this about a month and if I don't like it better than my 810, I'm going to return it and get an 820 or see if I can scrounge up the extra for a 1030.
You can get a new 1000 for $300. Same battery life as a Karoo. My experience is a much more stable unit as compared to the 810 I had.
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Old 02-12-18, 06:30 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
You can get a new 1000 for $300. Same battery life as a Karoo. My experience is a much more stable unit as compared to the 810 I had.
Yea, the one big thing I wanted from the 520/820 is notifications. The 1030 has it, I don't think the 1000 does (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm technically on call 24/7, and my wife has a bad habit of texting me when I'm on the bike. While it doesn't have it at the moment, I had hoped the potential was there for notifications with the Android based system. Currently I have my vivosmart, but I hate having to look at the small screen on my watch to see who's calling or what my wife wants. Also sucks in the winter when 1/2 the time it's covered by my sleeve.

I can pickup a used 820 for about $300 as well, so the Karoo is already 1 foot in the grave.

Having played with it getting it set up; the GUI on the Karoo is actually pretty awesome. Screen is very responsive and the OS seems pretty quick. Map screen is great. I have no doubt it'll be good for navigation, but right now it's just missing too much. I find myself going "where's this data field", "how do I see this".
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Old 02-12-18, 06:42 PM
  #56  
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1000 has on screen notification of a call as well as showing you the text.
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Old 02-14-18, 09:07 AM
  #57  
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Anyone get their's yet? I'd really like to read an "in hand" review of the regular production model.
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Old 02-14-18, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
1000 has on screen notification of a call as well as showing you the text.
I have a 1000 and that *never* worked right. I switched to the Wahoo Elemnt, and that works flawlessly.

Hammerhead's roadmap for software updates looks pretty good. I'm looking forward to some of the more graphical presentations of some of the ride parameters (power, cadence).

J.
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Old 02-14-18, 08:19 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I have a 1000 and that *never* worked right. I switched to the Wahoo Elemnt, and that works flawlessly.

Hammerhead's roadmap for software updates looks pretty good. I'm looking forward to some of the more graphical presentations of some of the ride parameters (power, cadence).

J.
I think the BT LE needs to function. Thatís the part 2 of the BT pairing. It took a couple of failed attempts and retryís (as suggested in a Google search) before it worked. Been rock solid since.
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Old 02-14-18, 08:55 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I think the BT LE needs to function. Thatís the part 2 of the BT pairing. It took a couple of failed attempts and retryís (as suggested in a Google search) before it worked. Been rock solid since.
No, thatís not it. It paired ok but it worked intermittently- very hit or miss. It had to be the 1000 since the phone(s) worked fine with everything else.

Anyhow, Iíve moved on from the 1000. Thought the Elemnt was a nice alternative.
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Old 02-15-18, 10:20 AM
  #61  
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I'm amazed how often people buy new bike computers.
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Old 02-15-18, 10:28 AM
  #62  
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Well, the battery on my 520 is down to less than 5 hours between charges. I've haven't had it 2 years. I could pay Garmin $100 to put a new battery in it, or I could buy something else. I suppose if I rode 2,000 miles a year, computers would last a long time. I spend around $400 a year on tires. Buying a new computer every couple of years barely registers.
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Old 02-15-18, 10:44 AM
  #63  
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I get the idea most people buy new computers for the novelty of it. And I feel like there just isn't that much innovation in bike computers.

That's why I'm hoping this one goes on to be a success. Stuff like terrain shading is genuinely useful.
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Old 02-15-18, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm amazed how often people buy new bike computers.
LOL, you mean OCD gearhead gadget freak cyclists or normal people?

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I get the idea most people buy new computers for the novelty of it. And I feel like there just isn't that much innovation in bike computers.

That's why I'm hoping this one goes on to be a success. Stuff like terrain shading is genuinely useful.
I agree - that's why I bought one. (I confess to being a gadget freak for sure).

The state of the art in UI design in general and then compared to the state of the art in bike computers is a pretty stark contrast. Sort of remind me of the UI of phones before the introduction of the first iPhone that changed the whole expectation and UI in the phone world. For years, Garmin was the gold standard and they got caught out sitting on their hands with respect to a lot of this. New competitors saw an opportunity and leveraged it. The question is here is does Garmin respond by making changes a faster rate or do they want to be the Blackberry of the bike computer world?

Looks like Wahoo has made a success of their products, and it would be a good thing if the Karoo is successful. Competition makes everyone sharper.

J.
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Old 02-15-18, 02:50 PM
  #65  
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I ordered mine because I was having issues with my 810 crashing on rides when using navigation. I have taken to recording activities on my Vivoactive as well as my 810 to make sure I still have a recording if the 810 crashes.

For anyone curious, my 3 day review of the Karoo is...

Screen is absolutely beautiful.
OS navigation and text entry is amazing, (if you're not wearing gloves.)

I can't say anything else nice about it.

ANT+ data from my PM drops out frequently. This morning the Karoo recorded an average power of about 30W less due to lost data.
Data fields are annoyingly minimal, I mean like a decade old minimal. My Edge 305 recorded more data this this.
Lack of BT networking is frustrating. Wifi required to do anything, and that's pretty much limited to firmware updates and uploading recorded data. My phone won't even see the Karoo.
It'd be nice to have segments, either Strava or self entered.
Less responsive than my iPhone with gloves on. I'm guessing it's better if you have gloves designed to work with capacitive screens, but with regular gloves, forget about it.
All of the other things we knew were going to be annoying about it.

I was initially planning on keeping my 810 in my pocket until they sorted things out with the Karoo OS, but given the level of simplicity right now, I broke out the rubber band stem mount and am running my 810 on the stem, and the Karoo out front.
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Old 02-16-18, 08:29 AM
  #66  
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I find it remarkable that after a year of development and delays, it's as feature poor as you describe.

