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Wahoo Elemnt or wait?

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Wahoo Elemnt or wait?

Old 10-29-19, 10:33 AM
  #1  
cnaq
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Wahoo Elemnt or wait?

Should I buy the Wahoo Elemnt before they are phased out or build up cash and go for the Elemnt Roam? Or, scratch both and just go for the Bolt? Liking the Elemnt due to the larger screen and thinking/hoping that Wahoo will continue to support the original Elemnt for a long time to come. I don't need the maps that the Roam offers but I do like the color contrast knowing that the unit is not full color. All in all the Elemnt is a stretch in the price for me but I would hate knowing that I could have had the larger unit but settled for the smaller for a difference in $50. Please give thoughts as I had only been using the Wahoo app with the Wahoo Blue SC speed and cadence sensor and have never had a dedicated cycling computer.
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Old 10-29-19, 11:44 AM
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dmanthree
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Do you need GPS turn by turn and that map on the Roam? If not, get the Bolt.
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Old 10-29-19, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Do you need GPS turn by turn and that map on the Roam? If not, get the Bolt.
The Element Bolt is awesome. It just works. Works great with my heart rate monitor and cadence sensor too (and with 3 bikes). Definitely a good way to go, as long as you don't mind not seeing street names. It has got me thru some crazy rural areas in north GA (as in, not seeing a car for the first 3.5 hours on a ride!).

Dave
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Old 10-29-19, 03:34 PM
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Bolt user here. I nearly destroyed the speed sensor trying to replace the battery. The door latch on it sucks. But thatís such a minor thing.

Iíve missed many a turn, especially subtle forks due to a lack of turn by turn for strava routes. I know that some other services do allow for that but it complicates the workflow, and Iím not a huge fan of that. Also, I think the LEDs are nearly impossible to see in bright sunlight.

Besides that, I think thereís very little to complain about. I love the long battery life and small profile.
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Old 10-29-19, 05:58 PM
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If you have little need for decent maps, get a Bolt. The maps are OK.
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Old 10-29-19, 06:02 PM
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I've used Bontrager, Wahoo, and Garmin. Even though I use a 530 right now, I secretly wish I had the Elemnt. It's just a wicked good computer. Like others have said, the Bolt should serve you well...but heck, can't go wrong with the Roam. It's really up to you whether or not you can justify the extra cost.
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Old 10-29-19, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Bolt user here. I nearly destroyed the speed sensor trying to replace the battery. The door latch on it sucks. But thatís such a minor thing.

Iíve missed many a turn, especially subtle forks due to a lack of turn by turn for strava routes. I know that some other services do allow for that but it complicates the workflow, and Iím not a huge fan of that. Also, I think the LEDs are nearly impossible to see in bright sunlight.

Besides that, I think thereís very little to complain about. I love the long battery life and small profile.
If you have a bolt you don't need the speed sensor.
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Old 10-29-19, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fastfour View Post
If you have a bolt you don't need the speed sensor.
Hm. Perhaps you should let wahoo know because theyíre selling it as a bundle.
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Old 10-29-19, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Hm. Perhaps you should let wahoo know because theyíre selling it as a bundle.
Indeed and I bought the bundle as well. One day on a ride forgot to put the speed sensor on the wheel and guess what? Speed was displayed and recorded via the.....bolt.
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Old 10-29-19, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Hm. Perhaps you should let wahoo know because theyíre selling it as a bundle.
I'm pretty sure they already know. But I'm also pretty sure they like money.
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Old 10-30-19, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by fastfour View Post
Indeed and I bought the bundle as well. One day on a ride forgot to put the speed sensor on the wheel and guess what? Speed was displayed and recorded via the.....bolt.
The Elemnt Bolt is able to get speed using GPS. The sensor is allegedly more accurate because during climbing, GPS doesn't account for elevation. Also, the sensor is useful for when riding indoors on a trainer.

