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

Karoo Hammerhead GPS

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Old 03-13-18, 12:40 PM
  #151  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Not disagreeing with you, but it's helpful to remember that cycling computers make up a very, very small percentage of Garmin's overall business. I know some folks who work for them (their headquarters is just a few miles down the road) and first off, Garmin is a very conservative company as far as releasing new products is concerned. Second, cycling computers make up a small percentage of their outdoor activities division (which includes things like dog training collars). The outdoor division is also a small percentage -- I think he said something like 15% or so.

Their biggest seller is, surprisingly, car navigation. I assumed it would be aviation and maritime, which are also big sellers, but apparently consumer car nav systems are still number one.

Bottom line is that I'm not surprised that cycling computers don't get top priority.
Actually, their "Health and Fitness" products are where they are counting on a lot of organic growth. It's one of their key market segments for growth going forward. Their PND (personal navigation products) such as the add on car units are low growth, cash cow markets as they decline. So I completely disagree that bike and the larger category of health and fitness products are not vitally important to Garmin. I have followed the company professionally since they were $40M in annual sales.

Originally Posted by pesty View Post
I may be overestimating it’s battery size, but based on size and weight, it is likely a significant difference. To give you an idea, DC Rainmaker weight it at arround 185g... that’s more than my iPhone 6s inside a lifeproof case. iPhone 6s is listed at 146g, the case is listed at 35g. It’s only about 10g lighter than the 6s Plus which has a 2750mAh battery, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see 2000+ in the Karoo.
Battery size in and of itself is meaningless unless two given units have precisely the same circuitry and display and software. It all matters what the electronics power budget is and then the battery capacity that is provided to support that.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
The newer Edges appear to be improvements on earlier hardware and software. What they release is constrained by that legacy.

Wahoo and Hammerhead started "from scratch" (and aren't limited by legacy hardware/software).
Exactly right. And, actually, that's a pretty big deal and quite liberating for the newcomers. Legacy can be a big problem - ask Intel.
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Old 03-13-18, 12:43 PM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
I may be overestimating it’s battery size, but based on size and weight, it is likely a significant difference. To give you an idea, DC Rainmaker weight it at arround 185g... that’s more than my iPhone 6s inside a lifeproof case. iPhone 6s is listed at 146g, the case is listed at 35g. It’s only about 10g lighter than the 6s Plus which has a 2750mAh battery, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see 2000+ in the Karoo.
Yes, it's likely significantly larger. 2000 seems like a reasonable guess (it could be larger).

The volume of the Karoo is much larger (there's also more taper too).

Some people complain the 1030 is too large. The Karoo is even bigger!

Karoo:

Physical Dimensions
98 x 72 x 28 mm (3.8” x 2.8” x 1.1”)

Weight 186 g (6.56 oz)

197,569 mm^3

iPhone 6s:

Weight and Dimensions2
Height: 5.44 inches (138.1 mm)
Width: 2.64 inches (67.0 mm)
Depth:0.28 inch (7.1 mm)
Weight: 5.04 ounces (143 grams)

65,694.17 mm^3

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Old 03-13-18, 12:45 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post

It doesn't seem the Karoo can make noise at all. That doesn't seem like a good thing at all.
Actually, if the choice is the crappy little piezoelectric speakers like Garmin uses, then I don't think it matters as long as sound can be supported over bluetooth (which I've seen a lot of chatter about). I usually ride with a single apple AirPod in my right ear and that would work great for me - in fact, way better than a dysfunctional wimpy speaker like those that are typically used in bike computers. If it can't support sound over BT, then it's a problem.

In point of fact, I'd like to see quality sound be supported over BT by all bike computers as a general rule. Would be a great and simple product for someone to come up with a small device attachable to your collar or jersey or that you could attach to a helmet strap that is a tiny speaker with a bluetooth chip to make the sound.

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Old 03-13-18, 12:47 PM
  #154  
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Ok
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Old 03-13-18, 12:48 PM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Battery size in and of itself is meaningless unless two given units have precisely the same circuitry and display and software. It all matters what the electronics power budget is and then the battery capacity that is provided to support that.
No one is looking at "battery size in and of itself".

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Actually, if the choice is the crappy little piezoelectric speakers like Garmin uses, then I don't think it matters as long as sound can be supported over bluetooth (which I've seen a lot of chatter about).
I think having the unit itself be able to make noise is an important feature. Not everybody wants to pay for or use a ear piece.

