Wahoo Element Bolt

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dpmcalli
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:32 pm

by dpmcalli

Thanks kytyree. Be interested to hear about your impressions of the navigation as you continue to use it.

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kytyree
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:55 am
Location: US

by kytyree

I don't use navigation here near home much but I tried a few things out.

The GPS locked on today in my living room in maybe 10 seconds? How much that has to do with it being connected to my wifi and iPhone I don't know.

There are several ways to add a route. First, using the iPhone app I turned yesterday's ride into a route which allows me to navigate it again or ride it on the KICKR. I'll have to try that, though I lack terrain here close to learn much. Also it offers to reverse the route if you want.

Anyway immediately after doing that the route was there on the Bolt and easy enough to select. On the map screen it lays smaller black arrows out in front of you, zoom in out on the map with the two keys on the side. Additionally I can do that in a full finger glove, the bolt keys anyway.

Other ways of importing a route are via sites like Strava and a gps/tcx file. Example I email my tcx files to myself sometimes and from that email I can choose to "import with wahoo ELEMNT" from my email on the iPhone.

One navigation advantage to carrying your phone with you is that you can create a route through the app similarly to how the phone normally navigates around town and then stow it and use the bolt. This would be handy if you had a change of plans etc. This is really quick to do.

I'll try and do some looking at how it goes out on the road/trail soon. So far I'm impressed with how well and quickly it integrates with other devices and while other apps offer a lot to the KICKR trainer the bolt controlling it seems more responsive. And I think even if I was using another app to control the trainer I'd passively record with bolt as I'm finding it more user friendly for ride files. No thorough analysis of say a power file but I haven't read a review that made me think it's an issue.

I haven't used a garmin cycling device since 705 but I have been using their app and site for a watch that I use for mtb or anything on a trail. The wahoo interface seems more intuitive and so far has less hiccups. Some of that may be that garmin tries to do so much with one app where wahoo has multiple apps with a narrow focus that for me makes thing easier to find.

by Weenie


dpmcalli
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:32 pm

by dpmcalli

Thanks kytyree that's some great info. I think Wahoo have approached things correctly with the smartphone integration. Even with the 820, If I have to do more than follow a simple route, its easier to quickly grab the phone than try and wrestle with the much slower Garmin interface. Seems like theyve taken that approach to a few aspects of the interface.


Full functionality in gloves sounds good too! Definitely tempted to pick one up when stock appears again.

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bomber
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:53 pm
Location: L'Australie

by bomber

I gave up on my Garmin 820 and bought the Bolt. 1 ride in after initial setup and its clear I made the right decision based on my needs.

I was so tired of the slow UI, buggy bluetooth and battery drain it seemed a no brainer. Don't really use the navigation the playing around the app it seems pretty simply to upload a course.
Friends don't let friends ride Mavic... or Pinarellos!


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glepore
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 pm
Location: Pa USA

by glepore

I've been living with a bolt for a couple weeks, coming from an 800. I don't often "navigate" but do use loaded courses quite a bit.
Configuration is pretty much a wash. It's nice to do it on the phone, but not much easier than highlighting data fields. You can move the fields around more easily-drag and drop on the phone. Not sure about 820, but the sensors set up more easily on the wahoo in that you don't need a bike profile, it will find whatever sensors are loaded, meaning that use with multiple different powermeters is easy-nothing to select.

The data fields are very legible. The size, though, I'm goldilocks. I thought the original elemnt looked like an ugly brick, but as legible as these fields are I miss my 800 size numbers. When zoomed out to max fields, they're tiny. They were more visible to my 57yr old eyes with the 800. Still crisp and usable though.

The turn by turn is killer. No need to find a route on the Garmin, select it and turn on turn by turn. Look at the phone, tap the route you want to load, start it on the elemnt. Warnings are good, one beep in advance and 2 at the turn. Lack of mapping is no problem for me as you can navigate from phone if really needed.

Uploads via wifi are no issue-my files go to dropbox by default. I use GC so I do have to drag them from the wahoo to the athlete folder before I sych, but no prob. It only sychs with wifi.

The buttons work fine, at least with midweight gloves on. I do miss the ability to page back (you have to scroll through all pages if you go one forward, for example) but small tradeoff. My garmin touchscreen was good, no issues, as was my 800 generally.

Phone integration with text notification etc is really good. Minor feature, I know, but if you ride during work hours it can be important, or to get messages from your s/o.

It is not a "downgrade" as far as I can see from a Garmin unit of any ilk so long as you ride with a phone. The lack of street names in the maps is not an issue for me, as really, its a hazard trying to nav and ride at the same time. The lack of rerouting? Yeah, minor negative, but the Garmin's was well intentioned but often caused me to have to stop and reload the route after I found my way back to it. The included mounts are nice. There are issues as discussed with some more custom mounts (I had to do a real bodge on a 3t integra stem on one bike, but that's a unique case and it turned out ok).

I'm very happy so far.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

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kytyree
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:55 am
Location: US

by kytyree

I like that when I get done riding and have a chance to check my phone there's already a notification that all reports have been sent. Not having to do the "sync" dance (though it has gotten better) is nice. There are a few, like TP that you can set it up to do automatically.

I guess the beeps are kind of loud but I rode on a windy day and they were about right with other noise in the background. 30 of them beeping every lap in a crit might make you insane though...