But I honestly think the sensor is less accurate because you have to input the size of your tire circumference. Most people have it wrong. There is an option for "auto" though. I do not know what it does but I'd presume that it'd learn over time and calculates your tire circumference by comparing how many revolutions you've had with the GPS distance.
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Old 10-30-19, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by fastfour View Post
Indeed and I bought the bundle as well. One day on a ride forgot to put the speed sensor on the wheel and guess what? Speed was displayed and recorded via the.....bolt.
My experience was that without the speed sensor the speed displayed on the Bolt jumps around very erratically at times. The speed sensor fixed that when I put it on.

I would presume that the average speed is not based on the speed sensor, but on the moving time and distance.

Any computer/GPS relying on wireless communication for current speed will lag the reading you'd get with a basic hard wired bike computer.
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Old 10-30-19, 05:26 AM
  #13  
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The speed sensor is more accurate than GPS speed when GPS reception is spotty: between tall buildings, in a tunnel, under heavy tree cover, or in a trail through cut under heavy tree cover.
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Old 10-30-19, 06:10 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
The speed sensor is more accurate than GPS speed when GPS reception is spotty: between tall buildings, in a tunnel, under heavy tree cover, or in a trail through cut under heavy tree cover.
that is what the tech support at Garmin told me when I was having trouble getting it to work on my commuter one time. I replaced the battery and it worked better. I have a speed sensors on my mtn bike and commuter. I swap one to the road bike as needed.
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Old 10-30-19, 07:00 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by vikay View Post
The Elemnt Bolt is able to get speed using GPS. The sensor is allegedly more accurate because during climbing, GPS doesn't account for elevation. Also, the sensor is useful for when riding indoors on a trainer.

But I honestly think the sensor is less accurate because you have to input the size of your tire circumference. Most people have it wrong. There is an option for "auto" though. I do not know what it does but I'd presume that it'd learn over time and calculates your tire circumference by comparing how many revolutions you've had with the GPS distance.
Well...yes/no, and no. There are a few things going on

A) GPS is quite accurate but is rather high-latency (delay from sample time to readout, as well as sample to sample), particularly on low-computing-power products. Which if you're driving steady-state in a car on the highway or interstate is no problem. But a bicycle is seldom in such a steady-state. A speed sensor takes far less compute power (for the same amount of data) so you get better battery life on mobile products, and is much lower latency beside. You need a very good rollout measurement to best GPS--which is why most-all GPS bike computers now will do a GPS-based rollout measurement for you over a mile or so; best of both worlds.

B) Altitude. GPS does, in fact, do altitude, but isn't that accurate compared to a good/calibrated barometric-altimeter....at least so long as the weather is fairly constant over a ride. This is due to the problems of doing hyper-accurate trigonometry on the surface of a globe. GPS can be so accurate in Lat/Lon because of how far apart satellites can get (180 degrees practically), something they simply cannot do in the vertical because of the Earth under your feet. Hence the preference for GPS-calibrated barometric altimeters
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Old 10-31-19, 04:31 AM
  #16  
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Back to the original question: I have been using an Elemnt for 3 years and was given a Roam as a present. There are only three real differences:

1. If you do go off route or if mid-ride you decide you want to abandon the route, the Roam will do the re-routing for you.
2. The color display.
3. The buttons on the side are slightly better positioned, at least for my hand/fingers.

Are those three things worth the extra $80 or so? That is about the cost of 2 new tires (on sales) or a decent but not great meal with my wife out at a restaurant...

That said, if I didn't have either but had tried both I would spring for the Roam - I really like it better for those three reasons. I can save back the $80 (or more, if you look at prices on refurb Elemnts) by carrying some Fig Newtons on rides and not buying snacks at convenience store rest stops...