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
In point of fact, I'd like to see quality sound be supported over BT by all bike computers as a general rule. Would be a great and simple product for someone to come up with a small device attachable to your collar or jersey or that you could attach to a helmet strap that is a tiny speaker with a bluetooth chip to make the sound.
That might be a useful additional feature (yet another thing to have to charge).

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Old 03-13-18, 12:50 PM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
What features does Wahoo have that are better than Garmin's? I thought the Wahoo units just read mph from your phone and put it on an auxiliary display?
You're thinking of their old RFLKT display. That was something like 4 or 5 years ago, if memory serves.

The ELEMNT and BOLT are complete standalone bike computers. Better UI, better configuration, better phone integration, better display, longer battery life, far better connectivity etc.... Complete support for BTLE and ANT+ sensors, and in the case of the BOLT - better aerodynamics (if that matters to you). They are also what caused Garmin to start dropping prices on competitive units.

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Old 03-13-18, 12:52 PM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
FYI one of my friends and fellow cyclists just joined the Hammerhead Karoo team. He is a really good software guy, so not shilling but I suspect you may see better software from them in the future.
Well, if it isn't Mr Shilly Shillerton!



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Old 03-13-18, 12:55 PM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
... and in the case of the BOLT - better aerodynamics (if that matters to you).
It shouldn't matter to anybody! (It's a silly feature.)

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
They are also what caused Garmin to start dropping prices on competitive units.
What dropping prices?

The price of the 1000 dropped because it's being cleared-out.
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Old 03-13-18, 12:57 PM
  #159  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
FYI one of my friends and fellow cyclists just joined the Hammerhead Karoo team. He is a really good software guy, so not shilling but I suspect you may see better software from them in the future.
If this is the case, it doesn't say good things about Hammerhead at all.
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Old 03-13-18, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Ok
Not to beat a dead horse, but I think this is good news in general. I came across this from a Garmin financial press release from about a year ago. Per Cliff Pemble CEO (emphasis added was mine) -

The fitness segment posted strong revenue growth of 20% in the quarter driven by wearables with Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate technology. Gross margin increased year-over-year to 52% with operating margin of 17%, resulting in a 15% growth in operating income. The recently launched vívofit jr. was well received by retailers and customers during the holiday quarter and we see additional growth potential for wearables designed specifically for children. We believe fitness will be our largest revenue contributor in 2017, and enter the year confident in our product lineup.
The good news in this is that bike, fitness and running computers are going mainstream which can only be a good thing for those of us using bike computers and wanting them to up their game a bit. I know it's not just bike computers and the fitbit-like products are probably some of the more important products from a revenue perspective, but it means resources for operating systems, software development, hardware development etc....
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Old 03-13-18, 01:03 PM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
It shouldn't matter to anybody! (It's a silly feature.)
Maybe doesn't matter to you but it does matter to some. In addition, the mount that has the ability to semi-permanently lock the device in place means a lot to tri athletes.

What dropping prices?

The price of the 1000 dropped because it's being cleared-out.
When Wahoo introduced the BOLT at (IIRC) $249, it caused Garmin to have to respond with price drops on the 5xx series. They know typically run at the same price, but it wasn't that way at the introduction.

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Old 03-13-18, 01:08 PM
  #162  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Maybe doesn't matter to you but it does matter to some.
It's not likely to result in any difference to the overall aerodynamics for anybody.

As it is, it's an unsupported claim made by marketing.

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
When Wahoo introduced the BOLT at (IIRC) $249, it caused Garmin to have to respond with price drops on the 5xx series. They know typically run at the same price, but it wasn't that way at the introduction.
It's possible they released the 820 at around the same time they dropped the price on the 520.

That is, part of the price drop might have been due to the Bolt and part of it might have been to make the price of the 520 more reasonable relative to the $400 820.

The 520 was released in mid 2015. Being kind-of old might have been part of the reason.

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Old 03-13-18, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post

I think having the unit itself be able to make noise is an important feature. Not everybody wants to pay for or use a ear piece.
Agree, but where we disagree is that the noise capability most of them have is worthless - very hard to hear in traffic with it's tinny crappy piezoelectric speaker sound. My point is that if this is our choice, I'm not sure it's much of a choice.

The problem is that the bike computer world is 15 years behind the cell phone world in terms of speakers. There are very cheap, very capable speakers out there because of the cell phone/smartphone industry but the bike people have stuck with lowest of the low in terms of quality and the most useless of all in terms of utility.

That might be a useful additional feature (yet another thing to have to charge).
Sure. Fair to pay for options. I'd pay for a speaker that is actually useful and didn't impact computer battery life. I like the idea of a speaker that I could adjust the volume and attache to me or my bike somewhere that made it certain I'd hear it.

