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Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT In-Depth Review


Just about one year after Wahoo started shipping the Wahoo ELEMNT, they’re back at it again with a new and smaller variant – the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT.  Now like their competitors, this unit isn’t designed as a successor, but rather simply another option with a different size for those who want a smaller unit.  Some folks want a bigger display – and the existing ELEMNT is still there for ya.

The new ELEMNT BOLT packs in all the same software goodness as its larger brother, but just does so in a much smaller package nearly identical in size to Garmin’s Edge 520 and Edge 820 units.  But as I’ll talk about in a moment – the BOLT also incorporates the last year’s worth of changes that Wahoo has made on the existing ELEMNT.  So if you read my review a year ago, it’s a very different situation today.

I’ve been using the BOLT for quite a while now – and thus have had plenty of time to put together an in-depth review and dive into all the nuances and details.  Like always, once done with the unit I’ll ship it back to them and go out and get my own.  Also, while I did attend Wahoo’s media event – I paid my own way for travel/hotel/etc costs.  Mostly I just wanted an excuse to ride in the sun for a few days.

With that – let’s get started!

(Oh, and a side note before I get started because I don’t know where else to put it – the BOLT is shipping as of today, for $249.)

What’s new and different:


While it’s true that the Bolt’s software is the same as the original ELEMNT’s, it would be hugely mistaken to think it’s the same ELEMNT we saw a year ago.  The difference is beyond night and day; it’s like the Sun and Pluto.  Assuming Pluto is still considered a planet.  Poor Pluto.

The amount of changes that have occurred to the ELEMNT from launch until now is staggering. Things like legit turn by turn directions, Strava Segment integration, and BestBikeSplit integration are all major items.  But in many was it’s the hundreds of smaller changes that are more important.  It’s these little nuanced details that might have driven folks crazy a year ago, are now gone.  I’ve gone through the firmware update notes for the last 12 months, and consolidated into what I think are the most notable non-bug related items (from hundreds of hundreds of changes):

– Added Route Me Anywhere
– Added Back to Start Routing, Reverse Routing
– Added Turn by Turn Navigation
– Added ability to sync routes via Bluetooth (previously just WiFi)
– Added support for GPX, TCX, and FIT routes from USB (plus wirelessly)
– Added Komoot, BestBikeSplit, Strava Live Segment integrations
– Added about 100 new data fields
– Added a bunch of languages (Thai, French, Dutch, German, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese)
– Added ability to mix unit types (i.e. miles with meters)
– Added sync partners like Dropbox and SportTracks.mobi
– Sensor pages can now show actual sensor firmware versions
– Increased from 9 data fields to 11 data fields per page
– Text/E-mail notifications can now be read full-screen

And of course, I’m being picky in what I’m selecting from the massive list I linked to above.  Just scrolling through that all is pretty mind-boggling.  Certainly, many items are bug fixes or making things better, but a lot are just 1% type changes/enhancements that if they impact you – it might be a big deal for you.

In any case, I’ve consolidated much of this review and the basics into a single semi-cohesive video, which you can view here:

With that – let’s dive into the full in-depth review below.


To get started, let’s look at what’s in the box.  Which of course starts by looking at the box itself.


First up the unit will slide out from its little window, where you’ll simply pop it out of the hole.

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Under the plastic cover are all the accessories.

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The accessories include the following:

– Out-front bike mount
– Handlebar bike mount
– Micro-USB charging cable
– Some paper stuff
– Zip ties for handlebar mount

Here’s a mini-gallery of these items:

DSC_8428 DSC_8432DSC_8427 DSC_8430

And then, of course, there’s the BOLT itself.


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Note that the below video not only includes the unboxing, but also a detailed size and weight comparison of the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT, as well as virtually every other competing bike computer out there.

With that, let’s dive into the basics of using the unit.

The Basics:


To get started with the ELEMNT, it’s almost appropriate to look at the out-front mount that’s included with it.  This mount is unique in that it’s one of the first (if only?) mounts out there designed to be aerodynamic when the unit is connected to it.  Most mounts are designed around a specific connector type (i.e. those from K-Edge or Barfly), and while a given mount may be slightly more aerodynamic than the next, in many ways it’s the bike computer that’s hindering the whole situation aerodynamically.

In Wahoo’s case, they built what they’re claiming is the most aerodynamic bike mount/computer combo on the market (a claim I’m interested in validating…soonish.)  That’s because once the BOLT snaps into the mount, it makes any sharp edge disappear from view.


What’s even more interesting is that on the BOLT mount there’s a small screw.  This screw is there in the event you want to screw your BOLT into the bike mount semi-permanently.  By enabling this, Wahoo’s sponsored pro teams (such as Team Sky) could include the unit during bike weigh-ins (applicable at UCI sanctioned events such as the Tour de France), as opposed to having to remove the unit for the weigh-in.  Since the goal of most weigh-ins is to meet the minimum weight threshold, this enables them to do so without ‘adding’ weight afterwards (installing a bike computer after the weigh-in).  While Team Sky hasn’t yet committed to the BOLT for 2017, it’s certainly a factor they’re looking at.


With everything…umm…bolted on…let’s talk basics.  First up is the unit itself, which has a single button on the left side, two on the right side (up/down), and three along the base of it.  The left button is used for power and accessing the settings.  The right buttons are used for going up/down menus, and increasing/decreasing data fields.  And the lower buttons allow changing of data pages and confirmations within various prompts.


Diving very briefly into the settings menu, this is where you can pair sensors, as well as configure things like the backlight or whether you’re indoors or outdoors.  But I’m going to dive more into sensors in a dedicated section below.


What’s notable about the BOLT though is that virtually everything can be configured via the Wahoo ELEMNT companion phone app.  In fact, that app is basically required to make the ELEMNT BOLT work.  It does make things super-quick to configure though.

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Back briefly on the BOLT, one thing to understand is how data pages work.  On the BOLT you’ve got a number of core data pages that you can iterate through by pressing the ‘Page’ button in the lower right.  These include a map/routing page, a data fields page, a climbing page, lap page, Strava Segments page, and any custom pages.

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Within the data fields page, the number of fields and specific fields that you’ve displayed will vary.  Specifically, they’re ordered based on your prioritization, which allows you to increase/decrease the number of fields shown by just pressing the up/down buttons.  You can thus display a single data field, or nine data fields (all on a single page), and it’ll just remove those that are less important to you.

Don’t fret though – you can still create secondary data pages and customize those too.  All that’s done within the ELEMNT Companion App I mentioned earlier.

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Here’s a look at some quick customization:

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Back on the unit itself, when you’re ready to ride you simply hit the start button and it’ll start recording as you’d expect.  It’ll show your data in real-time, and then allow you to increase/decrease data fields as you see fit in real-time. Same goes for changing data pages.  Basically, everything you’d expect from a bike computer.


All of this from a basics standpoint works just fine and dandy – no issues here.  Don’t worry, I’ll dive into features like mapping/navigation, Strava Live Segments, sensors, and so on in separate sections below.

Along the top of the BOLT are a series of LED lights that can be utilized to present additional information.  In the original ELEMNT, there was also a side LED column, but that’s gone to save space in the BOLT.  You can see these LED’s illuminated partially below:


These LED’s are generally used for navigational information, but can also display speed, power, or HR zones.  Your zones can be configured on the profile tab.  Further, they’ll display data around notifications being received.

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Speaking of notifications, during the ride you’ll see notifications from texts display on the screen (if you’ve configured as such).  You can even configure a temporary ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, should you be in the middle of something important (like an interval).

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Once completed with a ride, it’ll sync to the app where you can dive into it in more detail.  There’s a boatload of charts to choose from.

However, what’s more important is that it’ll sync automatically to any number of sites that you’ve configured in the accounts tab.  These include sites like TrainingPeaks, Strava, and so on.  It’ll do this via WiFi and Bluetooth Smart.

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You can also just plug-in the BOLT using micro-USB and grab the .FIT file directly.  That’s a pretty common file type standard that most devices use these days for recording fitness data.

Last but not least, the app has settings for things like the backlight timeout (note: the backlight is significantly brighter on the BOLT than the original ELEMNT), as well as auto pause or automatic power off settings.

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Oh – and you can even send out a Live Tracking link.  But that’s probably the worst feature of the BOLT.  Like the ELEMNT it’s little more than a single dot of where you are.  No track history, no sensor data, no elevation.  Nothing.  Just a lonely green dot on the side of a mountain.


So sad.

However, turn that frown upside-down, because Wahoo does have some group tracking of sorts.  You can, on the units themselves, at least track other people while they’re out riding. For example during a solo ride last week I unknowingly passed Jose, as seen below on the unit.


This type of functionality can be useful in group ride situations for tracking other riders, as well as in cases where you want to try and meet up with a group ride and are waiting for incoming riders before heading out.

One quick note about battery life – the unit is spec’d at 15 hours, and I’d say it’s right on target of that.  On a 7hr 31min ride (where GPS was left on the entire time, with ANT+ sensors and mapping and no auto-pause), the unit came back at 49% battery remaining.  It started at ~95%.

With those basics out of the way, let’s dive further into all the nuances of those other features.

Trainer Control:


Given Wahoo is a trainer company as well, it’s of no surprise that the unit is able to control your trainer.  And as I’ve said in the past, nobody does trainer control from a head unit better than Wahoo.

The BOLT includes a number of different trainer control modes, allowing you to skip use of 3rd party software to control your KICKR/KICKR SNAP if you want – in lieu of having the BOLT directly control your trainer.

Within that, there are different modes that you can use to control the trainer.  For trainer aficionados, these will likely be familiar.  But let me give you a quick overview:

Erg Mode (Target Watts): Allows you to specify a given wattage level – i.e. 150w, 237w, 350w, etc….
% Resistance Mode: In this you specify in % a given resistance level – i.e. 10%, 25%, etc… Note that this isn’t grade though, just total resistance available.
Route Mode: Here you specify a saved route (from one of the ones you’ve downloaded to your unit).
Passive Mode: In this case you’ve got another app controlling the KICKR (i.e. Zwift), where the BOLT  just chills out and records the data.
Level Mode: Simply set a resistance level, i.e. ‘Level 3’.

Now most of my time has been in simple ERG mode.  It’s just what I use the most.  That means that I’m simply just setting the trainer at a specific wattage, on demand.

Doing so on the BOLT is simple.  On your resistance page, you’ll use the middle button to shift between the three digits of wattage (i.e. 000w or 320w) – thus the hundreds, tens, and ones.  Then you use the up/down to change wattage.


This makes it quick and easy to change wattage – be it a small amount (i.e. 5w during an interval) or a big amount (i.e. 300w from work to recovery).  And that’s really critical.

So how is this different than the Garmin Edge?  Well, it depends on which Edge unit you have.  For example, with the Edge 820 and 1000, they both have touch screens, so changing the resistance level, à la ERG mode, has a suck level of 4 (on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the worst rating).  Whereas with the Edge 520 you lack a touch-screen, so changing resistance levels has a suck factor of 5.  The problem is simply that there are far too many button/screen presses on the Garmin devices for ERG mode.


When it comes to the other modes (such as re-riding a route), they’re largely equal.  Note that Wahoo does have the ‘Passive’ mode for trainers, that Garmin lacks.  But honestly, I think that’s a pretty slim edge case, since most people can simply ‘fake’ that exact same thing by pairing the power meter side of any trainer out there (any trainer that supports FE-C, certainly supports broadcasting of power).  Where the ‘Passive’ function is useful however is just minimizing the number of sensors paired.  So there’s something to be said for that.

Sensors & Data:


When the ELEMNT was first introduced, one of the biggest strengths was its sensor support – which covered both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors.  And the same is true of the ELEMNT BOLT.  It retains all of that support, creating a clear differentiator against the Garmin Edge lineup, which still maintains ANT+ compatibility only.