BlueTooth connection to a phone app, as done by Garmin and Wahoo, is an absolute requirement. 3G WiFii doesn't work when you are finishing a remote ride and have no WiFi, yet want the data to get to the cloud. Did they really not allow BT ?.

As well and after months, they really needed to get the features working. The shipment delays should have given them plenty of time to finesse the device. Begs the question "WTF have they been doing with the time ?".
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Old 02-16-18, 08:46 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm amazed how often people buy new bike computers.
I know it's heresy, but I don't have a bike computer. I use the Strava app on my phone, which I keep in my jersey pocket.

If a truly good and reliable computer existed, I might actually get one, but i hear my friends complain so much about how unreliable their garmins are, so I am reluctant to cough up the cost for one.
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Old 02-16-18, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
LOL, you mean OCD gearhead gadget freak cyclists or normal people?
One of my best friends says I "have a gear fetish."

I feel like there are a few core requirements for a great bike computer: show your power output, do navigation, display maps. We've had that for a very long time.

Garmin has a lot of excellent features in their triathlon watches, and has been adding them to their bike computers, but it's stuff that doesn't make sense. The 1030 can track and manage your cumulative training load for you, but it only knows about what you do on the bike; it even syncs with the server and still doesn't know if you've gone for a run.

They've released some great stuff (Varia radar), but it's taken them a lot of hardware iterations to do it. And most of those haven't given users much reason to upgrade - my humble opinion only.

So I'm watching what @pesty has to say. The PM dropouts will be a deal breaker if they can't fix them, but it's probably a software thing. Beautiful screen sounds promising.
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Old 02-16-18, 10:12 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I know it's heresy, but I don't have a bike computer. I use the Strava app on my phone, which I keep in my jersey pocket.

If a truly good and reliable computer existed, I might actually get one, but i hear my friends complain so much about how unreliable their garmins are, so I am reluctant to cough up the cost for one.
I remember you posting about the zen-like experience of riding without a bike computer.

These days I use a GPS wrist watch as a bike/xc ski/swim/hike computer. Leave it on my wrist while I ride. The numbers are there when I want to check something, but not in my face. Kind of a hassle during intervals but great otherwise.

I got a gravel bike and we have a maze of dirt logging and fire roads. It's fun to just go to a new area and explore, choose your route as you ride. Instead of planning it out before hand, you follow the roads that look most interesting. Most of these places don't have any cell coverage out here. Hence my interest.
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Old 02-16-18, 10:25 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
One of my best friends says I "have a gear fetish."

I feel like there are a few core requirements for a great bike computer: show your power output, do navigation, display maps. We've had that for a very long time.

Garmin has a lot of excellent features in their triathlon watches, and has been adding them to their bike computers, but it's stuff that doesn't make sense. The 1030 can track and manage your cumulative training load for you, but it only knows about what you do on the bike; it even syncs with the server and still doesn't know if you've gone for a run.

They've released some great stuff (Varia radar), but it's taken them a lot of hardware iterations to do it. And most of those haven't given users much reason to upgrade - my humble opinion only.

So I'm watching what @pesty has to say. The PM dropouts will be a deal breaker if they can't fix them, but it's probably a software thing. Beautiful screen sounds promising.
Agree.

I'm hoping Hammerhead is as aggressive on updates as Wahoo is. Their roadmap seems to say they will be.

I'd like to use the Hammerhead for some supported touring we're doing in Europe this summer. The mapping looks like it would be perfect and I like the idea of the instant updates. The other feature I'm really interested in is their thermometer style data fields for things like cadence or power. That would be a lot easier to deal with, and probably more useful in many ways, than just a number. Especially true if the quality of the display is as it is claimed to be.

But, I'm with you - if there are sensor drop outs then I'd be unhappy. Especially so with power. My stages PM will do that when the battery gets low and it is beyond aggravating. Looking at the display with a big goose egg on it drives me nuts.

Don't feel bad - I too have been accused of having a gear fetish. My wife has told me on more than one occasion that I just got her something that she absolutely can't live without but never knew she needed.

J.
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Old 02-17-18, 10:06 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
That was the first thing that struck me when DCR unboxed it. Huge.
It doesn't strike you until you open the box. First thing I did was plop my 520 on it. It's about 3x heavier but I guess that's the price of continually driving a large screen continuously plus maintaining a cellular network connection. 2 firmware updates in 3 days. Still trying to get a meaningful size of offline map. Seemed to work ok on initial ride. The available data fields seem a little limited going in but pretty sure they can broaden that. Too early to nit pick on interface. I'm just happy it finally shipped.
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Old 02-17-18, 12:31 PM
  #72  
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So I need to ask of the people who have received theirs: when did you pre-order? I know I was late to the game (early-August) but itís already gotten tiring looking for that ship notification in my email folder every morning.
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Old 02-20-18, 02:59 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
So I need to ask of the people who have received theirs: when did you pre-order?
I ordered mine in late June, and I got a tracking number yesterday; it's scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Hopefully the hefty weight of the Karoo will allow it to work for a century ride.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:59 AM
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Thanks @Davideo that helps quell my anxiety-- I'll be less feverishly checking emails until at least the end of next week. I'm guesstimating another ~10 days before I see a ship notification for me. Any sooner will just be a welcome surprise.

BTW, no centuries for me right now unless I pack the battery and cable-- the backlight-off battery life on my 520 just makes 5 hours. Barely.
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Old 02-20-18, 11:24 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
So I need to ask of the people who have received theirs: when did you pre-order? I know I was late to the game (early-August) but itís already gotten tiring looking for that ship notification in my email folder every morning.
I ordered in May, received back on the 12th.
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