There is Strava support, live tracking and other things like that built in, but I don't have experience with any of those so I can't offer a useful opinion.

jfranci3
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

The Bolt has a basic map and doesn't do routing, only preprogrammed routes. I haven't tired the routing, but the basic map is clear. I think it'll tell you upcoming turns in upcoming feet based on how it handles strava segments. The map won't scroll well, so for major re-routes you'll need to pull out your phone. If you just want to see if a road goes through, it works fine. If you want to see paths and trails, it does not do this from what I've seen.

dpmcalli
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:32 pm

by dpmcalli

Guys some really interesting opinions here so, thanks so much. Based on people general positive tone I've returned the Garmin today so we'll see if they will refund it. Fingers crossed.

Happy to hear from bomber that he was happy moving from the 820 and that the BOLT does the core feature set better. Like you say the 820 can be slow and buggy at the best of times.

glepore, thats some great info thanks. Especially that you are happy with the turn by turn routing. Thats basically what I use my 820 mapping for. Create a route on Garmin Connect, sync with phone, sync with 820, select load and (eventually) follow. It seems like the process is simpler and works just fine with the BOLT. Testing RideWithGPS, they even show you the elevation in a course which shockingly Garmin Courses still dont seem to do! Also RidewithGPS you can select other maps which are much clearer and you can do things like reverse a course which you cant do with Garmin Courses, it seems much better as a course creation tool overall. I thought the re-routing on the 820 was basically pointless so I dont care about losing that, and likewise street names arent much use to me either.

I wished both the Garmin 820 and the BOLT did more than just text/email/phone notifications because I cant remember the last time I sent a text. Its all whatsapp/hangouts for me. Maybe in the future. Also the live tracking on the Bolt doesnt seem as good, but hopefully it will at least be consistent. I just need the misses to know where I am in case of emergency.

Mounts are a tiny annoyance because Canyon only make a Garmin mount for the aero cockpit on the Endurace I have (H31). However the Raceware alternative looks pretty good.

If anyone's curious I reached out to Canyon to ask if they had any plans to make a wahoo mount and they said no.

The syncing just working that a few have mentioned sounds great, especially getting the activities to dropbox is great for the flexibility of having access to the activity files themselves.

All in all I'm sold. Hopefully I get the refund and eventually the BOLT. Once I do Ill be sure to post my impressions, thanks all.

glepore
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 pm
Location: Pa USA

by glepore

The one negative about routing...if someone sends you a .gpx track, it is possible to load it on the elemnt, but its a bit awkward. Not really a big deal in this day and age.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

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kytyree
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:55 am
Location: US

by kytyree

If you can get the .gpx file onto your phone, say in an email you can select "import with elemnt" and that will save it with all your routes on the phone and the computer.

Mep
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 4:11 pm

by Mep

When setting up a navigation route within the app, does it use Google maps and bike lanes?

CroxtonCycling
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:35 am

by CroxtonCycling

dpmcalli wrote:Full functionality in gloves sounds good too! Definitely tempted to pick one up when stock appears again.



Stock is available at my LBS now: http://www.bikesheduk.com/wahoo-elemnt- ... e-computer

dpmcalli
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:32 pm

by dpmcalli

Thanks for the heads up!

JackRussellRacing
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:32 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

by JackRussellRacing

New Wahoo bolt arrived on Friday. Took it for a quickie 40-miler on Friday afternoon, and a longer 95-miler yesterday.

Summary? I will likely never use my Garmin 1000 units again. The display is extremely good, the data collection is lock-on with the Garmins (I had them in my jersey pocket, also recording data for comparison purposes), and the navigation is strangely *better* than the Garmin. Following a ridewithgps route, the Bolt gave perfect turn-by-turn guidance. Yeah, I already knew the routes I was going to travel, but was really just trying to compare the two units. Bolt gave more accurate directions, instead of that stupid "Make a U-Turn" crap that my Garmin gave so often.

Battery consumption? Winner-winner-chicken-dinner. On the 95-mile route, with Nav turned ON the whole time, the Bolt consumed 35% battery and I ended the ride with 65% left in the tank. The Garmin 1000? I had 41% left on the battery. Big, big difference in my opinion. On the Bolt, I had the LED's disabled and the backlight disabled. On the Garmin, I had the backlight disabled but it was running GPS+GLONASS.

The screens on the Bolt take a little getting used to -- simply because its different from the Garmin. Not bad, just different and I need to get my configurations better laid out. That's just some fiddling around I'll do today.

Two minor things annoyances. #1: I don't like the mount very much, but I'll get used to it. Actually, the mounting is fine -- it's the width of the "hoop" which seems unnecessarily wide and thick. #2 : Gosh this thing is lightweight. It "feels" cheap, compared to a Garmin 1000 but I know that's just perception. The software inside does seriously work.

Finally..... I haven't figured out where to locate all my left/right power data. I know its there (it is displayed in TrainingPeaks), but cannot find the settings on the companion app.

Again: this thing rocks. My Garmin 1000's will be relegated to the bin of old/unloved cycling gear as of today. :)

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kytyree
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:55 am
Location: US

by kytyree

When you go to configure your custom screen configurations the L/R information is toward the bottom of your options with the rest of the power choices. I just started making changes there.

by Weenie


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