The BOLT supports the following types of sensors:

ANT+ Heart Rate sensor
ANT+ Speed-only sensor
ANT+ Cadence-only Sensor
ANT+ Speed/Cadence Combo Sensor
ANT+ Power Meter
Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate sensor
Bluetooth Smart Speed-only sensor
Bluetooth Smart Cadence-only Sensor
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Combo Sensor
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter
Shimano Di2 System (via private-ANT)
SRAM RED eTAP System (via ANT+ Gear Shifting Profile)
BSX & Moxy Muscle Oxygenation sensors (via ANT+ Muscle Oxygen Profile)

The above list captures the vast majority of cycling sensors out there today.  If you were to boil it all down into things that the Edge series doesn’t support, it’d be:

Bluetooth Smart sensors (of all types)

Then there are things that the Edge series supports that Wahoo doesn’t (yet):

Garmin Varia Radar systems
Garmin VIRB Action Camera
ANT+ Lighting Control (Garmin Varia lights)
ANT+ Remote Control
ANT+ Weight Scales
ANT+ FE-C Trainers (most electronic trainers except Wahoo trainers)

Of course, all of these things may or may not matter to you.  For example, if you have a Wahoo trainer, then you won’t care that it doesn’t support FE-C yet.  Whereas if you have a Tacx trainer, then you very much might care.  Or you still might not care if you only use Zwift to control your trainer.

Wahoo notes that they do plan FE-C support for this upcoming Fall (Fall 2017), but I’d note that they said that last year too…and that never happened.

As for action cam integration, Wahoo is backing away from the previously discussed GoPro control.  Some of that seems to be blaming GoPro for their funky software implementation (a message I’ve heard echoed from other companies that have investigated the same thing).

With all that out of the way, let’s talk about pairing.  With the BOLT you’ll go into the settings menu and immediately see the sensors listed below.  You can see the signal strength (and thus status) of the sensor right on the display.


You can select a given sensor to get more information about it. For example, on a power meter, you can select to calibrate it, or even see the left/right sensor status for a unit like the PowerTap P1.


Towards the bottom is the ability to add new sensors.  This will search for the nearest sensor first and offer the ability to confirm/pair it:

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Alternatively, you can go into the list of sensors nearby and add/select them manually.  They are sorted first by sensor type, and then if multiple sensors exist nearby, it’ll show you the individual sensors.


Like most units on the market, you can assign names to the sensors.  However, unlike most units, you can do so via your phone with the ELEMNT companion app.  This makes giving sensor names a boatload easier.  Also – you can pair from this same menu too, if you have unpaired sensors nearby:

As noted above, probably the most critical difference in terms of sensors here between the Wahoo ELEMNT and the Garmin Edges units is the ability to utilize Bluetooth Smart sensors.  Garmin only permits ANT+ sensors, except on their newest Fenix 5 series, which can also connect to Bluetooth Smart sensors (Running Footpods, HR Straps, Cycling Speed/Cadence sensors, and Power Meters)

In the grand scheme of cycling, there are only a handful of cycling-specific devices that are Bluetooth Smart only (the mostly defunct Polar Bluetooth Power Meter Pedals), and the original Wahoo BlueSC or original RPM1 units.  Beyond that, almost everything is dual (ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) these days.  Of course, there are more Bluetooth Smart-only heart rate straps.  But there are also numerous ANT+/Bluetooth Smart dual straps available too.

In terms of things I want to see ‘changed’, I’d put two requests at both company’s doors: I want to see the Edge series support Bluetooth Smart sensors (if technically capable on existing hardware, which I think it may be), and on the Wahoo side I want to see them move up the FE-C support.  Given Wahoo’s trainer control implementation is just soooooo much better than Garmin’s from a usability standpoint, I’d love to see that happen sooner rather than later.

Note: For those curious, I’ve used the following sensors with the BOLT over the past month or so: Wahoo KICKR2, PowerTap P1 pedals, Power2Max NG, Garmin HRM-TRI, Scosche Rhythm+, Garmin Fenix 5 Optical Sensor Rebroadcast, Wahoo RPM, TACX NEO (Power/Speed/Cadence), Wahoo TICKR, Quarq DZero, and probably a few more I’m forgetting.  I saw no issues with any of them as far as I can remember.

Update – Feb 2nd, 2018: Note that there are reports of issues with ROTOR and Favero power meters (Assioma and bePro) and certain total/average power meter metrics displaying correctly on the unit itself.  This doesn’t impact the underlying recorded data, but rather the summary and average fields, including TSS/IF/NP.  Wahoo says they’re hoping to have a fix out in the coming weeks.

Mapping & Navigation:


When the Wahoo ELEMNT first rolled out last year, the navigation was a bit…limited.  Basically, they provided the equivalent of breadcrumb trail mapping.  Albeit, overlaid onto a global street map.  So it was one notch above the Garmin Edge 520 (default config), and about equal to a Garmin Edge 520 where you manually added some 3rd party maps (slight differences on both sides).

But then about 3 months later last June they added legit turn by turn navigation to the ELEMNT, which carries through to the BOLT.  In this case, it’d let you know of upcoming turns on each street as you approached it, and would allow you to view cue sheets accordingly.  And that’s basically where we are today with the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT.


First, let’s backup though and talk about how you get routes onto the device itself.  For the most part, you’re going to leverage four key methods: Strava Routes, RideWithGPS, BestBikeSplit, or Komoot.

When you configure those accounts within the BOLT, it’ll automatically sync the routes via WiFi or Bluetooth Smart from your saved routes to your device.  You can see these routes in either my Strava or RideWithGPS accounts. Note that the Strava routes won’t give you proper turn by turn, whereas RideWithGPS routes will.



Note that previously you had to have a WiFi connection to sync routes, but now that’s no longer required.  You’ll see these routes displayed within the routes page on your BOLT.  Next, we’ll select a route to begin navigation on.  By default, after selecting, you’ll see the distance remaining and the cue sheet for your turns.


However, by pressing the back button you’ll get to the normal navigation page that shows you the map along with the distance until your next turn.  You can also configure the data displayed at the top of the page as well:


As you approach a turn, it’ll notify you of that turn and the direction of travel.


All this works well.  On my 84 mile route last week, it happily notified me of approximately 68,128 turns.  Seriously, so many tiny roads.  It works great for the most part.

I say ‘most part’, because I did feel at times it was a bit last second on some turns (whereas most times it notified well in advance properly).  Also, in cases of traffic circles, while it does have the specific exit to take (i.e. 2nd exit), it can be hard to read on the smaller screen (and I have what the doctor would describe as “exceptionally good” eyesight).

In the example below – can you tell whether it’s the 1st or 2nd exit in that circle to take?


The only downside to the Wahoo turn by turn implementation is the inability for it to ‘recover’ from a wrong turn.  Basically, it doesn’t know how to re-route you.  That’s because technically speaking Strava or RideWithGPS has done that routing.  If you get off course, the BOLT isn’t going to help you much, aside from letting you point your way back to the route.  This isn’t a horrible thing, as sometimes it’s just quicker for you to figure it out yourself in a few seconds.  But if you royally miss a turn (and don’t realize it for a long time), being able to re-route is handy.

Also – because the BOLT isn’t storing data like addresses or points of interest, it can’t do any of that routing without a phone.  Meaning that on a Garmin Edge 820/1000, for example, you can enter in an address to route to (with no phone nearby) and it’ll get you there.  You can do the same on the BOLT, but it has to be done from your phone with data services.  So if you’re touring in a foreign country, you’re going to need a smartphone data plan for any mid-day re-routes.

Finally, there’s another newish feature on the BOLT which is the ability to use your phone to navigate point to point.  This is great if you don’t have a pre-created route, and just want to route somewhere really important: Like a nearby ice cream shop.  To do this you’ll crack open your phone and use the routing page:

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Then you just send it to the ELEMNT BOLT and off you go on this route using the BOLT.  It’s pretty darn cool, and reminds me a lot of what we saw Lezyne do last year.  The reason I prefer this over doing it manually on the device (such as on an Edge 1000 series) is that often times Google/etc searches for places are simply more up to date.  Plus, it’s usually easier to filter through results on your phone than on the head unit.

Having the ability to do it on the head unit certainly has its place – but if I had to pick one flavor, it’d be via phone and then sent to the BOLT.  Note that you can also create a route from past rides, as well as create a route by opening a GPX/TCX file with the ELEMNT app (such as e-mailing it to yourself).

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One area that both companies still seem to totally miss is the ability to easily create a route on my phone by just tapping a series of points on the map and then sending it to the bike computer (Wahoo only allows navigation to a single point from the phone app, Garmin none at all).  To me when I’m exploring new areas, this is how I create routes quickly.  I use EasyRoute (a free app), but getting that to devices is tricky.  On the bright side, last year Wahoo ‘acquihired’ the developer behind EasyRoute, and it sounds like we may see that functionality incorporated into the lineup, which would be sweet.

Strava & 3rd Party apps:


When it comes to 3rd party apps on the device itself, for the most part that’s limited to Strava and BestBikeSplit.  Wahoo doesn’t have an open app platform like Garmin does with Connect IQ.  Instead, they prefer to pick specific partners and then build a single cohesive experience in a first party kinda way.  And in many ways, that’s worked out well for them, specifically when it comes to Strava.

Strava integration with the BOLT is fantastic, just like it was with the original ELEMNT when they introduced it last summer.  To get the BOLT working with Strava for Live Segments (which shows your status against competitor leaderboards), you’ll need to ensure you’ve got a Strava Premium account, as well as have that account all setup within the ELEMNT companion app.  Further, you’ll want to double-check that your Strava Live Segments options are how you like them.

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Next, on the BOLT you can go into the dedicated Strava page, which will show your ‘Starred’ segments around you.  This is a bit different than Garmin, which will not only show starred segments, but also popular segments in your riding area.  So in that sense, Garmin’s implementation is easier if you don’t know what’s cool around you.  But that’s kinda where things win for the Garmin camp.  Note that you can check your starred segment list on the Strava site (Dashboard > My Segments).


Once that’s all set and good, you’ll sync your BOLT using either WiFi or Bluetooth Smart. Either will work for this purpose.  Then you’ll head on outside and find a segment.  As you get within range of a segment it’ll appear along the bottom – displaying your distance until the segment begins:


As you cross the line, it’ll show a big-ass ‘GO!’ prompt at the bottom of the BOLT.


At this point it begins showing you how far ahead or behind you are, as well as your distance remaining and end time.


You’ll notice it’ll display either your PR or the KOM on the page, which you can quickly toggle back and forth using the ‘VS’ button in the middle.


Once done it’ll give you a summary, including whether any KOM’s or PR’s were hit.  In my case, none today.  What’s cool though is that the BOLT (like the original ELEMNT) can concurrently handle multiple segments, which is something that Garmin is unable to do.  So if you’ve triggered multiple segments that overlap (common in many places), you can just tap the ‘SGMNT’ button in the lower left to toggle between them.


Note that at any time you can change to other data pages by pressing the ‘Page’ button.  Additionally, you’ll also get any routing/mapping information displayed on the Strava page as well along the bottom – should it occur.


Again – all of this works pretty darn well.  Like when I tested it last summer, the only thing I really wish the BOLT did was allow me to toggle against not just PR/KOM, but also people I follow (friend’s PR’s).  In many ways, that’s who I’m most interested in beating – which is a function that Garmin does allow.