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Old 03-13-18, 01:21 PM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
You're thinking of their old RFLKT display. That was something like 4 or 5 years ago, if memory serves.

The ELEMNT and BOLT are complete standalone bike computers. Better UI, better configuration, better phone integration, better display, longer battery life, far better connectivity etc.... Complete support for BTLE and ANT+ sensors, and in the case of the BOLT - better aerodynamics (if that matters to you). They are also what caused Garmin to start dropping prices on competitive units.

J.
That sounds like a handful of minor improvements but I'm not seeing any of these cutting edge features they've invented that Garmin doesn't have.
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Old 03-13-18, 01:24 PM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Agree, but where we disagree is that the noise capability most of them have is worthless - very hard to hear in traffic with it's tinny crappy piezoelectric speaker sound. My point is that if this is our choice, I'm not sure it's much of a choice.
It might not be good enough for all situations but that doesn't mean it's "worthless".

The newer Garmins apparently have the option of voicing turn turn directions from your phone.

Garmin -> phone -> bluetooth


Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
The problem is that the bike computer world is 15 years behind the cell phone world in terms of speakers. There are very cheap, very capable speakers out there because of the cell phone/smartphone industry but the bike people have stuck with lowest of the low in terms of quality and the most useless of all in terms of utility.
Smartphones also have economies of scale that bike computers come nowhere near. And, other than Apple and Samsung, smartphone manufacturers don't appear to earn a profit. Water-resistance is a somewhat-recent common feature of smartphones. And smartphones are relatively huge.
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Old 03-13-18, 01:27 PM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
You're thinking of their old RFLKT display. That was something like 4 or 5 years ago, if memory serves.
It doesn't seem Wahoo sells these anymore.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
That sounds like a handful of minor improvements but I'm not seeing any of these cutting edge features they've invented that Garmin doesn't have.
No, there aren't radical "much better" things about the Bolt. But if it does these things more reliably than the Garmins, that's significant.

The Bolt appears to most-closely match the 520. It has more complete maps (the 520 has very limited memory for maps). It might be better than the 520 for navigation.

You can't pan the map on the Bolt (at present). You can create routes for the Bolt using a smartphone (it requires cell service). (The Bolt can't generate routes on its own.)

(The 520 isn't really intended for navigation. I think the 820 is too small to be well-suited for navigation.)

The Bolt appears to work pretty well (though, it had issues at first).

(It appears the Karoo doesn't really work at the moment at all.)

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Old 03-13-18, 01:57 PM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
That sounds like a handful of minor improvements but I'm not seeing any of these cutting edge features they've invented that Garmin doesn't have.
"Minor" is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. My Edge 1000 had the infuriating failing of being really hard to see when riding in full sunlight in the evening (i.e. after work). The contrast was too low and it was hard to see. The display on the Elemnt fixed that. Also, I *really* appreciate the ability to "zoom" the display with respect to data fields. A seemingly small thing that has a large impact in UI while riding.

I agree that for pretty much most riders, the aero features are not important. Apparently Team Sky looked at it and thought it was important, but that's not most people, for sure.

The ability to have a set screw to lock the unit in place, while simple, IS important and I'm surprised no one thought of it until now. A number of triathletes that I know love that feature so they don't have to worry about someone stealing their computer in the transition area.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
It might not be good enough for all situations but that doesn't mean it's "worthless".

The newer Garmins apparently have the option of voicing turn turn directions from your phone.

Garmin -> phone -> bluetooth
Substitute "limited utility" for "worthless" then. Either way, it doesn't work well and it's a crappy solution to making sound especially on a bike. If Garmin is starting to do things like that to get sound out in a better way - I'm all in favor of that.


Smartphones also have economies of scale that bike computers come nowhere near. And, other than Apple and Samsung, smartphone manufacturers don't appear to earn a profit. Water-resistance is a somewhat-recent common feature of smartphones. And smartphones are relatively huge.
Go look at the size of the smartphone speakers. They are tiny, cheap and highly available while having fidelity that clobbers the garbage parts that in Garmin and other bike computers. There is no reason they can't be used cost effectively or for technical reasons if it is that important to have a sound generating component in a bike computer. I can tell you with a very high degree of certainty that the designers of Garmin's and other bike computers have specifically chosen other components simply because they were in smartphones because of the availability of the parts and the low cost.