I would wait a bit - Wahoo does seem to have Christmas season sales, though no guarantee the Roam will be one of the items. I bought my Kickr indoor trainer and a Tickr heart rate strap on sales in December in years past.
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Old 10-31-19, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Do you need GPS turn by turn and that map on the Roam? If not, get the Bolt.
FWIW, Bolt paired with ridewithgps routes works great for turn by turn.
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Old 10-31-19, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by vikay View Post
The Elemnt Bolt is able to get speed using GPS. The sensor is allegedly more accurate because during climbing, GPS doesn't account for elevation. Also, the sensor is useful for when riding indoors on a trainer.

But I honestly think the sensor is less accurate because you have to input the size of your tire circumference. Most people have it wrong. There is an option for "auto" though. I do not know what it does but I'd presume that it'd learn over time and calculates your tire circumference by comparing how many revolutions you've had with the GPS distance.
Using speed sensor in auto mode is most accurate. It uses gps reading over distance to calculate circumference then usees rhe speed sensor reading to deliver speed reading directly and without interuption. Best of both worlds. I find using just gps to be problematic when riding under trees and such where the signal can get interupted.
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Old 10-31-19, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cnaq View Post
Should I buy the Wahoo Elemnt before they are phased out or build up cash and go for the Elemnt Roam? Or, scratch both and just go for the Bolt? Liking the Elemnt due to the larger screen and thinking/hoping that Wahoo will continue to support the original Elemnt for a long time to come. I don't need the maps that the Roam offers but I do like the color contrast knowing that the unit is not full color. All in all the Elemnt is a stretch in the price for me but I would hate knowing that I could have had the larger unit but settled for the smaller for a difference in $50. Please give thoughts as I had only been using the Wahoo app with the Wahoo Blue SC speed and cadence sensor and have never had a dedicated cycling computer.
I have the BOLT and like it. The GPS is great. Of course, the ROAM being a newest model, it's most likely better in all possible ways.

Go with the one that suits your needs & budget. I don't believe you will be disappointed with either of the 2 products.
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Old 10-31-19, 09:44 AM
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For looking at numbers on the screen, you can adjust the amount shown, and so the size of the fields, on the Bolt,

so a larger screen doesn't make much difference.
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Old 10-31-19, 03:41 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
FWIW, Bolt paired with ridewithgps routes works great for turn by turn.
I use RWGPS. I wasnít aware that the Bolt did not do turn by turn.
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Old 10-31-19, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I use RWGPS. I wasnít aware that the Bolt did not do turn by turn.
Bolt supports turn by turn for routes created in RWGPS, the wahoo ap, and Komoot. Roam supports turn by turn for routes created in strava and others as well.
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Old 10-31-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
Using speed sensor in auto mode is most accurate. It uses gps reading over distance to calculate circumference then usees rhe speed sensor reading to deliver speed reading directly and without interuption. Best of both worlds. I find using just gps to be problematic when riding under trees and such where the signal can get interupted.
I'm curious about whether this works differently on the Elemnts than Garmins. My Garmin Edge 520 seems to calculate my Wahoo RPM speed sensor once and then never update it, and I've had it way underestimate my wheel size (like, a 28mm Michelin Pro4E that balloons out to close to 32mm was calculated to be close to 23mm). I've tried recalibrating multiple times and have never once had a clean enough GPS trace (even when crossing an entire lake on a clear day!).
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Old 10-31-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I'm curious about whether this works differently on the Elemnts than Garmins. My Garmin Edge 520 seems to calculate my Wahoo RPM speed sensor once and then never update it, and I've had it way underestimate my wheel size (like, a 28mm Michelin Pro4E that balloons out to close to 32mm was calculated to be close to 23mm). I've tried recalibrating multiple times and have never once had a clean enough GPS trace (even when crossing an entire lake on a clear day!).
The Garmin speed sensors are auto calibrating, but you can also set a wheel circumference in the devices. Iíve 3 sensors on 3 bikes with different wheel sizes. When I compare ride data with other Garmin users and those using basic cycle computers, the results are very close, so Iím assuming that the auto calibration method works.
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Old 11-01-19, 09:45 AM
  #25  
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is the element being phased out? If so, why not wait until it goes on closeout sale?
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