Product Comparison:

I’ve added the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT into the product comparison database, which you’ll find below.  But what if you want the quick and dirty version?  Well, here’s some things to consider:

If you care about: Easy to use routing from existing services like Strava and RideWithGPS, dual ANT+/BLE sensor support, BestBikeSplit integration, and the best Strava/trainer integration: Then the BOLT might be your answer.  When it comes to the basics – for the most part, these days, Garmin and Wahoo have all those down pat and are both equal.  It’s nuances like these (on both sides) that separate them.  Wahoo’s Strava Live Segment integration is easily the best I’ve tried, and their trainer control of their own trainers is awesome.  They have dual ANT+/BLE sensor support, which Garmin lacks, and Garmin also lacks being able to easily get Strava and RideWithGPS routes onto their device.  I haven’t heard of any plans from Garmin to rectify any of these items.  Though, keep in mind Garmin does have Connect IQ – which means that they have far more apps out there than Wahoo does (since Wahoo has no app platform).

If you care about: Structured workout support, FE-C trainer control, Live Tracking, or Action Cam Control: Then the BOLT probably isn’t for you.  Wahoo doesn’t have any of these features today, and while some are on the horizon, none are near-term.  For example, the Garmin series can download structured workouts you create easily, and then the unit will guide you through them.  Wahoo does have some support via BestBikeSplit for some cool integration there – but that’s really only useful if you utilize that service.  On the other points, the Live Tracking is dismal on Wahoo, and the action cam control doesn’t seem like it’s in any cards (realistically).  FE-C trainer control we should see this fall, which is when Wahoo says we might also see structured workout support.  But on both of those – I’ll believe it when I see it.  Also – if you tend to do more re-routing/re-navigation mid-ride without a phone, then the BOLT probably isn’t for you either (i.e. touring in a foreign country without data coverage).  That’s because it doesn’t have any sort of POI/address/routing database on it.

Again – there are a crapton more nuances than those.  But if I had 30 seconds to explain to someone the core differences, up above is really the gist of it.  Beyond that, you get into many of the details outlined in the below tables.  For the purposes of comparison, I’ve added the Wahoo ELEMNT, ELEMNT BOLT, Edge 520, and Edge 820.  I think those are realistically the units people are most comparing these days.  But fear not, you can use the product comparison tool to compare other units here.

Function/FeatureWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 10th, 2018 @ 6:48 amNew Window
Product Announcement DateMar 14th, 2017Sept 15th, 2015July 13th, 2016July 1st, 2015
Actual Availability/Shipping DateMar 14th, 2017March 1st, 2016Mid-July 2016July 31st, 2015
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYes
Data TransferBluetooth Smart, WiFi, USBBluetooth Smart, WiFi, USBUSB, Bluetooth, WiFiUSB & Bluetooth Smart
Battery Life (GPS)15 hours17 Hours15 hours15 hours
Recording Interval1-second1-Second1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerYesYesYesYes
Quick Satellite ReceptionYesYesYesYes
AlertsAUDIO/VISUAL + LED'sSound/Visual/LED'sSound/VisualAudio/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoYesYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)N/AN/ANoNo
MusicWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Can control phone musicNoNoNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNoNo
Streaming ServicesNo
PaymentsWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNo
ConnectivityWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesYesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesYesYesYes
Group trackingYesYesYesNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoYesYes
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNo
CyclingWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYEsYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYesYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesYesYesYes
Crash detectionNoNoYesYes
RunningWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Designed for runningN/ANoNoN/A
VO2Max EstimationN/AN/A(Cycling Yes though)(CYCLING YES THOUGH)
Recovery AdvisorN/AN/A(Cycling Yes Though)(CYCLING YES THOUGH)
TriathlonWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Designed for triathlonN/ANoNoN/A
WorkoutsWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureNoNoYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoSortaYesYes
FunctionsWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureNoNoYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoYesYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoNoYesYes
Day to day watch abilityShows time/dateNoNoN/A
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataN/AN/ANoN/A
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)N/AN/ANoN/A
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)N/AN/ANoN/A
Weather Display (live data)NoNoYesYes
NavigateWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionNoNoYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesYesYesYes for maps (but not routable)
Back to startYesYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNo (But can create one-way routes from phone app)NO (BUT CAN CREATE ONE-WAY ROUTES FROM PHONE APP)YesNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesYesYes
SensorsWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeMagneticMagneticGPSGPS
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYEsYEs
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)YesYesYesYes
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoYesYes
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoYesNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)YesYesWith appsWith apps
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)YesYesYesYes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableYesYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableYEsNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableYesYesNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR tools--NoNo
SoftwareWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
PC ApplicationN/AN/AGarmin Express (PC/Mac)Garmin Express
Web ApplicationN/AN/AGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/Android/Windows PHoneiOS/Android/Windows Phone
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNo
PurchaseWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Amazon LinkN/ALinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerWahoo ELEMNT BOLTWahoo ELEMNTGarmin Edge 820Garmin Edge 520
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Again, remember that you can mix and match your own product comparison chart using the product comparison tool here.



A year later, and things are dramatically different for the BOLT than the original ELEMNT.  As I said back then, one of the biggest challenges for me with the original ELEMNT was the size compared to my mainstay of a smaller Edge 520 (and now including the Edge 820).  However, with the BOLT that’s no longer an issue.  The same goes for many other nuances that kept me from using the Wahoo bike computers as my day to day unit.

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. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see them taken care of…soon.  Plus, I love that the BOLT can sync to Dropbox, an annoyance that Garmin can’t do natively.  That’s a huge help for me in consolidating data quickly post-ride.  But again – I’m an oddity here on some of my requirements.

When I was out riding in Mallorca last week and not having to worry about comparing piles of multiple power meter data streams or numerous heart rate sensor data streams, the BOLT worked fantastically well.  I had zero issues in routing or data display. It’s really just such a nice little package that works so well – and all cheaper than an Edge 520.  Plus, I love how easy it is to stick a point on a map via the phone and have it route.  The same goes for using RideWithGPS to get turn by turn routes onto the unit.  All major benefits if you use those services.

So job well done Wahoo – you’ve managed to do what is far more difficult than most people realize: Making a really good bike computer that consumers will crave and love.  It’s been a long journey from the original Wahoo iPhone Bike case to the RFLKT then the RFLKT+, then the original ELEMNT, and now finally the BOLT.  But you’ve arrived.

Found this review useful? Or just wanna save a bundle? Here’s how:

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased.  By joining the Clever Training VIP Program, you will earn 10% points on this item and 10% off (instantly) on thousands of other fitness products and accessories.  Points can be used on your very next purchase at Clever Training for anything site-wide.  You can read more about the details here.  By joining, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers.  And, since this item is more than $75, you get free 3-day (or less) US shipping as well.


Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (though, no discount/points). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Jose

    Was the issue with the Bolt sending data directly to Garmin Connect ever resolved?

    • Philippe

      Nope, still broken. Even importing (uploading) the .fit file to Garmin Connect doesn’t work. I guess most people are using Strava solely anyway, but for those who want their rides in Garmin Connect as well this really sucks.

    • Yeah, this is more of a Garmin driven problem than a Wahoo one…

    • Calle

      Why is it a Garmin problem that Wahoo creates a .fit file that Garmin doesn’t accept? From what I’ve read, Wahoo adds two user-defined fields, removing those makes the file upload without problems.
      (Said without actual knowledge at all, but curious and willing to learn 🙂

    • Because there’s nothing wrong with the .FIT file that Wahoo creates. Nothing at all. It conforms to all the specs just fine, as evidenced by every other site on the planet accepting it.

      The challenge if you will, is that in said .FIT file lists the device manufacturer and model for every device. So likely Garmin just casually blocks on that now (I haven’t tried it lately). There’s a thousand more ways they can figure out whether it’s a Garmin device or not, and block as they see fit (most Garmin devices record additional data into the .FIT file making it easy to know those are Garmin devices).

  2. Jose Barrios

    What is the status of the issue with the connection with Garmin Connect? I

  3. Robbie Larson

    Hey! What’s up with the availability of the Bolt? I can’t find it on Amazon and some of the online stores I use do not have just the Bolt in stock. Is Wahoo getting ready to upgrade the Bolt?It is hard to find in stock right now.

    • Wahoo doesn’t sell the BOLT on Amazon (they refuse to). It’s in stock at Clever Training: link to clevertraining.com

      I don’t expect anything new here.

    • Paul

      well….. at least the firmware needs a SERIOUS major upgrade considering all the bugs related here at these comments and google groups. Hardware is very nice and the only reason I haven’t returned my unit yet… I still have hopes on their software developers. In the meantime I am riding with a Garmin in paralell so that I can still collect data with the Bolt and send them everyday. But it has been months now…..

    • Rob Stephenson

      “all the bugs”?? I’ve had mine for 9 months and has been absolutely perfect. Could never say that about any Garmin I owned. All I can say is well done Wahoo, keep up the great work.

    • Philippe

      “…collect data with the Bolt and send them everyday.”

      You mean ‘everywhere’? Then how do you upload the fit file from the Bolt to Garmin Connect? Mine used to do that, but it stopped working on Aug 17, 2017.

    • Rob Stephenson

      The Bolt sends the file to Ride with GPS automatically. I then use the “Syncmytracks” app to send to Garmin Connect. Tried this with Strava but it misses power data.

      Using RWGPS to Garmin via Syncmytracks all data is exported.

    • Deepak Rao


      Yes. Avg cadence and avg power not accurate. That’s fairly significant. I surprisingle had less issues with my Garmins, though I do like the Wahoo UI by phone app.

    • Philippe

      Thanks for the Syncmytracks tip. Pity it’s Android-only.

    • Paul

      @ Philippe.. “everyday” … Bolt has a “send logs” functionality. If you have an open ticket/issue after completing the workout you can send directly the infos so that they are able to analyse. Very nice, besides the fact that it’s been 2 months and no word from them. They just say that they can’t reproduce the problem when there are several users experiencing it and sending them data on a dalily basis. I am talking about the Average Power calculation with Assioma Pedals (and some other powermeters)

      @ Rob …. lucky you. It depends on your needs and set-up. Just take a look at Wahoo group at google and you will find bugs for all tastes. For example.. there are people complaining about the “turn by turn” feature… I don’t care.. haven’t touched it because I do not use it.
      I really believe that this is a nice product.. the concept is very good and that is the only reason I am still holding it besides the bugs I am experiencing. I hope they are able to solve it.
      In the meantime, Garmin.. which in my case and years using it, NEVER failed.

    • Philippe

      edit: stopped working on July 15th, 2017

    • Wahoo Murray

      Phillppe, Garmin disabled our access and its very unlikely they will ever allow us to upload to Garmin Connect again.

    • Philippe

      Thank you very much for replying. That’s a solid answer – appreciated.

    • Calle

      Could you please elaborate a bit on how Garmin can block my unit from uploading a .FIT file using my credentials? From what I’ve read, you have a couple of user-defined fields that Garmin Connect doesn’t accept, causing the workout to not display at all (when uploaded manually). Seems like this is something you could fix rather easily?

      I can understand that Garmin won’t adjust to your contents, but I cannot understand why you can’t create a .fit file that Garmin will accept and automatically upload it to Garmin Connect. Even if you for some reason can’t automatically upload, it would be preferrable if the .fit file you create at least can be manually uploaded.

    • This roughly explains it all: link to dcrainmaker.com

      In short, Garmin doesn’t have a public API for uploading files. Rather, only a limited set of partners are able to upload those files. Garmin doesn’t view Wahoo as a partner, but instead as a competitor. As such, they don’t allow them access to it.

      Previously, Wahoo would basically create ‘creative workarounds’ to get the files up, but ultimately that’s just a cat and mouse game that Garmin can find equally creative ways to block (as they’ve done).

      In short – yell at Garmin (because I’ve yelled endlessly about it). One of these days they might listen…

    • Calle

      Thanks for the clarification – I had my suspicions towards that 😉

      I was perhaps dumbly assuming you could just mimic what’s done on the Garmin Connect upload page to upload a .fit file automatically, but I realize there are more going on behind the scenes.