The more important (and largely unsaid) thing here is that the companies doing the market analysis on useful features are probably finding out that sound generation is way down the list of features people want - which is too bad. That's probably why Hammerhead doesn't have it and Garmin and others use the worst possible, but absolutely cheapest way to make noise but have it for legacy reasons. Yet another reason to argue for the bluetooth speaker accessory. You want it? You pay for it if you want it, but you don't burden the rest of the market that largely doesn't want to pay for it and/or doesn't need it. Heck, with Garmin's hub strategy with respect to bike accessories, it's a natural.
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Old 03-13-18, 02:04 PM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Substitute "limited utility" for "worthless" then. Either way, it doesn't work well and it's a crappy solution to making sound especially on a bike. If Garmin is starting to do things like that to get sound out in a better way - I'm all in favor of that.
Sure. It would be hard to argue against this.

(The noise from the 800 works reasonably well (for me). That doesn't mean it couldn't be better.)

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Go look at the size of the smartphone speakers. They are tiny, cheap and highly available while having fidelity that clobbers the garbage parts that in Garmin and other bike computers. There is no reason they can't be used cost effectively or for technical reasons if it is that important to have a sound generating component in a bike computer.
There might be some reason (even beyond cost) not to use a speaker that has "fidelity".

Given the input that bicycle computers give to a noise maker, "fidelity" isn't a useful feature. I wonder if part of the reason is because what they use uses less power (and not just the power directly used to drive the noise maker).

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Yet another reason to argue for the bluetooth speaker accessory. You want it? You pay for it if you want it, but you don't burden the rest of the market that largely doesn't want to pay for it and/or doesn't need it. Heck, with Garmin's hub strategy with respect to bike accessories, it's a natural.
Sure, this should be an option.

Garmin sort-of has it already (using your phone).

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Old 03-13-18, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Sure, this should be an option.

Garmin sort-of has it already (using your phone).
It looks like the next thing we're going to be seeing is a cellular modem in all sorts of devices. My watch has one now, which is nice because I can go and ride and leave my phone home - really liberating. There is also a Kickstarter campaign for a neat noise canceling headset that is reasonably priced and it too will have a cellular modem in it so you could exercise (there are 8 noise cancelling modes depending on activity) without needing to carry your phone. So getting the phone out of the equation is probably the right answer.

Right now, on my cellular plan, it costs $10 per month to add some other device - be it phone, tablet, watch etc... - to my unlimited data plan. At some point soon, the cost to add an incremental device is going to be much lower than the current modest cost. That's when the cellular connected device business gets explosive. Garmin has to know this too, so hopefully this is stop gap for them on this issue.

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Old 03-13-18, 02:30 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
The more important (and largely unsaid) thing here is that the companies doing the market analysis on useful features are probably finding out that sound generation is way down the list of features people want - which is too bad. That's probably why Hammerhead doesn't have it and Garmin and others use the worst possible, but absolutely cheapest way to make noise but have it for legacy reasons.
I think that having the sound generation is an important and basic feature. It's a guess that "market analysis" was done at all. Hammerhead might not have included it because, maybe, it would have compromised the weather-resistance of the unit.

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
It looks like the next thing we're going to be seeing is a cellular modem in all sorts of devices. My watch has one now, which is nice because I can go and ride and leave my phone home - really liberating. ...
Right now, on my cellular plan, it costs $10 per month to add some other device - be it phone, tablet, watch etc... - to my unlimited data plan. At some point soon, the cost to add an incremental device is going to be much lower than the current modest cost. That's when the cellular connected device business gets explosive. Garmin has to know this too, so hopefully this is stop gap for them on this issue.
I wouldn't buy a navigation device that required a cellular modem. I've been in enough places even in the US without cell network access.

Subscriptions for everything!

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Garmin has to know this too, so hopefully this is stop gap for them on this issue.
To really be able to do this, Garmin might have to abandon their current legacy-based hardware/software.

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Old 03-13-18, 02:46 PM
  #171  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
"Minor" is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. My Edge 1000 had the infuriating failing of being really hard to see when riding in full sunlight in the evening (i.e. after work). The contrast was too low and it was hard to see. The display on the Elemnt fixed that. Also, I *really* appreciate the ability to "zoom" the display with respect to data fields. A seemingly small thing that has a large impact in UI while riding.
I'm not trying to start an argument here, and this thread is about Karoo Hammerhead not Wahoo or Garmin. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. It sounded like Wahoo had some innovative software features and it sounds like that's not the case. (Zoom sounds useful though.) It sounds like Wahoo has some evolutionary improvements over some Garmins, but isn't a revolution. People are still hoping this thing could be a revolutionary step forward for bike computers. The mapping is a lot more advanced, maybe it will display your CP chart while you ride, etc.
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Old 03-13-18, 03:26 PM
  #172  
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No, the Wahoo isn't a revolution (it might not be reasonable to expect a revolution).