      However, creating a basic .fit file that would be accepted by a manual upload couldn’t be that hard – if they changed the protocol to prevent this I guess they would have tons of rather upset other customers having to change protocol as well. Or perhaps I’m over-simplifying things.

      While I can somewhat understand Garmin wanting people to buy their hardware, I totally support your yelling at them. 🙂

    • Paul S.

      That was my first thought, too, but then I realized that in the past year I’ve manually uploaded to Garmin Connect maybe once. Almost all of the time Garmin’s various automatic uploading techniques work. If someone else started abusing (in Garmin’s view) manual uploading, they could just shut it down altogether, like they shut down “Explore” on GC. I don’t understand why they don’t want other manufacturers to have easy access to GC, but it seems they don’t and they could easily defeat workarounds. I can see why Wahoo doesn’t want to bother.

  4. David Chrisman

    Wahoo folks–any Xert integration in the future?

  5. Scruffmeister

    Does anyone have any information about when Wahoo plans to implement crank length setting for the Vector 3 pedals on the BOLT using Ant+?

    This seems like a major functionality omission to me and results in my Vector 3 pedals on 165mm cranks reading about 10-20% over against a known good hub power meter. The over reading is caused by the BOLT assuming cranks are 172.5mm.

    It seems it may be possible to set crank length if you connect the pedals using Bluetooth (haven’t tested), but I prefer to use Ant+ for all my sensors.

  6. Raimist David Scott

    Wahoo Elemnt and Cycleops Mangus smart trainer question : Can’t figure out how to get Wahoo ELEMNT to control my Cyclops Magnus. I know it is communicating as all the stats are working. If I choose other modes like %resistance I can really feel the trainer kick in. I am using synced routes from RWGPS. Any ideas? I have pics of the head unit screens and connections. I now notice that it didn’t record elevation on Strava for this ride either. A previous test ride a few days earlier seemed to do that, but still didn’t feel change in resistance. The “location” started as “Indoor” but reads “Kickr”. Not sure why or if that is correct.

    Well, I used Shane Miller’s routes. Still doesnt appear to adjust resistance on the Magnus when using ROUTE mode. I see the elevation, I see the % grade on the head unit, but just don’t feel the resistance. I don’t know what else to try.

  7. Daniel

    Hey Ray, I think it is time that someone points out the fact, that Wahoo still didn’t deliver the promised update to sort out the averaging problem with the Favero Assioma power meter. And this is not the only problem with the Elemnt Bolt. I own a Kickr Snap v2 and an Elemnt Bolt – while they work fine just the two of them together, if you add a power meter to do power matching, you are in for a nice surprise. If you plan to use such a setup to do interval training, be ready to waste a lot of time in troubleshooting the faulty hardware/software. The crazy thing is, that sometimes it works but most of the times it will not work. In those cases, sometimes it helps to do a factory reset of the Elemnt Bolt and to clear the cache of the app on the smartphone. Other times not even that is going to work right away. I even think that the problem is not with the Snap but the way how the Bolt connects and interacts with the Snap when you add a power meter. That is pretty evident, when you start to pedal – the Favero Assioma using ant+ connects way faster with the Bolt and it starts to show the watts, rpm, torque etc. almost instantly. But as soon as the Bolt connects with the Kickr Snap, it gets the watts directly from the Kickr Snap and ignores the data coming from the power meter. Even more weird is the fact, that the connection with the power meter is still up and running and the RPM from the Favero Assioma are displayed – but L/R balance, smoothness, etc is “n/a”. And yes, I did what Wahoo Murray wrote on your blog: connect the Wahoo Fitness app with the power meter and the Kickr Snap and then start the Elemnt Bolt.

    I even contacted their support and got two replies – but once you start to prove them wrong with screenshots and data, they go quiet and ignore you. This is not acceptable! Maybe in future reviews, you could add a section about the experience with companies dealing with complaints, support etc.

    • Hi Daniel-

      Within the review I have an updated section I added a bit back on the Assioma situation. At this point it’s hard to know exactly who’s fault it is. So I don’t want to come down too hard on one company or the other and find out I’m blaming the wrong company.

      In general I find Wahoo is pretty good on responsiveness actually, probably more-so than Garmin/Polar/Suunto. I suppose it’s all relative in some ways. As users we want things to be changed/fixed immediately, but from a development standpoint something it’s more complex than that.

      That said, this whole situation has taken quite a long time to resolve…though again I’m not clear on whether that’s due to Wahoo, or Favero, that’s dragging their feet.

    • Paul

      Dear DC.

      You do not name it, but it is obvious that the blame belongs to Wahoo. If there was a problem with Favero, it wouldn’t work with other headunits from other brands like Garmin.
      Favero should step forward and make a statement about this situation.

    • That’s an easy assumption to make, but it’s not necessarily the correct one to make.

      For example, let’s take Polar. Polar routinely puts in shims (fixes) in their sensor compatibility to deal with the overwhelming majority of Bluetooth Smart sensor companies that don’t follow the spec. This makes it such that your experiance with the Polar product is seamless, despite the fact that the sensor company is doing ‘Bad Crap’. However, let’s say Suunto comes along and doesn’t put that shim in for sensor company X, does that make Suunto wrong, or the sensor company?

      See…not so easy.

      Garmin themselves was in the same boat as Wahoo this past fall when Power2Max did something that broke compatibility across a number of Edge units. But it didn’t break on other vendors. In this case, P2M was actually at fault on not following the spec properly, yet Garmin had to react and address it. Given Garmin has a decade of experience (and owns ANT+), they’re often in a lucky position of seeing most of the ‘Whacky bad crap’ that other companies do, and can usually put in more shims to fix it before you ever even know it’s a problem.

      Which isn’t to say that Wahoo is right and Favero is wrong, or vice versa. But rather to point out it’s not always as easy as it seems.

    • Philippe

      Is it possible to blame either Wahoo or Garmin that my rides do not auto upload to GC anymore? (since Aug 17, 2017 for me). Even uploading the original .fit file doesn’t work ()gets uploaded, is listed as an activity on GC but one cannot click on it to see the details.

      I don’t see the option in the Wahoo app anymore to upload my rides to GC. Would that be because it broke (for whatever reason) and they therefore removed the option? (I’m sure that’s where I linked to my GC account)


    • jamesb

      I just received a new firmware update for the Bolt – 1929. It’s not listed here yet: link to support.wahoofitness.com
      I wonder if this fixes the power averaging issue – will test it out tonight.

    • Daniel

      So did i. Unfortunately I have to wait till tomorrow to test it.

      Btw, Wahoo Support told me, that power match between Kickr Snap v2 and a power meter only works on iOS. So I went and bought an iPhone 8 (sigh) to find out that it is sooooo bad. Because it really doesn’t do what it is supposed to be doing – with the Fitness app and the Elemnt Bolt. I mean, it does display the watts from the power meter but it is completely off. And yes, I can feel the difference between the correct wattage displayed by the Fenix 3 (119 watts) and the 161 watts shown by the Wahoo Fitness app while using power match mode. And also the fact that if you have a target of 150 watts and you still can pedal with 220+ watts confirms that something is not right with the power match function. Changing to the Elemnt Bolt, the power match didn’t work correctly too. The watts where always off and never felt correctly. And when I was standing beside the bike, the Bolt was still showing an average of 15 watts while the Fenix 3 was correct and showed 0 watts.

      So hopefully this update fixes those problems because I’m the complete opposite of a happy customer.

  8. I designed an adapter to be 3D printed so the Wahoo can be mounted on the Garmin mount. I have posted the files so anyone with access to a 3D printer can make it. It is on Thingiverse link to thingiverse.com and if you are the tinkering type I have even posted the design on Tinkercad.com link to tinkercad.com

  9. eric

    I have a road, a single speed CX, and a cyclocross bike, I use one Garmin E25 for all three and when synching between Connect and Strava, I have a folder for each bike on Strava. Will the Bolt app translate the data to Strava for each bike, all have same wheel size

  10. Wahoo Murray

    Favero Assioma Update

    Just a quick update, we have found the source of the error and working with Favero on a solution. Basically the clock on the power meter runs about 30% slower than “real time” and our average calculations using the accumulated torque couldn’t handle this sort of difference. We hope to be able to handle this clock error in the ELEMNT and not require any firmware updates from Favero, once we have done our validation we will ship a bug fix release.

    • Paul

      Thanks Murray! Anxiously waiting \o/

    • Deepak Rao

      While they are at it, tell them that cadence avg is also out of whack Murray. 🙂

    • Henry

      Since the latest firmware update myself and a number of other previously happy Bolt owners have been experiencing a large number of ANT+ dropouts affecting various different power meters. An example of that is here: link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com
      This is very frustrating as I have had no problems with the Bolt in the last year it has been rock solid but this lastest update has effectively made it useless for training. I’ve been trying to find out if there is a way to manually roll back the firmware, Ray/Murray is this possible?! I feel like these issues are probably an unintended cause of trying to fix other power meter problems..

    • Paul

      I am among those affected by the Favero Assioma problem. I don’t like to update my devices – all – with firmwares that have been just released. I prefer to wait some days to be sure that it is stable.
      I was very surprised that my Bolt automatically upgraded my firmware without even asking. And yes.. I also would like to know how to roll-back a firmware in the event that I have a good one and the latest is not working. Is it possible?

    • Henry

      I wasn’t referring to the specific Favero issue. This is a new problem affecting the latest firmware release and previously working power meters 🙁 I’m using 4iiii Precision, others are using Power2Max

    • Daniel

      I use the Elemnt Bolt indoors with the Favero Assioma and Kickr Snap. Power matching is really bad and noticed while I was doing some interval training that every time a new interval started, the wattage dropped. This is some VERY strange behavior because I keep pedaling at the same RPM and the interval goes from hard to very hard. So it is not possible that with an increased resistance and the same RPM, the wattage is less. It looks like a new lap screws up your calculation.
      I do not think that it is a problem with my pedal stroke, Favero Assioma or the Kickr Snap. I record my training with the Fenix 3 and the Bolt at the same time. The Fenix 3 doesn’t have those drops in the wattage – therefore excluding my pedal stroke, Favero Assioma or the Kickr Snap as the reason for the lower wattage.

      Please, could you check what is going on here too?

    • Ab

      Today suffered from drops of my bePro too. Never had it the last 4 months. I guess an update is the cause. I used the same ride a ANT+ heartbeat sensor which doesn’t have the drops.

      I’m disappointed with Wahoo. Seemed a good alternative to Garmin. However this powermeter problem is handled as sluggish as Garmin, but making mistakes in trying to repair as a newby.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Assioma fixes should go live in the next couple days, just waiting for the all GREEN from QA.

      Its possible that this fix will also fix some reported problems with other power meters and/or cadence sensors that also experience large clock drift.

      People that are reporting dropouts, send a request to our customer support with details and your setup, emailing our support is 100% the best way to ensure we have good visibility on bugs, while I do my best to monitor different forums, its much easier when support can associate reports to bug tickets directly, we have someone continuously working on the top 10 bug tickets.

    • CheshireK

      Thank you for the update Wahoo Murray, I’m glad of the fix, and hope it works as it should (fingers crossed). It’s just a shame it took so long to pick up on the issue.



    • Ab

      Apologies for claiming Wahoo had drops after the update to WB09-1929. Wahoo worked fine. The problem was the loosening of my right bePro pedal. Didn’t expected this, because allready rode 500km after mounting. This also caused erratic behaviour with other brand head unit (Navi2Coach) I used to verify.

    • Wahoo Murray

      Good to hear Ab, its easy assume blame if something has just updated.

      Again, this is a very good example of why you should log tickets with our support, it lets us see patterns that in turn point to bugs vs 3rd party issues vs user error.

    • Paul

      Thanks Murray!

      How can I avoid the automatic update… I mean.. Considering that I have a couple races ahead, I’d prefer in this first moment stick with WB09-1929. When the new version is stable, I would upgrade. At the moment at least I am sure that the only problem is the AVG W and cadence.. so during a race I can trust the data I am seeing. I don’t want to have doubts about data when I am struggling to keep my pace in those long climbs….

    • Paul

      Hi Murray! Yesterday Favero has announced a major firmware upgrade to the Assiomas with new featured to be unveiled.
      I hope that the fix for the average is already based on this new firmware.. or should we do not upgrade Assioma firmware for a while?
      And again.. how can I choose not to – automatically – upgrade the Bolt at the very first moment?

    • Daniel

      It sounds like that Favero is going to add features via firmware. If that is the case, there is no way that I would choose the Wahoo firmware over the Favero one in case of average issues.

    • Deepak

      Choose? Not sure how you can choose?

    • Daniel

      It is not like windows 10 that you are forced to upgrade your firmware. Neither Wahoo nor Favero do that. And if Wahoo would say, that they have not tested their new firmware with the next release from Favero, I surely will install the Favero firmware but not the Elemnt Bolt one. I record every session not only with the Elemnt Bolt but also with my Fenix 3 so I really can live with it.

    • Wahoo Murray

      We don’t currently have any option to disable automatic updates, its on the schedule but won’t be until our next major release. If you really don’t want to install updates then you need to disable WiFi so it can’t download the update.

      Favero is currently testing ELEMNT against the new firmware, I very much doubt it would have any issues (due to the nature of the bug).

    • Ivan Murdock

      4 weeks today and the fix still hasn’t been released:(

    • deepak

      I’ve been witting 4 months now.

    • deepak

      Sorry, that should read as 6 months

    • Hi Favero Assioma users,

      The Wahoo/Assioma interoperability issues are not caused by an incorrect broadcasting of the power meter: the clock of Assioma works correctly.

      The issue is due to a difference between the sending and the receiving device in terms of timing reference for the data calculation, therefore it is resolvable with coordination.

      We had already the chance to talk and examine the situation together with Wahoo this spring and agreed that the data disparity can and will be solved with the upcoming new firmware of the bike computer.

      To know when exactly this firmware will be released, we suggest contacting directly to Wahoo.

      Have a good day,

  11. Jan

    Just bought the Bolt after being a long-time Garmin user from the 800 now the Edge 820. Basically was satisfied with the 820 except it wouldn’t show or allow me to create target cadence in a workout/interval and the workout screen’s power display only allows it to show instantaneous power which is very hard to regulate compared to a 3sec or 10sec number. Well the Bolt isn’t really that much better. It allows me to set a target range in Training peaks, but doesn’t show the range; only a number that seems to be in the middle of the range. Also, there is a field called “target cadence” which one would think would transfer over from Training Peaks’ target cadence, but it doesn’t. It just shows “n/a”. Why can’t any of these companies get the simple training thing right? Every training plan for cycling I’ve ever seen has a target power or HR range and a target cadence range and no unit allows me to show these. Meh!

  12. Daniel

    I noticed the same! Never had them before but since the new update, I get frequent ant+ drops during the same ride. I noticed because the measured wattage goes to zero. At first I thought it was some kind of interference but then I noticed it does it at different spots (was riding on a circuit).

  13. Matt

    Could anyone share any experiences of the problems with Average Power and Rotor cranks?

    I’ve done 2 rides with the Wahoo and have been disappointed with the Average Power and TSS readings at the end.

    For example, a recent ride with Garmin;

    67miles / 15.4mph / 146bpm avg / 169w avg / 317 TSS

    And similar with Wahoo;

    70miles / 15.8mph / 144bpm avg / 137w avg / 195 TSS

    Whilst I know it’s impossible to compare two different rides, I’m experienced enough to know they were very similar in effort and it certainly seems strange that distance / speed / terrain / HR avg were all very similar, yet Power and TSS would suggest the previous ride had far more effort which I know it didn’t.

    I have a big ride coming up where monitoring Average Power / NP is key to my effort, but now few like I’ll need to stick with the Garmin for training and racing, which makes me sad.

    • Adam R

      One important thing to remember with TSS, Matt (apologies if this is too obvious a point), is that TSS is based on normalised power rather than average power. A few short stretches of higher power over a long ride can make a big difference. For example, a 5 minute climb at 110% FTP will give a noticeable jump in normalised power. 5 minutes at 120% will have a much bigger effect. The second point is that the formula is exponential (or, at least, it is not linear). Your rides have an average power difference of 32W. If that is the difference between 50% of FTP and 65% of FTP, that difference over time will have a very large effect.

      In short, it is entirely believable that a 32W difference in power over several hours can translate to a major difference in TSS.

      The other possibility, is that the NP measurement on one of your rides was skewed by spikes or drop-outs. That should be obvious in the file. Just don’t assume that is the answer.

    • Matt

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for the comment and explanation.

      I’m mostly concerned with if the Avg Power / NP is correct in the first place as this seems to be an issue with the Wahoo noted in many comments. I’ve since used the DC Rainmaker tool to analyse some FIT files, and in the ride that Wahoo reported as 137w the DCR tool gives me a result of 153w average. It’s the same with other rides – Wahoo seems to report the average as around 20w/30w less, whereas reviewing files from a Garmin in the same way only shows a difference of around 5w.

    • CS


      I found that my Bolt reads an incorrect NP, as the companion app sets an old FTP setting even when you override that with your current one. This skews my workout’s TSS on the head unit and the Elemnt companion app. Once the ride data is in an external app (I use Training Peaks), then that application sorts out the NP and TSS by using your set FTP in that app. Wahoo support say they are working on a fix but cannot say when it will be available.

      I am using a Vector 3 power meter. Not sure if this NP issue is impacting all power meters.

  14. Mads

    Hi Murray,
    Just about to push the purchase button on the Bolt but as I have the Assioma Duos I’m hesitating – any news since your update 16th awaiting go decision?

    • Wahoo Murray

      Hi Mads (and other Assimoa users)

      We are just trying to get the updated fix for ELEMNT through QA, we hit a few snags on our side during our regression testing and its taking a little longer than expected but we should have a fix public very soon.

    • Ivan Murdock

      I find it hard to keep waiting – you guys have worked to get there but pushed the response back to the user for so long. I didn’t understand how you kept saying that you had users that didn’t have problems, that cant have been right. If the clock was wrong it never could have worked. Hope to see the update – do they have a date for release? Thanks

    • Ivan Murdock

      Do they have a date for release?


    • Wahoo Murray


      The software update is still in our regression testing, we found a couple issues with the change and some GPS glitches so we had to fix those and restart regression testing. We are doing our best to get it out the door ASAP.


    • Ivan Murdock

      Thanks – I love the Bolt over the Garmin for ease of use – I was one of the original Assioma users, a pre-order and alerted Wahoo immediately. It has been a long process. Thanks!!

    • Andre Gabrielse

      Any update on the release update?

    • Daniel

      Seriously, how long does it take to deliver a fix via firmware? We are not talking of days but months here! The company I work for develops software too – if we would take the time Wahoo Fitness takes to fix a problem, we would have been out of business a while ago.
      How about refunding the money to the users that have bought a product that doesn’t do what it is supposed to do? I have to record every training session with my Fenix 3 as well to make sure to have the correct data. But obviously a computer like the Elemnt Bolt is more comfortable to use due to the bigger screen.
      I have an important race in a week and I won’t be able to rely on the cadence and wattage displayed by your product. That is totally not acceptable and it will influence my race.

      I really don’t believe they are capable to fix the problem. And I totally regret to have bought into the Wahoo Fitness system by buying a Kickr Snap and an Elemnt Bolt.

    • deepak

      I was happy enough with my Wahoo, that I sold mine, my wife’s and daughters Garmin 520s, and got Wahoos for all of us. Then a Kickr.

      Then we switched from PT hubs to Assiomas. Duh

    • Mads

      Hi Murray,
      Went along and bought it thinking you would get it cleared in testing and released ASAP – having it on the desk makes me hope that will be very soon – any news from the test lab? /Mads

    • Wahoo Murray

      Mads, We had some issues in our regression testing with other power meters. We currently have the release out for testing with our beta team.

    • Ivan Murdock

      5 weeks today since the original announcement that it was discovered, I know it is hard to commit to a day, but it has been 9 months – how is the testing going?

    • Shannon

      Also getting impatient here, and I just purchased the Assioma pedals in early April to discover the avg power issue. No way I would have waited this long if I had the issue for months. Hope the fix is out soon. I otherwise much prefer the experience of the Element Bolt over any Garmin I’ve used, but this affects the way I train.

    • Paul

      I also do prefer the experience of the Bolt, but this is already becoming embarrassing for Wahoo… how can a tech company not solve a bug after so many months? Lack of people, competency?

      And what is a BIG SHAME is that even though the issue is known – some months ago they would not even assume – there is no ALERT on their website advicing potential buyers that the unit does not work correctly with some powermeters. If they can’t correct the issue, they should at least prevent people from buying defective units… and of course… start a reimbursement program for those tired of waiting. This would be honest.
      I like the Bolt concept but I will never ever take a risk with Wahoo products again. And of course, never recommend.

    • Ade Hughes

      I have obvious sympathy with your points because I too am waiting for the update. However, I think you are being a little unfair. I’m sure Ray will correct me but Wahoo released their product before Favero. It works fine with many power meters, including my Gen 1 Vectors. No company is going to guarantee compatibility with as-yet unreleased products. If anything it should be Favero making the statement that their product is incompatible with some head units. Those of us that have used Garmin products (Vector 1, 705, 800 and 520) will recall what an absolute nightmare they were in the early versions of firmware and how unresponsive Garmin were. That all being said, it has taken an inordinate amount of time to resolve this, along with other seemingly trivial bugs, so maybe this time they are making absolutely certain that it does work properly

    • Deepak Rao

      Been over 10 months now I think since it was brought to Wahoo’s attention. One should think that should be enough time?

    • Paul

      I guess both were released around the same time (considering first generation Elemnt and BePro pedals)… late 2015. Same thing for the Bolt and Assioma… late 2017.

      Not defending any company here…so.. both should advice their customers about incompatibilities. In regards of technology, people should just stop accepting unfinished products delivered to the market. Vectos are a huge example. This became a standard… many tech companies just use their early adopters as free beta testers… and afterwards they start releasing fixes as if this was a big favour.
      In this case considering that Wahoo has already – or finally – assumed that the problem is on their side, and that Favero is collaborating with them for solving the issue… my view is that the responsibility to solve this, belongs to Wahoo

    • Daniel

      My Fenix 3 was released MUCH earlier and still records and shows the cadence and average wattage correctly. While with the Elemnt Bolt both are totally off.

    • The challenge in determining blame here is mostly dependent understanding the fundamentals of the protocol. From Wahoo’s explanation of the technical details that I’ve seen, it sounds like the fault-ball is pretty squarely in Favero’s camp (the pedals don’t handle transmission timing as accurately as they should). Of course, I haven’t heard from Favero on that either way.

      I would note that in the last few days one user on the Hammerhead Karoo is reporting virtually identical symptoms to what is seen on Wahoo.

      The reason Garmin users aren’t seeing it isn’t likely because Garmin is better in this case, but rather more simplistic: They’ve got a decade of watching companies make screw-ups with ANT+ power meters, and can compensate for those screw-ups. Even moreso, many employees of ANT+ have transitioned over to Garmin (there’s a bit of a wall between the two entities), meaning that knowledge is even deeper. And to double-down on that, portions of Garmin’s power meter division are based in Calgary in what at last checked as the same building as the ANT+ folks. Again, they go to lunch together and undoubtedly have war stories to tell about things to be aware of.

      I’m not in a position to take a side on this one. What I can say is that between the two entities, getting a fix is taking forever. If it’s as Wahoo says, then it’s technically a hardware issue on Favero’s side that Wahoo has compensate for. And if it’s as Favero say’s…well…they haven’t said anything. Meanwhile, Hammerhead is just now walking into the mess as well.