It doesn't seem out of place to talk about the Wahoo devices here.

People are going to compare the Karoo to the Garmins (and the Wahoo).
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Old 03-13-18, 04:48 PM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm not trying to start an argument here, and this thread is about Karoo Hammerhead not Wahoo or Garmin. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. It sounded like Wahoo had some innovative software features and it sounds like that's not the case. (Zoom sounds useful though.) It sounds like Wahoo has some evolutionary improvements over some Garmins, but isn't a revolution. People are still hoping this thing could be a revolutionary step forward for bike computers. The mapping is a lot more advanced, maybe it will display your CP chart while you ride, etc.
Oh, I know you're not trying to start an argument. No worries.

Neither Wahoo or Hammerhead are totally revolutionary, but I think they each do bring a subset of features that are - certainly from a user perspective.

In Wahoo's case, what they did that was revolutionary was to fix the arcane configuration method that Garmin and other bike computers had. Moving all of that to the smartphone was really a brilliant move. The other piece that they put in place was making connectivity to outside services so centric. You hit stop on your computer, and within seconds all of the services that you use - ridewithgps, strava, etc... are all automatically uploaded. Sure, Garmin has some elements of this, but they are no where close to being as complete as Wahoo is.

In Hammerhead's case, the instant syncing of profiles and maps, the over the air map downloading/connectivity and the graphical interfaces in the UI are revolutionary (presuming they execute as promised - if not, it's a huge face plant).

In Garmin's case, both of these feature sets are a throw down and they have to answer each one. Being slow to respond is a big risk for them. The problem being a market leader with the drag of legacy products is that it's a lot harder to be agile and they have to answer pretty much everything if they don't want to lose marketshare. Bottom line, though is that this is going to be good for us as consumers and already has been in terms of price drops and raising the bar for feature sets.

J.
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Old 03-13-18, 06:10 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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Thanks for the explanation. All of that stuff sounds really useful. I guess I don't think much about configuration because I used my 800 literally until it was stolen, I got most of a decade out of it. Was happy with how the screens were set up until I got a power meter, then everything changed. But, as noted earlier in the thread, people buy bike computers more often than I do, so they set them up more often, it's not a once and forget thing.

I work as a developer for a medical software company. I find it extremely frustrating to do something kludgy. I can see how having to do it a dozen times would just make me sour.

There are a lot of people sour on Garmin, Karoo has that going for them.
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Old 03-13-18, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
That was the old RFLKT computer, which they no longer make. The ELEMNT and the Bolt are stand-alone computers now, you just use the phone to set them up.

The feature list is similar to Garmin, depending on model, but the implementation is what is superior. It's super easy to set up and modify screens and settings on the Wahoo and my experience at least has been that the Wahoo is without the reliability problems some people report with Garmin. (I've never had a Garmin so I can't say from first hand experience on that point.)

ETA: I worded that poorly. My experience is that the Wahoo is reliable. I can't comment on Garmin's reliability other than anecdotal information.
I’ve used a Garmin 810 for about 2 years, a Wahoo Bolt for a few months and a Garmin 1000 for a year. The Bolt was easier to set up then an 810, but no easier then a 1000. Just different is all, IME. I had all the functions of the 1000 up and running in about the same time as the Bolt. What folks call easier is just different style of setup, some like a smartphone, I was OK with on the device and was all straight forward. Same thing with function. Some hate a touch screen and want buttons. I have a hard time remembering which buttons do what so a TS works great for me.

Wahoo has a reputation for fixing major issues quickly, Garmin does not. Many generations of Garmins seemingly took forever to get major bugs fixed, or at all. This is very much unit dependent, and I’ve no clue why the 810 was such a dog yet the 1000 has been perfect (for me). Note as well that you can visit the Wahoo Google site and read of many issues that Wahoo seems in no hurry to get resolved. As example I complained to Wahoo that the-by-turn screen (white on black) is hard to read. They basically said “oh well”, then fixed it months later, or so I’ve heard. I might have kept the unit had they told me that, as I liked it otherwise.

As to the Karoo, I’ve said that given the hype and subsequent delays, they should have been maybe refining the software so it was pretty good out the door. They haven’t done that from what im reading, and I’m actually sorry to hear it has so many issues. It’s like they learned nothing from Garmin.

Last edited by Steve B.; 03-13-18 at 07:21 PM.
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