    • CheshireK


      When I messaged Favero about the issue I got the following reply from them:

      “I confirm that Assioma UNO/DUO transmits all the datas by following exactly the ANT+ protocol; furthermore, I confirm that Assioma actually works on many cyclecomputer models and many Assioma customers are using Wahoo Elemnt Bolt successfully.”

      This message was sent before the latest Favero firmware update, but I thought Favero had corrected the click issue at their end with the version 2 firmware, although I am happy to be corrected here if I’m mistaken.

      Whoever the issue lays with it has taken far to long to sort out.

    • Ivan Murdock

      Thanks Ray:)

      Understanding that the timing protocol is the issue, how is it that strava, or wko4 take the file directly uploaded and the data is accurate? I am just asking, because once racing it isn’t as big a deal but for training or longer interval work the bolt just fails. The issue is during the ride, not the data for review. I can go into strava to see avg power and cadence. It undoes whatever the bolt is doing to miscalculate those two fields. The data is there and accurate just not on the bolt, or is transfer to TP. It is an IT company and they should be able to just get the math:), if you go into TP and just highlight the event, the data is correct. NP seems correct as I have done it with a Garmin and a bolt, so the data is there.

    • I agree that part is puzzling.

      But, I can also see a scenario whereby the data point logging process is different than the ow the unit handles the data internally. An example of this is head units that are designed to handle higher data rates, such as the SRM or Stages ones.

      These head units effectively keep data in a different format internally, since is greater than 1-second sampling. And then they down-sample to .FIT for 1-second file uploads to other platforms. The non-conforming variance in timing aspects at play here may be what’s throwing off that process.

      Some variant of this may be why they see the problems they do. Not sure.

    • Paul

      great point Ivan…the problem is on the real-time display of the information… and not the infos stored on the file. As you said.. once downloaded.. be it Strava, TP, Golden Cheetah, whatever… all correct.

    • Ivan Murdock

      I use WKO4 no issues – I want the bolt to work – I race with it, and went to a Garmin over the winter when doing interval work because of the issues. Only the device and its direct into TP are incorrect. Even the new uploads to Trainerroad are accurate (I pull them in from strava). I was sending them files from Garmin and Wahoo – last August when they told me it was not the bolt. I want to believe they truly felt it worked but they have been very detached about it for sure.

    • Ivan Murdock

      Where is it at – Thanks up front

    • Ivan Murdock

      “I have just asked to my colleagues of the R&D Department that are in contact with Wahoo and they told me that the issue should be solved on next Wahoo firmware – released very soon -.” From Favero

    • Ivan Murdock

      7 weeks – any update on when it will release update? Thanks up front

    • Shannon

      Hi Murray,

      Any update on the firmware release?

    • Ivan Murdock

      Any resolution on Bolt – even with the proclaimed fix it is still not correct. I know they now have the pedals in house – I see none to very little difference in data after the claimed fix. Thanks up front


    • Mads

      Hi Murray,
      so it seems you passed your tests, since the new firmware was released. But as mentioned below the issue is yet not fixed, so whatever your testing team signed off on was not what we have been seeing here,

      Any news or date for a new release for a fix?


  15. Chris Webb

    Can these buttons be customised for different functions, the same way cameras are getting better at? I’ve some ideas on what I want to do with them, but cannot find any info on it. If there is a bike computer that can accommodate customisable buttons, I would be stoked to hear. Garmin Connect IQ almost gets there.

  16. Mark Evison

    Hi Ray/all
    Great review. Wondering if there’s anywhere I can get a discount on a bolt? Tearing my hair or with the sh*tty garmin 810 I have (factory refurb took 3 months, then almost immediately started losing ride data or saving malformed… Most unreliable product I’ve ever owned).. But don’t earn much and living in japan = prices sky high.
    I checked clever training, but no discount possible.. And begged wahoo for an exchange, but no go! Any ideas?
    Thanks for your great work as always

    • No, nothing I’m aware of. Wahoo locks down their bike computers to sales pretty heavily, and I don’t think we’ve seen a sale yet on the BOLT.

      On the bright side, you can get 10% back in points if you use the Clever Training deal linked at the end. So that’s basically a $25 credit you can use immediately for something else. Could be sensors or socks or whatever. Plus, supports the site. 🙂

  17. Send

    I recently started keeping all my workout info, along with other metrics, in the Apple Healthkit App. However, I noticed Wahoo Elemnt Bolt or Companion App will not register heart rate accurately in Apple Health. Regardless of workout length 30min, 1 hr, 2 hr… it only records 3 measurements in Health Kit. This only happens with Wahoo; meaning other Apps, such as: Cyclemeter, do record the entire workout worth of heart beats. Any idea of what’s going on? Is there a setting I might be missing? Is it Wahoo’s bug, or Apple’s or both? Any lead you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    PS: My workaround is to ride recording the workout with Apple Watch. This is inefficient, not to mention the sunburn mark in my wrist.

  18. deepak

    My wife’s Wahoo HR strap was having an issue, so I just bought a Tickr Fit. It connects to her Bolt by only BTLE, and the HR drop outs are a lot. I tried it, and it connects via ANT+ to my Elemnt [the big one, noit the bolt], and HR accuracy is better.

    1. Is this possible or something I am imagining?
    2. How can I get it to connect by ANT to her Bolt?

  19. deepak

    So, just landed in Germany last week for a 10 day cycling trip, and both my wife’s Bolt, as well as my Elemnt are having huge GPS issues.

    This usually happens when we do a loaded route, and then deviate from that route, or stop that route, and load another route to extend the ride.

    Some update happened a few days ago. Wonder if that caused the issues. Anyone else with these issues?

  20. Joel

    Are there any News about the Bolt / Assioma AVG Power Issue?

    • Hi Joel,

      The AVG power issue is not related to an incorrect broadcasting of the power meter.

      It is due to a difference in timing reference between the sending and the receiving device, therefore it is resolvable with coordination.
      We had already the chance to talk and examine the situation together with Wahoo this spring and agreed that the data disparity can and will be solved with the upcoming new firmware of the bike computer.

      To know when exactly this firmware will be released, we suggest contacting directly to Wahoo.

      Have a good day,

  21. sebastian

    Expecting a new version anytime soon?? Lots of stores do not have in on stock.

  22. Gabriel

    When uploading a training session from training peaks that is HR based and a cadence range is added to the workout, the Bolt doesn´t display the target value for cadence, only displays the target HR. In addition, if the target metric is a range and not a value, the Bolt displays the average between the upper and lower value. I think it would be nice to be able to display both limits.
    Anyway, is anyone else seeing this missing target value too when uploading a workout from trainingpeaks?


    • Gabriel

      Just a quick update, Wahoo said structured workouts don’t support target ranges. This means that you can’t use a workout that is based on sustaining the HR in a specific HR-Zone for a certain time, something that is pretty common in trainings.

  23. Rob Holloway

    If you have, say, a four mile segment, and within that three or four smaller segments I find that my edge 1000 will only record one or another of these, not live, but just recording them and sending to Strava.
    How does the elemnt bolt treat this scenario??

    • Richard

      Your Garmin… and a Wahoo, for that matter, is not “recording” the segments, as segments. It is simply recording where you ride. Once you get home and upload, it charts that route and finds the segments that you’ve traversed. I’m guessing that you might not be seeing some of the segments because sometimes Strava will weed out segments that it deems not as popular, especially in areas where there are lots of multiple segments for the same area of road. If you scroll down to the bottom of your segment list for a Strava ride, there is a button that says, “Show hidden segments”. Open that up and you’ll find all of the ones they’ve weeded out. I’m not sure how they determine which ones show. I don’t know if they use some sort of algorithm that tracks which segments you’ve looked at in the past, or the ones that most users look at, etc.

      Live segments are determined by you… you star the segments you like and when you sync your garmin or wahoo with your strava account, it checks the segments you’ve synced, the current times, etc and then displays them as your approaching them. It is not recording the segment as a separate piece of data. If you star segments that are overlapping or smaller segments within segments inside pieces of road, I’m not sure how the live segments feature handles that. I’d guess it will simply turn on for the first one you hit and ignore the smaller sub sections. There is one section of road that I hit that I can test this one, I’m gonna check.

    • Mads

      Hi Rob,
      new user to the Bolt and like it really much so far (appr. 1.000 km’s in).
      I get a toggle option on the bolt if I have overlapping favourite segments, so pressing (I think it’s the middle) button will toggle between the segments – really nice feature….and so is the toggle between onw PR and KOM,

  24. Si

    Can anybody tell me, which Power option to choose if i want instant Power on the bolt?

    • Send

      I usually use 3s Avg. Try Power (“vs lap avg” or “vs workout avg”); if it behave the same as speed, I think that should do it for you

  25. pierre

    Does anyone know if we can display vertical speed in additional fields?
    Thank you.

  26. Ryan Tarkington

    One item that needs to be addressed here is the propensity for the Wahoo Bolt to drop sensors. The issue appears as a sensor dropping mid-ride. The unit will not let you search for the dropped sensor and it will appear as if the sensor does no longer exists. You can try removing the sensor and reconnecting, but this will not work. The only solution is to fully turn off the unit and turn it back on.

    I have been through two Bolts and Wahoo has confirmed this is a software issue, but over the several months since the issue began appearing, nothing has been done. The only solution that Wahoo has offered is to turn the unit fully off and back on again. This simply is not feasible during a workout or race. I have gone from absolutely loving my Bolt to it not being operable for training purposes.

    This occurs on both BTLE and ANT+ connections. I have a wide range of power meters and I get the same results with each.

    I love Wahoo. I have had a KICKR since the first iteration and various other Wahoo products along the way. However, when a product is having issues with the core function for which it was designed, something has to be said.

    • Send

      +1… Likewise, I reported it months ago and they closed my ticket because they sent the issue to the Developers, where it seems to be a black hole: no way to follow up and a “commitment” from Wahoo to do nothing about it.

  27. C

    Hopefully this will sort out the Assioma issues and dropped sensors:

    link to support.wahoofitness.com

    • Hi Favero Assioma users,

      The Wahoo/Assioma interoperability issues are not caused by an incorrect broadcasting of the power meter.

      The issue is due to a different timing reference used by the receiving and the sending device (different does not mean incorrect…) therefore it is resolvable with coordination.

      We already had the chance to talk and examine the situation together with Wahoo this spring and agreed that the data disparity can and will be solved with the upcoming new firmware of the bike computer.

      To know when exactly this firmware will be released, we suggest contacting directly Wahoo.

      Have a good day,

    • deepak

      Got the update today. Yet to try it though.

    • C

      :-), that’s good to know thanks for clarifying Andrea. I have updated the Bolt with the new firmware so am looking forward to testing it out next ride.

    • Ivan Murdock

      The assioma pedals are a great device – with the fix

      It still calculated – avg power – 172w – strava/WKO4 192W – NP – was 242w for both –
      AVG Cadence was 70 and the TP had 48. (Including 0’s)

      Ride Number 2

      TP – 166w – WKo4/ strava – 186W – NP 231 and 232

      AVG Cadence was 71 and 48 again – same course:)

      I loaded new software on Wahoo Bolt yesterday. – WB09-1937

    • Ade Hughes

      I did some tests on the turbo on Tuesday – I had Garmin 520 and Bolt connected to the Assiomas and Tacx Neo. The average seemed to match within a watt or two across all devices.

      However, last night I did a club 10 mile TT using my bolt and assiomas. It reported my average power as 292W and NP 298W. Strava and other software like Golden Cheetah that recalculates has it as 295W (NP 298W), and if I do the trick of selecting the whole ride in TrainingPeaks it comes up as 295W vs the 292W. So there is still a 1% difference there between Wahoo and everybody else.

    • Ivan Murdock

      When I do the trick of selecting the whole ride or just editing a couple of seconds, it matches within 1% as well. The data, is simply not being captured correctly. I did in a criterium, with a VI of 1.26 and 1.24.



    • Christian

      I’m still seeing ~20 watts difference in average between the Element + Strava/GC after the update, on a fairly variable ride. Normalized Power and TSS seem to be correctly computed.
      Avg Power Element: 166, Average Power Strava/GC: 185. Normalized Power: 224.
      Deactivated Auto-Pause to ensure it’s not due to that…taking simply the average of the .fit power data gives well 185.
      Also average cadence is still a lot lower on the Element than in GC/Strava..

    • Paul

      Did somebody test if AVG power is working now when pressing LAP.. I mean.. will it work for interval trainings?

    • Ivan Murdock

      Christian – I called them this morning and told them – it did not fix low avg power or cadence. Sent them fit files from device. I am not sure it is any different will have to go back to a ride to check.

    • Christian

      Ivan – did you get any update from Wahoo?
      I filed a support request and they told me to exclude zeros in power calculation to get ‘closer’ to the GC/Strava averages – but this makes no sense at all as those are including zeros in their calculation.
      Another thing I was told that the Bolt calculates power average by dividing total work by total riding duration – but then if I do this I also get the GC/Strava averages and not the one from the Bolt.
      For me the issue is clearly not fixed when I check my daily rides. Also the Power averages for 1 min / 5 min / 20 mins which are displayed after the ride are low compared to when I analyze them with Golden Cheetah.

    • C

      I am seeing the same issue as well. I raised it with Wahoo as well, so will see what the outcome is.

    • Ivan Murdock

      Excluding 0’s is silly – it does not average power i.e. go up a hill for 30 minutes turn around and come down (0 power). Your avg should be calculated with the coasting for the event, otherwise you have this really high power and didn’t pedal for 20 minutes:) Trying to fake a number vs. fixing the issue

    • Ivan Murdock

      Raced again this weekend – higher than before the fix but still not accurate –

      avg watts – bolt – 193 – wko4/strava – 217
      avg cadence – bolt 55-113/ wko4/strava – 72-113

      They still have it wrong:(

    • Ade Hughes

      Somebody on google groups suggested that the Bolt reads the power from the pedal every quarter second and keeps a running average in memory. Whilst doing that it only writes a power value to the fit file every second which means it is writing either one of the four values or averaging the four values and writing that. So when something like wko4 calculates the data it is effectively using a quarter of the data set that the Bolt uses. I don’t know if this is correct and seems an odd way of doing things. My experience is that my TT power data is very close (fairly steady state riding) whilst other riding that is less steady state varies a bit more.

    • Ade Hughes

      50M time trial today. Average power was bang on across everything. Bolt = Training Peaks = Golden Cheetah = Strava.

  28. deepak

    Finally the assioma, AND the GPS fixes.

    link to support.wahoofitness.com

  29. deepak

    Only about 7 months of usage, and the rubber is peeling off. No water proofness now I guess. I knew that build was not as solid as my Garmin, bit this is really bad.

    • deepak

      Another pic

    • Maarten

      Ah, that is really unfortunate… Mine is not showing any signs of wear after a year of daily usage (I also use it for commuting) through all weather, reaching > 10.000 km. In fact, while the plastic surroundings have some scratching from wiping of dirt, the screen itself is still completely scratch free.

    • Gryphon

      7 months huh? You’ve been slamming this device since at least last July, so I’d put it at more like 11.

    • Deepak

      Nope. This is my wife’s [we have actually 4 units in my family, and I switched to the larger Elemnt].

      She had a 3 month break from cycling due to travel and som other issues, and that’s how I got the 7 month estimate.

      Having said that, our earlier Garmins lasted about 3 years before giving issues with the rubber buttons. That was the Edge 500s. The 520s were even better built. Even my older 305s lasted much much longer before having button issues.

      I love the UI for the Wahoos, but the build quality is certainly nowhere near those of Garmins.

      I think the Elemnt has worse ‘feeling’ buttons than the Bolt, but it looks better built.

    • deepak

      Wahoo have offered a replacement, so happy with their support.

  30. Paul

    Hi – I just got a Bolt and I have the Garmin Vector 2 pedals. They units are paired, but on first install of the pedals (after traveling with the bike for example) I don’t get a prompt to set the pedal-pod install angles like I do with the Garmin head units (i.e. pedal at 80-90 rpm until it recognizes the pod angles).

    Will the Bolt be accurate without this, or am I missing a setting to get this to setup correctly? I can calibrate the pedals using the bolt, but it’s just the static one and not the rotary install angle calibration.


    • Ade Hughes

      Pretty certain you need a Garmin head unit to do that and I don’t think the Bolt will be accurate without it. That’s how it seemed on my first generation Vectors

  31. James Ropsca

    Question for indoor use. Can the Wahoo element bolt program be use with the Cycle Ops hammer. Currently using it with the Kickr Snap it has no issue, especially when i want to ride a previous ride indoor or its existing program with the unit.

    Or I can use the Wahoo app with the Cycle Ops

  32. Keith

    I recently bought a bolt. I love it. I am a little annoyed that it doesn’t output power meter metrics in the .fit file extracts. Great device. Just one of those nits that makes you go WTF.

    • Not sure I understand. Most definitely records it to the fit file. I just finished a ride 10 mins ago, power data in the file no problems.

    • Keith

      hmm… ok… let me check settings. Power isn’t coming out the in the .fit files I am dropping on dropbox. I parsed the file and see everything else though.


  33. Can the “Withings Activite” be used as heartate monitor?
    (I have a heartrate strap, but my brother has a Withings Activite)

  34. Sergio

    I just got an email from “Ride With GPS”, they are changing their price structure
    Shouldn’t the price of these 3 party services be included in the product comparison?
    example:Garmin 520 will cost you $300 for 5 years ($300 + $0 x 5) and Wahoo will cost you $600+ ($200 + $80 x 5) to be able to use the functionality for the same period of time

    I made up the numbers… however the fact that buying product from Wahoo means I’ll end up spending an unspecific amount of money to keep using it, it’s a concern to be highlighted . and as Unspecific amount of money I mean you can not know in advance,because they are changing the subscription price, whether we like it, or not. changing the total cost of ownership on the fly

    From RWGPS:
    Hello riders!
    In the next week, we will be making changes to our accounts that may affect you. Currently, all our advanced route planning tools are part of our Basic account ($50 per year). We will be moving these tools to our Premium account ($80 per year). In addition, we will be removing the ability to add POI and customize cuesheets from our free account and moving those to our Premium account as well.

    • Andrew

      If you use premium, sure. I’m a bolt user and get by just fine with a free account. Also i’d argue the mapping from Garmin Connect pales in comparison to RidewithGPS. Doing anything within Garmin Connect is akin to pulling teeth, and the price of admission to not use it is well worth it.

    • Send

      To me it sounds like RWGPS what’s to “trim” their customer base.

    • Eli

      I did not get this email or see any evidence of this change in functionality on the web page.

    • Gabriel

      I got this same email from RWGPS.
      I want to add that Wahoo is loosing features if you don’t pay extra money in a year basis. For planned workouts target cadence is only support with Today’s Plan ($145/year) and not with Training Peaks taht supports this feature with the free account.
      It was a quick movement for Wahoo to relay on 3rd party apps to include basic features as turn-by-turn navigation or structured workouts. However, if you have to pay year basis subscriptions to keep using it it’s not worth it. I am seriously thinking on selling my wahoo bolt and buying a Garmin if there is no notice from wahoo saying they will include this in near future updates.

    • “Shouldn’t the price of these 3 party services be included in the product comparison?”

      You don’t have to use these products though to get such functionality, others exist in the marketplace that are free (albeit perhaps less seamless).

      That said – it’s a core reason why I generally don’t include app-enabled specific features/functions within my product comparison sheets. 🙂

  35. Daniel Zanetti

    There is a new Firmware out WB09-1980. Did someone already test it and can report if average wattage is finally working? I can’t test it right now because I’m in bed with the flu

    • Mads

      Hi Daniel AND Wahoo,
      after a few rides it appears the newest firmware HAS NOT fixed the Assioma issue 🙁
      I get the same, lower, number in Wahoo AND Training Peaks, whereas the Strava number is higher…so no difference in my unit from the old to the 2 newest firmware updates

  36. deepak

    With regard to the Wahoo update that fixed the Assioma issues.

    Anyone noticed any drop in wattage after the new firmware update of the Wahoo?

    I am doing identical rides, in similar conditions, same speed, and I see about 10 watts lower for interval segments that I know well.

  37. Trevor Weimer

    My bolt shows that the week starts on Sunday not Monday is there anyway to change this?

  38. Steven Ginsberg

    Hi Ray, I just purchased the Bolt and used it for the first time last night. A 1 hour standard few loops around my neighborhood. Usually I burn about 500 kcal by Garmin Edge 520. Last night with the Bolt, it recorded over 800 kcal. Impossibly overestimated. I have a paired Quarq PM, Scosche HRM. What’s up?

    • Ade Hughes

      First question would be whether you have the HR zones set up the same between the two as it uses time in HR zones to calculate it as I understand it, and clearly uses a different algorithm. FWIW the calories I get on Bolt are always LESS than the same rides using my 520. For that reason I tend to use Kj as a guide but not much use if you don’t have a power meter.

  39. Mike A


    Quick question on something I have been struggling with. Have had a unit for a little while and been using GPS for speed and a quarq for power/cadence. Would like to use a GSC 10 for speed and cadence. The sensor has paired fine however speed continues to come via GPS and cadence from the Quarq.

    Can I select which sensor the data comes from and if so how do I do it?
    Many Thanks

  40. Jeremy Wright

    I was wondering about the crash detection, I live in a large suburban area, with rides often into a very busy metropolitan city, and sadly we have many bike incidents. Do you see that being added through an update or newer model coming out? Would be nice to have that in case something happens to my cell phone while out riding. Otherwise I’m leaning towards the edge 820, any info would be helpful.

  41. James

    Thanks for the very comprehensive review!

    Do any of the Wahoo bike GPS computers work with a Garmin HR watch like the vivosmart? I’d like to have the watch send HR data to the Element for better viewing and data analysis mid ride.

    • Sergio

      I use a Garmin FR 935 to capture my HR and broadcast it to a Elemnt Bolt
      Works like any other HR monitor from the Bolt point of view
      This is how I activate it in my ForeRunner
      link to www8.garmin.com
      Check if your VivoSmart has the same function

      In the case of the FR935, you can view only the heart rate widget while broadcasting heart rate data. It could be an issue for some

  42. deepak

    I just joined TrainerRoad. Just done 4 workouts, and I observe an odd thing.

    I am using the Kickr in erg mode with powermatch set to ‘auto’.

    I am using the Assioma pedals connected to TR by BT, and to my Wahoo headunit by ANT. When I do/finish an interval, say at 150 watts target, TR shows the wattage close to that or a couple of watts higher, but my Wahoo headunit shows the lap power [as well as NP] at least 8-10 watts lower.

    Any suggestions?

    • deepak

      Got the reason. Had read this before, but it had slipped my mind.

      Hello there Deepak,

      Thank you for reaching out to the TrainerRoad Support Team! I believe I know what’s occurring here 🙂

      Depending on how you connect the Assioma pedals (Bluetooth or ANT+) will cause some differences in the power readings. The reason for this is that when connected via Bluetooth, TrainerRoad will take the power readings from the left pedal and double them. Whereas when paired via ANT+, TrainerRoad will take the combined (Right+Left) power readings.

      The reason for this is that a Bluetooth connection can only pair to one receiver at a time. Therefore, making it very difficult to pair both pedals over Bluetooth.

      I believe this is why you’re seeing the discrepancy in power readings, Deepak. That being said, it won’t make a difference in your overall training. Keep up the good work and let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!

      Best regards,
      Paul Milke

  43. Ash

    Looking at a replacement for my edge 1000 due to the dreaded white screen.. Considering a wahoo do wahoo support the varia lights yet?

  44. RidingABikeShouldMeanFreedom

    Great reviews, which helps a lot in deciding which device is good for you. Thanks!

    I feel that one important item is missing though reading your reviews and comparison checklists in search for the bike computer / GPS for me and that is: Privacy.

    Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a great device, but it’s the worst thinkable technical UI design when you take privacy in account from a cyclist perspective (not for Wahoo obviou$ly).

    You basically have to give all your data to Wahoo to use this device. Wahoo will be the owner of an incredible amount of your personal data.

    Personal data, hear rate, location, wifi connection points, bank information, address etc. etc.

    Every time you connect to your Wahoo device, you’ve to give your location information to Wahoo (otherwise you can’t use low-energy bluetooth), which gets stored in their clouds.

    The Wahoo app also wants to access your call information, so they likely know and store your calling history and the incoming phone numbers.

    All for free for Wahoo (who will make money with it).

    And the main problem with Wahoo is, that there is no way to escape this, like is possible with Garmin devices.

    I would have chosen the Wahoo Bolt as my GPS, but no way I’m gonna give up so much personal data to a company, so I’ve chosen a Garmin device.

    When I ride my bike, I feel free, it’s actually one of the reasons to ride my bike and I know it is for many people. I would like to keep it that way.

    I find it strange I’ve not read anything about this huge disadvantage of the Wahoo Bolt.

    My suggestion, add Privacy as subject of your reviews and as item in your comparison checklists, cause it is or should be a major concern when choosing a bike computer / GPS. At least, it was a deal-breaker for me.

    Thanks again and good luck with your reviews!

  45. Is there any list with all data fields and full descrpition of each one?

    I’ve combed the internet and nothing yet…


  46. Manny

    Any rumors of a successor to the bolt?. Its October 2018 now and I am curious.

  47. Paul

    One of the most disappointing features of the Bolt for me is that in get it paired so that I can receive call and text notifications, I have to have the app running (sometimes it needs to be brought to the foreground too) and have to wake my phone. By the time I come to turn my bike computer on, my phone is either in a case in my back pocket, or packed away in my bag. I don’t want to be fiddling with my phone before each ride. I just want to get on my bike, and get any notifications that come in.

  48. Alex

    Is it now possible to “race yourself” on a previously ridden course without Strava using the Bolt?

    Thank you.

  49. Iain

    Is there an automatic way to sync Wahoo Bolt Ride data back to Garmin Connect? I noticed yesterday I can manually download the .gpx file from Strava, and then upload to Garmin Connect. Then update the title and activity type. I’m sure this wasn’t possible when I first got the Bolt. I also noticed Strava wasn’t naming the files as Wahoo ride. But just morning ride.

  50. Arno

    I also have the issue with the cover of the side buttons peeling off on 2 units.

  51. Frank Hesketh

    Hi Ray
    Thanks for the great web-site and all the reviews etc. Helped me select my SRAM eTap kit and Elemnt Bolt back in 2017 both of which I still love. Something that continues to bug me on the Elemnt Bolt is the Gear Number display. The graphical display is Ok and is the one I use but I would prefer the numerical display if it were properly implemented i.e. it should be showing the actual sprocket numbers (e.g. 50×15, 34×19) rather than the generic values (1-7, 2-4) The eTap gear positions are obvious known and I have customised the gear ratios on the gear selection sensor settings in the appso you would think it would be a straightforward update. This was being discussed/requested way back in June 2017 in the comments history where ‘Wahoo Murray’ seemed to be saying it was on the way. What is the curremt position?
    One other question – I see there is a data field for tyre pressure (PSI). How is this implemented? I cannot see it mentioned on the Firmware Updates web pages.
    My Bolt is on vsn. WB09-2171, the app is on vsn.
    Thank you.

  52. Mark

    Mine failed after 5 months, refusing to charge.
    Wahoo said return to wiggle for immediate replacement. Then after 3 weeks said it’s not covered by warranty because I’ve changed country – they’d only ship to the address i ordered it from in japan.
    Heart-broken. Obviously pushing them because I can’t afford to buy another one.. But big warning guys 😓💔😓💔 build quality not reliable, company customer service pitiful /neglectful 😑

  53. Thomas

    Hi Ray, any chance we’ll see a new model for the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt this year (2019)? I asked Wahoo support via their website and they said that while they don’t have anything ready to announce, that I might do well to wait a couple of months… leading me to believe there will be an updated release or new version of the Bolt in the coming months.

    Also, will the Bolt work to display HR from my Garmin Fenix 3 HR watch? I see that you tested it with the Fenix 5. Did you have to put the watch HR settings into “Broadcast now” mode or a cycling activity mode for the HR to actually broadcast to the Bolt?

    • Michael

      i wondered what was in the pipeline as well. doesn’t pioneer share the same platform (with a color screen)?

    • Josh

      When is the next big expo where bike computers might be announced? The Bolt looks tempting however with the recent $30 price reduction on the Element it leads me to believe something new is not far off.

    • Thomas

      link to wahoofitness.com
      “Limited edition Blue & Pink” released. 👎 Wahoo is getting a lot of blow back in their socials for over-hyping this lame promo. Colored cases notwithstanding, lots of folks are ready for the next major release/update and seeing whatever Wahoo comes up with.

    • Gabriel

      I don’t need a new hardware. From the hardware pov I think the elemnt is excellent. However, I would like to see software improvements, like cadence target values for structured workouts with training peaks, turn by turn navigation with a free app (rather than paying a subscription to ride with gps)

  54. Mick

    Hi Ray,

    Another outstanding review as always.

    I have a couple of questions I’d like to ask if I may. I have read through this forum and others at length and I am simply at a bit of a loss and would like some further clarification on some questions I have pertaining to the Wahoo Elemnt/Bolt units.

    Firstly, I moved some years ago from Polar to Garmin. I initially owned a Garmin 810 unit (that doesn’t want to save rides to the memory card any more) so I upgraded to an 820 a few years back – which recently is starting to become unresponsive and not responding to button presses to begin a ride, nor is the screen responsive to touch and/or the scree metrics such as TOD or ALT go black for no reason and do not update for many miles and I have to reselect that same metric again some significant time later, or lastly the screen randomly starts scrolling through pages on its own accord like it is possessed.

    Needless to say I’m looking to upgrade.

    I have looked at the Bryton Rider series, however, I am leaning towards either the Wahoo Elemnt (for the battery longevity) as I do seriously long rides (like Tour du Mont Blanc last year), or the Wahoo Bolt given I also own a Wahoo Kickr? and I am particularly impressed with the reviews I have read on the Wahoo units and the connectivity to all ANT+ and BLU smart sensors.

    Can you please advise and provide an update if the .fit file import from Wahoo (via Dropbox) into Garmin Connect has been resolved as of April 2019? Or has there been a useable work around? As I would like to view the pedaling metrics of my Garmin Vector 3’s post ride – on a PC (like GC – not on a phone app).

    Additionally, given I own Garmin Vector 3’s, I am particularly interested in the data page of advanced pedaling metrics (similar to Garmin’s Power Phase, L/R balance and Platform Centre Offset) whilst I am riding and was wondering if the partnership between Pioneer and Wahoo will allow me to use my Garmin Vector 3’s on this Wahoo/Pioneer updated data page? Or is there another workable alternative option for me to see these metrics on the Wahoo Elemnt/Bolt units whilst performing the ride and not just viewing the 3sec Power average?

    Thank you for your time in this matter and I look forward to your reply.


  55. James

    Hi, I’m a noob and this looks like a great piece of kit. 2 questions:
    – how easy is connect-ability with komoot (you mention strava in detail)
    – i’m late to this review, do you know if there are new products imminently in the pipeline that might supersede this so i should wait before buying?

  56. João Ratão

    Hi guys,
    Is that possible in indoor training to have an estimated speed/distance from the Elemnt Bolt? Of course with a power meter connected to it. Thanks

  57. Richard Gate

    Hi Ray,
    Now the news has broken, albeit unofficially, the new Wahoo Elemnt Roam, I’m really hoping you’ve had a unit to test and we can look forwards to an in depth review?

    link to boerkopcykler.dk

  58. Gabriel

    There is a new firmware update on the Bolt. For me it is the one I have been waiting for a long time: Cadence Target Support for Structured Workouts with Training Peaks.
    Also there is a new update on the companion app. I will try it today and follow up if I find any bugs.

    BOLT WB15-2659 – 15 April, 2019

    All new look & feel!
    Account login & profile sync between Wahoo apps
    New route sync with MTB Project and Singletracks!
    More workout sharing partners: Map My Tracks, Xert, and Final Surge
    Total odometer in the companion app
    Improved support for multiple ELEMNTs
    Support for cadence targets from TrainingPeaks planned workouts

    link to support.wahoofitness.com

  59. maikkeli

    Anyone has more info about Trainerroad outdoor workouts availability for Wahoo devices? Back when the news were announced, Wahoo devices were “next in line” after Garmins but any updates around webs?

  60. Nick

    I’ve had this device for a few years now and generally have no issue with it, however, this gets me every time, there is no low battery warning! unless I remember to explicitly check it, the first thing I know about battery being low is when I look down at my bars and see a blank screen! very frustrating.

    Any suggestions Ray? I do have the battery level showing on one of my pages, which I always forget to check, but it would be nice to just get a little warning on device/email/in app when it’s running low.

    • Tod

      Funny thing is the unit will report when your power meter has a low battery, using a msg that doesn’t reference the power meter, just “low batt power”, making you think it is the unit itself that is low on power.

  61. David Brenner

    I trusted you. The Wahoo Element is a poorly engineered product. Its processor must be very underpowered and their software engineers unable to write the simplest of code. On Sunday, I climbed 104000+ feet according the the Bolt. Thankfully, I was able to descend 999000 before I became hypoxic. The slow processor updates the % grade sometimes.

    Why do I need GPS if I actually (apparently) rode my bike by the satellites?

    A week ago, I was able to climb 429 feet before it locked up.

    We are also testing the non-Bolt Element. My gf told me to “just send it back”.

  62. Andrew HK

    I am correct that the DCR discount code does not work on clever training UK for wahoo?I am trying to order a bolt bundle for my son and allegedly it does not “apply” to that package. Thanks

  63. Maarten

    Has anyone else experienced the following: whenever I cross a bridge that’s made out of iron, the speedometer goes bonkers. Speed starts to fluctuate in all directions, mostly down (even as low as zero). Once off the bridge all returns to normal. Speed is measured via the external wahoo speed sensor. Doesn’t happen on concrete bridges.

    Interestingly, I had a similar observation in a yearly crit race, where I’ve observed speed interruptions in a couple of laps, always on the same spot of the circuit. It’s a race car track, so I’m thinking there might be some metal in the ground for timekeeping purposes or so (it’s right before the main chicane). It didn’t happen on every lap though, but I’m attributing that to my position in the peloton.

    • Paul S.

      If you were using a Garmin sensor I would know, since the Garmin sensor uses the Earth’s magnetic field to detect wheel rotations. That’s a weak field, and it’s easy to find stronger fields with electric currents flowing everywhere. Possibly the Wahoo sensor works the same way. The bridge might be magnetized somehow, or they might have a current flowing through it (or wires underneath it) for some reason.

  64. Ziad

    Thank you for a great review. I have one and I am wondering if When in route simulation mode, when the bolt is controlling my Kickr, i could make it skip a route portion while I am in the middle of the workout.
    Thank you

  65. Garett

    Is the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt compatible with iPhone X? Clever Training does not list iPhone X as compatible.